What is the meaning of life?
Life's meaning is dynamic and each and every living being can create different meaning out of it's life. The meaning of life is life itself as it unfolds and it is unique for each.
Someone asked me this question, what is the meaning of life.
Tonight this answer came to me. And it came as a parable.
Lets think that you are the owner of a little kingdom. Lets assume you're a miniature creator and you have limited capacity to create small creatures for your kingdom. So with delight of a creator you start to create your favorite animals and you can make them come alive. Lets imagine here that your creatures are very small ones. Then you go on and create beautiful landscape for your animals, some ponds here and there, some mountains, grassy fields, forests, greenery, sands, rivers - anything that comes to your beautiful imagination. You create everything that these animals would enjoy.
As a creator you have your tiny little horses, lions, elephants, various colorful birds in your kingdom.
Now that you have created horses, lets say, you have given them a certain characteristics and it delights you most when you see the horse do its horse things. It grazes delightfully, it runs, it reproduce even tinier horses which delight you even more. All of that fill your heart with joy because you created the horse in the image of horse, an image that you as a creative creator had in your mind prior creating the horse. You have fashioned the horse with attributes that your brought down from the imaginal realms and when the horse live those qualities and manifest those attributes = that very thing make the act of creation MEANINGFUL for you as a creator. So when the horse truly live its horse life as a horse (unlike trying to become an ass or a zebra), then that brings joy to you as a creator of horse and in being true to its horse-ness, horse finds meaning in its life.
The human story in the cosmic scale of things can be compared with the above parable. If we are searching for a meaning of life, first of all you must acknowledge who we are.
You are a human being and you're created in the image of God. Lets not take that statement lightly because that statement holds a very important key that may unlock the meaning of life. Being created with human qualities makes us human and to actually live those qualities as truthfully as we can - that act of living is the MEANING OF LIFE. Meaning of life is not a static definition that applies to everybody at the same time.
Whatever condition or position we find ourselves, it is like God has drawn a map for us to be there. Now if we are a human being, lets try to be a true human being. And its a great honor to be a true human being, to be the children of Adam.
God said in the Scripture that We have honored the children of Adam, We have honored humanity. (Quran)
A human being is one who has been fashioned with the Divine Qualities, such as compassion, love, sense of justice, consciousness, mercy, creativity, lover of beauty, lover of truth. When we as human being first struggle to become a true human being - that itself become the MEANING OF LIFE.
How do we know. We know by observing the behavior of people who never discover the meaning of life. They run after things which has nothing to do with being a true human being, has nothing to do in regards to expression the qualities of a real human being. They lose meaning in every sphere and live a life of hollow emptiness. There are many examples of that if we have intelligence and capacity to observe our world.
The Final Testament uses a term called fitrah which can closely be translated as natural. But in the context of this article, fitra is more accurate if we say original image, untainted, natural state, the very original blueprint which was conceived in the Divine Mind. When we as human being strive to remain truthful to our original blueprint of what it means to be human, we are actually preserving the fitrah or the primordial human nature.
In Tibbetan Buddhism, there is a similar term called dzogchen, which is translated as great perfection and it is about attaining and maintaining the natural primordial state or natural condition.
An attitude necessary to discover meaning of life perhaps need to be content about were we are placed and at the same time doing our best - that also enhances the meaning of life. This applies to every sphere of life including career. So for example, a doctor or a physician when he or she strive to be a loving, caring, compassionate doctor for his or her patients, it is these acts that makes his life as a doctor MEANINGFUL.
You see the meaning of life is meant to be discovered, crafted individually and unique for each of us. Through our becoming true to ORIGINAL INTENTION of the CREATOR we make our life MEANINGFUL.
In the beautiful words of Tagore:
You have made me endless, such is Your pleasure.
This frail vessel You empty again and again, and fill it ever with fresh life.
This little flute of a reed You have carried over hills and dales,
and breathed through it melodies eternally new.
At the immortal touch of Your hands my little heart loses its limits in joy
and gives birth to utterance ineffable.
Your infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine.
Ages pass, and still You pour, and still there is room to fill.
What is the purpose of life?
Meaning of life is not the same as purpose of life. To me the purpose of life is first of all to experience life, second to know one's self or to contemplate on one's place / identity in the cosmos and finally to know the Reality or to know God.