If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re questioning your existence and purpose in life because two things have dawned on you. One: there may be no meaning to life at all and we’re all literally keeping ourselves busy until we die. Or two: life has an amazing meaning, but you’re missing out on it and you’re ready to change that.
Everyone has their own thoughts on the true meaning of life – from renowned philosophers to religious figures. We aren’t about to tell you that our answer is the right one for you, but it’s the one that transformed our outlook on the world and unlocked a new sense of purpose within us.
So… get comfy. Here goes.
What is the point of life… seriously?
This is such a huge question that it’s worth making sure we’re on the same page before we dive into answering it.
For some people, the question refers to existence in general i.e. what is the meaning of life, the universe and everything. For others, the real question is: what is the point of your life in particular? That is, what were you specifically put on this earth to do.
Because the answer to one leads to the other, it makes sense to look at them in sequence. So, let’s begin by exploring the meaning of life in general before drilling down into individual life purpose.
What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything?
The truth is that while we like to think we humans know it all, we really understand very little about the universe, existence and what led us to this moment in time. This means that we can only speculate about the true meaning of life.
That’s why no one – not even the wisest guru or scientist – can tell you what the meaning of life is with 100% certainty. With that in mind, the first thing to hold on to in your search for the meaning of life is that life means what you choose it to mean.
We’ll say it again: life means what you choose it to mean.
As long as that meaning sits well with you, and makes you feel complete and lacking in regrets, you’re good.
But if you already had a belief about the meaning of life that ticks all of those boxes, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article, so we’ll stop holding out on you and finally share what we think the meaning of life is.
What is the meaning of life? The answer
As fans of ancient texts like the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, the teachings of the Buddha, and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, it will come as no surprise that our beliefs about the meaning of life subscribe to the same train of thought as that shared in these texts and teachings.
The entity we call God or the universe is everything that exists anywhere and everywhere – that’s all galaxies, life forms, non-life forms, and all of space and time. And because this infinite power is everything, humans MUST also be part of this infinity.
It may sound blasphemous, but this means that we aren’t separate to God or the universe, we are the universe itself.
So how does this tie into the meaning of life?
Here’s how we like to explain it.
Because all the universe has to do with itself is exist, it likes to keep things interesting by sending offshoots of itself (that’s what people mean by your soul) to have interesting experiences. Sometimes as a rock, sometimes as a Martian and sometimes as a human being. And once these offshoots of the universe enter a human body, they forget their true nature and believe that they are just humans.
We think the point of life is to break out of the human trance and remember that you’re not a human who exists for only as long as your body is alive, you’re actually an infinite entity that’s having a human experience.
So living is a lot like using your evening to play a game. The game doesn’t define you because you remain you, regardless of the outcome. But if you play the game well, you usually enjoy your evening more than if you play the game badly.
That’s why we often use the phrase ‘life is a game’. What happens in this life isn’t that serious because it’s just an experience you’re having. You can choose to learn the rules of the game, play it well and have an amazing time in this life OR you can be blissfully unaware of the rules, and have a not so good time. It actually doesn’t matter which you choose because the outcome is the same – at some point, the game ends – whether you played it well or not.
But if you believe in reincarnation, then knowing the rules of the game and playing it well helps you move to different levels of the game in your future lives. And that’s because the universe sends your soul back to have another experience when you die (after all, it has nothing else to do with its time), and this new experience is influenced by your previous experience (that’s what karma is all about).
Life is a game
So, if life is a game, what’s the point of the game?
Like we said above, the point is to figure out it’s a game i.e. figure out that you are the universe, and then you can enjoy your human experience without taking it all too seriously. (And you might as well enjoy it because you’re not leaving until it’s done.)
The Buddha taught four noble truths, the first of which was that all life is suffering. The second was that this suffering happens because of our attachment to life and its outcomes. We want to control everything – it’s human nature – so we label things as good and bad, and create conditions we must live by to be good. But when you realise you are the universe and that the things stressing you in life are only serious because you’ve given them the level of meaning a child gives to an ice cream it’s enjoying, then you start playing the game instead of letting it play you.
And that’s when the fun begins.
You realise the outcome of things don’t really matter and you begin to start enjoying your life experience instead of forcing it and beating yourself up for not achieving X, Y or Z.
Ok. So now that we’ve cleared up that life is a game and the meaning of it is to realise you’re playing a game and then enjoy the experience, you may be wondering what that means for your personal purpose.
If the outcome of the game doesn’t matter, does it matter what we do with our lives? To be entirely honest, no it doesn’t because you’ll always be the universe regardless of how well you play the human game. But sticking to the idea that souls are reincarnated every lifetime, we believe that everyone has a lesson to learn while playing their game – learning that lesson is your individual purpose, also known as your dharma according to Hindu and Buddhist teachings. Learn that lesson and you get to go up a level in your next life. And if you don’t learn that lesson, you come back and do it all again in another form until you do learn that lesson. So if you want to progress and squeeze every drop out of your human experience, learning your life lesson matters.
So, how do you know what your life lesson is? Take a look at this article on how to find your purpose in life.
That’s our take on the meaning of life, but we’d love to hear yours. Drop a comment below to let us know what you think the true meaning of life is.