The Purpose of Life


Once I heard a friend of a friend saying in a conversation that when he was born he was in such a rush to get here. He was literally dying to be born. He vaguely remembered a long bearded man trying to tell him what the purpose of his life was. He did not pay attention… and now in his mid-50s he is still lost, not knowing what he is here for. Wishing he could give that guy a call or something like that seems rather impossible and comical. Yes, it is Bill, we nodded in agreement. We smiled and marvelled at his sense of humour, highlighting the hidden dimension of our general ignorance about the sense of purpose in life.


Another time an elderly Indian Swami told that he was approached by a young engineer after a public talk at an Indian University asking the same question. The Swami wanted to clarify the issue and bring it home to the young man by asking if he was a Softy (software engineer). No, he replied. Cement & brick (civil engineer)? No, I am a mechanical engineer, he said. Aha, a screwdriver engineer, OK.


So the screwdriver can have two purposes only, either tightening or loosening screws. However on its own it cannot do anything. It requires a hand, a higher intelligence, using it to complete the job. So it starts with that intelligence looking for the right screwdriver a Phillips or a Slot, an Allen, a Star or a Robertson head. Then it has to be the right size and in a good usable condition.


If you think we are all screwdrivers our purpose is to be ready and available to become an instrument in the hand of that higher will (God if you may). Be always ready, vigilant and aware of the opportunity presenting itself in every single moment which gives you a chance to be purposeful and to make this world a more beautiful place. Every moment is a new opportunity to be in service for that higher will. Every moment is a test checking if we are at present responding to what is right here right now or we are lost in the stale moments of the past or rushing ahead into the dreamy future.


It doesn’t mean we will be doing great things on our own, in fact, mostly just little things but in a great way. Every little thing contributes to the big picture… you do your part and move on because the next moment is waiting for you somewhere else. Do not bog down and do not claim anything. Move like an enlightened soul, unnoticed, unattached and always fresh.


This is what we practice in a yoga class. That awareness of the body, breath and the mind is what trains us. These are tools to sharpen us for the moment, so when off the mat we remain present and responsive to what is right there in that moment.

The Purpose of Life

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