GOAL: the driving force of the personality

Goal - happiness

THE GOAL is one of the key character traits chosen by the soul, before birth, for the life to come. It is the underlying motivation which drives the personality through life.

What is the goal?

Every personality has a goal in life. I don’t mean specifics like having lots of money or climbing Everest. Rather, there is an overall direction we each want our life to take, a theme we want to pursue. The goal is the quality of life we seek to create for ourselves.

For example:

  • For some people it is about power and the exercise of will; they want to be the dominant force in their own life (see goal of Dominance).
  • For some it is about having good, harmonious relationships; they desire to love and be loved (see goal of Acceptance).
  • For some it is about living up to their own potential; they feel driven to push themselves, to become the best they can be (see goal of Growth).

Along with the MODE and ATTITUDE, the goal is one of the key components of our true character, our true personality. And like all overleaves, it can change from one life to the next.

Goal and choices in life

Our goal is like an undercurrent that moves us through life, directly affecting the choices we make from one situation to the next. Small, seemingly insignificant decisions, made many times over many years, can have big overall effects on the course of life.

Imagine a pair of twins who are identical apart from having different goals — one with Dominance, say, and the other with Acceptance. Over time, despite starting off in exactly the same place, they will go through life in increasingly different directions.

Of course the goal isn’t the only thing affecting the choices we make. Early in life there are also factors like parental expectations and peer pressure. And in reality, the choices we make are always dependent upon the options available. Because of these factors, we might sometimes make many choices which “go against the grain” — decisions that are not consistent with our real goal in life. As a result, though, we tend to feel mysteriously frustrated and dissatisfied.

But generally this all changes when we get to mid-life and start feeling that the time has come to be more consistent with who we really are. Part of the whole mid-life turning point is about acknowledging our real goal in life and setting aside false intentions.

The seven goals

There are seven possible goals, though some are more prevalent than others.

As with all overleaves, there are three cardinal-ordinal pairs of goals (for INSPIRATION, EXPRESSION and ACTION) and there is one neutral goal (for ASSIMILATION).

7-goals-axes

    .

  • The inspiration goals, Growth and Retardation, are about ways of being and becoming, realising more (or less) of our potential. The focus is on the raw experience of life, and with these goals we make choices which primarily affect ourselves.
  • The actions goals, Dominance and Submission, are both about the exercise of will and focus on either wielding or yielding power. We make choices which primarily affect others.
  • The expression goals, Acceptance and Rejection, are both about the relationship between ourselves and others. We make choices which primarily affect our relationships in life, either attracting or repelling others in general.

Introversion-extroversion

The seven goals can be arranged in order from the most introverted to the most extroverted:

  1. Retardation
  2. Rejection
  3. Submission
  4. Relaxation
  5. Acceptance
  6. Growth
  7. Dominance

Growth, Acceptance and Dominance are the cardinal goals in their respective pairs. That is, they are proactive, expansive, forward-looking. Having a cardinal goal is like marching forwards saying, “I am going on a journey in this direction.”

Retardation, Rejection and Submission are the ordinal goals in each pair. They are more reactive, corrective, inward-looking. It’s like saying, “Whoa, I need to stop myself from going in that direction.”

The seventh goal, the assimilation goal, is the neutral point in the middle, the pivot of the three see-saws. While the first six goals try to push or pull life in a particular direction,  Relaxation is more like a kind of ‘non-goal’ — a case of just taking life as it comes, going with the flow. It has no specific aim other than just allowing life to unfold its own way.

Mission statements

Each goal can be thought of as a kind of mission statement by the soul:

GROWTH: “I want to advance in my evolution. I shall live a challenging life and be the best I can be.” RETARDATION: “I want to pause, re-evaluate something. I shall live a life in which I am severely restricted in some way.”
ACCEPTANCE: “I want to develop my connectedness with others. I shall willingly accept others into my life.” REJECTION: “I want to avoid being influenced by others. I shall be myself regardless of what others think.”
DOMINANCE: “I want to assert my own will to achieve results in life. I shall be the one in charge.” SUBMISSION: “I want to surrender my own will. I shall be a good follower of others in charge.”
 

RELAXATION: “I’ll just take each day as it comes. I have no specific intentions in life.”

Positive and negative poles

As with all the overleaves, each goal has a positive and negative pole.

