This book was written to explain the purpose of life. The purpose of life is to feel feelings. Period. Life has no other purpose. The rest of this book will enlarge upon this statement.
Along the way, you will learn how to connect to your true purpose in this lifetime – the reason why you incarnated upon the earth at this time – the reason you were born. In present-day society, people don’t feel their true feelings much; or have much sense of connection to their true purpose in being here on earth. This book will explain some techniques for making these connections; and it will present some lessons. The main lesson to be learned here is that there is no time to waste; but there is no wasted time. Magicians say that nothing is lost; nothing is won; nothing defended; and nothing undone.
This book will also discuss the principle of memory. Memory is the most profound of the planetary principles. Memory reflects the primordial quality of the Spirit: its existence prior to time (mind) or space (desire). Memory is symbolized by wheels upon wheels, and wheels within wheels.
By memory is meant instinct, which means not only your learned reactions from this lifetime, but also all the instincts you developed as an individual in the sum total of all your past and future lives as a human; plus the instincts you have as a mammal, as a vertebrate, as a multicellular being, etc. etc. all the way back to your instincts from one-celled life.
I know now that revelation is from the self, but from that age-long memoried self, that shapes the elaborate shell of the mollusc and the child in the womb, that teaches the birds to make their nest; and that genius is a crisis that joins that buried self for certain moments to our trivial daily mind. (W.B.Y., Autobiographies)
For example, the most primordial instinct you have, which goes back to one-celled life, is hunger. And the most fundamental instinct on the next level up (above the unicellular level) is death. Phylogeny recapitulates ontogeny: this is a true symbol of who you are – the sum total of all the memories of the entire race of living beings from one-celled beings on up, all contribute to who “you” are. The human part of this “you” is called the Daimon, which encompasses not only your present self in this lifetime, but also the sum total of all of your human selves through all of evolution.
Note that this evolution does not occur in linear time – it’s all happening now. It’s not as if you had a life in ancient Greece and then you died; then you had a life in ancient Rome and then you died, then you had a life in the Middle Ages and then you died; etc. Rather, all your past and future lives are happening right now, this minute, in an eternal now moment; and they are all interacting on one another: Eternity is not a long time but a short time. … Eternity is in the glitter on the beetle’s wing. Linear time does not really exist. Your memories are not records of the past (because there is no past) but rather are tendencies or instincts.
Particular memories / instincts are proper to certain individuals; but any other individual in the system, namely all sentient beings, can access them (from the Akashic Records). A given individual’s instincts differ from another individual’s instincts – Joe’s instincts differ from Sam’s. The feeling of familiarity that you pick up when running past life regressions – the sense of identity with the “you” in the regression even though he or she may be very different from who “you” are today, is just this sense of individual instinct. It is a connection or sense of solidarity you share with all the other beings who make up “you” in all your incarnations, not to mention the connection you have with all other beings in the universe. All of this instinct weighs upon the present moment. It is the goal of the practice of magic to free yourself of this ponderous weight to be able to seize each moment anew.
We use the term “true feelings” to mean your intent in the present moment – the message of your inmost heart; your innate sense of what is right and true; of who you really are and what you must do. Similarly, by the term “true purpose” we mean your intent in a given lifetime – the reason why you incarnated; the lesson you are on this earth to learn; what you must witness and bear; what you must feel.
Modern humans have lost almost all touch with their true purpose, which is a sense of connectedness: to the earth, to the sky, to your forbears, to your descendents. Modern life – particular in its urban manifestation – is fragmented and disconnected. Modern society is deliberately designed to make people feel isolated and alienated, at odds with their fellows, their environment, and their own hearts. Dissatisfaction is good for the economy, which is basically all anyone cares about anymore. Everyday life is no longer imbued with a sense of being part of an ongoing process of unfoldment – it has become sterile, vacuous, filled with noise and distraction.
When most people still were farmers, although they had already lost most of the intuitive / telepathic ability they had as hunter-gatherers, they were at least still connected to the earth’s love, the rhythms of the seasons, and their sense of fit place in space and time. They felt belonging. Society wasn’t perfect, individuals were probably no happier per se than they are now, but they had something: an essence, a sense of grace if you will, that post-agricultural people have lost, and as a result of which loss they are going crazy and destroying themselves and the planet they live on. Marriage is dissolving, the family is dissolving, all sense of belonging is dissolving.
