Insight from Michael Brown’s Alchemy of the Heart
Have you any idea how many people embark on what they call a “spiritual journey,” and yet years later—even decades later—they are still seeking something that will finally fulfill them?
A great many “seek,” and yet they admit they don’t find.
Lots of spiritual practices engaged in, books read, talks listened to, even retreats attended, but the gnawing sense that something is missing persists.
On page 9 of Alchemy of the Heart, Michael Brown puts his finger on what’s going on when people seek but don’t find:
We are all seeking the answers to our deepest questions in the same manner. We are searching according to the means of perception we currently have available to us—by examining various material aspects of our physical experience, making mental inquiry through our thoughts, and examining the thoughts of others.
The reason literally millions are still searching for that elusive “something,” despite all the different avenues they have explored, is that they are looking in the wrong places.
Become still for just a moment, and ask yourself:
Am I at rest within? Am I fulfilled? Or is there still a restlessness, a searching going on in me?
If you don’t feel wholly joyous, peaceful, and satisfied—if you aren’t truly fulfilled, but feel even a tad of emptiness and longing—then have you looked for what you are seeking in the one place it can be found?
If you are still looking for something in your world to complete you, or for a manner of thinking that will enable you to feel fulfilled, or looking to some other person for your happiness—whether a romantic partner or a spiritual teacher—fulfillment will continue to elude you.
As Michael explains:
We conveniently search for what is within us where it cannot be found—outside of ourselves.
Perhaps you say to yourself, “But I’ve searched inside myself, and I still feel unfulfilled.”
Exactly where and what did you search for inside yourself?
That’s a topic we’ll take up next time.
*Editor's note: The Compassionate Eye appears several days a week. Eckhart Tolle's second books The Power of Now, Stillness Speaks, and A New Earth speak about being “present” in our life. Now Michael Brown, author of The Presence Process (in book form and downloadable audio) shows us precisely how to become present in Alchemy of the Heart. To go more deeply into living in the present moment in an ongoing state of consciousness, especially as it relates to being true to ourselves in our relationships with others, also join us in the daily blog Consciousness Rising.