The Purpose of Life
I feel increasingly the need to express my belief in the purpose of life. Why? I know that it is because of my belief that I am able to remain sane and achieve actions in life that go far beyond 'just existing'.
I define 'just existing' as going to work to pay bills and buy things that often are 'wants based' rather than 'needs based'. It's living a controlled life where defined parameters based on judgements and stereotypes rule our lives. Simply it's a stereotypically, westernised life largely based around credit and pious attention to matters that may trigger a 'nice' nerve, such as popping a few coins into a donation jar or doing a fun run for charity every now and then.
'Just existing' is not an existence where the majority of your day is spent in service of others, often at the expense of your 'wants', particularly the ones related to 'more is better' (more money, more prestige, bigger this, newer that, promotions, big superannuation balance etc).
Imagine what life would be like if we were all more considerate of others, especially people who scare us, and that we worried less about ourselves no matter what our circumstances and that the majority of our actions were directed towards service to others?
So what is my belief? My belief is the interconnectedness of everything and this interconnectedness occurs at a very fundamental level. It permeates through everything. It emanates an aura that is as profound as it is simple. It takes silence to recognise it. It requires time to hand yourself over to this interconnectedness through periods of contemplation where we quieten the mind and connect. It's more than mindfulness.
It's within us all. It's not out there. It doesn't require ritual to get it. It doesn't require requests or a special way to connect to it. It's already within us. 'We' just get in the way of seeing it, feeling it, experiencing it. 'We' block it through 'just existing'. Silence gets us out of the way and lets it back in. Silence also goes by the name of contemplation.
Often it will take typically 20 minutes to get a glimpse of it. It's not hiding. Again it's just that ‘we’ get in the way. It's supposed to be that way. That's the human journey. Being human means we have busy minds and big egos. There's nothing wrong with that. Just as a hand has fingers and the fingers go towards identifying the hand as a hand, so we humans have egos and minds that combine to make us human. It's the challenge of achieving a purpose driven life. The challenge is to balance the ego with the connectedness. Actually it's more than balancing it. The aim is to get to about mid life and through life's experiences, especially the really tough experiences (so I hope you do get your fair share of tough experiences), you come to realise that life is more than thoughts and ego. It’s more than you and me. It’s about all of us and the trees and the stars and the insects and the animals and everything – that interconnectedness.
When you realise this you start to increasingly become aware of how insignificant you, me, us, really are. Actually it’s a paradox because you, me, all of us are really very important but in the greater scheme of things we are quite insignificant. So don’t focus on how awesome you are, focus on how awesome it all is, this great big thing we are all a part of. Apparently it’s about 14 billion years old and growing.
Now it can go by many names, this interconnectedness, this awesomeness. I’m going to call it Love. You may call it Science or God or Allah or Goddess or Nature. Call it what you want. Love is cool for me.
As much I dislike breaking things into smaller parts, I will here because unfortunately I think all the time and my thinking gets in the way of simply appreciating Love every moment of the day. Sometimes I get overtaken by thoughts and lose contact with right now and focus on the past or the future and my mind goes everywhere other than where it should be which is right here, right now. I think thinking is great for getting me through this moment, any given moment, but that’s about it. Thinking about the future or the past is simply a waste of time. If I have a plan I detach the future component and focus on what I can do right here right now. So at times when I'm overwhelemd with thinking, I say my little mantra to remind me what Love is and hence what life is all about. Mantras can help with our monkey brains that constantly jump from one branch to another.
So back to breaking down or dissecting Love or giving Love a mantra for when my monkey brain kicks in (sorry to do this to you Love, after all I am only human!).
Love currently for me is humility (the opposite of pride) combined with grace (courteous good will) whilst seeing beauty in everything particularly when it is married to struggle.
Simply put, when monkey brain kicks in which is most of the time, I say to myself, my little mantra:
I particularly like the struggle bit because monkey brain often kicks in when I'm troubled, confused, feeling sad, low, insecure and a myriad of other human experiences. It's a reminder that life is not about a constant experience of happiness. That's exhausting and superficial.
If we all went through life with this vision of Love, I can’t help but feel there would be far more equality and joy in everyone's lives. This is my belief in the purpose of life. It is to achieve a state of humbleness in everything we do such that we serve with grace and in the process see beauty in everything and that in fact beauty and struggle go hand in hand.
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We believe in service to humanity is an integral part of what it mean to be human. Serving with humility and grace. We offer support for people in need. We also offer international support for the disabled. We rely solely on private funding to achieve our work. Please feel free to explore this web site to find out more.
An important part of maximising our day to ensure we are of service, is to be aware that we we are maximising our time in the present moment, which means not focusing on the future or the past. To help us achieve this we use the techniques of Mindfulness and Contemplation. Many of the posts and information on this web site relate to being more present in the "now" through Mindfulness and other Meditative techniques. To further this we offer training in Mindfulness and also the recognised therapeutical tool of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
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