text and photo © Jonathan Zap
The answer might be the highest value activities, but it might also be to relax and do nothing, and quite often it will be some mundane task that simply has to get done like the laundry. Meaning and purpose are not merely to be found in the glamorous dramatic moments of life. If we had a moment by moment description of the world-saving quest of the Fellowship of the Ring we would find that most of their days were filled with mundane tasks — hiking down the trail, gathering fire wood, establishing a campsite, etc. It’s been said that, “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.” The Warrior brings the same focus and impeccability to whatever the moment requires, whether the moment is dramatic or mundane. Your mission in life is not just about the dramatic moments or the high value activities; it is about every single step you take on your journey between birth and death.
Your Sacred Quest is what you incarnated here to accomplish, the path of your True Will, that which you will remember well on your deathbed. If you do not know your Sacred Quest, then be alert to what stirs your depths and ask yourself what you will remember well on your deathbed. Your Sacred Quest is likely to involve a combination of two factors: working on your own development/consciousness/wholeness and your service to others. If you neglect your Sacred Quest then your life is bound in shallows and in miseries, and the life-giving rhythms of the eons become the dread ticking of the clock. The only tragedy in life is not to fulfill your Sacred Quest.
See: The Capsule of Intentionality for a ritual system that formalizes a ritual system for designing and executing your quest. Here are a few excerpts:
Level One participation in the Capsule of Intentionality ritual system requires that you compose a Mission Statement. Mission Statement is capitalized because it will consist of the most important words in your life. The Mission Statement is a twenty-five word or less statement of your deepest intentions — the purposes, goals, and meanings you are living for.
Writing twenty-five words or less does not take long, but composing these words is worth all the time and soul-searching that it takes to come up with them. If you can’t formulate a Mission Statement then your life is adrift. I can’t imagine waking up in the morning, and certainly can’t see walking out the front door to do anything without an implicit Mission Statement. The fact that you may never have written down a Mission Statement, of course, doesn’t mean you lack one. Your Mission Statement may well be implicit in your thoughts and actions. But it is a major step toward clarity, focus and effective action to clarify your Mission Statement, writing it on paper so that it becomes a concrete object that you carry with you always.
Your Mission Statement itself is more than symbolic. It is representative of your intentionality, but it is also the literal, functional, language-coded core of your life.
Your Capsule of Intentionality represents your striving to stay true to certain principles and aims, and to maintain continuity of will through time as the chaotic storms rage inside of you and in the world about you. This does not mean that your Mission Statement needs to be unchanging. In level two of this ritual system you will be taking out and copying over your Mission Statement every day. At any time you can modify or radically change your Mission Statement. But you should never do this for superficial reasons or without careful thought and reflection. Before you change your Mission Statement you need to go into your deepest self to be sure about what you are doing. Take your Mission Statement out and copy it over once a day before sleep or upon awakening if you wish. As an absolute minimum, I would take out the Mission Statement and reexamine it, and how well you are living by it, every birthday.
LEVEL TWO — -Lifeline Mission Parameters
Level two involves a daily ritual that builds on level one. Every evening or every morning take out your Mission Statement and write it out on another piece of paper. Then on the back of this paper write down specific goals, tasks, actions that are congruent with the goals of your Mission Statement. You can call this side of the page Lifeline Mission Parameters. For example, visit with a friend, go to work, write in your journal, exercise, buy groceries, are all examples of specific activities. You’ll know at the end of the day whether you wrote in your journal or bought groceries or not. I would avoid generalities like “work harder” or “try to relax.” This is a place to write down specific goals rather than self-admonitions. This list is different than a to do list. First, you must make sure that every important part of your Mission Statement has a corresponding action on the Lifeline Mission Parameters side. If you have long-term goals, then make sure you have a corresponding activity listed on the Lifeline Mission Parameters side of the paper. If you have long-term goals it is important to take some action on them every day, even if it is only ten minutes worth. If it seems silly to write down something as inevitable as “go to work” do it anyway, because the immense energy involved deserves recognition on the paper and you deserve the recognition of a major item to check at the end of the day. If there are items on the paper that you might forget, record them elsewhere so you can keep them in mind. Each one of these activities should be a “Lifeline Mission Objective” meaning something that helps to further or sustain your life. Buying groceries or picking up an application may not be very glamorous, but they are absolutely authentic parts of your quest. In fact, whether or not you carry out these actions will be the real test of your intentionality. Remember, intentionality is revealed by actions, not wishes.