Seeking and inquiry

Some folks seem to reject inquiry because they see it as seeking, and – apparently – seeking is bad 🙂

For me, a few different things comes up for me around this:

Inquiry mainly helps me see how my mind operates. It helps me see how my mind creates its own experience of the world.

Inquiry helps me release or soften seeking. I get to see how what I seek, and the lack I perceive in myself or my life is created by my own mind. This tends to soften the seeking, and sometimes it even falls away.

Inquiry helps me find peace with what’s here, whatever it is. It helps me see that it doesn’t need to change. In these cases, I seek – to some extent – finding peace with what’s here, or some form of resolution that comes from seeing more clearly what’s here.

Sometimes, I do inquiry because I notice I suffer and I know from experience that I suffer because I don’t see very clearly what’s here. Inquiry helps me see more clearly what’s here, and there is less suffering, and sometimes it falls away completely. In these cases, I seek a relief from suffering, I may seek some sort of resolution. And that seems OK too. It seems very natural and very human. It’s even kind.

Seeking seems to be a natural part of human life. Right now, I seek to write this. Just before, I sought to eat (a very delicious) dinner. Soon, I’ll seek to sleep. When I do inquiry, it’s often out of curiosity to see what’s there, so there is a seeking to see what’s there. Humanity wouldn’t exist, and wouldn’t survive, without seeking. Of course, heavy handed seeking creates suffering. And inquiry helps me soften the seeking so it becomes milder and often more playful.

When I hear people rejecting inquiry because they see it as fueling seeking, I can see their point. Inquiry can indeed be used to seek something, and it can fuel seeking. And yet, that’s only if inquiry is not applied to explored that seeking. If it is, we get to see how the ideas of something to seek and of a lack are created, and that seeking tends to be more transparent, and perhaps soften or fall away. Also, it may not appear as a problem anymore.

Also, it brings to mind how nondual ideas can be made into an ideology or a religion, and even used in a “good” vs “bad” fashion. It’s good to not seek, and bad to seek…! Of course then we seek not to seek, so the seeking is still alive and well, just applied in a different way than most of us applies it.

Idealism is often just another way to try to find safety, and it comes with it’s own shadow side.

It is curious to me why seeking would be seen as bad. Is it because it shows we are unenlightened or unclear? If so, what’s so wrong about that? It seems that empathy and kindness would be more helpful. Is it because seeking can create suffering? That’s clearly true, and yet it also depends on how heavy or light handed that seeking is.

As I mentioned above, to me, it’s far more interesting to see how my mind creates the dynamics around seeking, including the idea of something to seek and a deficiency in me or my life. And at least for now, inquiry is the best tool I have found to explore that.

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