Life purpose

Talk about anything Tolle-related here.
Post Reply
Hiren Shah
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 12:58 pm
Location: Delhi
Contact:

Life purpose

Post by Hiren Shah » Fri Jul 06, 2007 1:47 pm

Though Echart Tolle's "A new Earh" is as good as "The power of now", what he has written from the point view of individual life purpose is somewhat disappointing. As always he encourages to be in the present while doing whatever activity and focussing more on the how than the what and doing and enjoying the activiey for itself rather than a means to an end. That is all very fine but when under the three modalities of Awakened doing he writes "

"Then there is another way of creative manifestation that may come to those who remain true to their inner purpose of awakening. Suddenly one day they know what their outer purpose is. They have a great vision, a great goal and from then on they work towards implementing that goal. Their goal or vision is usually connected in some way to something on a smaller scale they are doing and enjoy doing already"."

He has described the problem very well " In fact, in the modern world, more and more people are confused as to where they fit in, what their purpose is, and even who they are"

I expected something better from somebody of Eckhart's talent. I have written thirteen published articles on the subject of life purpose. The latest is "Soul of a profession" which was published in an Indian HR magaine in June'2007. The links to all the other articles are there on my blog:-
http://mypyp.wordpress.com/. The introductory page relevant links and relvant books on the right hand side ot the page reveal the magnitude of the problem.

In the Quotable Quotes apart from the Indian President, there are quotes by spiritual stalwarts such as Osho and J.krishnamurthy. Though many have described the problem well, nobody so far has been able to determine the correct solution. There are some American consultants who are experimenting with "career meditations" but do not seem to have met with much success. Spiritual leaders like Osho have suggested that one way to find purpose is an activity in which one looses awareness of space and time which implies that the "Power of now" then fructifies spontaneously.

From someone like Eckhart, since he has mentioned awakening your life's purpose, one would expect more fervent proactive attempts at determining life purpose instead of it being an issue of trial and error. Even all the ancient religions talk about it- Hinduism, Islam, Ancient China, Ancient Greece but nobody so far has been able to decide how?

User avatar
kiki
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4563
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: Wherever "here" happens to be

Post by kiki » Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:09 pm

Hiren Shah wrote:I expected something better from somebody of Eckhart's talent.
I don't ever recall ET claiming to be a career coach.
Hiren Shah wrote:I have written thirteen published articles on the subject of life purpose.
Well, I guess that you are taking up the slack and filling in some gaps then. But it begs the question, has doing all of that writing and explaining actually revealed your true nature? And what is the relationship of your true nature, formless consciousness, to what form does while on the level of manifestation?

One's "outer purpose" gives some sort of meaning within the context of form, something to satisfy the mentally created egoic entity. They can feel happy and fulfilled while doing that particular thing if they find out what that is. Their identity revolves around that outer purpose. But does finding that career/profession reveal what they are in their essence or does it make living on the level of form comfortable or satisfying for the egoic entity?

Many search for years and never find that particular thing which they think will make them happy. One of ET's main points is that what they are really searching for is what they actually are in their true essence. What of those people who find their career calling but there is still a sense that something is lacking? Waking up, discovering what you really are, destroys any further egoic need to do anything in particular to feel fulfilled and happy. When awake nothing feeds an egoic need anymore. One's life on the level of form is no longer steered by the needs of the form as interpreted by the ego.
Even all the ancient religions talk about it- Hinduism, Islam, Ancient China, Ancient Greece but nobody so far has been able to decide how?
Makes you wonder why, doesn't it.

eseward
Posts: 830
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:27 pm
Location: New York
Contact:

Post by eseward » Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:27 pm

Nice, kiki.

User avatar
yougarksooo
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 7:14 pm
Location: Indiana

Post by yougarksooo » Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:04 pm

One's "outer purpose" gives some sort of meaning within the context of form, something to satisfy the mentally created egoic entity. They can feel happy and fulfilled while doing that particular thing if they find out what that is. Their identity revolves around that outer purpose. But does finding that career/profession reveal what they are in their essence or does it make living on the level of form comfortable or satisfying for the egoic entity?
All very good questions. My answer is "no" that career/profession does not, in itself, reveal what I am in my essence. It tends to get stuck in my head in thoughts about who I am, who you are, where I'm going, where you're goind, who you are compared to me, what my title is, how I'm going to be this or that someday. Having said that, when I remain present in my job, everything is fulfilling. Every single thing is a part of what is, including my job. So fulfillment isn't really coming from the job. It is coming from knowing and being who I am in this (or as this) moment.

