The wilderness experience

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"To begin the second great stage of life, you begin to enter the Mystery. Here you go beyond the well-worn paths that people travel, and you enter a kind of wilderness experience—a wilderness where there are trails, but you are not certain of the way, a wilderness where your parents and your siblings and your friends cannot go with you, a wilderness you must enter."[1]

"When Things Fall Apart".jpg

"Yes, that is the wilderness experience. You become exposed to life and life's consequence, and also the uncertainty because your reference point for identity is now unhitched from the secure train of appearance, attitudes, activities, etc. Your existence is more of a question mark, and the question isn't answered in the wilderness. You have to live with it, and it can be an insecure, raw, original time in your life. It can be disorienting, but that's just it: it disorients you from the hardened tendencies and identity you had before and orients you to a new truth, a budding truth, which can then take you somewhere remarkable."[2]

"As you travel the road of life and the road of Knowledge, you will see many people broken down by the side of the road. You will see many people asleep by the side of the road. You will see many people who have gone off the road in different directions, seeking pleasure or comfort, love or wealth. Keep going. You can’t turn back. You only have two choices: You either keep going or you stop. If you leave the road and wander about in the woods and in the wilderness, you are not going anywhere. You have only stopped. There is a great deal of motion but no movement."[3]

"When you realize that you are confused, then you can claim the means to regain your certainty. If you do not accept that you are confused, you will impose substitutes for certainty upon yourself and the world and thus remove yourself from the possibility of receiving your certainty. This is why you must realize that your confusion is the source of your suffering, and you must allow yourself to be confused to recognize your true predicament. Recognizing your true predicament, you will see the great need for Knowledge, and this will engender in you the dedication and the self-application that is necessary for you to receive that which is your inheritance."[4]


  1. Living The Way of Knowledge, Chapter 7: Your Relationship with your Spiritual Family
  2. Reed Summers, March 14, 2015, Weekly Campfire Chat
  3. Living The Way of Knowledge, Chapter 5: The Pillar of Work
  4. Steps to Knowledge, Step 230: My Suffering Is Born Of Confusion

See also

Further Study