Discovering Life’s Purpose (Existential Program)
- by Manori Sumanasinghe
I had been talking to a few of my relatives and friends, when I noticed a common theme that kept coming up. What is the purpose of life? Is there anything we are supposed to do here? What is the potential?
I referred to what I have learned through my life experiences and conscientiology. I have personally used some techniques for the past 15 years that have helped me get insights into what my life purpose might be. Once I arrived at IAC and took the Consciousness Development Program and a few other workshops, I learned about the concept of Existential Program.
The Existential Program is similar to life purpose, which is less precise in conveying the concept. Existential Program, as defined in Luis Minero’s upcoming book Demystifying the Out-of-Body Experience “is the plan, the agenda, for organizing time during the intraphysical life of the consciousness: life task.”
It is a subject that has been extensively studied by scholars within the conscientiological community such as Dr. Waldo Vieira and Wagner Alegretti. There are non-conscientiological scholars such as Viktor Emil Frankl, M.D., Ph.D. who have also written about this topic. American businessman Tony Robins has built a career on coaching people to identify their potential and on execution of their life purpose.
In this article, I attempt to synthesize many tools and techniques that may be utilized in identifying and executing one’s existential program.
1.0 - Myths
Age: You can be 18 or you can be 65 years old: it is never be too early to start thinking about existential program. Even if major opportunities were missed and if fulfillment of the original potential may seem unlikely, no evolutionary accomplishment is ever a waste, especially if we think of the theory of successive existences (existential series, rebirth, reincarnation). The mere interest in this subject could mean one has given considerable thought to questions such as “What is the purpose of life? Is there meaning to this life?” Asking the right question is the first step in the right direction.
Limitations: We all have limitations that may hinder the pace of growth, but we may be tempted to make that an excuse. Often, we hear people say “Oh, if only I had xyz condition”, “if only I had enough money.” Rather than focus on our perceived limitations, we can chose to contemplate opportunities.
2.0 - Techniques:
2.1 - Writing:
Writing is a very powerful tool that can help us in our evolution. It can not only help us organize ideas, but writing can also be very beneficial to fully form, develop and define a particular idea we conceive. You can either use a pen and a journal or use a computer, whichever is the most convenient method for you, to practice this exercise. The technique requires you to everyday, first thing in the morning or the last thing at night, sit down and write for 10 minutes. Start by writing whatever comes to your mind. When you have trained your mind for ideas to flow rather easily, pick a different question or a series of questions about your existential program every day.
Examples of questions:
- What are my strong traits and weak traits?
- What are my principles (stated or in theory) versus my values (in practice) in life? I.e. what is most important in my life? (i.e.: family, career, helping others, etc.)
- What are my goals for the next year, 2 to 3 years, 5 , 10, 15, 20-25 years and so on?
Keep writing for 15-30 minutes every day until you have fully exhausted the ideas and you can no longer add more detailed answers to the questions. Once you have done this exercise everyday for at least a week, take time to compile and synthesize the information.
2.2 - Conditioning:
One of the most important targets should also be to reverse social and cultural conditioning. We often limit ourselves unnecessarily. We need to apply the idea of dreaming big here. There are two techniques you can employ to dream big.
- No limitations technique: if we had all the time, financial and other resources we could ever want, if we had all the opportunities anyone could ever get and had the correct conditions to make anything we please happen, what would each of us do with our lives, for ourselves and others? Once we are free to think bigger, we may get inspired and then seek ways to fulfill it with a resourceful, creative, diligent “can do” attitude.
- One year of life technique: If we each found out that we had only one more year to live, what would our priorities be? And how would we execute those? What are the priorities or concerns that would become less relevant?
Reading suggestions on this technique:
- Chasing Daylight: How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life by Gene O’Kelly
- “One more Year of Life Technique,” Journal of Conscientiology, No. 17
Video suggestion on this technique:
2.3 - Personal Traits:
It helps to know what we are good at (strong traits), what we are not good at (missing traits), or undesirable characteristics we may have (weak traits). Making a list of as many of strong, weak, and missing traits as possible will help us know personal capabilities. We may find ways to apply strong traits to address weak traits. This highly self-critical and self-analytical tool is one of the techniques discussed in depth in Wagner Alegretti’s Existential Program course. You can start looking at this list everyday and start adding to it. Also, you should try to identify and work out ways in which you can use your strong traits to overcome certain weak traits.
- Some examples of strong traits: organization, charisma, confidence, public speech, concentration, dedication
- Some examples of weak traits: dishonesty, procrastination, negativity, grumpiness, carelessness
Extending this technique further, you can evaluate to see which of these characteristics you have inherited from your family or your culture, which of these traits is your strongest trait or your weakest trait; how to use these traits to improve yourself; you should also ask your close friends and family – as well as a few people that may be critical of you – to give you a list of what they think are your strong traits and week traits.
2.4 - Planning:
This methodology can be a part of the writing technique and requires you use charts, lists, graphs or any visual aid that may help you plan better. First, identify the most important aspects of your life, i.e., family, career, personal growth, assistance, etc. Then for each of these categories, make a set of goals: immediate or short-term, mid-term and long-term. Short-term goals will be broken down into 1 year, 2 years and within the next 5 years. Mid-term will be the next 10 to 15 years. Long-term will be 25 to 30 years and so on. For example: Within the next year, I will go back to school to do 3 classes as a part-time student.
3.0 – Conclusion
The key to success with many of these techniques is commitment. If consistently applied, patterns emerge from these exercises. What will begin to change?
As we spends more time on self-evaluation and investigation, ideas become more defined and clear and new ideas emerge. We identify what we are good at, what needs to improve, what we like and what we genuinely want to become. We will get to know ourselves more. Also, as a result of knowing who we are and what we want, we will begin to identify more opportunities that come our way, thus being able to take more advantage of them. The more we keep doing this and the more aligned we get with our potential, the more we understand what our existential programs are. Writing down also re-enforces our will and determination and can create positive synchronicities.
To paraphrase Alfred Lord Tennyson, it is better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. We may end up discovering it is not the correct path. Through a process of elimination, we can narrow down the field and gradually discover our purpose.
Howard Thurman said “don't ask yourself what the world needs and try to be and do it. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go be and do that. Because what the world most desperately needs is people who have come fully alive.” Most likely you will feel very strongly and very passionate about your life purpose once you have found it. Instead of doing what looks good or what someone else tells us to do, we can each do what we sense is right.
The other thing about life purpose is that we can do all the thinking and analysis, but if we do not take action, it will not be very fruitful. So, while it is wise we spend time to figure out what to do, we may not want to wait until all the details come to light. Most of the time, just getting started and taking the next step eventually takes us to the final destination faster than expecting to see the whole picture. It is easier to correct the course of a moving object, than to overcome the inertia of a still one. Talk the thought, walk the talk!
Many of these techniques and ideas for this article are based on Dr. Waldo Vieira’s publications such as Projectiology and Existential Program Manual; IAC’s core course, the Consciousness Development program (CDP); the IAC’s CDP Advanced 1: Self –Knowledge course; Wagner Alegretti’s Existential Program course, Gabriel Sereni’s Human Potential course, Robert Dugans’ Consciential Bootcamp technique and my own personal experiences.
If you wish to learn more on this topic, inquire with your local IAC office to see where you can get started.
Best of luck to you with your evolutionary journey!
Manori Sumanasinghe is a volunteer at IAC Los Angeles Education Center.