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned. (W.B.Y., The Second Coming)
It’s not so much that modern urban life is artificial and phony, and that subsistence agriculture is somehow more elevated and ennobling (which was e.g. Mao’s and Pol Pot’s view). Urban dwellers could live essentially the same lifestyle they are living now without making any major changes, and still connect to the cosmic currents that would give their lives a sense of meaning and purpose. That’s what the techniques in the present series of books are for – to help people make those connections. It’s not a matter of what people believe or even what they do every day; rather, it’s a matter of becoming aware of who and what they really are; and where they belong.
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. Your roots, your ancestral lineage, your home and land, your place in the cosmos – all of these things are part and parcel of what your true life purpose is. Patriotism and religious beliefs are a pale, vacuous, intellectualized substitute for what true a true sense of connection really is all about – a feeling of purpose. And if you lose touch with your true life purpose, as most people in modern society have done, then you are truly lost, lost, lost.
I think of the hunter’s age and that which followed immediately as a time when man’s waking consciousness had not reached its present complexity and stability. There was little fear of death, sometimes men lay down and died at will, the world of the gods could be explored easily whether through some orgiastic ceremony or in the trance of the ascetic. Apparitions came and went, bringing comfort in the midst of tragedy. (W.B.Y., A Vision)
People today have no idea what it was like living in earlier times, just like they have no concept of what it would be like being a Mayan Indian living a subsistence lifestyle today. But the Maya are probably happier, on average, than Americans. They don’t have all those phony expectations plumping up their unhappiness, their consciousness of everything they lack – which the media and advertisers keep harping on endlessly.
It’s not only urban dwellers who have lost their connection to reality. Modern farmers are almost as disassociated from nature as city-dwellers. Modern agriculture was in a crisis when Rudolf Steiner addressed himself to this problem in 1924; and the situation has worsened considerably in the interim. At least in the early 20th century farmers were still diversifying their crops, practicing what we now call organic management as a matter of course, and observing the rhythms of the seasons. But now, with the economic pressure towards monoculture and maximum profit, farmers have turned to highly technified, chemical management; greenhouse horticulture; and rapid transport of farm products by air from one part of the world to another, which has turned agriculture into another disconnected manufacturing process. And the resulting food, particularly after processing, is so much Soylent Green: denatured chemicals lacking any germ of life. Is it any wonder why people today feel so uprooted, lost, lacking something, something, something that they just can’t define? As Steiner said back then, it’s because of the crap they eat.
Modern society is completely off the track, at sea, wholly disconnected from reality. Everything that people are taught is desirable and good, is utterly phony. The whole American way of life is completely phony. Even the spiritual path is marketed as a commodity in America .
My instructors certainly expect neither a `primitive state’ nor a return to barbarism as primitivism and barbarism are ordinarily understood; antithetical revelation is an intellectual influx neither from beyond mankind nor born of a virgin, but begotten from our spirit and our history. (W.B.Y., A Vision)
Magicians are not Luddites or romantics, trying to return to some primeval paradise lost. It is not that difficult for even us modern humans to make a connection, to feel that we are part of a living process, instead of isolated cogs in a heartless machine. The universe is not a heartless machine, and human beings are not interchangeable, dispensable objects. The universe is unfolding as it should, as it says in Desiderata. And each individual is part of this process of unfoldment. It’s a joyous process – although there are pain and suffering wrapped up in it too. “Joy” doesn’t imply giddy excitement every minute. But it does imply true purpose, true self-worth and self-esteem, true meaning. When you can start to feel compassion for yourself (get off your own case) is when you start to feel compassion for others.
True purpose is what Carlos Castaneda’s teacher Don Juan termed the “mood of a warrior”: it’s what makes you feel good (not smug); satisfied (not self-satisfied). True purpose feels like fulfilling your destiny (rather than scoring little points for yourself). This is what is meant by acting on your true feelings or intent; which in this book is referred to as being in phase. The whole purpose of magical training – going to the trees or nature spirits daily; sitting in nature and listening to sounds – is to imbue your life with a new mood, to replace your wonted customary moods of crabbed dissatisfaction inculcated by society. Little-by-little your true feelings kick in by the practice of just relaxing out in nature with nothing on your mind. This is where your true feelings take their point of departure: just feeling the world around you without reacting to it or acting on it.
