Life purpose

Talk about anything Tolle-related here.
eseward
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Post by eseward » Sat Jul 07, 2007 4:36 pm

Very well said again IMO, Foxtrot, and OnlyNow as well. :)

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yougarksooo
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Post by yougarksooo » Sat Jul 07, 2007 5:26 pm

To me egoic need means the money and status that comes from work and not work per se.-
Right, or it means building up that self-identification. Seeing myself as a little better than others (or a little worse) depending on who I'm comparing myself to. It's that belief that my job title or position is who I am. That is very sneaky in my life. That same thing came in the back door when I identified as a spiritual teacher. There was a time when I truly believed I was a teacher and my ego was getting something from that. There was also a time when I realized that these forums were feeding my ego when someone agreed with me or commented favorably on my posts.

It's all the same thing and very false. Constant self-awareness is needed to see through these very delicious, inviting self-definitions and identifications. Someone said in another post, "how can you become what you already are." So true. My essence has nothing to do with job titles, whether I see myself as a teacher, or whether people think that what I say sounds really spiritual. That is all ego stuff. And, just from my own experience, very destructive, not only to me but to my relationships with others. I'm constantly comparing and judging others when I identify with these things. It's living inside a bubble. My mind believes that the bubble is me. But all of these identities and thoughts are easily popped. Then I really get to the business of enjoying life, career, etc
"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

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Post by Hiren Shah » Sun Jul 08, 2007 12:20 pm

Onlynow:-
If being in the state of knowing makes the question "redundant", one wonders why ET has given such significance to it. Apart from mentioning that people are confused about their outer purpose, he has elaborated on enthusiasm under the three modalities of awakened doing while stating that for those who remain true to their iinner purpose of awakening" Suddenly one day they know what their outer purpose is. They have a great vision, a goal and from then on they work towards implementing that goal".

ET has used the word deep enthusiasm in his writings which corroborates with the words "deeply embedded life interest" by Harvard University consultants and the word deep interest used by Morgan and Banks, HRD consultants in 30 countries. Normally expressions like "fulfillment of soul" are used by artists but inreasingly, they are being used by management consultants like those at http://www.yoursoulatwork.com whose twenty years of experience reveal that it is an all prevasive problem.

In my blog, I have used the word passion instead of enthusiasm which according to ET is nothing but enjoyment combined with goal. He further says on enthusiasm:-
1) At the height of activity fueled by enthusiasm, there will be enormous intensity and energy of what you do. sustained enthusiasm brings about a creative wave and all one needs to do is ride the wave.
2) The word enthusiasm means to be posessed by God.
3)Enthusiasm and ego cannot coexist. One implies the absence of the other. When enthusiasm encounters obstacles in the form of adverse situations, it yields and embraces the opposing energy into a helpful one.

If being in the state of knowing alone mattered, ET would have mentioned outer purpose at all and also not explained enthusiasm so extensively. Being in the state of knowing can at best mitigate your agony if you are in the wrong occupation. ET even seconds Ralph Waldo Emerson's " Nothing great was achieved without enthusiasm". If what you say is true he should have said "Nothing else should matter once you are in a state of knowing" The ramifications of people living their outer purpose are mind boggling.

One of ET's favorite authors has been J,Krishnamurthy. JK talks of psychological memory and functionaly memory. He says that functional memeory is needed to function(remember various things) but psychological memory is best forgotten to remain in the present moment. Simimilarly to function in the world, one has to have an occupation so might as well have the right one which suits one's profile and interest. Why bring ego and the state of knowing into all this? I was surprised by the expression that "Disappointment implies that ego is at work here". How? I have the highest respect for ET because of the manner in which he has explained things. All I wanted to coney was that maybe he could have tackled outer purpose as well as he has tackled inner purpose. How does that reflect my ego? I can also say that this is being judgemental which ET has strongly spoken against but I don't want to say anything because I don't know you well enough to pass judgements.

Sometimes one can be on an "Intellectual high" and look at everything in terms of the ego. Basic fact is- Why did ET mentionn outer purpose at all if the inner purpose or the state of knowing alone mattered?

Onlynow is a lovely name by the way. This is what the great mystic osho has to say about being spontaneously "onlynow":-

"Somebody who could have been a poet is just a moneylender. Somebody who could have been a painter is a doctor. Somebody who could have been a good doctor is a businessman. Everybody is displaced. Everybody is doing something that he never wanted to do. Hence unhappiness. Happiness happens when you fit with your life. When you fit so harmoniously that whatsoever you are doing is your joy. Then suddenly you come to know that meditation follows you. If you love the work you are doing, if you love the way you are living, then you are meditative. It is deemed that happiness comes when one is meditative. It is just the other way around. One is meditative when one is happy.

