A spiritual seeker usually begins by looking for answers outside himself. Many seekers become discouraged because they don’t find there what they are seeking. What they often find is other people who claim to have answers, but may have none.
The world outside ourselves is a reflection of our own inner world, and when we first begin to seek the spiritual truth, we are full of confusion, false information and many other obstacles. So when we seek the truth outside ourselves, we experience a reflection of what is closest to the surface inside ourselves.
The seeker’s quest is like a labyrinth, the maze of winding paths that intersect at unpredictable places. At each crossing of paths there is room for pause and contemplation, but the figure of the labyrinth is all movement, all change and exploration. The labyrinth has no single, fixed center – rather a kind of magnetic center that sifts as the journey shifts. Mysteriously and often elusively, each winding path leads toward the heart of the design, a movable center located wherever the seeker is exploring at any moment. At each crossing within the maze there is a kind of mandala, a point to rest the gaze and take bearings. But like the looking glass in Alice’s adventure, each mandala is merely a membrane, and in going through it, the seeker plunges on again along the winding track of the labyrinth. – John Lash, The Seeker’s Handbook, p. xi.
Beneath all the internal debris – hidden away – is our True Self. But in the beginning, we don’t remember this and we are only aware of a passionate desire to seek and of the illusions that are reflections of our own inner confusions.
Successful “seeking” requires dedication to the task, and many difficulties arise as if to test our resolve. For some seekers, it takes a long time to connect with someone who can show you a glimmer of the true you within.
Sometimes one gets frustrated and ready to give up this search just before one is ready to make this connection. At that point, the seeker will meet someone who actually can point the way to where the seeker actually wants and needs to go.
The person who points the way is usually called teacher or guru – one who takes us from spiritual darkness of ignorance to light or to the knowledge of the Self.
Ιn this section we will collectively attempt to recognize and bring forward such milestones, signs and threads drawn from the experiences each of us might have in order to help each other find their way to the center of the labyrinth and the truth hidden therein.