The positive and negative poles of each goal are as follows:

GOAL + positive negative
1 Retardation atavism withdrawal
2 Rejection discrimination prejudice
3 Submission devotion subservience
4 Relaxation flow stagnation
5 Acceptance agape ingratiation
6 Growth comprehension confusion
7 Dominance leadership dictatorship

The positive and negative poles can be best understood in terms of where we are coming from when we make choices. Either we are coming from ego, which takes us to the negative pole,  or we are coming from essence, which takes us to the positive pole.

For example, let’s say your goal in this life is Dominance. Your ego will want to interpret this as “Listen, everybody, just do as I say,” which is dictatorship. In contrast, your essence (your spirit or true inner being) will interpret this as “I can make great things happen through your willing participation,” which is leadership.

The positive pole represents the soul’s influence on the personality. The negative pole represents the ego’s influence on the personality. Making choices with the positive pole is the work of essence and leads to harmony. Making choices with the negative pole is the work of fear and leads to conflict.

The definitions of the positive and negative poles are explained on the following pages where I cover each of the goals in detail.

GrowthRetardation

AcceptanceRejection

DominanceSubmission

Relaxation

The goal and the life task

As we plan a lifetime before birth, we decide on at least one key challenge we hope to achieve within it. This is known as the LIFE TASK.

More often than not, this life task is not tackled directly until we reach mature adulthood. Until then, the way life unfolds is a sort of preparation, a training exercise, getting us to the right place and in the right frame of mind to work on our life task.

The overleaves — primarily the goal, mode and attitude — are the framework with which the soul intends to complete the life task.

Although they may sound similar in name, the goal is not the same thing as the life task. The goal is more generic. It’s like a certain flavour or colour that’s added to your human personality as a way to help you get on with your life task when the time comes.

In my case, for example, my current life’s task is “to accumulate and communicate knowledge in a spirit of joy”, while my goal is Growth. Now as a Scholar soul, accumulating knowledge is simply what I do. It’s my nature. The challenge I have apparently set myself is to communicate my knowledge to others — and to do so in a spirit of joy, or for the sheer fun of it. This is quite a stretch I can tell you!

So with my goal of Growth, throughout my life so far I have indeed had this drive to extend myself through thick and thin, to keep pushing the envelope of my limitations, to grow through rich and varied experiences, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’. This has helped bring me to a good place from which I can now work on my life task. And it feels right. A different goal, however, would probably not have brought me to the same place.

The goal is chosen to give the incarnate soul — the human personality — the motivational drive that will support it in living and growing in accordance with its life task. Acting from the positive pole of the goal (making wise, loving, fearless choices) tends to advance the life task; acting from the negative pole works against it.

Learning through the goal

It is often said that Earth is a school for evolving souls. But as the Conversations With God books make clear, souls don’t incarnate on Earth in order to learn who they are. The personality often seeks to know who it is, but the soul already knows. After all, the nature of our soul is no mystery to us between lives! No, we incarnate in order to experience being who we already are (with the Growth and Retardation goals); to fully and truthfully express who we are in relation to others (with the Acceptance and Rejection goals); and how to act from who we are as powerful free agents (with the Dominance and Submission goals).

In other words, we are learning to be the spiritual beings we already know ourselves to be, but in physical human form.

Goal: the driving force of the personality

GrowthRetardation

AcceptanceRejection

DominanceSubmission

Relaxation

The Michael Teachings

41 thoughts on “GOAL: the driving force of the personality

    • Hi Margo

      Sorry for the late response – I am on holiday.

      I keep setting myself the goal of putting together a self-assessment test for each of the overleaves but failing to get around to it. (So thank you for the reminder!)

      Knowing our own goal can be confusing because all seven goals are present (or latent) within us, and we might experience different ones at different times during a typical day. In the long term, however, there will be an overriding preference. In my case, my goal (growth) felt “obvious” when I read about it.

      Think of it this way…

      As we go through life, there are always six different directions we can choose to sail in. There is also a seventh option which is to just passively drift wherever life’s currents take us. Imagine a compass rose depicting the six life directions (the neutral one would be in the middle… no particular direction). So instead of north, south, etc., we have dominance, acceptance, etc.

      On a moment-by-moment timescale we might flip between different directions, zig-zagging around, reacting to one situation after another. In a restaurant, for example, I might feel motivated first of all to get the waiter to like me (acceptance), then to get my wife to eat a particular meal (dominance), then to relax and enjoy the food as it comes (contentment)… Nevertheless, I have an underlying “current” that always pulls me in the direction of seeking interesting and stimulating experiences (growth). This isn’t simply a reaction to whatever situation I happen to be in. It is there in every situation, sometimes off in the background and sometimes very much to the fore.

