The Course of Your Paths

My people—infants are their oppressors,
    and women rule over them.
O my people, your guides mislead you
    and they have swallowed up the course of your paths.

In the Men’s Sphere, there are a lot of different men with a lot of different viewpoints. I find that the posts and comments which get my interest and respect don’t hold to a particular pattern except in one way: The comment (and I therefore assume the commenter) admits that we are all lost in the wilderness. I don’t mean that he admits “the society”, or “the culture”, or some other notion of a group of which he is a part of but also somehow apart from. I mean he admits he is lost.

It’s reassuring. I’m no less lost when I find someone else who is lost, but even if nothing else there’s something trustworthy in that confession. That in-and-of-itself means we can have at least one thing: trust. And, very often among the confessors, there is something else which is valuable: He knows which direction not to go. He doesn’t know where we are, but he knows where he came from to get here, and can confirm it wasn’t any better back that way. Otherwise he wouldn’t have left.

The men who pretend to know where we culturally are, and where to go, can’t be trusted. It always turns out that such a man has no idea of what is right in front of his face; much less where we are, where we should go. He doesn’t have a map. He usually doesn’t even know what a map is.

4 thoughts on “The Course of Your Paths

  1. Verily. It’s not the healthy that need a doctor. It is encouraging to hear others’ stories. You can steer a moving ship but not one adrift. Like on the savannah, whether you’re predator or prey, survival means you have to keep moving.

  2. This is a very apt metaphor. Imagine being literally lost in the wilderness. You don’t know where you are, or where you’re going. Then, all of a sudden, you and another man stumble upon each other. You’re still equally lost, but your dire situation causes you to strike up an instant friendship. Is that reasonable? Yes, it is.

    Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. 10 For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. 11 Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

    Now imagine the two of you stumble onto another man. He says that he knows how to get out of the wilderness, so you start following him. But, it quickly becomes obvious that he’s just as lost as you are, he has no clue where he is or where he’s going, but he doesn’t even know it.

    That man is delusional, and his presence makes it more likely that you’ll die in the wilderness. All you can do is let him go his own way.

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