“I should like to change the name ‘seekers’ to ‘explorers.’ There is a considerable difference there: we do not ‘seek’ the Atlantic we explore it. The whole field of religious exploration has to be explored and has to be described in a language understandable to modern men and women.”~Ole Olden, 1955
When I think about it seeking seems to mean that I’m looking for something, that I haven’t yet encountered what it is I’m searching for, but I’m on my way to encountering it. If I’m seeking Lake Michigan when I find it the search is over, but if I were to explore Lake Michigan the discovery will continue until I want to stop. Exploration is a more difficult path than seeking, because it requires a certain amount of child-like curiosity and a willingness to give up on expectations.
I’ve always been an explorer, and have never been much of a seeker, mostly because I don’t see the point in it. For me seeking means that once I find what I need the journey is over, I can settle down with my new found philosophy and never have to question anything ever again. I can’t accept that. My life is ever moving and ever evolving without an end in sight. Exploration allows me to examine my personal philosophies and see what exactly I believe, and if necessary, remove those aspects of my life that might in some way be harmful to me or to others.
As seasoned explorers we must travel with a compass, for me this compass is contained within the testimonies. They give me a ground with which I can view the new territories that I venture into and help me to figure out what parts of myself I might need to examine. They aren’t so rigid as most religious doctrines that might narrow my vision, but instead represent the fruits of a life focused inward and in the end help me to translate my love into my outer life no matter where I might explore.