What is our
life’s purpose? It is a question many people ask. If we approach it from a
biological point of view the answer is simple: to stay alive and reproduce. So
it is all about survival of the species, or even more materialistically:
survival of your genes. You are your body, and your body is just a vehicle
making sure you genes reproduce themselves. Religion of course teaches us
something completely different. God created us, and we are here to serve God.
have in common that it is something outside of us which defines our purpose. We
basically have nothing to say in the matter. Until very recently the same was
the case in everyday life. People generally had little say in their own lives.
Girls were supposed to help their mothers, they were not encouraged to learn
anything, instead to marry, to stay at home and to raise plenty of children.
Boys were supposed to take part in hard physical labour or to become soldiers.
They were expected to obey orders and not to think for themselves; in the past
leaders expected total obedience.
these things are not what I mean by “Finding your life's purpose.” By this I
mean a purpose that is meaningful for myself
– not for someone or something else.
This naturally begs the question: suppose that my life is meaningful for
me, what does this tell me about myself? What kind of being would I need be in
order that that my life can have meaning for myself?
Now, when I create or build something - let us say a chair for example –
I am the one who defines the purpose of the chair. In this case, I want to sit
on it. Hence it could be said that when I have a creator, I do not have a
purpose of my own. My life can only have a purpose for myself when I am my own
creator, when I create my own life.
This means that a part of me must exist outside of space-time. If my
origin lies only within space-time I cannot be my own creator. In which case we
would have to conclude that there was something older than me that created me.
Thus, if the question “What is my life’s purpose?” is to have any meaning,
there have be two parts to me: the creator part, which exists outside of
space-time, and my earthly personality, which exists within space-time. Both
are me: the great me and the small me. The small me does not only
live on earth, he also lives within the great me and all his experiences are a
part of the great me.
My life’s purpose is known by the great me: it is this part that created
me, and what I am doing here is meaningful for him. So if I – the small me –
wants to know my life’s purpose the very first step is to become aware of the
Without acknowledging the great me, the question is not meaningful. I
would even affirm that without the great me we could not even raise the
question, we would simply obey external laws. We would be beings without an
inside world, without a psyche, somewhat like computers.
The fact that we are able to ask this very question is a sign that we are
to a certain degree in contact we the great me – our more traditionally
speaking: our soul.
Becoming aware of the
Where should we look to find the great me? Of course not in the outside
world but somewhere inside. Here lie three important obstacles. The first is
that we are not used to turning our attention inward for answers. In fact we
are not used to looking towards the inside at all, usually we only maintain
this attention for a few seconds then we start to think about something outside
us; often one of the many problems we experience in everyday life.
The second is a psychological obstacle: we believe that we are small,
that we have little or no importance. We cannot conceive that there is
something great within us, something eternal.
The third obstacle is also a psychological one: we believe that we are
bad or unworthy. Of course we manage to hide this from the outside world, but
if there is something like a great me inside me, he (I write he, but of course
it is also a she) must be aware of this, and therefore angry: I am a failure. So
it is better not to get in contact with the great me, since it will make us
feel even worse about ourselves.
How do we overcome these obstacles?
The first step is to go inside, to focus on your inner world. When people
do this they often try not to think, this is however very difficult to maintain
for more then a few seconds. So people start to think about their problems. The
solution to this problem is quite obvious. There are always things in your
inner world that are calling your attention, usually feelings such as anger or
sadness, or perhaps tension somewhere inside your body, or even pain. The main
reason people find it so hard to meditate is that they think they must keep
their mind away from things that are drawing their attention. However we can only
find inner peace when, instead of considering these things as unwanted or
negative, we value them. They are important because they are a part of you,
they contain important messages for you. They are calling your attention for a
If, for instance, you sense anger somewhere inside you, image in that
same place an angry child. Simply use your imagination. Imagination is a
powerful tool which allows us to contact our own inner world. People often
dismiss the imagination as something which is not real and with no real value.
