Searching for Security
By McNair Ezzard
“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature. . .”
— Helen Keller
Most of us know the adage that death and taxes are the certainties of life. But we should add another certainty — change. From the cradle to the grave it is with us. There is no getting away from it. And its greatest effect on us will be that it instills in us a sense of uncertainty. Against this backdrop of constant change we carry on the endless search for security. But can it be found?
According to British author and futurist, Benjamin Crème, the answer is no. “There is no security in life. Life has nothing to do with security…. Creation is evolving, and therefore changing…. There is no status quo, and if there is no status quo, there is no security…. But we all long for it, for physical-plane, emotional, mental security,”1 He is speaking about an eternal truth that nothing in creation is ever static. We see it everywhere — in the change of seasons, the growth from childhood to adulthood, and the rise and fall of civilizations.
Does this mean we cannot expect to have any form of security whatsoever? Not exactly, for it is normal to expect some level of physical security. The desire to fulfill such a need is a natural outcome of life on the physical plane. The teacher and philosopher, J. Krishnamurti, told his students, “One cannot live without security, that is the very first, primary animal demand, that there be physical security, one must have a house, food and clothing.”2
The problem arises for us when the desire and search for security becomes a psychological demand. It is the psychological demand for security that is at the root of so much suffering.
Individually we seek psychological security through marriage, children, a job, or the accumulation of wealth. On the collective level, there is the search for security by each family, each group and each community. Every nation that has the means, seeks security far beyond the level of its physical needs — security for its way of life, its economic dreams, its culture and natural fortunes, its political ideology. But at whatever individual or communal level it may be attained, any seeming security is short-lived. Stability and security are always superseded by a period of change, uncertainty and insecurity. Yet, if security is such a fleeting experience, why do the majority of people seek it?
Why do we seek?
Fear is the motivator behind our search for security. And our fear exists because we are caught in the web of illusion. From the moment of birth till the hour of death, we are all conditioned by family, teachers and society to believe in a fantasy. That which is unreal is taken to be real. The impermanent is seen as permanent. The personality form, the little self — physical body, thoughts and emotions — we see as solid testament to what constitutes our individual identity. As long as we identify with the personality, we will also identify with the world in which the personality has its life.
An honest assessment shows the world is not permanent. The personality itself is only a shadow, a reflection of something much greater — the Divine Self, the Soul. But as a body of _expression, the personality is transitory.
Our conditioning has dictated — identify with the personality, identify with the world, feel secure in it. Yet, around us there is change and uncertainty. How can a person expect to feel at ease with this contradiction? As a result we latch on to those people or things we think will protect us.
Consequently, we face life with trepidation, because deep inside we know things are tenuous. No one knows what tomorrow will bring. No wonder there is violence. Everything and everyone is seen as either a potential threat to the status quo or an obstacle to obtaining the desired security. Is it any wonder that real peace is so difficult to find?
The Way Out
What can be done to end the relentless search for security?
It is only when we turn in earnest to the spiritual path that the search for security becomes much less of an issue. It becomes much less of an issue because we eventually find the only thing that can provide the security we seek — union with the Soul.
Unfortunately, our spiritual search does not take place in a vacuum. Circumstances around us can interfere with the progress we would like to make. Whether it is personal challenges or collective tragedies such as war and terrorism, the demands and uncertainties of life can get us down. We wonder if it is really possible to achieve union with the Soul.
Spiritual teachers like Buddha and Jesus indicated that in spite of conditions around us, enlightenment is still possible. But most of us would like some help.
British author, Benjamin Creme, says help has arrived. His claim is that a great World Teacher, Maitreya, is here with his group, the Masters of Wisdom, to help humanity. They are here to help us create a new world based on sharing and justice and they are here to teach humanity the art of self-realization.
Hunger, poverty and war will eventually become things of the past. And more and more people will experience union with their Soul through the practice of the art of self-realization.
When union is achieved between our Soul and personality, a new sense of security is realized, the security of our own divinity. We are now able to live in and with the insecurity of the world without being adversely affected by it. Living with the realization that nothing of the world is permanent, that there is no security in the world, frees us from expecting life to be other than it is — which is ever-moving, free-flowing and expanding.
Benjamin Creme will be speaking at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300
Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles. Saturday, July 31st at 1:30 pm. Admission is free.
Information: (818) 785-6300.
1 Benjamin Crème, Maitreya’s Mission, vol. 2, Share International Foundation, Los Angeles, 1993, p. 375.
2 J. Krishnamurti, The Flight of The Eagle, Harper & Row, New York, 1971, p. 57.
McNair Ezzard, M.Div., is a free-lance writer and minister and works in management in the long-term care and hospice fields.
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