Finding By Not Seeking

Many things in life can be acquired or found simply by looking. Some things may at times be harder to find than others, but we are trained to think that through enough effort and hard work every door can be opened. Opportunities, we are told, are created by those who are aggressive and persistent. We are also taught that you need to be a go-getter; if you don’t go out and get it, no one will do it for you. You want a loaf of bread, go find a bakery. You want a job, go out and seek it; network; place an ad in the classifieds. Especially in our high-tech world, we have become accustomed to accessing anything, anytime, anywhere. Just press a button or two and you can pretty much get anything you desire.

But if that is true, why is it so difficult to find love, happiness, truth, beauty, harmony, transcendence? Why can’t we just press some buttons, ingest some pills, and acquire what we are looking for? Why is it that even with hard work, persistence and aggression we can’t seem to fulfill our more ethereal — and fundamental — needs? Is it possible that we are using the wrong tools and methods? Can it be that in our attempt to experience intangible realities we are mistakenly relying on the customary limited tool chest we use to acquire material items? Imagine trying to catch love with a hook, find truth on a supermarket shelf, or transcendence in a cereal box. A hammer can be used to knock in nail, not to persuade a loved one. A wrench is used to tighten a joint, not to solidify a relationship. A net can be used to catch a butterfly, not to capture transcendence and beauty. Some doors open up by pushing forward; others by pulling back. Some heights are scaled though aggressive climbing; others with gentle humility. Some achievements are accomplished through enormous firepower; others through subtlety.

Please join Rabbi Jacobson in this Ki Tissa workshop which analyzes one of the Torah’s most enigmatic episodes — in which Moses asks to see the divine and G-d replies that “no man can see me and live.” Discover an entire dimension of experience that cannot be accessed through looking and finding. It can only be reached by not looking. Indeed, this contains the secret of a fulfilled life: the deepest love and the most profound truths can only be found by… not seeking. The most important things in life — love, intimacy, truth, soul, G-d — emerge not by doing something, but by not doing something, not by an action, but by an inaction. Embracing this secret will open up doors for you that could never have been opened any other way.

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