You’re right, this is another redundant attempt to understand the ‘purpose of life’, if there’s any. Looks like it is a question that will stick with the human race forever…
Let me recollect what the greatest writer of all time had to say.
The man had it clear with his, “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.”
If we go by the monologue from William Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy As You Like It – life is a play and world is the stage – one thing is clear: we all have predefined parts to play. The plot is written by someone else and we are the actors. And likewise, the ‘purpose of life’ should be to perform those parts correct. But the question is – what are those parts?
If I had to guess, I would say the purpose is to keep going while at the same time keep forgetting. It’s like a morning drive, only where the morning never ceases and you don’t spend too much time thinking about the intersection you just crossed. The purpose of life is nothing other than the journey of life. There’s no destination. No goal is the final goal. No mistake is your final mistake. There’s no karma to decide your end, because there’s no end. It’s all an unending cycle. There’s only the journey, and us walking. Humans.. more like puppets, playing parts in a play bigger than us all, written by who-the-hell-knows-who.
We come to this planet, which is full of different forms of life, probably against our will. Because, let’s face it, none of us would choose this planet if we had the choice. The first few years remain a blur for the rest our lives. Everything we know about our birth and childhood, we know as stories. Stories of “our” childhood shared by our guardians as part “their” memory. A Mockery!
Naturally, we are not programmed to remember a good chunk of our initial life. Scientifically speaking, it’s because young brains take time to develop the cortex required for holding memories. But if we start referencing science, the whole point of existence could be described by tissues and cells, and who’s here for that?
Anyway, it’s amazing how we believe everything we’re told about our childhood. And then as soon as our individual path begins, we start craving for answers. We hold on to our memories. We think we mean something; we try to find purpose in relationships, in success, in love, and in glory. What we forget is all these things are momentary, which is why they’ll always fail to provide real purpose. See them collectively, and you’ll see the journey. The purpose?
Not many would agree and I can understand why. One of my favourite philosophers, Socrates had a completely different yet interesting idea about knowing anything about life.
Have you heard of Socratic paradox? – “I know that I know nothing”. Can anything be truer than this for mankind? This is the plainest simplest fact that we just need to accept. Yet we fail.
At his trial, Socrates also uttered his famous dictum – the unexamined life is not worth living. Again, no truer words have ever been spoken. Socrates ‘examination of life’, many think, was about him choosing death over a life separated from Socratic debate by exile. He chose death over compromising with his ideas. In modern sense, the “examined life” appears to be more about reflection. While moving forward in life, always leave enough space to take a few steps back, examine the path you’re following, make sure it’s something you believe in, and only then move forward.
This conversation must move towards existential crisis to come full circle. Even though, our world doesn’t appreciate asking too many questions, nothing has ever stopped us from prying for answers of unanswerable questions. “What is it to be alive? Or the meaning of it all?” are such questions. For centuries we have, at least once in their lives, struggled to find answers to these questions. While some claim to find answers in faith, religion or even cults, others accept the unreasonableness of such questions.
I, for one, do believe these questions are unreasonable. I do believe spending too much time with them can only bring desolation. Yet, I do believe at least once in your lifetime, you have to fight the battle against these questions. You have to ask yourself – why are you here?
Check out more amazing posts by Romika on her blog greyish sunshine