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early marriage, for example, is
the number one predictor of
Similarly, having to pick a
long-term career before we un-
derstand ourselves often leads to
a mismatch between work and
emerging values. That's why I
recommend in the book, "Until
you find your career and calling,
just get a job. Meanwhile, stay
open to new opportunities."
Monique: The Third Purpose
seems the most mysterious,
based on a number system and
one's date of birth. Where did
you come up with this as the
third purpose of life?
dan: As I explain in the book,
I learned the fundamental ele-
ments of this system from an
unusual mentor. Quite skepti-
cal myself at first, I questioned
how working with the numbers
in one's date of birth could pos-
sibly provide accurate infor-
mation about core elements of
one's life.
It was only after working with
many, many people and years of
study that I fully came to appre-
ciate the power and clarity of this
mysterious method, and how it
provided deep insight into our
individual life path -- informa-
tion usually hidden beneath the
distractions of daily life.
Monique: In The Fourth Pur-
pose, dealing with each arising
moment, you suggest that "there
is no such thing as a future de-
cision?" What do you mean by
dan: Thinking about doing
something is the same as not do-
ing it. We can think about and
talk about decisions we are go-
ing to make (in the future), but
decisions are always made by
action, in the present moment.
The rest is the subjective merry-
go-round. As E.M. Forster wrote,
"How can I know what I think
until I see what I do?"
Monique: What steps can
someone take to immerse them-
selves in each moment, and find
the flow or the zone, as some
athletes experience?
dan: I receive emails from a
number of athletes who have ex-
perienced what feels like a mys-
tical moment of transcendence,
and they want to know how to
be in "the zone" all the time.
I respond that the quality and
intensity of our awareness and
attention change all the time.
Naturally, there may be some
moments that feel extraordinary,
when a golfer can "see" the line
to the hole with absolute clarity,
and a tennis play can put every
shot right on the line. We can
increase such moments of clarity
or absorption by practicing what
we do rather than just doing it.
Monique: Each of the four
purposes leads readers toward
greater clarity -- even spiritual
awakening. In your other books
you describe instances of your
own awakening. Can you select
one recent moment of trans-
cendence and share what you
felt with our readers?
dan: Many people love mir-
acles and moments of transcen-
dence -- the idea of getting
smacked across the head by a
Cosmic Oar -- and many of us
pursue such altered states of
consciousness by various means
and methods. But the reality of
my life has been less like a light
switch turning on, and more like
a dimmer switch slowly turned
up, over time and experience --
brighter in some moments than
Nature has always been my
primary teacher -- watching
streams flow around obstacles,
pursuing the path of least resis-
tance; observing how trees grow
strong roots, but flexible branch-
es that bend in the wind; how
the seasons change in their own
rhythmic cycles.
The natural world, along with
training (in any sport or art) can
teach us all the universal laws
I describe in another book, The
Laws of Spirit. Now I'm happy
to share the four purposes of life
that lend meaning and direction
to anyone's life, in any moment
-- especially helpful for those at
a crossroads, in transition, going
through changes.
The Four Purposes of life: Finding
meaning and direction in a Changing
World, published by hJ Kramer/New
World Library, is available at your
local bookstores. Visit: www.peace
(Continued from page 9)
Change the way you look
at things, and the things
you look at will change.
-- Dr. Wayne Dyer