Walking Your Own Path

(The Knights of the Round Table) are going to leave Arthur, and so they say good-bye to him.  The text then says:  “They thought it would be a disgrace to start out in a group, in the same direction.  Each entered the forest at that point which he himself had selected, and where there was no trail or path, at its darkest point.”  The message is that if you follow a trail or path, you’re following in someone else’s adventure, not your own.  Every human being is unique, and must find his or her adventure by entering the forest where there is no way or path.  RG 136

   Now all of you who have had anything to do with Oriental gurus know that they have the path, and they know where you are on the path.  Some of them will give you their picture to wear, so you know where you are to get to, instead of your own picture.  TMTT 212

   So the knights (of the roundtable) entered the forest at the point that they had chosen, where there was no path.  If there is a path, it is someone else’s path, and you are not on the adventure.  Now, what are you to do about instruction?  You can get clues from people who have followed paths, but then you have to carom off that and translate it into your own decision, and there is no book of rules.  On this wonderful quest – it’s a marvelous romance, with each knight going his own way – when anyone finds the path of another and thinks, “Oh, he’s getting there!” and begins to follow that path, then he goes astray totally, even though the other may get there.  This is a wonderful story:  that which we intend, that which is the journey, that which is the goal, is the fulfillment of something that never was on the earth before – namely, your own potentiality.  TMTT 212

   Well, the next trial of our friend Lancelot is what is known as the Sword Bridge.  This is a bridge, made of a sword, across a roaring torrent.  Lancelot has to go across with bare hands and feet on the sharp edge of the sword.  Perhaps you know Somerset Maugham’s novel entitled The Razor’s Edge.  This is a motif from the Kana Upanishad.  “Any trip along your own path is a razor’s edge.”  It really is; nobody’s done it before.  And it’s so easy – particularly if what you’re following is your bliss, your passion – it’s so easy to tip over and fall into a torrent of passion that sweeps you away.  TMTT 236

   You may know Somerset Maugham’s novel The Razor’s Edge.  The title is a motif from the Katha Upanishad: any trip along your own path is a razor’s edge.  It really is; nobody’s done it before.  And it’s so easy, particularly if what you’re following is your bliss, your own path, to tip over and fall into a torrent of passion that sweeps you away.  This is a real lesson.   RG 138