So much of life is punctuated by the idea of pursuit: of acquiring more knowledge; accumulating more accolades; gaining a stronger grasp on this nebulous thing we call living.
No person knows why we are here, and so we greatly concern ourselves with making sense of our world. We also know that this world is a much more vast than one mind can ever understand. This is why we laud the importance of social roles.
Let the scientists unearth mysteries of the physical world. Let the musicians unravel emotional experiences. Let spiritual leaders explore the realms beyond words.
This is why whenever someone makes a new discovery or achieves a new human feat, we always use the word “we.” We just discovered gravitational waves. We just unlocked a new part of the mind. We just solved a new human mystery.
This pursuit is so noble and so necessary because it helps us make sense of something that cannot be grasped. And yet, It also underscores our desire for control. If we can control our world, we don’t have to fear it. If we can control our world, nothing can sneak up on us in the dark throes of the night.
But there will always remain a part of the world that will be beyond our control and beyond our grasp. No matter how many tireless hours we spend as a collective, we will never unlock them all. And so in this way we must learn to be the opposite.
We must learn to surrender.
We don’t know why major chords make us happy and minor chords make us sad in music. We don’t know why we are arrested by the sight of a sublime sunset. We don’t know how the brain can accomplish so many complex processes at the same time and hold this ethereal idea that we call consciousness./
We don’t know why we hurt and we don’t know why we heal.
But all these things l happen anyway. And rather than trying to force ourselves to obstruct their occurrences, it is far easier — and often far more productive — to surrender. To let energy and moments pass through us. To understand that sometimes we have to be taken for a ride to destinations unknown and sometimes destinations fearful.
But that’s where the beautiful interplay of life comes in: this constant dance between what we can control and what we cannot.
And that, makes this very idea of pursuit, this very idea of struggling to solve the unsolvable puzzle — and yet unlocking a new piece every so often — so worthwhile an endeavor.