Honestly, I’ve found myself seeking purpose for years. I’ve found myself feeling caught in the woes of not knowing what I’m here for. I’ve spun my wheels in the shadow of purpose for all too long enough. I know what it feels like to feel truly lost in the world. Not knowing what I’m here for. Feeling less than alive without a strong core sense of value in myself and the beauty of life.
In those times, I thought, “What is it all for? How do I fit into this societal structure and actually feel like I’ve found a grove, a sense of belonging?” I was asking these questions seriously right about the time I graduated college prior to moving to southeast Asia and India to seek a deeper meaning beyond what I was deeming as a consumerist culture mishandling the human condition.
This sense of belonging is such a core need for us human beings that it’s like we don’t know what to do if we don’t have a sense of it. It was driving me a bit mad. How are we really supposed to know where we belong?
Years of seeking answers around finding my true belonging and sense of purpose led me to study with all kinds of healers, teachers, mentors, and spiritual guides, from acupuncturists to bodyworkers, energy healers, and spiritual lineage holders, from human behavior specialists and counselors to psychotherapists and flow researchers. And the list goes on. I was on a search for discovering meaning in any way I could find it about the truth of what it means to be human, to exist as a true human being, whole, free, flowing with life, complete, fulfilled.
Unfortunately, I don’t think our western society handles the human condition with purpose as a primary consideration for navigating life with greater happiness. We’re told to find a well-paying job, work our way up, and find peace within that, without having taken ample time to know ourselves intimately nor experience initiatory rights into our adult life.
I particularly felt misled in my earlier years after discovering some incredibly clarifying processes around knowing one’s self and purpose, particularly through the work of Dr. John Demartini. His book, Values Factor, integrates Axiology, the study of values, into principles of human behavior. It was in this bittersweet moment that I realized what I had gained and also what I never received that was so essential to my fulfillment.
After spending much time with this work, clarifying my highest values, linking them, expanding them, and coming to know my own sense of value through this intricate map of what I love, I realized that this whole idea of purpose is not as much about something you know or do, but rather is an experience of being fully alive. It’s some mixture of be, do, have, yet it points to the essential.
Richard Rudd says, “We need to actually let go of needing to know purpose and move into actually living it.”
Joseph Campbell states, “I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”
Both of these mystics point to the lived, embodied sense of aliveness as purpose, and I do believe it’s a quality or state of consciousness that can be felt and experienced only in this now moment, yet has implications in the lives we manifest out of cosmic law or dharma–an aspect of truth or reality.
So what does it mean to truly embrace your dharma (nature/reality) so you can bring a radical aliveness to all of life? In this context, I refer to dharma as the specific inherent nature, truth, or reality of an individual that drives the individuation and self-actualization process itself.
Each one of us has a unique flavor for what lights us up, for what we define as truly exciting. As many facets as there are to defining purpose, if there is one that truly stands out that encapsulates it, to me, it is love or eros, although there is more to the picture. Bear with me.
Eros expresses through each of us as a unique frequency or energy, and the more we allow love in as an energy, the easier it is to feel on-purpose, to express purpose (which is telos, direction, or true aim), and the easier it is to express ourselves through what we truly desire.
Telos, or purpose, is a yearning to go somewhere to feel more, to get closer to wholeness. Telos is the evolutionary force itself, and yearning/desire expresses eros and drives telos.
We actually live in a telerotic reality where desire and purpose dance to inform one another. Eros is always telerotic because this life-directing force of telos (purpose/intention) is rooted in eros (love/desire/life-energy), and the degree of aliveness that you feel is always a hallmark of being on-purpose.
There is a real beauty of how sex fits in here.
Sex is a model of living a life of eros. Sex is a model for how we can actually live a fully fulfilled life. Sex is a fractal of the deeper truth that can be lived in every moment. Sex actually connects us with the yearning force of being alive, that we’re meant to live in every area of our life. Sex offers a reference point for an ecstatically-led life.
In A Return to Eros, Marc Gafni and Kristina Kincaid mention that, “a deep understanding of the sexual becomes the portal to accessing aliveness in every dimension of our reality. This realization demands that you live sexually without shame and shows you how to re-eroticize all areas of your life.” In this book, the authors argue that sex is the source of all wisdom, that it is an expression of the erotic impulse of existence itself that is alive in us–the yearning for contact, pleasure, and aliveness.
However, to clarify, Gafni and Kincaid point out: “Erotic Mystics from the hidden tradition of Solomon’s temple taught a secret doctrine. The sexual is not the sum total of the erotic. Rather, the sexual models the erotic. The sexual teaches us how to live an Erotic life in all dimension of our existence.”
It is these secret doctrines that were later taught by Mary Magdalene and that sparked excitement around bestselling novels such as The Da Vinci Code. Sexuality is a model for living out purpose because it’s a means to live out desire, to experiment with it and feel the radical aliveness to bring into all of life, just as your true core values model the finger-print specific territory of this exploration in all areas of your life.
So the question must be…What is your radical practice of delight?
Where do you find that orgasmic quality of life in your everyday reality? What do you truly, honestly value (no shoulds–which indicate where our conditioning lies)?
If you’re at loss for this sense of delight and aliveness, you may be a bit swallowed up in life’s conditioning, in that which was told to you that you should do, be, and have. Fear not, however, for there is a way back to your true self…
If you don’t feel a sense of delight, look to your highest values. Unclear direction is not because of lack of guidance, but rather a lack of self-appreciation and love. Fulfilling your purpose is intrinsically connected to seeing value in your unique expression that you are, as you are, without a need to be anything else.
If you don’t feel a sense of purpose, telos, or life direction, you may consider looking to the greatest teacher in your life that will not speak in words, rather poetry: your heart, which holds the most powerful healing and life-directing energies available to you when anchored in deep self-love.
If you don’t feel a sense of love or eros, consider sex is a path to feeling the nature of desire that burns inside of you bringing the most powerful state of aliveness we can experience. In your sexuality, allow yourself to feel desire itself, the propulsive quality of evolution itself. The evolutionary impulse is the heart of existence itself.
This is what is meant by the telerotic: receiving the experience of true intimacy with life itself in which you rest into your being and yearn for becoming simultaneously. And your personal transformation is but a form of evolution taking place in you. This telerotic force is what drives contact in sexuality, innovation, and transformation itself. Furthermore it is a longing not even rooted in the personal. It is part of cosmic evolution in which evolution becomes conscious through you.
Your uniquely personal telerotic nature is an extension of the transpersonal telerotic nature of our cosmic reality.
This is where sexuality becomes sacred–when we touch a quality of God or the Divine through the act. Our perhaps, its touching a quality of God through each moment, informed by our sexual-life-force energy expressed through a yearning for wholeness, for something more.
It is not what we get from desire, but the energy of desire itself that is our true compass for feeling on-purpose.