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> What's The Purpose Of Life?
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Elspeth 
Posted: 08-Feb-2006, 08:44 AM
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OK, just chalk this up to a mid-life crisis that has lasted way too long, but I just can't see any purpose in life.
Everything seems either busywork or diversion.
What is the point of it all?
Are we just marking time until we die?

So, in what do you find meaning and why, how etc....


Signed, the gloomy side of me. unsure.gif


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haynes9 
Posted: 08-Feb-2006, 12:08 PM
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A really good honest question! And in our society of running form one place to another and seemingly accomplishing so very little, I can totally understand and relate.

As a teenager, I committed Romans 12:1-2 to memory. It has been a help and encouragement.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


I realize that my purpose in life is to spend it trying to be more like Jesus. It is not easy, because I'm a pretty difficult old stink to deal with tongue.gif . I also know that no matter what the situation, nothing ever takes the Lord by surprise. So, even when life is out of control or I'm seemingly out of control. He is always in control. I have to remind myself that nothing that happens to me catches Him by surprise. And believe me, I have to remind myself of that very thing constantly.

You sound very normal to me! I hit the big 5-0 this year and I would be lying to say I never kinda take a look at what I have done and am dong to try and make sense of it all. And when it doesn't make sense or seems so useless, I remember that God will eventually help me to make sense of it all. Maybe not in my time frame, but in His.

Hope you have a great day and I hope this may have given a little bit of help for the day.


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Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost. -- John Quincy Adams

Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less - Robert E. Lee

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved - Romans 10:13 (KJV)

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble, and he knoweth them that trust in him - Nahum 1:7 (KJV)
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Nightchild 
Posted: 08-Feb-2006, 02:01 PM
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The purpose of life. I've been looking for it for years. I'm not sure whether I found it yet. Maybe there's more to it that I think by now.
What I do think is that life is meant for us to learn. We learn so many things and although there are things we see and hear that we can't understand they might prove useful some day. You will remember when you finally can understand. Maybe that's not even in this life, maybe during the next one or some other later on.
Learning about the rhythms of life and nature seems to be the meaning of life. At least at the moment.
Maybe I'll learn that it's not. wink.gif


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Aaediwen 
Posted: 08-Feb-2006, 06:48 PM
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The immortal question pondered yet again smile.gif

/me thinks about it a bit

we're all put here for a reason, and each with a different calling and a different reason for being. Life then, could be seen as a quest. A quest the reason for which we only find through the process of the quest itself. In the process of this quest, we grow spiritually, and we influence others whom we meet on the trail. Hopefully our interactions then enlighten everyone involved.

The purpose then would be to fulfill our reason for being and enlighten both ourselves and those we encounter along the way.


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Cordelia 
Posted: 08-Feb-2006, 07:26 PM
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The meaning of life is to have meaning in your life. Isn't it? Which probably means that one has to try to be good as much as he/she can, and life will unfold the way it's meant to be. tongue.gif
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Antwn 
Posted: 08-Feb-2006, 08:29 PM
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Better to ask oneself perhaps what you value, what you want and what you wish your life to be about in the highest sense, in lieu of finding some preexisting cosmic purpose. One's answer to the purpose of life is going to be whatever one accepts anyway. Many "mystilliofixations" assuage the insecurity around making a sovereign choice in one's own right and provide the pretense of authoritative permission, since we're often conditioned to believe our own determinations of validity are inconsequential or even arrogant without outside or otherworldly authentication. So we imagine that we have it, therefore we do. In an ultimate sense, maybe life has no purpose save that which we invent. If that's true, what meaning you find is as good as any.

I tend to find meaning empirically. Insipration happens within you regardless of its cause, so perhaps the search begins there. What draws forth within you the deepest inspiration?

There is a great feeling of beauty in life which finds its most profound expression in Nature. Its indescribable - no attempt does it justice. Nature includes humanity and we are not truly alienated from that same beauty, though we've created an artificial kingdom which abounds in alienation. Think of Nature not just on this planet, but expand your vision to include the universe. Stars, galaxies, the massive unfathomable universe which includes this planet are just as much Nature as what you experience when you go into the mountains, park or secluded beach. The inspiration one feels to experience some sort of alignment with the majesty of Nature is to me....well, natural. I think the driving force is one's intent.

