Trust yourself. You are perfect. There is absolutely nothing more you need to search for.
You are already full and complete as you are in this very moment right now. Enlightenment is as much of an illusory concept as who it is you believe is seeking it. Transcendence is what happens after this is accepted, and the only time it can happen is now.
Alan Watts once referred to a time when he was walking in the forest alone, and suddenly, he caught a floating seed out of the air. As he examined it, he noted that the seed seemed to writhe and wriggle in his fingers as if it were a living creature trying to break free from his grip. He pondered the question of whether it was the seed which flew in the current of the wind, or if it was the wind which blew the seed through the air, and he came to the conclusion that it was both and neither: the seed itself was engineered such that it was able to fly by nature of there being wind to propel it.
To him, the seed was a being of the highest order of intelligence, above even the animals or insects: the beating wings of a bird or insect require effort and energy. A seed floating in the breeze is like a fisherman who’s learned to put up a sail so that he no longer has to row. Rowing may be an act of living, but sailing is an act of magic. As Mr. Watts released the seed back to the wind and watched it continue along its way, he realized that he was witnessing the Tao “in perfection”.
In this way, we are all capable of total transcendence. By using the very nature of the mind itself, with its inherent ability to consistently consider and interpret itself amidst an insurmountable array of external stimuli, we can glide through the torrents and gusts of our lives without worry or anxiety. This is the gift of consciousness. It allows us, when expanded and set over the masts of our perception, to experience all the glorious and terrible happenings of our lives in such a way that we can feel them all fully in every ineffable moment without being deterred, distracted, or detained by them, where every lick and whipping of the wind against us may not only be enjoyed as part of the ride, but may also be honored as the mechanism which allows the seed of our minds to remain steady and travel smoothly through it.
To flow on ceaselessly with an effort that is effortless. To exist without attempts or forces of will or want for drastic progress or a personal conquering or triumph of good over evil, but to simply set sail and just be as we drift along and allow the various challenges we confront to work in harmony with the features of consciousness itself. To let go of control and allow oneself to be carried by the very act of letting go.
By the very fact that there is suffering are we able to transcend it. Are we able to truly know lasting peace.
Are we able to fly.
How much more beautiful can a relationship be?
Life itself provides each one of us with an opportunity to ride the various illusions of our perception like dolphins following the wake of a ship. Each crest launches us out to a new one with a rising fervor and zeal, and is subsequently left behind to fade and dissolve. Enlightenment, then, is itself only a crest which invites us all to leap beyond it and dive into an indescribable place where no sustenance exists even to keep enlightenment alive. And from that place, we leap forward with ultimately no destination and no purpose other than to play.
Necessary? Yes. A tool among many? Yes. Essential? No. Permanent? No.
Don’t just believe this. Feel it. Don’t try to conceive of it. Know it. Trusting yourself is trusting the universe in its entirety, because there is no difference between the two.
When you know this in your heart, the sun shines brighter with every beat of it, and the storms are only one more cause for celebration.