The Seeker and Student
Updated: Apr 10, 2020
I am currently going through huge transition in my life which has inspired me to dive head first into seeking a bigger picture perspective to cope with the uncertainty that has been evoked in me. I’ve been dabbling in different spiritual texts about yogic philosophy, Buddhism, psychology, chakra's but the teaching that called out to me the most strongly from my book collection was Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss.
What a powerhouse and what an incredible piece of work she put together. I have had to put the book down multiple times to write out certain excerpts that took my breath away and struck lightening bolts of clarity (remembering) into my soul. I am still working through the book and trying to narrow down my eight primary archetypes. The two that I have no doubt about are the student and the seeker.
As an incredibly privileged 29 year old Australian who has spent her entire 20s following the breadcrumbs of curiosity to explore the endless opportunities available to me, to travel, to study, to find myself and my vocation. I feel that most Gen Y's will be able to relate to the powerful archetypal energies of the seeker and the student.
The light of seeker is the search of wisdom and truth wherever they are. The search for the meaning, purpose of life and the thirst to quench their curiosity. The shadow of the archetype is the "lost soul" someone on an aimless journey without direction, ungrounded, disconnected from goals and others. The shadow also manifests as an inability to commit to a path once it's found.
The light of the student is humility and devotion to knowledge and openness to lifelong learning. The shadow of the student can manifest as an absence of mastery of any one subject but rather a continual pursuit of intellectual development. The shadow of the student can also show up as the eternal student who never takes action in translating the knowledge into teaching others. The excuse often being that they are not ready or have not yet learned enough to advance with their dreams.
This information hit me like a tonne of bricks and shone a high voltage torch on the most PRECISE articulations of how I repeatedly get in my own way. I have always celebrated the seeker and the student in me. I consider the greatest accomplishment in my life has been my unwavering commitment I have had to exploring, learning and growth.
That being said, I have at times really struggled with the fact that throughout my learning I have continued to evolve and as a result my goals continued to change and pivot alongside my own personal evolution. At times, as much as I have enjoyed the journey, it made me feel like an aimlessly wandering lost soul, envying others who had found their calling. I had rarely taken committed action on what I studied and moved straight onto the next thing/goal/pursuit/area of curiosity. My lived experience is such a delightful combination of the seeker's inability to commit to a path once found tied with the student who struggles to translate knowledge into action.
I have no regrets about any of the decisions I've made to get to this point because I'm exactly where I need to be and I needed to take the exact path that I did to get here. However, the unveiling of these particular shadow attributes has been such a DIVINE gift of self-awareness and a slap awake to keep me accountable whenever I see these shadow tendencies rear their sneaky heads. It is also a great reminder to our generation of seekers and students that while we are so privileged to have the freedom, opportunity and accessibility to study whatever we want and to explore and to dabble, be mindful not to fall into the trap of endlessly seeking and never starting where you are.
Gregg Levoy writes "A calling itself is a limitation and this explains why some people choose not to follow it. By following a call we narrow our choices and we close doors we may never be able to reopen. We're naturally afraid of losing our freedom of choice. If we don't ever choose, however, freedom is just an illusion, an idea in the mind. If you're standing at a crossroads, with paths going off in all directions, you have, in theory, great freedom. Until you actually make a choice, freedom is only potential energy, energy in abeyance, in waiting."
To me, this excerpt perfectly summarises the ultimate dilemma of the seeker. We value freedom therefore we fear boxing ourselves into something so that we don't lose our freedom. Not making a choice to commit to following a calling through to completion leads to aimless wandering and being lead by the shadow.
My commitment to you (and to myself) is to serve you through my coaching, teaching and writing even this calling may evolve/change form in the future. I vow to take consistent and disciplined action to share my knowledge with authentic transparency and stop making excuses as to why I'm not ready.
Everyone is born into a different sacred contract so you may not all resonate with these two archetypes specifically but I would highly recommend reading this book and exploring the shadow/light aspects of the archetypes. Click here for more information on archetypes.