Humanity is ever searching. Look at us, we rarely remain still. Accepting peace in the present moment and perceiving happiness as a state that we're already in, is not a frequent occurrence. Some people don't give a thought to the meaning of life, they have their own goals usually in the pursuit of happiness. Happiness therefore could be the meaning of life for some, however it can't be a universal meaning because for example, it's unlikely that a rock or an entity yet to achieve conscious awareness like a tree, experiences happiness. This universal definition of the meaning of life is what we really want. Some people suffer from depression, some become suicidal because they can see no meaning to life. So let's go ahead and explore that universal definition.
Humanity has not decided upon the meaning of life. Some religions teach that by having faith in the Lord he will show you the way, however please consider that you can easily find your own way. Many have commented on the subject of the meaning of life, so why not look at some quotes and interweave them with some spiritual philosophy. The meaning of life may become clearer as a result.
Albert Camus said, 'You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.'
This quote assumes that happiness is the meaning of life, and to a human within the context of only one lifetime, this may be so. Each of us is looking for happiness because it's a vibration that feels a lot better than the negative. This is a short term view. Step outside of this lifetime and see all of your lives that came before it. If the overriding achievement of all these lifetimes was solely to be happy, what would you have learned? To be happy, overcoming adversity and a few other lessons true. Happiness however (survival aside), is the primary motivator that helps us to fulfill the universal meaning of life. It drives us on, else we would sit in a dark room and do nothing, achieving nothing.
What The Universe is Up To
The universe is very busy. The universe is said to be one infinite being - God if you will. Don't imagine a male deity with a beard, but infinite particles of energy that are proven to make up every atom. Imagine that every photon of light is code (like computer code) in this infinite, persistent and intelligent illusion. The whole of creation is alive with this intelligent energy, verified on an atomic level by science. Each of us is a pin-point of consciousness belonging to this infinite whole. Each endowed with free-will to go about doing whatever we please, good or bad, all for the purpose of the infinite universal creation to learn and experience itself. It sets the rules, the universal laws of its infinite self, and it is aware and everywhere.
Consider therefore that the purpose of life is a journey of learning and experience - as you are part of the oneness of all things, contributing your learning and experience to the great mass consciousness of everything. You are here to experience the ups and downs, the good and bad, the happiness and sadness of this lifetime. You will again in the next lifetime, and the next and the next, until you have experienced everything.
We are driven by happiness but to truly know what happiness is we must experience despair, and in one lifetime or another you will experience despair, and then you will experience elation, learning what it is truly like. Then you will experience loss and loneliness in your own unique way, and then inclusion and appreciation so that you know what that is like. All the while your spirit-self is learning and experiencing, and all importantly spiritually progressing. You are moving forward in your own personal evolution, while contributing to the evolution of the one infinite creation.
Anaïs Nin commented that, “There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.”
Although there is likely an overriding cosmic/universal meaning for all, this quote is especially important because it focuses on uniqueness. Our individual meaning or purpose to life is the key contributor to the universal whole. If we were all the same in our perceptions, personalities, orientations and so on, then our experiences would be repeats of other peoples, universally learning nothing.
We each have our own higher personality, positive, negative or somewhere in between, and we all experience life differently - it must be this way. You are one unique entity that cannot be destroyed, and you're just as important as the next. There is true equality in the 'spirit world'. The purpose of life is to experience it in your own unique way, not to fit in with a socially predetermined purpose such as to make as much money as possible, consume material stuff, have a few vacations, obsess over social media, soak up entertainment and die.
We must think outside the box to find our purpose, but it doesn't matter because you can never be a failure at it. Even if you spend your lifetime seeking your purpose, you have learned what that is like whether you succeed or not. You have still achieved the experience of doing so.
So the meaning of life is not a rosy, romantic notion - it is covering the entire spectrum of good and bad. A soul may incarnate as human and experience a lifetime of deprivation and suffering, but the learning and experience aims they set for that lifetime may have contained those objectives. The meaning of life is to experience whatever your path throws at you or whatever you seek, there is no ultimate goal or far horizon to get to, it's the journey of experience that counts. There is no need to search like crazy, because you are already doing it and if not, do what your intuition tells you to do (in positivity) because your soul knows the plan.
So if life is wonderful or awful, from a spiritual perspective it all has definite positive purpose - it's all contributing to your enlightenment, to your spiritual progression and to the universal mass consciousness.
Of course, traveling the world, having children, a high-flying career, being an activist, an aid worker, a medical professional, even a homeless person, criminal, prisoner and so on, will provide you with more experience than say, spending your life in a nine to five or staring at the TV. But whatever you do, you're already experiencing the meaning of life just by doing it.
Recommended related reading: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose.
And so, this quote becomes poignant;
“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” Frederick Buechner.
The universe throws us options that are both positive and negative. We may experience an abusive partner and overcome this trauma, or we may find the love of our life. Both the positive or negative can happen, and that's part of the plan. Karma agrees; we must experience both sides of every coin until we have learned the lessons set down. If we fail to learn them we may need to repeat incarnations until we do.
It's preferable however to perform good works and be a loving, kind and selfless person in order to progress spiritually to positive higher realms of existence.
Perhaps one of the wisest quotes was from Michael Jackson actually;
“The meaning of life is contained in every single expression of life. It is present in the infinity of forms and phenomena that exist in all of creation.”
We can hypothesize about the purpose of our own lives, but what about things like rocks, metals, trees, gases, liquids, animals, earthquakes, meteors, gravity, or absolutely anything you can think of in the whole universe? What are the meaning of these? Well, just like Michael said, the meaning of life is in everything, because everything is part of the oneness of creation. Humans, our souls, everything on earth, the universe and beyond are all one. The intelligent energy of universal infinity is everything and everywhere, it's all one creation experiencing itself. Its intelligent energy taking on different forms to create different elements and different things as part of a constant adaptation and reinvention of itself. Plus it makes a more interesting illusion!
Ravi Zacharias said, “No matter how much we try to run away from this thirst for the answer to life, for the meaning of life, the intensity only gets stronger and stronger. We cannot escape these spiritual hungers.”
This is quite true. We are driven forward by a perpetual seeking, and we cannot stop, ever searching. It's possible that each of us possesses a subconscious remembering to varying degrees as to the nature of life. We keep on searching because we know there's more to our existence than the tangible 'physical' illusion that is presented to our senses.
Did you know that light does not really look like light? It's simply how our senses are programmed to perceive it. There are other forms of light such as infra-red and ultra violet that we are not programmed to see, but they are there. They may be bright and glowing to an entity that is able to see it. This is just one tiny example of how our human vehicle is created for this frequency of earthly reality, a perfect fit. But subconsciously we remember something else, something that was there before we forgot everything at birth. The meaning of life is known to us, we just can't remember! But the dim recollection bugs us still.
So in summary, take heed of this quote by Joseph Campbell;
“I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”
The meaning of life is the experience of being alive – for the benefit of the oneness of creation of which you are part.
If you want to really fulfill the meaning of life then go for it. Take every opportunity, see the sights, get involved, help others, stand for something, find an interest - there are infinite possibilities. Live life to the full, it's hard for most people under societal economic constrictions, but whenever or however you can, don't succumb to being a media drone. Once you find the purpose, if you haven't already, that intuitively resonates with you, then stick to it. No positive purpose is unimportant. Make the most of it, that's the point of being alive, that's the meaning of life.