A life of courage, joy and independence.
Welcome to The Path of Wildness Journal. This document is a collection of words, sentences, short essays, images and sound files related to the concept of The Path of Wildness. Entries are sometimes used to produce Internet MEME for display on the project MEME page as well as via social media. Hyperlinked entries are those which have been used as MEME. The Path of Wildness is an Open Source Philosophy (OSP) project in which readers are invited to participate by sending contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org or by posting on the wall of The Path of Wildness Facebook page. When submitting please include your name or screen name for the purpose of source citation (“anonymous” submissions are also welcome) as well as a website link if you wish a source reference. If you’d like to make your own MEME but don’t know how then please click here to learn how to make an Internet MEME suitable for use on this website.
** Posts are in reverse chronological order with the newest items being those at the top. *
Thank you for writing to share your thoughts about what I was trying to say. This point is one I get a lot of messages about as people are often suggesting I’m missing out on enjoying the outdoors being all alone. I can’t seem to find a good way to explain that my goal is not necessarily to be outdoors but to be alone with my thoughts, which I can more easily achieve in the woods than in any domestic setting. People likewise seem to mistake my use of the concept of wildness as a suggestion that folks should get out and hike which is not the case. Wildness is simply a frontier of fear and trepidation which wilderness acts as a nice symbol. I hope I can do a better job of communicating my meaning in the future as I don’t want young people to think I’m asking them to climb K2 alone when all I’m suggesting is that they apply their powers of consideration and reason, and in a pinch instinct, to the goals and challenges of life rather than waste excess time in hand wringing fear.
While rummaging through some files I happened upon this image of Mt. Wildness. The photo impossibly seems to show the terrifying far side of the mountain. How the image was taken from such a high elevation or even returned to be shared remain an eroding mystery.
Thoughts grow feral
On The Path of Wildness
I quite expect to die here
I’d like to share with you a great recipe for solitude: Simply talk, act, think or believe unlike others.
Beware the far side of Mt. Wildness
Where our words become babble
The only streams here
Are cold, fast and treacherous
There’s a howling on the mountain
Something worthy of fear
Thank you for sharing your video response with me. In addition to adding your video as a response I have also shared it on The Path of Wildness Facebook and Google+ pages. Your video made me happy for several reasons: watching another vlogger take on and express well their thoughts in a challenging extemporaneous manner, the interesting content of your message, and watching someone bravely take steps through life along the course of their best reasoning. All of these things are difficult and it’s very refreshing to see someone with such courage and strength of will. The world needs more people like you and I hope that you will not give up your vlogging as a means of developing and sharing along the course of your own life discovery; for I’m certain your efforts will have a positive influence on others who may be struggling to find or maintain their footing in a secular world where few support structures or institutions of fraternity exist. Please continue to add your courageous voice to the still dim chorus of free-thinkers, each of whom adds a unique note to the curious melody of life contemplating life.
I fear no social circumstance
For I’ve been to Mt. Wildness
There’s a howling
In the darker brush
The old shack
At the end of the road
To walk the path
Is to adventure on life
Into an adventure
The frontier of relevance
Any road can become a path
If your step is resolute
And your thoughts quite alone
You and I are dissolving
Day by day
Dissolution is genetic, bodily and
seemingly essential. Do, make and
say what you must before everything
turns to sand.
There’s a sea below Mt. Wildness
A howling thing roams the woods
And a woodsman’s cottage on the near slope
I’d rather not
Know by instinct
Without a thread
Of honest reflection
Trails are courses
What trails do you concede?
What paths do you make?
What trails do you follow?
What paths do you blaze?
Requires no accolade
Nothing is so important as that
Learn to suppress
Aren’t we all
Crippled and suffering
And the path will be gone
Practice you art
Paths are formed by instinct
Trails by consensus
I was just able to snap this photo before the sun passed below the summit of Mt. Wildness. I’m not ashamed to confess that I was more than a little scared. The opportunity to get this image came about at the most distant and remote section of this hike.
