Have you ever had a sudden craving for a specific food? In your mind you can actually re-taste that perfect lasagna from long ago, or last week’s superb lamb, or even the memory of a taste in your mind you can no longer identify! Sometimes we experience a hunger within us that is not even related to food. And sometimes unexamined hungers drive us to make the choices that we make.
My brother Dan related to me a story he recently heard about a guy who “had it all”… the money, the family, the house, a wildly successful business… and who had safely reached his mid-fifties without any major mistakes. For reasons unknown a mysterious desire surfaced from the hidden depths of his mind to try cocaine “just once.” “Just once” developed into occasionally, which became too often and ended up with an arrest, which ultimately led to suicide… all of this within just a 2-year timeframe!
Unexamined hungers can be a hidden yet powerful driving force influencing our decisions and the arc of our life-story. What hunger causes someone to indulge in random and risky sex? What are they actually looking for that promiscuous sex both symbolizes and yet does not satisfy? What hunger causes someone to abruptly walk away from an intimate relationship? What hunger convinces someone that the best way to address a mid-life crisis is to try cocaine “just once?”
None of us are born with a map in our minds that tells us which roads to take or even more importantly which ones not to take! Our life is a journey that leads us somewhere even as we are choosing the route “on the fly.” From a spiritual point-of-view our life is a pilgrimage bringing us home to the source of Life. In order for our life to not only take us somewhere but to also become a pilgrimage it is necessary for us to feed the desire for more consciousness and to discover what drives us. Lest we think we must take courses and obtain degrees, the kind of knowledge which is true spiritual consciousness is experiential, not academic. Spiritual hunger is a growing awareness of how our life interacts with everything around us. The more we feed this hunger then we discover a yearning for even more!