On the Edge of a New Frontier

“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” –André Gide

This quote from Andre Gide took on new meaning for me recently. Previously I interpreted it as losing sight of the old shore and crossing the ocean to the new land. It now means to lose sight of the shore of the new world and move more deeply into the frontier of this new place. I have to lose sight of the shore of the new world to truly discover this new terrain I have found myself. I have been a bit like a tourist who stays at the resort on the beach and doesn’t’ really discover the new landscape around them.

Some complain that even after so much effort, and after having arrived in a new frontier of their life that they are still struggling with familiar problems.  Nothing has changed radically for them. They are still unhappy and discontent. Through investigation they find that they took into the new world some habit, mindset, or behavior from the pain story of the past. They found themselves on the edge of a new frontier and out of fear, habit or distrust brought their pain story with them. (Being driven to find comfort through the familiar they find the local McDonalds when they are hungry).

On such a spiritual pilgrimage as going through the Wheel of Initiation, you become aware of the pain story and its sustaining agreements. Then, when you find yourself on the edge of the new paradigm, a new way of being in the world, you consciously choose to leave behind (dismantle) those agreements and activities that perpetuate your pain story.

You do not navigate the new world with old, outdated instruments. You will not experience initiation if you are taking the old ways into the new frontier. This journey is not about comfort.

Once you name what you are leaving behind (agreements, behaviors, mindset, beliefs, relationships, etc), you then choose a spiritual practice (Trickster practice on page 144 in Wheel of Initiation, one of the Toltec Agreements, a Lojong slogan, a Unitarian principle for examples) and apply it any time the old pattern arises. You do this as you arrive on the new shore of this new frontier in your life. Perhaps you habitually drank alcohol and you choose not to take this addictive response to your life into the new paradigm. You may use the 12 Steps or some other practice to assist you with this.

There will be times as a result of your spiritual pilgrimage, or as a natural occurrence, that you find yourself on the edge of a new world, a new way of being in the world. This edge is rich with potential and hazards. Be clear of what you are taking with you and what you are leaving behind. The rest will be an adventure of discovery.

“Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it”.  ­–Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

9 thoughts on “On the Edge of a New Frontier

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