The ego’s prime dictate is, “Seek, but do not find.” What a perfect recipe for eternal frustration! While the ego, or “false self”, looks through false eyes, it cannot see what’s right in front of it’s face and behind it’s own eyes. What the ego is after is always right around the corner. It leads us on the proverbial quest to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and leaves us empty handed.
As a spiritual seeker, how can you find the Truth and Liberation you seek? First, stop identifying as a “spiritual seeker” and choose to be a “finder”. Accept the idea that you can and will find what your heart and soul are longing to experience.
Next, fire that darn ego as your guide. It will only lead to one dead end after another.
Who or what, then, shall be the guide? The guides to Truth and Liberation are many. Spiritual teachers, both living and dead, spirit guides, angels, ascended masters, the Holy Spirit, God, intuition, Mother Nature, animal and plant spirits, the Still Small Voice, within…any and all of these guides can be very helpful. Yet, they do not really take you anywhere, for your Being is always, already fully present, right where you are. These teachers and guides, with their fingers pointing at the moon, can’t give you the moon nor fly you there. No one can give you what you already are. True guides are more like really good friends who can clearly see who you are…as well as who you aren’t…and always remind you of your True Nature…our shared True Nature.
True guides are also able to give you tools or practices that help thin the veil that the false self is wrapped up in. One of the most powerful tools is inquiry, which simply means “questioning”. Remember those bumper stickers that say, “Question Authority”? Well, question the authority of those voices in your head. When thoughts arise that make you feel guilty or worthless or afraid, look straight at them and ask, “Is it true?” Byron Katie has developed a simple, elegant tool for inquiry called “The Four Questions”.
Another effective form of inquiry is to deeply consider, “Who am I?” or “What am I?” Although at first glance, those may seem like ridiculous questions, the process can take you to the very truth of your Being. Contemporary teacher, Adyashanti, clearly describes how to engage in “Authentic Inquiry”. Through this process, the veil can dissolve, and your radiant Self shines forth. Fortunately, inquiry doesn’t require that you subscribe to any religious beliefs, perform rituals, or sit for long periods of meditation. It does require a fierce determination to sincerely investigate the thoughts, beliefs, opinions, and habitual perspectives that are limiting your awareness of “What Is”.
One more ingredient to the recipe for “finding” is to be as compassionate and accepting of yourself as you can be. Using the inner sledgehammer to beat yourself up for not being spiritual enough, not being awake enough, not loving enough, or not being able to see clearly enough, is a sure-fire way to NOT liberate yourself. Of course it’s nice to be compassionate and accepting of others, but it’s also important to practice on yourself. You’re always there to practice on! Softening into self-compassion will hasten clarity of vision.
Do you need to go to India to find Truth? Do you need to meditate for 30 years? Do you need to follow Jesus? Do you need to understand complicated spiritual philosophies?
Maybe…if that is part of your journey…if that is part of what draws you back to what is always, already here.
Yet, truly, there is nowhere to go. You’ve been found. Your Being could never lose you, nor could your Being ever be lost. It was simply overlooked, masked by a veil that seemed impenetrable. You’ve been looking through the false eyes of the false self and seeing what’s not there. The mountain, obscured by the clouds, still stands secure in it’s nature. You are that amazing, beautiful, everlasting mountain. Your True Self stands secure, changeless, and limitless…and it’s actually in plain sight…for those with eyes to see. I trust you. You can see it!