WHEN BEING BECOMES THE PURPOSE
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
I heard these words a while ago, reverberating in the distance whilst in deep meditation.
I’m one of the fortunate ones that have never struggled with change. I have an innate understanding about the flow of life and in fact was a rebellious instigator of change in my youth. I never enjoyed getting too comfortable; maybe it’s the water element in my Pisces sun. I felt that, like stagnant water inevitably begins to wreak, so does ones spirit when you sit in a place of comfortable familiarity for too long.
Maybe it’s the acute awareness of impermanence in this human experience that has always driven my spirit forward. As a teenager I recall my mother saying to me, ”you’ve experienced so much at such a young age, you’re going to run out of experiences or get bored very early in your life”. Whenever she said that, I secretly battled thoughts that maybe my soul was pushing me to do as much as I could quickly because my time on this planet was going to be short-lived. I vocalised this thought, once and once only to my mother who reacted with such horror at the idea that I wouldn’t live into adulthood, I never mentioned it again. In any case my assumption was wrong. I’m still at the party, changing the music and choreographing new dance moves, half a century later.
A couple of years before my maternal Grandmother passed away, at almost a hundred years of age, she would wake up some days and say, "I don't know what I'm still doing here..what difference does it make whether I'm here or not? Isn't it time I just leave? I'm just kind of existing, breathing my final breaths..." There was nothing dark or grim in her words, she was just stating her truth very matter of fact, without fear. She told me she would ask God in her prayers, Now what? What's happening? Are you ready to bring me home?
She was strong in more ways than one and an active participant of life right up until her mid 80’s when she fell from a lemon tree, (yep, she was climbing trees at 80 years of age) This was the first time she could no longer do the things she once could. She wasn't plagued by illness, she was just older, and the scars of her early years raising children alone during war torn years in Europe, finally caught up with her. (My maternal Grandfather was in Australia when WWII broke out; they were separated for 15 years) Her mind and wit was sharper than any 30 year old and she would give anyone a run for their money on subjects she was passionate about. Yiayia Sofia was a force to be reckoned with, tiny in stature with a gargantuan powerful presence that left many shell-shocked after an interaction with her.
When we are on this plane, residing in a physical body we have life force running through us. The quality of that life force is as different as we all are and subject to so many subtle energy systems. So much has been written about the importance of purpose as the driving force in life. Purpose means many things to different people but to those on a path of spiritual enlightenment the goal is to somehow embody a higher consciousness whilst traversing the pitfalls and/or distractions of modern society.
As one dives deeper into the labyrinth of awakening, the things that once inspired us, excited us, drove us to accomplish more, begin to disappear, and if you're still a participant of life in modern society, well, it gets that little bit harder to live on purpose. If purpose, which is almost always linked with action and doing, falls away, then just like my almost 100 year old grandmother, you start to wonder why you're here.
As one begins to invest more energy into the nurturing of their soul, many of the desires that come with having a body also begin to fade away. This happens organically, and can never be forced, as it is a false state otherwise. One is no longer controlled by the physical but their life is now being directed by a higher power and an innate need to know God in all ways. The idea of renunciation becomes very appealing when worldly offerings hold no allure and unlike the perception of many that see this as a sacrifice , a true renunciate holds a very different view point.
"I have left a few paltry rupees, a few petty pleasures, for a cosmic empire of endless bliss. How then have I denied myself anything? I know the joy of sharing the treasure. Is that a sacrifice? The shortsighted worldly folk are verily the real renunciates! They relinquish an unparalleled divine possession for a poor handful of earthly toys!"
(Autobiography Of A Yogi)
For the disciplined modern day seeker of truth, it is indeed possible to live a life beautifully aligned with divinity, not easy, but possible. True spirituality is much more than renunciation and one can live a life aligned with spiritual values yet be a renunciate within the world. This leads one to very different oceans and when this happens at a younger age than my maternal grandmother’s pre-departure reflections at almost 100, it can be very confronting.
As one's relationship with the divine deepens, interacting with others on different paths becomes increasingly difficult. It becomes very natural to sit in solitude and in this place, it's also very natural to wonder, where to from here? Maybe the answer lies in 'the joy of sharing the treasure'...
This is the gateway to the next stage of Being…maybe it’s just the season to watch the show for a while.
I’m going to make some popcorn…