mad in pursuit notebook

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS

Longing

beads Afghanistan

Okay, class, it’s September. Time to get serious about our studies again. This semester in the Mad In Pursuit University of the Mind, we’ll be considering LONGING.

Is longing that empty place in your soul that pulls you into a quest, a pilgrimage, an adventure? Can you identify that first ache in your heart for something beyond yourself?

But what makes a great spiritual yearning collapse into mere coveting — needing an iPad or I’ll die — or a craven craving for a smoke, a drink, a giant bag of peanut butter M&Ms? When is it merely a hole that wants filling?

Great longing seems to be associated with great loving, grand passions, deep fulfillment. But terrible longings feed obsessions and addictions. Sometimes we follow a disturbance and sense we might be plunging into the adventure of a lifetime… or maybe we’ve lost our mind, maybe we need to be more sensible.

The photo above is  a small pile of antique necklaces from Afghanistan, including amulet cases, minerals with healing power, and charms to ward off the evil eye. They give me a total crazy buzz, resonating with some deep longing in me. Am I simply covetous and greedy, like a dragon guarding his hoard of gold? Or am I connecting with the energies of the artisans, healers, and lovers who treasured them before me?

Delicious questions for the autumn days ahead…