Purpose and life

Purpose plays an important part in the article, “Processes, automation and human potential“.

Purpose gives life. Purpose drives life. The meaning of life is determined by the purposes that drives us. As I see it, we are free to give life any meaning we choose through the purposes we elect. And this may well be the only meaning life has. So diverse and complicated, yet so feeble.

In my experience in coaching struggling young people, lack of purpose is one major reason why a person could consider ending his life. While a strong purpose gives life, a lack of purpose results in a lack of life.

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When a person looses a strong purpose, a valuable desire, the person “dies” to that degree. It doesn’t seem to matter what the purpose is, or whether it is a “good” purpose. A soldier returning from a war has lost a purpose to fight. When the Islamic State is defeated, a lot of people will loose a strong purpose. Loosing a job is a loss of purpose. Loosing a loved one. Being kicked out of a team. Or loosing the tools or means to achieve a purpose. They all amount to loosing some zest in life.

Having the purpose to go spiritually free or “salvaging the planet” and then thinking that it can no longer be done as one leaves the Church of Scientology – that amounts to a big loss. And it doesn’t matter that the purpose was unrealistic or the tools crappy or crazy. It still leaves the person mentally darker. It is a tough blow. And falling from such high and strong purposes, it can be really hard to mount comparable purposes to regain the level of zest and thrust.

The ability to find meaning, to create meaning in life is perhaps the most important of all abilities. Children excel at this. Adults less so. But I believe this ability can be exercised like any other ability. Training oneself to create meaning, purposes, desires and then going for it amounts to training oneself to live. Getting closer to achieving your purposes generates happiness. Happiness is a basic purpose, a good reason for living 🙂 But remember – achieving a purpose is also a loss of purpose. This is why one should excercise oneself to be ready to give new meaning to life by setting new goals.

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81 thoughts on “Purpose and life

  1. Geir, I watched an interview of a guy by the name of Sacha Stone, former rock musician now a spiritual leader and founder of “New Earth Nation” – an organization that sounds like it’s just what the planet needs. He talks about that in the last part of interview. I transcribed some of what he said in the first part of the interview, which relates to this subject of life purposes:

    “I am not seeking anything for anyone else. The momentum…will gather in direct proportion to the amount of people whose hearts and minds will identify with that frequency that we are putting out. So the most important thing that we can individually concern ourselves with is our own inner journey and not to give a damn about the external world or the explicit world. It is so much more important that we focus on our own footsteps…whilst we are inhabiting bodies and we are living in a physical plane.

    “…We are here to play and to create, [to] inform and to enjoy this process, to find bliss and serendipity in this process. We are not here to be butchered and bastardized by little gray men – technocrats and bureaucrats and people who govern their own lives by fear and time and money. This is a trap that many of us have fallen into – but we can just as easily withdraw from this trap… ”

    He also said something to the effect that each person who “vibrates” at a higher frequency makes up for a thousand or more of those who are at lower frequencies (paraphrased), which would go along with the quote above – the part about “the amount of people whose hearts and minds will identify with that frequency.” I sort of remember you expressing something like this one time. True? Anyway, the video isn’t too long (about 25 minutes) and you and others here might find it interesting.

  2. This might well be outside the acceptability of discussion on this blog, I really don’t know because I haven’t followed it, but spiritual letdown I haven’t experienced as I kept moving up the bridge outside the church and it’s been going higher and higher day by day. I really can’t say if spiritual freedom will be reached, but it sure is moving in that direction for me. My ability to sell things has literally skyrocket lately … hesitation and opposition just melts away.

    I concur the goal of “salvaging the planet” is never going to happen, and leaves me in a loss too. I can’t say LRH’s route doesn’t take you there because I don’t know, but the CO$ will collapse in due time and the field out here will just peter out some day too with little more than a few skeleton pockets here and there.

