Pathways and Networks in Nature
Have you ever liked to venture off from the main path, when walking in the country or through a forest? It can be better, but of course it can be more tricky too. The more people that walk along a certain way make that particular path more viable to others. We trample, erode, and flatten our way along. Main paths are clear, we see them and can see the floor is exposed, flat, and solid. The borders of the path are where nature grows, and it becomes the realm of living plants. Another thing about main paths is the litter, and the occasional dog mess. The woods especially is a hub for these unpleasant things because it is secluded. I don't own a dog and I can appreciate the not very nice aspect of cleaning up after it, but come on people.
How do we react or feel when we see children or even grown-ups trampling through living plants and making their own path as they go along? For me it's something to pull them up about, as harming the natural environment is a wrong thing to allow in my opinion. We tend to not allow people to walk on the grass or through the thickets because of the damage that can be done. When we do resort to walking over nature for what ever reason, responsible people know to take care to not tread on anything but the most resilient looking pieces of ground. No flowers, shrubs, or slugs please.
When we go off on our own down a lesser known path, it can be that it weaves off in another direction entirely to the main one, and perhaps even our group. We can find ourselves separated and perhaps lost, meaning that we have no choice but to retrace our steps. If we can't do that, and we call for help, those who come to find us will have to retrace their steps and then yours in order to find you. Mostly, we probably both go back until we find ourselves along the way, but it is a change of pace and direction for all involved. Sticking to the group is to be advised.
But what does this matter, why am I writing about walking through the country, or the forest? For me, the mind can be like this. Our thoughts and rationales which allow us to do things in our lives and grant us the correct perspectives that give us the ability to act in certain ways and communicate efficiently, can be likened to places in a natural environment. The learning or the progression of thought being the paths and the landmarks being the labels, collective ideals, and perhaps roles that each line of thought produces. If we begin to take a path of thought away from our main group, when we wish to communicate from our position, we can feel that we have to backtrack our selves too in order to meet them where they are able, before leading them along where we are. We cannot just expect a person to walk across the nettles and brambles to reach us.
Explaining to others about how we arise at our thinking is skill like map work or ordinance cartography, because in order to give accurate examples we need accurate pin points. A rational and emotional vector on the map of life is like a grid reference to consciousness, and perhaps our stories help us to map these. Applying our own position in an analogous way to another's is how we relate, and define our actions according to how we personally feel. This is why it is important to remember the pathway analogy, because finding a feeling and a reason requires a period of time to get there, and a clear understanding. Education and communication hand in hand can be looked at in this way, where the goal is to learn the area, the network of pathways, one at a time - so when we are asked to guide someone in the future, we know exactly where to go.