August 28, 2020


Road to Botany 12/01/2014 — Botany Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Preserve, Edisto Island, South Carolina
Joseph Campbell said
"Everyone gets the adventure
they are ready for."

Which means no one can dial up their adventure.

Dialing up anything is the core problem
with human existence. 
"Not This! That!"
Is the bane of humanity.

It is Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
The moral of that story is
"Humans think they can improve Paradise."
Also rendered as,
"Humans can find something wrong with everything."
"Humans can't be happy with anything for long."
"Dissatisfaction is the heart of being human."
It goes on,
but you are already getting bored with it by now,
"This better pick up
or I'm out of here."

All of which is to say that
no one is ready for the adventure
they are ready for.

Everyone scoops up the adventure they are ready for,
thinking they are on some other adventure,
the one they are ready to be ready for.
Which is the flip side of
"No one can dial up their adventure."

Which opens the door to all manner of possibilities--
which means ANY door will do!
This is on the order of
"All roads lead to Rome," and,
"All paths lead to the top of the mountain," and
"We are never more than a perspective shift
from The Farther Shore."

Ah, that perspective shift is what we are all seeking.
Thinking it is something else.
(Who would go around looking 
for a perspective shift?
Yet, that is all every adventure is good for--
changing the way we are seeing.
Which is another way of saying:
Growing Us Up.
And, since we all grow up against our will,
that requires an adventure we aren't ready
to be ready for.)

This is great.
I don't know if you have picked up on that, but.
It's great.
The paradox.
The contradiction.
The Yin/Yang.
The "We aren't ready for what we are ready for."
That's great.
If you can't appreciate the greatness of it,
you are exactly where you need to be, thinking,
"What am I doing here?"
And, if you can appreciate the greatness of it,
you are also exactly where you need to be:
On the adventure you are ready for,
when you didn't know you were on an adventure at all.

The spirit of adventure
is knowing you are on an adventure,
and not-knowing anything else,
not-anticipating anything at all,
sitting on the edge of your seat,
waiting for what happens next,
knowing only that it will be exactly
the right thing needed
to take you on the next step
to wherever it is you are going--
which is only a slight perspective shift
from where you are right now.

The adventure is a journey of perspective shifts
all the way down.

We are never done seeing all there is to see
the way it needs to be seen.

Which means we are never grown up,
always growing up,
against our will--
which eventually becomes merely surprising,
not shocking,
and certainly not traumatizing,
and more on the order of 
thrilling and 
all the way.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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