On Feb. 13, 1987, I was shown, in a vision, what the purpose of life is and the lesson has never left me.
It happened while I was driving my car on my way to work in the city of Vancouver, Canada.
I was at the time registered in a Sociology Ph.D. Program, studying to be a group leader and counsellor.
In the beginning I followed Jay Haley’s Problem Solving Therapy. But I discovered that, when I offered a solution to the client’s presenting problem, they looked at me puzzled, ignored me completely, and continued on with their story.
After a while of selling my wares with nobody buying, I concluded that they only wanted to tell their story. I switched over to listening.
I discovered that, when I listened to anyone long enough, the puzzle they faced suddenly became a picture and they’d have a realization or “Aha!” moment.
As I turned the corner onto the main drag, I said to the universe in general: “If our early lives are a puzzle which, when solved, turns into a picture, could it be that life itself is a puzzle and, if so, what might the picture be that life is?”
No sooner had I formed the thought, then everything went black. I forgot that I was behind the wheel of a car. I was filled with bliss.
The bliss allowed me to access much deeper knowledge than otherwise. I found myself staring at a large golden sun. I intuitively recognized it to be God the Father (Brahman, Buddha nature, the One).
Out of it came a small golden star, which then streaked into space. I recognized it as God the Child (the soul, the Christ, Atman, pearl of great price).
I wondered where the small golden star had gone and found that I could follow it. I found it immersed in a cloud, which I knew to be God the Mother (the Holy Spirit, Shakti, Procreatrix/Prakriti, Aum/Amen, the Word of God).
The golden star, now without its brilliance, was journeying down through coils which I knew to be lifetimes in matter.
Suddenly its light flashed back on and I knew that to be a level of enlightenment. Then it left the cloud altogether and raced back to God the Father, immersing itself in it. I knew this to be a further stage of enlightenment.
I looked over this scene and found the words forming in my mind: “Enlightenment is the purpose of life.” The minute I said this to myself, the vision disappeared.
Here I was back behind the wheel of my car! I’d been away watching the vision for perhaps eight seconds and so I wondered how far I’d travelled during that time. Knowing well the part of Vancouver I was travelling through, I looked from side to side. I hadn’t moved an inch in that entire eight seconds. I was removed from time.
I drove to the stoplight at the next intersection and looked over at the worried face on the driver next to me. I wanted to roll down the window and shout, “It all works out in the final reel!”
For the next three days, I was in bliss, seeing divine metaphors all around me. The trees spread their branches to the sky, as if in worship.
Their leaves fell off, but the tree did not die; similarly the body falls off but the soul does not die. Birds flew across the sky leaving not a trace, like the soul flying through life and leaving not a trace.
At that moment in my life, I saw that I knew only one thing: That enlightenment was the purpose of life. The purpose of life is that God should meet God in a moment of our enlightenment. I was not certain of anything else.
Bayazid of Boston captured that moment: “O Thou I!” ¹ At that instant, God enjoys the delight of meeting itself.
Life is a divine play or Leela, arranged for exactly this purpose: That God should have the opportunity to meet itself in a moment of our enlightenment.
It took ten years of research and ten more years of writing to arrive at an adequate statement of what I learned that day in eight wordless seconds outside of time. I’ve since published the results. ²
Time does not dim the lessons I learned then. It serves as the basis for everything else I’ve learned since. We go from lifetime to lifetime in a process of spiritual evolution which culminates in us finally knowing the truth of who we are.
And when we know, our moment of enlightenment is a supreme act of service to God.
- Bayazid of Bistun in Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy. New York, etc.: Harper and Row, 1970; c1944, 12.
- Steve Beckow, The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment, at http://gaog.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Purpose-of-Life-is-Enlightenment.pdf
~Steve Beckow is Editor-in-Chief of the Golden Age of Gaia and the author of more than 60 books. He began his career as a Cultural Historian at the then-National Museum of Man and ended it as a Member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. He’s a member of Mensa Canada. He pursued several spiritual disciplines and writes on cross-cultural spirituality and the levels of enlightenment.
Excellence Reporter 2020