In the beginning of spiritual life, so many things seem arbitrary. The instructions of the greatest sages like the Buddha seem indistinguishable from the opinions of ordinary religionists. Why are the stages of the Path arranged in a certain order? It seems arbitrary, authoritarian. We feel like rebelling against this imposition, and so we wind up cheating ourselves by doing nothing.
After one gains some experience and has made some advancement, however, we begin to see a certain pattern: when we follow the instructions, do things in the proper way and order, we make progress. If we try it our own way, we fail and stagnate.
Finally when we begin to taste the fruits of the Path, the wonderful states of self-realization and wisdom that result from correct understanding and practice, we see the grand design. And we realize that the Path has to be structured the way it is. It couldn’t be any other way, because it is an expression of universal laws.
The path is the way it is because the world and life and people are they way they are. Once seen, you cannot un-see this. Once this is realized, all doubts fall away and the final section of the Path becomes clear. Once this is known, it cannot be unknown, for all ignorance is overcome.