The truth of seeking and non-seeking.
The world we live in is huge; the population lives here is vast and the diversity of the people seems endless. Thus it is of no wonder to me, that people are so vivid within their lives and equally diverse with their thoughts.
We cannot even imagine about two people having any similarity within their lives because of this apparent diversity. We also know that not any two individuals carry an identical thought process; which eventually results in people having certain kinds of differences within their belief system. This difference within the perspective of different individuals, can easily be distinguished over the much larger ‘social platform’ which we call as ‘the society’. Furthermore, this reflection of diverse perspectives prevalent among various individuals over a much larger scale, is known as ‘culture’, which acts as the soul of every society.
With so much of diversity all around us; it is of no wonder to me that people would also carry a variety of beliefs, in their daily living. Similar is the case of spirituality which is also present around the world, while carrying an overwhelming amount of diversity. Thus it is obvious to develop disagreements while following various traditions as not many can witness the common essence in all of them.
However, I found that one very specific idea related to spirituality usually stands out among all the prevalent theories, which we know as ‘Seeking’. Many people find the idea of seeking as something as highly beneficial while the others completely deny its essence for the sake of spiritual growth. In simple terms, many people would favor ‘seeking’ (which acts as an active tool to progress ahead on to the spiritual path); while others simply believe in the idea of becoming a ‘non-seeker’.
However, before we move ahead we need to comprehend over the difference between seeking and the non-seeking. What is the definition of becoming a non-seeker? How do we differentiate between the seeking and non-seeking? These are some important questions which I am going to answer over here to bring some clarity over this subject.
The importance of seeking.
Let’s put it straight over here. Seeking and non-seeking are the two aspects of a similar coin. However, which one is more suitable for a person between these two; vastly depends upon the path of the seeker.
For example, a person is bound to be a seeker if he is walking along the path of Dualism. We know that, the path of duality inspires a person to seek the supreme truth while taking refuge in this name and form, which we call as ‘God’. In simple terms, we call this seeking, with the name of ‘devotion’. I also hope that there are no disputes to the fact that ‘devotion or seeking’ always plays a pivotal role in the journey of a spiritual seeker; who is moving ahead the path of faith and God.
On the other side, a Buddhist or a Non-dualist might conform to the idea of non-seeking over seeking. However, let me make it very clear that even the non-dualistic traditions never deny the importance of seeking; as seeking, automatically helps the person to take the first step towards spirituality.
We all know that not all the monks and nuns hold a similar level of knowledge, while pursuing the identical path of spirituality. That is also a fact that not all monks or nuns are able to attain the similar level of insight even after going through the identical meditations and ritualistic processes. The reason behind this vast amount of difference is also related to the different levels of seeking among the various practitioners, who might be following the similar philosophy to attain the higher levels of insight.
Let me share you an experience of mine to signify the importance of ‘seeking’. I remember that I was once asked by a youth, ‘Isn’t seeking acts as the motivation to move ahead onto the path of spirituality’? There can be no other answer to this question other than a ‘Yes’. Seeking, does provide the necessary motivation to an individual to walk along the much tough terrains of spirituality.
On the other side, it is also a fact that an intuitive insight of any individual, is not necessarily dependent upon the level of his intelligence; but it can surely depend upon the level of seeking of an individual. What I want to convey over here with this statement is that there might be a great presence of highly aware beings among us who might sound stupid (less intelligent) to others. Yet nothing can take away this fact from them that they do no care about their levels of intelligence anymore when they are finally able to comprehend and experience the awareness, himself.
Let’s dig deeper to further elaborate the above mentioned statement. One might argue over the subject, of people being able to access various levels of insight. One can raise a question, that this difference within the knowledge can also be caused by their inability to comprehend over the existing theories or their own experiences. Or, in simple terms, it can be caused by the difference of intelligence among various individuals. Well, it is true to some extent.
But again a question comes up in front of us that what motivates a person to put forth an action, or to bring improvement to his knowledge?
Well, the answer to this question is ‘seeking’.
It is only the seeking, be it subjective or objective, which holds the ‘axis of sustainability along with growth’ within the personality of every single living being. We can also say that in simple terms, that the trait of seeking solely acts as the motivation to move ahead in the spiritual journey or the worldly living of an individual.
On the other side, we know that the life of a worldly person is often devoted to the idea of fulfilling a certain ambition. Every single person carries on with living while pursuing a certain kind of ambition, which mostly depends upon his surroundings and his ability to comprehend. However, what else fuels this ambition of a worldly person other than the quality of objective seeking?
He might feel fulfilled for a certain amount of time after achieving his ambition. Yet, his constant seeking for something much more substantial, always fuels his constantly emerging emotions to achieve, something much more substantial in life.
Thus, we can safely say that seeking is the most important tool for any living being; as it motivates a person to achieve an improved state of livelihood. However, that is not the end of the story regarding the idea of seeking.
Seeking is Omnipresent.
Let me make this fact very clear to all of you, that it is only the seeking, be it subjective or objective; which holds the axis of sustainability along with growth within the personality of every single living being. We can also say, that be it in the terms of spiritual or a worldly journey; seeking always acts as the motivation to move ahead and find the one substantial goal.