For example, for most of William Butler Yeats’ adult life he was hopelessly in love with a selfish, treacherous woman who led him on and trashed him emotionally; and he dabbled in numerous occult groups in the hope of making some important discovery and making a contribution to mystical knowledge. In other words, for most of his life Yeats acted out of phase – chasing after images and fantasies of what love and occult knowledge are really all about. Finally, after thirty years of the hopeless love affair, Yeats finally decided to marry someone else (who was truly worthy); and a few days later his new wife began channeling the System which would become A Vision. In other words, he switched then from out of phase to in phase, and began to fulfill his true purpose in this lifetime.
It is pretty common, naturally, for people to act out of phase and 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, to act in phase in our decadent and distracting present-day society, requires the utmost sobriety and discipline. To follow your own heart and find your true purpose in today’s society requires you to ignore completely what everyone around you is thinking, believing, and doing (this is actually much easier to do if you have been rejected by everyone around you).
The point is that if you keep hitting up against the same stone wall over and over, then maybe it’s time to change direction. True life purpose, being in phase, doesn’t lead you to fruitlessly batter your head against the same stone wall. True life purpose leads to an open road which you can travel easily, and lets you breathe freely. It’s a matter of just relaxing and letting go (which is what magical techniques are designed to help you to do).
The point is that memory is a living process. It has no beginning and it has no end; it’s unfolding without going anywhere in particular. And, every being and every moment is the sum of its parts. And those parts go all the way back to the first cell that emerged from primordial ooze and began to divide, through all of evolution, to the person you are this very minute, and onward into the infinite future. This is what you are; and if you lose your sense of connection to this process, then you bob around helplessly in torment. Modern society is turning this earth into a hell world, which is why Yeats said that A Vision was a last act of defense against the chaos of the world.
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. Each life has a feeling of its own, which is like the sum total of all the feelings felt during that life. In different probable realities and lifetimes different facets of life purpose are felt. In lives in which you take the easy way out and follow socially-approved images and expectations without asking too many questions or reflecting upon meanings, you tend to get hung up on a low level of life purpose (which W.B. Yeats termed Will); whereas in lives and probable realities where you make great personal sacrifices for other people’s sake with no thought of reward, you get a little bit higher (the three higher Faculties). And in the lives in which you open your heart completely, you get a whole lot higher.
The important thing to remember is that incredibly important life decisions, which influence whether your 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.” Life purpose can and does change in a twinkling during any given lifetime or probable reality. For example consider Viktor Frankl’s life purpose at Auschwitz , described in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, which he understood very well meant to stop dwelling upon his own suffering and serve his patients as best he could. That was Frankl’s life purpose only from the point when he was sent to Auschwitz . Prior to that his life purpose might have entailed escaping from Europe and avoiding all the pain and suffering he went through subsequently. He surely had probable realities of successful escape from the particular destiny which later unfolded: any chance thought he ever had of perhaps escaping before the Nazi Anschluss – had he actually acted on that impulse – would have led to a probably reality in which he avoided all that pain for himself. And, in those realities, his life purpose would have been very different in terms of the amount of suffering he had to undergo to learn his lesson (to serve his true purpose in that lifetime).
Just as true life’s purpose can change in a twinkling, so too can it be blown in a twinkling. I apparently blew my true purpose for this lifetime by making a decision which seemed rather innocent – even virtuous and noble – when I made it; but which led in the fullness of time to my eventual divorce. My spirit guides’ comments on this are: “Your purpose in this lifetime was to unite with (your wife). THAT’S what you incarnated for. And the pressure that drove you two apart was the pressure of all your previous lives of conflict and making war on each other bearing upon this lifetime. And now that pressure has increased because of you guys’ failure in this lifetime. This doesn’t mean that your life is a total failure – you always start from right where you are. But in terms of what you set out to do in this lifetime, yes, you have failed and there’s nothing you can do to undo the damage now.” Every time I reread these words it bums me out a bit, to say the least. But regret is cheap. All that really matters is taking note of the error and soldiering on. Most people blow their true purpose – that’s quite normal in our society. People who are demon-possessed invariably blow their true purpose (unless they cast out their demons).
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 life purpose (what Yeats termed being out of phase rather than in phase). Yet this can also be called their life purpose: “they also serve who only stand and wait.” The Willy Loman’s and Warren Schmidt’s 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 you run past life regressions you see that most of your 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. In my role as a priest of the Mayan gods I’ve been privileged to witness many other people’s life lessons, which consist mainly of blown opportunities; and needless to say I’ve blown many, many opportunities myself. Only when you can truly feel that you’ve blown your true purpose (instead of covering your ass and blaming other people; or wallowing in self-pity) can you truly MOVE ON .