In other words, when one is happy one is spontaneously "onlynow" In ET's words "Enthusiasm knows where it is going, but at the same time, it is deeply at one with the present moment, the source of its aliveness, its joy and its power".

Whether such spontaneous in the pressent moment is poassible or not, you can try and be conscious.

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yougarksooo
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Post by yougarksooo » Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:19 pm

:?
"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

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Post by kiki » Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:37 pm

At some point one simply must let go of whatever someone else says about things and become your own authority based on direct experience. When one keeps returning to what ET says (or anyone else says for that matter) at the expense of one's own direct realization, then those teachers just become an impediment to awakening. Ultimately, one must let go of descriptions/explanations of all kinds and simply return to the immediacy of the one presence. Otherwise one simply gets caught up in how things "should" be according to so and so. Wake up first, then let follow what follows.
Last edited by kiki on Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Webwanderer » Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:02 pm

Kiki wrote:At some point one simply must let go of whatever someone else says about things and become your own authority based on direct experience.
Couldn't agree more. :)

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yougarksooo
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Post by yougarksooo » Sun Jul 08, 2007 7:47 pm

At some point one simply must let go of whatever someone else says about things and become your own authority based on direct experience. When one keeps returning to what ET says (or anyone else says for that matter) at the expense of one's own direct realization, then those teachers just become an impediment to awakening. Ultimately, one must let go of descriptions/explanations of all kinds and simply return to the immediacy of the one presence. Otherwise one simply gets caught up in how things "should" be according to so and so. Wake up first, then let follow what follows.
You said what I wanted to say and left me speechless. Thanks.
"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

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JD
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Post by JD » Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:57 pm

Hiren Shah wrote:In my blog, I have used the word passion instead of enthusiasm...
Good call. The older meaning of "passion" is suffering - as in the Passion of Christ.

That's probably more in line with most people's experience of work. :D
If being in the state of knowing alone mattered, ET wouldn't have mentioned outer purpose at all and also not explained enthusiasm so extensively.
I think you may have missed his point.

He repeatedly emphasizes that one's "life situation" is only relatively important. What really matters is your life.

The reason he discusses "outer purpose" at all is because he's repeatedly asked about it by those who attend his seminars. Many are goal-orientated Westerners.

When he uses the term "enthusiasm", he does so in the Buddhist sense of virya, one of the paramitas, or perfections that comprise the qualities of our inherent Buddha-nature.

This kind of enthusiasm has everything to do with avoiding unconscious resistance and nothing whatever to do with chasing promotion or even what is resisted. In other words, it makes no difference what your job is, in fact, an unpleasant job may well offer greater opportunities to develop and express virya.

Incidentally, I'm surprised that you never mention the Native American Vision Quest ritual which is specifically intended to help people discover their "life purpose".

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Post by OnlyNow » Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:25 pm

Hiren Shah wrote
Onlynow:-
If being in the state of knowing makes the question "redundant", one wonders why ET has given such significance to it. ...................
I guess it would be redundant because once one became 'enlightened' any outer purpose would suggest itself, transforming that which you have made a question into a natural movement or progression.

Since I cannot claim to be enlightened ( except perhaps in momentary flashes) the explanation is not a personal experience.


However, its not to far from ET's experience according to the PON
When the Pupil is ready the Master appears

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Post by Foxtrot » Sun Jul 08, 2007 11:28 pm

I couldn't agree more with kiki's and JD's post. Great.

As I read your post Hiren Shah, it does appear to me that you might have taken the meaning of ET, Osho, and others you have quoted here, writings out of context and slightly misinterpretting them. It is very apparent to me, from your writings in this thread, on this subject, that you have a very loving, compassionate nature, and your intention is to find something to help relieve the suffering of many in the world. I would ask you to consider, just consider, in your search for that which can help others with their trial and error search for Purpose, that the answer has been given.

You have noted correctly that different religions, spiritual teachers, and other notable people have pointed out the problem but have not been able to come up with a solution. You seem to think that finding a job that is on purpose for an individual, will bring them happiness. If you truly understand ET and others, they all say the same thing. The problem is everyone is seeking for happiness in the world. The right job, person to be in relationship with, live in the right place, make (x) amount of money etc. When they final get one of the things on their list the feel momentary happiness. Then unhappiness comes back in their life and the start searching over again for the right one or more of something.

