Letting go is only part of the answer

It takes a great leap of faith to let go of one’s stubborn notions of self or what life owes us. The stuff that keeps us stuck and spinning in circles – me, me, me. But unless we let go of our self-centeredness and make the effort to turn inwards to ask instead what we can offer the world, we won’t be able to allow our inner treasures to emerge, like the peace and joy we so desperately want but seem so out of reach.

To further illustrate this point, we invite you to watch the movie below. It is based on the novel Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse that became an overnight sensation because, as the commentaries go, it was a voice for many a seeker at the time. Based as much on the author’s own search for meaning as it was for the rest of humanity, it’s a story about wanting to know why we are here, why we suffer, and whether it is even possible to find everlasting peace and happiness.

It’s a story that starts with discontentment and dissatisfaction – the usual roots of suffering – and ends with the realisation that it’s not about finding something out there but rather a letting go of what’s in here. What do we hang on to is a question we must all ask ourselves. Because what we hang on to become the blinkers and filters that block truth from us. The wise ferryman in the story could see it. He could see what’s happening but refrained from saying more because well, in an ironic way, the search is actually quite necessary and must be honoured.

Search we must because the search is the process by which our ‘eyes’ can be opened. Just like how it was for the Buddha and a whole host of other brave men and women who dared walk their own Hero’s Journey. No matter if what we sought was there all along. It is the coming ‘home’ to our own beingness that made the difference. Then we understand what it means to be with the rest of the world and how to fit in. What we can do for humanity while we also take care of ourselves.

Apparently, reading the novel was the proverbial last straw for a young reincarnation of a previous Tibetan lama. He left the monastic life mapped out for him to embark on a search for his own destiny on his own terms. It is surreal how the novel and movie is reflected in the post-monastery life of this young man. We see in his story the recurrent theme of letting go. Truly, truly, the wise ones tell us. When you let go, you will find what you seek. Let go of what you think you are in order to become who you truly are. This is an eternal truth.