But consider this or a moment: all great works of art, all human literature,
all these things sprung forth from the human imagination. Your imagination is
always very personal, it is unique, and it always tells you something about
So use your imagination, to get in contact with this child. Listen to
this child, be open and loving to it. This child is a part of you, perhaps a
part of you that you have neglected for a long time, and perhaps a part of you
which carries an important message.
If we allow ourselves to do this, if we see all those parts of ourselves
without any judgement, if we accept and even perhaps love all those parts of
ourselves, then we become the observers of our small selves: our personalities.
And this is when something beautiful can happen: by becoming the observer, we
also come in contact with the great selves: our souls.
Becoming aware of the
things that are blocking the energy of your soul
Our small selves are filled with ideas, thoughts and feelings which arise
in reaction to the outside world. Since most ideas in the outside world are
based on fear, these ideas block the energy of our soul, which is an energy
base on love. Some of these ideas seem so self evident that we can hardly imagine
they could be wrong.
What are these ideas?
First of all there is our primary reaction to the fear-based energies of
society. We sense that we don’t fit in, that we are different. And we conclude
that there is something wrong with us. That we need to change, or to grow up.
As a result we live in a state of permanent self-judgement.
By constantly condemning and suppressing ourself we push away the energy
of our soul. The consequence of this is that we experience the feeling of a
lack of love. We begin to think that we are not loved. And so begins the big
quest for love. We believe that the world at large is indifferent to us and
that we have to work very hard in order to earn a little bit of love from
Along with this ideas comes the feeling of powerlessness. We learn to
believe that we do not have control over our own live. Other people are in
power, not us. We learn that everything is separated. We are separated from
other people by walls, or borders. We are separated from the stars and other
planets by an immense space.
So there are basically four immense fears which we internalize.
- The fear of lack in general, and love in particular.
- The fear of powerlessness.
- The fear of separation.
- The fear of being bad, or worthless.
In order to overcome these illusions we must first become aware of them.
We can do this by embracing one by one the following opposing ideas:
- I am a source of love and abundance.
- I am a powerful creator.
- I am one with the universe.
- I am good.
When you embrace one of these thoughts, for instance “I am a source of
love.” it is likely that you immediately
feel resistance. Most likely a thought appears which rejects the idea directly,
without question. Now use your imagination. Imagine somewhere inside you there
is a person who is verbalising out this dismissive thought, saying for example
that the idea that you are source of love is ridiculous.
Take the time to study this person. Where does he or she come from. It is
very probable that it is a voice from your past; perhaps one of your parents.
But as you start to think about it you will realise that it is an outside
voice. The voice does not come from within, it does not really belong to you.
However, the things this sceptical voice is telling you may be true, or they
may be false. There is perhaps doubt within you. Be rational about this doubt :
since it is there, then it makes sense to give the positive possibility a
So embrace the thought “I am a source of love.” Repeat it several times a
day. After all, you have repeated negative thoughts so many times throughout
your life. Why not give positive thoughts a little chance? How does this feel?
And each time you repeat one of these positive thoughts, pay attention to
the negative reaction inside you. Study it using your imagination. Probably you
will slowly come to the conclusion that all these negative thoughts have there
roots in society-based fears around you, which you have integrated as your own.
The more your become aware of this, the more you will be able to let go of all
your thoughts and ideas based on these fears, and the more space you will
create for the great me. Creating space means no longer holding back the great
me, which allows the energy of your soul start flowing in. Getting in contact
with this energy is a fundamental step in finding you life’s purpose.
Your life's purpose:
What is your life’s purpose?
It is of course is different for each one of us. Nevertheless, it can be
said that when the energy of your soul is flowing freely in to the world, when
your are expressing your most authentic, true self in the world, you have found
your life’s purpose. For people who are doing this already the question has
simply disappeared; they feel it, they know it. They are a little like happy
children playing in the sun, enjoying life, living in the moment. The big
questions do not matter so much to them, since big question are often a sign of
unhappiness. Someone who is genuinely happy does not usually ask: “Why am I here?
