Life Doesn't Have A Purpose

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

An article about how living a meaningful life now can eradicate the desire to find a purpose in life somewhere in the future.

Life Doesn’t Have A Purpose



Life is wonderfully simple. It requires no effort to be alive. You simply are.  You are here, now, with everything you need. Your breathing is automatic, your bowel movement requires no thinking, planning or analysis. That was the job of the doctors and your parents - to regulate your intestinal movement, to tell you when you can and cannot feel like going to the toilet, to tell you when you can and cannot eat, what is appropriate and inappropriate to say, what is good and bad behaviour, what the society accepts as the right way to raise a child, or what body language looks positive and negative, and so somewhere down the line of your conditioning and upbringing, the natural flow and cycle of your body got disrupted. Moving your arms and legs is an instantaneous act. Getting up and sitting down may get tougher as you get older, but the act itself requires no forethought or thorough planning. You can wave your arms with no purpose whatsoever, unless you are seeking attention.


The way you have been raised has taught you to fine pick every detail of your life with thorough precision and calculation. Calculation is for the logically minded, the mathematically minded. It’s the attitude of ‘what’s in it for me?’ and this calculating, logical attitude is what has hypnotised the human race into believing that there really is a purpose, a pursuit, or a meaning to life, that there is an underlying foundation layer to our being, and so we get forced by our institutions into searching for something that makes sense, an oracle which will explain why we are all here at this given time, and that will give reason to our decisions. Life becomes a mission, a purpose to chase.


The religions, the employers, the teachers and the world-wide chiefs of indoctrination have made up a story, a version of the world where we now believe we have to achieve something great in order to justify our existence. We need a purpose, a path to follow, yet anyone with a strong attitude and strong goals - have you ever noticed that they’ve gone completely mad? They get obsessed. They neglect themselves and cast aside their relationships in order to single-mindedly and directly pursue a carrot that is always one step ahead of them.


The terrorists think they have a purpose. Their teachers indoctrinate them into believing that a certain culture or group is the enemy, and they must kill them, wipe them off the face of the earth. So the terrorists blindly follow their false teachings and end up getting themselves mopped up from a mosque or church floor in pieces, having taken out many innocent people. The ones who succeed and survive realise that there is no end to the killing and madness, and their attitude only creates more fear and division, making their own lives worse than they were before. The smart ones leave their so-called teachers.


The politicians have a purpose. Theirs is to change society to fit their needs and desires, so they can live in the safety, boredom and quiet of their fenced mansions, and throw out chunks of bread in the form of hope to the suffering masses, who still believe the politicians are actually out to improve their lives, despite turning against their own pledges and constantly lying to justify their sudden change of hearts or policies, in order to keep the status quo. Politicians provide the illusion of a promise of change. Real change comes from the people changing themselves inside. When there is peace, and nobody desires anything more than a good enough living, then what need is there for politicians? People can’t be fooled. When people stop listening to them and believing in their pledges, the politicians will go away.


For example, Jim has a purpose. He suddenly thinks that the meaning of his life is to be a great writer, or an author. So he writes stories specifically designed to get the attention of agents and marketers. He really believes his purpose is to be a great writer, gain global recognition, be rich, live in a comfortable house and escape from the rat race forever. But the agents have a different idea. They change Jim’s work to fit their own needs. They tell Jim to write something they can sell in the market. Jim is disheartened because he knows his message is being changed. It is not fitting his desire to implement his own purpose upon the world. Jim can either give in to his personal needs and comply with the agents, writing a best-seller that leaves Jim feeling empty and sad as it wasn’t his own original work, or Jim can doggedly pursue his goal, his own belief, make a mark on the world and crown himself a king. Later Jim realises his mistake, regrets his work, and attempts to change his purpose into being a normal person again. He went mad, and this madness diseased his mind into believing he could be a real somebody one day, despite already being a somebody in his own right who had nothing to prove, gain or lose by being ordinary.


Jim’s purpose was irrelevant. The agents wanted to sell copies to make money for their own gain. Jim realises his pursuit of discovering his purpose has been squashed by the money machine. Jim changes his purpose to working as a journalist, and becoming a great investigator, working tirelessly to churn out article after article for readers worldwide to absorb. After a few years, Jim stops enjoying journalism as his work needs to fit a certain shape or mold in order for particular newspapers and journals to approve and accept it. Once again, Jim’s mind worked with the culture to seek acceptance and be considered great, despite the fact that Jim was already great from the moment he was born.


A purpose is fickle. This idea that there is a purpose is constantly in change, in flux. One day your purpose is to do the washing, the next day it is to look after your kids, and the day after that your purpose is to complete a project and meet its deadline. But the purpose here is defunct, dead, obsolete. It is just specifically chosen work by the individual. Life is like a series of projects. Finishing this, then doing that, then moving on, and each of them being in flow. Each of these tasks is as important as the other.


There was no purpose when you were born, and there is no purpose now, or in your future. All that is happening is you make choices and then you take action on a specific course. You choose a door, yet all of the doors lead to the same destination - peace of mind. People have been taught to narrow down their choices into one particular field of work or pleasure, to close the doors and seek the golden door which doesn’t exist.


