As we enter the new year, let us make an effort to understand life. Let's begin with some of the most important and basic questions and try to find their answers to have a better idea of the purpose of life, our goal and how we are supposed to achieve it.
Obviously, the foremost questions are:
What is life?
Why are we here?
What are we supposed to do and why?
We must have an understanding of life, even if it is only our own version. We cannot just go on doing something without knowing it or having a perception of what it is.
Life on earth has been a result of unbelievable serendipity. We can either call it a coincidence or some higher power’s design. Even if we are able to scientifically explain the series of events that led to the creation of life on earth (or the creation of earth itself), we will still be left with some unanswered questions. It is because creation cannot happen out of nothing. There must be something which gets transformed into the new thing. So, there will always be a question of where did the first thing come from. And that is a strong contention in favour of life being a higher power’s design. However, let’s just leave it at that and keep an open mind without ruling out any of the two possibilities.
So, life is either a monumental coincidence or a higher power’s creation.
Now, let’s try to find out why we are here. If life is a coincidence, then what can be the reason behind it? Interestingly, the moment we assign a reason to a coincidence, it ceases to be one. The “reason” becomes the catalyst that has caused the event to occur. So, a coincidence cannot have a reason. Hence, if life is a coincidence, then there is no reason behind us being here. We just happen to be here.
If we just happen to be here, what are we supposed to do and why? We arrive at the third question.
What do we do with something we get without demanding or wishing for it? In most cases, we fritter it away because we do not value something which we get without making an effort; only to realize later that it could have been used in some way or other. So, even if we just happen to be here, we should embrace life as something precious and make the best use of it. Not because it is virtuous, but because it is the intelligent thing to do.
Now, let us analyse the other possibility of life being a higher power’s brain child. What could have tempted the higher power to create life? It might have been the case that the higher power wanted to do an experiment and came up with a pet project. Alternatively, the higher power might have wished to create something else but ended up creating life. Otherwise, life might be a by-product of something which the higher power created which is even grander than life; something that we do not know of yet.
You create something on your own for one of the following reasons:
- To get something done or make a task easier for yourself.
- To help someone else with something.
- To come up with something profound that is marvelled at, like a great piece of art.
- Just for fun.
What is it that the higher power would like to do in a better way using her creation called life? Whatever the higher power wants to achieve by creating life can be deduced from the kind of abilities and power possessed by living things. The higher power must have given those abilities to living things to enable them to accomplish what she wants them to achieve and in turn serve the larger purpose that she has in mind (there is no point pondering what it is as our role will remain the same). That means all the capabilities that we have today have been provided to us for a reason and we can contribute to the larger scheme of things of the HP only by using our capabilities to the full potential.
The second reason can be ruled out as the higher power represents singularity and has no peers as it is the root cause of all the energy and things, living or non-living. So, there is no point of helping someone else.
If the higher power’s goal was to create something profound, then as mentioned before she would enable us accordingly to help us achieve what she wants us to. Only then can we play a role in the realization of the higher power’s dream. So, in order to volunteer, we have to use our strength completely and serve the purpose.
If it was done just for fun, then as discussed before, we just happen to be here. So, why not make hay while the sun shines.
So, in both cases, it all comes down to this: We are supposed to use all our capabilities to the fullest and make the best use of life.
Now, the question is how to do that? Before we delve into the ‘how’ part, we need to know our capabilities. Only then can we use them. Two basic attributes that we have at our disposal are our mind and body. So, we need to use both these faculties to their maximum extent. Does this mean we should keep our mind and body busy and running at all times just for the sake of it? Definitely not! So, the next question is that where should we apply our strength? We know we have to use it to the fullest but for which task? We can use our body and mind to accomplish several tasks but which is the one for us?
We can be our best only at something we like to do. Although we may excel at something which is not to our liking by working hard but we would definitely be able to achieve way more if the task happens to be something we like. But a task must end with an accomplishment and not just a sense of it. If at the end of the task, you have not accomplished anything, then it was not a task; it was a recreation.
Task here also means something that is futuristic and long term. So, if your aim is to make a career out of it, then you should get back to it. However, if you are investing a lot of time in it but not willing to pursue it further, then it should not take up the major part of your day. So, we need to find what we are passionate about and give it our best.