I have made such a big deal of this thing called purpose. Feeling it’s absence in my life, or simply having forgotten it, or having suppressed it – whatever the case may be – has left me feeling like something was missing in my life. That there was something wrong with me.
I defined purpose, when I started to look for one, as that thing I came to this world to do or to learn. But I am beginning to suspect I have bought into yet another illusion. Yet another belief structure of humanity and society.
If I do not believe in fate or destiny, what room could there be for a purpose? If I would not want to be confined to fate or destiny, why would I allow myself to wear the shackles of purpose? What if there is no purpose? No fate, no destiny – nothing.
Or what if the reason I am here, call it destiny, fate or purpose, is beyond physical understanding? Something I can only translate into insufficient physical terms, like Christians trying to define God, trying to stuff the creator of the entire fucking Universe into a box. Futile, pointless and potentially harmful. Certainly shortsighted.
Eckhart Tolle teaches me that this thing called purpose only exists in the future. It is a favorite ego fantasy. That my purpose is whatever I am doing in this moment, now. To put all my attention and awareness into whatever I am doing.
I just finished Millman’s “Peaceful Warrior.” The main character in that story learns a lesson so hard it literally kills him. Not sure how that works, the mind can not distinguish between an image it holds or something the physical body sees. He has a vision of his own death. Only I think it was more than that. But ultimately, even that character found a purpose, to be a Warrior, a Teacher.
I am troubled by this, because if I go by what Tolle says, my purpose is to be here, living with my parents in their motorhome. To have no money, nobody to share my life with. To ultimately have no future. I see nothing on this path that leads me to believe it will carry me to a life I actually want to live. And I am to embrace this, accept it, and live each moment of this life as if whatever I am doing in that moment is my purpose.
Am I not allowed to define my life for myself? To choose a purpose the appeals to me and live that? Must I just accept things as they are, whether I like them or not? On the other hand, what good does it do me to complain, fight and struggle? To, as the Bible says, “Kick against the goads?”
If I can not embrace my life as it is in this moment, if I can not accept it as it is, then I will suffer. Do I really want to add more suffering to a life that I consider to be far less than I want? No. So I will practice this, embracing each moment, accepting it, not wanting it to change or be anything else. I will continue to train myself through ACIM so that I may see things as they are. I will accept them a they are and see them as they are. This is my intention.
I am not sure if I believe this yet, but I will state it as fact and let it be weighed on the scales of personal experience. When you were born, it was without destiny, fate, karma or even purpose. Nobody was born to be a dancer, painter, teacher, or even a Warrior. You come into the world not only naked physically but also naked in every other aspect.
Does that mean your life is meaningless? Does your life have to have meaning? It seems to me that this is heavy burden to carry. If you have not found any meaning in your life, you will feel somehow lacking or missing something. I am not so sure things have to have meaning, and whatever meaning we assign them is a limited definition at best.
You were not born with a meaning, any more than you were born with clothes, or a destiny, fate, karma, purpose or sin. Yet you were born complete and perfect. Whatever your physical condition, you came into the world complete. It may not look that way on the surface, but every human comes into the world a complete package, lacking nothing and yet having nothing more than a physical body and that energy that gives it life, call it what you will.
Maybe this is a tough pill to swallow. But I am right there with you, trying to choke it down. Because I have come to understand that of all the things I understand, I know little, and all the things I know I understand little. But I am learning and coming to know these things that have, so far, remained merely intellectual constructs.
Embrace Uncertainty, Question Everything.