This blog ponders about a question humanity has agonized over from the beginning of time: What is the purpose of life?
The article you are reading now, had to be written after I talked about how to find one’s passion, and how it is so easy is to trade your real passion for your desire to make money. Doing this, ensures a life devoid of joy and filled with emptiness.
But trying to force a lavish lifestyle out of our passion isn’t the only problem. Looking for purpose to justify our existence is another way of suffocating our passion and end up bitter and bitten.
What Is The Purpose Of Life? The Liberating, Ugly Truth
We are sentient beings, aware of our own existence. Probably like everything else in the Universe.
Ironically our very mortality is what makes us aware of our existence. Knowing that we will cease to exist makes evident that we are alive. Without death, life would be like water to fish. So evident we miss its very existence – provided fish are as dumb as we believed them to be.
So life is that brief awareness of existence -consciousness – that happens between birth and death. The possibility of that spark of consciousness being without purpose seems distressing. So we look for ways to justify what otherwise would seem like an accident, to give it meaning. We search for ways to give it purpose, instead of loving it for what it is.
Once we find purpose, we have a center to revolve around and a reason to die for. We aren’t lost anymore. Our material dissolution suddenly feels less frightening, and our living less of a waste. We trick ourselves into believing we are leaving a trace, a legacy.
But is purpose only an illusion?
Let The Children Play, Hint: It Is All Only A Game
Have you ever seen toddlers playing? They play, all-the-time, all kind of games. There is no beginning nor end. Roles, timeline, characters, logic and situations are all interchangeable, but one thing remains common through the experience of playing: the games has no goal or purpose. It is played to amuse, to entertain.
Dinosaurs, people, modern day animals and artifacts are all conscious and all take action. They are all equally important. Having no goal, it has no winners or losers so the game is played without strategies or fear.
Since a game can finish at any instant to be replaced with a new one, there is no attachment to it. It finishes as spontaneously as it started. There is no need to justify the time spent playing. Playing has no purpose. Playing is the purpose itself. The outcome is the joy derived from playing.
Innocence and purity are acted out in the form of playing. Detachment of reason and result ARE joy.
Introducing Greed, Introduces Fear, Let’s Kill The Joy
But as our kids grow, we “teach” them to play. We introduce concepts into their playing such as the need of rules, goals, competition, timeline, deadlines, scores, strategy and so on.
By doing this, we not only we secuester the real purpose of their playing, – the pleasure of playing -, but we also taint the very reason they are playing for, with the greed that is mutilating our very humanhood: competing, winning – not losing – at all costs.
Playing becomes a desperate effort to not lose. We develop strategies, anticipating future scenarios, based on past losses.
And if we end up consistently lose, we stop playing. Not playing at all is less painful than consistently being defeated. We stop trying, we stop venturing into the unknown. We anxiously want to become experts at one thing, not to be exposed to ridicule and loss.
So that which was purely pleasurable becomes a source of guilt, excitement, expectation and disappointment. We construct our personality based on something that was and still is, purely a game. People label themselves as good or bad, capable or incapable, based on a game that doesn’t have a purpose other than to amuse us.
Aren We Then Missing The Point?
We ARE, and that is our only purpose: TO BE. And that which we love doing with absolute awareness for the sole purpose of enjoying is call passion. That is life, the game with no purpose.
The purpose is not to have purpose. The purpose is to accept and enjoy our flicker nature. Flying to nowhere, bursting in mid air without leaving a trace. Traveling without moving to reach no destination.
“Living life” isn’t about traveling to exotic destinations or jumping off airplanes. It’s contentment with being. As painful as it is to the ego, there is nothing more to it.
Once you realize there is no purpose in life, life goes back to being a game. A game that is played for its own sake.
As such, you may decide to play the character of savior, good Samaritan, exemplary father, superhero, billionaire, victim or saint. There is no difference between them. They are all characters in the game.
The only difference is that you will work towards eliminating world-hunger or impunity, without getting exhausted emotionally. Since you can’t lose, either win, why to agonize over a result?
You will play the game without dragging your heart through disappointment. You will be a vegan without stepping up in a imaginary moral pedestal admonishing others. You will fight financiers and bad nutritional advice without becoming bitter over their endless stupidity.
Knowing it is all a game, you play it, without investing your emotions on any given result.
That is the only way you can do what you love doing for 50 or 60 years without bruises and scratches, accepting that after all your efforts, nothing would have changed.
Yes, your ego may be screaming and kicking now. But no amount of anger or despair changes the fact that we aren’t meant to transcend. We are not here to free the world of poverty, pain, or chaos; neither to protect the animals, save the world or even to love, but we can surely play the game as if that was the case.
We are a spark of consciousness, a bubble that is meant to burst, a purposeless miracle of pure joy. Let’s stop the delusional BS of self-aggrandizement and play!
How To Live Without Purpose Then? Live Freely And Enjoy The Ride.
I know that what I am saying isn’t easy to digest. But the sooner you come to terms with it, the more joyful your life will be.
Without a specific purpose or goal, the possibilities of what you can do in your life, multiply. Like a match, live your 3 seconds of life and go all out in a burst of fire and glory.
The less serious you take your life, the more you will seem to be able to accomplish. Why? Because without fear, you become the best version of yourself.
Like a kid, be a dinosaur, a mexican luchador, and a pirate all at once. The less you believe on a purpose, the more the pleasure of existing widens.
Breath, look around, take it all in. The universe we interact in, is an orchestra where we all play our part. Everything and everyone plays its role, and somehow, we all play the tune of creation while dancing at the tune of death.
Play the hero, the savior, and the villain. Accept yourself at the core and till the very end.
Live without regret by learning to die at every moment. Detach of that who you think you are and just be.
Accept your mortality, accept your flicker nature. Accept you are nothing more than a dream. The most beautiful dream, the dream of nothingness that became, that dared to be.
Be and let die. Enjoy the music, enjoy the ride, because luckily, it won’t last.