Here’s a question which, in one form or another, most of us will ask at some time in our lives though the intensity of the demand will differ from person to person.
Q. I have a very simple question. What's the point of life? A lot of people would say it has no point. You're born, you live, you die and that's it. But there's got to be something more. I mean, if that really is all there is, why bother? I know it's enough for many people but it doesn't make sense to me and I feel increasingly frustrated with the negativity of that response. The trouble is most of the spiritual answers to the question of what life is all about don't satisfy me either. They seem too much like man made attempts to explain the unexplainable. There's something behind it all, I'm sure, but what?
A. Spiritual answers to that question are man made attempts to explain the unexplainable. What else could they be? But some are founded on various degrees of insight and experience, and some, I believe, are inspired by God and the Masters who are the spiritual guides of humanity and who bring forth various approaches to the divine to suit different times and temperaments. Nowadays we have access to practically everything there's ever been, spiritually speaking, but, paradoxically, more quantity here means less quality as if spiritual energy has become diminished through being more widely dispersed. As in greater breadth equals less depth. This is actually an easily observed phenomenon in all areas of life. The more you have of something the less you can actually get out of it. So that is both the advantage and disadvantage of living at the present time.
It seems to me that you are awakening to the soul. As you become aware of that spiritual presence within you so the conventional 'eat, drink and be merry' philosophies of the day seems increasingly superficial. But so also do contemporary spiritual forms appear to be unsatisfactory representations of the reality you sense, albeit fairly dimly at the moment if you don't mind me saying so. You are growing into the realisation that there is something behind appearance and you are not satisfied with the opinions of others, as many religious people are. You want to know for yourself but at the same time you wonder if there is anything to know. Are your feelings founded on something real or are they just imaginary or compensatory or whatever?
Your feelings are based on reality. You have a soul which is the spiritual component of your being and what you really are. Many people are not aware of that because this world has detached itself more and more from its source but you, obviously, are becoming so. This soul was created by a divine intelligence which imbued it with its own essence and also gave it individuality and free will. Thus the path you take is your own responsibility. There is a right path and a wrong path, though we all inevitably take many wrong turnings before we are firmly established on the right path. There is nothing wrong with that as long as we learn from our mistakes. But we have to reorient our face towards the light and it sounds as if that is what you are beginning to do.
The point of life is to learn what life is. At the moment we are only partially alive. There is so much more and this more we can only know when we go beyond our little limited self and become one with God. Some people might express this slightly differently but the true purpose of life in this world is to learn to love God. We can only start to love God when we become aware of Him both within ourselves and 'out there', in nature and in other people. Regard all people as manifestations of the divine, the Masters told me. Not always easy! But, in the same way as we would not regard our own ego and lower self as divine, so we are not told to regard those of other people as such either. But we should recognise that there is a seed of God in everybody and do the best we can to let that seed grow. In most people the seed is still no more than that, just a little seed hidden away in the heart. But it is there and if we wish for our own seed to grow we must acknowledge that of others. Don't make the mistake of thinking the outer person divine but always recognise the divinity within.
The point of life is spiritual and all else is peripheral to that. Everything else must be seen in the light of that, art, science, philosophy, politics, social relations, everything, and if these things are not seen in a spiritual light they are broken and will eventually break down. And true spirituality depends on the love of God. Various false forms of spirituality, forms which have always existed but which are common today in our acquisitive age, try to taste the spiritual fruit without first planting and tending the tree and letting the fruit come to ripeness of its own accord. Advocates of these paths sense the soul, as you are beginning to, but, instead of doing the difficult work of raising themselves up to God, they seek to bring God down to their level. No long term good can come of that which is why true spiritual teachers throughout the ages have always emphasised the love of God as the only proper motivating force for treading the spiritual path. This love will purify the self, sharpen the intuition and enable you to see the truth. It will automatically pull you upwards towards the divine and help you shed those worldly attributes which keep you attached to this earthly plane and all that pertains to it. Without a love of God your spiritual progression will never get beyond a certain stage.
The point of life is to love God and to do it of your own free will and without thought of reward. So how do you love God? I've written something about that elsewhere. Here I would just add that loving God is your natural condition if you can forget your self. If you address yourself to God, the higher power, and submit yourself to His will, whatever it may be (and remember that the saint thanks God as much for what He withholds as what He gives), then you will start to perceive Him and, perceiving Him, you will love Him. When you love God you love His Truth which you intuitively see because that which you love, you become more like. So the divine alchemy works in you to transform the base matter of your lower self into the pure gold of spirit, and love is the catalyst for that transmutation. But remember this. You cannot love both God and the world, as the old teachings have always made clear though some contemporary teachings overlook, so if you would learn to love God then you must start to detach yourself from the things of this world. Leave behind its transitory pleasures and the quest for personal fulfilment and dedicate yourself to becoming a vessel pure enough to embody the divine light. Uproot anger and fear from your heart, free your mind of prejudice and conditioning and, most important because if you do this then those things will happen naturally, always remember the Creator keeping Him in your thoughts at all times.
Life has a point which has been described by spiritual teachings in all ages. It is to know yourself to be a child of God and to take up your inheritance. The concept of God has been distorted by human misunderstanding, greed, desire for power, literalism, bias and I could go on but this is very well known nowadays. The fact is, though, God exists and does so as the centre of your being. Your desire to know the point of life is His voice calling to you through the medium of your soul which is telling you that its needs (which are the most fundamental of your needs) are not being met. Listen to that voice and you will be given all that is necessary for you to take the next step on your path. It may not be very much but it will be enough if you recognise it and respond to it. It is said that God never leaves the true seeker comfortless and that has been my experience. At the same time, because our spiritual guides want to bring us up to their level they don’t make it particularly easy for us and that has been my experience too! But know that life does have a point and a purpose and a meaning and a goal, and your strong desire to know that puts you well on the way to realising what it is.