      One way to contemplate your goal is to ask yourself what you most want to have experienced before you reach the end of your life. In other words, if you are lying on your death bed say next week or next year, what is the main aspect of life you would miss? Or, what is the aspect you would regret not having had enough of?

      Good, loving relationships (Acceptance)
      Showing outspoken individualism (Rejection)
      Interesting, challenging experiences (Growth)
      Slow, silent simplicity (Retardation)
      Taking charge, making things happen (Dominance)
      Devotion to a good cause (Submission)
      Just going with the flow (Contentment)

      So one’s specific motivations can change and react to situations, but the goal is a consistent motivation throughout life. That said,

      (a) If you have trouble identifying a specific goal, that could actually be an indication that you have the neutral goal (contenment/flow), so maybe ask yourself if you are happy for life to go its own way.

      (b) The goal is more active earlier in life, setting us in the right direction to take on our life task. As we get past middle age the specific goal becomes less relevant. If you happen to be, say, 60+, you might now be more interested in balance than drawn to one particular direction.

    • Being a Gemini makes figuring out these goals, modes, and personality things tricky as hell for me… lol I swear most of those wouldn’t NOT apply to me… All the same, I just recently found this website and am thoroughly enjoying exploring it… I plan to think on these personality overleafs more carefully tomorrow or the next day when I won’t be busy or tired… 😛 Thank you for putting this website together; I think it might help me organize a little better perhaps… or at least give me something to think about… It certainly already has… <3 Blessings!

    • nothing is ever black and white, it is possible to have multiple life goals at the same time, but there has to be a goal more dominant than others.

  1. Definitely “growth” this time. Trying to balance out the retardation from last time (whether it fits “retardation” or not, that’s how I see it). Secondary is acceptance. The most appealing is contentment, sounds so cool. On the other hand people who say “take is as it comes” a lot appear static and boring as if they don’t want to deal with stuff. It’s hard to talk with them to get their opinion – they never have any.

  2. Hi Barry. I really do appreciate the work you’ve put into this website, and the eloquent sharing of your deep understanding of these teachings by Michael.

    I know I’m definitely not a Scholar – as I’m becoming more confused as too many goals and roles seem to fit, partially. 😀

    See you at the Enlightenment Intensive. 🙂

    • Hi Colin!

      Confusion is the negative pole of Growth, so perhaps that’s a clue…!?

      For the record, as far as I know, no one has ever had a direct experience of their role, goal or whatever on an Enlightenment Intensive. The Michael teachings describe the many different ways of being, while enlightenment reveals the truth of being per se, i.e. the absolute.

      Anyway, thanks for the kind words.
      Looking forward to seeing you in August,

      Barry

    • Mine too. My goal is definitely Growth but I do spend a lot of time wondering about how well I fit in with others. But I think the thing with Growth is that it covers all bases – you are expanding in whatever way you need to in order to move on.

      Think of Dominance, Submission, Acceptance and Rejection as “the four corners of the Earth” – four typical ways of relating. Growth means trying to rise above all that, gaining wisdom in how it all fits together, perceiving the bigger picture (Retardation, in contrast, is like going underground, avoiding all that messy relationship stuff.)

      It always reminds me of the Serenity Prayer: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Growth = knowing when to use power vs when to get on with people.

    • Hi Barry =] I like the way you go into *further explainations on everything,, it’s great how just continuing to read into (the Bonus ‘replys’ section,;) seeing other people’s thoughts,, and I like when you end up expanding on points,, Then I come away with an even *better understanding ~thumbs Up =]

  3. Hi Barry, I’ve been reading your blog lately and had a question regarding a recent experience I’ve had. I had recently a very emotional breakdown and true realization of how I am perceived by others. I sense that my goal has changed from retardation to submission. I can’t recognize myself in previous pictures to myself now and I know I’m not a walk in. Is this possible for a goal to change in the middle of ones life?

