The Spiritual Seeker
Who can say why some of us are so motivated to stay on the spiritual path till the end. It takes a dedication and a longing that is far beyond the norm. Most spiritual seekers are only interested in trying to find more happiness in their lives or some kind of self-improvement. Or they are curious about new age stuff like auras, astrology, psychic phenomenon, ghosts, aliens, or maybe they what to develop magical powers or ‘Siddhis’. Who knows, maybe their motivation is only their new love interest who happens to be another spiritual seeker.
I think you have to have been born with the desire for Enlightenment which probably comes from many previous lifetimes of work in this area. That desire may be hidden away in the recesses of your soul until just the right moment comes along. Then all of a sudden you’re on a quest. That desire can occur anytime, before Self-realization or after.
The spiritual seeker is really just a construct of the ego. And the ego is just a fabrication of the mind. The mind misunderstands the separation from the Silence that takes place when we come into this dualistic world. It believes that this world is real, that it is the body, and that it is separate from everything. It sees danger everywhere and so the most basic of our emotions is created; fear. This fear becomes the prime motivation for just about everything in your life.
After many lifetimes of playing the game in the 3d universe, the ego begins to be seen for what it is and it loses some of its hold on you. Spiritual practices like daily meditation encourage a sense of detachment to your thoughts so the ego begins to lose its grip. However, the ego is a very crafty little critter. It senses its eventual demise and recreates it’s self into the dreaded ‘spiritual seeker’.
Now the spiritual seeker is a much nicer and more refined version of the ego, but it’s still ego. Spiritual seekers can waste lifetimes exploring all kinds of new age or religious material. Most want to be ‘spiritual’ for all the wrong reasons. The self-help crowd is part of this bunch. The ego keeps them searching for ‘happiness’ outside of themselves which is exactly how the egos stays in business. If only the seeker were to look within for the ego, it would find Nothing there, and the search would be over.
Some spiritual seekers want to change the world, save the whales, become a healer, protest against corporations, etc. None of these goals are necessarily wrong; it’s just what is motivating the person that is a fake. From the outside, these seekers look like they are motivated by a selfless credo that borders on saintliness. But the truth is they are still looking for love and attention outside of themselves. They are seeking happiness in the world, through admiration from others for their good deeds rather than looking within for the Truth, for the Silence.
Eventually the spiritual seeker tire of this game. They begin to realize that they’ve been looking for salvation in the wrong places. Their search outside themselves leaves them empty. At best they find a little piece happiness that lasts only a fleeting moment. So in desperation they may cryout to the Universe; “Please help me! I’ll do whatever it takes to know the Truth. Please show me the way!” Oops! Careful what you wish for. You just started down the real Spiritual path. You tempt the Universe with that prayer and the Universe will respond. It loves that prayer.
To realize enlightenment, you will have to give up your attachment to everything. Not just attachments to your physical stuff, but to your self-image, and eventually even your inner world. By the way, this doesn’t mean you’re going to have to make a bunch of trips down to the Goodwill so you can ‘let go of your stuff’. You might want to do that someday, but it’s not necessarily going to help you with your spiritual quest. It’s the ego’s connection to your stuff that needs to be released. Doing this sounds harder than it actually is. And after you’ve been through Self-realization, whatever attachments you have left, will be easier to let go of.
Now I want to make something very clear to all you ‘Spiritual Seekers’. Enlightenment is nothing like what you think it is. While it is the single most life changing thing that you can do, it’s not the continuous light show you may be expecting. As the old Zen saying goes: “Before enlightenment; Chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment; Chop wood and carry water”. Makes awakening sound boring, doesn’t it? Well the truth is the further down the rabbit hole you go, the more peace, silence and wisdom enters your life. Your internal conflicts melt away in the light of awareness. Then Love takes over your life and guides your every moment.
The ‘spiritual seeker’ seems to be a necessary part of the process of getting yourself from being totally asleep (normal everyday conscious) too totally awake (Enlightenment). Most of us have gone through this phase already or we’ve gone through it in past lifetimes. For those of you still seeking, now that you know more about the ‘spiritual seeker’, it may be easier for you to lay down that role and get on with waking up.