A favorite author once wrote that we are born 14 years too soon. Our birth, unlike other species, is the beginning of a very long path from dependence to independence. For years we cannot truly support ourselves as there is much to learn and maturity is a slow and gradual process.
The 14 years is a pretty good estimate prior to the turn of the century, but life seems to be changing at a greater clip. Memes spread out like peacocks and our wiring struggles to catch up. It seems like for many the maturing process has extended in time. Lost in the evolutionary tidal wave is the symbolic ritual of crossing the bridge from child to adult. In the past, a vision quest or ritual held a deeper significance to our ancestors— some religious, some not, but the rite shared a common thread: life, like you, is changing. Get ready for the demand, my friend, and know the source of trust.
While the vision quest may be ascribed to the Native American culture, I think its essence applies to all of us. Whether we go out into nature or the heart of urban cityscapes, it is best to have guidance, a spiritual connection to something bigger, a purpose, and a whisper or glimpse of a higher self.
In those 14 years or however long it is now, lots of models fill the spaces in our skulls. Some good stuff and lots of gunk to leave behind with the toys and fascinations of those dependent times. These days we seem to shy away from the vision quest as if some program or apprenticeship or seminar will open and fill the soul.
Forgotten in all this is the uniqueness of a life, its trajectory, and its ultimate return home. In the middle of this flight, one thing is certain despite all circumstance: the only choice we have is if we are facing the light. Face away and shadows abound. And it is easy to get lost in the darkness where algorithms lead to back alleys and sewer drains.
It takes light to see, to have a vision. And in this time when egos abound and play god and diminish the spirit, it seems to me that it has never been more important to turn and face the brilliance of God’s light.
We live longer, if so blessed, than our ancestors of previous centuries. The trajectory has more potential, more time to make memories, to be inspired, to inspire others. So it seems, the vision quest is not just for kids anymore.