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#20: The Purpose of Life

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

Hi Folks,

Why are we here? What is the point of our existence? Is it just to have as much fun as possible? If we judge the value of our life by the fun we are having, it seems tome we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. Fun is great. I find going to concerts fun and I do that a lot. But I try to avoid judging the value of my life by how much fun I am having.

Instead, I try to take the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson seriously: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

There are many ways to be useful, from giving our time to others and other such things as giving money to support organizations I admire. But there is something important we can give that is not often talked about. My own inner transformation might be important not so much for me as it is for the greater community.

People who make growth a priority help shift the consciousness of humanity. They “vibrate” at a finer level and this impacts those around us. It may be that we can only serve this purpose when we are in the present moment. Only then can we be a channel.

One of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver wrote: “To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” For me, this means bring my attention to the present moment and practicing gratitude for everything that I have. To pay attention requires an effort to be present. We can’t be present when we live like robots, passing our lives in a passive daydream.

When it is difficult to find the energy to pay attention and let go of the past and future, it helps motivate me to think I am not doing it just for myself, but for all people. As humans, we can open our minds and hearts and allow this finer energy to penetrate our planet the way sunlight does. At least that is my hope.

I believe this not because I can prove it in a conventional sense, but because I have had the good luck to be around people I think are highly evolved and just being with them is better than anything they actually say.

To make some difference in the world is a wonderful goal. But do I look at my own inner transformation and awakening as part of that service? It is worth looking into and seeing if it rings true for you.

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”

To Attention!


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