March 1, 2017

“The law is a causeway upon which so long as he/she keeps to it,
a citizen may walk safely.” Robert Bolt


One of my teachers in Ireland often speaks of the “causeway.” In times gone by, the approach from the road to a bridge was often land that was marshy and muddy. This is in sharp contrast to modern roads and bridges, which usually deliver us from dry pavement directly to the bridge and beyond. The old causeways must have been difficult to negotiate. Picture yourself on a definite path, with a bridge ahead in clear focus. You know you will cross that bridge and travel on to your destination, but first you must figure out how to move through the causeway mud.

It is my belief that many spiritual seekers get caught in the causeway. It can throw us off balance, creating the illusion that we are stuck. This sometimes forces us to retreat back to safe ground, sometimes even paralyzing us. With a clear picture in mind, that the bridge ahead will deliver you to your desired destination. What will it take for you to move through the causeway?

One time, in a dream, I found myself trying to get from dry land to a house filled with friends from my earlier days in theatre. The mud was wet and thick, and the area it covered would require a bit of planning. I was not wearing proper shoes for such an endeavor. Suddenly, one of my former actor friends came out of the house and beckoned me over. I shouted, “I’m afraid I’ll get stuck in the mud!” He told me to move through it quickly, as that would be easier. I started to follow his advice. Very quickly I felt the mud begin to cover my feet. I stopped and looked down. The mud was now up to my knees. I was stuck. My friend called out, “You’d better not stop, because it’s not mud you’re stuck in. It’s poop!” With that, I picked up my feet, swiftly disengaged from the poopy mud and landed gracefully on the other side.

Do you see the metaphor? When I’m stuck in the causeway, it’s because of my own choosing. We are not meant to linger there. We are meant to push forward, sometimes with the help of an anam cara. Are you willing to call upon a soul friend for support? Someone to remind you that you are indeed on your right and true path? A trusted friend that will, like in my dream, call to you and say, “It’s not mud, it’s poop!”

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