Purpose in Life

In the following passage Patrick McCarty writes about the loss of purpose being a result of our fragmented way. The increased reliance on the concept of time and how it has increasingly contributed to the management and ordering of our lives over the past two hundred years has contributed to this. Our economies and education of our young are more focused on the practicalities of finding a job, success and status than they are to nurturing purpose which is a more natural and inherent aspect of being. For  youth paying attention to what is inherently inspiring and organically creative is not encouraged.  Added to this is the extreme focus on the organization of ones life. What is natural has been conditioned out of us in this way. A contemplative life, in an ongoing way reminds me of what is natural about my being.

McCarty writes that “there is no time for purpose. Purpose knows its own time and place, and while the frameworks into which we compartmentalized our lives would keep us marching on with or without enthusiasm, this is no substitute for true direction, natural interests and talents, expression and creativity, doing the work that isn’t “work” in that it is loved so well. We have a barren stretch of mathematized time set aside for relaxation and we can’t think of what to do with ourselves, certainly nothing novel, nothing inspiring. Why? Because the context we have overlooked has stung the content into a moribund state of paralysis. The context of the dialectical relations that inform have been torn from anything “natural” and turned over to clock time, arbitrary divisions, superficial distinctions, the yak-yak of what everyone “just knows.” We have imposed a framework that freezes the dynamism of constitutive relations and that substitutes fragments for systems, parts for wholes, deadline drudgery for depth of experience. As Raymond Ku observed, even in Taiwan the lifestyle is fragmented. Fragmentation is the death knell for culture just as it is for language. Both only work as systems given a certain unity.”

Patrick McCarty from A Simple Profundity For Twentieth century Despair

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