‘It’s our problem-free philosophy’
The headline above quotes a lyric from the Lion King’s song “Hakuna Matata.” In the movie, the song represents a fun-loving approach to life. That approach to life might seem foreign to one’s quest for wholeness, because it connotes a certain irresponsibility toward life.
There is, however, an aspect of spirituality which aligns with the concept of “Hakuna Matata,” called “purposelessness.”
Purposelessness is not avoiding life’s responsibilities, neglecting one’s commitments or being frivolous.
Purposelessness is being free of the ego’s desires and attachments so one can observe and participate in the present moment, without an agenda originating in the ego. Where does it originate? In the true self, which is the much vaster part of my inner world, flowing with the universe in harmonious union.
In other words, it originates in love, which is both transcendent to human affairs and intimately embedded in them. It’s often referred to as Divine Love to capture that larger context.
Purposelessness brings a large dose of self-awareness to each moment of the day. This means that, in every encounter with another person, I am more aware and concerned about that person than whatever may be on my mind right then. It means that I bring with me a certain detachment from my desires and from outcomes. It means I carry with me a fun-loving spirit, a ready smile, an aura of self-deprecation, a note of whimsy, a bit of clown, a mask of comedy (we all have an ending which is happy), and an engaged demeanor.
For those intentionally pursuing wholeness, purposelessness means taking the whole thing with a note of irony and not much in the way of being overly serious. It means being pleasantly interested in whatever is taking place, including what’s taking place inside oneself. That means I am habitually aware of movements within me, but I approach them as an observer: “there goes attachment,” “there goes desire,” “there goes joy” or “there goes that memory.” It’s like they are a play on the stage and I am in the audience.
As Stephen Colbert would say, “Keep it light; you’re on late night TV.”
Bill O’Brien is a consciousness coach and shamanic practitioner. He and his wife Linda have lived in Shepherdstown since 2005. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.