The path of the spiritual adventurer does not exhaust itself in cheap triumphs. He fights courageously against the darkness within himself. He lets the light come to him.
We live in a time that is lacking in natural adventures. The advance of civilization has eliminated many dangers which had threatened the daily life in former times. On the one hand, the need for security has increased, on the other hand, man, especially when he is young, craves adventure, and the elderly still need variety and thrills. We can already see from the unquenchable curiosity of children that this phenomenon is something primal. The little ones explore and try out everything that comes their way and do not ask themselves if it could be dangerous. It is called a game, although it is something very serious, because without this foundation the personality cannot reach the necessary maturity to take charge of its life’s work later on.
Media construct adventures for all ages, so that boredom and anxiety tensions can be neutralized, even if only for a short time, and consumers can follow the inner urge for something new without risk. The commercialisation of the desire for adventure serves the production processes. Thus, the mostly unconscious need for something really new, the primal longing for the absolute truth, is directed into the channels we know so well. Creativity suffers, and the way out is blocked.
Because man wants to be different from what he is, he needs identification objects. Usually these are special personalities. But it can also be the identification with a foreign, mysterious-looking country. Then you book package tours with an adventure flair. For those who like to identify with a hero, Harry Potter is available. But the objects of identification neutralize a considerable part of the real risk. Each of them can be played with in its own way. Adventure thus becomes an imitation.
Does this mean that people should personally go on dangerous adventures? Isn’t there an exaggerated, performance-related thinking behind the “real” adventurer, besides curiosity and the triumph over one’s own fear-tensions? In contrast to work as a necessity or civic duty, a great achievement represents something that one does not actually need to perform, i.e. something superfluous. It can even become a compulsive act, because the feeling of triumph is temporary and cries out for more.
Why does the search in a thousand directions never end?
We go round in circles when we always long for something new and better. Why does the search in a thousand directions never end? Could we aim for a completely different kind of “achievement”, one that is not superfluous? Could it be one that reaches beyond the imperfect ordinary world into a completely different world? Well, that other world exists. There’s a tiny spark from the forgotten divine world in everyone’s heart, waiting for us, the personality, to recognize it and help it shine bright again.
The process that leads to the light is an inner adventure. It requires a willingness to be surprised by the unexpected. It requires courage. The light-seeker gets to know himself and the ordinary world as it is, with all its shortcomings and contradictions. He courageously faces what he sees. It is the fight of the hero against the darkness within himself. On the one hand, he realizes that he is part of the fear of the ordinary world, which dreads its demise. On the other hand, he feels the rise of the divine world within him as a new force, and turns to it. He lets the light come to him.
In Latin, “to come near” or “to arrive” means advenire, to which the word “adventure” can be etymologically traced back (in French: aventure). This also refers us to Advent (Latin: adventus = arrival). John is the forerunner who awaits the arrival of the light, who makes it come near. He is the inhabitant of the earth who goes beyond his civil duties and says yes to the adventurous process of self-knowledge, which with the necessary perseverance leads to the knowledge of God in his own heart. When the spirit descends and intersects the ordinary life, it becomes light in the heart. And all imitations of light fade away.
It is not only the media that provide us with imitations of adventure. Man supplies them to himself if he does not want to know the spiritual level. And yet imitations can help us, if we are attentive and do not stop at guessing something of the truth behind things. To quote Goethe: “All that is transient is but a parable”.