There is a difference between knowing the path & walking the path.

There is a difference between knowing the path & walking the path. – Morpheus

If we don't watch where we're going, it would be easy to end up off the path, right?

If we don’t watch where we’re going, it would be easy to end up off the path, right?

What does that mean?
This is a modern version of a very old quote. The basics of the quote is twofold. It is one thing to know the path to take. It is another thing to actually walk that path.

How many people know that it generally isn’t proper to lie, cheat, or steal? Yet nearly every day, the news on TV, radio and in newspapers is full of people who knew the path, but did not walk it. That doesn’t sound very bright to you, does it?

Why do they chose not to walk the path? Any number of reasons. They won’t be caught. The rules don’t apply to them. It’s not an important rule. Everyone ignores that rule. Even if I get caught, the punishment isn’t that serious or scary. You can probably add a few of your own, right?

Why is having integrity important?  
At, integrity is defined as “Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.” Also as “The state of being unimpaired; soundness.” And finally as “The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.” I believe all three apply to the quote.

  • In order to adhere to a moral or ethical code, you will have to know the code and also act on it.
  • In order to be unimpaired and sound, you have to understand and act on the thought that being impaired or unsound is not on the path.
  • In order to be whole or undivided, you have to both know the path, as well as act in a manner consistent with the path.

Bringing both halves together, the knowing and the doing, is what this quote is all about. And it isn’t always easy. How many people know how many drinks they can handle, and then drink more? How many people know the dangers and harmful impact of smoking, yet refuse to quit?

Where can I apply this in my life?
Probably the two biggest problems where I lack integrity in my knowing and my doing are my eating habits and my driving habits. When I drive I have a tendency to drive more than just a little fast. I know better, I know the risks, yet for some reason, I keep pushing it. That’s not good.

As I am writing this, I have a big bag of pretzels next to me. And I have a bad case of hand-to-mouth disease. If I can reach it, I stuff it in my face. That is very much not a good thing. And I know better. The carbs have lots of bad things about them, and the salt doesn’t help.

What about you? Where in your life do you find yourself tempted to do, or actually doing, something you know you shouldn’t do? What are your excuses for why it’s OK to do it this time? What did you say last time, and the times before that?

Grab some paper and and write at least three of these thing (and the excuses that go with them) down, and leave a little space between them. The next thing I’d like for you to do is to write down why you allowed the excuse to give you the green light to do (or not do) that specific thing?

When you’ve got a few things down for each of them, look for a pattern. For me, the eating seems to boil down to ‘just one more won’t matter’ and I justify it by saying just one doesn’t matter. However, it’s never just one, is it? Not for me, at least. And that becomes my line of attack.

Look at your list and figure out what those common beliefs are, and see what you can do to undermine them. I know if I start eating, it won’t be one, and a whole bag will make a difference. A compromise is to pour out a proper portion, and put the rest of the bag away, right?

OK, I’m back now. I just went and put the bag away. I had already had more than was prudent. Better late on the path than not on it in the first place, right? What can you do right now, this very instant, that could help you get your feet back on the path?

What did you come up with as ideas for quick fixes once you recognize that you are off the path? What can you do to change your beliefs about straying from the path? Can you come up with something you can remember and can help give you strength when you are tempted to go off the path?

No one ever stays on the path all the time. We all wander off from time to time. The trick is to notice when you’re off, and work on getting back on as quickly as possible. What can you do to help keep track of how well you are staying on the path? The sooner you detect that you’re off, the sooner and easier it is to get back on, right?

From: Twitter, @DavidRoads
confirmed at : Morpheus, 4th from bottom.
Photo by Tambako the Jaguar

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4 Responses to There is a difference between knowing the path & walking the path.

  1. Andreas 15 August 2016 at 12:44 pm #

    The quote is also about that you can walk the path withouth knowing your path. In the movie the Oracle tells Neo that he is not The One even through she know he is (The Oracle knows everything). Instead the Orcle is telling Neo what he need to know to be on his path. Neo then think he is not The One but because of what the Oracle told him he end op on his path as The One.

    The reason the Orcale does not tell Neo that he is The One, is because he is not ready. He does not believe and understand what his path is (he does not know himself). The Oracle show him the way so he learn to know himself. When Neo is walking the path he can by himselft see that he truly is The One (he now know what he is capable of doing) and at that point he know himself. Neo first knew the path when he was walking it and first there belived that it was his path.

    The Oracle about knowing yourself : “being [on the path] is just like being in love. No one needs to tell you you are in love, you just know it, through and through.” This quote shows that you first know your path when you are on it. Someone cannot tell you that you need to be in love and someome cannot tel you that you need to be on a specific path. You just know you are on the path, when you are on it.

    It is not enough to tell people what the path is. You need to tell them what they need to now to be on the path. The most imortant thing is being on the path, and not that you know the path. In that moment when you are on the right path you know it (like you know when you are in love) and at that momemt you choose to belive it. So insted of telling people what is the right thing to do you need to tell them what they need to do in order to do the right thing. When they have done the right action they can see it is right and afterwords belive it is the thing to do.

    So the hard thing is not to know that path (most people know what they should be doing) but being on the path, knowing when you are on the path and staying on the path.

    • philosiblog 10 October 2016 at 4:52 am #

      Thanks for sharing your view. It’s an interesting one, and that’s what makes these discussions so much fun.

      Yes, I agree, Neo wasn’t the one at the time he asked the question. He would become the one, if he followed the path and learned what he needed to know and becomes who he needs to become. Becoming the one is a journey, not something you are granted.

      When you add love in, most of the time there is no one who knows what you need to do. You are on your own. You have to learn as you go. Sometimes you deviate from the path. If you don’t stray too far (by their definition, not yours) and respond quickly when you notice you’ve goofed up, you can usually save it. If not, you’ve learned more about the path and yourself for the next time you try to walk it.

      And sometimes the path is unknown to you, and you discover it as you walk it. It is important to notice when you have strayed from the path, and to work to return to it. Sometimes it’s obvious, other times it can be quite subtle. Life is such fun!

  2. moore314 24 March 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    I think part of the problem is first figuring out, or learning, what “the path” is. Example: I’ve had college students who thought nothing of cheating. When asked if it would help if they knew that their parents found out, they claimed that their parents would not mind if it helped them get ahead in life. These were open and honest conversations I would have with them., not glib comments. Or, in given scenarios for discussion (field of criminal justice, so we’re talking future cops and such), they would often ask me what I would do.
    My answer was, and is, if It would bother me when I’m all alone with my head on my pillow, then I wouldn’t do it, or would correct it. Some of them said that wouldn’t bother them. Different paths.
    So, my point: If they are taught that cheating is OK – that sets their moral code, or path. And as long as the legal/administrative punishment is not enough of a deterrent, or worse, you can buy your way out of trouble, it’s not viewed as straying from their own moral code or path.
    That’s hard to change.

    • philosiblog 25 March 2013 at 1:57 am #

      Quite a profound observation. Back in my day, cheating was punishable with zeros and even expulsion. Yes, not everyone believes in the same paths. There are cultural differences, and sometimes even within one country, there will be different views in different communities.

      To them, the students you describe, “going straight” would mean going off the path to which they are accustomed and consider proper. We humans are a tricky breed!

      Thanks for the input!

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