Ida Lawrence, Contributor
“Every path comes with a price.” I read that statement somewhere and decided to write it down and think about it. Life is a journey, for everyone, and journeys are taken on paths. But the “every path comes with a price” statement sounds a bit intimidating or threatening. So, what ‘price’ are we talking about here?
When we grow up under the ‘eternal damnation if you do it wrong’ threat, we can get a little wary or even fearful of taking the wrong path. Let’s start out by eliminating the threatening feeling of the word ‘price’. If by price we mean effort, well of course… every single life requires effort. If the price we’re talking about is karma, that could be experienced as enjoyable or difficult.
If the price is pain, yes, it could be karma, something we invited or didn’t invite but it did happen, or the emotional pain we feel when life contradicts our opinion. Hopefully we can learn and turn things around by asking ‘why this pain’.
But I don’t think it’s pain or karma or effort that the statement refers to. I think it is this: you give up something to get something. When considering my own life, that does have the ring of truth. We need to be willing to give something up, and if you let your imagination loose as to what people give up in order to get something, it can make you shudder on one hand… or bow your head in gratitude on the other.
So what about the path? Do we have to fear choosing a path because it might be wrong? Of course not. A person might take any number of paths in a lifetime. What matters is that we pause to notice if we are dissatisfied enough to change, reflect and evaluate, ask for wisdom, and come a little closer each time to answering in a way that satisfies our spirit: “What do I live to be?”
For some it is a position: I live to be… famous or powerful, rich, important, followed, obeyed, sanctioned, credentialed, or officially this or that. For others the path seems to be a ‘situation’: I live to be… taken care of, admired, desired, left alone, envied, pampered, entertained, pissed off, dutiful, faithful, and so on. And then we have those who wish to go a little farther: I live to be… meaningful.
Paths can be taken in the direction of restriction or in the direction of liberation and creation. Knowing that consciousness or spirit is the ‘Life’ in this life, one would think that the intent of incarnating is to further Life, and our spirit will say ‘yes’ when the path is right.
But the conditioning and programming here in this world is pretty steep, and it’s not hard to be harmed by it. We can be taken off course by brutality, fear, neglect, laziness, indulgence, almighty ego, inheritance… and it’s altogether possible to end up on a path that not only does not serve Life, but actually serves degeneration and death.
We were born into an incredible time of collapse and uncovering of what has been hidden. I suspect that as more layers are peeled off we will begin to see this world and ourselves clearly, and that’s what makes it a great day for some and a dreadful day for others. Among the things we are realizing is: we can’t make it through this time by calling upon external powers in the sky.
We have to turn within, as that is where we find Spirit… the I Am that is one with All That Is. So, to me, the meaningful path is ‘know thyself’, and the price to pay is the exemption from responsibility. If we wish to awaken to or remember ourselves, we have to take responsibility.
Going from external to internal: I read somewhere that the Dogon people define evil as “That which separates yourself from yourself.” I really don’t know if that’s what the Dogon people say, but it makes sense to me. What has this matrix of control done but facilitate separation… us from All That Is, us from nature, from each other, and from our own True Self.
Whenever we show any real compassion, any instinctive mercy, any selfless courage; whenever we are thinking only of others, at that moment we are acting from the core of our humanity. Just to meditate on this… how far human beings have ventured from their humanity, and what would be our world if we would take it back.
Every article begins with a few words on a blank page, and today I moved those words toward the end: it has to be us. No powerful force is going to swoop in and change the awful degradation of this time into liberation and creation. We are the force.
Now I know, we can’t just march out there and dismantle the chemtrail plane, or the fracking equipment, or the nuclear plant, and we can’t stop the police, or close down the prisons, or shut down the military, or jail the bankers, or feed all the hungry and house the homeless, or offer justice to all who have been wronged… and on and on. Although, from what I see, people are getting fired up enough to try some of these things. So who knows? Maybe we can.
Going to the streets is not my thing anymore, but still, I am responsible. Responsible for what? Furthering Life.
Looking around, we can conclude that the level of dissatisfaction is very high, and action is called for. Some will go out and contend with the world in order to act, and some will simply carry on a work that began with the thought: “I need to face myself.” We might think we’re only facing ourselves, but in truth, what we really are doing is coming into our fullness as human beings and that changes everything.
About the Author
Ida Lawrence is an author, blogger, copywriter and editor based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has contributed to and edited two books on racial justice and human rights, and numerous articles on human rights, self-empowerment and related subjects. Her latest book is entitled The Warrior’s Way to Heaven on Earth. Ida has also published a companion book of blog favorites from http://talk2momz.com/.
This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.
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