    • I have heard of this happening, yes. As soon as we are conscious enough in life to make reasonable and responsible choices, we can tinker with whatever plan was set up – free will is always the primary factor. I’m not sure in your case if this change of direction was all part of the original plan or if you have simply chosen to change direction mid-course for whatever reason. Perhaps you planned your life to go in one direction (with retardation) but made a contingency plan to go with another goal (submission) if things didn’t work out as planned, i.e. post-breakdown. Or, perhaps you deliberately planned to start in one direction – retardation – then have some sort of critical experience such as a breakdown, then take yourself into a new direction – submission. Does either of those possibilities have resonance for you?
      Barry

    • I feel the second option makes the most sense. I’ve had to deal with what appeared to be autism or asperges my whole life until I came to that realization of self, causing me to breakdown and then a spirit entering my body and healing me. I think this was planned pre-incarnate so I could use that childhood and adolescent experience of disability to help people later in my life, as a profession. After all I couldn’t help others who are disabled If I myself am disabled too. Thats why my life goal had to change and now. The weirdest thing is when I look at previous pictures of myself before the breakdown I look slightly retarded, and I never noticed this before.

    • That’s so fascinating. Something else that occurs to me is the possibility that you have actually taken a step up in soul level within this life. (Usually we “level up” between lives, after assimilating the lessons of the life just gone.) So perhaps you first finished off whatever you needed to assimilate in order to complete one level, then had a “rebirth” to start the next.

    • Hi Barry, I feel like my competence is skyrocketing by the minute. I don’t know whats happening. Im looking at pictures of friends of mine from high school and they look dumb to me. I cant understand this.

  4. Hi Barry, well I talked to my dad about my situation and I decided just to come to the conclusion that I’m going crazy. I cant figure out whats happening and dont really care to. I’ll just let go and let things be.

    – Adam

  5. Hi Barry, I think I figured out what happened. I was in the goal of retardation and I was withdrawing from life, nothing was going well. I was just becoming a recluse. Now I sense I switched over to the goal of growth, because I feel very energized and different. I dont know how long Ill be in this goal though?

    • Ah, that makes sense. We do occasionally swing to the opposite of one trait to get out of a negative hole. For example, my goal is Growth, which is sometimes like being on a runaway train, and occasionally I get overwhelmed so I have to slow down (retard), introspect and re-evaluate to find myself again before jumping back onto the Growth train. Conversely, those who are in Retardation can lapse into complete withdrawal from life, which is hardly beneficial, so to “come back” they have to swing over into the positive pole of Growth (comprehension – looking beyond the familiar, taking on new experiences, appreciating the bigger picture) so that they can then switch back to the positive pole of Retardation.

  6. Hello Barry, Its Adam. I had a Michael Teachings chart done recently. My life goal happens to be Rejection. As for the brain issues It would seem that my Intelligence has naturally gone up over the past week significantly. Is this actually possible for such a brain shift to occur? I used to be seen as dumb now I’m suddenly normal, and I cant even be too sure I wont become more intelligent in the near future. Any insight is appreciated.

    • Hi Adam,

      Rejection? I’m not sensing that from you, but I could be wrong. Does it feel right to you?

      As for your intelligence… Various possibilities spring to mind. One is that you are simply using the intelligence you always had but which you had suppressed for some reason. For example, if one is raised to believe that he is ‘dumb’, he will act dumb until he discovers otherwise.

      Another possibility is that you’ve had some sort of energetic or chemical transformation that has altered the way your brain works. Some people have experienced shifts in their thinking abilities and persoective while on psychedelics such as LSD, or as a result of meditation. But have to admit, this is very curious and I’m not sure what to make of it.

    • I feel rejection or “discrimination” according to the chart is probably accurate. As for the brain shifts, I sense I was living at a much younger mental age my whole life until recently when things started to shift. Looking back at old chat logs with friends and things that I’ve done in my past it would seem about right that my mental age shifted. My uncle always told me I’m like an 8 year old, comparing me to my cousin who’s that age. After this shift recently he started to notice a difference in me and started to respect me more, same with my parents and other relatives. This is the most logical conclusion that I can come to, that a brain chemical shift occurred and changed my mental maturity.
      -Adam

