What is the purpose of life? Or, why are we here? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 24 Old 11-06-2009, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
ursusarctos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,498
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
And how do your beliefs about life's purpose shape your life choices?
Everyone welcome. I'm just curious to hear what people have to say, as this is something I am feeling oh-so-unclear about (and have ever since I realized I was going to die some day and entered the angsty teenage phase I thought it would pass, but it hasn't). It would be really interesting to hear others' ideas about this fundamental subject.

Me treehugger.gif and DH caffix.gif and sweet baby DD heartbeat.gif born 08/2011.

ursusarctos is offline  
#2 of 24 Old 11-06-2009, 05:18 PM
 
CatsCradle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York City
Posts: 2,006
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't have time right now to write anything thoughtful, but thank you for starting this thread! I was tempted a while ago to start a thread "What is Truth" but never got around to it. Look forward to all the comments.

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
CatsCradle is offline  
#3 of 24 Old 11-06-2009, 05:46 PM
 
genifer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: In a land, far far away...
Posts: 1,223
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What a good question. I dont have time to go into it either but wanted to sub bc it looks interesting and will probably try to answer what and why I believe later.

genifer is offline  
#4 of 24 Old 11-06-2009, 06:54 PM
 
RoshniD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi All,

I think the purpose of life is to live happily (as much as we can), and make others happy (as much as we can).

We are here to show that we can live happily amd make others happy. We are here to prove that God exists.

At least this is what I think :-)

Roshni
RoshniD is offline  
#5 of 24 Old 11-06-2009, 06:55 PM
 
InchByInch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 250
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
  • To love God with all of our hearts, minds, soul and strength.
  • To love our neighbor as ourselves.

Traditional Catholic, aspiring to everyday sanctity. Mama to two amazing girls. Wife to my best friend.
InchByInch is offline  
#6 of 24 Old 11-06-2009, 06:58 PM
 
earthmama369's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 6,989
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I struggle with this question a lot. In my moments of clarity -- or perhaps optimism -- I feel that we are here to enjoy our time here as best we can, to connect, to be aware, to *live* and love, to embrace the range of human experiences and emotions, and to try to make the world better in some way. That it all weaves together to create a shared experience. In my less-optimistic moments, I'm left floundering and I'm really not sure what the point of it all is or why we have the ability to question so much when there's no proof for any of the answers we come up with.
earthmama369 is offline  
#7 of 24 Old 11-06-2009, 07:04 PM
 
doubledutch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,600
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i agree with the general ideas being discussed but i also think the answer for each individual is more specific. that is, i think individual people have a more specific role/purpose/work to be done . . . and i try to be receptive to indications of what that may be for me
doubledutch is offline  
#8 of 24 Old 11-06-2009, 09:44 PM
 
caitlinlea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I could come back and write a novel about this but my short answer is I don't believe there is an inherent meaning to our existence here but rather it is up to each individual to inject meaning into his or her own life. I do believe in a particular code of ethical conduct - primarily caring for one another and the world we inhabit together and respecting and giving back to the earth that sustains us (something our species is failing miserably at).

It is a wonder to be present here during this sliver of time. I do not believe in any gods, or a creator. Often I am deeply saddened that one brief lifetime in this world is all I may experience......I sometimes hope I'm wrong and that there is some part of our consciousness that lives eternally. The upside is I appreciate every moment I am alive and pursue my passions despite any obstacles I must overcome in the process. I don't take anything for granted and am hyper-aware of my accountability to myself - that my actions and behavior reflect my highest ideals.

I could go on and on......but you get the idea.
caitlinlea is offline  
#9 of 24 Old 11-07-2009, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
ursusarctos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,498
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So cool to hear all these! Keep them coming!

