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Questions and Answers from Joel (2/18/17)

Q:   What is the purpose of life?

A:   Now, spell “Life” with a capital L, since there is only one Life.  Now, what is the purpose of that Life?  To express Itself; to press Itself out into expression.  What is the purpose of Life when you’re thinking of a peach tree?  The purpose of Life is to express Itself as peaches.  The purpose of a nut tree?  The purpose of Life with a nut tree is to express Life as nuts.  Life must express Itself as watermelons.  Life must express Itself as you and me.  Ah!  Now we’re down to the important part – you and me.

It isn’t your life that you’re living, and it isn’t my life.  God is living Its life as me, and It wills to do what It will with my life, if I have enough wisdom to come out from under the belief of being man, whose breath is in his nostrils.  Now, the human being, spiritually unillumined, cannot be said to be God living Its life.  Rather, the Master tells us, the human being is “a branch of a tree that is cut off and soon withereth.”[1]  That’s the life of a human being.  The branch of a tree that is cut off is using up the little life that is still in the branch, and as soon as that life is used up, the branch is dead.  Well, a human being is born with a certain amount of life in them, and by adding a little bread and water and meat, vitamins and minerals, they can keep filling that particular kind of life for three score years and ten – a few years less or a few years more in some cases.

Now, that is the life of a branch that is cut off from a tree.  You may liken that to the branch being stuck in a glass of water.  Instead of dying in one week, it will live three or four weeks.  …

The individual who is living the life of a branch cut off knows nothing about trees.  It looks around and it sees itself as a branch.  It says, “Oh, what a poor, weak little thing I am,” and looks around at all the other branches.  “Well, I don’t have much chance here, do I? I’ve got to compete with all those branches.”  Pretty soon that branch gets the same inferiority complex that most humans do.  Give them until they’re 25 years of age, and you’ve got them in a rut.  They get on a merry-go-round of getting up in the morning, working for eight hours so as to get enough food and pay their rent, sleeping all night, and then getting up the next day and earning enough so they can sleep at night again.

That’s the life of a human being, and if they can’t get the kind of work they like – which most people can’t – they take anything they can get, everything from ditch digging to whatever it is that people do for a living.  And most of them kick and complain because they don’t like their work.  Only a few find their own real job in life as humans and perform it.  Some do, because some people are born with an innate contact with God.  They may be composers, musicians, artists, poets, authors, or scientists – whatever it is that their love goes toward.  They fulfill their own function in life and lead satisfactory lives on that human level.  But for the rest of mankind, the purpose of life is just to earn a living until you die; get your social security paid up and keep on, just hoping to reach 65 and cash in on it.

Now, that’s the human sense of life.  It’s frustrating, and that’s why we have so many psychiatrists and psychologists.  There are so many frustrated people.  There are so many people hating what they’re doing.  There are so many people who have made mistakes and are going to pay the penalty for their mistakes for the rest of their lives.  That’s the human sense of life, which is the life of a branch cut off from the tree.

Now, the spiritually illumined person – the person who lives consciously in the Word of God and consciously keeps the Word of God alive within them; the person who really learns the 25th chapter of Matthew from verse 31 on: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto to me” – they do not live a life of their own.  They find that up from the ground, up through the roots, the great big Universal comes – the Divine, the God-life, which is our individual consciousness.  Now they can go out and live by that.  It is not important whether or not they are spiritual teachers; we don’t all have to be spiritual teachers or practitioners.

When one is spiritually connected with God, they can be a Schweitzer.  They can be serving in medicine; they can be serving in religion; they can be serving in art and they can be serving in music all at the same time.  When a person is consciously connected with God, they can be any one of the composers – great or not great – any one of the painters or sculptors; any one of the inventors.  In other words, they are not living their life.  God is living Its life through them and expressing beauty, harmony, grace, order, newness of life, invention.  Everything to make life worthwhile flows through an individual who is consciously one with God.

A person consciously one with God may be a wealthy person who does nothing but travel around the world, blessing everybody they meet in a plane or a boat or wherever it is; just enjoying life, seemingly selfish, and yet not that at all.  Because wherever they go, they become a companion to somebody; they share some other place that they have been to with somebody; they bring out some literature or philosophy.  I meet them all the time when I travel, one here and one there who is really acquiring things as they go through life, and not things in the sense of possessions.  They are acquiring philosophies, religions, wisdoms, or knowledge of beauty and art.

I’m thinking of one of our students who traveled alone around the world for a couple of years.  She is a lady who some of you know.  Wherever she went, a blessing was left behind – either a healing, or a pamphlet or book of The Infinite Way.  … She is still traveling around the globe.  For years she has been doing nothing but traveling and looking on.  You would probably think she is wasting her time looking at scenery, but wherever she goes, somebody is being blessed.

We don’t all have to be anything of a particular nature.  We can be whatever it is that God ordains us to be, but the spiritually illumined are not living their own lives.  God is living the life, and it is God’s purpose that is being fulfilled everywhere – God’s purpose.  That’s the reason that you have to awaken in the morning and remember that this is God’s day; that you are of God and in God; and that God must fulfill Its purpose in you and through you and as you.  Then you dedicate yourself to God.  You give your mind to God.  You give your life to God.  You give your soul to God.  Your soul is already God’s, but it is as if you were giving it back to God, having taken it away from Him in humanhood.  You give it back every morning:  “‘This is the day the Lord hath made.’[2]  This is God’s day.  My body is the temple of God.  My mind is the temple of God.  My soul is the temple of God.  Fill me; fill me; fill me full.”  Fill me full of what?  Of God, of God-being.  Then something comes to me to be done, and I must do it.  Something comes to me to be done and I must perform it, because God has given it to me to do.  But the responsibility is not mine, for “He performeth that which is given me to do.”[3]

Now, regardless of what my work is today, if I will accept the responsibility of going through the human motions, the Spirit of God in me will fulfill Itself so that the task is completed.  My task is to get up and sit.  God’s task is to bring the message forth.  Somebody’s task is to sell merchandise.  All right, their task is to carry the samples out to the buyer, and God’s task is to see that they reach the right person and get the right answer.  Do you see that?  The purpose of life is God fulfilling Its own Self in individual experience or as individual experience.

(Excerpt from Recording 213, 1958 Second Chicago Closed Class, Tape 3, Side 1, “Questions and Answers on the Mystical Life and Healing”)

[1] John 15:6
[2] Psalm 118:24
[3] Job 23:14