Happiness is as fleeting and as available through so called worldly pursuits as it is through so called spiritual pursuits. In reality, the spiritual pursuit is nothing more than wisdom applied to our worldly living. Whether one seeks the state of joy through yoga or through relationships or through power or through wealth, there are times when we feel we have made it and then there are moments when we fall short of our own demands and expectations. The so called witnessing consciousness is witness to our rise and to our fall regardless of our pursuits. It is ever available and ever fleeting.
Human life is fraught with combination of joys and sorrows. A spiritual seeker’s pursuits as well as a worldly person’s aim are both congruous. They both seek to come upon a state of joy devoid of suffering by use of their faculties of body and mind and through running after a self-created or borrowed image of possibility of such an existence. Both paths are marred with frustrations of failure and of discoveries of delight. In truth, these seemingly different paths are like the many different rivers, all coalescing towards the same ocean - seemingly different and yet formed of the same origin and merging into the same eternity.
Spiritual seeker carries the pride of renouncing, the worldly person is burdened by the arrogance of accumulation. The spiritual seeker sees the latter as greedy while the former is labeled as lazy. Yet it is like the person blaming his own image in the mirror as if it were someone else.
I know joy is real since I have experienced it. I know some paths that lead to it and others away from it, which too I have experienced. I also know that no path that I have traversed thus far has succeeded at retaining joy perpetually. Sooner or later, no matter what the means, it has met its demise.
Life then is not an arrival but a journey. A journey in which there is much gained and much lost. A journey in which we learn much and unlearn a lot. A journey in which we experience the grace of togetherness and are burnt by the harshness of loneliness alike. A journey in which no matter how much we give or how much we receive, our lives continue to oscillate between the fullness of our hearts and the emptiness of our hands. A journey in which the desire to arrive is the only constant companion.
On such a journey one asks oneself what makes one carry oneself day after day. What is it to which one rises to each day and wishes to dream of every night? For some it is the a relationship, for others it is a passionate scientific or artistic pursuit, for some others it is a self created goal of achieving something that they consider meaningful. And yet there are some for whom none of these exist and yet they wake up each morning and go about their day knowing that this journey, which could end any instant, is not over yet and that, which seems to come quite easily to many, requires on their part courage drawn from the deepest core of their beings - the simple ability to place one foot in front of the other.
However, regardless of one’s disposition, the idea of finding lasting fulfillment through activity, whatever that activity might be, is as fictitious as the idea of the sun shining through the night. One may get indications of such possibility just as the moonlight validates the existence of the sun at night time. However, the indication of a thing is never the thing itself. Only in the dawning of contentment is there completeness of action. Action that spurs from a place of incompleteness fails to dispel restlessness.
When faced with an unending night one may deny the sun, ignore the moon or make other philosophical claims. Yet when the sun does dawn, words give way to silence, doubts dispel in experience, and the acute longing of a lifetime finds solace and respite. The journey continues.