I can’t tell you why….

I can’t tell you how or why I am on the spiritual path, a way that some call a cliche and others scorn. It doesn’t go over with fundamentalists and I come from the Bible Belt, so I rarely speak about it to anyone. I keep it in my heart and in my writing.

It would appear that my mother’s interest in the path was a factor, but that can’t explain it because often children go in the opposite direction from their parents.

I have just always had a knowing about life and about people. I can see through what passes as love and happiness and it never held much appeal for me. I don’t know why I married a man who was also obsessed with the idea of true love and virtue, but I did. He was more normal in his approach to God than me, though. I wanted to explore the whole spectrum of esotericism while he focussed more on Christianity.

I can’t tell you why I didn’t give up my interest in it after my little girl died. But her death made me more convinced that ever that I needed to get to the bottom of the “why’s” in my life. But I still can’t tell you why things happen.

No religion or philosophy has any real solution because they are man-made and man messes up everything he touches. No, I wanted God. And the Work of the Fourth Way is what drew me into its philosophy and teachings. I didn’t know Vernon Howard was a Fourth Way teacher for some time. Then suddenly it clicked. He was teaching what Gurdjieff and Ouspensky espoused, that man become real, must find his true nature and identity.

And I was in for the long haul. And still am. I belong to this way of being in the world. It is strict and uncompromising on the ego-nature and its mercy is often hidden. But as Vernon Howard reminded us, “You always get your spiritual gold.” No matter how often you fall down, just keep getting back up. Until you realize that the self that is falling down and getting back up is imaginary.

During the long years of training, you might call it, what Robert Johnson called “slender threads” were thrown out. Threads that drew me further along on the path of awakening. The last happened recently when a woman from India messaged me. She had had a dream that clearly showed her that my husband wanted me to know that “the thorns were over and the roses were now happening,” or words to that effect.

And I find myself overflowing with gratitude. For the deep wisdom that is transmitted in such strange ways. Ways that change sorrow into joy. Ways that are mysteriously healing. And so I walk on with renewed hope. Nothing can stop me from feeling gratitude for taking the road less traveled. God never gives up on anyone; all we have to do is show up and put one foot in front of the other.

I can’t tell you why my work is not about the intellect or even the emotions. I just write directly as I am led to write. One paragraph after another, until the cows come home, until Little Bo Peep finds her sheep, until the prodigal son returns again and again and again. I don’t know why but hope springs eternal to the true aspirant. Despite the falls, just keep getting back up….

Vicki Woodyard


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