Excerpt About Seeking

Seeking Something Other than Essence

Let us look at the nature of ignoble suffering from the perspective of Essence. Suffering always arises when you are out of contact with Essence or seeking something other than Essence. If you value anything—husbands, wives, children, girlfriends, parents, jobs, money, sports, cars, anything at all —over what is true in you, there is suffering. Automatically, that movement outwards (seeking satisfaction from external reality) wounds you. It is a wound to your heart. It is not that the factors of our external lives or our human desires are antithetical to our Work. Like everything else, they can be respected and understood for what they are. But if they come before Essence, there will be suffering, pain, frustration, and anger. It is important to understand this; it is not easy to see things this way. When we begin to work on ourselves and to know our essence, we are usually not doing it for the sake of Essence itself, but with hopes for getting this or that—to become more beautiful, more loving, more “spiritual,” to get people to like us. You might believe that if you develop your essence, you’ll get a better mate or have more money. If you’re working from that perspective, who’s doing it? Who’s acting? It’s not Essence. It’s your unconscious, so it will automatically bring suffering. The posture itself is a posture of deficiency, which is always a posture of pain. The body will automatically contract, be wounded. It will lose its joy and happiness.

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