  7. I love everything that is put up on the website. I’ll just be turning 18. I have never had many friends, all the people who know me find me selfish or self-centred. Having lived most of my life in just doing well at studies, probably because I had no choice any way, as I really lacked self confidence. Eventually, I fell in love in 10th grade. I did come to know later on that he didn’t trust me and I had an intution all through that I was being deceived. Also, I was very guilty, for hiding things for my parents. Over my intermediate years in 11th and 12th grade, my life seemed to take a turn. What people thought about me didn’t seem to matter anymore, I lost my enthusiasm to achieve any goal in matters of studies and career. I have exams going on for colleges, and the fact that I won’t get into good colleges doesn’t seem to matter to me. The test you put up says I have a server soul, and I do believe I have been used a lot by my partner in the relationship. I think my chief character is self-depreciation. I’m unable to identify my goal, it can be anything but dominance. What I think about myself is entirely different from what my family and friends thinks of me: they think I’m selfish, I’ll-tempered and dominant. At some points of time, I don’t care about what is going on in the world around me, and at others I feel deeply connected. It’s all a mystery of what kind of person I am. After reading about reincarnation of the soul, what i do doesn’t seem to matter anymore. Although there is Karma, I will be happy to face all the results because eventually it’ll only help me grow.

    Sorry for putting everything here all at once.. There are two experiences that make me feel really connected..

    There was a bomb blast in my city a few months after my brake-up, I wasn’t really over everything then. It felt like I was a part of the people who took many lives, I was someone like their reason or driving force for the bomb blast. Can it be because of my usual hanging on to guilt? (I feel Or is it some sort of feeling that makes me feel very connected to everyone else?
    The other thing is about a dream that I got, I could see my soul(I think they were souls) and another soul sort of overlapping or meeting a little but not becoming merging.. And I think the other soul is that of the guy I loved. I keep analysing if he was actually right and I was wrong.. But my thoughts keep turning and for a while(weeks) now I have been thinking that he has done wrong to me and these thoughts seem to be permanent now. If I remember that I have had a dream, I mostly remember it. My dreams have sort of been a powerful form of intution that tell me what is happening in my life or will be happening although I have been ignoring them till now and regretting later. I would love to have your views on all this. Thank you so much! 🙂

    • Hi nitin, good question.

      One way to think of it is as follows:

      From a higher perspective, your Goal is like the “path of highest priority” as it will lead you most directly towards the fulfilment of your life’s task or purpose. From the perspective of the personality, however, the Goal is like your “default setting”, the direction your just normally or generally seem to go in, even though you may go off down other paths for a while.

      Having a single Goal doesn’t mean you are in any way compelled to always act on it, and it alone. Sometimes it is healthy and appropriate to swing between opposite Goals. For example, I have the goal of Growth but every now and then I get overwhelmed and I need to follow some sort of simplistic, unchallenging path of “retardation” – just until I decompress and regain my sense of clarity and feel enthusiastic about trying something new (or having a new crisis throw in my face!). There have also been times when I have consciously pursued Acceptance, having realised that my personality often came across as rather aloof and not easily approachable.

      All goals – as inner drives – are accessible throughout life. The more conscious we are, the more we can perceive and decide our own motivations — but even then we will tend to prefer our chosen Goal because it is the most appropriate for whatever it is we feel like doing in life.

      Hope this makes sense,

      Barry

  8. Barry,

    Much Love.
    Do you know the Statistical Breakdown of the Goals? What % of the population has each?

    I’ve created a quiz you may be interested in checking out/possibly utilizing, but I want to see if my outcome %s are decent enough.

    Thanks,
    Zach.

    • According to The Michael Handbook, it’s something like :
      40% Growth
      30% Acceptance
      10% Dominance
      10% Submission
      7% Contentment (Stagnation/Flow)
      2% Rejection
      1% Retardation

  9. Hi Barry
    Makes perfect sense to me. I’m a 71 year-old grandmother, blogger and creative writer; getting better and better all the time: definitely growth! Thanks for the input.

  10. Hi Barry,
    Thank you so much for this incredible blog. and your brilliant knowledge.
    Since my partner of 48 years has passed, your blog has given me tremendous comfort and insight, it has literally saved my life!!!
    I am struggling to find / discover my “Life Task” or more simply…..
    a “Purpose” !!!
    I recently had a Michael Reading Chart done.
    Role is Priest
    Goal is Growth
    Attitude is Spiritualist
    Mode is Passion
    Center is Physical
    Chief Obstacle is Stubbornness
    Body Type is Saturnian
    Soul age Mature
    I am confused what a “Cadence Position” means / implies.
    On my chart it states Cadence 3…..Greater Cadence 1
    Barry..;.. insight you may have I will greatly appreciate.
    Robert

    • Hi Robert

      OK, the cadence and greater cadence are all to do with CASTING — see here if you haven’t already:

      http://personalityspirituality.net/articles/the-michael-teachings/casting-your-place-in-the-cosmos/

      CADENCE is Michael-speak for “small soul group of origin” — a group of seven of course. It’s the smallest unit of soul organisation there is. Your cadence position is the position you uniquely occupy in that group. Your cadence-mates are your closest soul-siblings.

