Did you ever wonder about this question? Is it life’s MOST important question?
What is the Point of Life?
IS there a point to life? If “yes”, what could it possibly be?
Is life a good thing to experience or a horrible thing to endure?
Over the last five to six weeks I’ve been meditating again. Just sitting and focusing on the breath… you know, that thing that keeps us alive with an inhalation every six-seconds over our lifetime?
In the past I thought I had the answer to what is the point of life… I decided in 1997 that there really was no good point to life and that the best way to go through life is to cheat God and go through it a different way than how everyone else was wired to go through it. After all – God, or something smarter than us – whether it’s the natural order of the cosmos, God, or aliens, something started this or is the reason for this… this thing we call human life.
So, after reading a bit about Buddhism and the “goal” of Buddhism I decided that I was going to reach what the Theravada Buddhists call, “Nibbana” or “Nirvana”. Essentially “Nibbana” means, the end of suffering. Buddhists believe that our lives are filled with suffering because our minds are wired to attach to things that we like, and attach to the idea of getting things – whether they be positive or negative things. When we’ve attached with our minds to something that doesn’t happen or that we don’t get – we suffer.
I identified strongly with the Buddhist goal to end this life of suffering. I agree, this life appears to be so full of suffering and it does appear that we create our own suffering through attachment to doing, being, experiencing positive and avoiding negative things in life.
I can see plainly that life in general sucks. I’m not saying that I don’t have great experiences. I may have had more great experiences than anyone reading this blog post, and yet, overall – life is full of sucky experiences.
We have so many instances of attachment to the way that we want events to go throughout the day… throughout our lives, that we are disappointed much more often than we are satisfied. That is the natural state of human beings. Maybe more so for Americans. We’re constantly trying to control all the variables in our lives and control more and more of what is going on. We are always trying to get more, do more, be more, see more, experience more, control more, and it’s a lost battle more times than not.
How can we possibly get everything to go our way? How can we possibly even get a majority of events to go our way? Impossible.
So, we’re fighting a losing battle… all of us. That’s a fact if looked at through this perspective.
I meditated for over 10 months. I had the experiences that I read about. My mind stopped and there was no thought. There was no “me”. I experienced the levels of Jhana. I had incredible, fantastic, bizarre and surreal experiences that blew me away… I had hours in which my mind was stopped and where I did not react to things with emotion or with the ego… I was still able to function, and yet the ego was gone. I was told by monks here in Thailand that I was well on the way to the ultimate goal of the end of suffering…
As I sat today on the top of a mountain here in southern Thailand for a couple hours I questioned again, like I often do, whether there is really any point in reaching nirvana.
What is the POINT of that? It’s cheating God or whatever set up mankind here like it is… It’s eliminating the ego – that thing which all of mankind has to some degree… and the thing that is admittedly the cause of so much pain and suffering due to it’s affinity to attaching to outcomes of events – but still.
What’s the point of something like that?
I’ve not met anyone that was enlightened. I’ve asked monks and abbots of Buddhist temples here in Thailand. I’ve asked on major, worldwide internet forums if anyone knows someone they believe is enlightened… I’ve found nobody.
I think the state exists and I think that I’ve tasted the flavor of it. I may have experienced exactly what enlightenment is all about for short periods… and you know what? So what.
What is the point of being enlightened and without pain? Because, you are also without the exhilaration that comes when you are fully attached to the outcome of something – and you get it.
Buddhism discounts these moments of joy as unimportant because they are not everlasting and the source of perpetual joy. I can’t seem to discount them. I feel like those moments are the moments that I want to experience. I’ve felt the equanimity – the balance that exists when a problem confronts “me” when there is no ego… and it’s nice to not react. It’s nice to watch the mind stay calm and be completely unaffected by that which would have been perceived as very negative when the ego was ripe and present. But, am I to live my entire life that way – balanced, non-reactive to negatives and positives, but existing in a state of peace and bliss where there are not only no lows, but, no highs either?
Don’t get me wrong… the experience of losing the ego is phenomenal… I’ve experienced nothing like it ever. Jhana and experiencing a stopping of thought and a loss of the ego was the most unique experience that I’ve ever had and that I could have never dreamed was possible. It was bizarre, incredible, fantastic, and during it there was no feeling of any of that – things just were as they are. Buddhadasa Bhikku had a saying, “it is as it is” or, “just as it is” to describe the state of reality once you lose the ego and you are experiencing the state in which there can be no disappointment because there is no attachment to anything.
It’s a wonderful state. It’s a painless state. It’s nice to have… Is it worth it to keep meditating and have that state be with you permanently?
I don’t know. Today as I thought about it… no, it’s not worth it. The ‘masters’ say that once you reach nibbana it’s a permanent change. It doesn’t revert and you suddenly have ego again one day. That’s it, ego is toast and you’re not going back.
Is it worth it to enter that state of nibbana just so you can help others enter it too? Is that the point of life – to reach nibbana and transcend life as we know it now – full of attachment, exhilaration and disappointments?
Do enlightened people bodyboard? I don’t think so. Who would know? I know that when I was going through the process and experiencing the different levels of Jhana… and I had such peace of mind and balance… equanimity the Buddhists call it… I had no desire to DO things. Nothing really. All desire was gone… No desire to play at the beach, explore a hiking trail, bodyboard, snorkel, nothing. I didn’t “miss” those things while in the state, but still – is that how one’s whole LIFE should be? It’s like cheating God by skipping the bad experiences here on earth.
I don’t know why humans are here… I don’t know if I’m here for any particular reason that is different from what every other human is here for. Is there a reason at all for why we are here – as a group or as individuals?
I’m not sure there is or isn’t. I’m not sure that something made us on purpose to exist and go through this silly life as we are. I don’t see a good point to it. I’ve tried. I can’t see it.
I’ve tried over and over and over to understand what possible good could be coming out of babies born without limbs, with life-threatening diseases, with AIDS, with any of the myriad disabilities, diseases, deformities, and the like… and those are just babies… what of those that are raped or tortured and killed? What of those that see loved ones die in the war or of other horrible circumstances? What of lost love? Lost hope? Lost friends? Failed marriages? Things that rip our hearts out… what is the point of these?
To me there is really no point, and if there is a point it’s beyond human understanding and no point thinking about it.
As far as I can see the point of life for me is that:
1. It’s temporary.
It’s a temporary state of existence that is not to be taken all that seriously because it:
A.) Isn’t fair to all of us, some have a much better life than others – based on nothing more than luck of the draw as far as we can see. And,
B.) There is no guidance for the world’s inhabitants as to what the point of life really is… so, it’s up to your own intellect… assuming you have an intellect. If you were unlucky enough to be born with a 70 IQ, then you probably wouldn’t have any ideas at all about what the point of life is – and so again, how serious could this life be if some of us – millions of us with mental disabilities – cannot think with a clear enough mind to come up with their own meaning to this life – or even CARE about a meaning?
2. It’s OK to attach to some things.
There are some things that we attach to with our minds, and that we are actually able to get somewhat consistently. These are things that we should enjoy. They are to be enjoyed to counteract some of the suck!
For instance, I can really attach to food! I really can enjoy many different types of food when I’m “in the moment” and really tasting the food. It gives such an enjoyment in the present moment that few things can compare. Well, maybe nothing can compare in my mind. Eating food might be the most enjoyable experience I can ever have consistently and almost as frequently as I choose.
Sex can be incredibly pleasing, but masturbation is sometimes better because it’s always there for you and you’re not likely to have a bad experience.
Simple things… a walk after work… playing a musical instrument… listening to your favorite CD… laying down for a nap after work… things that depend entirely on you and that you can make happen most times. Things that are simple to set up and that bring consistent pleasure… without leading to disappointment much.
3. Everyone else’s life is sucking also.
If I help lessen other people’s negative experience of life in some way then I feel good about it. It’s a lasting feeling of good. I tend to think of it in a karma-ish way and I keep a running balance in my mind for the day of things I’m doing good for people or ways in which I’m hurting people or giving them a negative experience… Even things like smiling at someone or giving a compliment is giving someone a more positive experience of life than if you hadn’t. It feels good to me to make others happy and reduce the sucky experience inherent in day-to-day life.
