What we unknowingly seek is our own wholeness - to express and experience all that we are. What stands in our way of finding it? Our own childish definition of the ‘me’ who seeks it, the labels we hide behind and the priority we give comfort over curiosity.
The Stoics counsel amor fati or ‘love of fate’, while Zen and other Buddhist paths encourage the related practice of acceptance. We are regular people, you and I. I smile often, but not always. Your forehead sometimes wrinkles. We’re not ideal beings with equanimity beyond ruffling. Is acceptance possible?
The fictional notebooks of Harry Haller, aka Steppenwolf, reveal the brilliant but troubled mind of a man on a journey of integration — integrating his dark, animal aspects into a fuller version of himself and integrating as a spirited individual in the maddening bourgeois world of Weimar Germany. Harry’s battle to reconcile freedom and connection contains lessons for any seeker.
Don Miguel Ruiz, a Toltec sage, is most famous for The Four Agreements. I draw here on another of his works, The Mastery of Love, which focuses more on relationships. I found it full of wisdom that reaches deeper than my relation to others, shedding light on the most important relationship — mine with myself.