Many people struggling to survive ask what the purpose of life is. Through the ages societies have answered that with varying forms of “serving the state” to make it richer, and often also “serving God” (the church) in order to have a better life after death. The British Empire was founded on, “For God, King/Queen and Country.”
The major religions, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism (it was not a religion but effectively has become one), Christianity and Islam all started with a charismatic leader who left his religion to form a new religion or altered his own religion. After the leader’s death, the followers have tried to copy the lifestyle of the leader to seek “enlightenment”. This typically involves prayer, meditation and repeating of ceremonial rituals. It is fair to say that over the centuries very few followers have achieved the same level of “enlightenment” as did their leaders. So, following blindly and devoting a lifetime, or a lot of time to prayer, meditation or rituals does not appear to be the answer.
God and Devil are the name we give to things we do not understand but that seem to have a connection to a positive or negative spiritual energy (soul). In ancient days humans related the sun to God. When knights rode through forests and dry leaves rubbed against the metal of their armor, they credited the Devil for the shock (static electricity) they received. The Devil lived in the forest. As knowledge progressed mankind has reassigned to science and nature many of the things humans originally credited to God and the Devil.
Even so, there is the question of what was before the beginning? There is lot of evidence that there are energies available to us that affect our life and that some of us able to consciously tap into them to do what appear to be miraculous things. The study of this is called transpersonal (spiritual) psychology. I studied this for three years under the guidance of an advanced teacher and have continued with it. A lot of my initial study was to do with alternative healing which I practice occasionally.
I am fascinated with the subconscious and what an amazing thing the human body and mind is. We rush around all day while our body functions with us giving very little thought to it. We glance at a flight of stairs and climb it automatically while thinking about the coming event at the top of the stairs. Much of our life and body is controlled by the subconscious. It was Buddha who first suggested that all knowledge resides in what we now call the subconscious, some call the soul, and we should follow Buddha’s advice and meditate to penetrate it, though in reality this is very difficult.
At its simplest form I think the purpose of life is to “survive and seek enlightenment”. In the English language the center of the word enlightenment, is LIGHT. The word light pops up in most religions, “God is Light”, as do the drawings of saints with a light halo around them and light coming out from inside. So, I think light / knowledge / God are one and the same. In my mind seeking enlightenment does not mean becoming a nun or monk but embracing fully art, music, science, nature, friends, one’s lover and living to the full while striving to be a better person and seeking total self-knowledge. As none of the religions seem to have the answer of how to find full enlightenment, I follow what I call my Four Paths. I am on a journey with no known destination and each day try and take at least on step on each of the paths; Physical (one need one’s body to be looked after and in good shape as our consciousness cannot exist without it. When one is young one should push the body beyond what we think is possible and learn of its amazing capacities), Knowledge (Learn something new each day and preferable outside of our comfort zone), Emotional (learning to take responsibility for our emotions, especially anger, and to pass out positive vibrations, only to talk if it is kind, honest and helpful. Smiling helps a lot). Spiritual (connecting to the positive, kind thoughts and searching into the subconscious).
Accessing different levels of the subconscious is very difficult. There are ways through regression, but this must only be done with great care in selecting the “guide” and never surrendering the decision making to anyone but yourself.
I will be adding to these thoughts.