The meaning of life is a philosophical question concerning the significance of life or existence in general. It can also be expressed in different forms, such as "Why are we here?", "What is life all about?", and "What is the purpose of existence?" It has been the subject of much philosophical,scientific, and theological speculation throughout history. There have been a large number of proposed answers to these questions from many different cultural and ideologicalbackgrounds.
The meaning of life is in the philosophical and religious conceptions of existence, social ties, consciousness, andhappiness, and borders on many other issues, such as symbolic meaning, ontology, value, purpose, ethics, good and evil, free will, the existence of one or multiple Gods, conceptions of God, the soul, and the afterlife. Scientific contributions focus primarily on describing related empirical facts about the universe, exploring the context and parameters concerning the 'how' of life. Science also studies and can provide recommendations for the pursuit of well-being and a related conception of morality. An alternative,humanistic approach poses the question "What is the meaning of my life?" The value of the question pertaining to the purpose of life may coincide with the achievement of ultimate reality, or a feeling of oneness, or even a feeling of sacredness.
One of Post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin's most famous paintings.
“Where Do We Come From? What Are We here? Where Are We Going?” For what purpose are we here?
What I'm going to argue in this post is that evolutionary theory provides an answer to this sense of the question as well. But before I get to that, let's survey some of the interesting answers that people have given to the question of the meaning of life over the ages. Do you sometimes wonder what the purpose of life is? If you are not sure, you may be looking at life the wrong way. You may have a view of life as a path. However, there is another way to see life. Read on to find out what that way is.
Let’s first take a look at the conventional way to understand life as a path. Do you see your life as a path? That’s an image that is often used in the realm of spirituality personal growth. I’m guilty of it myself.
This implies that we are struggling towards a pinnacle. We overcome hardship and climb up and up towards…well, towards what, exactly? In the spiritual realm we might say that we climb towards enlightenment, wisdom, awakening, or…what? In the realm of personal growth we might imagine that we are climbing towards, success, wealth, personal fulfillment, or …what?
We are pulled through life by promises like a donkey by carrots. We are always moving towards that pinnacle. First we go to kindergarten and then we look forward to primary school. We are told how wonderful it will be when we finally go to college. And then to university. Finally, as good citizens we embark on a career, a relationship, maybe a family. It seems that we are at last approaching the pinnacle of our life. (One of our readers, Jonathan Meads, sent me a funny and enlightening cartoon clip that illustrates this. Do have a look at it here.) What pinnacle? More often than not, the pinnacle turns out to be redundancy, or illness. And then – one day the sun goes behind a cloud – and we die. Just like that.
Now, tell me again – where was that pinnacle? Did I miss it?
The strange thing is that for a long time the pinnacle seems to be in the future. Just out of reach. Then, from one moment to the next, it seems to be in the past. You’re suddenly beyond it. You’re a ‘has-been’. And you can’t quite remember what the pinnacle should have been. All you know is that you’ve missed it.
DISCOVER PURPOSE OF LIFE
How do you discover your real purpose in life? I’m not talking about your job, your daily responsibilities, or even your long-term goals. I mean the real reason why you’re here at all...