Albert Einstein is famously known for how he would solve an issue. If he had sixty minutes to find a solution, he would spend fifty-five minutes defining the question, and the other five minutes on finding the solution. Perhaps therein lies our problem. Maybe we need to take a long look at our question itself: “What am I supposed to be doing?” Often times that question gets reduced to, “What should I do to make a living?” It's a valid question on its own – but not what we’re talking about when we’re looking for the ultimate purpose of life. To take it even further, I think the word “doing” in the question is really what misinforms our investigation.
When we talk about “doing,” in a spiritual context, somehow the words fall a little empty. I, for one, feel that it’s true that I should try my best to take conscious, life-enforcing actions each day. Yet, it’s also important to have one eye looking out through the window of eternity. Really, what can one person do to add to this massive place we call Earth -- a place that has gone along without us for over four billion years? In today’s world, we can change what we do as often as we change our clothes. There is a fair share of information to help us with this "doing," and that information keeps changing to guide the elusive nature of this question. However, when it comes to our inner world, this question might not be as important as we make it out to be. What, then, is a better question to ask? If the doing is constantly changing, is there something that is with us all the time?
That’s where I see an answer staring right back at me, quietly gliding in and out through my entire day, mostly unaffected by what I am doing. It’s a shift from, the “what” to the “how.” From “What am I supposed to be doing?” to “How am I living?” What is the state of mind that I’m carrying around with me all day? It’s that BE-ing which we carry ourselves with, live deeply with when no one else is looking – that’s what we’re doing with our lives.
What is the song that I came to sing? Maybe I’ve been a part of the symphony all along, and everyone around me has heard every word – except me. The purpose of a river is just to flow. It doesn’t stop to ask for directions or sets out to find its song. Or look for the name of the ocean it will eventually merge with. She just keeps on flowing. She trusts that whatever brought her here in the first place will take her where she needs to go. Its secret, which she whispers if you listen closely: Stop your searching and start your living. You’re already half-way down the road. There is no purpose to life. Life is the purpose.
(Post inspired by last Wednesdays meditation circle)