Monday, November 2, 2009


An enormous number of things in the world subserve a common purpose. All the man made systems, administrative, industrial, military, or what not, exist each for its controlling purpose. Every living being pursues its own peculiar purposes. They co-operate according to the degree of their development, in collective or tribal purposes, larger ends thus enveloping lesser ones, until an absolutely single, final and climactic purpose subserved by all things without exception might conceivably be reached. It is needless to say that the appearances conflict with such a view. Any resultant, as I said in my third lecture, may have been purposed in advance, but none of the results we actually know in this world have in point of fact been purposed in advance in all their details.

Men and nations start with a vague notion of being rich, or great, or good. Each step they make brings unforeseen changes into sight, and shuts out older vistas, and the specifications of the general purpose have to be daily changed. What is reached in the end may be better or worse that what was purposed, but it is always more complex and different.

William James in his 1906 lecture, The One and the Many is explaining what we all experience in physical life. We forget that our purpose is experience, and we use perceptions and choices based on our belief system to expand in each and every experience. The method of this expansion is never the same. One day we could have a designed purpose and experience what we desired and the next day performing the exact same acts, the purpose changes in substance and form. We may blame the difference on time or some variable that was not present the day before, but the underlying cause is our own consciousness.

Within purpose there is a vast wonderland of choices and perceptions and each one can change an aspect of purpose slightly or radically based on the actions that manifests from our beliefs, perceptions and choices. Within a moment there is a universe of choices and they can take on a life of their own.

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