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Asking the question “Who Am I and why am I here?” does not necessarily imply some universal agenda from an “overarching being.”  The answer to such questions can (and in my opinion… DOES) emerge from a very personal perspective. 

Ascribing meaning to our existence must not merge with some religious dogma or universal agenda, but it very much provides structure and purpose for our lives.  I do not believe the search for my purpose is an effort to align myself with some mythical diety who assigns my fate and renders me powerless.  Rather, my search for purpose is an act of self-definition that is best left to the less programmed portion of my brain.  While incorporating the left brain into these explorations can he helpful, ultimately we become limited to the serial processing of a higly predictable formula.  Our right brain frees us to think outside the box and CREATE whatever purpose we desire. 

Although our left brain would like us to live in a black and white world, science is no less married to spirituality than spirituality is unaffected by science.  In the words of Albert Einstein, “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.”

Incorporating a larger spiritual purpose into our experience in the NOW is essential to what makes us human.  We have evolved to the point where mere survivial and self-awareness no longer provides enough stimulation for continued evolution.  If we do not begin to seek answers to questions about our purpose, we are doomed to our present cycle of self-destruction. 

I do not ask these questions because I do not know the answers.  I ask these questions because the asking is part of the answer. 

Who are we and why are we here?

We are who we choose to be and we are here for whatever purpose we create.  Creation can be conscious and intentional or random and accidental.  Either way, we are always evolving and creating our reality.  I ask the questions not because I seek some guidance from an external authority, but because I recognize my internal power to manifest  a creation that reflects Who I Really Am. 

In the words of a great man, “Random success is overrated.”  My father always taught me that having a plan significantly increases the likelihood that we can create the world as we choose.  But a plan without a purpose is like a road map without destination.  We must determine WHERE we are going before we can set out HOW to get there.  And as I tell my students, we must know where we are to know where we want to go. 

I have a bumper sticker on my car, well, I have many bumper stickers on my car, but the one I’d like to write about today specifically says “Ain’t No Time to Hate.”   I mention the sticker because it sums up my philiosophy on life rather simply and today I thought it best to take some of my own advice.  One of the wonderful benefits of blogging is that I can return to who I’ve been in happier times with a simple revist to an old post.  In December, I authored a post called “Ethics of Leadership” that contained the following message:

Right or wrong, good or bad, it’s all irrelevant if we cannot learn to treat each other with respect and approach the diversity of our humanity with the love of our divine nature.  Everyone is living their lives the way they know how.   Even those who manifest horrible suffering or prey on others are merely operating within a framework that makes the most sense based on their experiences.  We should not ignore antisocial behavior or untruths, but if we orient ourselves from a perspective of tolerance and forgiveness we are in a position to produce the most change.  Carl Jung said, “What you resist, persists.”  When hate begets hate, the result is hate multiplied.  But when hate walks into the arms of love, it is revealed as a powerless illusion.

So here I sit in the eye of the tornado of my life, contemplating what it will take to restore balance and harmony to the very polarized world that swirls around me.  I breathe deeply and fully, filling my lungs until they could burst, and then I exhale the toxic invasion of stress and disconnection. 

This past week in my Psychology class, I introduced my students to the glorious universe of the human brain.  I paid particular attention to the separation of our right and left hemispheres because I believe this is a telling metaphor/example of our human/divine duality.  I would posit that the imbalance between the two hemispheres is reflected in our culture of intolerance, ethnocentrism, and gratuitous violence. 

We are all very familiar with our left brain, because this is the filter that allows us to operate in a tangible reality.  This is the operating system that processes information linearly and makes sense of all the stimuli that saturates our physical experience.  Many would say it is our left brain that keeps us sane, but this all depends on your definition of “insane.”  For often, it is our left brain that imposes a black and white world on a colorful spectrum.  It is our left brain that convinces us of our absolute individuality, sometimes to the point of cultivating a feeling of isolation and separateness that breeds hate and justifies a legacy of conflict, discrimination and abuse. 

In contrast, our right brain makes the impossible a possibility. It sees the men behind the curtain.  It breaks down walls and births creativity.  But many of us neglect our right brain, the part of us that always keeps one foot in the universal and the realm of undefined. We are often trained to minimize this part of ourselves, because it is unpredictable, nonconforming, and generally inspires behavior that would earn the title of “crazy.”   It is our right brain that connects us to spirit, to nature, and to each other.  It is the piece of us that creates, that dreams, that feels whole, at peace and connected to All That Is.  Some people explore their right brain with art or music, others with meditation or spiritual ritual, and still others rely on psychedelic substance.  Throughout human history, it is not uncommon for spiritual ritual and substance to go hand in hand.  The cultivation of opium for ritual purposes dates back to the Neolithic Revolution. Ayuaska and coca have their ancient origins in traditions of Amazonian shamans, and the sacred peyote has a conspicuous presence in the religion of the indigenous ancestors of this continent. 

Therefore, I must ask… when much of our disconnection and antisocial behavior is rooted in our left brain while much of our connected, symbiotic and enlightened experience arises from our right brain, why did we come to define our structured illusion of physicality as a superior way of perceiving reality?  Why do we discourage right brain association to promote personal success through a system of conformity and predictable achievements?  Why do we punish the use of drugs that suspend our spiritual and creative imprisonment and permit us to connect with those parts of our mind and spirit that generally remind us of our infinite nature? 

I am fully aware of the negative consequences that can accompany an abuse of substance, yet I am equally intrigued by the historical overlap of substance and spiritual connection.  Is it not possible that our Creator would offer us tools, perhaps gifts, to assist us on our journey into our own existence?   Must we deny and ignore the wisdom of ancients across time and globe? 

To ultimately determine Who We Are and WHY we are here… one would think it would be necessary to invest sufficient time exploring the part of our mind that is better equipped to answer such questions. 

http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/229