To understand this quote, we first need to look at the nature of life energy.
We are all beings created from life energy and hence have all the qualities, and nature, of this life energy.
An essential, and inherent, nature of life energy is the existence of polarity – in other words, life energy consists of the light and dark aspects, what is also referred to as “yin and yang” in the eastern teachings.
In a state of balance there is an equal quality of light and dark – for example, a stable atom has equal number of electrons and protons. An atom is a creation of life and hence is subject to the nature of life.
However, balance is not a permanent state but a state which is achieved from a state of imbalance – there is a constant movement towards imbalance followed by a movement towards balance, this is again a play of polarity in life.
Nothing stays static not even the state of balance – a permanent state of balance is a dead state, and life is dynamic force, it keeps moving into imbalance and back into balance.
Once you become observant, you will notice this play of polarity in all creations/aspects of life – for example, the presence of birth followed by death, the presence of day followed by night, the presence of hunger followed by satiation, the presence of masculine and feminine.
In fact, the flow of electricity which is again a form of life energy, is owing to the presence of positive and negative poles.
The presence of polarity is what makes life a dynamic force, which is constantly in movement – the yin seeks the yang, and the yang seeks the yin, the light seeks the dark and the dark seeks the light, the positive seeks the negative and negative seeks the positive, fullness seeks emptiness and emptiness seeks fullness. If there was no polarity, life would be a dead energy, a static energy which has no expression or movement.
What Rumi meant by this quote
When you “seek” (through a desire, goal or an objective), you go into a state of imbalance – the seeking produces an “absence”, and hence the loss of balance, the loss of fullness.
Every desire creates an emptiness or rather it stems from a state of emptiness. This imbalance, created through your seeking, now seeks fulfillment or “balance”. The moment you go into imbalance, owing to your “seeking” or desiring, a counter movement starts (the movement of polarity) where the energy required for balancing (this imbalance) starts seeking you.
Rumi was spot on when he made this observation about life that “what you seek, is also seeking you” – the moment you seek, you create a polarity (let’s call it dark or yin) and this polarity causes the opposite (let’s call it light or yang) to now seek it – the dark now starts seeking the light, and light starts seeking this dark, only when they merge can there be a balance or fulfillment.
When you desire something, you start to attract energy required for its manifestation
Rest assured that every time you create a desire in you, the very energy (or manifestation) required for the fulfillment of this desire starts seeking you.
What’s required is that you allow yourself to stay open to the feeling of emptiness that the desire creates – don’t suppress this feeling, don’t try to pretend that you don’t feel empty. Don’t feel “bad” about this emptiness – just accept it, allow it and live it as a part of your being.
If you start feeling bad, or negative, towards this emptiness you will creating a force of resistance towards the feeling of fulfillment – this will cause you to “attract” the state of negativity owing to the other nature of life which is referred to as the law of attraction.
This is the secret to manifestation, staying true to the law of polarity by allowing the emptiness (the seeking) within, and complying with the law of attraction by not creating a state of resistance/negativity towards emptiness. Fullness is seeking emptiness to fulfill it, and emptiness is of course seeking fullness – this is the play of life, what you seek will always seek you until it merges and finds balance.