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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

THE MEANING OF LIFE

What a predictable pattern life weaves around us!! It never fails to amaze me. Let me put it in perspective :-

The Charmed Life

Children born under this tag have it made from the day they were conceived. The best gynaec, best foods, best care, regular check ups, Baby Showers, a customised room (Girly pink or Boy blue), the best gadgets to monitor the health, membership applications to the best clubs and schools, colleges (if you dont qualify for a good college, Dad shall give a generous endowment to get you in), a line of women/boys wanting to hook up, people sucking up to you, never having to hear the word "No", getting to see the world before you complete 21... and the list is endless. (Parties, balls, events, socials , hardly getting to see their parents and vice versa)
The flip side, what motivates this child? When nothing in life is a struggle, its easy to get into drugs for that high, into crime for that thrill, doing things  just because they can and becoming jaded by the age of 21. Some of the smarter ones pick up a hobby/interest and become masters in it and survive the stereotype. I mean, if you dont have to struggle for anything in life, you have to create your own obstacles, your own excitement, your own set of woes or life will be one long equilibrium and make you live in a false sense of reality. Sentences like "You dont know what living hell my life is" are quite common.. :)

The Middle Class Life

 Kids born into middle class families aspire to lead the The Charmed life. They grow up with about 20-60 % of the luxuries the rich kids grow up with. They seem to be more grounded. but most are amazingly insecure. They get many things (of lower quality) and therefore they have the fire to improve their lot to come up to the level of the richie rich. Most of these kids lead a very comfortable life, go to decent schools, have loving parents and friends and seem reasonably satisfied. They know that if they do the bare minimum, they can continue to do well  and lead a nice middle class ordinary life. Ideally speaking, these kids have the most balanced lives and one would expect them to be balanced. Many are.. but like everything else, they too fall prey to drugs, drink and other vices

The Poor Life

These kids have it bad. They rarely get anything they want. Its mostly hand-me-downs, leftovers and a whole lot of insults and pity. They are looked down upon because they are poor. Yes, some kind souls who lead the above two lives take pity on them and try to help them, but by the time they grow up, they have become "Maximizers". They don't think long term (They cant afford to!!!), get what they can NOW, and basically live life in the moment because they don't have a choice. Many of them continue in their miserable existence, roughing it out but those who cant, turn to crime, drugs, drinks and what all!!

These patterns pretty much cover the entire gamut of humanity across continents. Yes there are exceptions to the rule and some of them breakout to do different things, but largely, we all follow the script. Deviations from the script are not welcome as they rock our comfort zone. If nothing bad happens, and the comfort zone goes on for a longish duration, we are again very unhappy. That is the predictable pattern of life.  Just like leading a charmed life doesn't ensure happiness, leading a middle class or a poor one does not mean that you shall never experience happiness. It is all a state of mind!!!

We need to see life as it is. That the fundamental law of life is change. Ennui does not befit humanity. We have tried to make our lives predictable and safe, but our instincts make us change that to do dangerous things. For e.g. Skydiving. In the earlier days, humans had to save themselves from predators, so there used to be a thrill in life. You were always on the alert. Now a days, that threat has been diminished to a large extent, so people go and try out other dangerous stuff to give them that thrill.

So finally we come to the question that people have been asking since beginning of humanity - Why are we here? What is the meaning of our life? Why was I born? Where will all this take us? If we are all destined to die, then what is the point of it all. These are tough questions with no clear cut answers.

For some, the meaning of life is loving, caring, sharing their resources with others. For some its domination, for the others its enjoying all aspects of life without really worrying if others are having a good time. Everyone has a different reason to live. The moment we start thinking about "higher ideals", we feel lost and powerless. I mean, isn't it easier to say "I really don't care" what my life should mean. I am just living it and taking things as they come. Human beings need to do something to justify their existence, animals don't. They simply exist!

There is another issue. If every human being knows that he is going to die, then why are we born in the first place? God created this universe and everything in it. So if we were anyways going to die, why are we born in the first place. I mean, would you start an activity knowing that whatever you are going to do is going to be destroyed eventually! Some reasons are that we are born to :-

  • make a difference in someone's life, 
  • To improve our world
  • To create bigger and better things
Is it true? Has my being born made life easier for someone? (human/animal). Have I really improved the world? Did the world need improving in the first place?? By creating bigger and better things have I achieved something or just justified my existence and ensured stroking my ego as I would be remembered for a long time to come (Taj Mahal, Pyramids etc).


Spiritualists say the meaning of life is to become one with god. Everyone gets a chance, through their actions and deeds, over lifetimes to achieve that. But again, who said that it was necessary to become one with god?
Or why is it necessary? These things are told to us because the truth is frightening. It is terrifying to be told that there is no reason for you to live. You just have to live or exist. Thats why so many deviations are built into our lives, so that we don't think about all this.

I feel the meaning of our life is to add balance to this universe. Creation and destruction are two sides of the same coin. We as humans are born to add instability into the universe, because , if there is no instability, the universe cannot grow or  die. It shall remain in a state of equilibrium, which is boring. So enter human beings with their superior intellect. This so-called superior intellect ensures that we create imbalances, that forces the universe to respond to the change and in the process, create something new or destroy something. In fact, it is the imbalance that humans create, that allows the universe or nature to become stronger and survive. Its a different issue that changes like Global Warming, contributed to by Humans, shall in the long run prove detrimental to the survival of humans.It's just one way to keep us in check.

So, summing up, something evolved into humans or humans were created, as a result of Natures  stabilisation process.We are now de-stabilising that system with our actions. The result of our actions shall annihilate us (If you think nature cares if we survive or die, then think again!!!). We are just pawns in the larger game, which can never end.

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