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On Spiritual Seeking

I just had some very clever thoughts, and I thought I’d share them with you, so here goes:

There’s a lot of spiritual seeking going on in this world. Millions, maybe billions of people are seeking their spirituality. Yet almost none of them truly manage it in the great scheme of things. What gives? I mean, what the eff? Why do they even bother?

The reason, as always, is already present in the term used to describe the problem. Here we have the problem of “spiritual seeking”. Since you’re probably not enlightened, you don’t know what or who your “spirit” is, you can only keep reading about it. It’s a very problematic term. I’m glad that on my own journey I didn’t bother with “spiritual” ideas at all, seeing as the terminology would probably only have confused me and I’d have started looking for something that was not already there.

Even worse than that, though, is the “seeking” part. Seeking implies a journey with a goal, undertaken by making up that goal in your mind and then following a set path to that goal. Problem is, it is impossible for you to define your goal in words, because you will only understand it once you’ve found it. You cannot seek something if you do not know what it is, it’s as plain and simple as that.

So my advice to you, and probably the best advice I’ve ever given (I am so fucking proud of myself right now, hahaha!) is this: stop seeking. Start looking. Don’t start looking for something, but start looking. And I mean everywhere. I am not saying abandon your spiritual practice, but widen it into every aspect of your lives. Do everything differently every day, try to find tiny different angles to look at things from. Meditate in the lotus position one day, cross legged the next, sitting on a chair the next, lying on the bed the next, with music on one day, music off the next, next to a busy intersection the next. And always feel the difference and feel what remains the same.

Get many different perspectives on everything, especially your spiritual practice. Don’t follow a teacher, follow all of them. Read all the religious texts, read all their translations you can get your hands on, learn new languages and read the texts you like in those languages. The Tao Te Ching is a great starting point, so many translations for that it’s not even funny.

Read science fiction, fantasy, biography, literature, historical novels, romance, vampires, werewolves, dwarves, elves, sad old men, gurus, teachers, students, suicidal teenagers. Try to understand them all, because understanding them all is what your ultimate goal truly is. Go out there and expose yourself to life. Live, learn, suffer. Do not try to reduce pain, because pain does not equal suffering. Look for pain. No, don’t stab yourself, but put yourself out there to be hurt. Make it your goal to embarrass yourself in front of others by speaking what you truly think. Alienate your friends, find out who your true friends are. Have sex every day for a year. Have no sex at all the next year.

The path you want to walk is not a single path. Single paths will always lead to failure. You want to walk all of the paths, because you want to find everything.

Specialization is for insects.