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What everyone seeks

19 Jan

Alex Grey's "Seraphic Transport Docking on the Third Eye"

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People are searching for something sacred.  Every day, each and every one of us yearns for something to fill our souls.   We seek out any number of things to quiet our hearts and occupy our minds, but the Sacred constantly evades us.  As much as we consume to feel better or perform good works to alleviate the angst of this world, we are left with a feeling of emptiness and desperation.

The Sacred cannot be found in things or causes.   It cannot be found in relationships.  It cannot be found in abstractions of love, beauty or truth.  And it cannot be found in the world of nature or in a life of abstention.  The moment we make anything “sacred” in this world, time reveals it to be a farce.  Sacred oaths are broken, sacred rights are infringed, sacred places are desecrated, and sacred things are stolen from us or discarded when their apparent sacredness wears off.

Some would say that the Sacred can only be found in God, and they will be very quick to tell you Who and What God is.  Yet religious ideals, dogma and orthodoxy ebb and flow with the current of time and no religious system of belief is sacred in and of itself.  They attempt to point the mind and heart in a general direction, but it is doubtful that any one person has walked the Path of the Sacred.

No one in this world has a clear understanding of the Sacred and no one ever has, not Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, Socrates, Joseph Smith, Ron Hubbard or any one of the Popes.    Sacredness is not created or maintained by attaching labels, directions and warnings to one particular understanding.   In fact, it can be argued that the very essence of the Sacred precludes any one thing from being sacred.  As soon as one says, “this is sacred”, you might as well move on.  It is not.

The Sacred will never be found.  It is the Mystery we seek to uncover but cannot discover, the Riddle we seek to solve but cannot compute, the Goal we aim to achieve but never will reach.  The search keeps the entire Universe moving forward and drives the actions of men.  This search is itself the reason for the machinations of time.  The Sacred is life unfolding.  We are inextricably caught up in that unfolding, and although we may point to “this” and “that” as sacred, we fail to recognize the Sacred.

The Sacred is nowhere and everywhere.  It is the breath we breathe, and the life we claim to draw that breath.  The Sacred is what we are all seeking but fail to see with every beat of our hearts.

The Sacred has always been ours and we have always been a part of the Sacred.  There is no search to undertake, no obstacle to overcome, no new experience to reveal it to you.   It is always and forever the fulfillment we deny in our own hearts – not by some divine act of punishment or cruelty, but by our own assertions.

We have a list of assertions we make every day that are sacred to us.  We protect those assertions, build upon them, accumulate more of them and attempt to create more sacredness.  We fail, time and time again.  And we will continue to fail until we lay down our assertions.

The Sacred reveals itself to the mind that is free of assertions.  Therefore, seek not to find the Sacred.  Seek to illuminate your own assertions, challenge them, and remove their sacredness from your mind.  Perhaps then the Sacred will impress Itself upon your heart and mind and you will know that the search is over – itself a construct to keep the Sacred away from our mind.

Perhaps then you will realize how sacred you are.   This is the supreme realization we all must make eventually.   We won’t until we are unwilling to NOT see the sacredness in everything.

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5 responses to “What everyone seeks

  1. Sam

    August 15, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I tried to comment on one of the Clayton Austin posts, but you turned off all the comments. I just wanted to let you know that the Clayton drama has reached a fever pitch. ALL of the major photography forums are talking about it, and people pretty much unanimously agree that you were in the right and he was a complete and total asshole to you. He might have gotten one or two of his friends to post on here supporting him, but that is not even close to being representative of how photographers as a whole feel about this. We are all completely appalled at his behavior and we all genuinely think you should pursue legal action or at least report him to the BBB, Attorney General, Consumerist/Consumer Advocate, or something like that.

    Also, there are many many other clients who are coming out of the woodwork and talking about their poor experience with him. Here is one: http://www.alosangeleslove.com/2010/08/what-to-look-for-in-photographer.html (Rachel was a Clayton Austin client)

    He is also badmouthing clients on his Twitter stream (at one point he said he hopes his clients’ babies looked like monkeys because they stood him up for a meeting) and on his blog (check out his most recent post about selective blogging).

    This guy is a textbook douchebag. I’m so sorry you went through this and just know that photographers everywhere are up in arms over how badly you were treated.

     
    • I.K.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:05 pm

      Well, I do appreciate your leaving the comment despite the fact that they were closed on the main entry.

      There is a another side of the story we have not yet told – the bride’s story. Perhaps soon we will do that.

      At this point in our lives, we’ve tried to move beyond douchebaggery. I think the manner in which he treats his *paying* clients (versus the friends he likes to take pictures of for free or other type of compensation and then have them blog about how wonderful he is, GAG) speaks volumes and we’ve let our experience with him speak to those who care to research him.

      We are happy that Google places our blogs in the top five results (with this blog as #1) when anyone searches for “Clayton Austin Photography review”. And I guess we’re happy to let “karma” play out on this one. Besides, we’re not sure what legal remedies are available to us and we honestly have not looked into it, even though we both work for well-established litigation law firms. It was more important for us to voice our experiences on the worldwide web so others can get a glimpse of the sort of businessman this “douchebag” is.

      It’s good to know that other photographers sympathize with our experiences. Perhaps the professional community can help increase awareness of what to avoid when looking for a wedding photographer …

       
    • I.K.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:40 pm

      Sam, as I said I would yesterday, here is the bride’s story, complete and unabridged ;)

      http://claytonaustinphotographyreview.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/the-brides-story-complete-and-unabridged/

       
  2. Becca

    August 17, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Hi – I really appreciate your comment on my blog and I truly hope people find information on him (and other similar photographers) via reviews and sites like this. But I made a decision to not link back to him on my site, to keep the focus on photography in general and not on him. He wasn’t my photographer, so I can’t in good conscience review him. I leave that to his clients.

    And I am happy that, since your experience, you’ve moved on to nine months of a happy marriage.

     
    • I.K.

      August 17, 2010 at 4:07 pm

      I understand and entirely respect your position. I apologize that my comment was more directed to Rachel … I did enjoy your rant, though! :)

       
 
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