ON SEEKING

It is most important that one first recognizes that all seeking, in whatever form--material, political, social, psychological, spiritual -- is fundamentally, unconsciously the search for God, for something ultimate, something perfect. All desire to accomplish, achieve, acquire, or accumulate is essentially the same search. All seeking is based in a deeply-rooted and profound sense of lack, emptiness, meaninglessness. This feeling of lack arises in, through and because of our erroneous, self-centered, finite perception.

To seek God, the infinite, from the perspective of this finite, reflexive self-consciousness, is to seek based on memory, history, accumulated knowledge and concepts. Whatever is sought or found in this fashion can, in no way, be God, for no matter how grand, it will always be finite, non-ultimate. It is merely a projection of finite, formal imagination and is therefore an idea or idol of God, not the Thing Itself. The search for the infinite on the part of the finite is not only impossible but ridiculous. It is like a fish swimming frantically, searching for "the ocean." It is an attempt on the part of the ego to confirm and strengthen the belief in an autonomous, separated self, as it attempts to find God as Thou, as other. We can never find God "up there" or "out there" somewhere, as an object of reflexive consciousness. Therefore, all seeking must be surrendered as an interference to the actual relationship with What Is in this and every moment.

"Seek not outside yourself." ACIM, [T573/617]
"...the Kingdom of Heaven is within you." Luke 17:21
"KNOW THYSELF" The Oracle at Delphi
God must find us. And, in fact, God is always seeking us, but cannot find us because of our constant and consistent activity of seeking for things that are not God; by our being perpetually turned away from Him. All seeking, even the overt search for "God", is avoidance and must be surrendered. In the words of Thomas Merton:
"..it is not even a question of seeing a road. It is simpler than that. For as soon as you stop travelling you have arrived."
The Sign of Jonas, p.28
By what means does God find us? When the fruitlessness and deception of all seeking is actually recognized and surrendered, what is left is a deep longing, a radical discontent, which is the underlying motivation for all seeking in the first place. This longing, when left without a projected escape or relief, even for a moment, is like a distress beacon and is the only real prayer of the soul to God, by which God may find us. Only when this longing, this discontent, becomes pure and without any hope of escape via natural or projected supernatural means does it have any hope of penetrating beyond the limits of our self-containment, of the individual or collective unconscious. All prayer prior to or other than this is incapable of reaching through the veil of samsara, the bounds of the unconscious, of finite mind; but it does serve to purify the longing by ultimately failing us.


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(7/18/92)