Excerpts About Flame of the Search
Why are we in such haste to have answers? We jump on the first promise of salvation that comes. Why not stay with the question? What makes you think that salvation is the answer, that freedom is the answer? What makes you think that enlightenment is the answer? What makes you think that love is the answer? You might feel that you want these things, but how do you know that getting them is the best thing that could happen in this moment? How do you know whether you’re supposed to be dead or alive, rich or poor, free or enslaved? Is it possible to let your mind be free? I am not trying to give you an answer; I’m just giving you a question. You need to let your being be ablaze like a flame, an aspiring flame, with no preconceived ideas about what it aspires to. To be just burning intensely, deeply wanting to know, wanting to see the truth without following any preconceptions, totally in the present with the question itself, and let it burn away all the ideas, all the beliefs, all the concepts, even the ones you learned from the great teachings. If you don’t allow that flame completely, will you ever rest in your life? Will you ever rest in your life as long as you’re covering up your question, answering it before it’s really answered? Will you ever really be content with someone else’s answer?
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 6 • discuss »
The Work must be done according to your own inquiry; the Work that we do here is only a guidance. Your motivation has to be pure, real and true; your flame has to be there; otherwise you’ll use the Work for the wrong purpose. You’ll get somewhere according to an idea, but it is not necessarily where your Being would take you without constraint. You can develop this and that, become free from this and that, but how do you know whether that will fulfil your destiny? You might think you’re supposed to be more loving, or less afraid, or more comfortable, or more relaxed, or richer, or more beautiful. Maybe you are, maybe not. These are just ideas. But true questioning, sincere questioning doesn’t have a particular goal. If you think you have a goal, an end, and if you think you’re going to go there, you’ve already extinguished the flame. If you’ve told yourself you’re here because you want to be enlightened, you want to be free, you want to be loving, you want to be this or that, that means that you already know. But you don’t know, really. It’s a lie to believe that you know. It’s true that there’s a question and that you don’t know the answer—that is the truth. The most honest answer you can give to the question “Why am I here?” is that I am here because I don’t know. The truest reason for you to be here is to fan that flame of inquiry.
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 7 • discuss »
You might do some work on yourself and have a wonderful experience, a great insight or state. But how do you know that this wonderful experience is what is needed right now? How do you know that the knowledge you think you’re getting will resolve your situation? The flame must continue. The fire of inquiry needs to be fed, needs to grow, to intensify, to deepen. Our inquiry needs to be directed not at trying to reduce it, but to letting it grow. The flame needs to burn away all the rest, to grow until it answers itself by itself becoming the fulfillment. The fire of that inquiry can burn away all the dross, all the resistance, all the ideas, all the accumulation of the past so you can actually see what is really there, the whole picture in the present moment without needing to depend on anything from the past or on anyone else’s experience. When you know in the moment without any influence, then you can completely be alone with your own truth. Without that, it’s obvious that you can’t know with certainty. Only with that certainty can life become significant. If you know, for yourself, who you are, you will know where you are going, and you will be fulfilled.
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 8 • discuss »
To pursue this search, we need to be interested in the truth of our experience, unhampered by biases about what this truth might be, or even in which direction to look for it. When we sincerely desire to know the truth, we feel that our soul is on fire. We become an aspiring flame, a burning question mark. We aspire towards the truth without mentally knowing what we are searching for. This flame of the search is the soul that has awakened to its existential condition and discovered the emptiness of that condition. We know that something is amiss, and we passionately want to uncover the truth of it. In the very substance of our soul we want to find out for ourselves. The flame of the search is ignited only when we accept our unknowing, and still aspire to discover the truth of our situation. It will be dimmed, even extinguished, if we anaesthetize ourselves with the belief that we know the truth, or if we accept someone else’s explanation or teaching without discovering the truth in the intimacy of our personal experience. When we sincerely acknowledge our ignorance, because we genuinely love the truth, the flame can become a passionate and consuming fire.
The Point of Existence, p. 228 • discuss »
When we feel the desire to know our nature, we may not conceptualize that desire in those words. A flame is lit, and we experience the wish to know more, see more, be more, feel more. We want to become more consciously aware of what we internally sense to be our potential. We want to discover the depth and meaning in life and existence. As the presence of something beyond awakens in us, a desire to be close to that something also awakens; a wanting to find out about it arises. It might begin as an interest, but some sort of desire is present even in an intellectual interest. A little intellectual desire can open us up and become a draw toward experiencing what is beyond our conventional perspective. Regardless of the entry point, you will find that as your inquiry deepens, a sense of emptiness typically emerges at some point. This is an encounter with the limits of the conventional realm of experience. It is a feeling of a lack, of wanting something you don’t have, even if you don’t know exactly what it is. You start to sense that you are out of touch, and you feel a desire or drive to be in touch with something real, in touch with reality. In order to move through this experience of emptiness into a true fullness of love, we need to better understand how the ego keeps us disconnected from our true nature. So let’s go deeper in our exploration of the experience of emptiness and how it can lead us to true eros.
The Power of Divine Eros, p. 77 • discuss »
Usually, we think of excitement as similar to electric energy, but think here of electricity that has been liquefied so that it is more palpable, more substantial. The substantiality is a more condensed excitement. It is the presence of aliveness. It is life in its purest quality. Our consciousness attains a vigorous quality, as a pure sense of excitation, of aliveness. This pure sense of vital presence can infuse the love, can infuse the desire, and we can then feel that our Being is ablaze. We become a big flame, a fluid flame, a flame of liquid, a liquid that is so excited that it combusts into consciousness ablaze. It shines and radiates but the heat is comfortable; it feels wonderful. You feel that you are alive with an excitement that doesn’t agitate you; instead, it makes you feel good and happy. This type of strong energy, this intensity of aliveness, this fiery quality, is a quality of our Being that needs to be liberated so that we can experience a desire that is powerful, uncontrollable, and that expresses life instead of expressing need. That is when the divine and the instinctual become one. This quality makes it possible for the divine—which is selfless, which is pure—and the instinctual—which is animal, powerful, and more sensuous—to combine and become completely inseparable. You can no longer distinguish between “Do I love?” and “Do I want?” They are the same thing. “Do I want to give pleasure or do I want to receive pleasure?” The mind can’t even think about it. That is divine eros.
The Power of Divine Eros, p. 147 • discuss »