Seeking Jordan will be available in hardcover March 15, 2016. You can pre-order it now from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.

by Matthew McKay

Life Purpose

Life purpose is the theme of every play we come here to perform. In the same way this moment rests atop a thousand turns and choices, in the way it grows from each forgotten hour that taught us how to live, life purpose grows from the struggles and mistakes of past incarnations. We can’t remember them any more than we can remember the many bruises of childhood, or the moment we first understood the power of the earth to make us fall. But they are the text, the story that forms a reason to come back again.

In the calm between lives we make two choices—what we are here to do and what we are here to learn. A task and a lesson. They arise from the same karma, the same lost chance, the same unfinished work. The task may be to teach or protect, or soften the pain of others. The learning may focus on patience or surmounting fear of letting go of the self. The lesson and the task intertwine so the protector learns to accept loss, or the builder learns patience as things fall apart.

Life purpose is a direction; we move toward it or away. Dark emotions—anger, fear, numbness, boredom, shame—are signs that we have set the wrong course, away from our purpose. Sometimes we correct course, sometimes we cannot. We will get there—in this life or the ones succeeding. There is no rush, no failure. There is all the time in the world.

Attachment

Peace is not a legitimate goal of life. Avoiding pain by avoiding attachment is not a workable life goal. While attachment is the source of pain, it is also the source of love and beauty. Beauty and love are attachments. Rather than detaching, our goal is to struggle to learn, feel, and love in the face of pain.

What Loss Is

There is only one thing that works for remembering what love is. That is to hold each other—without hope or demand, without keeping track of what’s taken or given, without any deliberate blindness to the pain. Just holding to feel all of it—the failure, the sweetness, the fear, the need. Holding all of it—the place from where the dark visions come, the place that gives, the place that runs away.

Holding until it is possible to hold without arms, hands, without touching chests. Holding with mere breath—felt across miles, years. Holding with mere being. Everything.

The Next Universe

Galaxies fly out, escaping the gravity that holds them. There is no center. In a while they will go dark as suns burn out, and all heat, all possibility of life is lost.

And another universe grows—with new forms and new laws—from all that was learned with this one.

The carpenter to be hammers his first nail. Two boards are joined. Everything he builds changes him, helps him learn. And everything he learns changes the next thing he builds. Makes it better, more beautiful.

Collective consciousness grows with the lessons of each new universe, just as the craftsman evolves with each new thing he makes.

Things fall apart. But the lessons they give us last forever.