Chapter 1. Why Did I Pick Up This Book?
One morning we awaken, look in the mirror, and find someone whose thick dark hair, once taken for granted, now boasts an additional shade we sometimes affectionately call “ultra blonde.” That hard, lean body has miraculously grown a bit softer around the middle, and when we arise some parts just do not wake up as fast as others do. We find we have been struck with a condition that we have earned through years of strife: middle age. Again, responsibilities change, some falling away, some added on.
And as we see those years evaporate into the new environments of grandchildren and retirement, those events that once caused the hair to thin trade themselves for problems such as health, security, and even loneliness. We find our patience has grown longer and longer, and our goals are now slimmed down to realistic endeavors that do not require decades to complete.
But this incredible process called “life as we know it” can sometimes include an additional irritation. This particular annoyance can arise at any time in our lives, and with no apparent solution to its yearning. It is usually so subtle that at first we do not even recognize what the problem is. What is this troubling question with no apparent answer? It is a singular question, a wonderment that is both cruel, yet fair at the same time. That question is, “What is the meaning of my life?”
This question comes to us in a variety of forms.
“What am I doing on the planet?”
“Why is my life the way it is?”
“What am I supposed to be doing here? Is this it?”
Usually, we find this question intervening into our thoughts whenever we are going through a particularly demanding crisis. The intensity of this question is almost always directly related to the suffering we are experiencing at any given moment. The more we suffer, the louder it screams. For some of us on the planet, the question becomes so distinct and demanding that we begin to seek an answer.
At first, the search only brings additional questions like:
“What am I searching for?”
“Where do I start?”
“Can there really be more than just…….this?”
Our search leads us through myriad avenues, a multitude of solutions ranging from different physical exercises to strange cults, all promising in one way or another to satisfy our growing desire for what is usually deemed “the truth.”
Those of us who suffer from this insatiable quest find ourselves attending this meeting or that lecture, reading a book or watching some video, always seeking a certain something we simply cannot put our finger on. We know we want, we just do not know exactly what it is that we want. There is a lack, an unfulfilled… …something. The more we search, the more we attempt promised solutions for nullifying this “lack,” the more frustrated we become when the promised solution turns out to steal our time or—worse—lighten our wallets.
This book was written for all of you who know exactly what I am talking about, for those who have experienced this “lack.” If you should find yourself in the above description commonly referred to as “seekers,” then most assuredly that is the reason you have opened this book.
Seekers can be found in every social stratum. You may find them in the most horrendous of circumstances, poverty stricken, having suffered from calamities too numerous to count, or you may find them at the other end of the spectrum. How often have we heard stories of people who seemingly have everything—money, respect, possessions, friends, family—yet they have just checked themselves into a rehabilitation facility, or worse.
Often those who literally “have it all” find that in the end, they do not. In fact, they would trade all they have for something they simply cannot put their finger on. They know something is missing, but literally have no clue as to what it is. Therefore, they turn to drugs, relationships, and an array of superficial pleasures to satiate this constantly growing “lack.”
Finally, there are many of us who have not suffered a great tragedy. Certainly, most of us have had our share of suffering, but as a rule we are reasonably comfortable. We work at our daily jobs, feed and support our families, and lead “normal” lives. Yet that lack seems to tingle within, teasing and taunting us. It drives us to search, and search we do.
No matter what your situation, this book offers to help provide some of those answers you are seeking. Its aim is twofold: first, to explain the source of the lack you feel within. Second, to help you discover the solution to this feeling of lack. This world offers no fulfillment or solution to your question, and no answer to satiate your thirst, as what you lack is not available here. By “here” I am referring to the world in which you live. Your sense of lack reveals not only a lack, but a need for discovery.
This brings about the question, “What in the world needs to be discovered?” Have we not discovered just about everything there is to discover on this planet? Have we not begun to explore the heavens? Are medical miracles not being found to a huge variety of ailments every single day? Are our computers not so lightening fast already that we can communicate instantly around the world, thanks to this incredible new toy called “the internet?”
What is left to discover?
The object of discovery is a realm we do not yet occupy. It is the realm of sources, desires, feelings and thoughts. It is the realm of the Creator, and it is simply called “spirituality.”