Pathwalking is not just an intellectual concept, it is also a spiritual and an emotional endeavor. I have stated rather frequently that to walk any given path you have to not only think about it, but you have to feel it, and you have to desire it.

What’s the difference between the intellectual, spiritual and emotional?

The intellectual is the easiest to examine. This is your thought process, this is your continued education. Intellect is a matter of learning, it is how you develop and grow in your world, and it is how you change from one way of being into another. It is all about how you think, and what you think about.

The emotional is the next easiest to examine. This is your feeling process, this is how you react to the world around you every day. Emotion is a matter of feeling, it is how you know happy from sad, good from bad, love from hate. Emotion is all about your feelings, and your ability to not only hold them to yourself but to share them with others.

The spiritual is the most complex to examine, yet may actually be the simplest. This is your belief system, this is your faith. I am not talking about religion – that is a wholly other institution. Spirituality is about your ability to see a larger, wider, deeper, more layered world around you. Spirituality is believing in yourself, it is faith, whether that faith is in yourself, your friends, a higher power, the universe or what-have-you.

Intellect and emotion have a more finite number of expressions to them than spirituality. As such they are a lot easier to quantify. I can see not only in myself but in others how they think and feel. But spirituality? That is something so vastly different for each of us that this may well be what causes the greatest divide amongst humanity.

People who share a similar spirituality often form communities together, and these have become religions. I have nothing against the idea of organized religion, where I take exception is when you decide your way is the ONLY way, and the rest of us either must convert, die, or go somewhere extremely unpleasant after we’ve died. This is a perfect example of an outside influence trying to tell you what path to follow.

Spiritual is not religious. It is all about your faith and belief in something. It might be simply yourself. I am constantly amazed by how many of us suffer a fairly substantial lack of faith in ourselves. I can readily believe in my friends, and I believe in a universe with far more impressive power than we easily see or can comprehend. But myself? I don’t always hold great faith in myself.

This aspect of Pathwalking is difficult to put into words. It is also of far more import than most people will give it. The intellectual aspects of Pathwalking can be easily explained, and the emotional, though they require being felt, the idea of that is easy to parse out. But the spiritual is at a level that is much harder to make reason of.

A lot of people get turned off by this idea. Spirituality has been too often linked to religion and morality and as such becomes a hot-button issue. Faith and belief are not simply matters of any of the religious institutions of the world, they are far more personal and tied into both intellect and emotion.

Spirit is in many ways always encompassing the intellectual and the emotional. Logic and reason can often waylay feeling and emotion, often stand in opposition to one another. Sometimes the balance is struck by spirit. When you have faith in whatever your faith is in, that will provide the deciding factor when intellect and emotion are in conflict.

It is fascinating just how incredibly simple this really all is. But we love to make things complex. We want to break things down so thoroughly that we wind up ignoring the simplicity inherent in the universe. In our quest for understanding we lose touch with the beauty and simplicity of it all.

We quest to learn more about our world. We want to feel our experiences throughout life. These often cause us to lose sight of our faith and our beliefs, and as such throws us off balance. Recognizing this will help us to better seek, understand, and ultimately walk our paths.

My personal faith has changed and shifted over the course of my life. For me, focus on the here-and-now has become more important to my existence, and rather than worry about the past or work on the future, I need to put greater emphasis on now. I believe in the idea of walking my own path, and I have faith that I am able to find and choose it for myself.

I could go into far greater depth about my own personal spirituality – but mine is NOT the same as yours. More than that, I respect that your faith is not the same, whatever it is. But having a spiritual base along with the intellectual and the emotional will allow you to truly make choices for the best paths you can travel upon.

What do you consider your own faith to be in?


This is the one-hundred forty fifth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Feel free to re-blog and share.  Thank you for joining me.

The first fifty-two weeks (Year One) of installments of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.