“A policeman sees a drunk searching for something under a streetlight and asks what the drunk has lost. He says he lost his keys. They both look under the streetlight together. After a few minutes the cop asks if the man if he is sure he lost them here, and the drunk replies, “No, I lost them in the park.” The policeman asks, “So why are you searching here?” And the drunk replies, "Because this is where the light is.”
“Streetlight effect: when people only search for something where it is easiest to look.”
You been told you shouldn’t, it’s not the thing to do, it isn’t helpful, doesn’t work. You’ve been told how things should be instead. And you agree.
But you can’t help it, can’t stop. You need your fix.
You’re seeking. Looking for something.
Enlightenment, awakening, bliss, peace, realization, getting it.
You want to understand, make things quieter, shut up the mind, sit with feelings so that they’ll finally exit and leave you with nothing but calm and bliss.
So you meditate, listen to podcasts, read the latest book, make yourself sleepy with you-tube videos at night.
Listening to all those teachers say there’s no you and it’s already here and there’s nothing to find and this is it. Saying, “It’s all one” and there’s no separation and you are experience.
Surely if you seek out the right teacher, the right method or guide… you can have what they have someday.
While they tell you there’s no point in seeking.
“This is it. There’s nothing to ‘get’.” --Tony Parsons
And the more you listen, the more convinced you become that they are the key to finally getting what they have. Because they can’t all be liars, right?
“Nirvana is a radical transformation of how it feels to be alive: it feels as if everything were myself, or as if everything---including "my" thoughts and actions---were happening of itself. There are still efforts, choices, and decisions, but not the sense that "I make them"; the freest of my actions just happens like hiccups inside me or like a bird singing outside me.” --Alan Watts
Come on, who wouldn’t want that? Sounds great!
Have you noticed that listening to any of these teachers makes you want understanding, even more? Some you-tube video says, “There’s nothing to seek,” and boom. You want.
Although, seeking is a whole nuther thing than finding.
To find, you have to know it when you see it.
Which you’re pretty sure you do. So you go looking, under the teacher’s street light.
“What we are seeking is already here.” –Alan Watts
If this is true, then you’ve already got it. In which case there’s no need to seek, under Alan’s light or anywhere else.
And if you're looking for something that's already here, then you actually don't know it when you see it.
Besides, where is this lovely promised Nirvana? What has to be done to get some?
“There's a point when you intuitively realize that to be Free you have to give up your attachment to Freedom. You have to decide to never look over your shoulder again to see if you're Free or if others know you're Free.” --Adyashanti
”Stop searching, cease losing. Stop misusing your mind and all will be well with you. You need not set it right, it will set itself right, as soon as you give up all concern with the past and the future and live entirely in the now.” -- Nisargadatta
Those statements just make you want IT, whatever IT is, while telling you not to seek IT.
Though really it’s kind of funny. After all, if this is IT, then seeking is too.
“We live indirectly, but even indirect living is ‘it’’. --Wu Wei Wu
“What was never lost can never be found.” –Nisargadatta
The teacher system keeps you coming back, keeps you admiring others for their wondrous experiences, and keeps the self feeling incomplete and missing out.
So that even more seeking is necessary in order to someday complete you.
Thereby never noticing your own adequacy and enoughness.
Because you want to be the one who understands and knows and arrives. And the self can never be the one that does that.
“The goal is often expressed as the very cessation of the seeker who cherishes the day when he arrives at the goal - maybe you can sense the irony.” -- Night Sky Sangha
So seeking will always be a losing game.
Because what is being sought is you.
“The seeker is the sought.” --Paul Hedderman
And that’s already here,
you’re already "there."
So it turns out,
you don’t need no stinking streetlight
"That guy who’s telling you not to use your head sounds like a flimflam man selling you a timeshare in paradise. And now look at the absolute failure of human spirituality to help anyone realize truth and see if you can draw a connection between those two things; between these purveyors of delusion that send everyone in exactly the wrong direction and the perfect failure of seekers to find the only thing that can never be lost."