In search of the search

I sometimes have the feeling that I talk and discuss ‘the Search’ more than I actually search. As if I were discussing the pros and cons of each strategy to climb the Everest without actually taking a step up. Or maybe the Matterhorn. After all, I’m an introvert and I wouldn’t like to find myself up there in a queue having to chit-chat with all those people, even if that’s possibly the only place in the world where talking about the weather actually matters.

Following the recommendation of Marie Louise von Franz (who trained with Jung), I now write down all the dreams I can remember, which by now are 2-3 per week. I look for symbolic language in individual dreams, but I’ve found that it works best when I look at dreams in series, rather than individually. The ‘film’ may change, but the underlying theme is often repeated over several weeks.

I used to dream of frantic searches in cities, in malls. Always looking for something I had forgotten, something I needed to find, something I needed to change. I could feel the anxiety of not getting there on time, the frustration. I always interpreted this as a reflection of my failure in my personal search. Until one day I wondered whether, instead, these dreams were trying to make a statement. Maybe they were not telling me ‘You’re not getting there’. I already knew this. Dreams don’t tell what you’re already aware of.

In these dreams I never made it to my goal. I never found whatever I was looking for. I woke up before that happened. This, of course, was not a coincidence. I find my dreams are usually very well timed and are seldom ‘interrupted’ by an alarm. I always wake up a couple of minutes before. So, my failure to find was not due to an interruption before I could complete my task. Maybe what they were trying to say is that this is not a task that can be completed, that there is nothing to complete, nothing to be found.

In the dreams I walked, sometimes ran. Now, from my privileged view point, they look like a treadmill. I can see the street running under my feet, but it is always the same spot. No matter how much I advance, I am always running in circles. Or rather, I am not moving.

There is no end of the rainbow. There is no goal. All I have to do is to stop. Do nothing.

The search that is not a search. Stop. Sit down. Leave Sisyphus alone. Don’t push the rock back up again. It is a cycle. You will never get there. Look under your feet. You are already there. You were already here on the first day and you will be here on the last day too.

There is nothing to be found except the search itself. There is no answer. The only aim was to find the question.

When someone is searching, then it might easily happen that the only thing his eyes still see is that what he searches for, that he is unable to find anything, to let anything enter his mind, because he always thinks of nothing but the object of his search, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed by the goal. Searching means: having a goal. But finding means being free, being open, having no goal. You, oh venerable one, are perhaps indeed a searcher, because, striving for your goal, there are many things you don’t see, which are directly in front of your eyes.

Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

I cannot get ‘there’. I am already ‘there’, ‘here’. They are both the same place. There is nothing else than ‘here’. If there is nowhere to go, there is no future. Only today. Only now and here. Sitting on top of a question feels a bit like sitting on the Iron Throne, with all those sharpened swords making you uneasy.

To find the mountain, not to climb it. To enter it. To enter the question and deconstruct it, see all its pieces, its words, floating in a yellowish air, from within. Of course, there is no answer.

The search dreams were never about finding. They were just stating that I was running on a treadmill, going nowhere. Now, once the message has been received, those dreams are gone. I have others, though. One step at a time.