Thursday, 21 January 2010

A Start

You have to make a start somewhere, and so here’s as good a place as any. And having made a start, who knows where you might get to? And wherever it may be you get to, without the start you certainly wouldn’t have got there.

That’s the recommendation so, is it? – to get somewhere you need to make a start, and so it’s good to make starts. Well, what if this somewhere you get to isn’t at all the kind of place you’d want to be getting to? You’d be better off without your start. It might be good so, you might think, if say before making your start you could look down from above, abstractly, at this place you’re going to get to, give it a good look, and having given it this good look, you might end up thinking, no, that doesn’t look like the kind of place I want to be getting to, and so naturally you don’t go there.

But that’s not really the way it works – looking down from above abstractly. You only get there by following the path that gets you there. And once you’re on the path, you can’t really go separating yourself from the path, for that’s where you are. You might try and think yourself somewhere else, but that’s only all in your own head; and if you stop thinking it, then it won’t even be in your own head.

So where you are is on the path, the path that leads you there, and once you’re there you’re not really in a position to go questioning this there, for this is where you’ve got to, on your own steam. It’s no good saying, no, I want to be somewhere else. Close your eyes, concentrate and visualise all you like, open them again and you’ll find yourself exactly where you already were and still are. If you really want to be somewhere else, you’ll have to go there; you won’t be able to think yourself there. And who knows, this too may turn you to be a very different place when you get there than what you’d hoped and imagined before getting there. You thought you were heading for some heavenly vision, but it turns out to be something else altogether, this destination at the end of the path you’ve been taking. You should, it turns out, have been paying more attention to the path you were taking rather than thinking about the destination towards which you thought you were heading; for whatever path you take, whatever is on the path is where you’ll end up going. It’s no good moaning afterwards that you thought it was going somewhere else.

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