Stay on the Path and Keep Off the Grass

Those who embark on the Way discover very early that
there are two distinct ways to approach the goal. There is the Path of
Contemplation, delving deeply into disassociation, aestheticism, abolition of ego and transcendance
of desire. And there is the path of involvement, throwing oneself
full force into the flow of worldly events, striving through action to
bring enlightenment and liberation to others.

The first path tries to wend its way through life leaving no visible footprints,
disturbing as little as possible, and so becoming increasingly aware .
The second embraces subjectivity, action, human emotion and divine inspiration
to try to make a positive difference during the time each individual has
been given .

Both paths lead to the same place; nirvana, satori, call it what you will,
and in the final stages of the approach the paths are almost indistinguishable
because that close to enlightenment time and space are distorted, just
as they are when one approaches the speed of light, and the distinctions
between action and inaction, cause and effect, start to break down.

A lucky life is one that grants sufficient time and personal freedom to
spend significant stretches on each of these paths. Most of our lives,
however, are lived on the swampy wasteland that stretches between the paths,
wandering onto one or the other occasionally but without real direction
or appreciation.

What has inspired this intense spell of navel-gazing in the initial phases
of a life-and-death adventure of the first order, and after a day spent
dealing with cat people and the surly hellions of U-Haul?

Well, it seemed a natural seque to a change some of you may have already
noticed. The nature of the Dowbrigade News is going to change for a while,
and instead of being basically contemplative, collecting and commenting
on events in other parts and involving other people, searching out connections
others may not have noticed, we are going to be writing about our experiences
on the road, first at a conference in California and then, hopefully, if
we find someone to care for our cats, for three months on the Pacific coast
and in the mountains of South America.

Partly this will be because we will not have our now-customary access to
the news and views of the blogosphere. But equally a factor, such interesting
things seem to happen to use when we are on the road. We meet famous people
by chance, get involved in revolutions and captured by guerillas, discover
things about fascinating places, and about ourself and our home country.
We talk less, listen more, watch everything, and hopefully write about
it well. Never before have we had an outlet for our roadwork, other than friends, lovers and family.

Finally, we are thoroughly convinced that if this vestigial virtual vision
of using technology to make Democracy relevant again is to have any hope
of success, the movement MUST be global. No single nation, even one as
powerful and pervasive as the United States, can pull this off alone. Everyone
should visit a few different parts of the world and stay long enough to
really wrap your mind around another world view.

We promise to try to keep up with the news and post a funny photo from
time to time. And we are committed to coming back in the summer and teaching
at the law school. We are mad-anxious to blog the Democratic Convention
in July, and the Republicans in August. Meanwhile, expect more personal
stuff, weird stories, action photos, bemused beach briefings, impromptu
reviews of the digitalia we are schlepping around in our iBook, and assorted
notes from the road. Good to have you along for the ride.!

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2 Responses to Stay on the Path and Keep Off the Grass

  1. bob marvin says:

    I tend to want follow the second path in my life. What else are we here for if can’t effect some change for the better. Good luck on your journey!

  2. It’s hard for me to imagine that both paths ultimately lead to the same place. I’m a big believer in helping as many people as you can on this journey called.

    The first path’s quest to “leave no footprints” doesn’t achieve that goal for me. Going through life keeping to yourself, not really making a difference in anyone’s life couldn’t possibly give a similar outcome to the path where one’s existance revolves around making a difference.

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