Life Purpose is Not a Job Description
Updated: Jun 18
When I was growing up, no one ever talked about the notion of life-purpose. As a child undertaking the gruelling journey of what I was told then was an education, my impression was that the potential of a single lifetime was far from everyone’s mind. It seemed to me that the meaning of life was somehow assumed, and so it was largely left unquestioned. As a consequence everyone was expected to follow the same map: get a job, get married, have children, if possible buy a house, save up as much money as possible to set aside for retirement, and then retire until you died. It was deemed better to retire as early as possible and then live the life you always wanted. As to how one decided on what job to do, that remained an eternal mystery; no one ever talked about it and I was left alone to figure it out for myself. As an adult I realise now that my teachers in the schooling system were barely capable of teaching anything about life; they were the blind leading the blind. It is a sad reality that the school systems around the world generally fail to assist young people in the pursuit of self-knowledge as the foundation for a well-lived life. Most of us tend to start adult life with the idea that life is solely about acquisition, and that basically the more we have, the happier we will be; we are told to accumulate as a measure of progress, whether that be money, status, power, or possessions, and if possible all of them together. The problem is that this is a strategy doomed to failure if self-fulfilment is the goal. Life purpose is an interesting idea. Firstly it implies a bigger plan; it suggests that we are connected to, and part of something larger. It also shines with golden promise; intuitively we all grasp that the idea of living one’s life-purpose is somehow the Holy Grail that changes everything. And yet so many of us struggle to know what it is, and some of us come to yearn for it and burn for it. In self-realisation mentoring sessions it is one of the most common questions asked: “What am I here for? What is the purpose of my existence? How do I live a meaningful life?” Author Caroline Myss once referred to an old Catholic nun joke in relation to this; “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans!” She meant that life-purpose often turned out to be something one initially didn’t want to do. This isn’t surprising to me, given that education endeavours to tell us what to be and what to do, rather than help us find within what lives inside. Early conditioning grooms us in an artificial way, and we adopt survival strategies that amount to a list of do’s and don’ts that distract us from our true talents. And because of that early life map we received (the one I mentioned earlier), when we do awaken to the realisation that we are lacking in life purpose, we automatically assume that it’s a special task, or a mission with a specific destination that we are missing. But the intelligence within all of life is much more imaginative and inventive than that!
Rather than life-purpose being a destination or a specific task, I view it more as a complex image that we should try and live up to. Put another way it is like a Rubrics-cube puzzle that can be solved in numerous different ways, but with one caveat; it is not the solving of the puzzle that really matters, but more the determination to try in the first place.
In Evolutionary Astrology life-purpose is seen in the context of a grander picture that spans many life-times; the evolutionary intentions of a specific life dovetail with both the karma of the past and future soul intentions. In fact Evolutionary Astrology is a very good tool for decoding life-purpose in a way that does not limit or restrict, but rather points us firmly in the right direction much like a compass does. How do we know if we are in alignment with life-purpose? The answer to that question is surprisingly easy: when we are lining up with the soul’s intentions we feel truly alive, excited, uplifted and satisfied. It’s not simply about feeling good and certainly not about feeling comfortable, it's a deeply visceral full bodied perception of aliveness, which is why in astrology, life-purpose is attributed to the Sun. So if you generally don’t feel satisfied, uplifted and excited in life, does that mean that you’re not fulfilling your life-purpose? Firstly it’s important to note that it is not an either-or predicament; it’s not that we are either doing it or not, it’s more about degrees. To live one’s life-purpose is a bit like tuning into a radio station - as we tune in more, the reception gets better, and if we are not tuned in so well, the ability to appreciate the music diminishes due to the white noise of a bad reception, with the result that we don’t feel as alive or peaceful. Karma plays a part too; for some of us the path we were born to take is wide, allowing for greater variance in the way life-purpose is lived out, while for others the path is narrow, meaning that there is more focus with less leeway and so its easier to stray off the path. One is not better than the other, for they are chosen at the soul level for evolutionary purposes, but we all know what it feels like if we stray off the road we are meant to travel: dullness, boredom, apathy, listlessness, emotional numbness, depression and sometimes illness. In Evolutionary Astrology we identify two types of life-times: primary and integrative. A primary lifetime is one where the soul intention is to reach for more growth and expansion into the unknown, and an integrative lifetime is one where less growth and expansion occurs, and there is a slower evolutionary pace. If we are living a prime life-time there can be a sense of urgency to self-realise, while if we are in an integrative life-time, life-pace is necessarily slower as we process the karma from the previous prime life-time.
What is beautiful about the idea of life-purpose is the implication of an underlying order within the matrix of life itself, and the possibility that because nature is all about balance (karma is a law of balance), then the more we flow with the life-purpose we were given (or have chosen) to live, the more harmonious our world becomes. It is on this premise that I base much of my vocational work in the fields of mentorship, astrology and healing.