In reading a brief collection of Leonard Read's works , I came across this explanation of life's purpose:
"What is man’s earthly purpose? I could find no answer to that question without bumping, head on, into three of my basic assumptions. The first derives from the observation that man did not create himself, for there is evidence aplenty that man knows very little about himself, thus: The primacy and supremacy of an Infinite Consciousness; The expansibility of individual consciousness, this being demonstrably possible; and The immortality of the individual spirit or consciousness, our earthly moments being not all there is to it—this being something I know but know not how to demonstrate. With these assumptions, the answer to the question, “What is man’s earthly purpose?” comes clear: It is to expand one’s own consciousness into as near a harmony with Infinite Consciousness as is within the power of each, or, in more lay terms, to see how nearly one can come to a realization of those creative potentialities peculiar to one’s own person, each of us being different in this respect."
It struck me as the most elegantly concise explanation I'd ever read, though its implications are extensive. If we are to achieve harmony as integrated parts of an infinite consciousness, we must heed the words of Jesus - doing unto others as we would have them do unto us - and of Kant - acting only in accordance with that maxim through which we can at the same time will that it become a universal law.
We all have a desire to belong and to be part of something greater than ourselves, but many of us are led astray by false belonging and false identities that separate us from others rather than bringing us into harmony. Exclusive, zero-sum lifestyles and identities are synonymous with conflict and can survive only by parasitically feeding off the results of harmony. On an eternal timeline, every identity that is defined by conflict will be destroyed by that conflict. Only that which is infinitely scalable through harmony with truth can last.
Our purpose - our highest potential - is to learn the truth and be freed by it from vain pursuit of that which will only destroy us, that we may become part of that glorious community in which there's always enough to welcome others. Whether you call it the Kingdom of God, or by some other name, it's what we're all searching for. I hope we can all reach it together.