Me treehugger.gif and DH caffix.gif and sweet baby DD heartbeat.gif born 08/2011.

ursusarctos is offline  
#10 of 24 Old 11-07-2009, 12:06 PM
 
Purple Sage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I believe that everything and everyone emanates from a single Divine Source, and our purpose is to realize this in all that we are and everything we do. It takes many lifetimes to do this, as it is no small task! Each lifetime is part of the path to realizing our true nature, and the lessons we need to learn in our lives vary greatly from person to person. I also believe that this Divine Source, which is our true nature, is all Good and that evil and suffering is the result of a perceived disconnect from the Divine Source. So what I feel is my purpose in life is to live virtuously and learn the lessons I came here in this lifetime to learn. I only hope I'm doing an okay job of it!
Purple Sage is offline  
#11 of 24 Old 11-07-2009, 01:39 PM
 
CherryBomb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 8,153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
We were born of love by God and our purpose is to know, love, and serve Him in this life, and to (hopefully!) be with Him forever in Heaven.
CherryBomb is offline  
#12 of 24 Old 11-07-2009, 05:21 PM
 
mamabird83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Western WI
Posts: 108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I beleive if we do have a purpose on this earth, in this lifetime, it is inherently connected to love. Love is possibly the most powerful emotion. When we are able to give and receive love, it becomes exponentially stronger and impacts the world in waves that in turn create more love, that create more love, that create more love, and on and on etc. So what is the purpose of this love? Maybe to overpower hate, to bring humanity to a higher consciousness, to manifest itself until love is all that remains. And God is love, right?

Another aspect to the meaning of life is creation. All animals, including humans, are driven to perpetuate their species and create more of themselves. Humans do this through love. And love in a way has the same drive: to create more of itself and perpetuate love through all time. If God is love, and love's purpose is the creation of more love; then God is recreating himself through love and when humans love they are creating and strengthening God.

Of couse these suppositions like all others beg more questions...

Under these assumptions, if our purpose is to serve and create God by loving oneanother, then what is God's purpose? Or if you prefer a different terminology: If we are here to perpetuate and strengthen love then what is the purpose of an all powerful love, in a cosmic-universal sense?
mamabird83 is offline  
#13 of 24 Old 11-07-2009, 07:40 PM
 
purplepaperclip's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 563
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, my theory of life is a bit more terse. We are born. We live. We die. And the cycle repeats...
purplepaperclip is offline  
#14 of 24 Old 11-08-2009, 12:18 AM
 
NishaG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 353
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I believe that we were created to glorify God, and to do his will. I believe we were created as such to live, happy, balanced and meaningful lives. I believe this will take place on earth, because the Lord's Prayer (or The Our Father Prayer) says to pray for 'His will to take place, as in Heaven, also upon the Earth'. For this was the reason Adam and Eve were created. We were never supposed to die at all. God has no reason to bring us to Heaven because I'm sure he already has enough perfect angels.

NishaG momsling.GIF - Wife to Big K for 20 years - Mama to KJ and KC, and our 1st baby girl, KS, born 1/20/12 familybed1.gif diaper.gif!

NishaG is offline  
#15 of 24 Old 11-08-2009, 01:04 AM
 
lotusdebi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Facebook
Posts: 6,653
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A friend posted this on Facebook today, and it really resonated with me:
Quote:
“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature." ~ Joseph Campbell

You can find me on Facebook. PM for info.
lotusdebi is offline  
#16 of 24 Old 11-09-2009, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
ursusarctos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,498
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Me treehugger.gif and DH caffix.gif and sweet baby DD heartbeat.gif born 08/2011.

ursusarctos is offline  
#17 of 24 Old 11-11-2009, 02:17 PM
 
CatsCradle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York City
Posts: 2,006
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've struggled with clinical depression throughout my life and this is always the question that comes to the forefront. I've gone through various phases where I believe that our only purpose is physical (our place in the physical universe); then I've thought that perhaps our purpose is intellectual/spiritual (with our physical purpose playing an ancillary role). The older I get, however, and the more experiences (both good and bad) that I live through, I become more and more convinced that the interconnectedness between the physical/intellectual/spiritual parts of our existence is paramount to our survival and this world's survival. Every decision and act that I make every day effects something or someone, either in the present or in the future. I feel that my purpose is to minimize the negative impact of my own actions, and to maximize the positive impact. The challenge of my life lies in the fact that I don't know all the answers.

