• Jake West

What is the Purpose of Life

Life is a complicated mix of consciousness and biological needs and desires, of which we can only begin to understand through a subjective, biased lens. So, before I even begin this post, I would like to state that I do not know the purpose of life. All I present in this post is something that I have found to be very true from my own knowledge and understanding of the world around me. Yet by no means does this have to be the case for you or anyone else.

I, like many people, have spent quite some time debating the answer to this question. Some think about this jokingly over beers, while others write in-depth novels on this perplexing question. It is a question that has been around since the first homo-sapien developed a prefrontal cortex large enough to wonder if there was more to life than finding and consuming food. And this question will probably remain as long as a living thing of at least that intelligence exists within this universe.

My answer to this question is simple. The purpose of one’s life is to experience its life, and more broadly, to experience the universe around it.

This all began when talking to a friend of mine. Feeling a bit down, his philosophy of life took the skeptic route. He questioned and pointed out the flaw in caring about anything.

Nothing is real,'' he said. “Everything is a construct built through evolution and natural selection. The only reason we feel joy is because our brains are programmed to do so when we are experiencing something that will probably extend our meaningless lives in either an abstract or concrete way. So, in other words, there is nothing true about it. Plus, it’s all going to end eventually anyways, so what’s the point”.

I considered taking a few paragraphs in order to unpack what my friend said, yet as I wrote, I found out that it was going to take a lot more than a few paragraphs. Therefore, I decided to write a couple of posts that explain the ideas my friend was talking about in his little rant.

As I talked with my friend, I gave him my usual answers to his statement. I explained how it was about the process, not the end. And that the process is filled with emotions that are true to us, and that is all the truth we need to find a life worth living.

Yet none of those answers felt sufficient. I could still feel the persistence of his skeptic mindset and I felt a bit lost for words. Yet, through that confusion, I found clarity. I sat next to him and asked myself what the purpose of life really could be? What could it all be for?

It was then that he asked once again what the point was. What is the point in living if it is just going to end? And then it hit me. All at once I actually felt love and fulfillment in my heart because it all seemed to make sense.

I told him the purpose of life is to experience it, to experience the universe. The beautiful part about a living creature, especially a conscious one, is that only with this creature can things be seen as beautiful. Earth alone is nothing special. The ocean tides are not themselves majestic as the salty breeze goes through your hair. The peaks of mountains are not themselves gorgeous as the sun slowly begins to rise above the horizon. And this universe is not amazing if there is nothing to find it amazing.

As a living creature, I feel that our job is to live. Our duty, our purpose, is to experience and take in the world around us. Because without our thoughts and emotions that connect with these experiences, it would all be for nothing. The tides will move in without anyone to paint them. The sun would set without anyone to gaze into the bending red light. And the universe would continue to exist without anything to call it home.

And don’t get me wrong, I am not saying our purpose in life is to understand the universe. We don’t need to know the temperature outside to know when it feels warm enough to lay in the grass. We don’t need to know the types of trees to understand that the changing color leaves are beautiful. And put simply, we don’t need to understand what we are experiencing to experience it.

I have found that the purpose of life is to experience it the most you can. I believe that we should attempt to live the most experiences and witness the most beautiful things. We don’t need to conquer this universe, we should just acknowledge it. We should just see it for what it is and feel content that it did not go to waste since we were there to experience it.

This universe is beautiful because we are here to believe that it is. Life’s purpose is to live. Not survive, not to grow and modernize, but to instead live. It is to take in everything around us and smile.

What’s the purpose of life? Well, you’re doing it. You do it every day, but very few have the imagination for reality. So, if you want to pursue the purpose of life, then live some more. Experience new things and see what really lies outside of the little box you have stayed within most of your life. Because if you don’t experience these new things, then their beauty and wonder will be lost forever.

Image Credit: https://medium.com

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