All of us as children dreamed of what we would be when we grew up. All of us, of course, dreamed of being astronauts, pilots, travelers, and chocolate factory owners. But the years passed, school finished with “C’s,” and most of the “astronauts” went to work in fast food restaurants, while the rest somehow graduated from college. And then the job was “from each according to his abilities,” and children’s dreams remained silly childhood dreams.
And if most of us are asked, “Did we find our way in life? Have we found out what our purpose is?” many of us would not even understand the question. Educated, working, what else is needed?
And the years go by, the work that seemed not so bad at first glance gets boring and becomes unbearable. But you have to bear it. Because there’s not much of an alternative. And it can last a lifetime. And at the end of their lives, many people feel dissatisfied. Why? Because they haven’t found their purpose in life. Life is spent on unloving work, achieving goals imposed on us by someone else, and, in general, meaningless vanity.
When the question arises as to how to find one’s purpose in life, most will say that “it’s too late” and will not think about it. The mistake of the majority is that even if there are doubts about the fact that you are living “not your own life,” people say that you should change something at the age of 20, at most, at 30. Although sometimes there are such unique people who even at the age of 18, after six months of studies in an unloved profession, declare that it is too late to change anything. The saddest thing is that they actually think so.
The main problem is we always look with envy at people who know from childhood what they want.
We are not talking, of course, about childhood dreams of becoming an astronaut or a test pilot. It is often possible to see how very young children already demonstrate some talents, be it in music, dance, prose, poetry, drawing, or simply from childhood they know exactly what they will be.
However, it is worth noting that it often happens that this “choice” is carefully imposed on them by their parents. And to say that a child who since the age of six years has devoted his life to sports or music, made his choice consciously – is not necessary. In such a situation, too, there is nothing good. Psychologists say that by imposing this way of life on their child, parents implement what they could not implement themselves. Even if you think logically – can a child of 4-5 years make a conscious choice? That’s a questionable statement.
How to find out your way and self-purpose in life?
In today’s world, most people are not familiar with such concepts as karma and reincarnation. Or, as it happens more often, they are familiar superficially, and society has a non-serious attitude to these concepts. And it is in the context of these notions that such a question as a person’s destination can be considered. Otherwise, a person’s purpose is understood to be something like a hobby – an occupation that one enjoys doing. This, of course, is very great, but it is a very superficial view of the matter.
If we follow the philosophy of Buddhism, one’s purpose is not simply one’s hobby or one’s favorite work. Destination is that tendency formed by many rebirths. That is, during many rebirths, the soul has nurtured in itself certain qualities, tendencies, skills, and so on. And in the current life these skills are simply more manifested than any other.
And here we should also consider such a concept as talent.
What is talent? From the point of view of people who are not particularly deep into philosophical questions and mysteries of the universe, talent is just a “gift” (by the way, a synonym for talent is “gift”) given to a person because he was “lucky” or by some other coincidence, and the task of a person is just to exploit this “gift” in the most efficient way. It is good if at least not only for selfish purposes, but more often it happens that the goals are selfish – to gain fame, fortune, carefree life, and so on.
But this, again, is a very superficial way of looking at things. Talent is not just an “accidental gift” from God or some higher being. Talent is simply the experience of past rebirths. For example, if a person has written poems during one or several lifetimes, then in this life he can already at a very early age start dashingly twisting words into rhymes and his parents will clap their hands thinking that their child is lucky because he has a talent. In fact, nothing happens in this world without a reason, and any talent is simply an experience of past lives and nothing more.
So, the concepts are more or less clear. But the most important question: “How do I know my purpose in life? – is still relevant. This question should also be considered in terms of such concepts as karma and reincarnation. A person’s destination is already formed by the experience of his past incarnations and accumulated karma. Let’s consider such a question as karma accumulation for a while. Where, in fact, is this karma stored?
Karma means “action” in Sanskrit. One creates a deformation in one’s mind by taking action. The sage Patanjali, who considered in detail the accumulation and working off of karma, in his philosophical treatise The Yoga Sutras calls such deformations “samskaras”. So, by committing an action, one has created an imprint in one’s mind, and one’s mind tends to strive to get rid of these imprints. In what way?
Samskaras are stored in our minds and have the property of influencing our behavior. Simply put, it is our samskaras that lead us to the time, place and circumstances where we can eliminate that samskaras, through happiness or suffering (depending on whether the samskaras are created by positive or negative action).
And these very samskaras also influence our life path and the search for our destiny. For example, if the soul from life to life follows the path of a warrior, then, having been born in our modern world, it is likely that from childhood it will gravitate toward sports and martial arts. And by giving their child to a sports club, parents can raise a champion. Another question – why do we need it?
We all have both positive and negative experiences. And the human soul, unfortunately, cultivates not only positive but also negative qualities. Therefore, one way or another, in the process of life, all tendencies will manifest themselves, not only those that help to realize one’s destiny. How can you determine which tendencies should be nurtured and which should be eradicated?