If you can find in your heart what you value most and what you want your experience to be, then hold that intent and act from your inspiration, you'll find your own way and your own meaning - and because it would be something which springs from you, you will cherish it all the more. Its original and genuine, you will not have picked it like an entree from any philosophical or religious menu. Those all have requirements and conditions. There is a power which has none, needs none but only invites you to partake in its overwhelming inclusiveness and beauty. Though my experience has not been constant, that's where I find meaning.

Thank you for your wonderful question Elspeth. Its far from being a gloomy consideration in my opinion. Its probably the most historically pervasive human question of all. Maybe its only considered gloomy out of humanity's happy-faced infatuation with denial. Its as if the expectation is for everyone to assume a smiley perky artificial jubilance like a game show host, and anyone searching for deeper meaning becomes some misanthropic grinch. Yet isn't the first step to discovery to question?


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Dogshirt 
Posted: 08-Feb-2006, 08:54 PM
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First i would answer your question wit a question. MUST life have a meaning? If so it has eluded many much more qualified to answer that than I. Can not life just be lived and enjoyed without any deep hidden meaning? I do not know. I DO know that I find great pleasure in the things I create such as the houses I build and the art and craft items that I do. I also achieve much satisfaction in watching a team of dogs that I have raised and trained since puppyhood.
Do I have an answer for you? I don't know, but I enjoy life VERY much without trying to find a meaning. It works for me.
By the way, my signature "Hoka Hey" means "It's a good day to die!" I perceive this to mean live life to the fullest and don't fear to face death when it comes, as it must for ALL things.

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Elspeth 
Posted: 09-Feb-2006, 08:52 AM
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QUOTE (Antwn @ 08-Feb-2006, 08:29 PM)
Maybe its only considered gloomy out of humanity's happy-faced infatuation with denial. Its as if the expectation is for everyone to assume a smiley perky artificial jubilance like a game show host, and anyone searching for deeper meaning becomes some misanthropic grinch.

biggrin.gif

Amen brother wink.gif

And in response to your question, dogshirt, I can only answer for myself, yes, I must have meaning. It doens't have to be of cosmic proportion, but it's got to mean something. That's me. For years it was raising my babies. That was my purpose. Now, they're not babies anymore and that leaves a chunk of me in a void.

I don't belive God has some book that he writes out a plan for everyone's life, I think He give us a lot more credit than that. I do believe we are all created with gifts, skills and talents that lend themselves to some kind of work. And to find and follow where those talents lead us is our purpose. And to do it in harmony with our fellowman. Harmony may not be the best word, because I don't mean that we all float along in 'tolerance' with vacant smiles upon our faces. We struggle, we strive, we listen to each other, support each other, chastise each other. Love each other. Love as we want to be loved.

So, I guess I know what the purpose is, I just can't seem to find it anymore. I wonder if I should post a listing in Lost and Found.
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haynes9 
Posted: 09-Feb-2006, 09:15 AM
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QUOTE (Elspeth @ 09-Feb-2006, 06:52 AM)
So, I guess I know what the purpose is, I just can't seem to find it anymore. I wonder if I should post a listing in Lost and Found.

A great preacher of years gone by preached a message on duty. I remember that it almost left me depressed because I didn't want to think of life as some rote series of actions that left me empty inside. But he made the point (and I found that he was right) that often times if we continue to do the things that used to bring us joy out of duty, eventually the joy often can and does return. For me, that was the case. This may sound like a contradiction in terms, but though I am not always happy, I have an abiding joy that Christ has given me.

We have seven kids and four are still at home, but I am beginning to understand the "empty nest" sort of thing. My youngest son leaves for college this fall and that we leave my lovely wife and three youngest daughters here. (I dread the thought of being the only male, finding things unknown to me hanging around the house and the potential battles for bathroom time laugh.gif )

Continue to work through it. You can and will make it. One of my favorite phrases in the Bible is "and it came to pass." Truly, these hard times all do pass eventually. Have a day filled with joy and discovery!
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 09-Feb-2006, 12:51 PM
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QUOTE (Elspeth @ 09-Feb-2006, 08:52 AM)
And in response to your question, dogshirt, I can only answer for myself, yes, I must have meaning. It doens't have to be of cosmic proportion, but it's got to mean something. That's me. For years it was raising my babies. That was my purpose. Now, they're not babies anymore and that leaves a chunk of me in a void.

Ah. Now this is something that can be worked with.

First of all, I find myself once again lined up philosophically with Antwn. Not the first time. . . smile.gif My existential tag line is more like "The only meaning is the meaning you make." I think if anything is given, it's infinite potential in the world, but we still have the make the decision to use it.

