We are all seeking something in life. Whether it’s a meaningful job, loving partner, abundant finances, or creating a meaningful impact in the world, every human being is hardwired to look for fulfillment. We all yearn for that something – which we believe will bring us the happiness, joy, or satisfaction promised in our minds eye.
What we fail to see is – we give those things meaning. We unknowingly project ideas that we are so convinced are real that the object takes on whatever associated story we give it. That projection can be deeply unconscious because of our inherent belief that associates an object with psychological qualities. However, things in and of themselves have no inherent nature. Our mind-based reality is but a product of numberless associations and labels that we have taken to be reality.
The seemingly beginning-less search for satisfaction, originates from a single thought – that ‘I am a limited individual.’ Though this is not a verbal thought, all self identified thoughts contain it – as this is the root from which all desires sprout.
Desire arises from the need for self-completion. We feel inherent lacking, and thus we begin the long search seeking something for which we might connect with.
Our life quest is truly a search for self-completion. In a state of misunderstanding we project onto the world of objects qualities that we associate to be positive and negative and thereby push or pull toward or away from the world of objects depending upon our experience of them. Our experience thus becomes one of avoiding pain and seeking to acquire pleasure.
There is some engrained belief within the psyche that if I can have sustained experience of pleasure, I will be happy. This subliminal thought prompts us to follow our desire not only for luxurious goods, expensive clothes, and fine foods but all forms of pleasure. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with having objects, it is the psychological story or the association that exists which is the cause of suffering.
The nature of consciousness is that it takes on the form of whatever object is in front of it. Just like a crystal placed near a red cloth takes on the red of the cloth, so to do we – under a moment of mistaken identity –mistake ourselves to be the object of perception that arises in the minds eye. The mistaken notion creates a sense of grasping or attachment, which the mind manipulates so that it fits our preference.
In a state of forgetfulness, we identify ourselves so closely with the world around us that we momentarily forget who we are. Our consciousness takes on whatever form the world presents itself and in a state of absent-mindedness it completely identifies itself with the object so tightly that we feel that the object contains something worth acquiring. And in that moment of forgetfulness not realizing that – we give it light. It is because of our light that the objects in the world appear. And it is that light which is the source of all that we truly seek.