JEFF FOSTER: The Search for Home, The Search for Rest

Please enjoy an excerpt from Jeff Foster’s new book (which will be published in 2012) -  MK

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home, wherever I find myself.”

~ Maya Angelou

 

 

 

The search for home goes so very, very deep in the human psyche. Throughout all human history it has expressed itself in every single facet of our lives – in our art, our music, our science, our mathematics, our literature, our philosophy, in our quest for love, in our spirituality.

Male and female seek each other, try to complete themselves through sexual union. We seek our ‘soul mates’, search for our ‘other halves’ who will complete us. In our cosmic homesickness we seek union with God, with Spirit, with Nature, with the guru. We buy houses together and magically transform them into homes, and after a long, exhausting day at kindergarten, or at the office, we just want to go home, back to mother, back to our loved ones, back to sleep, back to the cosmic womb. We populate landmasses, create countries, and call them our homeland, our motherland, our fatherland. We fight and die to protect our homeland – the land that we love, the land our ancestors were born in and died in. We wander in the wilderness for a thousand years and long for the promised land, for our heaven on earth, for our Jerusalem.

Characters in novels, in plays, in movies, journey far away from home, discover who they really are and return home, somehow changed, somehow the same. We love our movies, our television shows, to end with a tearful homecoming, a tearful reunion, and the story of the one who never came home haunts us like anything. In The Wizard of Oz, perhaps our most beloved movie of all time, a young girl leaves her colourless home, goes on an incredible journey, meets various facets of herself, and returns to the same place – but now she sees what’s really there. In many Disney musicals, often the main character, feeling like an outcast in their own home, will sing a song about their longing for adventure, for love. Something calls them away from home, but in the end, they return home, or they find a new home, their true home, their true place in the world. It has been suggested that on the most basic level every story, every myth, shares this common structure – ending with the hero’s return. As children, we are homesick when we are away from home for too long, away from the ones we love.

 

Pic by Bill Hale

 

In music, notes and chords go on a similar journey, moving away from home, creating tension for the listener, but finally they resolve themselves, and we feel like the song moved us in some way – took us on a journey away from the ordinary, and returned us to where we were, somehow changed, touched, transformed. In art, the interplay of foreground and background, light and shade, positive and negative space creates tension, drama. Our longing for resolution makes the artwork compelling. Perhaps it is the same longing that has driven mathematicians, philosophers, physicists, for all of human history, to seek some kind of grand, unified, all-encompassing theory of reality, to find wholeness in the chaos, to find love in the midst of devastation.

The spiritual seeker leaves home in search of enlightenment, and returns home again, only to discover that the enlightenment he sought was there from the beginning. When people die we say they have ‘gone home’, or found a new home where they can rest eternally. We are told that even the universe is expanding and contracting – somehow seeking equilibrium, seeking home. Yin and yang, light and dark, creation and destruction, tension and resolution, contraction and release – this is the heartbeat of the cosmos, the heartbeat of all art, music, literature, spirituality, the beat of our very own hearts, which must come to rest eventually. All things long to come to rest. It is no wonder that at its root the word ‘home’ means ‘rest’ or ‘lie down’. Home is not a place, a thing, or a person – it is rest.

 

 

  • Jeff Foster will be speaking at the Science and Nonduality Conference 2011 (October 19-23, Embassy Suites and Marin Center, San Rafael, California).
  • He will be holding a pre-conference workshop on Wednesday October 19th 2-6pm.
  • And on Monday October 24th  10am-4.30pm he will be holding a joint workshop with his dear friend Scott Kiloby entitled “Feelings and Time”.

More information here: www.scienceandnonduality.com

 

  • On 31st October – 5th November 2011 Jeff will be holding his first retreat in the USA!

 

FREEDOM IN EVERY EXPERIENCE

A 5-day Retreat with Jeff Foster

Petaluma, California, USA

What goes to the root of all my suffering and seeking?
Why do I continue to search for love, happiness, freedom and enlightenment?
Why does nothing ever seem to be enough for me?
What is the meaning and purpose of my life?
Who am I, beyond the image of myself?
What is the true meaning of ‘Acceptance’?
What is spiritual awakening? What is ‘nonduality’?
Is it possible to become awakened? Who awakens?

 

“On the retreat we will explore these questions, in dialogue and in stillness. Meeting together as friends, we will deeply explore the nature of our present moment experience, and discover the freedom and intimacy inherent there, no matter what is happening…” ~ Jeff

 

Discover who you really are, beyond your thoughts, feelings and experiences.
Explore the origins of addiction, conflict in relationships and physical suffering.
Find out the true meaning of peace, freedom and enlightenment.
Recognize what meditation and healing really are.
Discover the Home you never left.

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31st October – 5th November

@ the beautiful Earthrise Retreat Center at IONS, Petaluma, California.

(45 minutes north of San Francisco)

Now booking. Prices from $645.

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For more information please visit:
http://www.scienceandnonduality.com/retreat-jeff-foster-2011.shtml

Jeff’s website is: www.lifewithoutacentre.com

 

 

 

 

*Special thanks to photographer Bill Hale for the childrens pic from Hawaii.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/photosbybillhale/sets/

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