You seem to have a mental picture that their must be someone or something that can tell people their " Life's Purpose ". If you could only find it then your life, as well as others, would be much happier and fullfilling. How great it would be if someone would just invent a machine, like a metal dedector at the airport, that you could step into, and a picture of a doctor would appear on a video screen. The next person would enter and a dance instructor picture would appear on the screen. Soon everyone would know who they are and we could all live in a utopian world. What people on this forum and spiritual teachers are saying is throw out that picture in your head. We all have ideas like these that we chase put never find. They are illussions, just magical ideas that one way or another occur to everyone. It would be like sitting on a beach one day, happy and peaceful, and the thought that life would forever be great, if you could just sail out to the horizon and live there forever. So you get in a boat and set sail. It should not take that long to get there either, you can see it just in front of you. All of a sudden after several days at sea, you start getting a little angry and annoyed that the horizon doesn't seem to be getting any closer. The horizon may seem real but in truth it doesn't really exist. It is just a name we give to the extent of our range of vision. The mind in part, is just a bunch of pictures of the things we believe about the world and the things in it. Most of the things we believe were taught us, and we assumed as absolute truth. When we chase after a picture in the mind, of a better world, that we create based on the way we think the world should be, we create frustration, anger and a host of other negative emotions within ourselves, because just like the horizon, we can never really get there. Though it sometimes appears we have got the world to match the mental image, the outer world changes, and no longer meets the internal picture we have in our mind, and so we set out to change the world to meet the picture again. When we create in our mind, a view of how we want things to be, we are unconciously creating other pictures of how we don't want the world to be. When we percieve the outer world, unconciously the mind compares what is in the outer to the pictures and ideas we have stored in the head. More often then not, the pictures we have that we want, do not match with what is. A negative emotion courses through the body, and words explaining the problem run through the mind. The world is not the problem. It is the ideas in the head that something needs to be different that need to be changed.

Happiness and Purpose come from inside oneself and can only be found inwardly. If you can connect with the Inner Body as ET calls it, you will find it is like a stream of flowing energy that gets damed up slowly over time by negative emotional events and eroneous thoughts we have about ourselves and the world. When we chase happiness outside ourselves, and don't find it, when the world does not meet our internal pictures of what we want, we create resistance inside ourselves in the form of negative energy. Damn it, we exclaim, not relizing we are daming up our own stream of inner energy, just as placing enough stones and peebles would do to a river or a stream. Happiness and Purpose come from the free flow of that Inner Stream. Start removing some of those stones, heal the old emotional hurts, and question the beliefs we have about the world and all that is in it, and that Stream will once again start to flow. Remove enough, and the Stream of Inspiration and Purpose will flow new thoughts into your awareness. Then your Life, both Inner and Outer will be on Purpose. This Stream I am pointing to, comes from your True Self. It knows better than you do what will make you happy. No one, can remove these stones, can unblock this Stream inside you, for you, only you can do this.

As you continue your outer search for life purpose, I ask only that occassionly, you go deeper inside yourself with some of the inwardly direct meditations and other suggestions from spiritual teachers you feel drawn to. Find out for yourself. What have you got to lose. Sometimes what we are looking for is right in front of us but because we are in such a hurry we don't even see it. STOP! LOOK ! LISTEN ! FEEL ! (inside).

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Post by Hiren Shah » Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:06 am

I have been talking from the perspective of Outer purpose and whatever "direct" experience I have had in that connection have been put in words in my own and other words. Even my own family and friends understood only when they read about what the Indian President( a widely respected man who headed oerganizations in space, automic energy and defence before befoming President) had to say in the matter.
Whether inner or outer, there is nothing wrong in quoting people whose expression may be better than one's own. Doesn't ET himself quote Budhdha/Jesus?


I thiink the words purpose, haoppiness and contentment are creating confusion. Let us leave aside these words for the time being and look at the whole thing from a Talent Management perspective. Henri Ford's father was a farmer. Father and Son used to have a furious argument because he wanted his son to follow in his footsteps. Ford had different ideas, had the guts to follow his convictions which is why we have the motor car today. What would you or ET had advised Mr Ford- look at the whole thing with the dimension of the inner consicousness, remain one with the moment, contniue with Gardening and don't leave with the false expectation of a motor car(At that time it was a dream). Or would you have told Mr Ford or the Wright brothers- your idea that the world needs to be different or you need to be different is absurd- accept the world as it is. If they had any egoic illusions about what they were going after, that definitely has to be corrected(those are the mntal images that foxtrot has explained so well), but how can you tell anybody- look deep inside yourself, feel the stillness, be content and wholesome and forget the outper purpose. There would have been no motor car and plane without that. If for some reason, one ia not able to find the outer purpose or finds it late in life(that can be very taxing), then I agree with what foxport and keki have said- the inner purpose then makes things bearable. Generally, it is a good thing and for those already with the outer purpose, it can be doubly good.