Tolle does mention in A New Earth that when it comes to outer purpose it might be more helpful to have a fluid, ongoing purpose (to help others, to write books, to enjoy work) rather than a static goal such as obtaining this title or this promotion or this job or this raise. Those static goals are ego food. The fluid, ongoing approach allows presence to merge, so to speak, with the secondary outer purpose (the goal). It's all then just one thing. They aren't seen as separate. I'm not trying to get "there." I'm already here, and life is unfolding naturally. I'm not really driving.

How do I say this? I'm not trying to reach a point out there because I'm blinded by some goal, and therefore missing presence along the way. Instead, each moment presents itself. Life sort of moves through me. And then the outer purpose reveals itself along the way, either at some point or it gradually unfolds. Having the static goal confuses me as to what the heck this moment is about. Do I really think I have that much control that every moment can be planned up to the point of reaching that goal? That is pure illusion.

I don't know if any of that makes sense. Whenever a static goal pops into my mind, I always ask myself, "why"---"Why is reaching that important to me." "Who is it important to?" "To some idea of myself?" "What do I think reaching that goal will give me and why is getting that necessary to my peace and happiness?" This usally reveals that I'm seeking something on the level of form (ego). That is fine, but it isn't connected to my essence. Somehow, by remaining present and making sure goals are not static, my essence and form combine---in a way that I could not begin to explain. They aren't separate though. So to talk about career and profession without reference to this moment makes no sense to me.
Last edited by yougarksooo on Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"When people ask me who they are or who God is, I smile inside and whisper to the light: there you go again . . . pretending."

Adya

Goldenflutist
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:43 am
Location: North America
Contact:

Brilliant

Post by Goldenflutist » Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:05 pm

I like your straightforward way of putting things. Thanks for expressing these thoughts for the rest of us.
A dog's eyes reflect the innocence and beauty of nature.

Goldenflutist
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:43 am
Location: North America
Contact:

Sticky subject

Post by Goldenflutist » Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:27 pm

what he has written from the point view of individual life purpose is somewhat disappointing.
As for me, I did not focus on the issues you discuss when I listened to the book 2 times. I found it refreshing and full of wisdom.

I think Tolle went as far as he could without becoming pedantic on the subject. That is one reason I became interested in his teachings, because he doesn't come across to me as a know-it-all. He provides pointers and it is up to you to find your own road in life. To be honest with you, I don't want someone telling me I have to have a "life purpose". Sounds like a cliché to me. Trees and animals don't ask those questions, and according to Tolle they are closer to life's source than humans. That is our problem; thinking things to death.
A dog's eyes reflect the innocence and beauty of nature.

User avatar
yougarksooo
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 7:14 pm
Location: Indiana

Post by yougarksooo » Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:36 pm

I don't want someone telling me I have to have a "life purpose". Sounds like a cliché
Well said. What is a life purpose anyway? How easily that could turn into just some story we tell about ourselves, ya know?
"When people ask me who they are or who God is, I smile inside and whisper to the light: there you go again . . . pretending."

Adya

Goldenflutist
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:43 am
Location: North America
Contact:

Post by Goldenflutist » Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:46 pm

Yes, yougarksooo, that was exactly my point. Thanks for the support!
A dog's eyes reflect the innocence and beauty of nature.

Foxtrot
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:44 pm
Location: Phila. Pa.

Post by Foxtrot » Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:06 pm

From someone like Eckhart, since he has mentioned awakening your life's purpose, one would expect more fervent proactive attempts at determining life purpose instead of it being an issue of trial and error. Even all the ancient religions talk about it- Hinduism, Islam, Ancient China, Ancient Greece but nobody so far has been able to decide how?
In my opinion, people seem to work themselves up quite a bit about what " their life's purpose is ". Many seem to be looking for this mysterious something that is " their life's purpose " , like it is something they were born with, forgot it, and are now trying to remember it, so they can do it, and feel happy and fulfilled. That is a total illusion, a fallacy, and sorry to dissapoint those that think that but, it just isn't so.

You are not born with a life pupose you CHOOSE it. You decide what you want to do with your time here and now on the planet and you do it. It is not something that is given us, each individually by the big guy upstairs. That is why no one can ever tell you what yours is, because you have to choose it. That feeling inside, that their is some special reason for your being on the planet, is the trace feeling of Oneness that you experienced as an infant but is now covered up in a sense, by all the mental and emotional conditioning obscuring your awareness. Once you start to look at and question the false self that you firmly believe you are, the concepts, ideas, ways you should act etc, and start to see them as false, you can then let them go. After you see through a number of them, you start to get little glimpses of the reality that you really are. You will find yourself being drawn to the things you really love, really feel passionate about, and usually will choose to do something that is in alignment with that.

