To evolve and awaken consciousness is the purpose of humanity– according to A. Ramana, Eckhart Tolle, Ernest Holmes, The Dalai Lama. These enlightened, ordinary people, and spiritual teachers before them show us the way. So, how do we awaken and what is purpose?
Understanding and experience tell me that awakening happens every time I’m fully aware of what I’m doing and thinking – every minute. No small task! Fully aware…every single minute? When I react to drivers at a 4-way stop by muttering profanities when they don’t take the right-of-way am I being aware every minute? When I quickly feel defensive if I think I’ve been wronged am I aware every minute?
And what about purpose? What is it and how do I get some? What is my purpose and why am I here? How many people ask that question and flounder for years, perhaps knowing its importance for continued human existence. There must be something we can say and do to feel on purpose.
I questioned my purpose for years and have gained some peace regarding what I’m “supposed to be doing”. It’s exactly what I’m doing –with full attention – whereas before I was always seeking, questioning and living my life in the past or future. What I now understand and experience is the purpose of life cannot be found on the outer level but can only be found within, which is our state of consciousness. Eckhart Tolle explains further, saying that our lives have an inner and outer purpose where, “Inner purpose concerns Being and is primary. Outer purpose concerns doing and is secondary.”
So if our state of consciousness is primary and all else secondary how am I being in this moment? What choice can I make right now? I could stop the profanity at other drivers and simply wait for them to take their turn. When I become anxious or stressed, outer/secondary purpose has taken over (getting downtown or to work) and I’ve lost sight of my inner/primary purpose (driving my car safely to get there).
Why do we turn away from the present? What’s wrong with what’s here right now? Maybe it doesn’t seem important enough, like listening to someone mindfully when we just want to be great at the performance, play or speech later on. But greatness really only comes through small things that are honoured and cared for, and everybody’s life consists of small things. Greatness is actually a mental concept and a fantasy. Although the present moment is small in terms of its simplicity, concealed within it lies power. It’s like the atom – so small yet containing enormous power. Only when we align with the present moment do we have access to that power – which acts through us and ultimately to the world from our centred space.
It seems so significant now—as I’ve written before – to be true to life by being true to purpose. As we become present and focused in what we do each moment, our actions naturally flow from a place of connectedness and calm. If this seems simple, it is. But it’s not simplistic. Work lay-offs, children leaving, mortgage payments and income tax – all at once – is a situation that can cause stress. But staying present and on purpose gives the best setting (inner purpose) for coping and/or resolution (outer purpose). We know what worry does and I’ve had my years of it but life goes on with or without my worry. To me there are bigger problems in the world than layoffs and mortgage rates. If we each lived as a human Being – from the inside (primary) out (secondary) I believe humanity would begin to take the necessary turn from self-destruction.
Christine Goyer-Swift finds expression through writing and dance, and inspiration through long walks and solitude. “Writing is a window into my life, recording, witnessing and continually emerging.”