Does your path have a heart?

"Anything, anything you do is one of a million paths.
Therefore you should always keep in mind that a path is only a path.
If you feel you should not follow it you must not stay with it under any conditions.
To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life.
Only then will you know that any path is only a path
and there is no affront to oneself or to others in dropping it, if that is what your heart tells you to do.
But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition.
I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately.
Try it as many times as you think necessary.
Then ask yourself and yourself alone, one question.
This is one question that only a very old person eventually asks.
And my benefactor told me about it once when I was so young and my blood was so vigorous for me to understand it. But now I understand it, and I'll tell you what it is:
Does this path have a heart?
All paths are the same, they lead nowhere.
They are paths going through the bush or into the bush.
In my own life I could say I have traversed long long paths but I am not anywhere.
And my benefactor's question has a meaning now:
Does this path have a heart?
If it does the path is good,if it does not it is of no use.
Both paths lead nowhere but one has a heart and the other does not.
One makes for a joyful journey and as long as you follow it you are one with it.
The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong, the other weakens you.
The trouble is that nobody asks the question.
And when a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart the path is ready to kill him.
At that point very few people can stop to deliberate and leave the path.
A path without a heart is never enjoyable.
You have to work hard even to take it.
On the other hand, a path with a heart is easy.
It just does not make you work at liking it.
For me there is only traveling on the paths that have a heart, or any path that may have a heart.
So there I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge for me is to traverse its full length.
And there I travel looking, looking, breathlessly!"

by Carlos Castaneda.

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