      Groups are organised into larger groups, so guess what – a GREATER CADENCE is simply a group of 7 small groups. (49 souls)

      The position one occupies in a group, and the position of that group in its larger group, directly relates to one’s sense of purpose. As ever in the Michael teachings, 1 equates to the Server archetype, 2 to Artisan, and so on. So being in position 1, for example, adds a Server-like thrust to one’s way of being.

      If you’re a Priest soul, presumably you will have a natural talent for inspiring others to reach for a higher good, but if you were (let’s say) the occupier of position 3 in your small group (cadence), then you would have a Warrior-like sense of purpose added to your Priestly nature. In other words, you’d be happiest when you’re being direct and feisty and maybe a little confrontational in how you go about inspiring others.

      I’m not clear from what you state if 3 is actually your position in your cadence is, or if 3 is your cadence’s position in the greater cadence, so I don’t know if 3/Warrior applies as I’ve just described.

      Hope this makes sense

      cheers

    • Thank you Barry.
      Yes, it does make sense. [sort of]
      According to my chart:
      Cadence 3
      Grater Cadence 1
      Its quite a challenge for my “pea brain” to digest !!
      Fascinating stuff……Thanks again.
      Robert

  11. I believe that we all interpret life in a certain way and I respect your interpretation, and I thank you for sharing it. However, I’d like to hear what you think of my interpretation.
    I feel like what’s described as these goals are actually two things way different than something in our soul before we are born.
    First, they are a direct result of our personality. Someone who tends to be more introverted and motivated would probably have submission or rejection traits, such as discrimination or prejudice and devotion or subservience.
    Second, I believe that, as you mentioned, we all apply all of these goals in our everyday life. But contrary to what you say, I feel like that is where it matters the most (in contrary to finding the main one we belong to). And the way I interpret this is that we should all seek in our everyday actions whether we are in the positive or in the negative poles of each ”goal”. I think we should also consider whether we are opting for the right ”goal” in the appropriate situation. I believe there are times when we realize we should be using leadership, because we feel like our experience and knowledge can benefit others. But sometimes we fail at doing so and realize it might have been better for everyone if we had used discrimination (for example).
    So, to me, the real goal would be to first recognize when to use the proper ”goal” (which id rather call something like ”mindset” or even ”attitude”) and to secondly find where we have been in the negative pole and to try to turn to the positive pole the next time we use that ”goal” / ”mindset”.
    Finally, as someone who got here by asking himself whats his/our purpose and how we can make our soul grow, by looking at these goals logically, i can’t comprehend why a soul’s goal could be Contentment. I think contentment is a Great part of the human experience of life, but I don’t see how it can be a soul’s purpose. As mentioned, it is ”neutral”. I don’t see how a purpose can be neutral. I believe that Growth is a common purpose for every soul and that other of these goals are just part of it, depending on the opportunities that will occur in your life. Its your surroundings and own experiences through Growth that will determine whether its better for you to opt for submission (if you find a great leader) or Dominance (if you have experience and knowledge to share to specific people) or else.. i believe..
    What do you think? 🙂

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for the questions.

      The six non-neutral goals are like paths or corridors that we slowly walk down in life. The neutral goal, in contrast, is more like a waiting room with all six corridors leading away from it. Those with the neutral goal – which I have here called Contentment, but which others call Stagnation or Flow or Relaxation – are content to sit in the waiting room, occasionally going for a walk down this corridor or that corridor – whichever seems attractive at the time – but then returning back to base in the waiting room. They have no specific undercurrent of motivation. They are content just to be here and go with the flow. This is, in fact, the core teaching of Buddhism, probably because the Buddha himself had this goal.

      My guess is that, in fact, you have the neutral goal, which could explain why you are finding it harder to relate to the idea of having a single life goal.

      In my own experience with the goal of Growth, I have felt this constant twitch to grow throughout my entire life, for as long as I’ve been self-aware. Constant growth is exhausting, however, so this has been tempered now and then by occasionally swinging into Retardation, either by choice (meditation retreats) or by “accident” (debilitating illness).

