Why am I Here?
This is the question. Everything else stems from or leads to this point. I’m a big believer in the notion that we each have a purpose. I think all of our greatest problems can be traced back to ignorance or willful denial of our inherent job descriptions. I talk about this sort of thing an awful lot, as you know.
If you believe you’re here for a reason, it’s natural to want to know what that reason is, and, perhaps more importantly, what you ought to do about it next. This is something I chew on a lot in my own life, and I see the people around me thinking about it, too. In the work I do with teens, it’s a central preoccupation. Truthfully, the adults in my world don’t seem to have any better of a handle on it. It wouldn’t be hard to argue that our culture doesn’t do a great job of sending folks on their way.
But it’s not for a lack of trying. Job applicants are typically asked where they see themselves in five years. Kids are asked to declare a major, plan for college, and know where their lives are going to go at an ever-earlier stage. A person with a good sense of where the chess pieces are going to go is generally regarded as stable, secure, and wise.
And boring. But boring is good, or so we’ve been told. I’m convinced that our culture is better at planning and predictability than any other in human history, and the virtue of this is driven home at every turn. I’m just not so sure that it’s bringing us any peace. If you want a predictable investment, put some money into the companies that manufacture anti-depression drugs.
I’m also having a hard time seeing how this emphasis on seeing, and knowing, and labeling, and controlling something as invisible, unfathomable, intangible, and free as the What Happens Next is helping us to find passion, art, fun, or love. It’s an extreme example, but Orson Welles’ cuckoo clock line from The Third Man comes to mind.
I’m not arguing against peace, though. Instead, I’m trying to say that real peace comes from a release of any attachment to the outcome, and from the conviction that while we cannot know what is going to happen next, our security comes from the simple understanding that the universe takes care of its own.
I can’t know what is going to happen next, not really, and so it’s a little foolish of me to try and force my future actions and existence into something my current experience can deal with. That’s not really what I want anyway. I’d rather be surprised by a life that I can’t even imagine right now, and I know that to get there I need to be brave enough to let go of my ego’s desire to know what’s around the corner.
So here’s what I DO know. Who and where I am now is the direct result of the general trend of my previous thoughts and feelings. I may not always be conscious of it, but when I stop and really look around I can always find the causal relationship between thoughts and things in my world. In fact, I believe that this is never not true.
On a primal level, the thought IS the thing. More on that later. But for now, here’s what you need to know: there is no spiritual or ideal element without a physical/material counterpart. The mode of manifestation might not always be straightforward, and that’s part of the fun, but the expression of the idea is always there.
This means a number of things, naturally. It means that if you are having a problem, the work you have before you is more archaeological than therapeutic. Dig past the outer appearances, figure out the inner conception, and make your adjustments there. New results will inevitably follow.
You are a microcosm of the universe. We are made in the image and after the likeness of God, after all. As it works in you, so it works in the totality of existence. So while I have no idea what specific actions either of us ought to be taking next, I’m pretty sure that’s not the right question to be asking anyway.
The question we started with is “why am I here?”
The answer is that you are here because there is literally no other place for you to be. You HAVE to be here, because the spiritual truth back of material experience could only manifest in this place, at this time, as this person you see in the mirror.
This means that there’s really no point in ever getting mad or sad about what has come before. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ever be allowed to be angry; only that it’s pointless in exactly the same way that seeing an action movie or going for a Sunday drive is pointless.
What’s done is done. What’s manifest is what’s manifest. What’s important is that every outer experience points back to its inner nature, and therein lies the charm of making.
You are here because you are an integral part of the universe’s expression. The better you get at honoring that truth and living up to that, the more easily and wonderfully the details will work themselves out.