The self doesn't have to be the snake in the Garden of Eden that severs our GOD CONNECTION, but it can be. To desire Eve sexually can naturally be part of the WAY, just as lust can lead us astray. To ask for a promotion at work can be a natural expression of our professional growth, just as it can undermine our creativity and power base. Self expression, properly understood, is part of the WAY. That's what our life as GOD's co-creator is all about.
We can become experts at finding self expression along the WAY. Some people find the divine VOICE in meditation, some discover the WAY in life's busy interactions. We need a process though since the snake has managed to fool the best of us. That's what a spiritual path is all about. Along the WAY we look our for GOD's design. We are life artists. And when we hear the whispers of the snake, it can't derail our journey.
Amazingly, should we take the occasional missed step, the stumble becomes part of the WAY.