What is my purpose?” Being happy is in fact an answer to these questions.
Yet many people are unhappy, and are asking these question. Why? The
answer is simple: we are not welcome in this world. The fear-based energies of
our societies are such that they suppress the energy of the great me. The world
wants us to be small, wants us to conform and obey. It wants only the small me,
not the great me. And during our childhood we internalize these ideas of the
world, and in doing so we also reject the great me. As a result we do not
really feel happy and we start to ask the big questions.
Usually when we ask the question “what is my life’s purpose?”, we ask it
from a particular viewpoint: the very fact that we are asking the question
means that we do not know the answer. We believe that the answer lies outside
me. Where? My soul has it; hence my soul is something outside me, floating
somewhere high above me. So how do we come into contact with it? The key is
self acceptance. The more we accept ourselves the less we judge ourselves, and
the more we begin to feel appreciation and love for ourselves, the more we
enter into contact with our souls.
The first step is to go inward and to accept the idea that whatever we
find there is important, however apparently negative it may seem to us at
first. By accepting everything inside us with love and consideration, we become
aware of this loving observer , observing the small me. It is the great me: it
is our soul.
We do not find the great me by looking for it, but by embracing its ideas
and perceiving the way the great me considers us: in total acceptance, with
unconditional love. We can never find our soul because our soul is not
something outside of us. But we can become one with our soul – with ourselves -
by ceasing to identify with ideas that do not belong to the realm of the soul,
such as our old fear based ideas, and by embracing those that do belong to the
soul: which are unequivocally ideas based on love.
What then is our life's purpose? Firstly, to become aware of the great
me. But that is not all. The small me is also pivotal. If you do wish to find
your life’s purpose, do not dismiss your ego – at least not completely. As we
become aware of the great me, we become aware of an almost infinite potential.
We can compare the small me to a piece of coloured glass that only allows
certain rays of sunlight to pass through. The sun is the great me, the piece of
coloured glass the small me. Within this comparison, any shadows or stains on
the glass are our fears, and our fear-based ideas. In the same way the small me
filters the energy of the soul, allowing only certain aspects of the soul's
energy to flow into this world.
In order to allow this filter to work properly three steps are required.
First of all we must clean the filter,
which is done by becoming aware of out old fears. This is the equivalent of
cleaning the glass. Secondly, we must become aware of and acknowledge the
existence of the great me. When the glass is no longer stained, the sunlight
can stream through. And finally it is necessary to the understand the filter.
What colour is the glass? What part of the soul's energy of the soul does it
want to allow to shine out into society?
As you consider this analogy, you may notice that when we ask the question:
“What is my life’s purpose?”, there are two mistakes we can make. In the first
case the glass is stained, which prevents it allowing light to flow through
properly. The shadows or stains represent our thoughts and actions which are
based on fear. Imagine for instance a person who has a fear of lack. He or she
may have thoughts such as; “I want to be a millionaire and become famous and be
loved by everybody.”
The second trap or mistake is when the glass is not aware of its own
colour, and it wants to let all of the sunlight through. This however
impossible. In this case the person is not sufficiently aware of their own ego
and personality: they strive to save and to change the whole world, they want
to give their love to everybody. The result is inevitably disappointment or
even traumatic experiences.
For a moment, forget about saving the world, forget your soul, brush
aside your fears, and let go of what society wants you to do. Feel your ego,
yes, feel your ego. Allow it just to be. You ego knows what your personality
really wants, it understand the colour of the filter that you are. Once you
understand this you will know the purpose of your life. When this becomes
clear, you can begin to express the energy of you soul according your own
colour, according you own personality; and you need your ego to be able to do
this. It is your ego that allows you not to go along with outside
energies that want or attempt to use or dominate you. You need your ego in
order to contain the energy of you soul, and this is what allows your earthly
personality to be fulfilled.
Edited by Kathleen Bentley
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