The two roads

What are we ? What do we do ? What will we become ? It is quite rare for us to ask our­selves these ques­tions. They usu­al­ly arise dur­ing times of cri­sis, when a hur­ri­cane comes to whip up life when the ocean swells immense­ly, but also, some­times, when every­thing seems calm on the sur­face when under miles of obliv­ion a threat­en­ing plas­ma moves that we read­i­ly ignore.

We appear to be the vic­tims of our des­tiny, the plan­e­tary rhythms imi­tate our con­scious­ness. At the dawn of his six­ti­eth birth­day, he is in syn­chrony with the return of Sat­urn, try­ing to make choic­es, soft­en­ing his desires. The oth­er, in his fifties, saw Plu­to shake his ego, invit­ing him to dive into what he had been doing since child­hood. And what about the one who alien­ates the West because he is dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly sure that he can final­ly do what he wants as if he had become king or Icarus ?

But what do we real­ly want ? What do we have to achieve ? Do we have to do some­thing in the first place ?

Isn’t the mys­tery of this exis­tence still opaque since our synaps­es learned to cre­ate the world in our image ? Where is this plan­et going ? What is its light, its mean­ing ? What does this music to which we dream, we dance mean ? Why does­n’t youth care and old-age care ?

I am still here, walk­ing and ask­ing myself too often, prob­a­bly uncon­scious­ly, these same ques­tions. What have I achieved in my life ? And why is that ?

But why do they also want me to stop ask­ing myself these ques­tions ? Sug­gest I don’t wor­ry about it ? That it’s not worth it ?

Oh, real­ly ? Is this useless ?

Ah ! Big deal. We can­not say that, because that would be know­ing all the answers to the universe.

It is nec­es­sary to nour­ish a sankalpa, to say the yog­ic tra­di­tion, to plant in his con­scious­ness the seeds of will while accept­ing his destiny.

When you first begin to work with sankalpa, the prac­tice can seem full of con­tra­dic­tions. You start by iden­ti­fy­ing what you want, but the only way to real­ize it is to acknowl­edge that you already are it, and already have it. You set spe­cif­ic goals, and you com­mit to break­ing habits. But at every oppor­tu­ni­ty to act in line with these goals, you must first acknowl­edge that you are already per­fect and whole.

Accord­ing to Rod Stryk­er, this appar­ent con­tra­dic­tion is the essence of both sankalpa prac­tice and non­d­ual teach­ings. “It all goes back to this idea that each of us is both being and becom­ing. There’s the part of us, para atman, that is tran­scen­dent, inher­ent­ly one, and doesn’t need any­thing. We also have a jiva atman, that part of us that comes into life with a pur­pose and a des­tiny and is always becom­ing.” Stryk­er explains that to ful­fill your dhar­ma, you must find a way to inte­grate these two seem­ing­ly oppo­site aspects of being. “It’s vital for hap­pi­ness that you walk both paths simul­ta­ne­ous­ly. Direct your ener­gy with inten­tion, but be mind­ful that your nature is unchanged whether you achieve your goals or not. Live as con­tent­ed­ly as pos­si­ble in between the goal and real­iz­ing the goal.”


That’s it, you have to walk. I’m on vaca­tion for two weeks. This is a good thing. I could walk all the will in my legs. I have kit­tens to give too. I can’t get away from home. Even with­out cats, I would­n’t do it. My walk is prob­a­bly some­where else. It is to be done on two paths.