Your life has a purpose ...
What do you want? Like what do you really want in life? I know it sounds like a silly question, but it’s one of the most important questions you should ask yourself. It truly is. Because if you don’t know what you want in life, then how are you going to get it? It’s like wanting to travel somewhere, having your car and your passport ready, but having no destination. What’s going to happen is that you won’t go anywhere, or worse you’ll find yourself driving around without any destination. The Buddhists say that “Life is suffering”. And that might be the case... for our travel analogy that means that the car you’re driving is extremely hot and uncomfortable. And you might say, if that's the case, then why bother with it? And people really do ask that question. And they ask it in a way that results in their own destruction and even worse in the destruction of others.
There are individuals who become particularly cruel and bitter, and sometimes even suicidal because they can’t bear the conditions of their own existence. We can certainly make a proposition that life is full of tragedy and that suffering is real. So the question is well what do you do about it? You notice in your own life and you can do this by watching your own life. I often ask my clients to do this.
Say look watch your life for a week, and pretend you don’t know who you are. At all. What you understand most about yourself are the arbitrary presuppositions that you used to hem yourself in. And you act as if those presuppositions are true so that the revelation of the full nature of your character won’t terrify you. People hide in their own boxes, and it’s not surprising but it’s not a good idea. Because life is too hard to hide in a box, you can’t manage it if you do that. If you watch yourself for a week you’ll see certain things, you’ll see some of the time that you’re resentful and annoyed and those are times when you’re either taking advantage of yourself or you’re thinking improperly.
Some of the time you’ll be bored in which case you’re either undisciplined or you’re probably pursuing something you don’t want to pursue. And some of the time you’ll actually be engaged in life. And the times you’re engaged in life you won’t notice that you’re there. Right, the distinction of subject and object disappears when you’re engaged in something that you find meaningful. The purpose of life as far as I can tell from studying mythology and studying psychology for decades is to find a mode of being that’s so meaningful that the fact that life is suffering is no longer relevant, or that is even acceptable.
And I would say as well that people know when they’re doing that, you know when you’re doing that in part because you’re no longer resentful, you say “Geez I could do this forever” right there’s a timelessness that's associated with that state of being. From a mythological perspective that's equivalent to brief habitation of the kingdom of God. That’s the place where you are that's so meaningful that enables you to bear the harsh preconditions of life without becoming resentful bitter or cruel.
And there’s nothing that you can pursue in your life, that will be half as useful as that.