My newest book, Unbinding the Perpetual Soul: Our Human Quest for ‘Being’ is now available on the Wipf and Stock Publishers website and through Amazon.com.
What if our actual lives aren’t ‘written’ like a simple story? Nor like a book that flows neatly and sequentially from ‘chapter-to-chapter’ via a rigidly linear plot. And doesn’t end in uninspiring, predictable ways. But written, instead, through a series of creative interludes or moments. Further still, what if our lives shouldn’t simply happen to us? Shouldn’t act on us externally. Or be imposed on us from the outside by circumstances beyond our control. Or randomly occur with neither rhyme nor reason. But, rather, be lived by our own affirmative acts of seeking ‘life’. And doing so with the entirety of our human beings. As part of an ongoing, active pursuit. Done in sustained and purposeful ways.
Seeking ‘life’ in this way is not reacting to what may come. It’s not an unconscious response to what may happen to us. It’s not simply accepting the inevitable with resignation or even grace. No. Seeking life demands a choice by us. It requires a profound, transformational choice, at that. We do this when we choose to no longer simply ‘exist’. To no longer abide in another’s rules or expectations. To no longer feel judged in a game of another’s choosing.
In order to quest, though, we must first unbind our souls. Unbind our seemingly perpetual souls that we’ve slowly, incrementally layered onto ourselves along the way. Like heavy, course scales with the hardness of plated armor. Bound tightly in ways that feel protective. As we unbind our souls, we must sometimes ‘unlearn’ many of the things we’ve previously been taught. The very things that we’ve consciously or unconsciously appended onto and into our very beings. But it can’t stop with simply ‘unbinding’, however. We have to affirmatively decide to take the quest.
We must continuously quest for the things that actually make us human. We become more human when we discern our own purpose in living. When we stay open to different perspectives, however challenging and provocative they might initially appear to us. Further, we become more human when we hold far less tightly to that which we’re told to believe. When we ask more openly curious, thoughtful, and probing questions. When we see all ‘truths’ in the specific, unique contexts and agendas of their respective authors. Then ask whether they make sense in our own situations. Finally, we become more human when we ask if the ‘truths’ that we hold closest are actually working for us. Ask if they’re truly helping us to cope, grow, and spiritually flourish.
Our quests are quite transcendent. They demand our openness, our spirit of continuous seeking, our inward curiosity, and our focus on broad principles for living. They transcend not just our religions, our held dogmas, and our sacraments of faith to encompass all spheres of our human ‘beings’. These quests influence our beliefs—about our origins, other beings, our world, our universe, God, and ourselves. Further, they help to form our thinking. On how we conceptualize and connect things, create new ideas, make sense of the past, and muse on the future. Our quests also support our ability to truly feel—to name, articulate, and more fully express our deepest feelings.
Those brave enough to undertake a quest seek many things. With souls unbound, we quest for identity and wellbeing. We seek belonging. We pursue truths. The search for all things sacred, wherever they may be found. We quest for healing. We seek transcendence. And we pursue the very meanings of our lives. Our real, truest purposes for being here. The existential ‘groundings’ of our existence. And we seek these things not through some step-by-step process. Not in accord with any single source, book, or guide. Not via some linear and sequential chapter-to-chapter progressive narrative. But through trial and error. Through persistence. In the very midst of life’s inevitable struggles. With heart and with soul.
It’s not an easy journey, to be sure. But it’s life changing. It’s exhilarating. It’s exciting and rewarding. And while far from certain in its destination, one thing is for sure: you’ll be a better, healthier, and far more actualized person in the process. You’ll be more spiritually ‘whole’ and grounded. So join me on this quest, if you will. An inclusive, soulful, unbinding one. A life-giving and life-sustaining Human Quest for ‘Being’.