4. Make yourself happy when you can.
Do something that you feel good doing. For me, this means something active usually… I love to bodyboard in the waves of Hawaii more than I like to breathe. I have so much intense fun on so many levels that for me it’s like a religious experience… it’s like the best high that I can feel. I also like mountain biking, hiking, some easy climbing, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, and running.
I attach with my mind to the fun I have doing these things and it’s not hard to have fun doing them. It’s not that hard to line them up and do them. To me, that is attachment that works. If someday I can no longer kayak or climb or snorkel in Hawaii because of medical problems or lack of money – no worries, I’ll not attach to them anymore… I’ll find something else that I enjoy and that I can do consistently that enables me to feel happier than I would experiencing life’s general suck.
5. Reduce attachment to things that are likely to give you dissatisfaction, or change something so they become more likely to happen.
A.) Competition: For me reducing competition was one thing that has had a very positive result in my life. I have been so competitive in my younger years. I ran, played soccer, played beach volleyball, competed in triathlons, played competitive racquetball, tennis, and so many more things that many times gave me a bad feeling about having competed in them at all. Even if I won, I might feel like I didn’t play as well as I could have. I might feel like I didn’t try for certain points. I might think the other guy let me win. I might think that I was lucky to win and didn’t win based on my skills and strategy, thereby reducing the exhilaration of the win. I noticed that even though I won I never felt that good. What a horrible situation! I compete very little now and I’m much happier inside.
B.) Goals: If your goal for the past 10 years has been to make $100,000 salary and you’re not there yet… moderate your goal. If you want to go to Cancun Mexico for your vacation and that’s all you dream about, and you’re making $15,000 per year either change your goal or change your lifestyle so you’ll LIKELY be able to meet your goal.
C.) Love: If there’s one area of my own life that had to change it was here. Love relationships are what cause me the most pain by far… more than everything else added together, easily. I attach to the outcome of so many little events in a relationship and if things don’t go the way I want them to, then I’m disappointed. I’m sad. If we break up, I’m really sad! I have yet to make a relationship “work” for a long, long time… but recently I’ve passed ten years with the most wonderful girl on the planet. So, who knows when it will happen. If I’d have quit trying to find “THE ONE” I would have missed this beautiful, awesome opportunity for the relationship I’m in now.
What other things are not worth attaching to because they frequently lead to disappointment?
6. Be happy with very little.
Living in Hawaii, and then Thailand for the past ten years on very little money has shown me something that I couldn’t have learned if I had read it or even experienced the same thing in the USA. I need very, very little as far as the comforts that I thought I needed before coming to Thailand.
As I write this I’m sitting on a fold-up cushion that serves as my bed, chair, theater seats (when we watch DVD movies on the notebook computer) and dinner table. I have no table. No chairs. No kitchen sink. No flush toilet. No air conditioning. No fan. I have no car. I have no bicycle. I have no refrigerator. I have no hot water. I have no TV. The most expensive asset I own is my notebook computer that is worth about $400 USD. The next most expensive thing I have is a mobile phone that was $45 USD. The next most expensive thing I have is a portable hard drive that stores my photos and videos that was also almost $45 USD. My girlfriend has a motorbike that cost $1500 USD almost 5 years ago. These are the major things we have. They are things that we’d rather not live without, but if we had to – we could live without any of them! We’ve slept on the hard tile floor for weeks at times. We’ve walked or taken buses instead of use the motorbike.
I think, if I were to return to Hawaii now after finding out how little I really need, I could live in a shared apartment with very little furniture or none – no TV, and have a bicycle to get to work and I’d be fine. Maybe I’d need to make about $20,000 USD salary. That’s a FAR cry from what I thought I needed before I left. It takes the stress out of life to reduce what you think you “need.” Move to another country for a couple months if you can, experience what they are experiencing… it might shock you at first until you realize, wow, that’s all I need to survive too.
Move to Hawaii if you think you can pull it off!
7. Enjoy being in the present moment.
When we play sports or when we’re doing just about anything physically we are “in the present moment”. We are just doing. We are experiencing without using the mind’s ego. We are not using the mind’s ideas of the future or the past. We’re not using thought… we’re using memory and physical reaction… It’s as if we’re enjoying pure experience. That is a good thing. As I told you, bodyboarding in Hawaii (or anywhere) is my favorite activity that I can possibly do. I am not thinking much during it, I’m just DOING. In DOING there can be a lot of pleasure in the present moment. A LOT.
Extend this to things like driving, walking, and going about your day doing anything and you’ll notice that you have a much more enjoyable time. Washing dishes for instance… it’s something that most of us need to do everyday and most of us look at it as a chore, something we don’t WANT to do. We’re attached to the idea of not having to do them – but, realistically – there they are after every meal. If we do the dishes in the present moment and aren’t caught up in our egoistic thoughts of the future and what we are going to do after the dishes or what we think we could be doing instead of the dishes – we’re happier. If you’re happier you can give happiness to others more often. You can react to life’s challenges from a more balanced or centered point.
8. When life is over, it’s over.
No need to prolong this life any longer than we have here. Why prolong the misery? Why make the body live longer than it has a right to? Why force the mind to face death not once, but twice or more times? Why? The fear of death is such a horrible thing that most of us have. I believe that when death comes it’s a release. And a relief… could the next level be worse than this one? We haven’t the slightest idea if there is more or death is it… do you fear deep sleep when you don’t remember? Do you fear not waking up as you sleep? Of course not, there’s no awareness… We know nothing of death and yet billions before you have experienced it. Are you afraid to know what billions of others, the old, the Christians, the Muslims, the Native Indians, the babies, the birds, the dogs and cats already know after death? Why?
I like to look at it as a relief… as a goal… this level is over… next level is up, what will it bring? It’s exciting to know… It could be anything. That is exciting to me… and not to be feared. I’ve had both great and horrible times here on earth… if there are more horrible times, so be it… if there are only good times, so be it… who can argue what happens after death? No point fearing… no point prolonging this silly life either.
The point of life for me are those things mentioned above.
What is the point of your life? Living “for God”? Living to make the best of it? Living to help others? He who dies with the most toys wins?
Article originally written by Vern Lovic and opinions are his own
So I googled my name (used duckduckgo actually) a few minutes back to see what would come up since I am not on any social media platforms. A link to this article showed up and I clicked on it out of curiosity. Apparently I commented on this article 11 years ago and I totally forgot about it. It felt like visiting something from my past life. The interesting part is I started meditating in November 2020 and took a decision late last year to pursue nirvana/enlightenment and end suffering forever. I am exactly in the situation Vern/Peter described at the beginning of the article. For the last 2 weeks I have been asking myself “Do I just want to be blissful all the time and escape life?”. To stumble on this article by using a new search engine (duckduckgo) as opposed to my default Google search engine while casually searching my name on the Internet is surreal. I must have enjoyed reading this article at that point and I most definitely enjoyed reading it now with a different perspective. Thanks a ton Peter/Vern.
I’m really glad you found that again. Thank you for such a great story
Great article, and mirrors a great deal of my own experiences. As someone who was born into and then left much later in life a very high demand religion that pretended to know all of these types of answers, I went from feeling completely sure I had them, to having none of them, a total free fall from a collapsed world. Talk about intense! As the saying goes, “being wrong, before you realize you are wrong, feels just like being right”.
I finally settled on the practical reality there simply is no purpose to life (if there is, its completely hidden, and thus for all intents and purposes, nonexistant, if a god or something wanted us to find it they should have made it more obvious or allowed us longer lives to find it, lol).
At first, this was terrifying. I had no purpose! Nothing I did in the end matters! Oh my god, NIHILISM!!
But then, after a few months of restless terror and sleepless nights, it dawned on me just what a gift that really is, life having no purpose. Because it means I GET TO CHOOSE the purpose of my life, AND ITS NOT WRONG (as long as I’m not actively harming others of course). What a completely freeing realization that was. I am free to do with my life whatever I want, and its not wrong, because ultimately it just doesn’t matter. So I get to choose, I plot the course, I decide, and no one else. Not a pastor or a prophet, not a politician nor a teacher. Just me. And I have the peace of mind that no matter what I choose, its not wrong…
The purpose of life is whatever we want it to be. For me that is living in Hawaii and making peace with past demons and emotional traumas. It means being present and enjoying a sunset, the warm water. It means living an evidence based life where possible, and a human empathy based life everywhere else. And that is the purpose of my life. I may not be the purpose you choose for yours, but neither of us are wrong in choosing what we ultimately choose.
