The Road Never Traveled

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Many take the road widely traveled.

A few take the road less traveled.

Only you can take the road never traveled.

J Douglas Bottorff

The lines above are obviously a play on the poem, The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost, but with a different twist. For me, the road widely traveled is mainstream thinking about the spiritual path. The traveler finds assurance in the large numbers of people that take this road. The road less traveled is an alternative to the mainstream. The numbers of followers are smaller, but the alternative resonates with the traveler’s logic and growing need for deeper understanding. Yet, this road is still a system of thought developed by others. The road never traveled is the spiritual path discovered through personal revelation. The person on this path has met the advocate, the comforter spoken of by Jesus, who reveals by direct impression the truth of their being. They no longer believe, they know.

It has become abundantly clear to me that we are not here to develop the soul. In taking on a body, we have become so distracted by its needs that we’ve lost conscious connection with who and what we are at the spiritual level. To complicate matters, using people like Jesus as examples, we develop ideas on what a spiritually enlightened person should look and act like. We then compare ourselves to this phantom image and never measure up. Nor will we ever, because this imagined perfection does not exist.

The man in Jesus’ parable who discovered the treasure buried in the field (Matt. 13:44) experienced in that instant of discovery a life-changing event. He was illumined by a treasure whose full value was already established. There was no further development required of the man. All he had to do was sell his possessions to buy the field containing the treasure. Jesus summarized in two lines the true nature of the spiritual path. It has nothing to do with development. It has everything to do with discovery of a fully developed treasure totally within the man’s ability to acquire.

We will make the most progress when we think of our spiritual path as one that only we can travel. We each have the faculty and the design to know God, the source of our being. Our quest must be a commitment from the heart rather than an urging from the pages of a book. All guidance points us to what we already know but have forgotten. Yet we have not forgotten, which is why Jesus gave this advice: “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).  

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