  3. For me the transition was smoother because I concluded to actually continue with my purpose, to fully understand life, truth, self actualization, etc. I had to reach beyond the insanity and confines of the church.

    I still have that purpose and am finding answers anywhere I choose to look, including places the church tries to hide.

  4. That could be the most precise description of our best quality. Thk you for it.

    I would only add that, IMHO, It´s even better if one is also able to exist without any purpose or meaning.
    That, indeed, is like dying. But being able to experience that basic nothingness gives a bigger perspective
    and freedom to enjoy and exert without compulsion our ability.

      1. Would be nice if we exactly knew what could be expected to occur right after one’s physical passing, but it seems based on the testimonies of others no set of specific templates exist. Some, googling a number of YOUTUBE videos, claim to be shot right back into a new body, so who is doing the shooting? Seems that individual is not at any cause, merely reporting in the next life what had occurred. For others, bright lights/tunnel trips, then told by some super-theta deity to return back to the body. Next thing they know they’ve woken up and report the pleasant experience to others accepting of such realities. No one ever queries the lovin’ godly entity “Who says I have to go back/anywhere?” … seems they just go back and happy about it. I’d tell ’em I’m not yet done checking out the in-between-lives area joint and I’ll go wherever when I’m ready. But then that’s probably just autorun implants the being experiences.

        But it would be nice to know a bit more precisely what we can expect after the carbo-engine packs it in. Is anyone other than ourselves more cause in the afterworld who has the power to force us to go to/be in places?

        1. Nice suppositions, Formost. Here’s a question for you. Since it has been speculated that a ‘person’ IS the sum total of his thoughts. The assumption is that some-one/thing,
          is responsible for those thoughts. So, if at the core of thought, you have someone thinking(thunking) that thought., that could mean that the ‘thunker’ IS the core of that thunking! — keerect? So, as an analogy, we find an onion to have at the core of ALL its layers, precisely what? Whatever the answer proves to be, it’s interesting that EVERYTHING else is layered (or added) on top of that core. We seem to have a usable modus operandi (including “lives”) at work here.

          Google up “Reincarnation — Evidence of Past Lives “- featuring James Linegar, aged just 4 years. Let us know your conclusions, bro. 🙂

  5. Recommended to those who have not experienced this, it is Qawwali, Sufi sacred singing. Here are “The Factors” according to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Sufis often address “the Beloved”, by which is meant Truth, or God. They sing of the pain of separation from Truth, and the joy of opening to Truth.

    1. Beautiful. Here is my favorite free wheeling version of “Lal Meri Pat”

      O the red robed Sufi
      May I always have your benign protection
      O the lord, the friend and the Sire of Sind’s ploughland
      The red robed love-intoxicated Sufi
      You who have mastered life
      Glory unto you
      .

      1. Thanks Vin. A splendid celebration of the Sufi. They are a lot younger in this one, than in the Allah Hoo I posted. I love the guys wearing dress shirts, neckties and turbans dancing!

        1. The audience here are not Muslims but Hindus of the Sikh community of Punjab. They worship at Gurudwara (door of the Guru). Sikhism also forms an interface between Islam and Hinduism.

      1. A long time since I read that! Ouspensky was a very lucid thinker. I did read some of what you have on your blog. I’ll read a little more after awhile….Here is another one by Nusrat, a real contrast to Allah Hoo. It puts me in mind of Ravi Shankar’s Raga Jog, which seems to express some similar feelings.

        1. It is spiritual awakening that is being intensely longed for in this Qawwali. This Qawwali is sung in Punjabi. Sufism originated in Islam but it heavily borrows ideas of Bhakti from Hinduism. The music exteriorizes the listener, by which i mean, it takes attention away from the body into a spiritual realm.

            1. Everything with respect to the universe is changing except its eternal presence. I conclude that because I do not know otherwise.

            2. It is a conclusion that goes against the main cosmological theory. Do you base your conclusion on evidence that goes beyond the basis for the Big Bang theory?