I hope all find a self chosen purpose that brings you peace.
what is the point to live for like i dont understand we are all gonna die anyways like what is the point to live for?????
I think it all really depends on your world view. If you believe that our universe just came out of nothing with no purpose and is just a collection of matter and energy, then yes, you’re just a chemical reaction. If you believe that there is a purpose to the universe, then the point of life is to fullfill your purpose within the grander purpose.
I’d love a PDF of your book. This article was very thought provoking and I appreciate your insight and honesty in relaying your experience. Thank you.
Please send me a pdf of your book… Since My first time in Thailand I have felt many of these things and I have been struggling with these questions for the last few years. Going back left me more confused, not because of Thailand but because of me! I couldn’t agree with you more on what I have read so far!
Thank you for sharing… health, wealth(meaning of your life’s beautiful experiences) and happiness for you and yours….x
Obviously this is an old post but somehow just what I needed to read right now, including a lot of very interesting posts (so thank you also especially David) Happiness is a momentary emotion and I feel that perhaps the word contentment should be used in its place…
Having faith is no bad thing just misplaced faith in believing without questioning :) … the word CHOICE is something that has made a huge difference to me… I am responsible for me and how I feel (or allow anyone else to make me feel) Its really quite simple… like a basic maths calculation … if it is not what you want… change it! stop complaining! if 1 + 2 = 2 instead of 3 then find what makes it fit and work….
Another beautiful lesson I learnt has been…. Change the way you look at things…. and the things around you change…
Thanks again x
Vern – I happened on to your thoughts here about the point of life. I’m relieved to know that I’m not the only one who has come to the same conclusions that you have – that there doesn’t seem to BE a point, but we just have to live it out the best we can. I would like to offer up to the universe that I am ready for the next level – this one is much to agonizing to endure for another 40-50 years. If it is possible, may I take someone elses terminal illness, and allow the other to live the life they wish to live. I only wish this was possible.
Aloha Vern. You have a gift, so keep sharing it and reaching others like me – giving them a little energy to try again for another day.
I just read this entire post and it inspire me to continue my life no matter the circumstances.
Please email me your book.
Thank you so much,
Hi Taylor, what format do you want? PDF?
Hi Vern, thank you for a very interesting article. I have been thinking about moving to Hawaii for sometime now. Just recently I have been going through some tough things with a family member and other things that have occurred over the last 4 weeks that may be just the push I need to move out of California. Thanks for the great advice and information.
Sure, take your time and make sure it’s the right choice… running away to Hawaii doesn’t seem to solve much. It’s quite an adjustment! Aloha!
Nice article.I ponder over this uestion a lot. I agree with you about doing the activities which we love to do and be in the present. But, we can’t be doing such an activity 24*7. And our emotions tend to change without our control, even though nothing bad has happened to us. That is the way our mond works. What i am saying, i think relates to a philosophical point of view of existentialism. We all have a feeling of disorientation and confusion inherant in us, which we can’t escape.
What is your take on my thoughts? Also if you have any tips to give, they are most welcome.
Thank you for teaching me the point of life is to enjoy while you can!!!
thank you for sharing this, I m also trying to find out the reason why i m here, and this article is helping !
Salutations from Morocco
the point of life is to praise the God who created the universe and us. Every answer to every question can be found in a relationship with God.
Why there should be a point in living?, unless this life is compared to other life in which every wish is satisfied or there is not desire at all, this is the only life there is, it is as it is.
The only one asking what is the point of life is ego which sees everything from outside life because it’s existence is like the data in a hard drive .
When ego is scared it ask “what is the point of life” and decides to go for something exiting or very pleasurable it reaffirm it’s existence.
Reasonless happiness is our very natural existence everything on top of that is fabricated.
This is my understanding
This is the best, most reasonable and reassuring thing I’ve ever read regarding this topic of much distress. Thank you so much.
Well written article. Most people who talk about religion and te point of life usually put their own spin on things and ultimately wind up being negative or pushing certain groups away. I believe as you do, and you articulate the points very well. People should really listen to what you have to say in this article because I know from experience that everything you wrote here is accurate, helpful, meaningful, and true. Thanks man!
Hey Vern, really liked what you wrote here. I have been to Thailand 3 times now. Just Pattaya for fun, but have met some really great people. A lot of people go there for the poon but I go there for the 2 or 3 week relationship I can make with a great gal not many. I to question the point of anything like who are we, why are we and will we continue to be us as we die.
Email me sometime I have a few questions and would like to learn this meditation process, I have a very hard time concentrating on one thing and need to learn to calm my mind so I can do my work better and enjoy life better.
“If we accept ourselves as the embodiment of the truth, or Buddha nature, we will have no worry.
We will think, “Now it is raining, but we don’t know what will happen in the next moment.
By the time we go out it may be a beautiful day, or a stormy day.
Since we don’t know, let’s appreciate the sound of the rain now.”
This kind of attitude is the right attitude.
If you understand yourself as a temporal embodiment of the truth, you will have no difficulty whatsoever.
You will appreciate your surroundings, and you will appreciate yourself as a wonderful part of Buddha’s great activity,
even in the midst of difficulties. This is our way of life.”
– Shunryu Suzuki
Wow, More or less exactly my perspective on life right about now.
I guess we’re doomed to live on.
As you said it is intellect who forces us to find reasons, even if cloudy to put a meaning on everything, even existance, seem humanity needs its boundaries to not get lost.
Yes some times life might be plagued with doom and giant challenges unfair to the observer, not all will grow and prosper, such is the curse of our existance, even stars shatter and die, i guess the question now is why? why me? why him?.
There is no me or him there is us, the mass, the stream, you exist because of others and you will cease because you are finite, but is your sole existance and your choices what shapes all around you, it is your existance what feeds others, one tip of the root that gives and takes life from everything.
And the object of life is to create, express, exist, propagate beyond any and all frontiers, because is in the former where life can shine on its own over the absolute, there is no bigger gift in this universe than opening the windows to your soul and taking a glance of existence.
wow. This was a very interesting read! And here I was begining to think I was all lone. But it seems there are others with very similar thoughts, ideas and questions. Am reading thru all the comments now. Whew! Hard to do on my small cell phone. But I will get there and explore the rest of your work. Thanks!
Great – glad you can even see it on your mobile phone. We do have a special site for mobile users – that you should have reached through your phone’s browser. You’ll have to double tap the text to enlarge it in most cases. Ok – Aloha, Vern
The state of awakening is the beginning. Seek and you will find. What you seek is the truth, nothing else. God will reveal all to you in good time.
I’m glad I read this. I don’t think it helped so much with answering any questions I had, but somehow, I suppose, it helped me just to read someone else’s thoughts. I don’t really know what I expected when I typed “What’s the point of life” in the search box; I guess I was just curious to see what came up. I get tired of wondering about it and why I’m even here or if it even matters, but I can’t help but to wonder about it. I have moments of reprieve where it’s not on my mind, but it’s really always there to some extent.
Am I ever actually going to find someone I can be with, or am I meant to be on my own forever? Sometimes I think that might be the case, simply because I am so comfortable being alone and I am highly afraid of giving up my independence. But being with someone doesn’t necessarily mean giving up your independence, right? I’ve been so used to keeping people away from me that I don’t know any other way to be, and I get lonely and I wish that I had a companion, but then I worry that I would miss being alone. Don’t really know what to do about that one.
I know that people love me, but I don’t really see the point of my being here. Is it to learn something for a higher reason/another lifetime? Is it to help someone else that I will never know about? Is it to find a soul mate or companion, or is it for my soul to learn to be by myself?
Not that I expect you to answer these questions for me, of course. I’m just putting it “on paper,” I suppose. And of course it’s just the tip of the ice berg.
