My Search, My Quest

We / I are trapped in a profound confusion.
Look at us, the industrial world!

I cannot be still. I am lost. We have lost our way.
At the moment, I must say, I feel quite pathetic.

I offer this to you, my friends, who can look upon me with the eyes of love,
when you choose to.
I am trying to find my way, and perhaps I will, but I offer my quest as having meaning whatever its outcome.

My problem, dear friends, is that I am not doing the most important things I should be doing!
Is it because I am broken in myself, and while the most important things are in plain view, yet I am unable to act?
Or am I hampered because, deep within me, a still, small, voice is trying to tell my ego, “you have other work to do”?
I know not.
Or is it that I have properly identified “my work,” but in order to do it I must allow myself to go through a self-transformation, one that I fear?

And why would I put this cry of anguish out for the world to see?

I offer you my painful state as a gift, my friends.
We, industrial civilization, are in a terrible place, and you know it. Perhaps you look at the number of adults on anti-depressants (as I have been, in the past) or at the daunting future our children face.
We have access to global media, and most of you, my friends, know that our society is unsustainable, even at the personal and emotional levels, never mind the ecological crisis.

I link my personal anguish, my personal sense of “lostness” to this situation.
If I end up taking my own life, I do not want my friends to say, “he had personal problems he couldn’t overcome.” I claim a larger life than that.
I say my life springs out of a privileged class
of a great and rich country
at a stage in its development
where it must change
from being a voracious caterpillar into something else,
or it will fall to rotting
among the carcasses of its own food.

My personal anguish is “personal,” yes, and surely comes out of conflicts unresolved since childhood, AND it is inextricably linked to the situation in which Gaia finds herself.
Friends! We are lost! We must admit it, before we can begin to find our way.
We know this, and it is probably best we don’t dwell on it, or we will frighten the children. But, also for their sake, we need to recognize the gravity of our situation, and to accept its attendant grief.

And what do I offer as a response to this grim analysis? Two things:
1. As in the past, I say, “We need not be lost. Gaia is a field of information and energy that permeates our world, including ourselves. Each of us, from our own point of view, can serve the cause of planetary wholeness. In fact, most of you are already doing this, but we need to be doing it better, more connectedly, more profoundly.”
2. The second thing I offer is my own anguish, my own struggle, my own search. I am hoping for a breakthrough, hoping to find an alignment, a “sync,” between my own deepest concerns and a truly productive life of action in the outer world.
I have had a degree of success–including this website, which carries my cry of anguish, which I claim is our cry.

Even if I can get no further in my self-discovery, I offer my life to you, dear Friends, as a model of one who has consciously engaged with the Whole.
And is trying to find his right relationship to it.

A reassuring postscript:
Earlier in this message I offered the possibility that my anguish and sense of disorientation might lead me to end my life. While this has been a danger in years past, and cannot be disregarded now, I feel relatively secure against that danger. Betsy and I and other supportive Friends have recognized I need to be careful, and we are creating a situation in which I am not likely to act precipitously, where if my despair gets too deep, I promise to look away from it, and into the eyes of their love.

About Richard O Fuller

Quaker, living in the Twin Cities, Minnesota.
This entry was posted in About Richard, Industrial Civ. and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to My Search, My Quest

  1. Rhoda Gilman says:

    Many years ago a woman whom I admired with a certain resentment for her self-assurance and offhand wisdom said something that left me in a rage of denial. Laughing, but seriously, June Burn said: “The only thing we can really do for others in this world is to be happy ourselves.”

    “Oh yeah!” I said to myself. To my college-age idealism it seemed like the essence of selfishness. For a while I dismissed it, but it kept coming back to haunt me. And slowly, with the passage of sixty years, I learned about paradox.

  2. This is a deep post, Richard, and I’m puzzled as to how I missed it when you first posted it.

    In your postscript, you mention the support of others: “[If] my despair gets too deep, I promise to look away from it, and into the eyes of their love.”

    This sentence has an echo for me in something I read recently, and I’ve had to take a few minutes to seek it out.

    From Brian Drayton’s (2007) Pendle Hill Pamphlet #391, Getting Rooted: Living in the Cross’ a Path to Joy and Liberation:

    “Art thou in the Darkness? Mind it not… but stand still and act not, and wait in patience till Light arises out of Darkness to lead thee.” –James Nayler (in Drayton’s pamphlet, p. 19)


    “In this attitude, minding the Light and not your trouble,… you will find yourself relinquished from the grip of the problem and drawn more strongly to a new way of life, able to live into a new habit of mind.” –Drayton, p. 20

    I would say (1) easier said than done!, and (2) “minding the Light” and “looking into the eyes of love” are very much one and the same.

    Liz Opp(enheimer)

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