I have never heard Eckhart mention, to " Awaken your lifes purpose ". What I remember either reading, or hearing him say is that
" Awakening IS your lifes purpose ". If you do the inner work to know who you really are, the outer just becomes very apparent and effortless. People want a sage or a psychic to tell them what to do, what's my purpose. It does not work that way. Never has. Never will. Very sorry if I burst anyones bubble.

Agnieszka
Posts: 163
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:31 pm
Location: Poland
Contact:

Post by Agnieszka » Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:22 pm

My case is that I have lots of "tiny" life purposes :D but only one GOAL: "know thyself".
I'm not sure if anybody already spoke about it here, but during a satsang with Byron Katie (google), when a girl worried that "she feels she's missing her life purpose", Byron Katie said something like: "your life purpose is to be here now, to hold that mike and ask questions, to receive answers from me, then to hand back the mike, go out, have insights afterwards..." It illuminated me!
And I stopped complaining "but my life purpose was to help people and animals on a grand scale and I don't have time and energy for this cause I still have to do all that stuff all the time!".

eseward
Posts: 830
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:27 pm
Location: New York
Contact:

Post by eseward » Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:28 pm

Beautifully said IMO, Foxtrot. Beautiful.

User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6741
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Jul 07, 2007 12:16 am

How does purpose relate to Being? It seems to me that purpose is a secondary issue. Purpose is a guide to a more focused area of experience as it relates to form; but failure in purpose is equally experiential, even though the original intent seems to have been missed. Who’s to say that the greater value in experience is not in the failure rather than in accomplishment of the original intent.

If my purpose is to go to the grocery store today, how important is a successful result?

If my purpose is to vacation in Europe this year, how important is a successful result?

If my purpose is to become an engineer or doctor, how important is a successful result?

If my purpose is to know my True Nature, how important is a successful result?

There is any number of purposes in life, and they may overlap and change at any time. Does one have a purpose, set by an omnipresent creator, unique to an ego attached to a given form? How could one ever know from the ego perspective?

My point is that there are many levels of purpose, and working towards whatever end in which we are motivated, either short or long term, does not necessarily put one in touch with some Divinely assigned task. It seems to me that too much focus on material purpose creates a distraction from now in favor of some future accomplishment. It may be though, that one's true purpose is only that purpose that can be realized in the here and now. And it may also be that the need for purpose came into being because of the fall from Grace. Therefore our highest purpose may be specifically related to a return to the Grace of Original Clarity.

In Genesis, God told Adam and Eve to run around and have fun, do what ever you wish, just don’t go carving it up into ideas of right and wrong; because to do so is only going to cause a lot of heartache and self-imposed stupidity. Yes, I know it’s an allegory, but it’s a metaphor for all of us in our state of experiencing separate existence.

In my view the primary purpose in an individual life is to recognize Identity. But one can’t argue with the apparent Divine purpose of experience in form in general. All of this is just my opinion of course, but until life becomes clearer, it will have to do.

Foxtrot
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:44 pm
Location: Phila. Pa.

Post by Foxtrot » Sat Jul 07, 2007 7:01 am

After writing my first reply, something was bothering me inside about this post, so I came back for a second look. At first I thought you were posing a question as to how one finds their life purpose, but after a second look, that was not directly being asked. I then visited your website and saw that it contains many many references, books, and inspiring stories all stating the same thing, find something you love, that you feel passionate about and then do that. So you already know how to on an external level find what is ones life purpose as it relates to work, a job, a career. Your final paragraph I am unsure how to interpret since you end it with a ?, as if you are still searching for an answer yourself. Here is the quote.
From someone like Eckhart, since he has mentioned awakening your life's purpose, one would expect more fervent proactive attempts at determining life purpose instead of it being an issue of trial and error. Even all the ancient religions talk about it- Hinduism, Islam, Ancient China, Ancient Greece but nobody so far has been able to decide how?
Is it possible that you have all that great information on your site but are missing the answer that is right there? Then there is this sentence in the first paragraph
Though Echart Tolle's "A new Earh" is as good as "The power of now", what he has written from the point view of individual life purpose is somewhat disappointing.
And this sentence in the fourth paragraph
I expected something better from somebody of Eckhart's talent..
So what is your purpose then with this post? Is it an attempt to find an answer to a problem of this magnitude as you put it, or just to voice your dissapointment with Eckhart regarding this topic of life purpose. The answer to the problem is in what Eckhart teaches combined with the info in some of the books you mentioned on your site. If it is to voice your disappointment with what Eckhart has said on this topic, I would suggest that your dissapointment comes from a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of what his meaning is. You talk about a lifes purpose as something one derives satisfaction from in the form of a job, something in the external world. However is you reread what Eckhart says I think you will find he makes a distinction between an Inner Purpose and an Outer or External Purpose. If you seek to find meaning in your life in the outer, well then of course you will be dissapointed. As he states Inner Pupose is primary, and Outer is only secondary. If you confuse the two, if you unconciously seek outwardly for what can only come from the Inner you will be frustrated. If you get the Inner, or Primary purpose first, then the Outer will come. That is the teaching. Not his teaching but what every spiritual teacher I have heard has said about this topic.

