Monday, January 19, 2009

Purpose Driven Life

We are often very purpose driven. We set goals, benchmarks, keys for success. This is all based on a judgment system. As you may recall, Jesus asked that we not judge.

As long as we believe that we are an individual, we will have goals, agendas, beliefs to coordinate our lives to. And there is certainly a place for this, especially in the early part of our lives. We need to discover what this body is and how it functions. We need to develop our small self, and come to know our likes, dislikes, and abilities.

If our conditioning has been severe, and unhealthy, therapy may be a good avenue of endeavor, for a while. It's pretty hard to see clearly, to feel clearly, when one is very neurotic. A little cleanup is in order.

One benefit that may ensue, if therapy is successful, is that we come to clearly see that we can change, and how difficult that is. We may also come to see that which we cannot change, and come to terms with those aspects of ourselves.

Once we have established that we can change, it may dawn on one that who we are is not static. Our bodies may be static in form, but our mind is a program, and programs can change.

If our program, our conditioning, our idea of ourself can change, then who we are as a person is not substantive, but more like ephemeral image. How tightly we hold on to this image may determine how much suffering we bring to our life experience.

With the knowledge of our changing personal self, further insight might become natural. Here comes the great inquiry, "Who am I?" This is the end game.

When the person is examined deeply enough, we may not even call it a who, but a what. What is this thing? And who is looking at it? If this is pursued long enough, the who that you think you are dissolves into an ephemeral, ghostlike thing. You use it to move about the world, and function, but it is no longer who you are.

So, now that you are looking from the outside at the illusory self, and you know that that self is something you see and use, much like any other tool, who are you?

You can only be that Awareness that is looking. It uses your body/mind and all other body/minds for it's own reasons. On what grounds then is the individual self going to have its own purpose driven life? Perhaps only as a soul, with Karma delineating the choices. Still, ultimately, The One.

2 comments:

Travis said...

Solid post. Well done.

In my own experience with Raman's self-inquiry, I came to a point where I found this consistent, nagging voice that would come up whenever I had a distracting thought during my intentional times I set aside for the vichara (the inquiry.) The voice would also come up when I found myself daydreaming. It would say some version of, "Hey! Get back on track. This is important! You're never going to get free until you do this right!"

That's just more of the goal driven mind. It's silly. I am , as I am. Nothing done, by me or anyone else can possibly change that. This needs no confirmation, and cannot be attained as it already is. My mind may wander. So what? My mind may crave for an achievement. So what? Who is helped, harmed, or hindered by any of that? No one.

That voice still speaks up, but now I just smile at it. The same way I smile at it all.

Maury said...

Travis,

Very, very, well said. Whole books have been written to say what you just said in a few words. Simplicity and elegance always point to the truth.

Thank you so much!