I hope everyone had a great holiday break, full of some exciting adventures that’ll make for some long stories. I was all over the place for the last few weeks, and for the stretches of being alone and having nothing to do in the cold of a desert night but read under my Petzl, I found some comfort in Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard. My father had given me the book many years ago, and I quickly became bored within the first 50 pages, too young to take in all that Buddhism. Last week, those same fifty pages included a quote from Jung that I must have read a hundred times, because as I’m sure you know, time alone makes you a little more dramatic. I miss the West.
The fact that many a man who goes his own way ends in ruin means nothing….He must obey his own law, as if it were a daemon whispering to him of new and wonderful paths….There are not a few who are called awake by the summons of the voice, whereupon they are at once set apart from the others, feeling themselves confronted with a problem about which the others know nothing. In most cases it is impossible to explain to the others what has happened, for any understanding is walled off by impenetrable prejudices. ‘You are no different from anybody else,’ they will chorus, or, ‘there’s no such thing,’and even if there is such a thing, it is immediately branded as morbid.’ He is at once set apart and isolated, as he has resolved to obey the law that commands him from within. ‘His own law!’ everybody will cry. But he knows better: it is the law….The only meaningful life is a life that strives for the individual realization-absolute and unconditional-of its own particular law…To the extent that a man is untrue to the law of his being…he has failed to realize his life’s meaning.
The undiscovered vein within us is a living part of the psyche; classical Chinese philosophy names the interior way ‘Tao,’ and likens it to a flow of water that moves irresistibly toward its goal. To rest in Tao means fulfillment, wholeness, one’s destination reached, one’s mission done; the beginning, end, and perfect realization of the meaning of existence innate in all things.