When was the last time you thought about your purpose in life? Do you have a vision for yourself, for the world or for anything? For me, writing this article is an expression of my purpose and vision. Through these writings (and actually through everything that I think, say and do) I am able to fulfill my vision of who I really am. When I say `who I really am’, I mean the ultimate or greatest vision and meaning that I could ever have for myself. This goes beyond the sum of my years, but is all that has led to the creation of myself in the eternal moment of NOW, and all that will follow. It is seeing that one is more than the circumstances of one’s birth, society, and culture – much, much more. One’s greatest vision of one’s self has nothing to do with ego or egotism. Ego is how we have been taught to separate ourselves from the reality that exists around us. Ego is the result of judging or defining ourselves by the standards of those around us. We look at our thoughts or actions and think that we are better or worse than someone else because of them. The ego consciousness is an attempt to separate the inseparable. The ego is formed when we maintain our illusions of separation from each other and from all that exists around us. We create self-interests and try to forget that the connection between all people and things is like the molecules in the air or the cells in our bodies. What affects one affects us all. Our true way of thinking is not in the consciousness of the `I’ or the ego. We should see ourselves in the light of our greatest vision of ourselves. With every thought, word, and action we should not judge ourselves in the context of someone else’s reality or experience. Instead, we should ask ourselves if we are really serving ourselves in achieving what we would like to become. Is the path that we are following really in line with the vision that we have of what we really are or what we could be? Some people would call this a vision of our spirits or souls. Others would call it the expression of our greatest virtues. Still others would call it simply being ourselves. In the consciousness of `we’ rather than `I,’ one realizes that the particulars of how one chooses to express his/her innermost self is not what’s important, but rather it is simply the expression itself. In order to create the kind of world where all people and things can live with basic dignity and true equality, we must first drop all of our notions of superiority. We must observe instead of judge. We each must ask ourselves whether we are truly living as our true selves or if we are still taking our identities from others. We must try not to be defensive. Defensiveness is merely an attempt to protect our egos from any challenge. We must realize that who we are, our purpose or vision for ourselves, is not something ethereal that we are born with but cannot find. Purpose comes from within, not without. We are each creating who we are in every moment. Purpose is the realization of that creation. And when we create, we are making choices. With each of these choices, we consciously create the realities that we see around us. This process of creation has three steps: thoughts, words and actions. Each step creates, each one creating more powerfully than the previous one. Once someone understands this they can no longer feel limitations. Everything that is a thought can become a word, and everything that is a word can become an action. We have only to choose. Unfortunately for all of us, we have been choosing to live in a world where we have ignored all of these things. We have lived on this planet for half a million years and somehow we have not advanced much at all. I mean advance in terms of personal connections and culture. We have made great technological leaps, but sometimes I wonder how different we are from those first humans to emerge from the trees. We like to think that each of our little groups is better than everyone else’s and that we as a whole are better than everything we see around us. In truth, we are quite primitive; this can be seen just from how we define ourselves. We, even as groups, live in a state of ego consciousness. I once read somewhere that `the first mark of a primitive society is that it thinks itself advanced.’ An advanced society knows that it has much to learn and experience. It is time for all of us to grow up. We cannot continue to destroy other people or things because it is our whim. We must always be truthful to ourselves. This involves recognizing the consequences of all that we create, and asking ourselves if our choices truly serve us in becoming who we really are. In seeking to reach this, we must ask ourselves, “what would we do if we knew that we could achieve anything and never fail?”– and then do it. No longer can we maintain this idea that we can separate our values and ideals from the reality that we live in. Choose to be who you are and to create a better world for all of us. The Open Forum appears Tuesdays in The Hoya.

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