Lets focus on the world “compulsive” in our meditation on this quote. Compulsive means I have no choice. We use this word all the time to describe our addictions and irresistible habits. Our very minds seem to run on the tracks of compulsion. And like the child’s Christmas Train, Compulsion runs in a circle. The Compulsion takes you on a ride and returns you to where you began, usually vowing not to take that ride again. But you do. That’s the compulsion, to repeat an action over and over even though you know it won’t be the last.
A compulsion seems to focus us, like it’s a tunnel into which all our paths lead, and it’s not the light at the end of the tunnel that drives one into the tunnel, but the contraction of the compulsion that seeks release from the pain of the compulsion. The compulsion is self generating tension and release.
Turning away from the Now is compulsive striving to find release from the compulsion through temporary objects of desire. One creates the pain in order to be free from it. I’m reminded of play. In play we create a pretend situation so we can be liberated from it. Take a cross word puzzle, for instance. The puzzle creates the tension (pain) of the game and the release from the tension when you solve the puzzle.
Compulsive striving is a game, a form of play, that we take seriously. When we see through and through the game of it, the play of it, you “feel a presence, a stillness, a peace.” We enjoy the cross word puzzle because we know it’s a game. We enjoy our life (the joy of Being) when we know our striving is a game.