Read the comments to the last post. The journey is a journey no matter which direction you are going and whether you are progressing or digressing is largely a point of view. Every career criminal that I have really talked to is convinced that he has moved closer to the truth of the world than a productive citizen can ever know.
There are rarified strata of criminals just as there are of good guys. There are cluster communities of bad guys who have done certain things and feel a kinship- bank robbers; sex offenders; murderers; deeper than the connection they feel with the rest of the criminal community.
And there is cross-over. There are certain predatory criminals who have used violence for an end and survived violence who I have more in common with than I do with my kid's school teachers.
This is important, but it is also an aside.
1)Everyone is involved in many of these journeys simultaneously. Fatherhood; career; martial arts; introspection; wilderness survival; emergency medicine; farming; criminals... are all areas where I have had huge growth, huge moments that shifted perspective. I'm not at the same level in all of them and never will be.
2) There is a mutual respect cross-over. I'm not a member of the criminal path, but our worlds touch a lot and that effects our interaction.
3) Some of the mountains have much in common, especially at the top. Most people who have really earned wisdom and insight do have a lot in common, and most can disagree gently.
4) No matter which secret brotherhood you have accessed, you are still a part of the mainstream community. After enlightenment, you still have to make a living. Maybe even suck up to a boss. (Who's hair raised at that sentence?)
5) Democratic and egalitarian societies have a real problem with extreme personal growth. In a Shoshone society, the people who brought themselves to the edge became Shamans and Warchiefs. In modern society they are eccentrics or babykillers.
6) This all seems very important and deep to me now, but in ten years I'm pretty sure I'll be laughing about how shallow and self-important I was.
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