The following is from Rupert Spira, a wonderful Advaita Vedanta teacher.
May all beings be happy, may all beings be at peace.
Julli: Is Presence just a big data bank, or does it have a purpose/plan for all this manifestation of its?
Rupert: ‘A big data bank’ is one of an infinite number of ideas or images that Presence, out of its freedom, is able totake.
We all know that the ultimate purpose in life is love, peace and happiness. That is why everyone seeks them.
Love, peace and happiness are inherent in the Knowing of Being. In fact they are the Knowing of Being.
In other words love, peace and happiness are present as the origin and substance of all appearances, so it cannot be said that the purpose of appearances is to acquire them. They are already present!
It is only a thought that rises up and imagines that Presence is not present, and therefore that love, peace and happiness are not present. With this thought the seamless Oneness of Presence seems to become two things, an entity and a world.
From that moment onwards the apparent entity is condemned to searching in the apparent world for the lost love, peace and happiness, and makes of this search a great mission, purpose or plan. It then imagines that this purpose or plan must be inherent in Consciousness. It is not. It is in the mind alone. The drama in the film is for the image not for the TV screen.
So if we think we are a separate entity, the purpose or plan is to find love, peace and happiness. However, as soon as it become clear that we are not a separate entity, it is simultaneously realized that the ultimate achievement of the apparent person’s purpose or plan is already present prior to and during all appearances, as their origin and substance. It is not achieved as a result of any of the mind’s projects. It is revealed when the mind’s projects are dissolved. In fact it is the mind’s projects that veil the love, peace and happiness. At the same time these projects are inevitable as long as we consider ourselves to be a person.
In other words, Presence knows itself as the love, peace and happiness that is the source and substance of all appearances whilst for the apparent person, love, peace and happiness are their destiny.
That is, for Consciousness there is no purpose or plan. For the apparent person there is a purpose or a plan. In fact the apparent person doesn’t have a plan; it IS a plan. The apparent person IS the search for happiness. Presence is the happiness it is searching for.
How could happiness have a plan? It is already that for which all plans are made.