My mission in life is not merely
to survive, but to thrive; and to do so
with some passion, some compassion,
some humor, and some style.
— Maya Angelou
We seek meaning, purpose, passion, and joy throughout our lives because they render our lives interesting and significant. The foursome express themselves on multiple levels, not all of which are accessible to the ordinary style of awareness. Most groupthinks, however, encourage only shallow levels.
On our journey toward depth, the foursome successively inspire each other. As we look for meaning, we sense the next step, giving a purpose to our search. As we feel purpose, it infuses us with passion. Passion is closely related to interest and joy, bringing happiness and significance to our life.
Once we learn to appreciate and tire of the foursome at some level, an opportunity opens up to shift up. The process repeats until we can’t go any further up the spiral of meaning, purpose, passion, and joy.
The quest is about ever increasing focus on what is truly important to us, which is different at each wisdom level. At each level, we seek meaning, purpose, passion, and joy that flow through subjects, objects, and relationships, specific to that level.
Most people engage the foursome through everyday life (or occasionally through science and art). Of particular interest to us, however, are the levels at greater depths of authenticity that are beyond the mind’s reach, where ordinary explanations are not possible.
Mind, ego, personality, and together mind-ego-personality, the terms that I almost always use interchangeably in this book, both help and hinder the tango we dance with the foursome. As we take each step toward Mystery, we engage deeper meaning, purpose, passion, and joy. As we step away, constricting our inner spirit with thoughtforms, we engage the foursome at shallower levels. In its full spectrum of expression from mundane to spiritual, this rhythmic dance is a balancing act between thoughtforms and Mystery, as represented by our mind-ego-personality and soul.