            3. In my view the Bing Bang Theory does not explain everything. According to Hindu Shastras the universe has been expanding and contracting eternally.

              That sounds more consistent to me.

            4. All the evidence that supports Big Bang conjecture that the universe has a beginning, supports my conjecture too that the universe is cyclically expanding and contracting.

              Do you see any contradiction or inconsistency?

  6. 100 % Geir. 🙂

    And regarding probably the most perplexing of questions we have all asked ourselves at some time or another:– “What happens to me when I die?” –Here follows the writing of Kahlil Gibran, in his masterpiece, “The Prophet.”

    ………………………………….————————————………………………………………….

    Then Almitra spoke, saying, We would ask now of Death.
    And he said:
    You would ask the secret of death
    But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
    The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto he day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
    If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
    For life and death are as one, even as the river and the sea are one.

    In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond.
    And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
    Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
    Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.

    Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
    Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

    For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
    And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

    Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
    And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
    And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance. 🙂

    ………………………………………….—————————–…………………………………………..

    1. Hush! Our resident authority on all things metaphysical, asserts it with total certainty!
      Countering arrogance will not be tolerated. There. Now accept, or be damned to eternal painful, blog tennis neck aches, you mere plebian cretin of zero consequence!!

  7. I came across an article titled “The Rise and Fall of Ken Wilber” and couldn’t believe how much it paralleled LRH’s own rise and fall. Here are some key excerpts:

    “Wilber’s story is a cautionary tale. His intellectual understanding was immense, as much as I’ve ever come across in a single person. He also tapped into some of the farthest reaches of consciousness, spiritual or not, that humans have self-reported. I do believe that. But ultimately, he was ‘done in’ by his pride, his need for control and, well, ironically his ego.

    “The point is, if Wilber can succumb to it, any of us can. No one is immune. No matter how brilliant and how ‘enlightened’ we are…

    “Wilber also showed me that a brilliant mind does not necessarily make a brilliant leader. Wilber bragged in an interview that he never planned anything at Integral Institute, because planning would not represent a ‘second-tier’ [a high level on one of Wilber’s “maps”] leadership. Despite massive funding, enthusiasm, brain power and demand, Integral Institute found a way to fail.

    “The grand irony here is that Wilber’s model itself, the Integral framework, accounts for and describes everything I said in the paragraphs above. Wilber failed in the exact ways his own model predicted…he would succumb to the same faults he warned us about…

    “No one is immune.

    “As humans, we have a tendency to cling to ideologies. Any positive set of beliefs can quickly turn malevolent once treated as ideology and not an honest intellectual or experiential pursuit of greater truth. Ideology ‘does in’ entire economic systems and countries, causes religions to massacre thousands, turns human rights movements into authoritarian sects and makes fools out of humanity’s most brilliant minds. Einstein famously wasted the second half of his career trying to calculate a cosmological constant that didn’t exist because ‘God doesn’t play dice.’

    “Wilber’s brilliance will always be a part of me. But what he really taught me is this: There is no ideology. There is no guru. There is only us, and this, and the silence.”

    http://markmanson.net/ken-wilberken-wilber

    Does that sound familiar or what?

      1. So many of these teachers are saying basically the same thing: Ken Wilber calls it “I-amness”. Tom Campbell teaches “point consciousness”. Eckart Tolle talks about “presence”. And I think LRH had the same basic idea when he coined the phrase “awareness of awarness”. I’m not sure what Buddha may have said in relation to this.

        What I get is that it’s something that can’t be arrived at with reasoning or intellectualizing. It’s an experiential knowledge.

          1. Yes, I did find it interesting. The Hopi conception of time is very similar to the description of time LRH gave in 8-8008 – which his simplest and most understandable descriptions I know of.

