Pointless Pursuit

June 8, 2012 § 9 Comments

What I pursue eludes me.  What I treasure simply comes to me.

We lead driven lives.  Driven to succeed, driven to achieve our objectives.

We know that this way of living is stressful.  But worse yet, it is also pointless.  What we chase seems always to elude us- even when we succeed.

Whenever we separate our sense of self from the thing we chase, we create an object of our desire.  The object might be a new job, a romantic conquest, or the acquisition of some material thing.

When we don’t get that thing we covet, we of course feel a sense of failure.  But even when we do succeed, when the job comes our way or we acquire that sleek new car, it often feels less glorious than we had hoped for or imagined.   We feel unsatisfied.

Only when we stop pursuing things or external objectives do we have the chance for a sense of true fulfillment and wholeness.  The deep satisfaction that comes from a good day’s work to which we committed ourselves, the sense of connection with someone we love, those moments of real significance to us- these all simply came to us.  We didn’t target them as objectives; we didn’t grasp for them as objects.  The moments that mattered came to us because we were open, ready, and present.

And so I recall the deep sense of fulfillment in writing a passage that was true and truly put, the transcendently peaceful moments with my family on a Lake Michigan beach, the sense of spirituality that came upon me standing alone in the mist on a remote Austrian mountain.  Not objects, not achievements.  Just precious moments.

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