A path with heart
“Anything is only one of a million paths.
Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path.
If you feel you should not follow it,
you must not stay with it under any circumstances.
To have such clarity, you must lead a disciplined life.
Only then will you know that any path is only a path,
and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it
if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision
to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition.
I warn you- look at every path closely and deliberately.
Try it as many times as you think necessary.
And then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question.
This is a question that usually only an older person asks.
My benefactor told me about it once when I was young, and my blood
was too vigorous to understand it. But now I do understand it,
and the question is this: Does this path have a heart?
All paths are the same, they lead nowhere.
There are paths going through the bush, or into the bush.
In my own life I could say I have traversed long, long paths,
but I am not anywhere. My benefactor’s question has meaning now.
Does this path have a heart? If it does, it is good. If it doesn’t, it is of no use.
Both paths lead nowhere, but one has a heart, and the other doesn’t.
One makes for a joyful journey, as long as you follow it you are one with it.
The other will make you curse your life.
One makes you strong, the other weakens you.
A path without a heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard
even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy.
It does not make you work at liking it.
The trouble is, nobody asks the question. And then when a person
finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart, the path is ready to kill him.
At that point, very few can stop to deliberate and leave the path.
For me there is only traveling on paths that have heart,
on any path that may have a heart. There I travel,
and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length.
And there I travel, looking, looking, breathlessly…”