            According to the Hopi article, “The Hopi’s universe has only two great temporal forms: the manifest and the manifesting (or not yet manifest). Manifest is everything which we perceive with the senses; it is objective and past. The manifesting is purely subjective and is a content of our heart.”

            Compare that to what LRH says in 8-8008:

            “Time is an abstract manifestation which has no existence beyond the idea of time occasioned by objects, where an object may be either energy or matter…

            “Time is summed up as ‘had’, ‘have’, and ‘will have’…

            “Time is impossible without possession of objects.

            “Thus is resolved one of the weightier problems of the human mind. The auditor may find it difficult to encompass this principle, since time may continue to exist for him as an entity, an unknown and hovering thing. If he will use the principle that the PAST is ‘had’ or ‘did not have’, that the PRESENT is ‘has’ or ‘does not have’ and that the FUTURE is ‘will have’ or ‘will not have’ – and that past, present and future are divided and established entirely by desire, enforcement and inhibition of havingness, he will find his preclear recovering swiftly.”

            1. The last part of the first paragraph should read “…which is the simplest and most understandable description I know of.”

            2. A 4D space is a clearly explained concept. It is not time, although time can be thought of as a sort of a fourth dimension. The spacial dimensions goes like this: Point. Line. Surface. Volume. Can you imagine the spacial next dimension?

            3. Thanks. But it is more mathematical than real.

              To me time as the 4th dimension is more real. I understand your viewpoint.

            4. I find this relevant: Little, if anything, is gained by representing the fourth Euclidean dimension as time. In fact, this idea, so attractively developed by H. G. Wells in The Time Machine, has led such authors as John William Dunne (An Experiment with Time) into a serious misconception of the theory of Relativity. Minkowski’s geometry of space-time is not Euclidean, and consequently has no connection with the present investigation.

              —H. S. M. Coxeter, Regular Polytopes[10]

            5. I think what is gained by representing fourth dimension as time, is an understanding of consciousness. Ouspensky says,

              “Kant regards time as he does space: as a subjective form of our receptivity; i.e., he says that we create time ourselves, as a function of our receptive apparatus, for convenience in perceiving the outside world. Reality is continuous and constant, but in order to make possible the perception of it, we must dissever it into separate moments; imagine it as an infinite series of separate moments out of which there exists for us only one. In other words, we perceive reality as if through a narrow slit, and what we are seeing through this slit we call the present; what we did see and now do not see–the past; and what we do not quite see but are expecting the future.”

              Each momentary view of a 3D space is then a cross-section, or slice, of the 4D space. The moment acts like a narrow slit through which the 3D space is viewed. The views follow each other moment by moment, just like the frames of a film follow each other in front of the eye of a movie camera.

              The consciousness focuses on one moment at a time, like the “eye of the camera” focusing on one frame of a film at a time.

              The moment currently under the focus of consciousness is the present. The moments that have passed through the focus are in the past. And the moments that are expected to come into focus are in the future.

            6. Dear friend, from my viewpoint, there isn’t any relevance on speculating about the fifth, sixth or, or, …. dimensions. As soon as you have the pt existence of valuable persons to investigate and weight. Matter does not worth a nickel imo.

              El Viernes, 15 de mayo, 2015 19:45:10, Geir Isene – uncut escribió:

              #yiv7541777950 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv7541777950 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv7541777950 a.yiv7541777950primaryactionlink:link, #yiv7541777950 a.yiv7541777950primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv7541777950 a.yiv7541777950primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv7541777950 a.yiv7541777950primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv7541777950 WordPress.com |

              Chris Thompson commented: “4th Dimension Tesseract. Let’s discuss or start another thread as this goes off topic.” | |

      2. Valkov and Marildi, in my view, awareness parallels motion.

        Just as motion precipitates into objects with inertia, awareness precipitates into self with inertia.

        Very light form of inertia as frequency is carried by the electromagnetic waves. That, to me, is like the dancing spirit.

        A heavy form of inertia as mass is carried by objects. That, to me, is like the self with ego.
        .

