Soon the child’s clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions and abstractions. Simple free being becomes encrusted with the burdensome armor of the ego. Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the pines, and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise. After that day, we become seekers. Peter Matthiessen
There are very few of us that are not seekers. The need to seek is what makes us human. But very few know where to look and even fewer make the attempt to figure out that our hunger is a spiritual hunger……a hunger to awaken to the mystery that we once knew. A hunger to belong. A hunger to return to that place our soul knows as home.
The metaphor that best describes the spiritual journey for me is the story of the golden bowl. The story goes like this. One day a soul was born and placed at the bottom of a golden bowl. The light of that soul was dazzling and beautiful. People came from all over just to get a glimpse of the amazing light that came from the golden bowl.
Over time, people began to put rocks into the bowl. They called the rocks socialization and appropriate behavior. Some of the rocks were called fears. Others ego. Some of the rocks were bent nickel beliefs…..beliefs that distorted reality. Eventually the light grew dimmer and dimmer until one day, the light was unable to be seen through all the rocks that had been put in the bowl. The room grew dark.
The soul thought that it was a separate object in a world of separate objects. The maps that it used to make sense out of the world were not accurate but the soul didn’t know that. It didn’t know that it was looking at the world through the distortions of its ego, its fears, its desires, expectations, beliefs and certainties. It didn’t know that what it saw was only illusion. The shimmering shadows of true reality.
But being a seeker by nature, the soul tried to fill the emptiness and hunger with possessions, food, alcohol, money, pride, accomplishments and the power that appeared to come from prestige and success. The more it tried to feed the hunger, the more lonely, unhappy, and depressed it became.
One day, sitting alone on the shore of the ocean watching the waves break over and over on the sandy beach something shifted. It was a flicker of insight that only lasted a moment, but the soul had been touched by wisdom….it suddenly knew that the hunger would never be filled by the outer world. From that moment on it began to look inward.
As the years passed the soul learned to look at reality around the edges of its ego. It knew that its ego would always be there, but it no longer supplied the soul’s identity. The soul knew that it was more than just ego.
It learned to pay attention to the energy it was sending into the world. It became less aggressive and tried to do no harm to others…..physically or emotionally. It became more empathic, more able to practice mutuality, more able to be compassionate.
It learned to look deeply at the world around it. It learned to listen deeply to others when they spoke. It embraced an emptiness of ego and began to search for truth on both sides of every issue.
It had no awareness the it was once again a shinning light in the world. It was unaware of the whispers of those around it who marveled at what an enlightened soul it had become. It was too busy using its gifts doing what it had been born to do. It was making a difference in the world doing what only it could do.
It was simply manifesting the symptoms of a spiritually awakened being….the light of a spiritually awakened soul.
© Dick Rauscher, 2010