“If the path in front of you is clear, you are probably on someone else’s . . .” – Jeff Foster/Joseph Campbell
It is reassuring to go up a mountain with a local guide who knows the terrain more than we do and who has done the climb hundreds of times. The guide will take us through safe and proven paths, maybe the most scenic, the shortest or the safest.
Choices and labels made by someone else. But if a templated climb is what we seek, then not reinventing the wheel is a perfectly logical choice. The template will come with standards and benchmarks: how many steps, how many stops, where to hydrate, where to take the mandatory selfie, the most beautiful views, what we must feel. We take this path, and re-live someone else’s experience.
Or we can take the unproven path with perils unbounded, with death a likelihood and with no guaranty of arriving at our destination. But with the possibility of directly experiencing life as life comes to us and into us.