Incidentally, Zen meditation which is an emphatic as ET on being in the present moment has this to say about outer purpose- "Choose to lose a job or identity that does not support your true fire". Budhdha himself has said "Your work is to discover your wolrd and then with all your heart give yourself to it".
Consicous living with inner stillness does not imply that one does not strive for outer purpose- one can do it without false expectations or delusions of greatness which takes you away from the moment..The Inner purpose may create tranquility and contentment but there also has to be operational efficiency since everybody is not talented in everything. That is where functional ego(One definition of Yoga is to achieve excellence in wor) comes in- trying to ahieve maximum efficiency(doing a thing for itself) without any psychological ego. Then there won't be any problem because there is no craving for the purpose for egoic benefits but just for itself.

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Post by suraj » Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:53 am

I cannot speak for you , Hiren , but whatever I have understood from ET hasn't prevented from doing anything that I wanted to do on external plane. I am pursuing my career 'goal', the 'dream' of a 'better' job. I am pursuing a relationship which I want to. And although I can clearly see , that these can add nothing to what I am already , I am doing everything on the outer plane with 'passion' and 'enthusiasm' .
If somebody tells me not to pursue my dream , I will still do it but without creating any inner conflict and resistance. And yes, if my dream is dictated by egoic demands , so be it. I will know it soon.
The inner state is primary. Everything else is secondary. Do whatever you have to do. Throw all the teachings in the bin and take whatever you feel is 'right' for you. They are only 'finger pointing to the moon'.
I AM

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Post by JD » Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:18 pm

Hiren Shah wrote: What would you or ET had advised Mr Ford- look at the whole thing with the dimension of the inner consicousness, remain one with the moment, contniue with Gardening and don't leave with the false expectation of a motor car(At that time it was a dream). Or would you have told Mr Ford or the Wright brothers- your idea that the world needs to be different or you need to be different is absurd- accept the world as it is.
ET wouldn't have given Henry Ford any advice at all unless Ford had turned up at one of his seminars asking for it.

Ironically, it's you that's the evangelist and not ET, who wouldn't dream of intefering with a productive individual like Henry Ford who was convinced that he'd found his "life purpose" and was following his destiny.

Many people have to work out their karma in the world of form before they can even become aware of the possibility of acquiring inner freedom.

ET understands that very well.
Doesn't ET himself quote Budhdha/Jesus?
Yes, but he does so in a spiritual context.
I have been talking from the perspective of Outer purpose...
That's why you misunderstand the words of ET, Buddha and Jesus, who were primarily concerned with inner purpose.

"My Kingdom is not of this world".

John 18:36

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Post by eseward » Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:27 pm

To which I would add...

If you are aware of the hypnotic spell that identification (with the ego-mind) casts over us, and how that spell distorts our view of our world, your first order of business will be snapping the spell and awakening. Once one can see things clearly and accurately, any form of doing is always (and without effort) greatly enhanced.

Snow White had little in the way of productive "life purpose" while spell-bound and slumbering.

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Post by Ives » Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:37 pm

This is a great thread with lots of wonderful insights.

I’d like to go back to the first thing Kiki said: “I don't recall ET claiming to be a career coach”.

Picture the scene: students in the final year of high school are offered a day-long intensive in career guidance. Their parents fork out the cash and the group is assembled. One by one each student is told by this elfin-looking German man: “Just align yourself with the now”.
The parents are indignant. Some fathers get together to demand their money back.
“What the hell good was that?!” they scream. “We wanted practical advice!”

Hiren Shah, you seem to be saying (correct me if I'm wrong): “It’s all very well to say the inner purpose is primary and the outer purpose is secondary. But what about some practical advice, Eckhart? You let me down”.

Surely, though, the point is that we don't come to someone like Eckhart for practical advice about the outer aspects of life. We don't – I hope – expect him to tell us how to dress.
We surely don't look for real estate tips from him.
And so on.

Expecting ET to provide a formula for career choice seems to me to be barking up the wrong tree.

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