“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it”― Gautama Buddha
Desire without attachment is not possible. Desire is the propeller that moves us forward towards a fulfillment. Sometimes in an effort to stay safe we squelch our desires to the point we no longer know what they are. Desirelessness is not a state to stay in.
“The activity of desire is the forward-moving or expanding motion of Life Itself, and can never be dispensed with. Without desire for attachment, attachment would not be possible.” (The Magic Presence by Godfrey Ray King). Dr. David Hawkins a spiritual teacher work who developed a means of calibrating a scale of measuring truth, is able to measure and analyze the full spectrum of various levels of consciousness. He states that the energy level of desire “motivates vast area of human activity, including the economy. In order to get one first has to have the energy to “want.”
If you ever sigh and wonder “is this all there is? You have not found your purpose in life.
If you feel emptiness in your heart in spite of all that you have achieved, again you have not found your purpose.
“Those who have failed to work toward the truth have missed the purpose of living.” ― Gautama Buddha
What then is the truth for you?
In our culture there is an illusion that we will know purpose through outer striving, and we find people;
- Frantically busy;
- Acutely stressed;
- Stuck in stagnation;
- Overwhelmed by the expectations of others;
- Boxed in by boredom;
- Fearful of real freedom;
- Resistant to change;
- Struggling to have financial success, expecting that it will bring a sense of fulfillment
Alas you will not find it here.
Although outer desires are to some degree connected to our purpose, it is not until we recognize that our true desires takes us on an inner journey. A major part of the trip is to become aware of the power of the inner and learn how to align the inner with the outer.
Our inner purpose will be revealed to the extent that we let go of illusions that life should be a certain way and that we are in control. Being weighed down with faulty beliefs we deny the fact that we are not free. I have met people who have done all the right things according to society, and their families of origin and are absolutely miserable. The illusions and faulty beliefs make our lives that we are living a lie. In this condition we are sleepwalking through life, unaware that inside of us is the key to the truth.
Our predicament reminds me of the man who is looking for his keys under a street light. When asked if he is sure he lost them there, he says no, but this is where the light is. We, like him are looking in all the wrong places…
“If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.” ― Thomas Merton
How to align the inner and the outer does not fit into a rule bound linear formula. A feeling of wanting, readiness, and a feeling of worthiness is an important key
There is a wonderful story about the disciple who went to his guru and asked:
“Guru, I seek enlightenment. How do I get to it? The guru explained that enlightenment will come when we desire it, that our reality is created by giving our attention to those things we want the most.
“But I desire it. Why has it not come to me?”
“Because you do not truly desire it” replied the guru.
The wise guru knew that a mere craving or simple want was not enough to turn desires into reality. He knew that he would have to show his disciple the degree of desire necessary to achieve such a manifestation.
Wanting to teach his disciple how to achieve enlightenment, he knew he must show him the level of intent needed to manifest his desire. To do this, the sage took the young man down to the bank of the Ganges River and had him kneel with his head over the water. Then the guru put his hand on the young man’s neck and pushed his head below the surface.
After a minute and a half, the young disciple was frantic. He pulled and heaved and flailed his arms, but the guru did not let him up. He could not get his head out of the water no matter how hard he tried. After two minutes, just when it seemed as though his lungs would burst, the guru released his grip and the disciple lifted his head, eagerly gulping the air that awaited him.
The guru smiled.
“Tell me,” he said. “What was your greatest desire just now?”
“To breathe,” the young disciple said, exasperated.
“Ah,” said the guru, “when you desire enlightenment to that degree, it shall be yours.”
What is the intensity of your desire?
Do you want it as bad as the young disciple wanted to breathe, or is it simply a passing fancy; a “wouldn’t that be nice” kind of wishing?
Does your intent fill every inch of your being or does it simply cross your mind now and then?
May you honor and respect your desires and may your life be purposeful.