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This conversation about the existence of a purpose for a human life was initiated by a reader who proposed these intriguing questions. Not surprisingly, most of his questions are not strange to anyone of us. And at some level they are reflections of our puzzlement with the phenomenon of life. The answers, of course, are not easy, nor will ever be complete satisfactory, but the Spiritist wisdom supply some very sensible considerations. The following response is a contribution from Elza D'Agosto.


The Reader: I am currently reading the Spirits Book and have a question. According to the Spiritist Doctrine, spirits incarnate in order to accomplish a specific mission. Is there a way to uncover what this particular mission or purpose is? It seems that living this incarnation without having accomplished our purpose is a wasted incarnation. Why is this purpose not clear to us? Why is it being kept obscured from us?

I remember a time in my life I felt there was no use in living this life without knowing its purpose. So much so that after much suffering decided I would end it all. At the very moment that I was going to end it all something took over me and I am still here today. Perhaps it was divine intervention from the spirit world trying to stop me, knowing what was in store for those who chose to end their life before the appointed time.

Yet here I am today, many years later, still without my purpose. Why is it not like other missions where you are handed a mission plan with the specific targets and objectives? Why do we not have guidance?

Hello Dear Reader:
Interesting questions you pose. As you know one of our doctrine's maxims is 'unshakeable faith is that which can face reason at every situation in human life'. So let's put it to the test!

We can use reason and be rational as we ponder on your questions. First, a correction you're not here without a purpose, the fact that you have not become aware of your purpose doesn't mean there isn't one. Nothing in God's universe is purposeless. Indeed, it was divine intervention that stopped you from making a grave mistake and ending your probabilities to achieve your purposes, as well as the certainty of adding something wrong which could only make things worse.

We do have guidance all the time but we don't usually pay attention to it. We're like children who don't listen to their parents or teachers, then later find out that the answers were there all along. You see, your teacher and guide 'took over you' at the right moment. This happens sometimes, they take over when we aren't listening.

Why aren't we handed a mission plan? Why isn't this purpose clear to us? Because God gave us free will, which means that we can change our mission plans and purposes after we start them. We actually choose our mission plans and purposes before we're born and we do this with the help of mentors. The plans are more directed toward what we need to learn rather then how we need to do it. And is simply because evolution, or progress, or advancement is the law, how we do it is our choice. Let's say someone's plan is to become a doctor for whatever evolutionary reason. This person has an entire lifetime to accomplish it, some go straight through the educational process, others drop out and return later, others do what Albert Schweitzer did. If the person was supposed to be a doctor why wouldn't it be made clear to them? The answer is that the person got distracted by other interests, is a bit rebellious, stubborn, a maverick, the opportunities were presented and the person was 'out to lunch'. A reincarnation (lifetime) cannot be wasted because the plan isn't about 'one' lesson or one achievement. We always learn something, even if it's what we shouldn't do.

Why is it being kept obscure from us? One of the reasons is that if we find out beforehand we start reacting to this knowledge rather than acting to accomplish it. Furthermore, everything would be revealed to us, good and bad, bad news would stop us on our tracks. Besides, at what point should we receive this knowledge? When we're young and stupid or old and tired? It's more efficient (in the sense of progress) to be directed toward a goal and be empowered by our own decisions.

The first chapter of Genesis makes a good point about revelations. It says: in bringing integral truth to men wouldn't revelations have the effect of stopping them from developing their faculties and doing their own investigations? Which is to say that it's not a good idea to hand human beings everything they need. We're are problem solvers by nature, we don't learn or grow when we're given what we want. We don't even appreciate things that we don't earn. Children who don't have to work for anything always fare worse than those who have to earn them. That's human nature, we need to have the opportunity for our indomitable spirit to rise.

This leaves you where? Without a tangible answer, you'd say. Therefore, the definitive answer is: we, all human beings, need to evaluate all our difficulties in great detail and patience. All our difficulties comprise the problems that we need to solve in this life, that's part of the mission. If we get to solve most of them and not add any, our incarnation is a great success. And, we need to pay attention to where life leads us, if something sounds positive, not harmful to anyone, doable, helpful, then we should do it, regardless of how wild it may sound. If it doesn't work we consider it lessons learned and skill acquired and move on to the next idea. In other words, we can't stop and not go any direction, we 'go any direction' and then see what happens.

And lastly but also important, we pray, usually just before going to sleep, asking for our guides to show us what we need to know. Then, all of a sudden, we have a significant dream or get this out-of-left-field intuition.

Hope this helps and makes sense to you. This doctrine tells us that God put us in the right place, in contact with the right people, in order to do what we need to do. If we trust Him to know better than us we would just act.