Throughout our lives, we are confronted by grand existential queries: Why are we here? What is our definitive disposition? How many distinctions compose the universe? What principles govern it? How do we properly identify all that surrounds us? Is there a preeminent actuality? What is the nature of mind? Of substance? God? Space? Time? Causality? Unanimity? Identity? The underpinning of essence and psyche and bodies and the world?
We are employed in a perpetual quest for Purpose and this may be the greatest oxymoron of human existence, for we journey far in an effort to discover what our souls have known from the start.
There is an oft-repeated Hindu legend that tells of a conference of gods who came together and inquired of one another, “Where shall we hide Truth and Power so that humans cannot find them?” One deity recommended, “Put them in the ground.” Soon, the group agreed that this would not be optimal, because humans would dig into the earth and exhume the treasures. Another divinity proposed, “Put them in the sky.” After some thought, it was determined that this was an equally faulty idea, because, one day, humans would create a way to take to the heavens, again making it impossible to keep the riches concealed. Eventually, a god declared, “I know what to do! Let us hide their power within them! They will never think to search there!”
I advocate, firmly, that there is a direct correlation between vision, passion, and purpose; that those things which serve as triggers of the head and heart are not random but, rather, guideposts to our utmost intentions. Suggestions, profuse and profound, dance on the wind, rouse us from slumber, brush past us in crowds, electrify and haunt—until, in the words of Virginia Woolf, they have “grown heavy, in [the] mind, like a ripe pear: pendent, gravid, asking to be cut or it will fall”.
In Paulo Coelho’s popular fable, The Alchemist, a young shepherd asks a wizened man what it means for one to have a ‘Personal Legend’. The elder responds:
“It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives…When you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true”.
Similarly, Henry David Thoreau stated:
“I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
I, then, am an artist because the whispers of my spirit offer no cogent alternative to creating with words and music, shades and textures. It is my volition because it was, first, my vocation—my sacred charge while embarked on this, my human journey.
“Why am I here?” you ask. The answer, resonant in the cosmos, is: “You already know.” Perhaps, we are not called to seek our destinies so much as to remember them.
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