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Doing for Others, Seeing for Ourselves

Person taking a pilgrimage down a dirt path

Getty/MarBom

“sometimes we have to make pilgrimage to live in the open in order to have a view of the vastness of life, and sometimes we are in debt to those before us for what we assume is a birthright.”

A tribe migrates west because they are being persecuted. They emigrate into the mountains. They settle on a plateau and, together, they clear that part of the forest and build their homes, creating a settlement, which the elder of the tribe names Crestview. In time, their children are born where they have arrived, into a place where they wake each day in a clearing with a view of the vastness. The paradox at the center of this small story is that sometimes we have to make pilgrimage to live in the open in order to have a view of the vastness of life, and sometimes we are in debt to those before us for what we assume is a birthright. Sometimes, we have to stand on the commitment and hard work of others. Yet, there are other passages in life that everyone has to journey through by themselves. We can call the first process progress and the second incarnation. In our long walk through time, we experience both. Progress offers the rewards of one generation’s efforts to the next. My father didn’t have to climb a mountain in the Rockies to see the sunset over the continental divide because he could look at a …

About the Author

Mark Nepo moved and inspired readers and seekers all over the world with his No. 1 New York Times bestseller The Book of Awakening. Beloved as a poet, teacher, and storyteller, Mark has been called “one of the finest spiritual guides of our time.” His books have been translated into more than 20 languages.


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