Two quotes come to mind that frame my position:

"To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity for reflection." Henri Poincare (French mathematician, physicist and philosopher)

"Don't waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
CatsCradle is offline  
#18 of 24 Old 11-11-2009, 03:18 PM
 
Teenytoona's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 3,909
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post
I believe that everything and everyone emanates from a single Divine Source, and our purpose is to realize this in all that we are and everything we do. It takes many lifetimes to do this, as it is no small task! Each lifetime is part of the path to realizing our true nature, and the lessons we need to learn in our lives vary greatly from person to person. I also believe that this Divine Source, which is our true nature, is all Good and that evil and suffering is the result of a perceived disconnect from the Divine Source. So what I feel is my purpose in life is to live virtuously and learn the lessons I came here in this lifetime to learn. I only hope I'm doing an okay job of it!
This pretty much says it for me too!

signature currently in transition
Teenytoona is offline  
#19 of 24 Old 11-11-2009, 03:57 PM
 
Oriole's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: by the ocean, lakes and mountains
Posts: 4,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think the purpose to life is to better ourselves, and to better the lives of people around us. To me it all connects to love.

I think we are meant to learn certain lessons (mine's patience, that's for sure ), and to support others in learning theirs.

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
Oriole is offline  
#20 of 24 Old 11-11-2009, 07:12 PM
 
philomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 9,430
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
To love and be loved.
To serve others not as lucky as ourselves.
To strive to be the best version of ourselves we can be.
philomom is offline  
#21 of 24 Old 11-11-2009, 10:28 PM
 
CCJWGM's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wild Leek la-la land
Posts: 335
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The purpose of life to learn the lessons we have been put on this earth to learn and to embrace love instead of fear. Each person is divine and is on their own path and has their own things they need to learn and do. There are certain universal truths that do prevail though. These include the fact that everyone is divine, loving, beautiful, and a direct manifestation of the Creator/God/Allah/Spirit or deity that they choose to believe in. Holding love in your heart in everything you do and abiding by the Golden Rule because what we put out comes back to us.


Blessings of love and light to everyone here. I have greatly enjoyed the answers and look forward to more.

Co-creator, Joyful Wife, and Grateful Mama to angel3.gifenergy.gifand sleepytime.gif
CCJWGM is offline  
#22 of 24 Old 11-11-2009, 10:30 PM
 
akwifeandmomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Anchorage, AK
Posts: 1,020
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The purpose of life is:

Love God.
Love your family.
Love your friends.
Love those God brings into your life.

Apart from this, life has no purpose.
akwifeandmomma is offline  
#23 of 24 Old 11-11-2009, 11:11 PM
 
ThomasL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 343
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My belief is we are here because we chose to be. Before we came here we lived in state of perfection and all knowingness but on the otherside it would be impossible to know by experience as it is a whole different reality but here we temporarly forget our divine origin so we can fulfill what we came he for and part of that includes both joy and pain as we cannot really experience one without the other.
ThomasL is offline  
#24 of 24 Old 11-12-2009, 02:06 AM
 
Unity9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 92
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wanted to explain this in my own words but it is very late. So, I post you some of the holy writings from the Baha'i faith:

Quote:
'Abdu'l-Bahá (son of Baha'u'llah (the prophet of the baha'i faith) gave the wonderful example of the relation of this life to the next life being like the child in the womb; it develops eyes, ears, hands, feet, a tongue, and yet it has nothing to see or hear, it cannot walk or grasp things or speak; all these faculties it is developing for this world. If you tried to explain to an embryo what this world is like could never understand- but it understands when it is born, and its faculties can be used. So we cannot picture our state in the next world.
Hope this answered some of your questions!
Unity9 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off