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The Problem of Application: The Frustration of a Genuine Seeker

Image: The Self, by Darren Hopes

Image: The Self, by Darren Hopes

I write about a lot of profound things. The miracle of life, the development of vision, transcendence, inspiration, peace, all of it. This is what I’m interested in, where my passion leads me, what moves me to do what I do. It arises in part out of a great desire to understand, as much as possible, the workings and mysteries of life, as well as an attempt to gain more clarity into my own personal journey  who I am, why I make the decisions I do, and what may ultimately lead me to find some semblance of peace. It is a way of solidifying ideas, of garnering from the miasma of the subconscious what I know I need to know and bringing it to form, here on the page. This is how I do my seeking. It is also how I do my sharing, releasing what I’ve made to the world and giving it a home, however temporarily, in the minds of a few contemporaries. Doing so fills me with a great sense of excitement. The potential of these ideas and the memetic inertia they could possibly generate, however small, is an idea I find thrilling.

Yet I wonder at times how many minds have actually been changed. This includes my own. I have had numerous epiphanous moments in the brief history of this website  revelatory moments that found me rejoicing in their deep discovery  yet, over the course of it all, I have failed to notice a lasting effect on my outlook, and, even more importantly, my behaviour. There have been moments, to be sure, but overall  at the time of this writing  many of the same thoughts continue to plague me, many of the same behavior patterns continue to show up. For someone truly seeking, this is deeply frustrating.

Writing is a lot like meditating. You move into a space, for a period of time, in which you are very focused. You embody a state of being that allows you to realize many things. Some come from within, some from without. You put them together into a form you find pleasing. Sometimes they emerge as little discoveries  an interesting notion, a poetic gesture  at other times, as previously mentioned, they are wholly epiphanous. Yet here is the crux: an epiphany is an occurrence in time. Just as it is with meditation, you have to get up from the mat eventually. No matter how profoundly you ‘get’ something in any particular moment, there follows another, and another. It is an endless stream. What was profound a moment ago, a week ago, a year ago, tends eventually to lose its shine under the continuing rub of time. Life pulls you back in. The mind submits in its own particular way, the old patterns reassert themselves. We are what we are, it seems, regardless of how many epiphanies flow through us.

I have known for a long time that integration was going to be hard. It is the real test of one’s spiritual mettle  the difference between knowing the path, and walking it. Failing to make the transition is a very real possibility. There have been those who have known so clearly that it became their life’s work, yet failed, ultimately, to live what they knew; those who have preached peace with such a profound lucidity that doorways grew from the earth at the behest of their words, yet failed, in the end, to walk through any of them themselves.

I do not want to be one of those people. The words here mean nothing, for myself or anyone else, unless they can somehow be integrated. I don’t want to be a ‘good read’, I want to be a good person. I want to create good people, a good world  one in which we can grow, and play, and live, and flourish in our experience of ourselves, in our understanding of each other and this incredible mystery we find ourselves within, unfolding as it is in this space in time. I want to play a part in helping us learn how to heal that space, in how to lovingly nurture it, re-create it and ultimately guide it into the beautiful future each of us intuitively knows we deserve.

Yet is this very desire, strong as it is, the beginning of that path, or a deception of it? It is said that the true Master wants nothing. That is what is meant by surrender  to release all yearning for the supreme state, and in so doing, open yourself to its arrival.

It is a profound conundrum. One I’ve written about extensively here, shining the light on it in numerous articles, painting for it an array of endless faces; yet for all of this art, for all of these thoughts, I have touched but a fraction of it. My arms remain extended, my head bowed, yet barely a thing has come to alight on the trembling fingertips I hold in offering. I continue to lose myself, for the most part, until I return to the page. This is the circle I am continuously walking. There is no getting off once you’ve started. It is a fine line. ‘There is no route out of the maze’, as Philip K. Dick once said, ‘The maze shifts as you move through it, because it is alive’.

We are great mysteries, each of us. It is no small task, what we’re up against. The patterns that possess us are ancient. We are fashioned, early on, in the pages of our parents’ half-written stories, our lives woven in blood onto the palimpsest of theirs, yet it extends even beyond them. We are the inheritors of a long, on-going odyessy that has come to condense inside each of us with a complexity that is seductive, a beauty that is binding, arriving with a terrible and tragic love, as it does, in the lives that we inflict upon one another. The pull of that seduction is so strong it has moved many into madness in the past. Contemplate too long, too hard, and you will fall. It seems impossible, really. Deadly. In so many ways, we appear mysteries that were not meant to be solved.

This is the problem of application as I am now experiencing it. It is a very real struggle. I am at a loss as of what to do aside from continuing forward with what I’ve already started. Study, contemplation, meditation, mindfulness. Maybe what I’ve come to know will find its way eventually into my step, leading me forward into the light of that ever elusive doorway. Maybe it won’t. At this juncture, it is impossible to say.