But, anyway, thanks for writing all this :)
That is the exact same way i feel abut my life. It is like some one has put all the things which i think about over here in this blog.
I am not an introvert as such, but i like to have my independence, which i fear of loosing by getting too attached to people. So i intentionally keep my distance, but sometimes i feel, espceially when iam free, like on weekends, lonely, lost and an overall sense of dullness.
Hey, I doubt anyone will read this comment, but I really want to send my appreciation out to you for writing this. I’m Hindu but I was born and raised in America so my family isn’t really into thinking about life and meditating. I didn’t really care about anything in relation to God and life before I took a psychology class. Ever since I began to feel like you did when you wrote this article, whats the point of life? As I’m guessing from what you have said, you moved to Thailand to a monastery. My plan exactly as soon as I reach adulthood and can leave my parents in peace(I’m 16 so my parents are very authoritarian as of now). I searched the topic of this article on Google and this is the first article that popped up. Thank you for writing this.
P.S. Because I’m still a child by standard of numbers, I haven’t had much of a chance to meditate, but I did begin it at the beginning of this year in search of the jhana you speak of, termed Samadhi in Hinduism. May your soul be at peace through your journey as I hope mine will soon be.
Thanks for writing your comment – I love hearing from teens on this, or any subject really.
I hope you don’t think you need to wait until 18 to start meditating daily. It doesn’t take long. Sit for 20 minutes a night, that might be all you’ll need initially.
Good luck and best of life to you…
vern, i live in a loving family, a really nice home, have good grades, great friends, am really athletic, and ultimately have a life that most would kill for. but i am not happy. i am half american, half chilean and i go to chile regularly because of my family and my friends. while im there, i am happy. its a sensation ive never felt before: just being at peace. and i love it. but as i beg my parents to send me to live over there, they continue to refuse cuz its not that easy. and ii understand where theyre coming from, but im still incredibly miserable. despite my good life, i hate waking up everyday and all i think about is my life in chile. im a better person there and thats all i wantt to be. i dont know what to do, im going insane
You want your parents to send you over there? How old are you? Who would you live with?
The good thing is – when you’re 18, you can do what you want. Make it known to them now that you might decide to go move to Chile when you can – with or without their support. So many teens think they are still trapped at 18, and don’t do what they want. Much better for you to do what you want – if you’re 100% sure you’ll be safe where you’re going.
Living in a country outside of the US – you’re in the USA – yeah? – is relaxing. Thailand, where I’m at now – is VERY relaxing. Laos – same. Cambodia – same. Malaysia, not so much so – but, similar. Hawaii – same.
Where do you live now? Age? Who would you live with in Chile? Why Chile?
I’m the 8th wife of my husband who beat me up causing me to lose a job last year. Haven’t found a good one since. Can’t afford to leave. He got better in the last 6 months but his priority is my granddaughters (his by marriage) he was psychologically and physically abused. I have a lot of job experience and can’t find a job and at this point don’t want one. He said he is a survivor and his bills will come first. Not currently getting to see my granddaughters because he comes home from working stressed and takes it out on me which makes me dislike spending time with him and my granddaughters. For example I had my daughters it was after 6 and they were hungry. I asked him to meet us and he through a fit and left because the girls (not I) were eating. My oldest grandaughter said why does he always leave? When i tried to talk him out of leaving he told me to get away or he would call the police. He always ends up helping if I need it but I’m tired of being a burden. Always get the guilt trip when we can’t see the girls because of something I did. I was brought up in a great home. I’m a loving caring person and don’t deserve this. I want it to all be over with, can’t wait till god takes me home. I hope I don’t get a job and lets see if he leave me:)
Although I have a happy and enjoyable life I can’t really see the point of human existence. Life is just about going through activities until it comes to an end. If it doesn’t come to an end and you go to heaven then you hang around there for eternity. If you reincarnate then you go through life’s activities again until it comes to an end etc. If you are someone like mother Teresa then you help people to have a better life so they can then go through the motions until it comes to an end. If you have 2 people that are just about to die. One has had a great life and the other a terrible one. In 30 seconds their life will be over and how rewarding their life has been or not means nothing.
Thanks – I loved this comment, Michael. I didn’t attempt to go into the bigger question – about what is the point of life from an existential standpoint. From our own human viewpoint – we can’t see a point at all if we’re rational and realistic about the whole thing. I’m right with you – there seems to be no point at all from the big picture perspective.
From my own perspective though – the best thing appears to be – to help others get through this life. That’s about it. I can’t see anything else worth doing really.
Thanks again for your comment!
Since I was 5 I wondered what the point to life is, I am now 46. It amazes me that at such a young age I wondered it and now that I’m 46 I wonder why people never have thought of it. When I talk about it people say “oh your just depressed” “you’ll snap out of it”. I’m glad I stumbled upon this site because prior to this I haven’t found anyone who I could relate to. This article was perfect for me, I’m not crazy or negative, but just really want to know what the point is and what my purpose is. I think when I feel unappreciated is when I start thinking about it more or when I come back from a great vacation. I get great joy out of making someone’s sucky life feel better, maybe that’s why we have comedians. I recently told my daughter and husband my life sucks, they got offended with my honesty. Is it wrong to want more, expect more in terms of relationships, feeling appreciated, wanted, helpful… So many times I feel like I’m busting my ass for other people to make them happy all the time ignoring what makes me happy. Most of us go through life ignoring how we feel so we don’t have to change anything because it might upset someone else. Seems ridicoulous. Thank you for this post because like you said even being enlighted could suck too. I too feel that to die would be a relief, I love to sleep, to dream of other things it’s when I am the happiest the most content is when I am fast asleep what a relief from this sucky life. I guess my lesson would try and do things that would make my life less sucky. I will make this as one of my goals and see how it goes.
i just dont think there is a point in life.i have been thinking about it for about 4 years now and i have realize that there is no meaning to life.i have stopped be believeing in god and demons,ghost etc. and im just 15 years old. I think about this every time i get pissed off and have an emotional breakdown cuz life is to much for me now. sumtimes i just feel like ending it which has made me fearless to death but ending my life would be pointless to . sumtimes i feel like a need therapy cuz i think im going insane and turn into a psychopath.
I think not only many teens feel like that… but, adults too. Life can be hard to wrap your head around. I have moments everyday when I go… WTF? Why IS THAT??? When I see something that doesn’t make sense to me. There is a WHOLE lot that doesn’t make sense – right? I could give you 100 things that don’t make sense – just off the top of my head. Things that make me question the point of life from whatever “god” or whatever started this mess.
You’re not alone man… at 15, you don’t know your elbow from your backside. I was there – I knew less than you. Give it a couple years and see what you figure out about life. Life is a giant puzzle and you can figure out pieces of it… and then other pieces start to make sense. Will you ever figure it all out? Someone has to… maybe that is the point from god’s perspective… give them a nearly unsolvable puzzle – and see if they can figure it all out.
I’m still trying… I hope you do too.
I feel the same. I have voices and I tried telling people but they dont believe or dont care. I’ve found that people are all selfish deep down and only have small bouts of caring.
I’m really lost and confused in life. I don’t know if I should keep trying to go on or if I should just end it. I lost my mom in the year and a half ago and everything’s been going downhill since then sorry guess I’m just trying to get help to see if life is worth living
It can be worth living… depending what you have going, right? If you’re in a spot where it seems like you don’t have much to keep going for, I think we’re all there occasionally. You’re in good company. After feeling it for a while, maybe figure out a plan to start giving yourself things to live for. Start with little things. Get a cat. A dog. Don’t get fish. lol. Something that, when you show it love, it gives love – animals do that incredibly well. Dogs anyway. Cats are in their own world! Start writing down stuff that you can try. All sorts of stuff. Start living life. Your mom wouldn’t want you to shut yourself in and dwell on her passing all day. Every day. Turn it all around FOR her… and for yourself! Aloha man, work on enjoying something. It’s the only way life is really any good. :P
Thank You for helping me as well. I am also a 14 year old boy living in the UK however, and today I felt depressed as well. For a long time I had wanted to know what the point of life was, and could not find one. I had heard and seen many other older people complaining about life and struggling to get by and I just thought that I did not want to be there, and was even contemplating suicide (not now when I’m 14 but later on, once I had done a few more things). I read this and talked with my parents, and whilst I still not fully convinced there is a real purpose to life, I am not giving up on it, and will hopefully follow my dreams and aspirations until the day I die and move on into the unknown. Thanks for helping me though, I feel much happier now that I have sort of found a purpose than when I didn’t have one.
