Monday, July 06, 2015

The Unknowable Path by Cecil Murphey

Photo: Marek Nikodem/Polish Amateur Astronomy Society/The New York Times
Three years before I entered college, I knew I wanted to teach. I assumed I'd be in a classroom for the rest of my adult life. (I did teach in the public school system for two years and later part-time in a college for 18 years.)
However, that wasn't the career path I chose because my life never worked out the way I expected.
I followed what I now call the unknowable path and never regretted it. Or another way to talk about it came from Joseph Campbell, who said there are two paths in life. The first is the right-handed path. "It's prudent and practical. If you follow the right-handed path, it leads to the ladder of success."
He went on to say that if you climb the ladder to success eventually you learn that the ladder is against the wrong wall.
Campbell then spoke of the riskier left-handed path—"that of following your bliss—your rapture—your ecstasy." Others may not understand your choice, he pointed out, and you have no guarantee where you’ll end up and no assurance that you’ll be successful or attain your dreams. But if you follow the left-handed path, "The journey itself is its own reward." 
The fact that your path is unknowable may be why it's the right path. 
For me, the unknowable path has been one of growth, excitement (and disappointment), but so much more fun than following the well-lit, predictable road. Had I taken the prudent way, I wouldn't be writing this today and I certainly couldn't say, "I'm having a joyful life."
by Cecil Murphey | Writer | Speaker | Teacher | Survivor (Taken from his monthly newsletter)

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