Reading by Liz Helgesen (Download file)
It continually amazes me that the majority of spiritual seekers from the most affluent countries on our small planet seem to be looking for one thing above anything else: Peace. Peace? Why on earth would the luckiest people to have ever been born express their spiritual aspirations through questing for relief and release—for peace? Why are we looking for a way out of the challenge of human existence? I mean, has our lot in life really been that bad?
So why, then, are we still looking for a way out when we look to spirit? I understand that just because many of us have been graced with a high standard of living, it doesn't mean we don't suffer at an existential level. But I wonder if we haven't fallen into the habit of giving undue significance to our existential angst.
It just doesn't make sense that the experience of relief and release from the very process that produced us should be the goal of the luckiest people who have ever been born. Why not? Because the very energy and intelligence that gave us life, that produced us, needs us lucky ones to take responsibility, to wholeheartedly participate in the life process in a deeper and more authentic way than most of us ever imagined possible.
As long as the focus of our spiritual aspirations is relief and release rather than a much more profound relationship with life at the deepest level, we will never be of much use to the energy and intelligence that created us. To put it in theological terms, we will be letting God down, because we will always be seeking for a way out rather than wholeheartedly engaging with the life process, with other human beings, with our own highest potentials. As long as we are seeking peace above all else, we will never know what it means to live at the very edge of the possible. In order to be truly available to the energy and intelligence that created the universe, we do have to transcend our angst-ridden separate selves. But the motive for doing so is not so we can abide in a state of peace and freedom beyond the process. Our motive is to become passionate and egoless vehicles for its own ongoing evolution.
--Andrew Cohen, from WIE Magazine