We go through our lives in a continual dance of being filled with something that needs an answer, and then going out and finding that answer… only to find out that our answer wasn’t quite the answer. Then, as we bring to ourselves whatever we thought we needed, it changes. Or, as we actually see that it doesn’t fulfill us, then the thing inside of us that wants this answer changes.
Slowly but surely we reach the point where we understand that this change, this movement of the part inside of us that always has what it needs in mind, is itself not the basis for providing an answer, but turns out to be the basis of our dissatisfaction.
If we’re interested in spiritual things, we gradually realize that what we really need is to understand this nature that seems to be a bottomless basket, because there is no peace in it. Every time we find the peace that it promises by answering this nascent desire — this movement that comes into us — then we go here and there, and we always wind up eventually with the feeling of sand running through our fingers… if not by the object of our desire actually falling apart, then by the very nature of time.
Eventually we reach the point where we start to realize that we are not going to find peace, contentment, happiness, strength, fearlessness – all of the things that in our heart of hearts we wish we had – outside of us. That may sound like a simple idea, but we have to go through thousands of painful experiences before we start to realize that it’s not a matter of looking in the wrong place. These multiple “dead-ends” are just the effect of the real problem, which is this: we’ve been blindly following a part of us that “tells” us that it knows what we really need, but that is actually clueless! And with this realization, we begin a completely new stage in our journey.
Now we understand that the longing to seek out separate pleasures arises within us from separate parts of us that seek only a momentary completion of themselves (and often at the cost of the whole of us as well). In this new light of self-discovery we see two things at once: first, it’s impossible to arrive at wholeness a “piece” at a time. With that much clear, comes the startling realization we’ve been searching for all along. If we don’t need to “create” this wholeness we seek, then there’s only one thing left for us to do: we need to see, and agree that what we seek already lives within us, and we within it. Now we know our one great task: watch for whatever promises us freedom, and then quietly, consciously refuse to see ourselves through the eyes of what we know is incomplete. Then we live wholeness itself, instead of spending our lives looking for it.