Seeking Something To Seek [Pt. 1]
Then, knowing what is what, seeing as clearly as possible, and conscious of not knowing more than we actually do, we act, make a move, take a stand, take a chance.
- Jon Kabat-Zinn`d
I’ve been thinking a lot about truth lately.
And I don’t mean the opposite of lies. I mean the ability to actually see the world in front of us untouched by bias or even self.
The search for truth through the muddled lens of perception is no easy feat. And because the knowledge hungry mind is a restless mind, the satisfaction with gaining insight via books and podcasts wasn’t cutting it for my brain anymore. Instead, I was afflicted with a wanderlust that could only be satiated by getting up and going.
I know, ‘Wanderlust’ has become a buzzterm degraded by overuse as an Instagram hashtag…but it really is accurate. It’s a craving so visceral that I didn’t just want to travel…
I needed to.
And whether it was out of convenience or something more ethereal, this tug I felt was not without direction. And the inner compass was pointing directly to the Baha’i temple.
[David, I know you know what I’m talking about, but Julia — the Bahai temple is this giant, Arabic-looking intricate house of worship overlooking lake Michigan in downtown Wilmette — not terribly far from the coffee shop I took you to. It’s the only one of its kind for all of North America.]
I’m still not quite sure why I felt such a strong need to go to the Baha’i temple now. I’ve seen this place a million times, to the point that what is an incredibly beautiful structure has become commonplace. It was always just one of those landmarks that qualified as a ‘place I should visit someday’ rather than a trip I’ve had any interest in actually taking.
And yet here I was, riding a train there, cramming as much knowledge as I could about the Baha’i religion into my brain in 30 minutes.
I’ve had this obsession with religion recently, mainly Buddhism. I’m definitely not seeking God or the solace that religion offers some people. But it fascinates me that humans all exist through their own lens of beliefs as if it’s the truth. It’s as if everyone is living in their own bubble of truth, dictated by how they grew up, what their biases are, etc.
And that’s made me wonder — is there such a thing as truth if it’s all so individually malleable?
It’s a concept I’ve struggled with grasping in my own life. The past few years, I’ve experienced this push and pull between seeing what is and seeing the false anxious realities my brain cooks up as ‘fact.’ Being creative and having as much anxiety as I do are as cohesive as they are mutually destructive. Anxiety stifles my ability to create as much as my creativity fuels the anxiety. And on and on it goes.
But as I read up on the fact that the Baha’i faith preaches equality of man, unity, and existing under the same one spiritual entity — if there is one — I realized that the Baha’i religion has more clarity than any religion I’ve previously known about.
In other words, it’s a faith revolving around truth…or as much truth as is possible in religion.
I wasn’t going to Baha’i seeking some answer or to find myself or anything like that. After all, the mindfulness and meditation techniques I’ve been studying in Buddhism urge you not to try it with the intention of finding some Nirvana or spiritual upliftment or anything at all, really other than simply being. Expectations only set you up for disappointment.
I was simply seeking truth, and to be in a place that preaches it and offers some potential to understand it…if it even exists.
I was seeking something to seek.
So call it a soul-search that isn’t seeking any kind of answer, but rather to find unity with truth in a place that preaches unity of man.