In the Judeo-Christian Bible, there is a verse about following “ancient paths.” In Jeremiah 6.16, it reads:
Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.”
These are some interesting words from the “Good Book.” One feels refreshed just reading them! However, they could lead to over reliance on the past (“ancient paths”) for the answers. We humans do seem to wax nostalgic about the “good old days” a lot. Besides that possible glitch, this verse has a real nice ring to it even in the English.
Regarding the “paths” mentioned, a friend asked, “How ancient?” Good question! We could speculate on what Jeremiah was thinking of, but for me I really like that it’s left ambiguous. Not only that, but it says “paths” plural not “path” singular. This is all the Biblical support I need to justify more than one way of living the “holy life” or following the “sacred way.” Never mind just for a moment that Yeshua (Jesus) said he is the only way, and bask in the joy and liberty of choice… Ah… Maybe, just maybe, Yeshua’s “way” was the way of many paths? The path of liberty, yet with goodness. Ya’acob (James) speaks of the “law of liberty.” While I don’t confine myself to Biblical boundaries, for those that might it’s worth noting that there are many ways to interpret that ancient Book, and even more ancient paths.
Some modern pagans revel in the refrain of “Gimme that good ol’ time religion,” knowing that paganism is much older than any Biblical religion. And really, the Bible is what defines paganism–anything that is of the “Nations” or “Gentiles.” The old “us versus them” thinking. But let us be mature, here, and enjoy this simple verse.
Yes, by following those ancient paths of humanity, where the good way is, we truly will find rest for our souls…
Whether you are Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan, Red Path, or no path, we can see some common threads of goodness and understanding where tolerance can be enjoyed.
May all beings be happy, free of suffering…