There comes a time for all of us when the outer destinations no longer satisfy and we finally understand that the happiness we seek cannot be found outside of us. It must be found in our own hearts, on the other side of our pain.
This book makes it clear that we can no longer rely on outer teachers or teachings to find our spiritual identity. Nor can we find who we are in relationships where boundaries are blurred and one person makes decisions for another. If we want to be authentic, we can't allow anyone else to be an authority for us, nor can we allow ourselves to be an authority for another person. This provocative book challenges many of our basic assumptions about personal happiness and the meaning of our relationship with others and with God.
Excerpt from Illuminations
The Road to Now Here
Nowhere is not a bad place. It's just the place you come to when you stop avoiding this moment, when you stop trying to find a better place than the place where you are. When you look closely at the word Nowhere, you notice that it is composed of two words: NOW and HERE. When we finally realize that all of the roads to somewhere lead to this place and this moment, our proposed destination doesn't matter much any more. "Where are you going?" our companion asks. "Oh, Nowhere in particular," we answer, content to be where we are and knowing that we oftentimes don't end up where we think we are going. I'm just traveling this road because it stretches out before me….I'm not really sure where it leads."
Willie Nelson and Jack Kerouac aren't the only ones "on the road again." We're all on the road. Life is perpetual motion. Even if we endeavour to stay in one place, change will find us and push us out the door.
We are all on the road. Some of us actually think we know where we are going. But sooner or later, we'll find out that was just a strange conceit.
You can plan your journey as much as you like. You can take suitcases full of clothes, even some of your favourite furniture if you want, but it will all be for naught. In the end, you will have to give up all the baggage of your past and every idea you have of the future. You see, you can't prepare for this moment. You can't anticipate this place. It just can't be done.
You can try to do it, but you will be disappointed. You can keep trying and keep getting distraught when your pictures of the future don't match reality as it unfolds. That's the promise and the disappointment you'll find as long as you think you are going somewhere.
But there will come a time when you know without a doubt that you aren't going where you think you are going. There will come a time when someone asks you where you are going and you'll say "I have no idea." And you won't even feel anxious when the words come out of your mouth.
Once you know you aren't going anywhere in particular, you begin to relax, because you realize that there's no rush. You don't' have to "break your neck" getting some place on schedule.
As you may expect, there are no accidents on the Road to Nowhere. Sure, people occasionally bump into one another, but no harm is done and there are no hard feelings. People can't help being where they are, and sometimes more than one person occupies the same space and time. There's nothing to be done about it.
You have as many companions as you need on the Road to Nowhere. But after you've been on the road for a while, you realize that the journey doesn't have a lot to do with anyone else. It's primarily about you.
You are the subject. No, not metaphysics or healing or anything else outside yourself. You are the subject: your thoughts, your feelings, your words, and your actions. If you are willing to turn your attention to these, then you will enter the path fully.
When you leave the Road to Somewhere, you stop losing yourself in the world; you turn within. The Road to Nowhere is the path to your own heart. It leads through all your fears and self-deceptions to reveal the shining truth about yourself.
Not many people want to know the truth about themselves or about others. That's okay. There are plenty of imaginary roads to travel that skirt the truth or keep it at a safe distance. But after a while, those roads do not satisfy. You've been in all the stores. You've played miniature golf for the four hundredth time. There's nothing to do that you haven't already done, except admit that you are going nowhere.
That admission will change your life. There's certainly no doubt that it brought you to this book. Welcome to the place you never left, though you have journeyed far and wide. Welcome to time that does not change, although the sun still rises and sets and the moon still waxes and wanes, pulling and pushing the tides.
A single moment of honesty can change a life, bringing it full circle. Nothing is different on the Road to Nowhere than it is on the Road to Somewhere, except your awareness. But that makes all the difference.