        1. Vinnie, that has a poetic touch. You’ve inspired me to tip it a bit more in that direction, with a few changes in grammar and punctuation:

          “Awareness parallels motion.”

          Motion precipitating into objects with inertia,
          Awareness precipitating into self with inertia.

          Carried by objects,
          Inertia as mass is a heavy form.
          Like the self with ego.

          Inertia as frequency is a very light form,
          carried by the electromagnetic waves…
          Like the dancing spirit.

          Awareness parallels motion.

    1. “I am driven by two main philosophies: Know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

      1. Nice quote, KG. I imagine that could be a complete and valid path in life for many people. A whole philosophy.

      2. That goes along with my philosophy,

        “Unburden the mind of all inconsistencies perceived, by discovering what is being assumed.”

        Qunatum Mechanics assumes that all physical locations can be represented by a mathematical point. That doesn’t seem to be the case.

        My current project is to write a book on Math for Adult Basic Education. This is inspired by what I am currently experiencing at the GED Program at Metropolitan Ministries of Tampa.
        .

    2. I think one of Wilbur’s great conributions is his correlation of the “quadrants”, objective and subjective, individual and collective. And then, the added dimensionality of stages of development, each succeeding stage including then transcending the previous ones.
      I think any discussion of “dimensions” needs to take all this into account.

      1. Good synopsis, Val. Wilber seems to have taken into account all conceivable perspectives for any given situation or personal experience.

        What I find so commendable is that he did a very thorough study of history down through the ages – and philosophy too, including both Eastern and Western. He apparently spent decades in that pursuit – which not many people would invest the time or have the drive or fortitude to do. And I think it’s brilliant the way he saw the parallels in the evolution of cultures and the discoveries of thinkers and researchers in so many other branches of knowledge – and then put together their accumulated findings into various charts, graphs and “maps of the territory”.

        Not that Wilber should be viewed as all-knowing, of course, but his contributions offer a thorough liberal arts education in relatively condensed form. I think is invaluable to have such knowledge all in one “place”, for use as a basis of continuing one’s own evolutionary path. I can see why you kept recommending him – and I’m glad you did!

        For anyone interested, here’s a short talk by Wilber on his Integral theory:

  8. Purpose could be the ethereal requirement for consciousness to exist. Consciousness, or life, could then have a viewpoint to bring meaning. This consciousness can add the concept of time to bring about the ability to add “meaning” or “purpose” to the continuum.

    Time. Could it merely be like the number “zero” as a placeholder for a void of something not there. In this case the something not there is consciousness. Without the concept of “time” could we still consider the difference between whether something is real or merely an illusion. Without the placeholder representing “time” could we “remember” as though something happened other than in the present. How would we consider a future possibility. Could we merely include this concept as a required additive with the addition of consciousness. The 4 dimensions of the physical with the addition of a “zero” remain identical. With consciousness using the placeholder idea represented by “time” may be what is required to have a perception or an observation. Thus, our universe could not exist without consciousness.

    I am just thinking out loud here and not pontificating. Just as our number system requires two “odd” numbers to make an even. (if that doesn’t seem real try to get rid of the number 9 and still make sense of the multiplication table as in 3×3)

    Our universe as we observe it (may be different without any observation but then we wouldn’t know of it and might just be another multiple universe in the realm) would require time. This “placeholder” concept would be the required item linking the observer with the observed. Without “time” would there be an “observer” or the “observed”, or anything like consciousness? We might then just have something similar to multiple universes unable to perceive of each other in any way.

    And without “purpose” would we even have any desire, drive or intent to even have awareness at all? The game of life could always be there but without “purpose” or “awareness” we wouldn’t be a participant in it. Just some thoughts…

    1. “Just as our number system requires two “odd” numbers to make an even.”

