Excerpt About Purpose

We are Just Part of the Play that is Always Arising and Changing

Everyone says, “God knows.” But God doesn’t have a memory or make plans the way human beings do. God is spontaneous creativity. So there is no purpose, in a sense; reality’s intelligence arises and just manifests itself more and more and more, in a very experimental way. Take the arising of life on Earth: If you study evolution, you will see that it’s very experimental. One species arises here, doesn’t get very far—and before you know it, it’s gone. Another species seems to go much further. So it’s all an experiment—which one works better, which one develops more. The human race tends to believe that it’s not just an experiment; we think we’re the purpose of creation. We might kill ourselves and most other life on Earth because we take ourselves so seriously, believing this is true. But we are just part of the play that is always arising and changing. This concept of creation as playfulness manifests in the inquiry as a playful attitude, which brings the same quality into the unfoldment. This playfulness brings in joy and delight, curiosity and celebration. This is the way we participate in the divine joy. Of course, we can make up whatever purposes we like. That’s part of the playfulness: You make up a purpose for a year or two and believe that it’s the purpose of your life. Wonderful! Two years later, you change it to another one—why not? In fact, people do that all the time, don’t they? You don’t feel bad that for the first twenty-one years of your life, you had a purpose that you don’t have now. You don’t say, “I wasted my life.” No, you say, “Now I have another purpose.” Who knows what will happen next year? The absence of purpose here merely expresses the openness, the open-ended character of our inquiry. When we have a purpose, we subtly orient our inquiry in a certain way; our attention is then oriented and structured toward a certain outcome, according to that purpose. And then we might miss seeing what is going on. Our openness becomes limited by believing we have to adhere to our purpose. So absence of purpose is the essence of playfulness, and the lightness in our inquiry.

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