The Higher Purpose Scam

The Higher Purpose Scam

By Ayan Mukherjee

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

The ‘higher purpose’ scam has infiltrated the New Age/personal growth movement as a marketing tool, a hook to keep you trapped as a lucrative, inadequate customer. Isn’t it time we saw through the scam?

What is the higher purpose scam?

Do you feel that, just because you haven’t published a best-seller, traveled the world, constructed a healing centre, or healed millions with your words and touch, that you are not living up to the exacting standards of your higher purpose? Welcome to the ‘higher purpose’ scam – an invention that is meant to make you feel inadequate just being your regular, everyday self.

The ‘higher purpose’ concept states that we are all divinity (which we are) and hence we are limitless in our potential to create. The lie is that, if you are not living an extraordinary, larger than life, existence, then you haven’t found your “higher purpose” and are pretty much wasting your life. You are doing something wrong if you are not already successful and famous, while doing what you were “meant” to do. Hence, you buy these books, attend these “workshops”, do all the affirming and wanting, while someone else lines their purse with your higher purpose.

How does it affect us?

It affects us by making us feel grossly inadequate for being who we are. Not everyone has grand life plans. Not everyone can be “rich and famous”.

Why is it called “higher” purpose? Does it mean that your day-to-day existence is then some sort of menial, lower purpose? If we are the living expression of god then isn’t whatever we choose majestic in its own way?

Be it a serene walk through a park in spring or getting kissed by your kid as you send her off to school… Looking at the ordinary through the lenses of the extraordinary doesn’t make you feel inadequate, it actually empowers you. And that is what true purpose is about.

But there isn’t much money to be made from that, is there? It doesn’t make you crave to be someone you are not. Where is the money in that?

Having purpose in our life

I like to take the word “higher” out of “higher purpose”.

What does it mean to have purpose in life? How do we measure spiritual success?

We are here on Earth, taken birth in human form, to experience consciousness. We aspire to perfect certain concepts. It could be self-love, self-acceptance, compassion, loving assertiveness or what have you. But as humans we need to experience both sides of the story to learn from it.

What can we aspire for then?

We each experience consciousness differently, and have our own unique perspectives. If you have done tons of experiencing on both sides of the fence of a particular concept, then you have accumulated a lot of wisdom around that concept over time. The universe is so efficient in its workings, it conspires to help you share the lessons of your unique perspective – be it with your neighbor or the rest of the world – so then taking that opportunity becomes your prime ‘purpose’ as a conscious being in this life. By doing this, you fulfil what comes naturally to you, without being made to feel inadequate.

Finally, live, love, laugh and enjoy your human experience. It is our only true purpose here on Earth. When the fruits of our personal wisdom ripen, the universe will find us a way for us to share them, in our own unique way. As for the bestseller and the healing clinic… Feel adequate for being who you are. Find the extraordinary in your ordinary life and the extraordinary will take care of itself.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. ~ Albert Einstein.

About the author:

Ayan Mukherjee is a jack of many trades who is trying to master a few. A data analyst by profession, psychotherapist by aspiration, grounded spiritualist by nature, he is constantly shedding his skin and seeking new, life affirming experiences. Find out what really makes Ayan tick at The Emotionalyst:


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  • “Finally, live, love, laugh and enjoy your human experience. It is our only true purpose here on Earth. ” I disagree with the author on this statement. We do have a purpose and you may call it a higher purpose for some. Namely to keep our living environment, called planet Earth, in good shape for all of humanity. Unfortunately ‘Finally, live, love, laugh and enjoy your human experience. It is our only true purpose here on Earth’ means personal destruction for most of the population: via overconsumption of polluted foods, destruction of the environment and general disregard of each others right to a healthy existence. So yes we have a higher purpose than that!!!!

    • Thanks for your comment Nemi Nath. Your point actually makes sense. Though what you are alluding to sounds more like a responsibility to me and different from a “higher” purpose for which you are made to feel inadequate.
      Taking care of our planet is like keeping our home in a good shape. In my books it actually should be more of a moral obligation than a purpose, where we have an inherent choice.
      What if we add the word “mindfully” in that sentence that you disagreed on? So “live mindfully” might make it work.
      Thanks for your valuable input… Cheers.

  • Shaun King

    @Nemi – if you’ve read any of the authors other posts, you would know that to “Live, love, laugh and enjoy” means more than just over consumption and following your basest desires.

    This post, like many, is a breath of fresh air amongst the last 10-20 years of spiritual indoctrination we’ve all received to the detriment of our survival.

    It’s the same as the story we’ve been taught about our “naughty” ego, that supposedly needs to be conquered.

    There is no higher purpose, there is no ego, there is nothing you need to conquer about yourself.

    Live, Love and Laugh … love it and thankyou for another taste of reality.

  • Kendra

    The word ‘higher’ has to do with a relationship that is personal. I never related it to marketing and feelings of inadequacy. That seems so obviously not ‘higher’ but okay… That said, I think all of us have some work to do in connecting with our ‘higher’ purpose. Its about self-love and connection, and having the courage to make decisions based on integrity. This is what I call ‘higher.’ Life is complicated though; its pretty difficult to say what is right for others when we are all at different stages and most of what we see is a reflection.