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« life is my poem musings for the weekend | Main | three years of Showing Up & Doing the Next most Obvious thing »

Feb 05, 2007



You are so right, you can be hit by whatever it might be: an icicle from a roof, a brick from an old building, a tree during strong wind, a flowerpot from a balcony, a car, a crazy alpinist, heartattack....

Thoughtful post. Thank you.



Higher purpose now or later? Hardly a question at all from a certain point of view. After all, "we" are going to do what we do. As long as I think I am "the decider," the vast probablity is that any activity I think I am driving will only delay a clear vision of what might truly help. Tho' I have seen it said that within Samsara, attempts at right action will further: kindness toward strangers, recycling, healthful living, observing others' space. Set your intention fearlessly on the truth, and go on living

Evelyn Rodriguez

Thanks TorAa,
Funny! When I went back to the very beach and very bay on Phi Phi Don Island one year later after the tsunami, I was sitting down recalling the disaster as if in a dream (well, nightmare perhaps at that moment) and then a large coconut came straight down crashing from the tree right beside me. Putting it all right back squarely into the present.

Thanks Bruce, I totally with you that we are going to do what we do, yes. I don't advocate stressing about not knowing if you have a higher purpose or not. Or worrying if you are doing 'it' right or not.

I have spent too much time in past fretting whether I was living my purpose and since I wasn't quite sure what my purpose was that gave me a lot to stress about - rather than just living that minute, and the next minute, and the next. (It's not really YOUR higher purpose anyhow.)

In the living of it, the purpose unfolds.

I really am growing fond of the surfing metaphor more and more: Ride the wave.

I just end up doing the next most obvious thing, and then the next. However, I did feel at times as if something wanted to birth through me, and I resisted and resisted and resisted because in the eyes of society it would seem too impractical and imprudent. So that's what I want to challenge in myself. Am I really cooperating with the inevitable, or I being willful and refusing to participate in Life because _______.

In the end, C.'s refrigerator magnet says it all: "Ask your heart what's right, and follow it." Although that's the training wheels version to get practice. It becames our nature, not our second nature, to just follow our heart without asking and without reservations. And so without even being aware of any higher purpose or striving towards higher purpose we end up on purpose totally spontaneously


Here's how I imagine a more conservative person responding (and there may be some truth to this):

The best way to get to that higher purpose isn't always the direct route. It's not always a straight line. Sometimes it's best to do some prep work and build a foundation to support that higher purpose. It may not be exactly what you want to do, but it's still part of the process of getting there.

The problem is in how easy it is to get sidetracked while setting that foundation. Our path eventually turns to building different foundations -- multiple security blankets, for instance, to soften the failure of the higher purpose that we might never get to.

Evelyn Rodriguez

Well, on second thought, considering my own life last few years, I think we can also get sidetracked by the grand search for higher purpose.

Yep, does meander quite a bit. Surfing ain't exactly a straight line. I'm following wherever the wave goes. I feel like NIX'ing everything I said in this post, and just go with the truth of how I really & truly live right now - not six years ago - which the crux of it is in the comment above. And:

"The task is not to find the lovable object, but to find the object before you lovable.” – Soren Kierkegaard, from “Works of Love.”

Often we discount what we are working this very minute too easily in the search for something that is higher, better, loftier. Later. Bring your best to every task every minute.

I think as I suggested in earlier comment we might allow ourselves to be ameniable to living out any inspired vision that is already making its way into heart. I have a feeling it would not be making itself so clearly known if there wouldn't be any foundation coming with it. If nothing is making itself too clear, then just enjoy what you are up to.

When I’m stumped about higher purpose showing up, I’ve found a little time each day in quiet helps set the tone for the rest of the day:

“The self-conscious mind cannot reach silent knowing, but silent knowing can reach into it at rare moments when the internal talk ceases, allowing other things to be heard. Everyone has these moments, when the world turns quiet and an indefinable calm washes over us.” - Not in His Image, by John Lamb Lash

It is at these times that the clarity makes the next step more obvious, especially since higher purpose can seem so hugely overwhelming and daunting - where would you begin?


The child inside us wants to think we are waging war in a fairy tale and we just might win.

Then a Higher Purposer comes along with still more auto-suggestological fantasy, and being bored and basically bad, we listen and follow.

Then, in our painful corruption, our depraved senses are wounded by betrayal, opposition, a sliding away from Alleged Higher Purpose.

Higher Purposers sometimes use the Higher Purpose as a way to disguise a Lower Purpose.

The news is full of their stories. I need not repeat the gruesome details here or anywhere.

If enough Higher Purposers dissolve into, to put it politely, Lower Purposers, you begin to shun such gurus and seek the light that only the isolated soul can see.

And arise in infinite compassion for all things, objects, and events.


