Seek and ye shall find; Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
What does it mean to be a seeker? Where does this seeking come from? How and when will we find what we are seeking? Most important, what are we seeking?
Our soul is seeking God, its source. The door we are knocking on, the door we need to knock on – is within. Although we spend lifetimes looking outside, what we are seeking is inside of us. That urge to seek within is created by God, the source of all. Seeking is created by that which is sought.
Seeking has many stages and aspects. It’s similar to a puzzle – a puzzle of life, or lifetimes, that starts with an urge to seek something more, something higher, which takes us round and round until we give up trying to make sense of it all through our intellect, and turn to the wisdom of our spirit. The urge that activates spiritual seeking leads us to question why we are here and to bravely acknowledge and explore the loneliness that creates a deep void within. We are pulled and pushed to seek and be open to answers.
Maharaj Charan Singh discusses this urge as quoted in Living Meditation:
This constant feeling of loneliness and missing something is in reality the hidden unquenched thirst and craving of the soul for its Lord. It will always persist as long as the soul does not return to its ancient original home and meet its Lord. Only then will it get true contentment and eternal peace. This feeling has been purposefully put in the heart of man.
There is a hunger in every human heart which nothing can satisfy or appease – a hunger for something more. The well-known head of the Theosophical Society in the 20th century, Mr. G. de Purucker, wrote in his Golden Precepts of Esotericism: “It is a nostalgia of the soul, of the spirit-soul of man. The source of this longing is the homesickness brought about by the soul-memory of our spiritual abode from whence we came and towards that which we are now on our return journey.”
Seeking consists of both longing and intuition. From deep within ourselves, we are searching for something, while at the same time, something within ourselves is guiding us, and knows where we are headed. Through our seeking, we discover that our calling for him is really his calling for us. He places the desire within us. Kabir is quoted as saying:
Is held in its pod,
Of the source
The deer wanders
All over the forest
In its search!
The Holy One too
We are of Him!
The Vision of Kabir: Love Poems of a 15th Century Weaver
We try to fill the deep feeling of loneliness inside of us through various worldly means. We use our intellect to seek answers, but it doesn’t work. We must go beyond the mind and the intellect to reach the Lord. The spiritual journey starts at the eye centre, above the mind. When we truly surrender, that’s when we cry out for God. Then from the depths of our being, we are ready to relinquish our illusion of control and surrender to the Lord.
Saints long to share the love of the Lord. In Tales of the Mystic East we are told that Shams-i-Tabriz, the great Persian saint, prayed earnestly to the Lord, “O Lord, please bring me some dear friend of yours to be my companion, to whom I may recite the tale of love, and with whom I may share the agonies of divine separation and the joys of union.” The Lord answered his prayer and led him to Konya, the home of a renowned and celebrated scholar called Maulvi Rum, known today throughout the world as the mystic Rumi. Shams met Rumi when he was studying priceless manuscripts that supposedly held divine mysteries, which Rumi said were far beyond Sham’s comprehension. Shams simply smiled and said nothing. He then stepped forward, took the manuscripts from Rumi’s hands and threw them into a nearby lake. Although Rumi was shocked and horrified at the loss of his beloved manuscripts, he did not get angry. Instead he asked Shams why he threw the manuscripts into the water. Shams merely smiled, put his hands in the water, and brought out the manuscripts undamaged. Rumi immediately realized that what he was seeking would not be found in books and quickly became Sham’s steadfast companion and eventually experienced the joy of union with the Divine.
Saints come to lead us away from the illusion of this world. But just like Rumi before he met Shams-i-Tabriz, most of us have very little or no experience with a reality beyond this illusion. We hold on to preconceived notions and concepts that ensnare us in this external illusion. It is only when we seek and find a living Master and follow his guidance that our soul will be released and return to its true home.