Monday, 10 April 2017

Introspection 10 : Purpose of Human Life

Objective : We will try, by direct observation only, to arrive at the answer of an often asked question - Why are we here? Or in other words - What is the purpose of this human life?

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Prerequisites: Just like those for previous introspections.

Before we ask

This is one of those easy questions, however I still find people who struggle to answer it. The reason is - beliefs. What else can occlude an answer? So all we need to do is - clear beliefs, clean the slate, and the answer becomes very obvious. So much so that there remains no doubt about it.

So how to do that? You must let go of all previous opinions, ideas, beliefs, doubts, and "knowledge" that you got from books or great people. Become totally innocent or agnostic. You need to do that only for a few minutes for which this introspection would last. You can pick them up back if needed at all.

The easiest way to do it is to pretend that you know nothing about the subject. You will find that all your past knowledge will remain intact, but now you see it in a different light. However, the false will be destroyed. Beliefs do not stand the impact of knowledge.

The meeting room

Before we dive into a direct experience of what's going on with us in this world, I'd like to prepare you with an analogy. It makes everything easy to understand.

Imagine that one fine day you find yourself in a big room. You see a big table, chairs placed around it, people sitting in chairs and engaged in some activity. You see yourself sitting there, and you see a notepad in front of you, with some agenda written on it. You see that everyone has got some pads, some even have thick files, and some are busy scribbling. Everything is normal, except you have no memory of why you are there, and what are you doing there. Its a strange situation, because you do not even remember coming there, you forgot where your home is, you don't remember taking up this job.

So obviously, you ask yourself - Why am I here? What am I doing here in this big room with a bunch of strange people? What minimum can you conclude? First thing - you are here to attend a meeting. The room, the notepads, the people, water bottles before them and everything suggests that you are supposed to be in a meeting, and this is a meeting room. This is most certain, you cannot question that. For example, you are not here to play golf. That would be the case if you found yourself in a big lawn with a long stick in your hand and a ball placed on the ground. So you can exclude this possibility. You can go ahead and exclude many more possibilities.

For example, you are not here to cut down the table and turn it into cupboards for your house, else you would be here with a saw and tools. It'd be foolish to search for those tools and cry when you can't find them in the room.

You see that some chairs are too small for some colleagues there, and out of pity and compassion you demand bigger chairs for all to end their suffering. You not only can't see that they are just too fat to fit in any chair, you also look like an idiot to your wiser colleagues.

If you find that some people are destroying the beautiful furniture there by pounding on it, scratching it with a paperclip, spilling coffee on the carpet etc, you may feel concern, and if you are the boss there, you can order some decency, else you keep your mouth shut and ensure that you do not join them in this mindless destruction. Its not your room.

Once you are certain of your situation, you can now take a look at the agenda and can proceed to do the needful. Your past, now forgotten, has no bearing on present situation. You have only two options - carry on with the meeting or leave the room. But since you know that the meeting will be over sooner or later, you are not in a hurry to leave, because if you leave now you will never know why you came here. You may find some answers to this mystery in the meeting itself.

Why are we here?

One fine day, you find yourself in a world, a collection of countless things, and you have no memory of how you got here, you remember nothing at all, except you have this list of unwanted desires and needs you must fulfill. You also see a monkey suit, in which you are apparently trapped. You call it a body, and strangely, there are many more with similar bodies with agendas of their own. Its a strange situation because you do not know how you arrived here, you can't recall boarding for this trip.

So obviously, as soon as you get your senses back, you ask - why am I here? What am I doing here? What minimum can you conclude? You observe, take a look around. There is a world, there is a body. The body is well equipped to be in a world of this kind, and the world has everything the body needs. There are these unexplainable tendencies and desires and behaviours. You find that your agenda is - happiness and freedom. No matter how you take it up, you always end up with this agenda. So one thing is certain - you are here to have an experience of the world in a body which is limited but is tailored for this experience. You are well equipped to interact with others and to carry on with your agenda/goals. Now, this is very certain, you cannot question it.

But you can still question it apparently. For example, why this particular experience? Why not some other "better" one? Perhaps I'm here to do something more "important"? You will see that when you try to get answers to those, they do not make any sense. You will find no evidence to support those assumptions.

For example, you are not here to collect wealth, shiny stuff, own things and people. Else you would come here with a truck and would start packing up for the home. You find that you can use stuff, which lasts for a while, but you cannot own it. People leave, and even your now favorite monkey suit breaks down, you can't take it with you. All you take away is a bunch of experiences. You can exclude many more possibilities.

For example, you are not here to please everyone, make them happy and end their suffering. You will find that the world has enough of everything - clean air, water, abundant land and food, money and stuff, but people are not content with their needs, they have big mouths, tummies and deep pockets. Anything and everything you drop there simply disappears into this abyss of greed and ignorance.

You find that some people are bent on destroying this world, this is your worry, why can't they think of the children, you ask. If you are capable and are in power, you can do some damage control, a bit of repair here and there. But if you are an ordinary Joe, and you find that the most powerful and rich are the ones causing most destruction, you simply do your own thing, you stop destroying the world, you stop rampant consumption and madness you find others are engaged in. This is not your world, things are being created, and things are being destroyed. It is perfect, it is what it is.

You find that you have just enough tools to have this human experience, not more not less. Its foolish to demand more tools and abilities and cry when you can't get them. The limitations are necessary by-product of such an experience. Without these particular limitations, you'd still have an experience, but not this experience. That means only one thing - you are here to have only this experience, not the other one, not the "better" one, not the worse one.

You find that whatever agenda you set, you end up with only one thing to do - be happy and free. You have all the tools and potential to do that. You see that the best way to do this is by ending ignorance. Knowledge is what remains when the dust of ignorance is wiped off. So you are already happy and free. All you need to do is be that.

Once you realize this, and you are most certain of it, you proceed with the agenda, and enjoy this wild ride called human life. You have only two options - live or leave. But since you know that this experience will end sooner or later, you choose to stay. You never know, perhaps this experience of life may reveal some greater mystery one day.

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