Really fantastic outlook! Love it!
Whomever wrote this is truly amazing i have never looked at it exactly like u did i am 13 living in U.S.A and u have inspired me in so many ways. That I can not even explain I just wanted to tell u what u wrote was not i waist :)
That might be the best comment – EVER.
Hey, Vern I’m a 14 year old boy living in the U.S. and today I was depressed, not going to school, but I feel you have enlightened me. I come from a family of poverty, especially in these times, and have always understood life isn’t fair to everyone, but you have taught me how to avoid depression as well as suffering. If I lessen my attachments to TV, Video Games, and the like, doing what I’m asked to do and just living in the moment I may have a better experience. I also, wish to experience the next level up from this “place” we call Earth and find out what comes next, not shortening my life, but not extending it as well. I really can’t wait to see what comes next and I hope it’s something enjoyable for everyone, but if it is to be horrible, then like you said “so be it”. I will probably continue with my attachments, but not live as close to them as I live now, but all I say today is Thank You for enlightening me Vern, Thank You.
Teens are SO tough to get through for some people… all of us had trouble to some degree. Depression is the NORM for many teen kids. I want to give you a copy of “Kicking Life’s Ass!” for free – will send it to your email. If you read it – great. If not – no worries, there’s no exam. LOL. I think it will help you get an even better perspective on what is important in life… and honestly, there isn’t much! hahaha – Ok, will zap you the ebook in a few minutes. Cheers man – keep smiling… it’s the best alternative… Vern
“I’ve not met anyone that was enlightened. I’ve asked monks and abbots of Buddhist temples here in Thailand. I’ve asked on major, worldwide internet forums if anyone knows someone they believe is enlightened… I’ve found nobody”
I know enlightened person.
all of you are just way tooo stressed out. you all just need to find your mellow. just live life and be happy. What is the point… what is the point in knowing the point…. How or why …. you end up with all these questions you cant answer just find your mellow
Haha don’t worry, I’ve been living how I want for the past couple years ( I’m only 16) and it’s pretty cool. My parents don’t have a problem with it either unlike some earlier posts. My dad is agnostic and my mom is Christian but she doesn’t force me to be. I just sort of flow through life and go at my own pace. It’s quite relaxing. Oh and I was wondering..how exactly are you living in Thailand. I picture you sitting in a hut with a laptop getting awful internet speeds (dial-up bad). Ciao
hey don’t you think your wasting your presiours time inthis world.We all are created by a creator.The creator is watching you.I think most of your questions,Almost all the questions, you will find in your guide book.Take a traslation of quran an you will get it
Muslims BELIEVE in Quran. Chiristians BELIEVE in Bible. Hindus BELIEVE in Geetha. Atheists BELIEVE there is no God. Scientists BELIEVE in science. Don’t you understand that all these are just beliefs and none of them could actually be THE truth. Its just your perception. How can you say someone is wasting their time by thinking about all these questions. If there is a Creator, why did he create all of us? Why did he create billions of species all around among which millions suffer everyday. What is THE point in doing all this. Imagine you have a kid that you love so much. Would you be happy to see him suffer everyday of his life? I am not saying there is no GOD. I am just saying everyone has their own perception. Do not preach others to be in a certain way. Actually it looks like I am preaching you now. You believe in GOD. Fine! Don’t look down upon people who do not. By the way good luck in HEAVEN.
I didn’t even go into that bigger question – what is the point of life from a ‘god’s’ perspective… it’s so unanswerable as to be funny. Thanks for your comment – cheers!
Very good comments, which I appreciated, thank you. I would like to read more of your ideas, they are very liberating. Thanks. :)
Sure Cat! I enjoyed writing that one.
Wow. I googled “what is the point of life” and didn’t feel dumber after. I was expecting “Jesus”, or “no one knows”. Instead it seems that everyone here has a valid argument (minus a couple stubborn Christians). Tomorrow I’m going to be surrounded by other teens asking what college I want to go to, and feel sorry that I can’t explain these ideas mentioned here because their minds couldn’t grasp them. Btw Matryoshka is like my mind speaking through someone else. It’s almost scary that every single idea he had was identical to my thinking.
Oh, and the travelling weed salesman has it all figured out :)
Ha! Thanks for your great comment – enjoyed it. I just loved Matryoshka’s comment… and article. Yes, you’re right – most kids couldn’t grasp it. However, most adults can’t either. Welcome to the group! Cheers – hope you pick the right place for college… but even more so, I hope you pick the right kind of life to live… one with meaning based on whatever conclusion YOU come to. Good luck, karma, and all that…
This is not reality, soon I will be home and all of this will be just a dream.
hey vern, like your thoughts. I recently retired from being a nightclub house music dj ( a very successful one at that! ) and have been asking myself this question alot , especially when i feel down… i feel most alive when i snowboard as there is only the moment…i snowboard alot but i find that i can only get this feeling only when i snowboard so when i dont, i tend to feel down…i am going to try your ideas ( especially no 6 ) and see if they give me the inner peace i am craving.
Have you tried surfing at all? Wouldn’t it be similar? Sort of?
The point of life is to maintain existence of all species, providing species and specimen diversity, numbers and location, to resist disease and adapt to climate shift.
But the question still remains, what’s the point to all that.
hahha! yes, in a way – the question remains… it’s for you to answer. There are two questions really – what is the point of life – from our own perspective – which is what I wrote about here… and there is the bigger question – What is the point of life? From the creator of all this… if there was one… what was intended for us? Why do we need to go through this life? That one – we may never know…
oh yes, I would like the follow up email option
Vern! So much of what you wrote came as though out of my own mind. I am very much in the same sort of place as you were – questioning the point, and questioning the point of the solutions offered – questioning the point of everything! Would you mind very much emailing back and forth with me a little bit about life? There are so few people out there that see the world the way you do, and I feel like I need advice from people who have seen and questioned and experienced as you have.
I hope it would help me very much!
I hope to hear from you
just want to say i really like the article. Sometimes I feel like I’m grabbing a train in a tunnel and it is scraping me against the side of the tunnel, slowly tearing me apart. Just trying to get on the train or stop it. Nice to know I’m not the only one(4). Lose of ego is absurd. It is required to interact with others and fulfill the “ultimate meaning”.
My wife and I just agreed to get a divorce last week after 10 years and two beautiful boys. I am also bored with life and live with multiple painful diseases that make it challenging to enjoy anything. The cruelty of my diseases is that I appear normal and healthy yet have physical pain and side effects that others cannot perceive besides my occasional moan or grimace. My job is stressful and demanding to the point I just want to walk out but don’t want to go home because our family is strained but I have obligations to family to keep.
Your perspective of life and is influences is so accurate. The idea of feeling nothing in nirvana is intoxicating to me. I wish I could feel peace with just being.
One thing you didn’t discuss is procreation. I suppose in a way it is a way of helping someone else get to peace. But in reality you are inviting a new consciousness to feel pain and hardship. Are we here to present someone else to disjointedness then help them move past it? But in other respects, the only real meaning I find in my life is for my children. Or is it guilt for bringing someone to a painful world so you worry and work the rest of your life to try and fix that err in judgement. And even that meaning is painful since your children don’t often respect or appreciate your sacrifice for them.
The accumulation of stuff and the temporary high you feel is all I know. But the desire for the next preoccupies my life but in some respects that is the point so I am distracted from the pain and disappointment.
Vern, how do we find any meaning and direction in life when the only desire to do anything is to distract the pain and disappoint? I got a whole giant bag of suck – the only luck is that I don’t have to remind myself to breath.
