In Israel and in the Reform world, today is also Simchat Torah, the day of “rejoicing in the Torah,” when we read the very end of the Torah and then immediately cycle back around to the very beginning. Our central narrative is a kind of mobius strip, a continual spiral, which shifts in meaning each year as we change and grow.
Although the path is usually described as having eight steps, in essence there are only three, with each of those three broken down in groupings of three, three, and two sub-step. The three basic steps are ethical conduct, meditation, and transforming insight into the way things are. Rather than forming a stairway that leads to heaven, these three steps and their eight sub-steps are more like a Mobius Strip that endlessly leaves, travels, and arrives in the here and now. One can start anywhere on the path, or choose to follow any step at any time, or several or all of them all at once, and always arrive at the same place. The Noble Eightfold Path, as the path to the end of suffering is usually called, truly describes more of a place than a path, with the place being the present, a boundary-less orb without coordinates in which all things happen everywhere all the time.