While walking the Camino at the end or near the end of each week I would take a day off and check into a hotel. This gave me a room to myself and a bath to soak in, that was so refreshing and something to look forward to each week. It was also a time to reflect on the past week, the friends I had made, the different things and thoughts that I dealt with throughout the week, and a time to do some writing.
Now, after a number of blog postings and getting some feedback I want to clarify a few things. Several people have told me it was deep, I did not think it was, but after some thought I understand why the difference of opinion. I mentioned in one posting that there was a growing up, and that is definitely so. For example at one point I said you don’t have to be for or against. The first thought that would no doubt come to mind, you have to be for or against, you have to be one or the other, which is our normal way of thinking. It was fourteen years before I understood that, I had the words but the reality was a long time coming. My suggestion in the beginning was to think about what I am saying, that is all well and good, but you will find your thought process will change as you travel on this journey.
In the posting on the Pilgrim, the thought was, each one of us, on our earthly journey are Pilgrims, that means we are alone, but we need a friend, the posting on a friend brings home the reality of this journey, you have a opportunity to become a friend to yourself and that makes it easy to be friends with almost anyone, when you are a true friend to yourself. Also, in the post on Camino companions, I mentioned the five companions that were of great importance to me and helped me complete the journey. I want to be a companion for you as you do this journey of life.
There has to be a starting point for this growth to take place. Normally the neurotransmitter part of our brain rules how we think and act, it relies on our five senses, those are all external elements so it only gives us a perception of who we are, from how other people see us and what we learn. The neuromodulator part of the brain kicks in when we experience romantic love or true love, which is a connection with our inner self. The first time I had this experience was when I met my wife to be, I was fifteen years of age. That connection was not with her it was with myself, but I did not know it, so I gave her my heart and she gave me hers, this set up the groundwork for disagreement in our marriage. We had given the most important part of our life to each other, so in a way we were trying to retrieve what we had given each other. Instead of relying on the neuromodulator we changed to the neurotransmitter and from that point on there would be no growth in our true selves. We lived the final two weeks of my wife’s life with the neuromodulator controlling our relationship, even then I did not fully understand what had taken place, which came later and allows me to expand on this now.
I also said it is a faith journey, you rely on your experience, which is your truth. First you connect with yourself and when you do, it is necessary to stay with it, which is not as easy as it sounds. You saw what happened to me when I met my wife to be, it was forty-seven years later before I embarked on my Camino journey in earnest. That was why I told companions that I met on the Camino in Spain that I started my Camino in earnest seven years ago. What is taking place, we begin to change from neurotransmitter control to neuromodulator control. Old things pass away and all things become new, that is why the thought process becomes different. The important thing to remember, you will rely entirely on your Inner self or your neuromodulator to make the change, it is a growing of you and it is a faith journey. If you rely on the neuromodulator to grow you up, you will be comforted in your worst times, the walk is not based on circumstances. It is much more powerful than that.