We are Born to Serve, prior to all private existence is the overwhelming obligation to be our sister's keeper, self-sacrificial service duty exists prior to self existing.



thought I'd share this, told you about cosmic coincidence control and Robert Anton Wilson, this is from my section on him in what I'm writing now
the best compendium of Wilson’s ideas is contained in his book “The Illuminati Papers.” The essay “Neuro-Economics” does more to savage the stupidity of traditional economic thinking than any other single essay ever written. “Voluntary associations without alternative currencies are quickly reabsorbed in the Capitalist Milieu. Voluntary associations with alternative currencies quickly run afoul of the law.” “Paper money becomes the bio-survival imprint of capitalist society.” “Poverty makes cowards of us all.” In his essay “The Rich Economy” Wilson notes “Unemployment is not a disease, so it has no cure.” The Rich Economy (Rising Income through Cybernetic Homeostasis) was developed by Wilson and inventor L. Wayne Benner, co-author with Timothy Leary of Terra II. A great admirer of Buckminster Fuller as well, he concludes the essay with this “As Bucky Fuller says, the first thought of people, once they are delivered from wage-slavery, will be “ What was it that I was so interested in as a youth, before I was told I had to earn a living?” The answer to that question, coming from millions and then billions of persons liberated from mechanical toil, will make the Renaissance look like a high school science fair or a Greenwich Village art show.”
If we all would just keep asking the question, our horizons are without limit.
Indeed Evelyn, you are asking all the right questions. You got a few answers as well. Bucky's aunt was Margaret Fuller, confidant and fellow transcentalist with Thoreau and Emerson. Crossroad Dispatches is doing a bit of transcending itself. Dream large. Dream large.

Evelyn Rodriguez

Vaspers, I totally understand. Yes, you're absolutely right, beyond good & evil as I wrote the other day, you also go beyond conception of higher & lower, and it is all just allowed to exist. But as I said in Tara's blog, even this desirelessness and detachment, doesn't mean nothing happens at all. What happens then happens THROUGH us, rather than BY us.

Yes, servic, this is what I read about once a week, "Serving the One":

And recommend highly to everyone (less esoteric than above) Eckhart Tolle's 'A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose'


“Bring your best to every task every minute. I don’t advocate stressing about knowing if you have a higher purpose or not. Or worrying if you are doing ‘it’ right or not… Often we discount what we are working this very minute too easily in the search for something that is higher, better, loftier.”

Addison Parks talks about losing the source of one’s art by obsessing about finding a career in art.

“Stay close to the source. You find God in nature and in life, not in churches. The same is true of art. You have to stay close to the light. Every second an artist spends worrying or obsessing about their career the farther they get from the light. The world is filled with temptations to take the wrong fork at every turn. We compare, we score, we want more. It may be natural, but it's the wrong fork. It is simple math. You do the work. Without the work you have nothing. With the work you have everything that matters. The rest is crap, and it lures us with promises that are static illusions. Visions of grandeur, visions of glory. False evidence that we matter somehow.”

The illusory promises of a career can lure away an artist from his art. But so could a higher, loftier purpose. I am thinking of Meister Eckhart who said that even a spiritual path could distract us from God, “Whoever is seeking God by ways is finding ways and losing God”.

Addison Parks had a showing and was being written up at the age of ten. In an interview he says, “I'm over fifty now. I can just let go… I love painting. I get something big out of that moosh of color and mark. I'll always paint. Sunday painter. Has a nice ring, don't you think? About the worst thing you can say about a painter, really. But to me these days it sounds so sweet. Sunny. A nice wide-brimmed straw hat in the garden…I heard John Walker is a little depressed because he's not getting the recognition he deserves. He should consider himself lucky. Just shut up and live, shut up and paint, shut up and find your wide-brimmed hat and your folding chair and get down to the water's edge. The rest is just crap and crap shoot.”

I think it is worthwhile to find a higher purpose and live it with all sincerity but knowing all the while that it is also part of a comforting illusion, and that except for the work “the rest is crap and crap shoot”.

Evelyn Rodriguez

Arkielogy, Thanks so much. Yes if we go reignite the innocence and enthusiam and exuberance of a simple childhood dream, then maybe we may avoid the meanderings of our more adult (and, for me, quite stubborn) visions of grandeur that often sway us.

I was just also thinking (and you mention economics and employment) about Muhammed Yunus. He really didn't set out with a grand plan for Grameen Bank at all. It was a very simple following of the thread of inspiration. Wrote comment over at:

And thanks so much for reminder of transcendentalists. My friend Siona reminds it is anniversary of Thomas Carlyle's death today:

Romy, May be I'm a Sunday blogger. ;-) Yes, I feel too the desire for approval and recognition and credibility and prestige and "what do they think of this painting (or whatever)" compromises much more art before a single stroke is placed on a piece of canvas than ANYTHING else. I was just reading this paper
and thinking while we may be producing stuff, what matters to me is if I am coming from the creative mind (spontaneous, aware, independent) rather than the reactive mind (repetitive, re-acting)?

Reactive mind might produce something, yes...but agree with you on the distraction of a higher can get one into a reactive and evaluative and so-am-i-doing-it-right-am-I? mind.

The other day I was thinking to myself that art can make a bolder statement when it doesn't come from an intention of making any statement.

Tara Hunt

Hey Ev,

Thanks for this wonderful, thoughtful post.

I'm kind of taking the time to reflect on all of this. Some of the conversation around this has left me shaken. People, who I've never met, coming around and taking issue with me discussing this (I suppose I should be thankful that they found it significant enough to gather around). Right now, I'm afraid I'm reacting too emotionally and too personally.

I'd love, when I get my head around sit over tea and discuss this well as all of the other things we have been talking about. Life gets in the way of my HP everyday. ;)

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