I feel like you exactly. I totally agree with your thoughts on procreation. I am from India and my parents are trying to “find” a girl for me so that I could marry her next year (arranged marriage). I can’t tell them that my life sucks and I have a very negative opinion on life. I do not want to marry and give birth to other people who will have to go through this suck. I don’t want to hurt my parents by disobeying them nor do I want to go forward and screw my life and other peoples’. The only reason I am writing this is to let you know that there are lots of other people in this world who are going through stuff like this. So do not let yourselves down any more. The only thing we can do is to find whatever little happiness we can with the strength we have. Just to keep us going I guess……….. All the best Bryan.
This article is very nice and I appreciated reading this. I’m 17 and I’ve been hit with “what are you gonna do now since your almost done with high school?” or “what’s your goal in life?”. These never ending questions come up every time and they are always the same. I’ve been thinking about the point of life, and to me it’s doing something that makes a difference. I’ve been thinking about joining the military because what’s my point in life? I’d rather be helping the country I live in then wasting my one life at some doing the same thing over and over. This article it opened up my mind. Thanks for this beautiful article!
The whole point is the struggle to live. If you have no struggle to live, then it’s the hope that you’ll help someone else.
hi, thanks for this article it really helped me. I’m 15 and everyone keeps saying you got your whole life ahead of you , things like that but i really dont see the point in life, i look t life from a completely different perspective to my parents, they keep telling me i need to go school more to get better grades, but i see school as forced education. i want too find out what comes after death, so my parents see me as suicidal, NO ONE seems to understand my views and always has an invalid reason as too how my view is wrong, really enjoyed reading (:
I had the exact same thoughts for most of my life. Till last week to be exact. What I now believe is that we do not know where we came from, who sent us or why he/she/it sent us. We are alive. We do not know where we will go or what will happen after death. No matter how much you think you will never find the answer. How human brain is not designed to know the answer. Its something like, a fish in my aquarium doesn’t know about who feeds it and where food comes from. It doesn’t know anything about me or who I am. It just does its job in its world. Its thinking capacity is limited to us. May be our thinking capacity is limited when compared to some other higher powers/aliens I guess. So I am trying to take it easy and just lead life. Just go with the flow. Everything else will fall in place. Grades will follow, job will follow and everything else will follow. You don’t have to go after them. Just relax and let life sink in. Action is better than idleness. So just do something and keep moving. Remember how our hearts and lungs function smoothly 24*7 without you actually sweating over it. SO just go with the flow. And you will know the answers some day before/after death hopefully. Thanks for reading.
Niiiiice. I enjoyed that. Cheers!
wow, I second that. This is how I usually feel too. It also comforted me after I read that article.
Thank you very much for this article. I am a depressed person. I suffer from bipolar disorder too. I have been thinking about the point of life for the past 12 years. I have got more and more depressed unable to find “the” answer. I am afraid of GOD and what he might do to me if I do not lead this life in the way he WANTED me too. I am bored of living and there is nothing I want to do. I have had lots of thoughts about peace and living a simple life at various points in my life. But I thought I was absurd and am just fantasizing about a life like that. But your article helped me immensely in many ways that I can’t even express in words. Thank you would be an understatement. I feel like hugging someone and crying out loud. Thank you.
I love when I get responses like this to this article (and others). I wanted to give people the idea that this life doesn’t necessarily mean that much… we don’t know what it means on a big scale – what God or whatever made this place – wants it to mean. BUT, we know what we know… what we can see gives us clues about what the world is for… what we’re supposed to be doing here…
And you know what?
As far as I can see – we’re supposed to be getting over the bad stuff and having fun with whatever makes us happy – that doesn’t harm others. We’re supposed to focus on our own happiness – and here, here is a license to do that – go do it! Once you have your own happiness down – and are enjoying life because there is little causing stress, pain, hurt, on a daily basis…
GO HELP SOMEONE ELSE get to the same place you are.
That’s it really – the entire point of life from a human standpoint.
We may never know whether there is some other point that any supernatural being wants us to “know”… but, I have the idea that – we already know.
Help people get through life so it can suck a little bit less for them. As a result it helps you tremendously too because you feel great about yourself.
Thanks again Prudhvi!
The funny thing is as soon as you accept that life is tough and decide to be in peace with the little things you do, life feels so awesome and easy to lead. Have a good weekend Vern. :)
I would just like to personally thank you for this article… im at a point in my life where the fear of death just became real. ive been dwelling on it for a few days, the point of life, the point to our existance, so on and so forth. and i have to say, not only has this article given me a new light, but i’ve seem to let go of my fear, and its all thanks to you.
Thanks Mireille. I love to hear from people that the article helped…
Death is scary at times to think about… and then, during other times – it just seems like the natural progression of what we’re experiencing… and you wouldn’t want to live forever – that is for sure!
When I think about death I think – well, I just want what I’ve done while alive to be enough for everyone that depends on me, so when I’m gone – their lives will be a little easier because of what I’ve done for them.
What is next? No idea… but, like I think I said in the article (been years since I wrote it), billions of people before us have died already… if they can do it – I can do it…
great article man! i dont read much on the internet but this was interesting!
What’s for Tea?
What a lovely blog. What refreshing writing and simple insights. Thank you. I am a recovering alcoholic (one year sober) and your views have really helped and nourished me today. I am not sure what the ‘point’ of life is at all. The point of my day is to live sober, love well and be guided by my higher power. With any luck I’ll get my head on the pillow without taking a drink. Does the whole of one’s life need to have a point? Who is judging? What is a ‘point’? Is the question and the concept of a point or target a folly of ego? Animals and plants don’t bother asking it, nor do they worry about their careers or hair styles – not that I know of anyway. Its a good question really.
To be without ego, relieved from the burden of self and in the embrace of Tao sounds pretty peaceful and groovy, but Tao is a shy geisha. We see her beauty fleetingly before she pops back behind the curtain. I can sustain my conscious contact with Tao (God, higher power etc.) mostly by helping others and doing. That way I forget about self and escape the lies of my needy ego.
To my mind, I am a straw dog blown in the wind of time. Just here to have a bit of a look round until the bell tolls and then – nothing. I choose to share my journey with my family, my beautiful wife and children, my friends and my fellow alkies (and they choose too) and try to love them well until the journey ends – fairly soon in my case.
I do not believe in the afterlife – the idea that there can be consciousness without a living body is medical and neurological nonsense. Consciousness and the ‘self’ with its layerings of subjectivity are, I think, a consequence or millions of years of evolution – and what an amazing and beautiful thing that is. That is not to say that it is a deceit – it just means that ‘I’ want to enjoy it while I can cos when its done that’s the end of me. I do think I return my borrowed chi to Tao though so the energy won’t be wasted. We’re all part of God by my reckoning – in fact, you are God with Vern’s senses. Heh heh!
Enjoy yourself – its later than you think.
Have an amazing day
Wow that was breathtaking. Just to clarify this with you, Im 15 and im not sure what to make of my life yet. I was siting on my couch thinking of the most important person to me, and the rather deppressing thought popped into my head. What’s the point life? I have thought it over for weeks and my conclusion of it is that you have to make yourself happy because nobody else is. That might seem a little pushy but its the truth. I have some rather important questions to ask you. I would really apreciate it if you would reply
If you’re for real – go ahead and ask. I sent you email and it bounced as invalid email acct.
I know how you feel man, I have been there and thought that. Now, i know, that life is hard, but life ALWAYS has a value. You may not think it at times, but believe me, there is.
Hate & Love, Fear & Excitement, Joy & Suffering are all one and the same, without one there is no other, one person will not enjoy a See-saw as much as two, LO! I digress, you want a reason for existance, here’s one no one can falsify or deny, pain and bliss aside “It’d be a bloody shame to miss it don’t you think? for one not to bare witness to all of this, would be a most unfortunate non-event”, “even if your existance was five moments of unexplicable suffering (to me at least (or most)) this would still be beautiful”. If you feel for one moment you suffer, or your life is not what you want it to be, no matter how hard you try, then know this it will not last as long as you thought it would and I Love you, I really do, without condition, I also lothe, despise and fear you, WE ARE ONE and as I, you are alone, I hope you understand or ignor all or some of what i said (I have no doubt you will)
I’m not sure what you just said Ryan – but I approved the comment anyway.
Absolutely love this article Vern, thankyou!
