As the Moral Warrior first fought for his freedom, then set out to satisfy the basic necessities of life before he could pursue other interests, we must do the same. Purpose can no more be separated from spiritual preservation than profit can be separated from physical preservation. Each is responsible for the other. The primary purpose of every human being is life itself. No further values are possible without life’s needs first served. But beyond the sub-elements of food and shelter, there must be a reason for such effort’s continuance: life’s enjoyment.
There is natural resistance to life, and the most effective means of accumulating and spending the energy necessary to overcome it is found by selecting a reason to live—a purpose. Purpose itself has a purpose, serving a crucial role within a volitional being. First, overcoming this resistance sets a hierarchy of goals driven by personal interest for the individual to spend his lifetime accomplishing. Second, it steers the individual to embark on a path of self-development, inspiring commitment toward gathering the knowledge and ability needed to live and to satisfy his desires. Third, it lengthens his range and depth of thought, allowing him to see and consider the entire span of his life and set his goals according to the investment of time and energy necessary for the attainment of each. This assures the most productive and efficient use of his tools of cognition (cognitive steps 1 and 2), as a map for his creative action (cognitive step 3), and opens the door to the highest levels of spiritual accomplishment: the true maturation of his intellect. Purpose exists as foreman in the construction of our whole tree of knowledge.
At the top of the pyramid, our purpose guides and oversees all integration below, sorting what will help or hinder its attainment. All that lies beneath it is similar for every man—just existential data—yet without a central purpose, a human being is rudderless. Without a main intention there are no chains to run up or down, to set priorities, establishing order in hierarchies of importance. Without a central purpose, one floats disconnected to the whole of one’s life and is unable to tell day by day, issue by issue, what is moral or immoral; what furthers or threatens one’s goals and desires. We can be swept in any adverse direction by the ceaseless flow of data streaming into our senses every moment if we don’t take conscious control. It must be gleaned of essentials by our ultimate volitional filter: our purpose, so the stream carries us closer to where we want to go. We have no choice in building a knowledge tree, but its value to us—what it will contain, its effectiveness and the purposes it will serve—is up to us. Having lifelong goals breeds cognizance of the long-range effects of any circumstance, to assure we don’t end up in the wrong place.