The Path That Takes You
I assumed that the awakening process was the same for everyone and that any seeming differences could be put down to those who shared their experiences using the symbols of the path they had taken. I thought the steps were the same, but the description varied according to the tradition followed. But I have discovered that the path is not the way you take; the path is the way that takes you. So your path does not just determine how you are likely to describe your experiences. It indicates the experiences that you will have.
Although the content is ultimately the same, it does not unfold the same for each of us. I don’t just mean that we don’t all go through the same stages in the same order. I mean we go through very different, if eventually similar, experiences, which are determined by the path unfolding through us.
For example, Bernadette Roberts (What is Self?) was a Christian contemplative and made it very clear that she initially went through a process that was in line with other Christian contemplatives. When she was surprised by experiences outside of her expectations, she was open to understanding them in any way she could. But in the end they fit perfectly with her Christian tradition. This was not because she retroactively squeezed them into a context with which she was comfortable. It was because her path was that of a Christian. Her path determined the experiences she would eventually have.
The Atonement (correction) is expressed through each of us and although we feel called by a particular path, in fact we simply recognize the way that the Atonement will play out through us. If you want to know how things will unfold for you, look to the path that you are on.
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