An article by Sha'Tara, local writer and friend.
Demands of the Path – Purpose and Choice
[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha'Tara]
The "Path" is, of course, the way to self-empowerment. Self-empowerment results from detachment of all that's familiar and to some degree, from a sort of speeded-up process of mental evolution which can be sensed but not measured, if that makes any sense! The Path is an intensely personal matter and while all of life is moving along some path, it is obvious to me that not many are, strictly speaking, intent upon their own personal Path to personal "enlightenment" if I dare even mention that overused and abused term.
Given, there are many paths. But I suspect that most of those do not lead to mental evolution but the opposite. Paths that lead nowhere, at least as far an the individual mind is concerned, would be those set up by the collective mind or minds. There is an image that comes to mind here, that of domestic animals in a barn yard. These animals cannot exist on their own and are totally dependent upon the farmer for their livelihood, or survival. However, the farmer is not a benevolent entity. He has the power of death over all his animals, his possessions, and he exercises that power as a matter of course. He has no other reason for raising animals than to financially benefit from their death. My observations of such animals within such an economic pattern tell me that the animals know to some degree what the set-up is, but they accept it readily enough except for the mooing, squawking and squealing that takes place on the day of slaughter. They know what is going on but are helpless to do anything about it because they accept their subservient and slave nature from the outset as if, somehow, the inevitable was never going to happen. These animals have no individual mind to teach them or goad them to change their lot. They have no say in determining their purpose, therefore no say in the unfolding of their lives which then must serve someone else's purpose.
You may think there is a huge difference between the cow in the feedlot and the average Earthian going on with his little life, worshipping his manifold unknowable, unpredictable or distant gods; following the dictates of his "owners" as what kind of work he does, where and how he lives, what he eats and wears, how he entertains himself and how the fruit of his labor, his "money" is allocated. Without a clear vision; without self-empowerment, without purpose, without the Path, there is no difference. A lot of talk and bluster. A lot of emotional belief in this or that. A lot of noise and commotion. But in the end, there is no difference between the calf eating its piece of hay from the manger, the pig slurping at the trough and the Earthian watching his TV or fighting the man's war. No individual mind is processing vital, life-changing information. The "owner" – whomever pays for the commercial or the uniform– is securely in charge. The Earthian produces that others may consume; consumes what others produce, kills and is killed, consummating his life in consumption. Whether a slave under a whip or a spectator-slave under the mind-numbing effects of commercial media, what is the difference? The latter is actually the most insidious because it does not lead to rebellion. No necessity is awakened, only a gradual slide into more gorging and bloating.
The Path is first of all, a choice one makes. Such a choice entails (demands) total self-discipline. Though I haven't achieved such a state, I know from personal experience that it demands a great deal of self-sacrifice; a turning away from that which is easy, natural, pleasing to the senses. It demands that one enters a state of mind that accepts servanthood as a way of life. It demands a complete rejection of all "choices" (acts) based on emotions, strident offers from collective conjurers and the complacency of the satisfied.
Choices. Our lives are nothing more nor less than a series, or web, of interacting choices. I've often heard the line, "we only have one choice, and that is to... etc." That is, of course, completely false. It is impossible to have only one choice for that clearly states there is no choice at all. But life is all about choices, endless choices. In any given situation, the more intelligent and free we are, the more choices we are faced with and the more difficult they become. There can be no such a condition where we no longer possess the ability, the means, or the need, to make choices. There are, however, situations where our choices diminish in both quantity and quality. The more gregarious we are; the more we choose to operate within groups (closed belief systems) rather than alone (open system) the less valid the choices we have and make because groups (collectives) always diminish individual intelligence. The larger the group, the less individual intelligence one will find in its fold.
The Path (capital P) is never, ever, found within groups, not even a group of two. It is utterly individual. It never invites anyone else in. Those who lead; those who make disciples; those who need followers or supporters are never on the Path. This must be understood by any individual who contemplates entering the Path. Just look at all the groups, all the systems that operate from numbers, how they all inevitably degenerate; are taken over by bureaucracies or names, becoming redundant. These promote death whereas the Path is life.
Fine, someone will say, but how does one enter the Path and how does one know one is on the Path? It's not terribly difficult to know that. The Path appears to those who determine their life's purpose by some life-changing choice. Knowing and living one's purpose makes one single-minded and clear of vision. Purpose I call "spirit breath" outside of which the "air" is stale, heavy, polluted. Purpose eliminates confusion and therefore, fear. Find your purpose, therefore, outside all influences of the world around you. Say to yourself, "this is my purpose, my Path, and I will live and die by it."
The trick is to make the correct choice. And to know it is the correct choice. After that, it's just plain hard work, nothing holy or mystical or special. Nothing to be recognized for, or by. Nothing that would normally attract the "world" unless the "world" (the System, the Matrix) finds that it can gain from such recognition of such a privately purposeful being. The Matrix is canny. By recognizing a non-violent enemy it sends a false message to those still in collectives: that it cares. It cares alright, but it's not the kind of caring that makes a world a better place to be in. The purposeful being, which I call the avatar, lives in such a way as to avoid ever stepping, even for the briefest of moments, within the limelight of the System. The avatar knows that System recognition is disempowering. So there would be another obvious demand of the Path: do nothing, ever, that could be considered ostentatious. Remain a servant. The Matrix will never recognize nor understand the power of the Servant.