Light fibers are called that because that is the thought form they most resemble – they look like fibers of living light. But they can also be described as sounds, or rhythms. Yet none of this explains their real nature, because what they are about, is time. A light fiber is a feeling and it is attached to thought forms of time which our human cognition sorts into pasts and presents and futures.
Most of the time people operate on blocked light fibers – that’s why their lives seem so sterile and empty and devoid of magic. Once in a great while they let themselves feel what is going on, as when they fall in love, or a baby is born. But most of the time people won’t let themselves feel that much joy because they have too much (socially inculcated) self-hatred in the way
Thought forms congeal change; they make it frozen and immobile. Thought forms from past lives are like a cancer – cells that have gone awry. Unlike thought forms created in this lifetime (which can be seen and talked to in Active Imagination, as described in my book Thought Forms), past life imprints make up the very fabric of your being. You can’t brush them off or shake them off, but must rather love them in – accept them. It’s the ultimate rebelliousness to accept and love who you are rebelling against. It’s the final loving of yourself that you can accept the worst you have ever been. Only then can there be true and real change.
You never fulfill your true purpose by being a victim. You never fulfill your true purpose by self-pity. You only fulfill your true purpose by being a hero – by going beyond the bounds of the possible. This is why so few people succeed at it. That is how to make miracles happen – not by idly wishing or praying to God to save your ass; but by taking 100% of the responsibility for and control over your destiny. Frankl says the same thing – the real saints never made it out of the concentration camp. They accepted their true purpose.
It is sometimes asked, what is the true purpose of a life of unremitting pain and suffering? What is the purpose of a life of being caught up innocently in war, massacres, genocide, disease, grinding poverty, starvation? What is the purpose of suffering catastrophic fear and pain which you have done nothing to merit? The answer is that sometimes it is just a person’s purpose to suffer. As Viktor Frankl put it:
“Dostoevski said once, `There is only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings.’ These words frequently came to my mind after I became acquainted with those martyrs whose behavior in camp, whose suffering and death, bore witness to the fact that the last inner freedom cannot be lost. It can be said that they were worthy of their sufferings; the way they bore their suffering was a genuine inner achievement. It is this spiritual freedom – which cannot be taken away – that makes life meaningful and purposeful.
“… It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct.
“… When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.”
Excerpted from the upcoming book The Great Wheel by Bob Makransky
It is often said in spiritual literature that time and space are an illusion, maya, samsara. But what exactly does this mean? And what implications does it have for how you should live your everyday life? The Great Wheel is an explanation of the System of birth, death, and rebirth which Nobel laureate William Butler Yeats described in his masterpiece, A Vision.
Starting out with a discussion of how you can connect with your true purpose in this life – the reason why you incarnated on the earth at this time – The Great Wheel describes simple techniques you can use (such as past life regressions, probable reality progressions, and recapitulation of present life memories) to glimpse different facets of your Daimon (your oversoul; the totality of who you are), in order to understand clearly how you got to where you are at right now. To live your true life‟s purpose rather than drift along helplessly, it is necessary to see how your present life situation is the end result of decisions which you, yourself, made in other lifetimes and realities.
W.B. Yeats’ “System” – a symbolic model of consciousness based upon four levels of memory (ancestral voices = Creative Mind; past lives = Mask; probable realities = Body of Fate; and present life = Will) – is explained in detail, with particular reference to how these levels impinge upon and shape your everyday, moment-to-moment experience: your sense of “who” you are.
An in-depth discussion of twenty-eight personality types (depending upon where you were born in the moon‟s
monthly cycle of phases) illuminates your individual true purpose in incarnating in this life, and helps you to understand where you belong and where you are going.
The Great Wheel concludes with a fascinating explanation of what reality is all about: Mind and Memory, Waking and Dreaming, Change, Familiarity, and the Akashic Records.
Thanks to Bob Makransky for allowing the republication of his wonderful work.
About the author: Bob Makransky is a systems analyst, computer programmer and professional astrologer. For 37 years he has lived on a farm in highland Guatemala where he is a Mayan priest and is head of the local blueberry growers’ association.