      I have occasionally engaged in Acceptance and Rejection when circumstances called for it. I have NEVER ONCE experienced any desire to either lead or to submit to others (Dominance/Submission). So in my experience, my goal is certainly primary and consistent.

      Someone who tends to be more introverted and motivated would probably have submission or rejection traits, such as discrimination or prejudice and devotion or subservience.

      Absolutely not. One’s degree of introversion/extraversion comes about as the net effect of one’s personality traits, not the other way round. Having a goal of Dominance makes you more extraverted (outward-focused) than having a goal of Submission. But the goal is only one component of personality, and the chosen settings for the other components (mode, attitude, chief feature and centering) could make a person with a goal of Submission come across as quite extraverted.

      i can’t comprehend why a soul’s goal could be Contentment

      When we go on vacation, our aim is usually to relax and have fun and let go of the worries of ‘real life’ This is essentially what happens when a soul chooses to spend an entire lifetime in neutral (as it were). They are ‘on vacation’ rather than ‘studying for exams’ or ‘working towards a qualification’. They are enjoying a life of little friction. This is usually chosen after spending one or more lives in very heavy friction, such as living through the horrors of war or abuse. A life of contentment enables them to come back to Earth without experiencing horror or overwhelming drama, so they can recuperate and feel at home ‘down here’.

      Then, they are all set up to go reaching once more for inner development through lives of Growth, Rejection, etc.

    • Thanks for your reply, Barry. Its very appreciated.
      I think ive got most of your answer. The only thing im not sure is when you say
      ”My guess is that, in fact, you have the neutral goal, which could explain why you are finding it harder to relate to the idea of having a single life goal. ”
      Im not sure if I explained my thoughts well enough, but I think we still a a single life goal, and im trying to find it. And I see growth as everyone’s goal, although ”growth” is pretty broad and im still trying to put a finger on how its done.
      However considering a soul’s multiple lifes, i understand that i could be in Contentment / relaxation right now. Thanks for clearing that up.

      On an unrelated point, and i dont know if you can help me with that, but sometimes i feel like my soul has to heal, because, for exemple, i find pleasure in listening to sad music, which some people clearly can’t relate to. To me, the more the music makes me feel sad and nostalgic, the more i like it. Its comforting me. However, you must know that ive had a very easy life up to now. So.. theres nothing to heal here really. I havent lost people that were very close and havent lived any kind of serious shock. That’s why my only guess is that i could have a soul that has lived harsh things.
      What do you think?
      Thanks

  12. I understand what you have said.
    My question is …..is a soul singular?
    Do not the people in your life….In this life time not matter or play a part?
    I have deeply loved people who have passed, and they have played a huge part of who I am and what I have become as a person / soul.
    Are souls purely singular?? With only their own objective to advance?
    I’m confused about that aspect….because my past and the people in it
    have made me who I am.
    Please help.

    • If I understand correctly, you seem to be assuming a dichotomy – either we are singular, autonomous beings OR we are interdependent with others and play a key role in one anothers’ existence.

      I don’t see it as a dichotomy however. Both perspectives are true.

      Within its own consciousness, each soul is an individual ‘atom’ with complete autonomy and self-responsibility. At the same time, from a more expanded perspective, each soul is an integral part of a web of relationships, and relationships are the sole means by which any soul can grow. So in striving to develop itself, each soul has to participate in the development of others.

      You say that other people have made you who you are. This is true only from a human perspective. Your parents, for example, will have contributed to shaping your sense of self in your early years, before you were self-aware in this life. But from your soul’s perspective, you chose your parents precisely so that they would do that. So it’s equally true YOU have made you who you are through your choice of relationships with others. It’s just a matter of perspective.

      Besides, one of the inherent qualities of each soul is love, and so the more we develop, the more we feel and express altruistic love for others. Likewise, an inherent quality of the universe as a whole is interconnectedness and unity. The more we develp as individuals, the more we become aware of our interconnectedness and unity with all-that-is.

      In fact, there is an even bigger picture which – to the rational mind – could seem to contradict the above. We are all one and the same Being, having fragmented into a zillion consciousnesses to experience existence from a zillion different and unique perspectives, but all working our way towards the ultimate perspective of realising our original oneness as one and the same Being.

      So … Yes, the soul is singular, responsible for its own evolution. Yes, relationships play an integral and essential part in every soul’s existence and evolution. And also, the distinction between self and other is ultimately an illusion, or at least a matter of perspective, given that all perspectives ultimately “belong” to The One.

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