– It was upon a time once, that I stumbled on an unknown path while in search of my way home. There before me was the entrance to a forest.
By Karl Salmon
Confused and caught in two minds about whether to trod this path or continue on familiar territory, a blind man appeared from the forest and offered to assist me in navigating this route he promised to be a fulfilling journey. The blind man boasted that he knew this path very well as he had led many lost souls through this meandering trail in search of their sanctuary.
He recounted the existence of joyful faunas and the aroma of flourishing floras throughout this passage. He assured me that by accepting this path, there will be an almighty guiding light shining brightly through the canopy of the trees to guide me- should I falter. He whetted my appetite by promising throughout this journey a welcoming reception laden with everlasting gifts.
The blind man, however, forewarned that if I choose not to take this path, I would never find my way home; that any other route taken would await me cunning preying serpents in various forms, lurking in sewers and nestled in trees, waiting to overpower and destroy me. So, out of fear of the consequence of not taking this path and the promise of an enticing alternative, I held the blind man’s hand and off we strolled through this forest.
The route was murky and obscure. However, in anticipation of this magnificent reception he had promised, onward I relented. Throughout what seemed like an endless journey, the blind man occasionally stumbled and then recomposed himself to recalibrate his sense of direction. After a few missteps and alternate trails, we were somehow no closer to the end of the forest, this guiding light, my promised reception, or my home. As I became weary and struggled to remain in the faith of this blind man and this forest, he offered to continue leading me through this path of righteousness, but I must now commit myself to the upkeep and well-being of this forest – 10 percent of my financial assets he assessed.
So onward I struggled, financially devalued, but with the assurance from this blind man that a wonderful experience awaits me.
As I became mentally, physically, and morally drained- and to be quite honest, downright pissed off, I began to question this blind man’s knowledge of this forest.
Was he just attempting to manipulate my vulnerable and curious mind to navigate me through a place he knew nothing about?
Or more importantly, was this the right path that should have been taken in the first place?
While staring wearily far beyond hope and now towards despair, dawn broke through the foliage and slowly illuminated this bewildering environment.
Inside, and to my surprise, were the slithering, cunning, preying serpents the blind man had forewarned me about.
I began to see things more clearly and objectively based on sight, and not faith that this vision-impaired leader had deceptively sold me on.
I released my hand from his grasp and evaluated my options, looking above, below, within and beyond the confines of this forest. There to my relief, I saw my home in clear view. It was beyond proximity of (and not by way through) this forest. I knew I had to make some effort to get there, but it was in sight, real, and attainable.
Had I stopped then and there at the beginning of my dilemma and self-doubt to construct a keen sense of reasoning, logic and rational judgement, I would have concluded that the blind man and the forest, as utopian as they presented themselves, were misleading with false promises and wishful but unrealistic attainments.
In hindsight, this journey should have been the road not travelled in the first place. I am now home, exhausted, but relieved and content.
Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence. However, extraordinary assertions require extraordinary proof to substantiate existence.