One Direction, Many Paths
When we first join this Temple, we think that what is before is fairly simple: to follow the Jedi Path. We come with a backpack full of our previous life experiences, both good and bad, that have made us who we are. Some have tools that may help them on their journey, others may simply have dead weight that they must carry on their journey.
All of these diverse backgrounds are funneled through a single gate known as lesson 0 of the Initiate Program. We all leave these gates and see the mountain before us, the summit of which is understanding. From this point there are no clear paths to take. There are just signs indicating the direction that may help reach the summit. Some that are given opportunities to climb may refuse. Questioning your outlook on life and what you know is never easy. It’s easier to cling to what is familiar. Some may jump right in and make straight for the goal at hand through the quickest way possible. Others will choose to take a more leisurely and more scenic route to get there. Still others may circle around the mountain criticizing others for not knowing the way, but themselves have diverted away from following a path. What we first thought was a single path turns out to not be so clear cut. The Jedi Path is a direction and how people choose to follow it are as unique as the people entering the temple.
However, at every point where we think a summit might be reached, we find that the mountain simply continues. We find ourselves at the base of another mountain with new challenges ahead, but luckily more tools in our backpack to face them. The paths that are chosen continue to diverge, but none of them are wrong so long as the direction is not lost. The direction signposts become less frequent. You are on your own. While the simplest approach is to follow the footsteps of another traveler, in the long run this will only slow you down and hinder you from picking up your own tools for the journey. You determine your own path. Why should we strive to force it into a direction that makes us less unique? Perhaps it’s a fear derived from non-conformity? Their path is no better than yours, simply different.
At many points along the journey the traveler may pause and wonder why bother with the journey at all? At every plateau the hypothetical summit continues to be further and further away. The more we know the more we realize how much we don’t know. Some will choose to give up and settle with how they are as the ultimate destination can never really be reached. But for those that remain, they begin to realize that the summit isn’t what is important, but the experiences that we have along the way, the tools that we pick up, and how they shape us and improve us as individuals. And that's what I encourage anyone still reading at this point: find your unique path and continue to grow and develop despite what others might say or think.