03 Apr The Purpose of Life
The purpose of life is to have a wonderful and happy life, realize our divine potential and help others do likewise.
Happiness is a function of gratitude, optimism and freedom from the karmic prison of our past lives, the days of our life now passed.
Gratitude is the realization that even the seemingly worst days could always be worse. Thus, we are always grateful. When grateful we are “great-full,” full with the feeling that all is great.
The etymology of happy is “hap” which means luck. When we realize how lucky we are relative to most who are here now or who once were and are no longer, we are grateful and happy.
In the absence of gratitude, complaining thrives. Complaining is the manifestation of selfishness. While complaining feels good temporarily, it precludes long-term happiness. Complaining is selfish as in doing so we are oblivious of others who are truly suffering, those who would be very happy in our circumstances. When we view our lives from the perspective of those who are suffering, it’s clear we have much about which to be grateful. Thus, one of the most significant choices in life is selfishness or happiness.
Nothing is perfect but the universe which God has created. As everything but the universe is imperfect, when we are oblivious to God’s perfect creation it is easy to find some aspect of everything about which to complain. As God gives us bodily form to enjoy ourselves and have happy lives, by complaining we risk that God hears us complaining and self-entertains by putting us in harm’s way; giving us something about which to truly complain.
At fundamental truth is that all things, including our circumstances, are temporary and forever changing. As what is now will soon be no longer, when we are in difficult circumstances, we are happy if we are optimistic, knowing that our circumstances will change for better or worse but sooner or later for the better.
Freedom From Karmic Prisons
Karma is the intentions, actions and consequences in our prior lives (days now passed as each day is a lifetime) that we weave into generalizations, meanings and stories which frame our experience of the present as it unfolds. In effect, they imprison us, keeping us from experiencing the ever-changing and unique present which is essential to feeling alive and happy.
To free ourselves from our karmic prisons, we need to realize that our past and all our stories are an illusion that is made seemingly real by our mind. Tangibly, this means that we forgive all who we perceive as having done us wrong in the past as they are now not the person they once were and we are not the person who was wronged. Likewise, we don’t have feelings of entitlement, expecting those whom we’ve treated well in the past to treat us well now or in the future as we and they today are not the people we were in prior lifetimes.
REALIZING OUR DIVINE POTENTIAL
Humans are a transitional species, part animal and part divine consciousness. We are born as animals and are socialized as animals. As animals we view ourselves as apart and separate from that which is not ourselves. In that context, we effort to fulfill our needs for food, shelter, security, health and companionship with little regard for that which is not ourselves. Simply, we are selfish.
The ultimate human potential is the realization of divine consciousness; the realization that we and the universe are one. This is enlightenment. Enlightened, we are one with the light and one with everything as everything is light. As enlightened beings, we treat others as we treat ourselves (compassion) and we avail ourselves of the perspectives of others (wisdom), not solely the perspective from our finite selves. Enlightened, we find most people funny as they take their singular perspectives seriously, thinking they know that of which they have only a limited understanding.
To awaken others is like the process of awakening ourselves. We arouse their curiosity by questioning them as to who we are, why are we are here in life, why is he universe here. Answering these questions is difficult and frustrating work as we need to see beyond ourselves. Yet the work is simple; reflecting on the nature of mind and the universe. The work can lead to near exhaustion like a dog endlessly chasing its tail. Then, suddenly, we stop and fall down laughing at the absurdity of our chasing our tail, as we realize we were enlightened from the very beginning.