Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated with the concept of religion and philosophy. Raised in the Lutheran church and attending a Baptist school, the majority of my early training stemmed from the Bible. However, as many have done in this generation, I found myself lacking an essential connection to the message that was espoused through my religion and the practical application of it. In short, the hypocrisy started getting to me so I left my faith… or at least my belief system.
Since then, I’ve continued to hold on to a faith in a Greater Intelligence, and because of that, I have continued to seek the ways in which that Intelligence has spoken through the variety of cultures, religions and paradigms that I have studied. As I have travelled my way and seen what I have seen, it has been a remarkable thing to notice the thread of truth which underlies all of man’s attempts to explain his connection to this Greater Intelligence most commonly referred to as God. I call this thread The Unbroken Path.
Describing The Unbroken Path, I’ve often said that although we each have our own vantage points, we are all on the same path. Not long ago, I got into a conversation with someone who tried to bring some absolutism to the concept of opinion, basically the assumption that opinions can be right or wrong. But I don’t believe that opinions, just like the steps of our paradigms, are right or wrong. They are merely representations of the perspective we hold in our current emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual states. Our opinions, just like our states, will change as we progress along our life path and change our perspective.
The Unbroken Path is not an absolute truth. It is merely a weaving together of a bunch of smaller truths in the hope of pointing to the Ultimate Truth – that we are all essentially One. Although we each have our own autonomy in the world around us acted out through these things we’ve come to call egos, we are all comprised of the same water, air, earth, and light that has existed on the planet since before we became aware of our differentiation. On a larger scale, we’re all one species on one planet in one solar system in one universe that is possibly just another particle in the soil of a reality we can’t even imagine.
The Unbroken Path is merely a tool, or possibly just a toy, to help us to realize our unity and find peace amidst the shifting perspective that greets us in each day of life’s journey. Considering the rise of the creative culture and the revolutionary shifts taking place in the world around us, it may stand as a collection of hieroglyphs to help us realize our place in the larger story or a sculpture made of sand whose message may be taken by the winds before it has time to be heard. Either way, it is art that I feel compelled to entertain.
In blog posts to come, I will be using 14 predominant paradigms to illustrate The Unbroken Path. Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs helps us to understand the basic necessities of humankind so that we may meet needs as we find them in order to evolve as a civilization. The Stages of Consciousness developed by David Hawkins gives us a wonderful map of ascension toward a higher understanding of Truth. Joseph Campbell outlines the Hero’s Journey, or monomyth, to provide a look at themes touched upon by the myths of all time. The Fool’s Journey of the Major Arcana portrays an artistic look at the human experience. Stephen Covey offers the Eight Habits of Highly Effective People as a method used to align with successful practices. The 12 Steps of the Anonymous Program provide a widely used program to overcome addictions. The Five Agreements of don Miguel Ruiz builds on Toltec wisdom on how to cooperate in community by strengthening personal autonomy. The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism point toward releasing attachment from the impermanence of life. The Romans Road of Evangelical Christianity offers a method of understanding man’s place in the world through understanding the role of the Son of Man. The Beatitudes attributed to Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount teach us how to find comfort during our distress. The Seven Chakras reveal the revolutions of human growth with the human being. The Seven Days of Creation outlined in the first chapter of Genesis showcase the stages of manifestation. The Celestine Insights by James Redfield bring a contemporary, albeit fictionalized, understanding to humankind’s next evolutionary step. And psychologist Erik Erikson shares his theory on the Stages of Human Development.
I feel that these paradigms offer a fairly wide array of human understanding, and when weaved together, they provide an incredible tapestry of who we are as a people and the potential we hold for moving forward. Although some may view some of the paradigms as incongruous with their own personal belief systems, I am not showcasing them in order to win converts to any given way of thinking or to bolster any dogmas. My hope is simply to showcase the understanding we have from our various viewpoints in order to understand one another better and thereby better understand ourselves.
I look forward to interacting further down the Unbroken Path.