"In that wonderful story [Parsifal, Galahad and the Holy Grail myths], when any knight sees the trail of another, thinks he's getting there, and starts to follow the other's track, he goes astray entirely." - Joseph Campbell
Mind you, I already know the story of Edison, and the Wright Brothers, and the ascent of Everest pretty well. What I found intriguing was how Bob Proctor pointed out the fact that when they were in the midst of it, what they were attempting was not known. In fact, the refrain Bob repeated, "They didn't know how."
In the short six-minute video, Bob Proctor shows a slide of Edmund Hillary and Tenzay Norgay, the first documented (never know if some pilgrim didn't get there first but made no fuss) ascent of Mt. Everest.
"When they started they did not know how. They did not know how to get to the top of the mountain."
"Keep in mind that Edmund Hilary was an ordinary beekeeper in Auckland, New Zealand. Where did he ever get the idea he could go to the top of Everest?"
"It was believed that anyone that tried to get to the top would die." (And there are folks encased in ice up there.) Bob shares that he watched a TV interview with a Canadian woman that had just come down Everest, and was asked by reporters: "How does it feel now that you conquered the mountain?"
The woman climber's response: "We didn't conquer the mountain. That mountain can't be conquered. We conquered the limitations within ourselves."
Bob goes on to have us imagine Thomas Edison attempting to tell some of his friends, his wife or even his relatives about his "experiments.
"They would have thought he was right out of his mind."
Edison did not know how, he just knew he was going to do it. In another slide, Bob Proctor shares this tidbit:
"Thomas Edison's teachers told him he was "too stupid to learn anything." He was fired from his first two jobs for being "non-productive." As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times." Edison replied, "I didn't fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.""
And, consider this, the Wright Brothers were bicycle mechanics.
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, The Royal Society of London, June 1985
I agree with Bob, that most people are locked into the idea of HOW (and then don't budge). When, to me, what matters is WHAT? or WHY? In the video, he asks to inquire: "WHAT DO I REALLY WANT? Just make a decision on what it is you want."
"The way to maintain one's connetion to the wild is to ask yourself what it is that you want." - Clarissa Pinkola Estes in the Intuition chapter, Women Who Run With Wolves
"You won't know how until after you do it," Bob continues.
So what does that mean you don't know how? It means you're on the edge of Unknown, hurtling toward another eternal horizon, and there aren't going to be a lot of folks that grok why you do what you do. After all, you are not them, and vice versa. You're on your path, unfolding your myth. No one else knows how for you.
Whatever skills and strategies acquired through status quo thinking and cultural conditioning fail to work in the domain of the soul's journey. Yet--something--something natural and spontaneous will take the place of automatically reacting to others out of habit.
If you do know how, it's probably too cozy for your soul to stretch to its own boundarylessness. So I agree with Joseph Campbell, "If the path before you is clear, you're probably on someone else's." As well as with Almine, "Let not the confusion that briefly figures in and out of your minds disconcert you. It is the releasing of the old; the releasing of the patterns and spiderwebs of existence."
In the midst of it all, it can feel lonely, or frustrating if you are seeking external kudos or support (it's not necessary if you can see yourself supported by and as Infinity and self-reference your Inner Ally). But like I said, just in case, consider me an ally, too.
p.s. Although Proctor made it clear that Edison mostly likely would have been underestimated by his relatives or friends, there are always other trailbrazers around to befriend. I'd have to research the precise dates of their friendship in regards to their respective inventions, yet Edison was close allies and peers with Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone in a mutually beneficial kinship.
Photo Credits: American Academy of Achievement photo of Hillary and Norgay at Everest base camp after their historic ascent; speaking of trailblazing: image of airship designed by architect Vincent Callebaut. "Hydrogenase, is a zero-emissions, biofuel-powered airship that specifically employs organic algae for power... The algae farm supplying the ship’s fuel is an organic purifying station that receives carbon dioxide delivered via ships. The CO2 is then processed by the seaweed," via Earth Techling.