When we cross a stream on stepping stones, we have to watch every step. Each stone has its unique shape and tilt, causing us to vary our tread. Some stones adjoin each other; with others we have a small gap to mind. The stones are a blessing, conferred by our predecessors. They are also a challenge, to be approached with care and concentration.
The approach to self-knowledge is often compared to a path we have to tread, a way we have to advance along as best we can. Christ refers to it as a ‘narrow’ path, and the Katha Upanishad speaks in similar terms when it compares the path to the edge of a razor. The implication is that we have to make hard efforts to sustain our interest and focus, and that there are innumerable diversions to draw us away from the path, as we continue to steal longing glances at the world and its promises of concrete joys within easy reach.
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This article is from the Autumn 2018 issue of Self-Knowledge Journal.