3.1 The Purpose of Life

Karech 2006.jpg

Our egotistical thinking is then reflected in the attributes that we assign to our deities. The Biblical verse, Isaiah 43:7[8], states:

“Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory (my emphasis), Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.”

This is commonly interpreted to mean that the purpose of human life is to sing God’s praises. But is an omnipotent deity so lacking in self-worth that a distinct species had to be created on Earth for that special purpose? Or is our interpretation of that line in the Bible just a reflection of our own thinking patterns?

Science has not been of much help in this regard either. As the historian, Yuval Noah Harari, puts it[9],

“As far as we can tell, from a purely scientific viewpoint, human life has absolutely no meaning. Humans are the outcome of blind evolutionary processes that operate without goal or purpose.”

But do evolutionary processes truly operate without goal or purpose? Then, what made the SAI Sanctuary flourish in such a short period of time?

Google’s Artificial Intelligence “chatbot” has come the closest to making sense on this question[10]. Here is a relevant snippet of its responses to questions:

Human: “What is the purpose of life?”
ChatBot: “To serve the greater good.”
Human: “What is the purpose of living?”
ChatBot: “To live forever.”

The Google ChatBot’s answers are clearly in alignment with Life’s processes as we observe them in Nature. Life wants to live forever. Life has been on Earth continuously for 3.6 billion years, which is unimaginable for a random process without any intrinsic impetus to live. Indeed, every life form of significance fights death. You can witness it in the slaughterhouses where even baby animals fight for their lives. You can witness it in humans who go to great lengths to keep themselves alive[11]. You can witness it in the SAI Sanctuary where just leaving Nature alone was sufficient to cause the forest to bounce back.

Every viable species contributes to the greater good of all Life on Earth. Perhaps it is the glorification of all Creation that is called for in the Biblical verse quoted above and not just expressing words of praise to an insecure deity? We can truly “praise God” only when we help Nature thrive.

In the Hindu view, the purpose of Life is to transcend earthly bonds and to realize the Supreme Brahman with certainty in every fiber of your being. When you feel your existence in every pore of your body (Sat), when you feel one with the consciousness of the whole universe (Chit) and when you tingle with bliss in every waking moment (Ananda), then you are truly enlightened. But to become so enlightened, the Hindu is expected to traverse through the Earthly stage where he or she pursues, in order of importance,

1. Dharma, working for the greater good;
2. Artha, using whatever skill he or she possesses;
3. Kama, with pleasure and pain as a guide; and

Spiritual enlightenment, or “Moksha”, is the fourth and final stage of this orderly four-step process[12]. As we shall see, it is this same sequence of steps that the human species has been traversing in order to reach for our collective state of moral singularity, our Moksha.

[8] Various English translations of this passage can be found here: http://biblehub.com/isaiah/43-7.htm

[9] This quote can be found in the book Harari, Y-N, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Harper, Feb 2015, ISBN-13: 978-0062316097, http://amzn.to/1WHMfF4

[10] Conversation as reported in http://cnet.co/1VdQVBt

[11] The quest to extend the human lifespan is well funded: http://bit.ly/1YIyO5G

[12] Hindu worldly pursuits are known as Purusharthas: http://bit.ly/1rYQj7m