There is such an important concept as “service to society”. This is the ultimate goal and motivation for any activity. Ideally, all our activities should be serving people, the world, society, all living beings. And we should cultivate in ourselves only those tendencies and skills that allow us to serve adequately. What is the most appropriate form of service?
The best thing we can do for the world is to share knowledge with those around us. Because only knowledge of the world’s structure leads to the end of suffering. And getting rid of suffering is perhaps the most important desire that all living beings have, without exception.
It is possible, of course, to be a cook and feed people deliciously, it is possible to be an actor and entertain them cheerfully, but, unfortunately, this leads only to short-term illusory happiness, and in the end – again to suffering. Only knowledge of the world order, self-development, yoga, and a healthy lifestyle leads to relief from suffering.
Therefore, whatever talents a person has, it is important to channel them into a constructive, creative direction that will actually free people from their limitations and, as a consequence, from suffering. And an important point – if a person has taken the path of service to society, the whole Universe will help him, and his own well-being and prosperity will come to him without any effort on his part.
It is a paradox: the more we solve the problems of the people around us, the fewer problems we have ourselves. And the experience of many people shows that this is how the universe works. What you give away is yours, what you leave behind is lost.
Each of us has accumulated many different experiences and many different karmas. And each of us here and now has a choice – to direct our skills in a creative and constructive direction or to follow the “demonic” way of development – to put material values, our own welfare and selfish motivations “in the center”. And we, by and large, make this choice every day: which way do we go – the way of service or the way of chasing our own passions?
How to know your karmic destiny?
So, it is more or less clear how to use and apply the accumulated experience, knowledge, abilities, skills and talents, but how to find these talents, knowledge, abilities and skills in oneself is still an open question. All our experience accumulated in the past lives is stored in the deep covers of our mind, and it is always present in us. The important thing is to “get to the bottom” of our true self in order to take advantage of all the baggage of experiences and skills that have been perfected in past lives. How can we do this?
In order to access the full experience of your soul (to put it simply, to discover your talents and skills), you must apply practices to work with your mind.
What does it mean to “work with your mind”? It’s not about pumping your IQ and going to psychologist’s sessions. However, to each his own, to someone it is possible and it will be effective. But for maximum effect it is recommended to get acquainted with the meditative practices – only they will allow you to get answers to your questions.
And it is important that these answers come not from the outside (where we can always be deceived), but from the inside, where the answers to the questions are as truthful as possible. When one receives answers to questions about who one really is and what one’s purpose is, one will no longer have any doubts that one is living a “different life” or doing the wrong thing. It will be difficult to impose on such a person any pattern of behavior or to mislead him about the meaning of life, life values, etc.
So, the key to all the answers lies within ourselves. But this key is like a precious pearl that lies deep at the bottom of the ocean under a thick, black, impenetrable water. And in order to dive into our consciousness for this pearl, it is necessary to master meditative practices.
The best way to do this is through Vipassana. Vipassana is a ten-day concentrated meditation practice that allows you to explore your inner world, discover your talents and discover your purpose. Those who have undergone Vipassana will no longer be the same. He will be able to see the world in a new way, through the eyes of a new person.
The main problem of humans is that they choices are not always they choices. Our choices are conditioned by the very imprints in our minds that we have created by our own actions.
And it is these imprints that often create false motivations for us, which cause us sometimes to waste our whole lives on completely empty things and silly vanity. Samskaras, which, like a splinter that sits deep in our minds, lead us astray from our true path, preventing us from realizing our true destiny. And in order to act rationally, not under the influence of our own karma, we need at least once to see what we really are: our true self.
And the best tool for this is the practice of Vipassana. People who have done Vipassana speak very highly of it, and it is a unique experience that allows you to live more consciously and to keep track of those moments when your decision is not your decision, but simply the result of your karma, which creates a certain prism through which we see the world in a distorted way.
It is also important to be conscious of what we do here and now. For example, if we (willingly or unwillingly) participate in someone else’s degradation, it creates imprints in our minds that will eventually lead us down the path of degradation as well. Have you ever thought why some people from their birth get into such informational field that makes them alcoholics, gamers, drug addicts, smokers? This is the manifestation of karma.
All these people often believe that by opening a bottle, smoking a cigarette, and sitting down for another “shooter,” they have made their own choices. But in fact, that choice is conditioned by the samskaras that are in their mind. And those samskars are created by their own actions, which served the degradation of other people. This is important to understand. And weigh all your actions, thinking each time about what you are pushing and motivating others to do.
Thus, we can only learn about our own destiny by delving into our own inner world. All the answers to our questions are hidden there. No Tarot cards, fortune-tellers, psychics, and all kinds of dubious frauds will ever give us as precise answers as we can get by contemplating our inner world. And the best way to discover your destiny is to immerse yourself in meditation. And that’s the way to answer the questions that concern so many today, whether on a conscious or subconscious level.