Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Eternally on the path

Man is the seeking animal. And having been pretty successful at seeking nuts and berries, and then fish and beast, and then money in all its denominations, he set upon the quest for something that would forever frustrate him, so that he would not contradict his own seeking nature. That Holy Grail was nothing less than absolute, total fulfillment. But the quest for that perfect state, which has defined our religious and spiritual yearnings for so many centuries, comes fraught with peril. Greater even than the risk of failure, or of falling into the many nets of pain and disillusion that dot the path, is the risk of succeeding. For then what will the seeking animal do if it can no longer seek? Luckily, there is an almost foolproof defense against success, and that is the fixed idea in the mind that success is impossible. Even then, however, events may conspire to thwart one's most cherished belief that the final goal, if it is worthy of attainment, cannot be attained. What a profound disappointment it must be for the seeker to suddenly find that game, set, and match are over, and that he must relinquish his burnished ideals for the simple reality of who and what he is.

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