The Sufis say that a person has a purpose in life and you need to find out what your purpose is. This question keeps coming up for me now that I am not in a commune any longer.
There it did not matter; the important thing was to be with you. Does it matter what work I do? Please could you talk about this?
Eva, what the Sufis say is not what you have understood. They certainly say that every person has a purpose in life. Their meaning is that every person has a unique individuality, unique function, a unique place in existence, irreplaceable. And they say you need to find out what that purpose is. The emphasis is not exactly to find out what that purpose is; the emphasis is first to find out who you are.
The moment you understand yourself, you will understand the purpose also, without any effort. Understanding your unique individuality will give you an insight into your purpose in life, but you cannot find the purpose directly without finding yourself. The purpose is secondary; you are basic. Hence, I never say find out the purpose, I say:
These two sentences are enough for your whole life’s philosophy. Everything else will follow on its own accord.
You are asking, “This question keeps coming up for me now that I am not in a commune any longer. There it did not matter; the important thing was to be with you. Does it matter what work I do?”
You are again getting confused. The purpose of your life is not the work that you do; you can do anything. By purpose I don’t mean your work. You can be a shoemaker, you can be a carpenter, you can be a dancer, you can be a musician – that does not matter. Whatever gives you bliss, whatever gives you peace, whatever brings more awareness to you, whatever makes your life a life of gratitude… any work will do.
The work is not important but what happens within you, doing the work – that is the decisive point. If it brings light in your being, if it brings a deep fulfillment, if it makes you more loving and more joyous, then it is absolutely irrelevant what you are doing; do it and do it totally. The more totally you do it, the more intelligence you bring in doing it, the more your individuality will become authentic, the more your potential will become actual, the more you will find you are coming closer to your destiny, to your home.
Eleven-year-old Lucy was walking down the village street leading a cow by a rope. She met the vicar who said, “Little girl, what are you doing with that cow?”
“Please Sir,” said Lucy, “it is my father’s cow and I am taking her to the bull.”
“Disgusting,” said the parson, “can’t your father do that?”
“No,” said Lucy, “it has to be the bull.”
Everybody has his own purpose, that’s right, but to find your purpose is impossible without finding yourself. And the moment you find yourself, simultaneously you will find your purpose. So there is no need to be concerned with the purpose. The whole concern should be knowing yourself, and the way to know yourself is meditation.
Osho, The New Dawn, Ch 8, Q 3