The Highest Purpose
What is the truest highest purpose of man’s life? It is to be taken possession of by his higher self. His dissatisfactions are incurable by any other remedy…
The goals of progress are but imagined ones. There is only one goal which is undeniably real, completely certain, and authentically true–and that is an unchanging one, an eternal one. Yet it is also the one that has escaped mankind!
Life offers man a variety of meanings, but in the end one meaning comes to the top of all the others and that is the meaning which shall reveal the truth about his relation to God.
… There exists a supreme reality beyond the awareness of sense or intellect; there exists a soul in man which is rooted in this reality; the higher purpose of human life is to establish full consciousness of and communion with this soul…
If you ask what reality is, in philosophy’s view, the answer must be consciousness. If you further ask what man’s work in this life is, the answer must be to become conscious of consciousness as such. But because, ordinarily, consciousness never discloses itself to him but only its varying states, he can accomplish this work only by adopting extraordinary means. He will have to steel his feelings and still his mind. In short, he will have to deny himself.
Our source is in the Overself; our growth is but a return to it, made fully conscious as we were not before.
When our eyes have been opened to the true meaning of man, when we know that this is not to be found in his transient personality but in his enduring essence, life will possess a quality it never had before.
… If he looks to final ends he will know the right means. If he finds out what is the larger purpose behind the smaller ones, it will be immensely easier to know what to do in any given situation when he has to choose between opposite courses.
An intermittent enlightenment which comes like this in moments is only a step on the way. He should not be satisfied with it. Nothing short of total enlightenment which is permanent, constant, and ever-present ought to be his goal.
This then is the ultimate truth–that in our inmost nature we are anchored in God, inseparable from God, and that the discovery of this heavenly nature is life’s loftiest purpose. Even now, already, today, we are as divine as we ever shall be. The long evolutionary ladder which by prophets and teachers, gurus and guides we are bidden to climb toilsomely and slowly and painfully need not be climbed at all if only we heed this truth continually, if we refuse to let it go, if we make it ours in all parts of our being–in thought, feeling, faith, and action.
… God has set man upon this earth to fulfil and realize obscure higher purposes as well as the obvious lower ones. Man evades the challenge only at the risk of unwittingly calling into existence destructive forces that will terrorize his civilization and frighten him into remembrance of what these higher purposes demand of him.
Too much remembrance of the world leads to too much forgetfulness of the higher purpose of our life in the world.
We are given forms embodied in space and minds working in time whereby we may come to decipher meanings in life and the world, develop awareness of the Infinite Being that is behind both, and know our true self.
Each individual has quite enough to do to carry out the higher purpose of life, which is clear and definite: to attain awareness of the Overself, to surrender the heart and will to it utterly, and to overcome the ego–which, in itself, calls for the whole nature of a man or a woman.
This is the paradox: that both the capacity to think deeply and the capacity to withdraw from thinking are needed to attain this goal.
The Overself is always present in man’s heart. If he does not receive awareness of this fact in his mind, that is because he makes no proper and sustained effort to do so.
It is not the objects of conscious attention which are to be allowed to trap the mind forever and divert the man from his higher duty. It is the consciousness itself which ought to engage his interest and hold his deepest concentration.
There is a deep joy in this growing perception of life’s larger meaning, a profound comfort in the ever increasing knowledge of its beneficent purpose.
Life is not trying to make people either happy or unhappy. It is trying to make them understand. Their happiness or unhappiness come as by-products of their success or failure in understanding.
We fulfil life when we find ourselves in the divine presence unendingly, aware of it and expressing it.
In first, the discovery of the Overself, and second, the surrender to it, man fulfils the highest purpose of his life on this earth.
… This earth exists to enable man to progress from lower to higher levels…
Those activities which belong to a human existence in the world may still go on, and need not be renounced, although they may be modified or altered in certain ways as intuition directs. His business, professional, family, and social interests need not be given up. His appreciations or creations of art need not be abandoned. His intellectual and cultural life can remain. It is only demanded of him that none of these should be a self-sufficient thing, existing in total disregard of the Whole, of the ultimate and higher purpose which is behind reincarnation.
The idea that he has to attain mastery over the desires of the flesh is a correct one. But that this mastery will lead to reunion with a soul-mate is not the teaching of the best mystics or philosophers. What really happens is a reunion with the true Beloved, who is none other than the Soul of the individual, his higher Self. This is a real living entity, whose presence is felt, whose words are heard, and whose beauty arouses all one’s love.
So long as those who lead nations or rule peoples have wholly or partially inadequate understanding of the profounder significance of human existence, so long will those nations and peoples be led from one painful blunder to another.
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