The hidden nature of almost all that we do on a collective basis is the direct, but unseen, effect of this one great unconscious desire: to search out what we believe will complete us, drawing us to seek "greener pastures" by the deft touch of its magnetic hand, but never allowing us to rest.
Over countless ages untold billions of us have answered nature's "call" -- much in the same way as a leaf says "yes" to the wind that carries it away. Yet, what do we receive in return for our faithful, if unquestioned consent? We're provided with a fragile, deceptive contentment; our reward is a momentary sense of fulfillment that, in most cases, passes from sight as soon as do the temporary conditions that provided it for us.
Fortunately, for those who seek to discover the truth behind this almost inconsolable discontent, every now and then certain individuals appear who see things as they are...
I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I got me servants and maidens. I gathered me also silver and gold. So I was great more than all that were before me. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun. -- Ecclesiastes, Old Testament (250-180 BCE)
He alone knows himself in the best way possible who thinks of himself as being nothing. -- St. John Chrysostom (347-407, Greece)
If you wish to grow in your spiritual life, you must not allow yourself to be caught up in the workings of the world; you must find time alone, away from the noise and confusion, away from the allure of power and wealth. -- Thomas a' Kempis (1379-1471, Germany)
Weakness is very painful, but also very useful. While any self-love remains, you are afraid that it will be discovered. As long as the least bit of self-love remains in the secret parts of your heart, God will hunt it down, and, by some infinitely merciful blow, force your selfishness and jealousy out of hiding. The poison then becomes the cure. Self-love, exposed to the light, sees itself in horror. The flattering lifelong illusions you have held of your self are forced to die. God lets you see who you really worship: yourself. -- Francois Fenelon (1651-1715, France)
The man who seeks one thing in life, and but one, may hope to achieve it before life be done; but he who seeks all things, wherever he goes, only reaps from the hopes which around him he sows a harvest of barren regrets. -- Robert Bulwer-Lytton (1831-1891, England)
In humility is the greatest freedom. As long as you have to defend the imaginary self that you think is important, you lose your peace of heart. As soon as you compare that shadow with the shadows of other people, you lose all joy, because you have begun to trade in unrealities, and there is no joy in things that do not exist. -- Thomas Merton (1915-1968, France)
There is a storehouse of Sanity,
A vault of Love,
A treasure of Kindness,
All bursting at their seams.
Can't you feel the pressure
To just be Light?
Don't the walls of your heart
Ache to break loose and open
The floodgates of Freedom?
You have riches untold,
But have lost the map to the upper regions of yourself
Where you are always overflowing.
So, forget this world with its intermittent streams
Whose waters begin and end.
Search out the Ocean, and stand in Her surge
Until the waves wash away the shores of your soul. '
-- Guy Finley (1949)