Meaning and Purpose

Recently, I was invited to submit an article on the Meaning of Life to a website of single focus. They host over 1,100 articles on that single topic from a very wide range of people from around the world. This includes historical figures.

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Personally, it was a curious article to write as the usual flow wasn’t happening. It did finally gel but took a couple of weeks.

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19 Responses to Meaning and Purpose

  1. Gina Westbrook says:

    “… the Meaning of Life “, So…it really is 42 after all, isn’t it?

    Sorry, David, I can resist anything but temptation… πŸ˜€

  2. Celeste says:

    Awesome article!

  3. Gina Westbrook says:

    Another gem from Douglas Adams:

    “I seldom end up where I wanted to go but always end up where I need to be.”

    He may not have been enlightened, but he was certainly “woke”.

  4. Elsebeth says:

    Wonderfully written Davidya! Very clear, and even if you have taken a break in your writing as you said, and it did not come easily β€” I love this article. And it came in the right time, on the right day for me! Thank you!

  5. Jim says:

    Hi David, Thank you, that is quite good!
    Yes, beyond discovering the meaning of life, or perhaps always enhancing it, is our purpose. Once it gets ahold of us, it is impossible to dispel. Each of us experiences it differently according to our dharma. You had mentioned that dharma is that which sustains, which it is because it deeply fulfills us. We also carry nested dharmas for whatever domain we are operating in, the dharma of union, the dharma of children, of career, of inner satisfaction, of society, of national and global activity. From all of these we gain meaning and purpose. Quite a miracle really that all of this ourselves included operates in a coherent way, even more so a fulfilling and evolutionary one. πŸ™‚

    • Davidya says:

      Thanks, Jim. Yes, I touch on “levels” of dharma in the article but don’t explore as I was approaching the word limit. But it is a key point that everything from our daily routine to the arc of our life has an aspect of dharma.

  6. L Rudner says:

    Don’t know if this article is exactly the right forum for these questions but they do relate to the overall meaning and understanding of life. The quandary is that the knowledge available from the great variety of sources of spiritual information relating to liberation, states of consciousness is disjunctive. There is no means of inter referencing spiritual experiences from one source to another… for example How does Maharishi’s states of consciousness relate to Ramama’s experience of enlightenment and the “Self”… What is meant by “liberation” in both cases, are the definitions the same? Is Ramana (Papaji and his school) strictly talking about Parabrahman or could it be Cosmic Consciousness? Referring to Chapter 43 of Yogananda’s biography Sri Yukteswar says this… β€œWhen a soul finally gets out of the three jars of bodily delusions,” Master continued, β€œit becomes one with the Infinite without any loss of individuality. Christ had won this final freedom even before he was born as Jesus. In three stages of his past, symbolized in his earth-life as the three days of his experience of death and resurrection, he had attained the power to fully arise in Spirit. The point is “no loss of individuality”… but how does this mesh with teachings such as Ramana’s of total immersion into the self? Also I enjoyed your commentary on the Yugas… there some unclarity on this issue also Neem Karoli Baba, Ram Das and Krishna Das’s Guru (and other Gurus), indicated that this is Kali Yuga… But Yukteswar says otherwise. It would nice if there was some cross referencing and clarity in this field as well. I could go on but I think you get the jist… there is now a significant “Babel” element to spiritual/higher states of consciousness material, East, West Buddhist/Hindu etc… and it would be great if there could be some cross referencing and unification of experiences, techniques, teachings etc. I’d like to hear your point of view on this… PS If you have not seen videos available on Lakshman Joo they are worth looking at… they may be somewhat difficult to understand but he seems to place some emphasis on the Parabrahman. Finally, how do the Gods and Goddesses and worship fit into the scheme of liberation? Thanks LR

    • Davidya says:

      Hi LR
      You raise a lot of questions. Largely, they point to a mind looking for the right answer/ the truth. But the mind will never be satisfied this way. It’s not going to find the answers in itself. You have to go beyond the mind into deeper layers of reality. I have touched on most of these questions in other articles on the blog. I’ll link to a few below. You may also find exploring the Key Posts tab useful.
      When I was young, most spiritual traditions were siloed. They were like distinct countries. With the advent of the Internet and rising consciousness, many paths have become available to us. But their distinctions are still dominant and it can be challenging to compare them.
      There is both distinct terminology and use of terminology. The same word can mean very different things or be interpreted in many different ways. Famously, modern non-duality is a particular interpretation of Shankara’s work that he would not have agreed with. See:
      One of the larger issues is confusing experiences with shifts in being. This is a big reason why I wrote the book – to describe the fundamental process and the primary variations in experience I’ve seen. If you can understand the basics, you’re more able to place others descriptions in some context.
      Of course, this isn’t perfect. There may not be enough context to “translate” a description and it’s all too easy to fall into using a model to judge others.
      There has been some discussion of coming to a consensual agreement on definitions but we’re a long way from that happening.
      A majority of teachers only talk about Self Realization or Cosmic Consciousness, the first stage of enlightenment. But even there, the definitions vary. Some well known teachers consider themselves “awake” yet are simply very aware of the Self. They’ve not shifted yet but don’t realize it.
      Others are very clearly awake but not aware of further stages and resistant to the possibility. This can interfere with further development.
      Very few are talking about the refinement process yet. Many more are making the later shifts now which has begun to change the conversation.
      There is a very strong renunciate emphasis in a lot of teachings for historical reasons I discuss elsewhere. (see above link, for example) This encourages a denial of the individual. But times have changed. Most of us are householders and need the person to function with and live the enlightenment through.
      The 3 jars are probably the 3 levels of ego & the 3 mahamarmas, what Adyashanti called head, heart, gut. Resolution of those 3 brings you to roughly the Unity stage, although its a process of purification that can vary widely from the stages. Another big discussion.
      The question of Yugas I explore at the link below. There is an error thats crept into common calculations. Yukteswar corrected that, so I agree with his approach. It corresponds to my experience, the precession of the equinoxes and history. A lot of this makes sense if you recognize we’ve been rising out of a dark age in consciousness.
      On Jesus, he had a somewhat unique trajectory. He apparently trained in both Egypt and India and returned to India after the resurrection. The major challenge is that the stories of his life have been systematically distorted and mixed with prior stories so it’s difficult to know what he actually said. There are versions of the gospels found in India that are probably closer.
      On the gods, this relates to 2 things. One is the Yoga or path we’re on. Some are more inclined to a devotional path or go through a devotional phase. This can be valuable for opening the heart but if it’s done only by rote or to make a mood, it’s of little value.
      The other part is the personal and impersonal. Perceiving laws of nature as embodied is the personal. This relates to the refinement I mentioned above. See:
      I have done some comparisons, but trying to figure it all out is just the mind wanting the answers. That’s not how you actually resolve these questions nor find enlightenment. Better to choose a path you see that gives results and follow that. The mind alone will just give you more mind.
      Make sense? πŸ™‚

      • Jim says:

        Good one David – Yes, life is transcendent, non-attached at its core, which morphs into a foundation of deep acceptance and pregnant silence supporting us. The mind wants answers early, but if it waits and deepens itself, the reality is reached where the mind gains permanent Cosmic status and only knows, thinks, and expresses the truth. It is just easier that way for everyone. πŸ™‚

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