Here is an excerpt on seeking. 🙂 Enjoy!
You Are What You Seek
Attention spiritual shoppers: enlightenment is not something you acquire. How to avoid common pitfalls of the seeker.
BY: Deepak Chopra
From “The Book of Secrets” by Deepak Chopra. Copyrightc 2004 by Deepak Chopra. Excerpted by permission of Harmony Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Seeking is a word often applied to the spiritual path, and many people are proud to call themselves seekers. Often, they are the same people who once chased too hard after money, sex, alcohol, or work. With the same addictive intensity they now hope to find God, the soul, the higher self. The problem is that seeking begins with a false assumption. I don’t mean the assumption that materialism is corrupt and spirituality is pure. Yes, materialism can become all-consuming, but that’s not the really important point. Seeking is doomed because it is a chase that takes you outside yourself.
Whether the object is God or money makes no real difference. Productive seeking requires that you throw out all assumptions that there is a prize to be won. This means acting without hope of rising to some ideal self, hope being a wish that you’ll get somewhere better than the place you started from. You are starting from yourself, and it’s the self that contains all the answers. So you have to give up on the idea that you must go from A to B. There is no linear path when the goal isn’t somewhere else. You must also discard fixed judgments about high and low, good and evil, holy and profane. The one reality includes everything in its tangle of experiences, and what we are trying to find is the experiencer who is present no matter what experience you are having.
Looking at the people who race around trying to be models of goodness, someone coined the apt phrase “spiritual materialism,” the transfer of values that work in the material world over to the spiritual world.
Pitfalls of the Seeker:
Knowing where you’re going.
Struggling to get there.
Using someone else’s map.
Working to improve yourself.
Setting a timetable.
Waiting for a miracle.
There’s no better way to be a genuine seeker than to avoid these pitfalls.
If you can avoid these pitfalls of spiritual materialism, you will be much less tempted to chase after an impossible goal. The chase began because people came to believe that God, disapproving of what he sees in us, expects us to adopt a certain ideal. It seems impossible to imagine a God, however loving, who doesn’t get disappointed, angry, vengeful, or disgusted with us when we fall short. The most spiritual figures in history were not totally good, however, but totally human. They accepted and forgave; they lacked judgment. I think the highest forgiveness is to accept that creation is thoroughly tangled, with every possible quality given some outlet for expression. People need to accept once and for all that there is only one life and each of us is free to shape it through the choices we make. Seeking can’t get anyone out of the tangle because everything is tangled up. The only thing that will ever be pure and pristine is your own awareness, once you sort it out.
It’s much easier to keep up the fight between good and evil, holy and profane, us and them. But as awareness grows, these opposites begin to calm down in their clashes, and something else emerges-a world you feel at home in. The ego did you a terrible disservice by throwing you into a world of opposites. Opposites always conflict-that’s the only way they know-and who can feel at home in the middle of a fight? Awareness offers an alternative beyond the fray.