A while ago I submitted an article comparing my views about the purpose of the ego in our lives. It was submitted humbly as a one sided discussion of my views in comparison with the wonderful works of Eckhart Tolle.
It seems to be time once again to submit another article in this regard as it is a subject of great questioning by many people today. Having moved deeper into his book: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose I offer you some food for thought.
The aspect of his book I will focus on this time is one that has rippled in my mind for a long time. I am not sure I have come to a firm conclusion yet, but I am going to offer up my thoughts anyway. Maybe we can each come up with some sort of conclusion that works for us on our own.
Having been a member of the business world for much of my adult life, goals have always been an issue for me. Eckhart Tolle has a fairly unique perspective on the value of goals that I feel is quite opposite to that which I learned as a sales person. But is it really in opposition? This is what we will look at today.
When first reading about the relationship of goals to living in the now and living on purpose, it appears that goals are an unnecessary, if not conflicting tool used by people who still believe that the mind is the controller of our destinies. One only needs to know their purpose in life. By regular focussing on that purpose their life will unveil itself and all will be wonderful.
I think something that needs to be kept in mind with Eckhart Tolle’s writing is that his base for his philosophy is very Buddhist in origin and therefore very expansive. It focuses on the world and the universe as a whole, very big picture. We are just pieces of the universal puzzle.
I agree with this concept but the question that underlies this whole discussion for each of us as individuals is about how this outlook works for each of us as individuals who are trying to survive and succeed in the world of today. Can we just let go and trust that everything will work out if we just believe?
Every individual is in a different place in their lives, in their evolution and in their spiritual understanding. Ultimately I think we all want to live our lives in the flow of the universe, manifesting wonderful experiences that make our world a better place to be. However, the reality for most of us is that our skills in maintaining that level of consciousness are not well enough established to support life at this level.
Most people live in the day-to-day world of getting out of bed, going to work, only to return to bed a few hours later. Trying to keep the bills paid is of more importance than being in the flow of universal energy.
Is the concept of living on Purpose an impossible dream? Is using goals as a tool for managing one’s life an impediment to true personal growth?
I find we often tend to live in a black and white world. Everything seems to have to be polar opposites rather than being muddled in the grey area of life. If one supports one theory, they have to denounce the other.
In my experience on this planet during my 50+ plus years of trying to understand the program of living, I feel that what Eckhart Tolle proposes does not undermine the theory of goals. Rather, if we understand the system of goal setting, we can come to a realization that using goals as a mind management tool these goals can actually help us to evolve in living our purpose.
Let me explain.
When we come to this life, we have very little knowledge of the rules of life here on earth or even the capacity of what can be attained on this plane of consciousness.
As we live out our days and collect information that helps us to exist and hopefully succeed in living, we develop our own set of rules through testing out the water of our environment.
We learn to communicate through body language and by using our voices in order to get our needs met. This type of communication is very simple, but then our lives at this time are simple too.
As we mature, we discover that we have minds with the ability to discern, differentiate and to think. We begin to relate to the outer world. Unfortunately, for most people this is where evolution ends. They do not develop an understanding of the magnificent power of their mind or its relation to the universal consciousness. Life becomes a process of repeating the lessons of the past over and over until one day their life ends.
Fortunately, many people have now learned the power of goals. Through the use of their personal goals they develop and integrate the ability to direct and manage their lives and achieve many of their dreams.
The process of using goals has changed considerably over the forty years I have been around the business world. If one was to look at the evolution of goal processing, one can see that this powerful tool is evolving to exactly what Eckhart Tolle is proposing.
Back in the 1970s goal achievement was attained by developing several wide ranging personal concepts into simple sentences, such as:
- I own a 1970 Red Buick Riviera
- I own and live in a 3 bedroom house in Oak Bay
- I run 4 miles per day each and every day
- Every day in every way, I am getting better and better
They were to be repeated several times a day, every day until they were achieved. I am not sure how people who used this system ever got any work done, or how they maintained any kind of sanity as this system was very time consuming and I would think challenging to the ego and the emotions as they either succeeded in coming into fruition or died in the misery of failure.
Several years later, as the evolution of sanity demanded a more rational form of goal processing, it became more popular to write the goals down on pieces of paper and keep them posted all over one’s life as reminders of their chosen path. At least this method allowed some work to get done and when they didn’t work out, the frustration could be taken out on the post-it note. The important change that had occurred, though, was that the subconscious mind was now given space to actually work in the achievement of the goals. The process had become more than a mental exercise as it preferred using visual memory rather than relying on the memory alone. It recognized that we needed to participate in the larger world of the universe in order to provide a platform for the goal.
Today, goals seem to fit more as tools for directing the focus of the mind on several levels. There is recognition of several key factors that are essential to one’s overall success:
- Recognition of the role of the unconscious mind
- Recognition of the role of the conscious mind
- Recognition of the role of emotions
- Recognition of the necessity of participating in the physical process required to manifest the goal.
- Recognition of the role of oneself in the universal scheme
In days of old, a goal could become a self-perpetuated jail through the rigid demands of the ego having to succeed in order to feel safe and valued. After all, the opposite of success was failure and who wanted that?
In the present world, the success of goals is not mandatory. Specific goals are used as mental directors to remind the mind where it is intending to reach. Goals are no longer a success or failure tool. Goals are mind and life management tools.
My understanding of Eckhart Tolle’s perception of the future of goals is the next step in the ascension of goals.
We have seen goals evolve from being mental exercises that often ended up causing mental anguish, through the inception and recognition of the value of a more holistic approach where the various levels of mind including the emotions became an integral part of the process, to recognition that goals are a tool that we use to improve our connection to the universal mind.
Does it not make sense that the next step is to allow the universe to play a much larger role in the evolution of our lives and our beings?
The danger I see in this development is that people who have not done their personal work adequately so that they connect well with the universal energies could use this higher system of practice as an excuse for not taking responsibility for their own lives and actions. After all, their lives are now in God’s hands.
No matter what system of life advancement one adheres to, self-responsibility and self-application are fundamental cornerstones to living well. Integrating these life tools with a metaphysically based goal attainment system can make for a very powerful and successful life.
Personally, I still find I need to live in a blended system of goal achievement because I find it just too easy to do nothing and be okay with it. Working with goals is much like having a list of jobs I am working to complete.
On the other hand, I know that I need to leave space in my everyday life to allow the universe to answer some of my very many questions and demands. The goals serve to notify the universe the correct information and energy to return directed toward fulfilling these same goals. The passive space I provide by relaxing gives the universe the opportunity to participate in bringing about my desire.
I would love to hear what you think about the evolution of goals in your life. Can you see how working with energies external to yourself can expedite the success of these goals?
Can you see how Eckhart Tolle’s prediction can play in your life?