"Longing" (excerpt) The Seekers by E. Lesser

---Solitaire Miles

Longing is my fuel of choice on the spiritual journey. Spiritual longing is a sort of loneliness for an unknown yet deeply perceived presence. Some call the presence God; some call it peace; some call it consciousness; some call it love. Its source rests in the well of our own hearts. When we slow down, quiet the mind, and allow ourselves to feel hungry for something that we do not understand, we are dipping into the abundant well of spiritual longing. We have grown accustomed to shutting down or blotting out feelings of longing, loneliness, hunger. It's less challenging to feed the hunger with explanations, concepts, or rules (or drugs, food, or drink) than to rest for a while in the depths of the heart's longing. But if we want to open the doors to life's joy and God's peace, we have to learn how to fearlessly explore the full terrain of our human longing…

To give voice to our spiritual longing is to reveal a side of ourselves that we have become skilled at hiding. We may be ashamed to admit that we feel a kind of helplessness—a need for something that we cannot even describe. We may have grown up thinking that we should always be smart or happy or strong, consistently able to deal with the vagaries of life. Therefore, revealing our mysterious longings is unsettling. We don’t want to be seen stumbling around in the wilderness of our own ignorance and meagerness. Nor do we want to come across as innocent or eager in a world that has elevated cynicism to an art form. Instead we pretend to be fine, strong, smart, hip, amused, or disinterested even when we are not. Most of us have become habituated to hiding our weakness and wonder from each other. We construct brilliant masks to wear over our humanness, until we forget the authentic nature of our true face.

The twelfth-century poet Rumi, called this phenomenon the “Open Secret.” In his poetry and prose Rumi writes of the secrets we keep and the veils we wear so others won’t see our foolishness, our pain, our tenderness. Because the big secret we keep is “none over than the condition of our humanness—the ‘full catastrophe’,” as Nikos Kazantzakis’s fictional character Zorba the Greek called it—it is really no secret at all, it is an Open Secret. Visitors from a another planet would be baffled by the way humans behave. Our daily interactions would look to them as a Halloween party does to us: people hiding their true faces in order to look like someone else.

From - The Seekers Guide


Commentary: Lesser’s intuitive assertions are spot-on. To deny what she's stating is to deny breathing! Granted, there are some who are well aware of an occasional journey away from, and denial of reality. Sadly, there are many more who are “clueless in Seattle” when it comes to personal authenticity.

Do think about what she’s pointing to. Over time, wearing masks gets burdensome on the face and the heart. To be free of them is key to our “liberty of thought” and capacity to “live freely.”

—Bei Kuan-tu


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