Friday, May 18, 2018

The Purpose of Life

Nothing like starting the day by tackling a weighty subject such as the meaning of, or the purpose of, life. But that's the way it usually happens: kundalini drops the spark of an idea into my consciousness and I find myself trying to put meaningful words around that spark.

If I were to say that the purpose of life is to become more aware, would you say that's lowering the bar? Notice I don't say the purpose is enlightenment. That might be too difficult to defend as there's a lot of uncertainty as to what enlightenment actually is.

Awareness, on the other hand, is a simpler concept.
"In the normal state of awareness, our consciousness seems to be a small bubble in and around our head. When we look out, we see a universe of staggering proportions in which we are dwarfed into utter insignificance. In the mystical state, the position is reversed. The individual consciousness perceives itself as being a drop in an infinitely vast ocean of awareness, and the phenomenal universe becomes dwarfed into near insignificance. The transition from the normal to the mystical state has sometimes been likened to that of waking up from a dream. In a dream, we believe that what we are experiencing is ‘real.’ But when we wake up, we realize that the waking state is more ‘real’ than the dream state. Similar is the case when we go from the normal state to the mystical state."
~ Consciousness: The New Paradigm - Bradford, Michael. (p. 91). Institute for Consciousness Research. Kindle Edition.
So if we can expand that "small bubble in and around our head" to become more aware, rather than less aware at the end of life than we were at the beginning, does that not constitute a life whose purpose has been consummated. Can we say then: The purpose of life is to become more aware over the course of a lifetime.

In fact, doesn't just thinking about awareness make us more aware, as this Google Ngram seems to propose:

Google Ngrams Track Word Usage Frequency
Notice how the usage frequency of 'awareness' dips around the the time of 9/11. Does that not bear witness to a mounting incidence of extremism which gathered momentum around that time — a time when civility and manners went down the drain, taking a backseat to alienation, wanton violence, ideological fanaticism, and, finally, the Dogs of War.

Individuals targeted other individuals simply because they wore turbans. A man or woman as a human bomb became commonplace.

Apologists ascribe these incidents to religious fervor, but more often the bombers are revealed to be unsophisticated youths manipulated for political purposes.
"One consequence of the materialistic view of science is that since we are extinguished at death, there is no incentive to limit our behavior according to any moral or ethical standard. The only reason left to live is to enjoy life as much as possible, as any actions taken in this life, whether good or bad, could have no consequences once we die."
~ Consciousness: The New Paradigm - Bradford, Michael. (p. 174). Institute for Consciousness Research. Kindle Edition.
When people get caught up in a fever of settling imagined scores and resentments, the small bubble gets even smaller. And that's what we mean by becoming less aware —a limited paradigm composed of more 'self' and less 'other.'
"We all have a set of beliefs about how reality works. The various faiths of mankind, and science too, each have their own general perspective on how Creation happened and continues to unfold. This perspective is called a paradigm.
"The structure of each person’s paradigm is a result of their upbringing, education, faith, and/or knowledge of science, combined with the experience of the world that they have throughout their lifetime. Each person’s paradigm determines what he or she believes to be possible, or not possible. Paradigms are very useful, even essential, as they give us a framework that we can use to function in the world in an effective manner.
"For the vast majority of people, their paradigm is generally taken as a given. In other words, it is accepted as true, without need of proof or validation. As a consequence, few people — scientists or otherwise — actually stop to seriously question the validity of their own particular paradigm. Most people also do not realize that their paradigm is based on assumptions that they are not even aware they are making.
"Each person has her or his own unique paradigm. Throughout life, we are constantly coming into contact with others who have a paradigm that is different from our own, to a more or less degree. Human nature being what it is, our usual response is to reject those paradigms that diverge too far from our own. This is also usually the case when we are presented with factual data that contradict our own paradigm."
 Consciousness: The New Paradigm - Bradford, Michael. (p. 17-18). Institute for Consciousness Research. Kindle Edition.
Recent history is as rife with examples of persons becoming more aware through spiritual practices, as it is with persons with mental health issues or political motives believing mass murder, war, and acts of terror serve some greater purpose.

Is there any justification for a school shooting? Does the school shooter leave this earth with greater or lesser awareness?

What about the politician, the money lender, the star athlete, the inveterate gambler, the NFL fan, false guru, well-meaning gossip, the scientist whose inventions kill millions?

How does one become more aware over a given lifetime?

It's not a one-time, momentary cataclysm; it's a process open to anyone and everyone:

How do I know? I started at the bottom; that's how. I was an "outer-directed puppet" with "no inner aim or real will." Asleep for most of my life, yet harboring some spark that led to eventually becoming an "inner-directed, cosmically oriented man," when I look back over my trajectory, the distance between my beginning state and where I am now seems greater that the distance between Earth and the stars.

What stage are you at?

1 comment:

  1. Everything I want or need is within. I have mastered my reality and become the embodiment of Unconditional Love. Through this I reconnect with the galaxy. I’ve noticed that We exist in different paradigms and I feel no need to reject. I too spent a great deal of my life asleep, but it was a necessary stage in my evolution of consciousness