MEME link http://wp.me/p5A2F-12t
The darkness is repelled by courage
Step towards it and it moves away
Though one day it will not
Though no passage is necessary
A bridge to wildness
Is welcome egress
The course of your first inclination
Is nothing more
Than a catalyst to action
They’re all dying words
Make ’em count
An investment in relevance
If you are so inclined
Then always choose adventure over education
You’ll have fewer regrets in the end
Play a bit longer outdoors
Before you at last
Must go in
Everywhere you look
The Path of Wildness Themes:
Sanction is petty compensation
For a lifetime upon the straight and narrow
You are not not the path
If the way is very easy
For very long
The most fearful thing
Is the distant howling
The path is fearful
Failure is tolerable
Light your own way
Up the slopes of Mt. Wildness
Where the dawn never comes
“Oh. Plenty of regrets, but being silly is usually not one of them.” -Speed Gimp
When I was a boy my family would sometimes go to a big amusement park called Magic Mountain. Mom and dad would do their thing while my brother Lyle and I were free to roam the park all day. Such fun we had! I remember that every time we went, a few hours before closing, I would become especially eager and anxious to squeeze the most fun out of the remaining time. Lyle and I would literally run from ride to ride, smiling and laughing the whole time despite the fatigue in our muscles. That last hour at Magic Mountain while the sun set and the sky began to darken was always the best, the most fun and the most memorable to me. I feel like that now… Though I’m not expecting to die anytime soon I can certainly see how the sun is dipping lower on the horizon, the air is starting to cool and the first hint of evening is creeping over the landscape. I want to run again, to dash and move while the light remains and to experience as much as possible and to be the best man I can muster while I’ve the opportunity to do so. What a thing it is to be alive for a single day from dawn to dusk. Have a great day, everyone! 🙂 Facebook post
Hi again, Rachel. I realize that I didn’t really answer your question properly. In short, the entire concept is about fear and courage. My aim is to encourage folks at a young age to be willing to take a few chances and risks in life in the direction of their goals and dreams. So many who contact me seem immobilized by fear of the unknown. My experience has been that telling folks this directly goes in one ear and out the other and sounds like some old guy telling a youngster to just “get out there and live!” I didn’t hear that type of talk when I was young and young people today are the same. So instead, I simply hint at the idea of courage through the play of light (courage) and dark (fear) in images with simple sentences and phrases that give a nudge at my meaning. That’s really all there is to it. There is absolutely nothing religious or even spiritual in any of this. I really appreciate your question as thinking through a proper answer has helped me to see where I might need to be clearer in what I am doing.
The random and ordered patterns of entropy are beautiful
When we can overcome our tidiness
By this I mean that the willful
thoughts and guided actions necessary
to become and remain civilized are not
always in keeping with a pathway
oriented along the more intuitive
nudgings of our first inclination.
Though we may at times
perceive the path we are perhaps
less inclined or able to step or
remain very alone along its
uncertain course. Though this
can always be achieved if the
way is within our mind only
and we are able and willing to
seek some haven from distraction
for the duration of our wanted journey.
Instilling fear and the suspension of
Critical thinking are the methods of
those who themselves fear and refuse
to think. Refugees of reason huddles
in the dark, begging company and
offering stale sustenance if only
For a time in my 20’s I didn’t wear shoes.
It was hard at first though my feet soon toughened,
and I walked with ease over every surface,
without discernible wear and feeling everything.
I wonder what might become of my consciousness,
should I give up my learned conventions of though
and trod treadless across the landscape of mind.
My greatest cerebral challenge is contemplation of what I refer to
as the unique thought. An idea, whim or notion which exceeds my
brain’s inherent bias towards the ingrained and genetically expressed
best practices of survival. An ambition rarely, if ever (I can’t recall
it ever happening in all my life) achieved in a state of sober
consideration. That it might be more readily achieved under influence
seems likely, as though we hold the state of inebriation in low
general regard it nevertheless finds footing at a higher, more
precarious perch than where the teetotaler ever stands.
The Path of Wildness is purely secular
and in no way spiritual
Biology is the defining and controlling factor
There is no sentience guiding our steps
Save perhaps the collective experience
Encoded in our genes
When I was 18 ideas flashed past my
consciousness too fast and fleeting to
catch or even properly apprehend.
At 28 I squeezed them from my
mind with crayons and loud music;
raw, textured notions wholly adolescent
and shaped like cliche. 38 allowed no
time for such nonsense. 48 finds the
ideas returned though now I’m too
tired and ed up to attempt to lead,
and instead follow meekly wherever
the sunlight moves, seeking warmth
and thoughtful respite in whatever
“curtained with indescribable serenity” -Leann Lewis (via YouTube)
Birds always fly along the path
Leaves always blow along the path
If you are ever uncertain of how to start
Simply follow the leaves and tread in the direction of bird flight
Father and son can walk the path
Just never together
The surest sign you’ve left the path
Is when you meet another along the way
The Path of Wildness is an answer and response to a prescribed way of life which may leave some individuals with a sense that their living is little more than a series of pre-determined, step-like episodes between birth and death. The stages of living between these events: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, parenthood and senior are themselves natural and in accord with the needs of the species and most individuals. Many find their satisfaction in living this course and to these individuals I have little or nothing to say. Others though long for something more; something innate, genetic and seemingly calling. Adventure and change can give a degree of satisfaction and relief yet even these may seem too tame. To those who feel drawn to something beyond the entertainment and stimulation of senses I offer a walk along The Path of Wildness. Don’t bother penciling the event in your schedule, preparing a pack with goodies and supplies or even inviting a friend along, for this experience is along the course of your first inclination and you must surely always go alone.
The Path of Wildness Resources