Just a minor observation: those who take life less seriously seem to enjoy it more. There is so much stress in this world, so people, chill out! :-)
I totally agree with most of your points. –
hey this was a cool read, i have had existential questions bugging me for years now
Would you rather believe in something, say random idea/religion X, and feel like you have a fulfilling life, even though, as it turns out (but you will never ever know), religion X is incorrect?
Or would you rather spend your life wondering what the real point is and, basically seeing as its almost impossible to find the real purpose, just try do your best to be happy, as hard as that may be sometimes?
Incredible to me that so many people are born into certain beliefs/religions, and they are so certain that their belief is incorrect, whereas if they had been born into something else, I’m fairly sure they would be certain that this something else is the correct thing. The thing is-these believers are the most happy people in life! And the others, who dont accept everything given them as true, are probably (I think) less happy. Who are the winners in life- happy blind believers, or sad souls searching around for the point.
This is what I’ve been saying… I wish I could believe blindly in something. It seems like the best way. However, it isn’t up for choice… one can either believe in something they’ve never seen, felt, experienced, or known – or one cannot. I cannot. It’s beyond me… How I wish I could pray to something – offer alms to something – do extra good FOR something – and affect that something in a good way – so as to receive what I want. How I wish I could build up good karma… how I wish… ahhhh, what’s the point of it??!! I can’t. Life is what it is and I’m one of the sad souls searching around for the point. I’m not all that sad though… Cheers Mark.
Hmm I’m not so sure I would like to believe blindly, even if it made me happier. This somewhat ties into making decisions- some people quickly make important life decisions. They are pretty certain these decisions are correct, and they are happy about them and don’t think twice. Others battle, and painstakingly make decisions and stress over them. These careful decision makers more likely make better decisions, but they experience much more stress over making them, and wonder at the end if they made the right one. Just like religion, where the more open minded are probably less happy.
Just read your online book- enjoyed it.
One thing you didnt mention is regret. Not worrying about the past, and doing your best going forward no matter how terrible your life is been or how bad the decisions you have made are, you can try not even think about that. probably not as important to most other people as it is to me (even though most people would say I’ve had a good life, I know about all my bad decisions). A good quote about regret:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
I liked that – about regret… I have things i regret and yet I don’t spend any time thinking about them. Well, very little time anyway… I look at the present a lot. I’m one of the ones that labors over major decisions. Right now I’m all locked up – about – moving to another place in Thailand or staying here. There are many good reasons for both – so, a difficult decision. I do stress over decisions more as I get older – they seem more important now than they did at 20 years old…
I enjoyed your Kipling.
Good writing- glad I found your site, and let me know if you have written anything else. Thats great you moved to Thailand and had the guts to do that.
Just turned 30, and I am perhaps finally having a positive outlook on life over the last month- but lets hope it lasts. Going to get my 2nd masters degree while you are living the easy life in Thailand. This is the one that will make me happier! (or will it?)
There’s nothing really easy about my life!
What is your 1st masters in? 2nd to be in?
accounting degree which I blindly got to get a good job (which I did and hated).
now I am going to try get a masters in mathematical finance, which I would enjoy a lot more.
Wow. Wouldn’t you enjoy something like leading snake hunting expeditions in Laos better? Having a fishing business in Alaska? Writing books?
I have been numb to joy or pain for years. I am not a monk, priest, or anything else in a robe.
Being born numb to feelings of any nature is not that much of a thrill. If this is enlightenment than I know for sure there is a higher power because it means someone is playing a big,fat joke on us all.
Don’t get me wrong. Regardless of my own issues, I treat everyone with repect, go to work, pay my bills, volunteer my time a bit to others and generally try to make the person next to me feel better. It just does zero for me.
The reason I do it is because it would be a shittier than it is now world if we didn’t.
Good luck on your quest. Just try not to take it too seriously.
Hi Tim – when did being numb to joy and pain start?
When I was younger, I had one of my friends tell me – There is no point to life – whats the point in anything! My lifes goal seems to have transcended to prove this memory of him that I have saying this wrong! I have since seen him and he appears to me as being a very depressed person. I am a lover of travel and surfing ect. however have been going through some post-travel blues the past 10 months having come home to my family. I want to relate to them but I cant anymore as it seems as though I have transcended their level – they seem to be very much in order and me being more open minded from travel (and seeing the world much like a story book due to my photography) I find it very hard to relate to them and see them as very mundane and ‘in line’. This is the major cause of why I have been going through a rough time the past 10 months as I feel very alone in this world and with my thinking. Essentially everyone is alone – we are born alone and we die alone! Reading things like this on the internet however re-assure me that I am not the only individual on this planet – There are many out there that think for themselves and go in search of more than just materiality! God is in every atom, every tree, river, cloud, person, animal, thing! Where did everything come from? The only thing I can put it down to is a creator and what people call ‘God’. I am not one to preach this or anything as I believe that people need to find it for themselves – its the same as travel stories – as good a story teller you may be it will never be the same as experiencing it first hand! One must experience finding what they see in front of them as a miracle! One thing that keeps me positive through my days is reminding myself that the universe should not exist – but it does! This gives my day alot more light and enthusiasm to live like this is my last day alive in this body – because one day it will be!
What a great comment – thanks Michael.
Maybe the point of life is to find a point to live for?
‘The soul tastes the sweet and the sour fruits of the tree of life while the spirit looks on in detatchment’. I can’t remember where I read it but to me it describes the relationship between the eternal and the transient parts of each of us.
I believe that we are eternal spirit born into temporal bodies, and that this is where the struggle and tension derives. I think the purpose of life is evolution, that each incarnation is an intense burst of experience, vivid and frenzied and short, from which we learn so much, and if we learn enough, we don’t have to return.
This is exsactly what i believe happens. were just tempory and every life is an amazing experience. our soul could have been in billions different worlds and places. everytime we die we go somewhere with a fresh mind.
Hi Anthony, we feel very strongley about what is the point of liveing, your article opened our eyes and made us see the world in a new light. we are now not going to commit suicide and we thank you for this.
Cool! So, what is the point of life then for you (both?)
Your post intrigued me; it was the first search result from google when I searched “What is the point of life?”. I’m not sure exactly what kind of answer I was looking for, perhaps maybe a simple magic one liner that could allow me to continue my life as it was before; before I had the compulsion to ‘need’ to answer my search question. I’ve come to an absolute stand still in my life, I don’t move forward and I have no will to go backwards. In a journal not too long ago I wished foolishly that I could walk around in my life with drool hanging from my mouth (70 IQ?) so I wouldn’t be inclined to bother myself with questions such as this. I’ve seen the worst in humans in my short 27 years of life here, I’m a combat veteran and I have an extremely difficult time moving on from everything I’ve witnessed and experienced. Through some intense therapy and other means I’ve now come to the point of “What’s the flippin point to all of this?” .. and from your post here I believe we share the same frustration and curiosity.
This is dangerous territory, this question I ask myself because I know one of the darker answers, I’ve been there and I hope to never return but alas once a door is opened in the mind it becomes very difficult to close ( assuming it even can be closed without the use of some pharmaceutical approach) I’m frustrated at the fact that everywhere I turn, every object and every activity only serves it’s self to distract us (me) from reality, and my mind used to do this for me automatically through the use of various defense mechanisms that I no longer choose to use. I can only say that the reality light bulb has been flipped on inside of my head; just as I wanted it to be. Problem is, where the hell do I go from here?
Enough of the frustration, I’d like to leave my message with a touch of hope. It gives me comfort to read what you’ve written here especially reading that perhaps this is only one stage of our existence, one level as you put it. This alone gives me faith in myself to keep going because perhaps there’s something more, something better. Perhaps we’ve been placed here to learn something otherwise not able to learn in other forms. I’m not much of a reader, my attention span gives up easily however a page at a time I’ll be reading your book. I appreciate your time and effort on all of this, not to mention you’ve made the download free.
You’ve helped me already with just a few short paragraphs, I look forward to reading more and hopefully I’ll gain more of an understanding of where I am at the moment.
Thanks a ton!
I like the book and the vast points you’ve made. I am going to try to acheive some of the tasks.
