As a grad student in cultural history and sociology, I was always watching behavior.
In sociology, the more minutely you looked at behavior, the more of a reputation you acquired.
Erving Goffman is a good example. Look at The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life for instance. Goffman treated life as a theater in which people were performing. He described their performances with huge attention to detail – compared to everyone else in his day.
I had no trouble with the attention to detail. However, I did have trouble with something else. All sociologists and anthropologists of that time shared one thing in common: They were always looking at someone else’s behavior.
Everything in academic studies when I was there was “objective,” “out there.” To look at one’s self was “subjective” and not allowed. Except for a novelist or poet; in other words, for someone who’d “dropped out.”
But for me looking at one’s own behavior became a pressing need the deeper I went into the Human Growth Movement.
It brought personal growth and unfoldment. The farther into it I went, the farther away from academia I journeyed.
But I knew I had to travel this route.
Let me draw us back to the original purpose of life for you and me.
How do I know what it is? Because I was given a vision in 1987, of which most everyone around here may be tired of hearing about! (1)
It showed me the journey of an individual soul from God to God. That soul is known to others as the spark of God, the Self, Christ, Atman, Buddha nature. Jesus is talking about it in his parables as the pearl of great price, treasure buried in a field, and mustard seed that grew into a great tree.
The vision left me with just one sentence: “The purpose of life is enlightenment.”
That’s its purpose for you and me. For God, it’s purpose is apparently that God can enjoy meeting Itself in a moment of our enlightenment. At that moment, God meets God. And for that meeting was all of this created.
Another name for “God meeting God” is “Self-Realization” or “Self-Knowledge.” Self-Realization because, if God is everything, then you and I must also be God. If it were any other way, God would not be everything. So when we realize our Self fully, we must realize God.
(Continued tomorrow in Part 2.)
(1) I refer you to “The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment – Ch. 13 – Epilogue,” at https://goldenageofgaia.com/2011/08/13/the-purpose-of-life-is-enlightenment-ch-13-epilogue/