UNDERSTANDING THE MEANING AND PURPOSE OF LIFE

LIFE 

Introduction: At an observatory look at our world, we would notice the palpable presence of a gamut of existing things, things existing in various kinds and degrees, manifesting different natures and all collectively contributing to the very beauty of the world. Within this apparent manifestation of existing things there appears to be different levels of existence, levels occasioned by qualities possessed by things. The quality of a thing’s existence determines to a large extent its place in the world of existing things. (our physical world)

A closer observation into existential phenomena would reveal to us that some things possess some special qualities that enable them to initiate self-movement and the capability to reproduce themselves. This special quality that distinguishes them from sharing in the same level of existence with the existents that lack this quality is called life.

This extraordinary quality, called life, stands at the heart of the universe, its very presence is what gives newness of being to the world. It confers energy and beauty to the world, simply put; it animates existence.

Life essentially permeates our universe; it pervades existing things in different ways (even though not all existing things). At almost every turn one’s consciousness is instantly drawn to the presence of life in several things. We notice the appearance of life in varying degrees and various manifestations. From the microscopic germ cell to the full fledged human being there is life satiating things and animating their existence.

But, at this point a critical question must be raised, which is: what is actually life? What is the meaning and purpose of life? Why is life? What role has life to play in existence? And most importantly why am I alive?

These are some of the elusive questions that confront our existence both as individuals and as a people.

To know the benefits of a thing, one must know the value and purpose of that thing, for where an appreciable knowledge of the value and purpose of a thing is lacking, abuse is inevitable (abuse being the abnormal usage of a thing). The same principle applies to life. Most people abuse and misuse their life for sheer ignorance of what life is all about, they spend their whole time (existence) on earth living an artificial life, a borrowed life. A life predicated on the expectations of others for them rather than their main purpose. People live false lives to impress others; they betray their personal values for mere ephemerals and renege the promises and visions of their lives in pursuance of attractive elusive ventures that serve no meaningful purposive end. Hence they live their lives as an extension of others, and borrowers instead of owners, making their whole live a wrong experiment, they virtually exist without living.

The purpose of this write-up, is to help shape, redirect and reposition your life for better effectiveness and efficiency, this would be achieved by leading you to the understanding of the real meaning and purpose of life, and to explain to you, what life is fundamentally all about, so that from this basic knowledge of what life is all about, you can rediscover the meaning and purpose of your own life and faithfully chart your personal course in life.

To do this I shall begin with the vital question: What is life? To understand the meaning of life, I shall distinguish life from existence.

What is the Purpose of Life?

This question is a very crucial one that finds its place at the core of our existence, an effective answer to this question is like an effective antidote to a major health challenge, it acts like an alchemy to the problems of life. The answer is however simple: The essence of life in the world is to attain perfection that is why all things existing in the world grow and develop themselves.

The fundamental principle and quality of life is force i.e. ability to discharge force – which is responsible for self-movement in all living things, it is also accountable for growth and development in them. Every living thing grows and develops, at the very moment it loses this ability it is declared dead.

In man, the human being as a being that possesses life strives towards growth and development. The life he possesses is responsible for both his physical growth and spiritual development and for life to fully serve its purpose in him the two componential natures of his person body and soul most develop simultaneously.

At birth, the human being appears first undeveloped, untouched and potentially unhatched but possessing all the requisite potentialities for the maximum fulfilment of his nature. The purpose of life in the world is to attain perfection, the human being from the very moment of conception even as a foetus begins an uninterrupted and inexorable journey towards perfection, towards actuality. Hence the human life is said to be an inexorable movement from potentiality to actuality, from an undeveloped primary state to a developed secondary state, from an unexploited potential, undiscovered talent, and unused natural gifts to a judicious application of these powers.

Life in itself is an activity of being, life cannot cease to exist, it is continuum. When the human dies the man continues to live. Life in man is a higher form of existence, it is a transfigured existence, it is transcendent existence. Life in itself being an activity of being, for man it is a becoming, it is a making process, a configuration of his being.

It is an ontological becoming i.e. a becoming of his being, it is a process of existential making. Life in man is a continuous ontological process of existential making- development. This means that it is a continuous process of the becoming- development of oneself, processing, developing and fine-tuning of one’s capacities, powers, potentials and talents, it is a constant evolvement of the self (personality) from a lower level of existence to a higher one. Life in man is a growth in existence.

Understanding the mysteries of life which is imbedded in its purpose is pivotal to living a successful, free, unburdened and fulfilled life.

Life is fair to all men, there is a level playing ground for all men provided in life to achieve all that it holds for us. Everyone’s life is a plenitude of  equal opportunity in existence.

Within each person’s existential plenitude is a plethora of opportunities to fully achieve his essence and purpose, to live the person’s life to its fullest. Man is therefore expected to stretch forth himself within and along his own plenitude and maximise his life’s opportunities, for to each man there is an equal opportunity to succeed with the capacity of his potentials. To each man there is no limit to his level of achievement in life. Life is a gift embrace it, utilise it, love it, actualise it, live it. Save in the knowledge that you are a god.

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