Spiritual seekers are often told that seeking must come to an end if there is to be true freedom — I have often said this myself to those who come to me seeking enlightenment. But a fundamental error is made when the ego interprets the command to “stop seeking” — it usually gets interpreted as “just give up on the search for truth”. And in this “giving up” there is a kind of spiritual laziness that sets in, a falling back into the unconscious mechanisms of reactivity and position-taking, a resignation into the human condition of being ruled by the fears and desires of the ego mind. But this “settling in to a personal comfort zone” is simply not the way to freedom.
Giving up the search does not mean giving up the longing for truth. Giving up the search is a surrender of the compulsive chasing of yet another spiritual technique that will “progress me towards enlightenment”, yet another spiritual path that is “the right one”, and yet another spiritual ideology that “fits into my conceptual framework”. It’s also the end of the dream of salvation in a future moment, the end of waiting to be worthy enough or perfect enough to be free from suffering, and the end of avoidance of the raw reality of what is here now.
Yes, give up the addictive movement of mind that is always searching for something better, something bigger, something that can never be quite grasped. But, my friend, never give up the true longing of your deepest. Turn towards your innermost, and always be true to that. Do not rest until your deepest longing for what is true becomes your highest value in life. Do not stop until you can live the tender truth of your innermost without the mental and emotional acrobatics that only serve as a cover up to protect you from imagined harm and hurt.
You see, my friend, the sincere search for truth takes you deep inside — not outwards into the world of philosophy or borrowed knowledge or the “guru’s truth” — but deep into yourself where you can touch the texture of all that has been denied in you, all that you have kept hidden from yourself in order to please others and in order to keep the peace when you felt scared or disempowered or confused. The truth lives inside you, curled up into a little ball of sleeping energy, waiting to be ignited by your unrelenting desire to know and live this truth.
So, my friend, let yourself burn with this longing — seek nothing else in this life but this that is true in you, seek only that which is more true than any narrative or commentary your mind can make up, seek that which is more true than any opinion or position you want to take, seek only that which is more true than any passing storm or tornado of turbulence. Seek the truth of that which is prior to all appearances, that which is aware of the content of your life, that which is closer than your breath, that which can never be tainted or broken.
My friend, live your life without chasing beliefs or concepts, without chasing spiritual progress or the “big bang” of enlightenment — and devote yourself wholeheartedly to this inward deepening and clearing of all obscurations to the truth that is already here, and you will know true freedom.
(photo by Chris Sabor on Unsplash)