The blind hero

I have often wondered about Odysseus’ last words to Penelope before he left for Troy. How would the ultimate hero say farewell, how to explain the necessity to leave? It may be easier to use the excuse of duty than to explain the powerful attraction of the other side of the world, calling his name. The hero must part, sail. It cannot be helped.

I want to run, I want to hide
I wanna tear down the walls that hold me inside
I wanna reach out and touch the flame
Where the streets have no name

U2, Where the streets have no name

Uncharted territory. Or is it? Have we never been there… here? Was there a time, back in our childhood, when we really knew this world? We didn’t know how it worked but we had such presence. Then, little by little, we learnt. We started explaining a few things, we conceptualised, we developed our capacity for abstraction and complex thought, we finally ‘understood’ the world. But it had changed. It had now become grey, hostile, tasteless, and above all, it had lost its magic, its mystery. Our knowledge of the world had somehow disconnected us from it.

The essential search, to fill what is possibly the deepest human want. The quest for Truth. We try to fill the void, to find ourselves somewhere else, because we are clearly not ‘here.’

I have climbed highest mountains
I have run through the fields
[…] Only to be with you
… But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

U2, But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

Sailing away from a world where we feel estranged, only to come back and realise that that estranged world is our sea. The sea in which we must dissolve ourselves with acceptance and love. The day when fire and the rose are one at last, as in Eliot’s poem.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets, Little Gidding

When Jung started exploring his soul and asked for her guidance, all he got at first was “Wait”. He thought it a punishment, but it was the best advice he could ever receive. Wait, don’t seek, just stop. Calm your thoughts, just wait. Look. Listen with your whole body, as Jean Klein said.

We seek a truth, a self that is already here but we cannot see. And the very action of trying to become blocks our way to what we truly are.

All effort to eliminate or become is useless because the attempt is itself part of what you are trying to eliminate.

Jean Klein, I Am

Leading to a fundamental discovery: truth cannot be sought. Truth comes to you.

Only when you discard completely, through understanding, the whole structure of the self, can that which is eternal, timeless, immeasurable, come into being. You cannot go to it; it comes to you.

Jiddu Krishnamurti, The First and Last Freedom

We want, we seek. But at the end of the day, we can only be found if we stop.

Written with much love for my understanding wife, who endures my follies with an encouraging smile.

This post was inspired by this song by The Waterboys

And on that grand and fateful day
I will take thee in my hand
I will ride on a train
I will be the fisherman
With light in my head
You in my arms

The Waterboys, Fisherman’s blues