When this realization arrives, it’s a turning point. It provides the answer to formerly perplexing questions. It brings direction to your life, and guidance for choosing action, and a sense of deeper satisfaction.
Having a higher purpose means that you feel that you are part of something greater than yourself. When you have a higher purpose, you are willing to subordinate your personal concerns, and your life doesn’t orbit around your own wishes and preferences.
This is like, and yet unlike, the enlightened experience.
Enlightenment also creates the effect of shedding personal concerns and of being moved by something higher. But the mechanics of this are subtly different from those of having a higher purpose.
When you enlist yourself in service to something greater than yourself, the distinction between you and the greater something remains.
In enlightenment, you actually just stop being yourself. And then the greater something becomes you and lives through you.
At that point, shedding personal concerns and being moved by greater forces are just by-products of the identity shift. They are not the main event. The identity shift is the main event.
And then a higher purpose has you.