The purpose of life could be stated in many ways. Viewed from the standpoint of the Creator, She (He, It – God is beyond gender) exists in a formless domain in which there is no second. To enjoy the experience of meeting Herself, the Creator made imaginary life-forms, who live in a dream world which seems very real to them, and assigned them the task of realizing their true identity. When one imaginary life-form becomes aware of the whole of the imaginary dream-world in a moment of enlightenment, along with the secret of who he or she really is, God meets God.
Viewed from our standpoint, the purpose of life is enlightenment. Enlightenment is the moment or event for which we were all created. To ensure our enlightenment, God built guardrails on the path, which we call the Law of Karma. Go too far to the right and the guardrail prevents further swerving and sends us back, and the same to the left.
To sharpen discrimination, so that we’d have a well-developed ability to discern the Real from the unreal (our prime objective in life), She created the Law of Attraction, which gives us what we yearn for. But anything that we get which is not God, She decreed would not satisfy. So we live our lives hungering for this, getting it, and seeing that it does not satisfy and then hungering for something else, until at last we realize that nothing but God satisfies.
If we analyze life in all its aspects, we’d see the structure of the dreamlike puzzle that God has built to lead us from darkness unto Light, from untruth to Truth, and from death to Immortality.
Saul in his message for July 4, 2011, mentioned another design element of life but very, very few people would probably recognize it. Shankara called it the “longing for liberation.” (1) God hardwired into us an insatiable desire for Her. I’ve described it in other places as:
“… a low-level, steady, and eternal thirst, an undying but sub-sensible yearning which a considerable number of the enlightened masters are very familiar with. …
“This thirst or yearning operates on us continuously, but so subtle is its impact and so powerful are our desires that we often misinterpret it and think that we are longing for a relationship or an experience connected with the material life of the body and the mind. Thus misinformed, we seek one relationship or experience after another in an endless cycle of desiring, acquiring and experiencing. Yet none of our acquisitions or experiences finally satisfy that endless longing. And this is as it should be because that endless longing can only be satisfied by spiritual union with God and not by anything material.” (2)
Just so we don’t miss these nuances in the spiritual messages we’re given, I’d like to look at Saul’s statement of the longing for liberation and then perhaps review a few statements from other galactic and terrestrial sources.
Saul tucks away his reference in the following passage. He begins with a statement of the purpose of life.
“Your search for meaning in your human lives is a search for that divine state, which, within the illusion, is inaccessible to you. You are, as humans, so shut down and limited that even the concept of God’s Love entirely escapes you, leaving you with an anxious and inexpressible longing that can drive you to despair, because you appear to be such tiny and insignificant beings of very little worth in the overall scheme of things. This is why you developed an ego that drives you to compete and display yourselves as special, noble, able, and competent beings in your desperate attempts to escape from the apparent reality of your total insignificance.” (3)
Our “search for meaning in [our] lives” is a statement of of the condition that all life-forms find themselves in by divine decree. He tells us that our search is for a “divine state,” which is enlightenment. But we are so constrained by the limits that duality imposes on us that we cannot see the Hand of God in all this. All that remains with us in “an anxious and inexpressible longing that can drive you to despair.”
Indeed the longing for liberation never releases its grip on us but keeps us moving forward, seeking, seeking, seeking for a means of releasing ourselves from our yearning. In 3D life, we typically try to satisfy it by seeking money, sex, and power. With our money, we buy experiences, possessions, status, education, all the time seeking a fulfillment that continually eludes us.
Buddha called this the cycle of desire. It could only be satisfied by putting aside the things of this world and discovering out true nature. So many of Jesus’s parables about the man finding the treasure in a field, a pearl of great price, or a great fish are about this putting aside of worldly things and buying that one spiritual treasure that alone would satisfy.
Let’s look at how a few other sages have described this design element of life. First Shankara:
“[The] longing for liberation is the will to be free from the fetters forged by ignorance — beginning with the ego-sense and so on, down to the physical body itself — through the realization of one’s true nature.” (4)
And next Adyashanti, who calls it the “impulse to be free”:
“The impulse to be free is an evolutionary spark within consciousness which originates beyond the ego. It is an impulse toward the divine, unity, and wholeness. It is an impulse originating from the Truth itself. This impulse to evolve is often co-opted by the ego, which then creates the illusion of the spiritual seeker. This impulse, which is inherently innocent, is something, which in and of itself, has nothing to do with any seeking to attain. It is only when the ego co-opts the impulse and then tries to attain something that the seeker is born. This impulse, this spark of evolution, becomes almost instantly corrupted by a wanting which gives birth to the seeker.” (5)
Sri Ramakrishna tells us that, to realize God, we must yearn for Her a worldly people do for sick relatives or for financial security.
“This yearning is like the state of mind of a man who has someone ill in the family. His mind is in a state of perpetual restlessness, thinking how the sick person may be cured. Or again, one should feel a yearning for God like the yearning of a man who has lost his job and is wandering from one office to another in search of work. If he is rejected at a certain place which has no vacancy, he goes there again the next day and inquires, ‘Is there any vacancy today?’” (6)
When we hunger for God from the depths of our soul, we will find Her, Sri Ramakrishna says.
“He who from the depth of his soul seeks to know God will certainly realize Him. He must. He alone who is restless for God and seeks nothing but Him will certainly realize Him.” (7)
“After the dawn out comes the sun. Longing is followed by the vision of God.” (8)
Let’s return to Saul as he continues his theme:
“In your intense desire to find meaning in your lives you are turning to the Light within you, which beckons continually, and you are seeking its guidance to lead you Home. You have spent eons ignoring It or hiding from It, but It has waited patiently in the knowledge that eventually you would turn to It and allow It to lead you out of the nightmare and Home to God. It is but an awakening from an intense and frightening nightmare into the divine Reality where, at every moment, you enjoy your eternal existence. The nudges that you are receiving to awaken you can no longer be ignored; the end of your long slumber is inevitable, and the joy when you awaken will be wondrous.” (9)
“The Light within you” is in one sense the light of enlightenment but in another sense the constant subtidal longing which draws us home like a beacon. It waits patiently, as Saul says, lifetime after lifetime, for us to stop our prodigality and return Home.
Saul tells us that “the nudges you are receiving to awaken you can no longer be ignored.” Indeed they cannot as the energies continue to rise on the planet. But what he doesn’t tell us that our awakening into the Fifth Dimension is again just one more step on a very long journey. Much more awaits us after that and we can rely on that same longing for liberation to remain with us and draw us on until we reach our final destination and merge again with God.
(1) Shankara in Prabhavananda, Swami and Christopher lsherwood, Shankara’s Crest-Jewel of Discrimination. Hollywood: Vedanta Press, 1975; c1947, 36.
(2) “The Longing for Liberation,” at http://goldenageofgaia.com/16244-2/the-purpose-of-life-is-enlightenment/ch-7-the-longing-for-liberation/
(3) Saul, July 4, 2011, at http://johnsmallman.wordpress.com
(4) Shankara, ibid., 36
(5) Adyashanti, The Impact of Awakening. Los Gatos: Open Gate Publishing, 2000, 3.
(6) Sri Ramakrishna in Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 96.
(7) Sri Ramakrishna, ibid., 777.
(8) Ibid., 83.
(9) Saul, ibid.