What is the Purpose of Life?
‘What is the purpose of life’ is perhaps one of the most pondered existential questions throughout humanity’s time on Earth. Yet, despite millennia of seeking, through countless religious philosophies and spiritual practices, it’s as though we’re no nearer to the truth than we ever were. However, if we don’t know our purpose here, then we risk living our entire lives meaninglessly, chasing illusions, and ultimately wasting our one opportunity here on Earth. Today, I’d like to explore this ancient philosophical question once more in hope to provide seekers with a deeper sense of clarity regarding their directions in life, perceptions of the universe, and responsibilities towards oneself and others.
Our Place in the Universe
Before we begin asking about life purpose, it’s important to first understand our place and position within the universe. Only by first establishing who and where we are, can we then further build on it and explore what we are doing here.
From a scientific standpoint, we are a product of the universe. The same atomic particles that make up our bodies can also be found in all structures within the cosmos. Physically speaking, we are a piece of the whole and the whole is the entire universe. However, what creates separation is the sense of individual self, also known as the ego, which is a result of our mind having a conscious experience of its own.
By understanding the bigger picture, and the universal scale is as big as it gets, we realize just how insignificant we are. Keeping this in mind, what possible grand purpose are we expected to carry out? All thought of purpose and meaning, when being considered from this greater perspective, is ultimately egocentric and self-important.
Oneness is Key
And herein lies the source of all our suffering, anxiety, and problems in life. We are perceiving the flow of the universe through the microscopic lens of a single human being. And as we watch this movie unfold on such a cosmic scale, we believe ourselves to be in the center of it all, placing so much importance on our one life while significantly downplaying the lives of everyone and everything else. If this is how we live and experience life, we end up asking all the wrong questions. We create a myriad of barriers and concepts that lead us further down our own imprisonment, and as a result, we feel a great sense of disconnect and discontent.
What separates will create anxiety. What unites will bring peace. We must make sure our perception of the universe, life and our position within it is in congruence with nature. Only then will we stand a chance at answering such existential questions regarding purpose, meaning and self.
Purpose of Life is Optional
What I’ve found is that when we look at life through the universal lens, many of such questions either answer themselves, or disappear altogether. By seeing ourselves as part of the universe, and not a separate individual entity, we naturally live peacefully, harmoniously, and lovingly. These are all ingredients for a meaningful and fulfilling life, and it all begins with correcting our perception and position from which we perceive life.
We don’t need someone to tell us to practice morality, to be kind to others, and to protect our environment, when we see ourselves in others and feel the universe as our timeless home. We were born from this Earth and we will return back to it when its time. In fact, we never separated from it and never will. There is no inside and outside, within and without. It’s always been this way and will continue as such until the end of time. Our purpose is whatever we choose it to be, but ultimately, it doesn’t matter and that’s okay. The wave will always remain part of the ocean. It can never escape as much as it tries.
Instead of placing so much importance on ourselves and asking all these self-important questions, let’s just enjoy our dance with the universe and experience life as deeply and consciously as we can. Of course, if you wish to create a purpose in the meantime, that’s okay too.