The Purpose of Life

I have told this story (truth) to friends, and I thought it was time to write it down. I still believe in this purpose after all these years.

So, what is the purpose of life? The best way to explain this, is by taking you on a quick route tour of the path I took. I suspect the answer may apply to you as well.

I agonized about this in my youth poring over books, trying to understand philosophers like Jung and Satre.   I didn’t find any answer that I could believe in, so I concluded it was up to me to figure out for myself.

The purpose of Life was too hard to derive analytically, so I decided I needed simple building blocks to derive this truth. Maybe I could build a simple system of truths and extrapolate that to my purpose.

So I looked at my cat and thought, what is the cat’s purpose of life?
I thought for a while and didn’t get very far.   I was not doing very well was I?
So as you do with analysis I moved onto my dog;- what is the dog’s purpose of life?  I thought for a while and didn’t get very far. Shit, I was not doing very well was I?

Then it struck me, the purpose for dog was somehow in being a dog, and the purpose of the cat is somehow in it’s catness. If the cat tried to be a dog, and tried to chase after cars and bark, it would be an unfulfilled silly cat.
And if the dog tried to be a cat by climbing up trees and slink under the house, it would be a pretty unfulfilled dog.

So, the cat’s purpose in life is tied into its catness, and the purpose of the dog is tied into its dogness.

The cat needs to be as much of a cat as it can be, and the dog needs to be as much of a dog as he can be.

Right, so I need to be as much of of a human as I can be – but that does not say enough.

Specifically, I need to as much Kris as I can be. I need to express my Kris-ness as much as I can – In that lies my purpose.

So who-ever you are, your purpose in live is to express your <your name here>-ness.   Be as much yourself as you can be, even if that means you have to march to the beat of a totally different drum.

The terrain of life

We are unbalanced, as it is difficult to be true to ourselves.

We are taught to live normative lives. In your first years you are taught the difference between right and wrong. If you are allowed to rob a home, others are allowed to rob your home.  So the laws and morals of society protects you.

These norms extend to the rules at work, the quirky directives of your boss, the politics at work. We accept the norms, the laws of the land, the morals of our church and we attempt to live according to these.

This is “life on rails”. A person living on rails can be successful. For example, a politician can attain the powers of office.

To live outside the norms of society, is to invite adversity.   Norms are established because they are enforced. Forget about breaking the law. Try to be strange at work. Your colleagues will be afraid to associate you, lest they may be considered strange as well.

If you do not conform to norms, you lead a “life in the wilderness”.   A life in the wilderness has paths less travelled, so you may often find yourself in the brambles.

This does not mean you cannot be successful in your own way.   Martin Luther King went against the norms of his time.   Vincent van Gogh lead a life in the wilderness. In an act of love Vincent presented his ear to a “lady” he cherished, and he was shunned for that.   A person leading a life in the wilderness is not necessarily a “good” or “bad” person, as they may be living a life outside norms of “good” or “bad”.

You may not want to gift your ear, but you will have private thoughts, fantasies. If you do not express your real self, you may be somewhat on rails.

So by the words of William Shakespeare;- Those who want “to be” choose a life in the wilderness, and those that choose “not to be” are on rails.

It may be refreshing to get off at the stations once in a while, and go tramping into the wilderness a bit …