The Sacred Path

Journeys through the mist

You will find the answers as you go

Life is full of decisions, some easy, some not so easy, and some where there simply isn’t a clear choice. You can meditate on it, talk to “The Guys Upstairs,” make lists of pros and cons, nothing you do gives you a clear answer. In those cases, you simply have to take a deep breath and step off the curb – after looking both ways to make sure there isn’t a bus bearing down on you at 35mph (56 Kilometers per hour). You just have to trust that “you will find the answers as you go.”

A while ago, my good friend Dirk sent me a link to The Archdruid Report, a blog by John Michael Greer, the Grand Achdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA) titled Solivitur Ambulando. According to John Michael Greer, loosely translated, this Latin phrase means, “you will find the answers as you go.” In his post he talks about the fact that we are going to be facing some turning points and that solutions to some of these problems are probably not going to be clear and that sometimes the best course of action is simply to take a step.

Over the past decade or two instead of moving forward toward solutions to the growing crises that are looming, we seem content to stand still and debate the issues into the ground like a bunch of adolescents arguing over which gaming console is better: Nintendo Wii or XBox. Solutions to our problems are not going to come running up to us, we have to move toward the solutions by making choices. Mistakes will be made, but if we are honest with ourselves about whether or not our path is leading us where we need to go, we can make adjustments and changes to our path. In other words, we will find the answers as we go.

I have not yet read all of John Michael Greer’s posts, but the several that I have read have lead me to include his blog in my blogroll. He has a wonderful writing style, and more importantly, he makes sense. I suggest you stop by his blog and give it a read. I think you will be glad you did.

3 Comments

  1. I hadn’t thought to add his blog to my blogroll, so thanks for the implied suggestion. He truly seems to be a marvellous resource.

    The thing about choosing and “doing something” though — years ago (in another century) when I was in college, I had an old professor who said something that stuck with me.

    “I always get worried when people say `we have to DO something,'” he said, “because that means they propose to do something even though they don’t know WHAT to do.”

    I think there’s something to be said for creative inaction. When I don’t know what to do, I generally wait until the situation clarifies or changes. Of course, it can get worse through inaction; I recognize that. A friend of ours — you know who, Rich — used to say that decision by default was the worst way to decide. Yet, is it so much worse than what might be called decision at random?

    Just a rhetorical question at this point. I really don’t know. I will throw one more thing into the pot. If it’s between instinct and logic and I cannot make the two agree and must choose, I usually follow instinct. Logic is powerful but fragile — one wrong premise and you go off on this irrefutable-but-wrong chain of action. Instinct is based on something the unconscious mind knows, and chances are it’s pretty firmly placed. Unless it isn’t, in which case you’ve got problems and welcome to the world!

  2. Wise words from your professor. I wonder if there isn’t a difference though between creative inaction and what seems to be so pervasive today where groups stand across a divide and yell back and forth about what is wrong with the other’s views and solutions. The problem of course isn’t so much the differences in views as it is the divide they choose to put between.

    There is little sense of coming together to solve issues lately. Right now we (and by we I mean “they” – whoever they are) are on the cusp of [in-decisioning us into a real pickle]. Perhaps that is what is needed though.

  3. If it’s between instinct and logic and I cannot make the two agree and must choose, I usually follow instinct. Logic is powerful but fragile — one wrong premise and you go off on this irrefutable-but-wrong chain of action. Instinct is based on something the unconscious mind knows, and chances are it’s pretty firmly placed.

    Frank and I seem to operate from the same basis. When it comes to tension between logic and instinct, I choose the latter. When instinct does not prevail then I wait knowing that everything changes and hoping that the next change may present a better opportunity for moving forward. However, there are times when I feel immobilized and I’m aware that I need to take just one small step to get moving again.

    In small groups populated by mature people, who are dedicated to problem solving and to agreeing to disagree without becoming disagreeable, I feel comfortable. However, it’s my experience that when groups grow larger, dominant personalities “take the lead”, lines are drawn in the sand and, soon there will be a tendency for folks to begin manifesting the behavior Richard points to. Consequently, I avoid large group situations.

    So many of the problems we face in the world today require global cooperation and it’s discouraging that we don’t really see much harmonization.

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