Sunday, March 20, 2016
Every hero’s journey returns him home. ~A Course of Love
We are so fond of seeking. “I’m a seeker,” someone says at a spiritual retreat. “It’s all about the journey,” someone else says. We struggle to be content with chronic longing because we get so tired of looking for that special place, that place we think is somewhere “out there.” We pray and meditate and chant and read books and listen to teachers and practice, practice, practice. If we try hard enough, if we are good enough, if we do enough, if we just are enough, then....
Sometimes it seems like we are almost there, and other times we slump in fatigue as we watch our imagined paradise fade into the distant mist. We tell ourselves that we value the never-getting-there by focusing on the journey, on the seeking. The destination becomes irrelevant.
I don’t think so. Why would our spirits yearn for something so deeply if it had no value? The problem isn’t that we are looking for the wrong thing. It’s not that we are looking for it in the wrong place. It’s that we are looking for it at all.
Our seeking assumes that there is something we don’t have, someplace we are not. And that we have to do something to have it or get there. This very assumption is what keeps us from our soul’s deepest desire.
We already have what we most want. We already are where we most want to be. As the saying goes, we are like fish in the ocean trying to find the water. In the movie Finding Nemo, my favorite character was Dory, the fish with the short term memory problems. We are like Dory. We don’t need to do anything or go anywhere. We just need to remember.
Think of all the fish, with their eyes popped open and their mouths forming little “O”s. Remembering again and again with every breath that they are in the ocean.
We can do the same. Release all thoughts of seeking and allow awareness to reveal our surroundings. Thomas Wolfe wrote that you can’t go home again. But you can. Indeed, it is the only place we can go because, when we get there, we realize that we never left. We wake up and see that all our wanderings were but a dream.
Like Dorothy, we can click our heels together and repeat, “There’s no place like home.” Then add, “And I’m already here.”
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.