I would really like to know what your purpose of this post is, since just reading words, with out voice inflections and tone, without face to face communication, the meaning can be interpreted out of context and in differing ways by different indivduals.

Hiren Shah
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 12:58 pm
Location: Delhi
Contact:

Post by Hiren Shah » Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:52 am

What of those people who find their career calling but there is still a sense that something is lacking? Waking up, discovering what you really are, destroys any further egoic need to do anything in particular to feel fulfilled and happy. When awake nothing feeds an egoic need anymore. One's life on the level of form is no longer steered by the needs of the form as interpreted by the ego
.

As kiki suggests that even after you find your calling, is there still something lacking? I really don't know the answer to that but from my various experiences, I do know that when you do what you enjoy doing, you do lose awareness of time and space and feel kind of wholesome and fully in the moment. Whether you still need to feel further fulfilled is something that I don’t really know .

I have read about t cases like a very well qualified doctor leaving everything to be a nursery teacher because she loved children, a child psychologist in New york becoming a taxi driver because of his passion for driving, a well qualified accountant wanting to be a carpenter etc. In all these cases, the people concerned have given up money and status or egoic need for what they truly love. Kiki also says
Waking up, discovering what you really are, destroys any further egoic need to do anything in particular to feel fulfilled and happy. When awake nothing feeds an egoic need anymore
.

It is not necessary that “calling” should reflect egoic need.. To me egoic need means the money and status that comes from work and not work per se.- some Artists have endured a lifetime of poverty for the love of their work, some actors put up with rejection after rejection, animal lovers live in appalling conditions- so here, the work is hardly satisfying an “egoic need” though in some other cases it may be so. They just like work for the sake of it. J.krishnamurthy talks of a functional ego and a psychological ego- only the psychological ego is the egoic need.
You can be awakened and still be in the right occupation- nothing wrong with that. Apart from the essence that Eckhart has explained, India’s great mystic Osho puts it differently:-

Unless you find your spontaneity, unless you find your element, you cannot be happy and if you cannot be happy, you cannot be meditative. Wherever they found a happy person, they found a meditative mind. Both things got associated.It is deemed that happiness comes when one is meditative; it was just the other way around- Meditation comes when you are happy.

What Osho is saying is that in the right occupation, you are spontaneously happy as well an meditative. Both him and J.krishmamurthy have said that in their books on education. If for some reason that is not possible, Eckhart’s awakening can come handy which is relevant in any case since one should try to be in the moment all the time.

In my view, both the inner and outer purpose in this particular context are important.. The choice as Foxtrot has mentioned is very easy for some and very difficult for some other people. Since Eckhart has explained the Inner purpose in such a comprehensible fashion, one hopes that perhaps some day, some one will find the way to determine the outer purpose accurately instead of leaving the choice to vagaries of chance and trial and error. The purpose of the writeup is to give due attention to the outer puspose

(This came as an afterthought- I must add that it is not just money or status that determines the egoic need but with what motive you do do something. Eckhart has also pointed out that don't imagine yourself as a famous writer/filmstar but just think of serving mankind. So why should one not pursue outer purpose when pursued for itself(satisfcation) or even when rooted in the being. It can be a double whammy- both kinds of fulfillment instead of intellectual debates on which is better or more desirable)

Purely from common sense and practical perspective, since everybody cannot be talanted for everything, outer purpose is also important. From an overall perspective, inner purpose may be better but from a general, practical perspective, it can also be viewed as a coping mechanism when outer purpose cannot be achieved. )

OnlyNow
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 8:47 am

Post by OnlyNow » Sat Jul 07, 2007 12:01 pm

Just to reflect on the issue of 'disappointment with et'

If one experiences disappointment then surely the ego is at work here.

Some kind of expectation or 'more' would appear to be wanted.

ET specifically reminds us that any fulfillment gained from the 'world' or form can never last for long, purely if only because the world and form are temporary

Once one has experienced the root of indentity or the 'knowing' of who they really are then disappointment becomes just an adjective of ego and the world of form.

If Hiren Shah you had reached that 'knowing' I would feel you would find your own question redundant
When the Pupil is ready the Master appears

Post Reply