This empty nest thing is not trivial. It's a big transition, and the more work and love you put into the meaning you made out of raising your kids (a whole lot, I have the feeling), the more you will feel it as a kind of loss. Not a loss like when somebody dies, but a loss of a very concentrated way of life and purpose just the same. So you have to honestly say goodbye to it and mourn it some. Anybody tells you "just cheer up and enjoy your freedom", well -- yes, but there's work to do first, to let the old way go. I have a hunch that's what is making it so hard to find what seems lost -- you're in transition and not ready to "be meaningful" in some other way yet. I think a few visits with a counselor (one that still has the old Eriksonian stages tucked away somewhere in his or her head) would help very much.

After that -- you must learn make another kind of meaning, with all the love you put into the first meaning you made, and it will take time to build it. It may take the form of a new kind of work, or new creative interests of some other kind. Any of the passions you had once that have been on hold while you raised your family, even. I would say one good way to start out is to just get yourself physically refreshed and renewed. If you embark on a plan to make yourself stronger and healthier, it can literally lessen any residual blues that are still hanging around. (Also, it's part of the actual adjustment -- now YOU are the one you are going to focus on for a while, to get ready for what may come. It is not automatic -- it really does take some practice, if your salient role has been other little people's mom for so long.)

I think the time of blues will pass, as haynes9 is saying, but I think you have a lot of proactive choices about making it pass. It could make this the most fantastic spring you have had in a very long time.
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 10-Feb-2006, 10:09 AM
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Should have said this -- there's always the possibility that something a little more serious is going on, in the nature of depression, which is also fairly common for midlife moms. A good counsellor ought to be able to see that too, and refer you to someone who can treat it and help you sort it out.

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Elspeth 
Posted: 10-Feb-2006, 02:16 PM
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Thanks guys. smile.gif

I really didn't mean to make this personal, rolleyes.gif more I wanted to know what others found to be the purpose. But thanks for the free therapy cool.gif .

I was raised with a 'do-er' mentality. Life was about what you could do for others. I never fit into the mode completly - the selfish little black sheep.

So, I waver. Life is about what we do for others, but we can't be much to others if we don't make life a quest of learning.

I think I need a major vacation. I need to go to Scotland with Annabelle.

But seriously, please others chime in with what you feel is the purpose of life.
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Nightchild 
Posted: 11-Feb-2006, 09:49 AM
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QUOTE (Elspeth @ 10-Feb-2006, 08:16 PM)
[...] Life is about what we do for others[...]

That's dangerous. When considering life as what you can do for others you tend to do everything you can for them. Not bad, really, except for the danger of putting their needs and wants higher than your own. Someday you'll find yourself drained of all energy, because you gave it to someone else.
We can't help others unless we ourselves feel good (speaking of long term).
Help yourself to feeling good, then you can help others feeling good much more efficiently. biggrin.gif

Just needed to throw that in...
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haynes9 
Posted: 11-Feb-2006, 10:11 AM
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QUOTE (Elspeth @ 10-Feb-2006, 12:16 PM)
Thanks guys. smile.gif

I really didn't mean to make this personal, rolleyes.gif more I wanted to know what others found to be the purpose. But thanks for the free therapy cool.gif .

I was raised with a 'do-er' mentality. Life was about what you could do for others. I never fit into the mode completly - the selfish little black sheep.

So, I waver. Life is about what we do for others, but we can't be much to others if we don't make life a quest of learning.

I think I need a major vacation. I need to go to Scotland with Annabelle.

But seriously, please others chime in with what you feel is the purpose of life.

I hope I didn't come across as trying to put you through "therapy" sad.gif . As I previously said, you sound awfully normal to me (of course, those that know me say what I think is normal is "out there" rolleyes.gif )

For my life, I have always found this little acrostic helpful:

J-Jesus
O-Others
Y-Yourself

A person cannot and should not hide from their problems and troubles, but I have found help in my own life by keeping things in their proper order.

Have a great day, Elspeth, and thanks for bringing this topic up! Lord bless!
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Shadows 
Posted: 11-Feb-2006, 10:32 AM
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My opinion is:

Life is to be lived,
you learn from what you live,
every phase of life is a teaching and learning tool,
what you take and give is in direct relation to your beliefs.

The good and the bad, the up times and the down all teach us something!

It is what you take away from these experiences that matters.

Help could be sought or you could wade through on your own...

Just keep in mind that you are never alone on this earth, ever!


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