August 25, 2015

Finding our Purpose: Keep an Eye Out for Grandiosity.

Flickr/Eddi van W.

The search for our purpose is a path most spiritual practitioners embark on.

Listening deeply to our intuitive heart about what our purpose is, where our purpose is and when it will be manifesting is a staple for the inwardly exploring.

Some souls have this information from birth, while others search a lifetime and feel they have missed it or it has missed them.

Often, the reason it is missed is that the purpose did not fit the seekers criteria. It may not have been significant enough. It may not be something that their culture, or they, feel contributes enough.

Keeping an eye out for grandiosity and egoic delusion can help our purpose present itself more swiftly. Being aware that in God’s eye, every purpose is worthy—that no one purpose outstrips another—and just doing ours wholeheartedly is the objective.

An unripe ego’s purpose must be miraculous, sizeable, substantive and contribute immeasurably—a legacy that will be whispered about in the hallways of heaven.

The unripe ego is an ego which still has work to do—which resides in self-interest and power. A ripe ego is one which has ripened, learnt many lessons and is ready to take a back seat—to understand his role as a staff member of the mind, not the manager of the mind, body and energy.

The unripe ego will delude us as being superior or inferior to others—the ripe ego sees unity in diversity. Over time, and with copious amounts of self-study, my unripe ego is shifting from I, me and mine—to us, ours and yours. It is opening to the possibility that I could be wrong, and that others may have some knowledge worth considering. The ripening continues, and the desire to serve and support is consuming the desire for fame and fortune. Each day, each aware moment, I feel the ego becoming a devotee of my soul.

This ripening halts the slide into spiritual materialism. A slide into spiritual materialism will stultify our spiritual growth. The ripe ego will keep us safe from the self-deception that we are evolving spiritually, when it is really the ego that is expanding in righteousness.

Spiritual materialism occurs when we have adapted the secular view of striving and struggling, measuring and gaining, and we overlay it onto our spiritual blueprint. Spiritual materialism can manifest as the idea that we need material possessions to reach our highest potential, to connect with the divine and to remember our soul.  Spiritual seekers or yogi’s who must have the most up to date yoga pants, need drink green smoothies all day, or are unable to meditate without the perfect meditation cushion and incense burning are examples of how spiritual materialism can manifest itself.

The spiritual journey is more about simplicity than grandiosity—more about shedding than collecting. The delusion that, “I must do my purpose so the world keeps turning,” is an ever-present illusion that fits snugly into spiritual materialism. The knowledge that neither the world, nor anyone else, needs our help comes from mature fruit, free from self-importance.

“It is a weakness to think that anyone is dependent on me, and that I can do good to another. This belief is the mother of all our attachment and through this attachment comes all our pain. We must inform our minds that no one in this universe depends upon us. Not one beggar depends on our charity, not one soul on our kindness, not one living being on our help. All are helped on by nature, and will be so helped even though millions of us were not here.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

When our purpose has to meet the incorrect perceptions of greatness—or comparison with another’s purpose—we will suffer.  When the value of our purpose is how many and how much—we will suffer.

Discerning spiritual materialism as it rears up, and asks for grandiosity, takes a mind established in stillness. This mind is unconcerned by standards set by secular society and marches to a more simple beat. This is by no means a lazy and unmotivated beat, but a beat more in determined to stay in step with the soul.

This mind is undaunted by simplicity and possible obscurity. This mind is not seeking reward or praise found in grandiosity or in what the world had proclaimed for it. This mind sees the egoic reaching as an opportunity to re-center and rest securely in the knowledge that neither worldly materialism nor spiritual materialism is the answer to the question of liberty.

It is evident that many of the trappings and strategies that have brought material success are now creeping into the spiritual approach. Whilst some of these methods have validity many are bereft of understanding of the mind and heart.

How can our purpose present itself, when we are unclear about whom we are? How can we know what is right for us, when comparison and the desire for significance are bellowing in our ears about prestige and potentiality. Is a purpose that does not necessarily bring fame and material abundance worthy of consideration? Could peace and inner satisfaction be experienced by means of a purpose that is devoid of spotlights and fanfare?

Unveiling our purpose, and then fulfilling it impeccably, is a task that will take a powerful will, a mind with crystalline clarity and a heart that beats only for freedom. An ego that is subject to the soul is also a prerequisite. This path may see the brave tremble for a time, but they will persist. This activity may even make the strong will feel weak, however, strength will triumph.

Continue the search for your purpose by doing what is in front of you right now and doing it excellently—doing it is though it is your purpose, for what else could it be?

All your actions from this life and past have led you to here. Mop the floor with holy purpose, and eat your food to have fuel for your purpose. Make the body a temple, so your purpose can be performed.

Keep the mind quiet, and be open to your purpose being something you may not have expected.

Listen, and look externally and internally for symbols and signals. Do the next thing as though your purpose was already here—and maybe, just maybe—your deepest purpose will burst out of your heart in a torrent of grace.


Relephant reads:

Alan Watts on Spiritual Materialism.

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Yoga Pose? Spiritual Materialism & 5 Meditations.


Author: Greg Clarke

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Flickr/Eddi van W.

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