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What Do You Want?

Updated: Nov 1, 2020

This question can mean several different things. If we put the emphasis on "you," then "What do YOU want?" or better, "Whatta YOU want?" means "I don't like you. Stop pestering me."

On the other hand, if we put the emphasis on "want," then it becomes a friendly question that a waiter or a bartender might ask, "What do you WANT?" In other words, What will satisfy you or make you happy? That's what "want" usually means these days: To desire something that you think will make you happy or complete in some way. That's what people mean when they ask children, "What do you want for Christmas?"

But the word "want" didn't always refer to satisfaction of a desire. Centuries ago, the word "want" meant "to lack something which is necessary." For example, they would say, "He was found to be wanting in compassion." In other words, he was seen as lacking kindness.

That's what I intend the title of this post to mean. What necessary quality or ability do you personally need to continue to grow in the spiritual life? It takes more than a little bravery and self-discipline to examine ourselves honestly and to admit to ourselves where we are in need. But without that kind of examination, we cannot grow effectively in spirit. Rather, we continue to play games with ourselves, to invent the faces that we put on in order to deceive ourselves about our inner truth, or to create pretenses to manipulate how gullible people respond to us.

It seems better that we know ourselves as we truly are and that we speak honestly to other people, with respect.

Different people, of course, will have different answers to the question in the title here. We who are seeking a deeper life of spirit are individually each at different stages of growth into that life of awareness and peace. So it seems natural that one may need a certain understanding or way of being that another does not. Nonetheless, among seekers, the chance for passing understanding or direction from one to the other always exists. And it occurs when one person has a heart open to understanding, and the other person has a heart of respect, to offer to the open-hearted listener what the speaker understands to be true.

This does not mean that there is some sort of secret way which someone can tell another person so that the other person comes to see the reality of What Is. No, there is no secret, and there is no secret way. There is simply growth into whatever we will grow into. We cannot force change upon ourselves. The budding plant cannot will itself to blossom. But then, it doesn't have to, because by its nature, it will blossom at the appropriate time.

And so it is with us seekers. We wait patiently, and while waiting, we may admire the natural and human-made beauty around us and seek to be respectful to everyone. That's a good enough way to pass the time of waiting.

Don't forget to look up. Most of us do forget most of the time, When we look up, we break through the bubble of our self-important worlds and realize that we are part of something larger than our own concerns.

Talk wtih you again soon.


(ID: P20211)

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