If you are searching
you must not stop
until you find.
When you find, however,
you will be troubled.
Your confusion will give way to wonder.
In wonder you will reign over all things.
Your sovereignty will be your rest.
The First Response:
I admit it.
I want to go to the last line first--
impatience is the tone of my age after all,
Delicious and guilty-dubious at once.
Maybe a pregnant restlessness is part of silence.
Searching and finding never seems to fill,
trouble and reigning sound tiring,
so yes, I’m already wondering,
can I learn to walk a path in a way that does not
anticipate an end
The Journey through Logos:
I have always been intrigued with the energy informing our first impulse to search at all. In the Gospel of Thomas that energy might be seen as the ripples we continue to ride with that first act of creation, the Word and the only I AM vibrating in us, calling us again to the expedition.
In a way, this second Logion shows how we are called to explore the mansion that Yeshua has gone ahead to prepare for us as portrayed in the Gospel of John. It anticipates that mythical place of many way-station rooms standing ready for our ever ripening souls. The curiosity to explore, to create, to deeply understand, fuels an inquiry with definite signposts or stations laid out in this saying: search, find, trouble, reign, and rest. It also includes the silence that echoes the first great silence, before the OM of creation, the pregnant womb that will ensure the journey will begin again, continually. That silence may be seen as the in-breath before the cycle of ripening begins.
Yeshua plays with words here, though. His understanding of search, find, trouble, reign, rest and silence will purposefully tip the ground beneath us, asking us to look ahead into a creative frame of reference instead of merely getting ground beneath our feet. Even when he uses the word “stand” through-out this Gospel, the Coptic actually means something like “stand as a preparation to move”. In this, perhaps, the modern reader can feel the same energy as the Buddha, whose itinerant lifestyle echoed the very message that there is never a stopping point on this journey. The caravan moves on, eternally.
If I am sensitive to the call to relationship, it is here in this logion both implicitly and explicitly. Part of our search is typically relating to the words, writings, rituals and practices of others. Finding leads us into trouble because it very often throws our relationship with those words, writings, rituals and practices of others into doubt. We see here our dance with the people in our life requires us to practice discernment, to trust our intuitive and creative selves that may not agree with powers and institutions or even the beliefs or practices of our closest friends. But then, we enter into a kind of wonder where, very often, we find new levels of energy in the very words, writing, rituals and practices that we were sure we would have to abandon. We begin to relate to those around us in new ways. When we begin to reign, to sit with a royal ease in this new paradigm we have discovered, we are never sitting alone in a cave. Notice Yeshua isn't laying out a lonely hermit path here--reigning in its very nature calls us to engage, to interact, and to recognize the inherent nobility of the other. Even that royal ease--or rest as depicted by the image of Quan Yin above--is fully entwined with all of life and with others. It is dynamic, interactive and whole.
Hokmah’s Symphonic Note:
When I first entered the stream,
mountains were mountains and
rivers were rivers.
Then, one day,
mountains were no longer mountains
were no longer rivers.
Finally, after many years of practice
mountains are again mountains,
and rivers are again
-Zen Master Dogen
The Union: Breathe in a felt sense of curiosity and seeking. Breathe out a felt sense of sharing this energy with all of life.
To search means to be actively open to a transformation of consciousness and a new way of relating with others.