The Path We Walk



Some things are just not all that easy to think about, are they?  For example, why we’re here on this old earth living where we live, doing what we do surrounded by the people we find in our lives.  I think about this – and sometimes it makes my head hurt.  But I do it anyway just because I like to.  Weird, huh?


This came to mind this morning – while sipping coffee, naturally – as I thought about an article I had read a while back in Newsweek related to the thoughts of three authors on the subject of atheism.  Not the most popular subject to be promoting in our predominately religiously oriented society.  My thoughts were not so much about their individual experiences and logic processes that prompted their beliefs as it was on their choice of life path.  A path that is out of step with much of the world’s population.  A path that has produced I’m sure, it’s share of confrontation and discomfort.  What led them to do what they do?


Why do some people become authors and not salespeople – or construction workers or musicians or dog groomers?  Why do others risk their lives to protect our country or its citizens instead of becoming business owners, tree trimmers or taxi drivers?  Yes, I do understand that our individual genetics and experiences lay the groundwork for the person we become and for those things we accomplish in life.  That our foundation thought processes determine the path we walk and prompt us to take the actions that carry us to our life’s destination.  But I wonder if there might not be more to the story.


My beliefs, developed through the usual step-by-step process, hinge on the existence of an all-encompassing intelligence and logic producing and in general, guiding the “creation, system, infinite universe” – whatever you want to call it.  It’s that “Big Thing” – the Everything – of which we’re a part.  This has eventually led me to the conclusion that we humans just may be basically “spiritual” entities occupying these animal bodies here on earth for the purpose of furthering our education and at the same time, helping other entities to learn the things that will benefit them.  Yeah I know, that was entirely too much information to cram into a single sentence.  For a more in-depth discussion on this, (blatant promo to follow) you might want to check out the book “What Am I Doing Here?” at


Carrying this thought process on to the next step then, I am led to also think that there is a distinct possibility that we have each been given (or maybe even “assigned”) a primary life path to follow while we’re here on this planet.  A road that will provide us individually with the maximum educational and experiential benefit.  This then, is the guiding force that leads us each to do what we do – to take the steps that lead to a certain vocation or way of thinking.


I think there is also a good possibility that along with this we have been given a freedom of choice.  The privilege of deciding whether or not we stay reasonably close to our path or wander off in a direction of our own choosing.  The concept of “freedom of choice” then, allows me the luxury of rationalizing the existence of life’s scoundrels – folks whose actions hurt others in one way or another – in a system founded by an all-encompassing intelligence.  I can’t wrap my brain around a “spiritual” organization that would intentionally produce interpersonal (or international) conflicts and warped motivations that could result in the discomfort or killing of other humans.  It just doesn’t work for me.  Of course, some of the chaos we’re seeing may stem from the fact that we’re all just animals following a convoluted survival instinct.  I dunno…


My head is starting to hurt again.  Back to the atheists.


Is there potentially a logical reason a system or universal wisdom would create entities whose main purpose in life would be to question the existence of the very system that may have produced them in the first place?  Whose thinking is in direct conflict with the mainstream of thought?  Carrying this to the next step… is there any logic in the intentional creation of individuals who, though not destructive, wind up cruising through life as a major pain in the butt to a bunch of other folks?   Or who wind up being a burden emotionally or monetarily to other individuals or society?  Hmmm, could be…


I wonder if it’s possible that whatever guiding force exists in the universe sometimes develops life tracks for some folks that are intentionally out of alignment with the norm.  It actually could be a logical thing to do.  The folks in those misaligned positions would, from a spiritual learning perspective, have the opportunity to experience situations and emotions not normally otherwise encountered.  The rest of us then, would have the opportunity to hone our skills related to our perception of, and interactions with, these individuals.  Such as?  Such as furthering our ability to understand others and helping strengthen our tendency to show compassion, caring and love for our fellow humans – no matter how far removed their beliefs or thought processes are from ours.  Learning how to interact with others I think would be fairly high on our list of earthly educational priorities.


Many years ago, when I encountered an individual who I felt had a tendency to consistently do “dumb” things, I would frequently comment that he (or she) was a prime candidate for recycling.  This individual just wasn’t “getting it” and because of that would need another trip or two through this earth experience to help smarten up.  It took me a while to realize that it wasn’t them, it was me that needed the smartenin’ up.


However “the system” works, I finally woke up to the fact that none of us is in a position to judge the beliefs and actions of another person.  Yes, because of our legal system, we are occasionally placed in a position of having to determine the appropriateness of another’s actions but outside of that we have no right to label another person as being a doofus or in need of recycling.  If “the system” works as I think it might, it just could be that my next door pain-in-the-ass neighbor is actually here at least in part, for my benefit.  Maybe to help me to learn to be more empathetic or compassionate or understanding.  Or maybe this person is placed in this situation to experience whatever things I have to send his or her way.  And yeah, it’s also entirely possible that this individual has developed into a butt-head without any spiritual intervention at all.  Perhaps it’s entirely due to genetics and/or a series of programming events throughout his or her life.  No way to know from here, huh?


What I do know though, is there are reasons for every other person’s beliefs and actions – spiritually inspired or not.  They walk their path and I walk mine.  And no matter how different they are from me, if I’ll take the time to try to understand them and what they do, there’s a good chance that we’ll both benefit in some way.  That’s a very good thing don’t you think?




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