Their authority figures have repeated to them, if you work hard enough, you can succeed. Actually you can succeed in anything. Making toast, preparing a meal, taking a walk, exercising and reading are all choices that lead to success. But society tells you place particular importance on the purposes which include making a lot of money and getting rich quick. Then you don’t have to work. But then what will you do to benefit others on this planet? Sit at home and make a shadow imprint on the sofa? You will be itching to do something worthwhile. The problem is the next question that always arises: “What now? What now that I have achieved this purpose? What should I do after this? Oh my God, my purpose is over. Now my purpose is going to be helping people with their problems. After that, my purpose will be looking after children. Now, about my retirement funds…I need a job that will give me enough money to sit down and do nothing for fifteen years until I’m dead…”


How do you know when you will die? How can you live like that? Your future is not guaranteed, but our authoritative figureheads have convinced us that we should pursue something now and rest later. Why not live in rest? Why not do something meaningful and at the same time feel at rest?


There is no purpose to life. There is no specific reason as to why we are all gathered here, existing in this moment, in this kind of society, in this kind of world. If there was a reason, then thousands of years ago, people would have already discovered their purposes, and they would have fulfilled them.


Then they would have constantly changed their ideas of what their purposes were, and the world would have already exploded into mayhem, as everyone constantly struggled to survive and force their own purposes on each other. Then, having fulfilled their purposes, there would have been nothing left to do. We would have just sit on chairs waiting for death. None of us would be here now if the purpose of life had already been discovered. The world wouldn’t be the mass of technological and scientific experiments as it is today. The world is like this because of past action, and the constant pursuit of discovering that purpose which doesn’t exist.


People don’t realise that they are constantly moving towards nothing, they exist in nothing, and there is nothing to grasp and achieve. They superimpose their beliefs and conditioning over the world like a curtain on a stage. But you just wait for the human race to discover peace. To discover love. Now that will be a different world to the mayhem treadmill existence we are all running on now.


People will say, “I’ve achieved my purpose. It wasn’t fulfilling. Hell, I didn’t find any purpose. Wait a moment. Now I’ll sit and wait for God. Wait, there’s something else for me to do first. No there isn’t. Maybe I should do something to benefit everyone. Something peaceful, funny, loving, caring. The money doesn’t matter. I’m going to die one day anyway. Better to do something that leaves the world in a better, more peaceful situation, rather than trying to dominate it unfairly and destroy its natural resources.”


A purpose is a dream of the mind. The mind wanders, searching for attention, recognition, prestige, perceived success and accomplishment. It never rests. It is always on the go, looking to alter, change, improve something for its own benefit, so it can say, “I did that. I did that too. That’s mine.” Yet while humans run around claiming ownership, approval and recognition for everything, they don’t listen to nature. They don’t look at what nature is constantly doing for us.


Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes and the grass still grows.


This Zen proverb puts purpose into a new context. When we realise there is no specific purpose for each person, we become free, quiet, silent and happy. We realise that the world of nature, movement, action of humans and the constant flow of change is endless like a flowing river into the sea. We aren’t independent from nature. We rely on it to breathe, to go outside, to experience. It shapes our lives. No matter how much we try and suppress it, it always comes back against us stronger. Why not live with it as our friend?


Sitting quietly, doing nothing


The natural state of mind, where we feel ourselves and in our most relaxed state. We sit quietly, we do nothing. We are at peace. The toaster can wait.


Spring comes and the grass still grows


Nothing can defeat the natural change of nature. Time flows onwards. Whether or not we take action, we cannot disrupt the natural flow of time, of nature, of the world. Abandoned cities grow moss and grass. We build and build in order to gain dominance, but in the end, nature wins. What we need to do is live in accordance with nature, and then we will replace purpose with living a meaningful life, listening to and thanking nature.

What is meaningful? Contributing to the natural course of things is meaningful. Building on what we have, in a good way. Writing for fun. Becoming an author for its own enjoyment. Gardening and planting flowers. Helping those in need. Making people laugh or smile. And for nothing in return. We earn enough money, we make some savings, the rest we can share. We put our money into the local community. We change our attitudes about money. And we change our attitude towards having a purpose. We no longer have a purpose. We have something meaningful to do. Action arises spontaneously. We don’t plan ahead our path to success. Success is taking action, and then taking rest. We reflect. That was fun. That was meaningful. We play more. We do it again. Such pleasure! Such joy!


The process is complete. We accept that success is here and now. You are breathing, your footsteps are contributing to your health, being present now with your wife and kids is more rewarding and meaningful than dreaming of a purpose as being an excellent mother or father ten years from now, and we stop dreaming of a future where everything is perfect. You can excel now, and feel complete at this point. Then purpose is dead. It is replaced with meaningfulness. What is the meaning of life? Purposelessness. What is the purpose of life? To live meaningfully now.






Submitted: December 30, 2021

© Copyright 2022 Richard C. Parr. All rights reserved.

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