Pre-word: A real meditator is a continuously seeking soul and lives as a seer rather than a preacher. An inside-out view is preferred based on experiences rather than an outside-in view, based on borrowed knowledge.
We all have an intrinsic curiosity to know about our roots, and their relation to the vast existential reality in which we are born, we live, and we die. This curiosity transforms a being into a seeker—one who intends to seek the truth. Many great seeker souls worked hard to explore their curiosity and attained “meaning and realization.” In this way, a seeker became a seer—one who sees the truth as it is. The seers translated their experiences into languages understood by others, which helped other seekers in their own search for meaning, and provided motivation.
On the other hand, many more beings with a mindset of a market projected this intrinsic curiosity as a well-defined “need,” and organized paths in the form of organizations, cults, groups, and religions to fulfill it. In doing so, well-established maps were formulated by the respective organizations with a defined end-result. With a specific and known end-result provided by organizations, the seeker and seer framework got twisted into new forms. The forms were further reformed into various forms by the cunning blades of social blenders.
Curiosity became a marketable need, a seeker became a follower, and exploration became navigation. Human beings are more or less conditioned with this change now. But in this change, the seer is missed out as one who sees the truth as it is. Instead, a new role as a preacher is born, one who speaks as learned. This model is more prevalent in today’s society. Also, this type of becoming or change opened opportunities for scholars, pundits, and orators who themselves may not be either seekers or seers but became the best preachers of the navigation tools. They are accepted as a proxy for seers by the followers.
Of course, this modern operating model brought a significant change to being’s exploration efforts. Earlier the curious seeker used to explore the truth and became a seer. The direct realization was of prime importance. Now, organizations arrange the propaganda to create a need in the market and make followers who navigate through organizational paths to becoming what is unclear.
For example, Gautama, the Buddha, was intrinsically curious to know the root cause of human suffering. He became a seeker and worked hard to explore human suffering and became a seer and saw the root cause of suffering experientially, and its truth as i t is known. Thereupon, he came up with four noble truths about life and suffering and helped humanity. Whereas, in the second case, a being becomes a follower of established paths, enacts the truth as it is told to experience a predefined and suggested end result. The power of suggestion and its obedience is valued more than exploration.
Therefore, in today’s age, we must examine our efforts of self-reflection through the lenses of the two models. The true yardstick is our own attitude, guiding your efforts for it.
In the seeker-seer model, the seeker has a high degree of curiosity, sensitivity, receptivity, and self-discipline. He/she seeks clarity based on first-hand experiences than intellectualization; in fact, theoretical manipulation is avoided. Thus, lives adventurous, reasonable, and truthful to oneself. And, because the seeker is himself or herself responsible for practicing the right discipline, it is easier to eliminate the meaningless and unnecessary complications at a personal level and live a simple, yet profound life. The simplicity allows the seeker to focus energy to expand his or her awareness during an experience in the present moment. Thus, a wisdom-driven approach is embraced. Finally, a seer is discovered.
On the contrary, in a follower-navigation path model, the follower strives to achieve the given end-state goals; therefore, learning and working by the given methods to become fit to fill the defined gaps is desirable. The assumption is that if it is working for others, it should work for me. A follower’s faith and acceptability are valued more than his or her individuality and reasoning. Rejection of unnecessary norms and rituals is difficult for individual followers because it is not in their discretion. Moreover, freedom is regulated. However, a known and organized path gives more security and a social company that could provide for other social needs as well, and this makes it convenient and beneficial. But this social aspect of followership can lead followers into confused or conflicting situations. For example, in liberal societies, with so many competing and compelling paths, a follower can be confused about which one to choose, whereas, in conservative societies, paths can conflict with each other leading to hatred. Religious intolerance is not a hidden secret. Sooner or later, social power takes a central position because organizations grow through followers and become power centers to influence and engage with other factors like national, economic, and political interests. Eventually, they may lose their original purpose for establishment. The knowledge-driven approach is embraced. Knowledge becomes a sort of a commodity of organized factories. Finally, a follower is tailored.
Any sane and sincere person who has curiosity would wonder about these operating models.
Excerpt from the book: O Beloved: Being, Becoming and Beyond, Chapter: Bodhi and Pilgrim’s caves
Author: Shunya Pragya