Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Search
End of the Search
The self-realization of the absolute is the end of the search, the satisfaction of the soul’s longing. But it is not the completion of the inner journey. As the process continues, we continue to realize the absolute as our ipseity and the true nature of all manifestation. The soul becomes established in the absolute mystery, where its crystalline emptiness becomes the unchanging field of her experience. For some, this station lasts many years, and for others only a few days. At some point, the soul realizes she cannot simply remain in the transcendent summit of Reality: her unfoldment naturally takes her on another journey, the journey of descent.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 413
Flame of the Search
Where do you want to go? You probably think you know; do you? Do you think I know where you should go? If you think I know, can I tell you? And if I tell you, will you follow? Can you follow? These are questions that you cannot answer with your mind. These are questions that should remain questions. Do not try to simply answer them mentally. These questions are like a flame. If you answer them with your mind, you will put out the flame, because the mind doesn't, the mind can't know the answers to these questions. When you answer them with your mind and think you know, the question is gone. When you believe you have answered such questions, the flame is gone and there is no more inquiry.
Diamond Heart Book Three, pg. 1
The Individual Search
The search for a teaching nevertheless, the situation necessitates that each individual search for the teaching most appropriate for her or him. This is especially true in our postmodern times, where all the teachings of humankind are available. The presence of such plethora of teachings, both ancient and new, can present quite a dilemma to the seeker. The seeker will have to be intelligent and sensitive in his or her choices to be able to connect with an appropriate teaching, which means a teaching that possesses a logos that has a great overlap with the seeker’s personal logos. Under normal circumstances, this means the seeker, in approaching various teachings, needs to be sensitive to which one he or she seems to resonate with. In other words, the choice is not only dictated by the quality of the teacher, which is also very important, and not by the reputation or the glorious stories of a particular teaching. One has to feel a real resonance with the teaching, and intuit that it makes sense somehow, even though one will not be able to tell precisely how, until one breaks the teaching’s code.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 573
The Motiveless Search of Inquiry
Can we let this inquiry deepen in us, in our hearts, in our bellies, in our being? Can we let our being be a question mark, a yearning? It is a motiveless search, a search that does not depend on any ideas about going somewhere. There is no goal in sight, so it becomes a flame that continues to burn and deepen with time. Don’t cover it up, put it out, or let it go; just let it be. Let it consume you. Let it burn away all your ideas and beliefs about how things should be. Let it burn away all your concepts about good and bad. Let that inquiry deepen and expand, so that you can forget. Let go of all you have learned . . . for a while at least. Can you exist as an inquiry, an inquiry into the truth? Are you here just to live, work, eat, love, hate, have children, and die? Can you let go of what you believe you have? Can your mind empty itself of all your possessions, beliefs, theories, knowledge, understanding, and simply remain as a search, a pure inquiry not influenced by anyone or anything, even your own past? Even if you felt love and freedom and relaxation and so on in the past, what makes you think these things are what you need at this moment? The insights you had in the past might have been right, but how do you know they are what you need now and in the future? In order to find out, all you can do is let them go. Can you remain completely ignorant, unknowing; can you let your mind go, not impose anything on your mind, and at the same time not go dead, not become unconscious?
Diamond Heart Book Three, pg. 5
The Search is a Very Personal Concern
The search is a very personal concern, an intimately personal interest in your situation. It is a response to a call deep within you. The call at the beginning is a vague, almost imperceptible and mysterious flame. It shows itself as a questioning of the disharmony you live in. It is your
disharmony, as you experience it. It is your own questioning. And it is your personal yearning. If you want to be enlightened or realized like somebody else, who you heard was able to attain, then the search is not yours yet. It is somebody else's, Buddha's or Mohammed's. The stirring must come from you, from your depths. The questioning must be of your situation, your mind, not of some system that somebody else has set up. You can use the system to help you, but ultimately it is your life, your mind, your quest. Enlightenment cannot be according to any system. It has to resolve and clarify your own situation. The realization must satisfy and fulfill your heart, not the standards of some system. The liberation must be of you, you personally. The path is you, your mind and your heart. The call is your call, relevant to your life, and it speaks intimately to you. The call, the path, and the realization are all a very intimately personal concern. Everything else is not yours, and you cannot use it for yourself or for others. But the complete resolution of your personal situation is yours, and that you can use for others too. The quest does not bring about improvement or perfection. It brings about a maturity, a humanity, and a wisdom.
Essence with the Elixir of Enlightenment, pg. Epilogue
The Very Search for Positive Emotions Prevents Most of Us from Realizing Our Essence
So the person who takes his positive emotions to be his true nature or essence is really missing the truth. Such a person will continue to develop the life of the personality, based on certain emotional states, rather than the life of the essence. But this is the ordinary condition of the unrealized person who is always looking for positive emotional experiences. And it is this very search for positive emotions that prevents most of us from realizing our essence, which transcends both positive and negative emotions. Although we can see here the fundamental difference between essence and emotion, it is usually not easy, especially for the beginner, to tell the difference because they feel similar. The situation is further complicated by the condition of modern Western man, who is very alienated from his emotions. Many people do not even experience their emotions, and the ones who can do not usually experience them deeply or fully. The felt emotions are usually so distorted and dominated by negativity that it takes a lot of hard work to start feeling them both deeply and in a balanced way.
We Need to Find Out Why We Become Involved in the Spiritual Search
Without heart we are not really human. And the possibility of having an authentic and deeply satisfying human life is only a pipe dream when our love is not directed to what truly fulfills the heart. To find true fulfillment, many of us at some point in life turn to the spiritual search. But what is it in spirituality that gives this fulfillment? Where does this deep satisfaction come from? To answer this question, we need to find out why we become involved in the spiritual search in the first place. What are we looking for when we begin the journey? To experience new and remarkable states of consciousness? To travel to extraordinary realms beyond our everyday world? To be liberated from the difficulties and constraints of the world? Or are we looking to enrich and deepen the meaning of the lives we are living here on Earth? If our aim is to engage in our spiritual work so that it can impact and transform the way we live, we have to begin by seeing what we are actually doing in our lives. What are we up to? What do we really want? We live in a big, noisy, distracting world. And when we look deeply into our hearts most of us find that one of the primary things we want is something quite simple: We want peace. We want rest, ease, and quiet. We want to stop our constant doing. We want space from all the struggle, conflict, desire, fear,and hatred. We are drawn to people who are peaceful, to situations where we can have peace and quiet. Simplicity without stress. Being at ease. In some very deep sense, this desire leads to greater fulfillment than our urges for pleasure, happiness, and freedom, for without this ease of simply being, none of the other things we pursue will truly satisfy us.