cutting a path ~mark nepo

No matter where we dig or climb,
we come upon the fire we left untended.

Carl Jung had a dream that he was cutting a path in the woods, unsure where it was leading, but working hard at it nonetheless. Tired and sweating, he came upon a cabin in a clearing. He dropped his tools and approached the cabin. Through the window he saw a being in prayer at a simple altar. The door was open and Jung went in. As he drew closer, he realized that the being in prayer was himself and that his life of cutting a path was this being’s dream.

What Jung brings to us is the never-ending task of deciding to whom we entrust our life: our True or False Self. For all the seriousness with which we run about in the world—fixing, denying, projecting, and sacrificing—for all the schemes and strategies and alliances and positioning for reward, it is all an unreal dream to the center of our being that waits for us far inside while we hack our way through.

Without knowing it, we, like Jung, work hard at cutting a path to our deeper self that waits patiently for us to arrive, all tired, aching, and out of breath. Once that path is cleared and once the being at our center is discovered, we can return to the world in relationship with our soul. We can discover a deeper, more peaceful sense of home.

  • Be still and close your eyes, and as you meditate, journey inwardly to the cabin where your soul awaits.
  • Drop all you are carrying at the door. Drop all that waits to be done. Or redone.
  • As you breathe, enter the cabin and wait with open arms for the center of your being to realize you are there.
  • As you breathe, feel your soul embrace you. Embrace back. Savor that moment.

~Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

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