Solomon’s visual of the futility of “chasing after the wind” from Ecclesiastes is on my mind this afternoon. Things feel a little futile right now: sending the next round of politicians to Washington DC; artists producing amazing works that most of the culture will miss because of their distracted minds; another school year cranking up with the outdated unilateral teaching model still dominating. And more.
Everything withers and fades away. Some major religions seek to salve the open wounds of ambiguity by wrapping everything into a tight metaphysical bundle; but this, too, feels like pursuing the elusive gusts. The more self-styled prophets proclaim the answers have been attained, the more questions proliferate like a pound of corks spilled into a river.
Nearly all of us are striving for something beyond what is here now. Once achieved, another quest will consume us, and then yet another. Still, the heart remains a lonely and restless hunter.
In response to all of this, what is happening to me is the gradual dissolution of all expectations of arriving at some final place or “becoming” something. Transcending such reactive behavior is a deepening hunger to learn and understand; not in order to achieve or accomplish something valued by the material world (although these could be temporary by-products) and hence fulfill Solomon’s tragic warning, but to simply penetrate the wonder of divine consciousness unfurled.
To “love God,” as Solomon concludes to be the greatest purpose of all, is to not limit his expression within in an utterly creative universe. To be willing to learn is the flowering of compassion, and compassion is as tangible as love gets in this sphere.