Yes. There is a common, abstracted Path, the one we all walk. But the way it plays out for each of us, our individual journeys…that is always unique.
There are overlaps, but mostly they're messy and inconsistent, like the sketched copy of some intricate blueprint – clumsy fingers hastily trying to recreate what was glimpsed but now gone, those precious moments of revelation.
It's comforting to find footprints on some forlorn pass. Those who've been before. To follow them for a while and muse over the age and location of old campfires.
It's fun to bump into the travelers along the way; to trade stories and advice, to join forces and walk together for a time. But always there comes a parting of the ways, and each must ultimately tread their own Path. No matter what. And that is painful, but the pain passes, and the joy you've shared always outweighs the loss of a companion. Well, depending on what you choose to dwell on, in your mind, as you plod on alone.
Sublime; to find a river, an uncertain rapid racing wildly around the bend, and to trust your gut and jump in, and be swept along. For a time. Eventually you emerge, whether by clutching a root or by being washed onto the shore, and you're dripping and invigorated and probably half your stuff is gone.
But it's the best.
You can't wait for the next one, a bigger one; faster this time, and wilder…
During the day you drink it all in, the beauty of the wilderness, the abundance of deep forest, the calm constancy of rock.
And then there is the night, ever following the day. Like its lover, or the other half of a whole.
Eventually night becomes your blanket, and you press against your bed of earth enthralled by a black and starry sky. All these endless questions, right above you, your whole life.
You wonder why oh why mankind ever slept in caves, or built roofs over their heads. What folly! What a blind loss!
And then the next night a storm builds in the north, and its violence totally breaks the spell of your past hippy-headedness. "Yup," you sigh, "that's why." But you're grinning as you speak to yourself.
Eventually words whisper their secrets to you, in that ambivalent sacred silence, at dawn before the birds chime in.
Eventually you are schooled in the physics of metaphor: water, rock, fire, wind.
You gaze into the heavens. The stars truly twinkle; they are pinpricks of eternity.
And you speak to yourself. You say: "God is good."