In the children’s game there are just a handful of kids playing but imagine if the thought, secret, idea or theology was passed through translators, other people and factors such as environment, social class and economic standing. Reason suggests that a message sifted through all that might make for some lumpy gravy. Kung Fu-tse, to facilitate sharing his ideas, wrote them out. For clarity he organized his thoughts, whether it was him or perhaps scribes or some such, they had to name things and define them, as did Buddha, J.C. and all the others. What became of their writings afterword, such as almost every war in history since, wasn’t their fault any more than it’s the Wright brothers fault when a plane crashes. Of course it was the winners of those wars who got to decide what viewpoint the new translation would have. Just as history has been corrupted by this fact, so too have spiritual theologies and religio-spiritual documentation.
Any time there is ancient or historical documentation of any kind that is left open to interpretation it gets corrupted in one way or another. Back in the day if someone wanted to take Buddha’s message and re-shape it to make it their own and then spread a new message, they first would have had to understand the original message. To do this, they didn’t go to the internet, read a few documents and consider themselves expert. They also didn’t go to find information regarding Buddhism and get inundated with more information than anyone could ever need, much of said information of course being entirely subjective or even total nonsense. The internet is a provider of just as much misinformation as information.
Since the process of re-creation, re-definition and re-interpretation has been going on since ancient times, it’s safe to say there is a lot out there to choose from, and with the internet, it’s happening at an exponentially faster rate. Fortunately, more and more people are waking up every day to things outside of shopping, eating, sleeping and facebooking. Not only are more people seeking a path to follow but there are more people now than ever before who are opening up to the idea of forging their own path rather than following a traditional one.
I suppose if one persons created theology is legit than they are all legit. If one is valid, they all are. They all came from the same place, some random persons head, or heart, or both perhaps, there's so much out there these days, information to use, not be used by. With more approaches to information, more books, people and so many online resources it’s daunting, there are more and more people coming to understand things on their own terms. This is where I come to my point; once a seeker, always a seeker. It’s like being a Marine. Seekers these days have so much to look at, but the truth is, it’s all the same. Underlying the messages of these spiritual icons of the past are simple and basic truths that are universal no matter what path you decide to aim your toes toward.
So choose the wise words of this guru or that preacher but bear in mind, it all started with some dude sitting under a tree having an epiphany and then writing it down or sharing it. Remember that one of the messages you find in every tradition is that you can do that very same thing. Seek, read, write, resonate and understand your path knowing it is forever in flux in its evolution as are you, that’s just how organisms work. One aspect of the loop is to seek, find and live what you have learned over and over. Learn it, live it, learn it, live it, learn it, live it. Best to not get stuck in just one loop or the other. By virtue of being only a seeker, one never finds a thing, too busy seeking the next thing. Meanwhile applying only one lesson learned without seeking new ways in which to look at it only leads to stagnation.
New ideas and perspectives are all a part of seeking. The words of Aristotle come to mind, "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." And yet so many come to understand another philosophy with the sole intention of debating its validity rather than learning what they can from it and moving forward. Taking the confrontation route rather than the communication route especially with malicious intent only serves to limit experience. The validity argument is a moot point anyway since all theories are valid to someone. Besides, wouldn’t a professed spiritual person be able to find better things to do with their time or at the very least want to set a better example than petty squabbling over entirely subjective matters?
No one really knows with certainty what the answers are to these metaphysical questions we ask ourselves. Buddha didn’t have the answer, he had his answer, just as Christ did. Seeking brought them to their answers and continuous seeking allowed their answers to turn back into questions, that’s also part of the loop, the good part. An example of this I can share is from a time I stopped off at a small town restaurant in Pennsylvania. I was surprised when the waitress came over and she was full blown Amish. Being the annoyingly curious person I am I asked her how this was so. She didn’t mind at all that I asked, seemed relieved actually, and in a nutshell told me she was a “New Order Amish.” They had broken off from the main because they feel that in order to make sense of the world one has to connect to it and that if they don’t evolve with the times they could cease to exist. They keep the teachings of the church “pretty much the same” the difference is connecting to the world.
It comes down to whether or not one lives with integrity, that determines how they handle and adapt to new information. My answer will never be the same as your answer and your answer will never be the same as mine, seeking is contemplating the questions together. While that sounds easy enough problems arise when exploration of ideas is thrashed by folks who have seemingly forgotten to walk their own path because they seem more preoccupied with taking a crap all over other peoples. People put time into their thoughts and perspectives so some sensitivity is normal. Just remember, if someone disagrees with you it doesn’t mean you’re wrong. If you jump out of your skin every time someone questions or disagrees with your path ask yourself why. Does it make anything you have said less valid?
There is always something to find when seeking. Sometimes the path is arduous, sometimes smooth. The arduous path helps us appreciate the smooth path and what we learn traversing the arduous path makes it that much easier the next time the road is rocky, so long as we apply what we have learned. If we get distracted by and caught up in "Seeker Loop" issues, it prevents growth and forward movement. If the Loop is a carnival ride where you feel like your forever waiting for your chance to shine brighter in the lights of the ride stop for a moment, take a deep breath and realize that you are the light. You are also the ride and the other people waiting in line all at once. Dwelling on the line keeps you in it longer, shining brighter in the light can blind you if you stare too long and while you can learn something from every single person standing in line you won't unless you focus on them rather than your position in the line. Look, learn and live...lather, rinse, repeat.