What is the Purpose of Life?
I have been digging for something for months now; what it is is still a mystery to me. Lately I’ve found myself nodding my head in apparent affirmation to articles and treatises about determinism vs indeterminism and the implications that quantum mechanics has on them. I’m no physicist, nor do I purport to be an authority on the matter, but some of these topics resonate so absolutely within me.
When I think about life, I am confounded for multiple reasons. The idea that there is a God who is omniscient and has directly interacted with us is baffling in its own right. Then I found myself asking the question that philosophers & theologians alike have pondered for thousands of years: if God is omniscient, then does free will truly exist? Calvinist Christian doctrines believe that God already knows and has chosen who is going to heaven or hell, this belief is known as predestination. This of course opens the door to inquiries about the legitimacy of free choice, the implications on morality, and other fundamental human questions.
Last night I watched the first half of the 2nd Matrix installment, Matrix: Reloaded. However, this time I paused it frequently to discover the meaning of each character and the underlying commentary on the human condition. There is a dialogue between the protagonist, Neo, and the primary antagonist, Smith. Smith says to Neo, “I’m going to take away from you that which you have taken away from us, PURPOSE”. This line followed his explanation of what purpose was of course. But this dialogue got me thinking about so much in this world. Being raised in a moderate Christian family, I had to make several decisions as to whether I believed my life’s purpose to revolve around God or not.
I’ve often sat alone in my room pondering such phenomena as light travel, success, the aggregation of wealth, self esteem, and pride. I’ve often closed my eyes and wondered why the world is so diverse, how 10 people can describe 1 thing 10 different ways. I’ve pondered perception and perspective, the legitimacy of human recollection and human description and I fight against my natural inclination towards futility.
The idea that all lives on this earth have a purpose is valid to me because the definition of purpose in this context can be refined and altered. Moreover, purpose can be zoomed in or zoomed out depending on the person, effectively capturing the magnitude of that individuals contribution to the world. Therefore whether you were a homemaker from Iowa or the president of the United States, the idea that your life had a purpose would still remain valid.
I warned you that I haven’t been able to pinpoint what exactly I’m looking for.
But I think the premise of my cogitation pivots on this fulcrum: since I was a kid I’ve been told that the world is this concrete static place, when in fact very little is concrete or certain. That uncertainty is what ultimately reflects back on human flaw or fallibility, exacerbating our already potent inadequacies. There is no time, no true value to money, no unified theories, no race, no culture, or no rules. There is nothing truly real except that which cannot be seen. I’m starting to sound like an Idealist, which I’m not classically, but I do agree with certain precepts. The only things that are real in life are the metaphysical blessings. God, love, inspiration, happiness etc. The world is simply the medium by which the universe attempts to communicate this with our lesser intelligence.
We place so much value on jobs, corporate culture, internships, formal education, and politics when in reality NONE of that shit matters. Life is not static. Its invariably plastic, constantly shifting and being remolded as we experience it. This is why science, religion, and everything in between are changed every 10 years. Because we are trying to make concrete that which is unreal.
So what is the purpose of life? To understand that which is real.
I’m getting closer.