CHOICE MAKES THE SEEKER

In his 1966 essay, The Search and the Seeker, Greenleaf suggests that there are two kinds of seekers: those who seek to find and those who seek to seek.  The first see the search as a path toward finding something they want. . . .The search will be over.  The others are interested in the search.  . . .The search gives them joy.  They do not expect ever to settle down; instead they hope to grow.  These descriptions represent tendencies rather than clear types, tendencies shape choices, and choice makes the seeker.  Choice marks off the search from fantasy.  It is the choice to find one’s way in a direction that has no way, no clear path to a destination.  It is the choice that does not name a goal. [p.1]

What I choose, then, defines the type of seeker I am.  What else, besides tendencies shapes my choices?  Greenleaf was influenced by the poems of Robert Frost and this passage reminds me of Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken.  I am also reminded of Pablo Casals.  He continues to be considered the world’s greatest cellist.  When he was in his eighties he was interviewed by a journalist.  Arriving at Casal’s residence he was told that the great artist was just finishing up his daily, four hour, practice session.  The interviewer was astounded.  His first question to Casals was: Why do you continue to practice, you are the world’s greatest cellist already?  Casals responded: I need to continue to grow in order to improve.  Here was a person on a ‘search,’ not a person on a ‘find.’  Gentle Reader, when do you choose to be on a search ‘in order to find’ and when do you choose to be on a search ‘in order to be simply experience the wonder and joy of the search’? 

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