We all look for answers outside of ourselves at times. We look in books, follow spiritual gurus, seek truth in relationships, religions and elsewhere. Sometimes we go back, reread, review and rehash things over and over agin. Why? Did we actually learn? Were the answers we found not good enough? Did they not fill our need? Perhaps we just need to remind ourselves or experience it multiple times in order to enter it into our long-term memory. These are things we can only reflect on and answer for ourselves.
We may just have an innate desire to seek and explore. For myself, I know this is true. I love to explore. This exploration may be physical, intellectual or spiritual. This is true even in my 20 year relationship with my spouse. The more I explore the more I learn. The more I learn, the better suited I am to adapt to current going ons around me. The thing is this exploration never ends and can spin out of control. I know people who have allowed their exploration of religion, martial arts or spiritual paths to literally ruin their lives financially, physically, emotionally or any combination thereof.
There comes a point we simply have to slow down, stop and listen to the voice within. This voice can help us understand where we are in our explorations, provide caution or simply a friendly encouragement. This voice is often quelled by the noises of the world. These noises may be our responsibilities, our desires to explore, our yearnings to connect or one of the myriad distractions available to us. It’s important to stop and listen. By listening I mean using all of our senses and perceptions to reflect on where we are and where our present path is taking us. The inner voice can tell us whether we are on track to create the world we truly want or not. The communication may come from our previous self and what we did learn. It may come from our future self we yearn to be. Or, it may simple be a reminder to listen to the feedback we are not receiving externally. The important thing is to slow down, listen, and be open to both internal and external feedback.
This reminds me of the story Joseph Campbell used to tell in his lectures about a young man who was told by his guru, “You are Brahman. you are God.” The young man meditated on this and had the experience, “I am God.” Drawn within himself the young man goes for a walk. Through the village he went. Coming down the road was a great elephant with a driver on his head. The young man thought, “I am God” and didn’t get out of the way of the elephant. The driver shouted, “Get out of the way you lunatic!” The young man looked at the elephant and said to himself, “I am God and the elephant is God. Should God get out of the way of God?” The moment of truth came when the elephant wrapped his trunk around the young man and tossed him aside. The young man went back to his guru now deflated and explained the situation. The Guru smiled and said, “Why didn’t you listen to the voice of God telling you to get out of the way?”
I probably butchered the story, but the intent is there. It’s important to listen to both internal and external voices to avoid the truth of reality tossing us to the side and away from our path.