      Letting my mind relax from working to make my life fit structures has been beneficial for me. These metaphors and similes are helpful for me to get an idea what some things are like. For instance, using the tesseract to stare at and try to get an idea of the 4th dimension was useless to me. It looked like a box in a box with its corners tied to their corresponding corners. Duh, I would say. Then one day I saw a model that had the inside box and the outside box expanding, contracting, and revolving about one another and it began to make more sense and so for me, the fourth dimension representing the possible motions of the 3rd dimension. In a word, I think of the 4th dimension as motion. My friend Vinay thinks that model is more mathematical and less reality-atical. My friend Valkov would say well the map is not the terrain. A trained person might say I’m just wrong and I might be. But I felt a relief at allowing ideas that I would never have thought of and would have a hard time intellectualizing present themselves to me in simplicity and naivete. With my mind relaxed the universe begins to writhe and undulate, a seething morass of processes that the embryonic human mind is too little to wrap itself around. But that doesn’t bother me. I just relax and consult people who are smarter and let come what will come and that’s pretty satisfying. My life is fractally bigger by orders of magnitude of complexity than worrying about these things for more than just a few minutes a day.

      Man is not homo novus. He is just not going to be. But if we stay tuned and continue to learn and to teach and if we keep going and don’t kill off our own species and the Biosphere, we might be the evolutionary link to a future home novus. We are already star children and live in and among the stars. We don’t really have to wish for that, just go outside and enjoy it! If man doesn’t make it very far into the future, life and purpose will anyway. Regardless, it’s been an exquisite coming together of covalent existence! . . . Next!

      1. So, what are folks actually talking about, when they talk about “dimensions”?
        di·men·sion
        dəˈmen(t)SH(ə)n/
        noun
        1.
        an aspect or feature of a situation, problem, or thing.
        “sun-dried tomatoes add a new dimension to this sauce”
        synonyms: aspect, feature, element, facet, side
        “the cultural dimensions of the problem”
        2.
        a measurable extent of some kind, such as length, breadth, depth, or height.
        “the final dimensions of the pond were 14 ft. x 8 ft”
        synonyms: size, measurements, proportions, extent; More

  9. Chris, Vin, Marildi, Geir, Val, I just started today a course on Stoic Mindfulness and Resilience Training (SMRT).

    The Stoics were pretty amazing and had a lot of mind practices that are pretty awesome.

    Anyway, this is a free four week course where one gradually practices stoic practices in ones life to see how they work. Here is a sample video:

    And here is the website for the free four week course.

    http://modernstoicism.com/

    And here is the web comic that got me started on this …

    http://zenpencils.com/comic/aurelius/

    I’m listed at Modern Stoicism as Katageek. (Surprise!)

    And IT SEEMS there is no profit motive. At least from what I can see.

    1. Hi KG. Good stuff. Thanks for posting.

      Just for fun:

      Q: Why did the chicken cross the road ?

      Epictetus: And what concern is it to you what the chicken does or does not ? Crossing the road is in your power, the fact that the chicken crosses the road is not.

      Marcus-Aurelius: Remember how so many brilliant chickens have crossed the road in the past and are now long forgotten.

      Seneca: My dear Lucilius, I understand how much interest you find in the question of why the chicken may have crossed the road. Many chickens that we know have crossed the road for several reasons, and I will expose them to you. In the ancient times, we know that Xerces’ chickens have crossed the road to try to invade Greece; some chickens in Nero’s house have been spotted to cross the road in order to fornicate. [… snipping 15 pages …] But my own views on the topic may differ from that of our school. Be wary not to go too deep into theoretical questions: for what time have we left ?

      https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/stoics/conversations/topics/27792

  10. I have just an idea:And what can a person cook with his purpose? Add skill to purpose, opportunity and will to cause smt and you have the potential of responsibility. Catch the opportunity and willlingly cause some creation by using your skills in the direction of purpose and you have the responsibility manifested. Bon appetite friends 😉

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