Living with sincerity and integrity out of our original nature and the virtues that are ours from birth, in touch with The Mystery at the Heart of Life and Being, with a regular practice centering on emptiness, stillness and silence, concerned with doing what is needed, when, where and how it is needed in each situation as it arises, no matter what, for the joy of doing it and the satisfaction of having done it is the way to The Way, and therefore is The Way, and being aligned with The Way, in sync with The Way, in accord with The Way is as much as anyone can be expected to do with their life in all times and places. This is the foundation of all good religion, without theology, without doctrine, without dogma without loud music and bad preaching. And it is there for each of us to take up on our own without stepping outside our house, unless we want to go for a walk in the woods or along the shore of a body of water.
Carl Jung's idea of individuation is identically equivalent with the age-old idea of maturation. There is not an individuated individual who is not mature, and there is not a mature individual who is not individuated. Jung said that the way to the self is not direct. We circumambulate our way there, walking around and around who we are, every so slowly narrowing the circumference of the circle, spiraling into the self at the end of our journey. The same thing can be said about maturation. Over the full scope of our lifetime, we find our way to who we are through trial and error, pain and suffering, grief, loss and sorrow. We could save ourselves a lot of anguish if we could just come to terms with what's what about us and let all our dreams and happy fantasies go. The Buddha could have saved us all the trouble of the trip if he had only said, "Grow up and get over it," instead of fabricating the endless rounds of steps to enlightenment. The Zen-Taoists got straight to the point, and said, "Just turn the light around! That's all there is to it! Instead of looking out there, over there, up there, look inside yourself-- it is all right there, who you are and who you aren't. And that is all enlightenment has to show you!" That is all growing up reveals. There is what I can do, and what I cannot do. What I do best, and what I have no business doing. The same is true for you, and for all of us. Yet, we spend our lives trying to will what cannot be willed, trying to do what is not ours to do. Individuation and maturation are a long time coming because we will not take "NO!" for an answer, and keep striving to be what/who we are not. The Hindu Bahgavad Gita cuts straight to the heart of the matter with its, "Get in there and do your thing, and don't worry about the outcome." "The outcome," being the profit, gain, merit, rewards and riches we hope to realize by doing what we hope will bring us joy at last, never mind if it fits us or not. We all know what fits us. We all know what "our thing" is, and what it isn't. You don't want me singing at your next wedding. Or changing the oil in your car, or shoeing your horse... The list is very, very, long. And you have a list very much like mine. But, if you want me to look out your window for you, or drink a morning cup of coffee for you, or take a photograph in the woods behind your house, I'll be happy to. And you have a list like this one, as well. If we stick with the things on our can do list, and let the things on our cannot do list go, we will be taking steps off the journey to ourselves, and lightening our load at the same time. It has taken me entirely too long to realize this already. And probably, you, as well.