What Is Our Real Purpose?

If you live as though money brings the only happiness, clearly something has gone wrong. You have neglected the entire world of spirit, with the implication that the surface of life is enough.

Even though we seem to have wandered far from the issue of war and violence, we are actually at the crux, because when people settle for the surface of life they miss the only level that can bring war to an end, which lies beneath the surface.

The word Maya, which is usually translated from Sanskrit as “illusion,” has many wide-spreading meanings (our modern words matter, mother, and measurement are related to this root). I prefer to define Maya as “distraction,” and without holding moral judgments against money, I must accuse riches of being a terrible distraction. They hold us in the grip of a false self-image, that of being creatures whose purpose on earth is to be prosperous and secure.

Our real purpose on earth is very different, as every spiritual tradition recognizes. We are here to evolve and grow. We are here to discover who we are. We are here to transform our surroundings in keeping with who we really are.

Great spiritual teachers have said that we are ultimately here to transcend matter, to worship our maker, to appreciate the infinite creation and learn humility before it. All those things may emerge once we know who we really are. That is life’s central mystery, and money doesn’t come close to answering it.

Nakedness before God is a symbol for a deeper value, which is closeness to God, a life without separation from one’s source. True renunciation is really a shift in allegiance: you shift your attention from the surface of life to the underlying reality.

Adapted from: Peace Is the Way, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2005).


Christian R.
Land L5 years ago


Max Overton
Max Overton5 years ago

I am illusion and nothing I do has any actuality. I exist (I think), I do good, I do bad, and I cease to be. In ten years a few people will remember me, in twenty years I will be a vague memory, in fifty years merely a name, and in a hundred - nothing at all. Will I care? How could I? I won't exist.

Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

thanks for sharing

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G6 years ago


Alicia N.
Alicia N6 years ago

whatever is our purpose in life, I'd say this: live plenty, be thankful, help others, live an honest life, share happiness and "if" we have money in this beautiful journey, let's not see it as a salvation and share, share share, thanks Deepak and good luck beautiful people.

heather g.
heather g6 years ago

I'm pleased to read that so many members take this question seriously - seriously enough to transform into the best they can be...

Sylvia R.
Sylvia R.6 years ago

As they say "food for thought" and time to take stock of who we really are, how we conduct ourselves and live our lives. Like that which Becky Y. has to say-certainly agree with that! God has a purpose for each and every one.

Courtney Belyea
Past Member 6 years ago

Yeah the only time lack of money bothers me if when I can't get things I NEED but these are different from wants. They will come. I also think it is annoying when I want to buy books to research a subject and I can't because I can't afford the books I need? You guys know what I mean? Sometimes material things have a place in my goals, I really want to research Inuit and Metis culture and it's hard to find many books on it in the library. Also sometimes I feel like I can't be beautiful because I don't have the clothes and make-up I want, I try to look for beauty within but I can't help but want to feel pretty, pretty.
I also want books on how to draw manga, SEE WHAT I MEAN?! Having lack of money sometimes hinders my goals it is quite annoying. But with make-up and things I try to keep focused on inner beauty so I do not feel like have to buy it, that is a horrible feeling.

Sue Ostapowich
Sue O6 years ago

Riches do not guarantee happiness. So when the things we buy with the money no longer give us the happiness we are looking for we begin to blame others for holding happiness from us! Where else can we find happiness other than within....no where.

Ameer T.
Ameer T6 years ago

This single gave birth to Philosophy thousands of years ago. It has remained unanswered by most for that time as well.

Although i dont feel that any answers will be conclusive here, i do encourage that the question should be asked from time to time.

It doesn't even matter if the answers dont reconcile. But what matters is that each one of us puts an honest effort into thinking this through and maybe look outside and beyond our daily hum drum lives.

I have searched for an answer and even though i may not have a conclusive answer, i still feel the search was a reward in itself.