As I started writing today, about ‘personal experience’, it occurred to me that I had written something very similar more than a few years ago. I knew exactly where to find it. It was a post from my old blog, Deserted Highway.
What follows is an edited version of that original post.
We all Travel Alone – Originally posted on the Deserted Highway Blog on 02, April 2013
There is nothing under the sun, that is external to me, that I can change. I have nothing to say that will change anything. My journey is my own – for my own exclusive understanding. Signs will come and go as the days and nights pass, wisdoms will last for as long as they are allowed to influence my understanding of this thing that I am here for.
There is no point in my trying to convince anyone that what I believe is true, or that I know the truth. My truth is my own and it doesn’t fit anyone else. Like a woolly jumper that is made exclusively for me, no matter how many people try on this pullover, it will never fit anyone as perfectly as it fits me.
THE Truth, however, is a different matter, but I will not write about that here.
It doesn’t matter where you choose to find your “higher power” or whatever you choose to call it. It doesn’t matter how you choose to acknowledge your chosen deity – if that’s what it is. At the very least, these things do not matter to anyone else but yourself, to myself, (for me).
There is no message to pass on, there is nothing I can say to anyone to change something about them if they’re not looking to me for guidance in any way.
The reason the highway is deserted is that we are all on our own “journey” – we are all on different roads. These roads may converge from time to time, but, ultimately, we are alone, travelling along our very own deserted highway. You are on your own road and sometimes I can see you on that road from my road, and sometimes I am going uphill whilst you are traversing a wide gully. My road is not yours nor yours mine.
[Additional note: Now, since around 2018/19, I have come to understand this as ‘personal reality’ – no two are entirely the same and there is no ‘journey’ beyond metaphor]
I read the signs along my road, and in the past, they were reading differently from what they do now, they will never read the same as they used to, and your signs may say the same things now as my own used to, but you will perceive them differently. I may get stuck with my present perception for a time, but as long as I am asking questions of my experience I will certainly, one day, be nudged along to a better understanding of things.
My journey (personal reality) is my own and your journey (personal reality) is yours. I am not responsible for your journey (personal reality) how, or whether you understand your experience, or even whether you have begun the so-called journey. My life experience can never be duplicated – not by anyone.
We all make mistakes, from this no one is exempt. We all have dreams, goals, and desires, these are natural. We all have needs. We all have answers. My answers are in my own experience [although, not in the past] and will only nearly fit the experience of another if that person’s experience is similar to my own.
How can I speak of oppression with a sufferer of domestic abuse if I’ve never known anything of that experience?
The troubles in our human history seem to come down to one fundamental fact; everyone seems to want everyone else to believe as they do. It seems that far too many of us believe that “what I believe” is the one and only true way to believe and that every other belief system is stupid and false.
Human history is shot through with wars and invasions that were based on one group of people trying to force their own beliefs on another group of people.
“I want you to believe as I do because it will make me feel more secure in my own beliefs if I can only convince you that it is the right way to believe.” This is the insecurity of many people and belief systems the world over. The division and segregation begin as soon as a need to “spread the word” is conceived. That’s where we became ‘us’ and they became ‘them’.
There is only one road to travel upon. That road is your own road, and each individual, if allowed and able to think for him/herself, must travel that road alone. It is none of my business what you believe and it is none of your business what I believe
[incidental note: Conclusions create rigid beliefs.]
Do I want to remain forever as I am today?
Will there be no questions asked of what I currently believe or how I live right now?
If I am never willing to ask questions of myself, won’t I be stuck in my current state for a very long time – maybe even for the rest of my life?
If I want to expand my understanding of things, whether physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual – or all of these – then I must keep asking questions.
Change, growth, and understanding are dependent on questioning everything, gathering further information if possible, (and as much as possible), and forming a working understanding – based on all relevant information. It is equally important to allow others to ask their own questions and come to their own understanding for themselves.
True friendship, trust, and unity can be found in non-judgemental discussion coupled with a sense of genuine curiosity of different views and experience/s.
The primary concern must always be knowing and understanding oneself. [edit added April 15, 2022]
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