What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
Article ID: 15208
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: December 23rd. 2012
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[Note: I’m writing this opening after what I’ve written below. I acknowledge that I ramble from topic to topic, but in my mind all these questions are related to the other. Taken all together and interrelated, it follows an understandable form, I hope.]
Like you all, I question life and meaning. I’m not satisfied with accepting the unknown; I want to explore it until I understand.
From what we know and have observed, the Universe is made up of Energy. We also have made a self-assessment, and have determined that thinking beings contain a soul. This soul is also a form of Energy, but an energy that isn’t perceived by any physical means. As observed in Nature, Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed in form (but currently up for debate due to the Higgs-Boson particle) .
Let us suppose, for the moment, that Life has an energy that we determine to be Soul. The purpose of this Soul is unknown, by and large. We think that there are divine beings, or perhaps a creator oversoul that started everything rolling. This may or may not be true and it perhaps doesn’t change our daily lives much either way. But let’s suppose something...
We should all know of the idea of re-incarnation. Our Soul, departed from its physical shell, goes to a higher realm to reflect and apply what ever lessons it learned in its last physical manifestation. The purpose of re-incarnation is the same purpose we experience in Life… To learn, to grow, and to perfect ourselves. As experiences in Life allow us to interpret, learn and apply, so do our lives allow our souls to interpret, learn and apply. As Above – So Below, So Below – As Above. The physical is a reflection of the spiritual, and vice-versa.
It has also been postulated that time is only present in the physical plane. Entropy might only be occurring here in the Universe we experience through our physical senses. In the higher planes, it is thought that time has no meaning as there is only eternal NOW. Everything experienced is available to be reached merely by being. In this sense, it is entirely possible that a Soul might decide to re-incarnate to become a person from the past, present, or future.
Let us further imagine that if a Soul decides to re-incarnate to learn more lessons, that it can determine where and when it decides to re-incarnate. “I was this person in the physical manifestation just departed, I will now be ‘that’ person in the next manifestation.” ‘That’ person could be a person you had a physical fight with, or persecuted, or who persecuted you, in order to experience the other side of the coin if you will. This is something to think about long and hard if you feel that re-incarnation is truthful. What this actually means in the larger sense is that there is no individual Soul. There is only ONE Soul, in infinite variety. (Very Vulcan in philosophy; Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.) What it means to us for everyday living is this: All is One. That guy you just got mad with for cutting you off in traffic is actually YOU, in that life. Or, the terrorist (you) who just bombed a group of market-goers (you again) just caused havoc with manifestations of itself (still more you) .
The difficulty in progressing to a higher state of enlightenment is realizing that what you are looking at when you look at another is that you are looking at yourself or aspects of yourself. You love or hate those aspects according to how far up the chain your manifested soul has progressed. When you begin to see the reflection of yourself in all humanity, you begin to lose the fear and hate you hold towards opposing opinions. You begin to see that all people (you, in actuality) are doing their best to be what they are. On the other side of that, you also can come to the understanding/realization that death is necessary. Without death there is no progress. Nature has already shown you the truth; you just have to internalize it. Death should be thought of as the ticket booth to get where you need to go.
Shakespeare said it succinctly: "All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players." We fail to take idea one step further, however. Are we actors in a one-actor show, with that actor playing all the parts?
Expanding this even larger, do our perceived individual souls join together when even they begin to understand that they are not individuals upon the plane that they experience? Do our souls learn that they are just aspects of a greater soul, and when that level of enlightenment is achieved, they join together to form a greater aspect to help guide the lesser aspects that still have to fathom that? And continuing onward and upward, do those greater souls then join together for form an even Grander aspect to guide the aspects lesser than it? Then ultimately all Souls discover indisputably that it is One, and therefore God or The Creator? This is great coffee shop discussion material.
Epicurus observed: "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence comes evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?’ Epicures’ fault is that in his philosophy there is no purpose in life, for the body dies and the soul along with it. Everything gained is lost. His view of men and gods is that we are separate beings, never to be joined. We, students and searchers of truth, have discovered that Nature does not waste anything. Everything in existence does have a purpose, or it wouldn’t be in existence.
I am no believer in predestination. This philosophy holds that no matter what you do, you are following a plan. This negates free will, of which I am a strong believer. Free will is necessary for growth; otherwise we are just following a groove in a record and will only play the song recorded on it. No surprises, no deviation, no creation. Predestination is not creation: it is stagnation. If you come to believe in predestination, then after that internalization life becomes a chore to do until it’s over. If you’ve been paying attention to what I’ve been writing, you’ll see that this is at odds with what I’ve described above as the ‘job’ of the soul, or higher spirit. If the soul or spirit re-incarnates, then the physical manifestation it is about to perform is a known entity. Grooves in a record. Then again predestination might all be true, and even the Creator soul messed up and needed to learn a lesson. That lesson being; blowing itself apart to experience all manifestations until it ultimately results in itself, is just a grooved record. Oroboros, I am my own creator. Heady stuff.
But where do all these ideas of mine leave us? Are we individual souls or eventually One Soul? If we happen to believe in re-incarnation, then does predestination go hand in hand with that and the purpose of life is just to follow the record groove until the end is reached? What’s the point in that? If there IS no predestination, and even God doesn’t know where it is all going... well, that is even MORE interesting!
I know many of you are thinking: “What does any of this have to do with witchcraft, Wicca, or paganism in general?” My question to you is; “Then why are you doing what you are doing?” What do you hope to learn or accomplish in your life? Is it to be a practicing witch, wizard, alchemist, healer, or philosopher? Is what you are learning somehow going to improve your existence, or to improve your soul? Are you doing it for purely selfish reasons? (There is nothing wrong with that; all life is a selfish pursuit as Nature has proven.)
Why? If not to grow and learn? Perhaps we ARE God’s TV show, and It is just sitting back to watch it unfold without knowing where the plot is going. This sounds tremendously more fun than watching a rerun. It also gives us Free Will and the ability to write our own part, to change our character’s motivations, and to become more than we are. Even to ourselves.
We need to ask ourselves these questions, and to determine an answer that seems correct to us. This is the purpose of life, I feel, to question and discover answers. If we decide we don’t care, then we have ceased living for purpose. We are existing, and existing is not living. Existing is just using up resources and space until we no longer exist. Living is discovering and learning and growing. Living is finding purpose in everything we do, and celebrating that purpose.
As always, more questions than answers. I fear I’m probably boring to most, but I also hope that I left you some food for thought.
William Shakespeare - As You Like It
Epicurus - On good and evil
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