Comments on “Off the path”

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"I have often heard people

Anonymous's picture

"I have often heard people say things like “I don’t want to join a group—I am following my own path.” If you think for a moment, this makes no sense. You cannot follow your own path."

This is true only in the most pedantic and useless manner possible. Of course people who say "I follow my own path" know and understand there is no obvious following involved (even though there can still be elements of following, because you don't disregard the field of meanings or your creative ability to manipulate meanings). Such kind of statements as "you cannot follow your own path" are useless and pretentious. You pretend to more wisdom than you really have. It's important to avoid pedantry and hair splitting and to always get into the main meat of the issue where the real concerns lie. If you do decide to make a pedantic point, make it clear by saying, "I am being a worthless pedant right now... but it's an itch I must scratch to feel good, so please forgive me when I say...."

"In practice, what they

Anonymous's picture

"In practice, what they almost always mean is “aimlessly jumping from one path to another, taking only a few steps on each one.” They mean “doing a bit of this and a bit of that, depending on what looks attractive at the moment.” This doesn’t take you far enough along any path to be useful"

This is the trouble of seeing thought systems as paths. If you see them as tools, then you can understand how you can use the hammer for a bit, and a saw for a bit, and the pliers for a bit and then end up with a nice house to live in. You're not following the hammer when you're using it. You're not following the saw when you're using the saw.

You are so fucking arrogant. No. Never mind that. Your teachers are arrogant and you take on their arrogance because it's your teachers who teach you this kind of attitude toward people who follow their own path. They teach you to look down on such people. It also validates your absurd waste of time on the path. Imagine then... if you've been following a hammer all this time, you are stupid, aren't you? So how can you make yourself feel better? Well, call people who properly view the hammer as a tool idiots and view the hammers as a path.

great analogy

Anonymous's picture

This is such a great analogy for choosing a path and following it. It's sort of like learning martial arts. Most teachers don't encourage you to mix marital arts styles. You should learn one until you become a black belt, or decide it isn't for you, then learn another. They never recommend learning two styles at once. This makes sense, it also applies to religion in my opinion. It can be easy to get confused and lose your way if you are mixing everything together in your mind.