As of late, I have found myself in a mad search to connect. With what I have yet to determine. I imagine that it ultimately will be with myself. But what I have discovered on this journey in the meantime is that one has to listen. One has to be observant…be quiet so as to be able to hear the promptings of the Spirit. The state of search is a fascinating and even daunting world in which I have found myself alone for the most part. It requires detachment from the ways of comfort and convenience. It calls for courage and a willingness to be adventurous…to have all of your notions challenged. At times I find myself confronted by my own presumptions about how things should be and my vision of and for myself is radically altered. Why would I want to do this you might ask? It is because it is time for me to take inventory. To break the habits that I have become so comfortable with over the years and seek to live a life full of vitality…fully self expressed in the world…saying “no” when I mean “no” and “yes” when I mean “yes.”
I was recently listening to the music of Donny Hathaway (check him out when you get a chance). Even in his tragically short time on this planet, he burned with an intensity that many artists only dream of. In his music you hear all of who he was and when he is done singing you are emotionally exhausted after him having taken you to church, to the slums, or to the most intimate and dark recesses of his heart. This I believe is the result of a life examined, reflected upon and lived. In his music you feel the pain of love. You see the shattered dreams haunting the ghetto. You drink from the heavenly fountain of life as he weaves all of himself colorfully through his compositions. He was a seeker of soul…an adventurer, artist, and mystic.
This is what a little time in the Valley of Search can produce. It is worth the painful, lonely trip through the cave of rigorous self examination to come out on the other side refreshed, purified, clear…fearless. I leave you with a few words….
One must, then, read the book of his own self, rather than some treatise on rhetoric. Wherefore He hath said, “Read thy Book: There needeth none but thyself to make out an account against thee this day.”  [1 Qur'án 17:15.]
The story is told of a mystic knower, who went on a journey with a learned grammarian as his companion. They came to the shore of the Sea of Grandeur. The knower straightway flung himself into the waves, but the grammarian stood lost in his reasonings, which were as words that are written on water. The knower called out to him, “Why dost thou not follow?” The grammarian answered, “O Brother, I dare not advance. I must needs go back again.” Then the knower cried, “Forget what thou didst read in the books of Sibavayh and Qawlavayh, of Ibn-i-Hajib and Ibn-i-Malik,  and cross the water.” [1 Famed writers on grammar and rhetoric.] 52
The death of self is needed here, not rhetoric:
Be nothing, then, and walk upon the waves.  [1 The Mathnavi.]
(Baha’u'llah, The Four Valleys, p. 51)
Free yo’ self…Ascend!