Sep 19, 2020

The seeker's journey


This post is inspired by a conversation I had with a good friend this morning.

In our childhood and our 20s, we search for the "WHAT" to understand how the world works. The education we receive in schools and colleges and the skills we build during this phase satiate our appetite for information to some extent. This knowledge we gather from various sources (school, parents, family, friends, society at large, etc) creates certain perceptions, judgments, and prejudices, that eventually form our beliefs.

As we enter our 30s/40s, this search shifts from "WHAT" to "WHY". We start asking many deep questions about life, our choices, and our behaviors. What we seek gets shifted from Information/knowledge to Wisdom. In this journey of seeking, I have learned four key lessons that I wanted to share here.

(1) As we embark upon this journey, we would come across people who are wisdomous (borrowing this word from Joey's vocabulary).

Their ideas and thoughts would resonate with us strongly. We tend to be attracted to their words - intellectual attraction, if I may say so. We feel a lot inspired by reading their content, listening to their talks or just being in their presence. Sometimes, we can get carried away to such an extent that we may be under a trance (without being aware). When inspiration and admiration turn into a full-blown want of "becoming" like the other person, we start facing a lot of disappointments. It is okay to feel inspired and draw a few ideas from someone's life experiences. BUT, we can never expect ourselves to BECOME the other person. Each of us is unique, our life story is unique, our experiences and context are unique.

(2) Never take any idea you hear at plain face value. If an idea resonates with you, reflect on it, and see if it would make sense to incorporate in your life story. If it doesn't, let the idea go by or park it for later reference when the time is right. If an idea doesn't resonate with you, move on without the need to explain or defend your decision to yourself or someone else.

(3) Take inspiration and ideas from multiple people. Similar to diversifying your financial investments to manage risk, diversify your sources of inspiration to get a balanced perspective.
Instead of a single spiritual "guru", I'd prefer to get my daily dose of inspiration from multiple sources - people, books, podcasts, blogs, etc.

(4) When what is being preached and what is practiced don't match, we sense the contradiction and misalignment. We lose trust in the other person and end up feeling disappointed. This tinge of disappointment will prick harder when we had placed the person on a high pedestal and revered his/her qualities at the level of "Guru"/"God". If we consider the other person as a fellow traveler in the journey of life with certain experiences, we wouldn't even have any expectations in the first place. Just as how we are evolving, the other person is also evolving, his/her environment is also changing.

Have you had similar thoughts in your seeker journey? Do share in the comments below.

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