The purpose of life is to feel feelings.  Period.  Life has no other purpose.  By the term “true purpose” is meant our intent in a given lifetime – the reason why we incarnated; the lesson we are on this earth to learn; what we must witness and bear; what we must feel.  True purpose is what Carlos Castaneda’s teacher don Juan termed the “mood of a warrior”: it’s what makes us feel good (not smug); satisfied (not self-satisfied).  True purpose feels like fulfilling our destiny (rather than scoring little points for ourselves). 

Modern humans are not at all connected to what their true life’s purpose is, since modern society tries to snip every connection to that purpose.  Our roots, our ancestral lineage, our home and land, our place in the cosmos – all of these things are part and parcel of what our true life purpose is.  Patriotism and religious beliefs are a pale, vacuous, intellectualized substitute for what a true sense of connection really is all about – a feeling of purpose.  And if we lose touch with our true life purpose, as most people in modern society have done, then we are truly lost, lost, lost.

It is pretty common, naturally, for people to blow their true purpose.  In a recapitulation I did once I saw the moment when my father blew his true purpose in this lifetime.  I was about nine or ten, and my family was gathered around the supper table laughing and having fun.  Suddenly a gust of wind – not an actual wind, but like a chill or a deathly feeling – blew into the room and put a pall over everyone.  It was from that moment that my father gradually lost it – cut himself off from us kids and withdrew into himself.  I have no idea what that gust of wind or whatever was – what caused it; but I’ve since seen lots of examples of people whose souls were lost or blown away.  Society itself is a crusher: to stay on course in our decadent and distracting present-day society requires the utmost sobriety and discipline. To follow our own hearts and find our true purpose in today’s society requires us to ignore completely what everyone around us is thinking, believing, and doing (this is actually much easier to accomplish if we have been rejected by everyone around us, as most magicians have been).

A true life purpose is to feel certain feelings.  That’s all.  Not to accomplish anything in particular in the world: not to be successful, or a failure, or mediocre and just get by; not to become enlightened, or to be saved and go to heaven; but just to feel.  To feel triumphant, or defeated; or impoverished, or affluent; or cruel, or victimized; or helpless, or powerful; or fearful, or brave; or lustful, or repressed; etc. etc. 

The extent to which people don’t let themselves feel feelings – the extent to which they are repressing their true feelings (as society has taught them to do) – is the extent to which they are obstructing their true life purpose.  Yet this can also be called their life purpose: “they also serve who only stand and wait.”  The Willy Lomans and Warren Schmidts of the world – those who feel timid and defeated – also have a life purpose; and that purpose is no less noble or ennobling than the life purpose of a Jesus or Buddha.  Sometimes it is people’s life purpose to suffer unspeakable pain, or boredom and “meaninglessness”.  When we run past life regressions we see that most of our own lives have been like that.  It’s all the same – there’s no such thing as a wasted life or a wasted lesson, although certainly there are wasted opportunities.  The important thing to remember is that the incredibly important decisions, which influence whether our subsequent life will be joyous or miserable, exultant or crushed into the mud, are often (usually, for most people) made in thoughtless moments … “ha ha.”

The point is that if we keep hitting up against the same stone wall over and over, then maybe it’s time to change direction.  True life purpose doesn’t lead us to fruitlessly batter our heads against the same stone wall.  True life purpose leads to an open road which we can travel easily, and lets us breathe freely.  It’s a matter of just relaxing and letting go (which is what magical techniques are designed to help us to do).    Only when we can truly feel that we’ve blown our true purpose (instead of covering our butts and blaming other people; or wallowing in self-pity) can we truly MOVE ON.

(excerpted from The Great Wheel -

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