On the other side, we know that the life of a worldly person is often devoted to the idea of fulfilling a certain ambition. Every individual chooses to move along a path or pursue a certain kind of ambition which essentially depends upon his surroundings and his own mental well-being. He might be searching for an object of gratification to bring a sense of pleasure in his material life. Or he might be looking for the much subtle aspects within the life to find the deeper meaning of existence.
It doesn’t matter what kind of path one chooses to moves along in life; because his constantly changing emotions are always fueled by the idea of discontent in life. Which eventually drives the person to seek for something, which is much more substantial than his present assets.
Thus, we can also safely say that seeking is the most important tool for any living being; as it motivates a person to achieve an improved state of livelihood. However, that is not the end of the story regarding the idea of seeking.
When seeking turns problematic.
Every inward journey of an individual is always fueled by the power of seeking. However, it is the objective seeking nature of a worldly person which acts as the greatest obstacle in the spiritual journey of an individual. The mind of a worldly person, experiences every situation with the help of objectification; which eventually acts as the biggest obstacle in the path of gaining some spiritual insight.
What I mean is that, spirituality is not objective; instead it is completely subjective. This ultimate subject related to spirituality can easily be experienced by a person who has completely lost touch with the outside world which is highly objective in nature.
I am not necessarily talking about a person who is living in renunciation, as renunciation is only a way of living. However, it is also a fact that it greatly helps a person to experience that ‘supreme subject’ behind spirituality, in a highly efficient manner. On the other side, a person who hasn’t lost the touch with his objective side won’t ever succeed in experiencing anything substantial in the field of spirituality.
The mind of a novice sitting in meditation is a perfect example of this objectification process. Whenever a novice sits in meditation, his mind immediately starts to engage in ‘identification processes’ of any new experiences with the help of the relating with the old experiences. This kind of objectification, always acts as an obstacle in the process of developing the quality of ‘immersive experience’ while practicing meditation.
However, what happens within the process of objectification? What happens within the mind when we experience something ‘hot’? How does the mind evaluates the temperature of any given object? Well, it is quite a simple process.
The mind instinctively goes to its past experiences to find the most relatable definition of the ‘present experience’. Our mind declares the present condition as something as ‘hot or cold’, after finding a past experience which is related to temperature. In simple terms, the mind is occupied with the process of relating with the past experiences at all the times. That is how identification works.
Unfortunately, this identification process within the mind is also fueled by the power of seeking; or it can also be called as ‘objective seeking’; which I have already mentioned in the above lines.
The mind is constantly craving for newer experiences. It is always engaged with exploring and experiencing the outer world, with the help of the identification. This process of identification is actually quite helpful when the whole of the outside world is objective in nature.
However, this tendency of objective seeking fails miserably when the mind tries to experience various occurrences which are going within its own depths.
We know that the mind carries no objects. Whatever there is within the mind is completely subjective in nature. Thus when a person tries to look within, he quickly feels unable to comprehend over his own thoughts because the mind is habituated towards this ‘objective nature of seeking’.
You should know that the seeking is not essentially a bad thing. On the other hand, it is only the ‘objective seeking’, which acts as the greatest obstacle while trying to ascend in spirituality. We often have heard about spiritual teachers telling their disciples to ‘stop their seeking’ for the sake of growing spiritually. But what does it mean to stop seeking? As far as I am concerned, I find this idea rather abrupt in nature.
However, what all of these teachers essentially mean is that ‘stop trying to objectifying your own thoughts and experiences’.
One needs to understand that a person can easily overcome the clinging nature of the mind if he develops the seeking towards the subjectivity or the subtle aspects. The mind automatically leaves the idea of objectification behind, when it grows the capability to experience the subjective nature, present within any situation.
That is what is needed to be done whenever we are talking about ‘non-seeking’.
When the non-seeking starts, the seeking stops, all by itself.
Non-seeking always comes as a sudden realization. In other words, it is not any kind of method, which one can regularly practice to gain some advanced levels of insight. Instead, it can be said that non-seeking is a great symptom of success while going deeper within the meditation.
We do know that a person who has been regularly meditating, often attains enough efficiency to gain much deeper levels of insight. This insight helps the individual to realize many important answers to several of his questions. However, the deepest questions can only be answered, when a person is able to gain enough wisdom to experience the reality, as it is.
That is where the non-seeking starts.
Thus we can say that the ‘non-seeking’ only happens, when the mind completely stops the process of objectification; which results in the unification of the mind with the experience. Or in simple terms, the non-seeking develops an ability within the mind to become unified with any kind of experience. However, it should be noted that the state of non-seeking can only be attained by a person who has ascended in the realms of spirituality and even has achieved the much greater levels of intuitive insight.
One should always remember that it is only a seeker, who always attains the much heightened state of non-seeking. Always remember that there is nothing wrong to be a seeker because it is only a seeker who understands the significance of non-seeking. Furthermore, it is only a seeker who can comprehend over the fact of non-seeking and manifest it into the reality. Always stay aware of the fact that non-seeking is not a magic potion or a shortcut to attain enlightenment in an instant manner. A normal individual never knows a thing about non-seeking. On the other side, a seeker easily comprehends over the teaching of non-seeking and attains a realization of the unlimited, through the vision of limited.