I just feel I have to say this, I’ve discussed and question ‘what is the point of life’ for years. Not going to sleep at night thinking about all the possibe answers that they might be. I keep running into one answer and ‘the point of life, is that their is no point’. It may sound sad but their isn’t, deep down people must know this, but we / life goes on, the planet spins, the sun burns, galaxy’s collide, the universe expands, but their is no point to any of it, it just happens.
I have come to a conclusion that there is no real meaning in anything it’s niether good or bad it just IS. There is no good or bad right or wrong ….we put the meaning into anything that just IS.
Life is quite mad really …as quantum physics will now agree…its the sea of potentiality. If it can happen then it will on some and every level a possibility will be played out by the Mind of One (some say God) and quantum physisists call the Unified Field of which we are all part of and connects every paricle in existence together.
I think that finding joy creates the stepping stones through the rapids of the random partical bomardment we call life.
Some might also argue that we experience our own universe from our own perspective and so therefore what matters to us is the only real importance…but perhaps life is more complex than that.
I think “successful” people do not give energy to things they don’t enjoy and instead focus on what they like…it makes sense, but involves a fair amount of self determination and drive and self belief that alot of us struggle with. In other words they choose not to dwell on things you and I might spend too much of our energy on. For example They might focus on what they can do rather than what they are lacking.
I believe that it’s all a holographic experience created out of electro magnetic energy.
Keep on truckin
oh so close with the E M thing there, it’s more to do with heat (or what we have come to know as heat) At absolute zero (which is still a theory par-s) at -270ºc atom’s would cease to function and drop out of existance, infactum many experiments using super cooled helium and hydrogen at about -269.9899999ºc (G o T a few 9’s) hydrogen atoms would cease vibration’s become unisen and fall out of containment, actually passing through what we would call solid matter untill they became “warm” again, but then, I have to ask what plain of existance are they present in such a condition, still affected by gravity and with no electro magnetic feedback, i can only imagine that the pixie’s don dun it
side note “magnetic fields of light”?
lol – I said that? Was I talking about aurora borealis? Not sure what I wrote that about. It’s magnetic fields that cause the light I think yes? Not magnetic fields of light! Am I on the right track?
Why do you write this
“I have yet to make a relationship “work”… and I’ve just about given up trying. No point for me, I think much better to give up the idea and just have close friendships instead. I wish I’d have realized this one thing so many years ago!”
Then write this:
“My girlfriend has a motorbike that cost $1500 USD almost 5 years ago. These are the major things we have.”
Wow – you scared me – I thought my wife wrote that comment!
This post was written 3+ years ago. Actually more, but it sat on my hard drive for a while before I decided to publish it. Some parts I added – hence the “My girlfriend has a motorbike…” part you quoted.
I’ve since revised it to make more sense. Back 3 years ago I wasn’t sure if I could make the relationship I’m in now – “work”. “Work”, to me, means forever. We’re at 5 years and it’s the best relationship I’ve ever been in. I think this one goes forever… :)
Thanks for calling attention to that. :) Vern
Good to read your reply and that you understood what I was saying. While i’m here i’ll just say that the reason I stumbled upon your site is because I looked up what is the point to life.
That was about 4 months ago and I have been meaning to ask you about what you wrote in that section since then and only just got around to it, because I came back to read your page recently, which I have bookmarked. I wondered about that part as I was hoping to take some advice from what you said about love relationships, but then you contradicted yourself with saying you were in one.
I’m not sure if you have any words of wisdom for me, but I am kind of struggling at the moment. I so often wonder what we’re doing here, and find it all SO crazy. Sometimes I wonder what is the point in anything? Were all going to die anyway. Whats the point in me studying. Or getting out of bed even. But then I do realise that there are things that can make me pretty happy, like travelling, and other things. I just can’t stop this mind process of thinking about things all the time. Sometimes I think my depressive thoughts might be to do with alcohol consumption and am trying to not drink anymore, but I keep going back to it because I need something to break the monotony of life. I guess I need to become passionate about something…I need wide open spaces and am not around them at the moment. I would like to be around more animals and nature. They make me feel more normal in the head. I want to just stop thinking about the point of it all, and accept that it’s going to be forever cryptic. I want to find something to break the monotony that is not alcohol. If I stop drinking for a few weeks I then feel like i’m just waiting til I can have a binge drinking night to forget about it all. Im not sure what else I could do that gave me the same buzz. Yoga and Meditation are good for my mind, though I should commit to them more and can be quite lazy with it. It seems that every one is trying to escape through alcohol (well alot of people I am surrounded by), how do you escape without it. Anyhow, I have found what you’ve written to be an interesting read, and some what inspiring, though I still haven’t found what i’m looking for.
I’m also one of those that thinks too much. I can’t help it. At one point I thought – I should try to stop this… but, what’s the point of that? It is always there. You can’t drink full-time to stop your thoughts…
Best thing for people like us is to focus on something. Find something you like. Find something you love. As you said, something you’re passionate about. Once you find something to keep your mind busy – you think less.
Or, you might start writing books. I’ve done that recently. It helps to focus my mind, and get some of my thoughts out where someone might do something with them. Where they might even help someone. To me – that is the point of life really – helping others. Everyone’s in the same situation… we live on earth and have to deal with all that comes with that.
Did you download the free ebook in the upper right side of the page?
There are more ideas about the point of life and some responses from those that have read the book.
I think if you find something you LIKE… something you LOVE…. not someone, some THING – you will find that life blows by quickly. If you can channel your thought energy into something that helps you or others – a book, a movie, a video, a poem, creative art, a song, whatever it is – you’ll find that life is more bearable.
Good luck with everything, feel free to write to my email if there’s something you want to talk about and not post.
It’s not that life is pointless. it’s what you make of your point less life. You are respirable for making meaning out of a pointless life.
Your start out nothing turn into something then go back to nothing.
There is a consiousness that is life and you are only a very small part
of that consiousness. You do not see the meaning of life because you are not the center your just part of the body of life.
As for those that believe life is pointless get over it. Enjoy the time
you have stop bitching over all the pain of life. When your life is over
it’s really over THE END !
I asked the same questions and came to some important conclusions. First, I found out that science may be able to extend our lives indefinitely. (Google Aubrey de Grey). Secondly, as an atheist, after considering the possibility that I might be living forever, I still wondered what the point of it would be. I came to the conclusion that the point of living would be to avoid random reincarnation. We don’t know what happens after death, but I think we can break it down to two general, rational possibilities, all resting on the fact that you need a brain to experience things. One, you remain unconscious forever, and don’t think, therefor, you don’t exist. I don’t like to consider this, because after all, life happened once for me, so who is to say it won’t happen again? Two, you are randomly reincarnated, and I say randomly, because I don’t think that god exists, or any intelligence that decides where your consciousness manifests. This second possibility is pretty frightening, because you could come back as some other creature in the wild, a starving African, a meth addict, ect. So, it would seem that the best reasoning to keep on living (especially in health), would be to avoid such horrible situations, and remember: It isn’t written in the sky that science cannot solve the aging problem. Spread the word.
This was a tremendously excellent article. I really can’t describe how it made me feel.
I’ve been thinking about these sorts of questions for many years…in many cases being seen as a bad person for question faith and what not. Over time, I too saw that I seemed to agree with the Buddhist “goal”. I like the way you put that. I even tried starting to meditate…
It’s hard for us to go through life with all of these attachments (and I think you’re right that American’s do have more), but what is life without them? It sounds like nirvana is not so much the “end of suffering” so much as the “end of emotion”. I feel like you’re article has saved me a bit of time coming up with conclusions that I was definitely on track to make.
Again, this is such an excellent article that will certainly help many people who are bold enough to search for answers to such questions on the internet.
Thanks for writing this.
This was really helpful. Although right now, i’m not so caught up in thinking about my life personally, but more so “life” as a whole. I look up at the stars and often wonder about life elsewhere, and although its hard for me to explain, I constantly have this frustrating thought/feeling that I posess much more knowledge of this world than I am conciously aware of, I just don’t know how to unlock it. I have no idea where to start!
I’m glad you posted that comment – I also have this feeling… :)
I too also have this feeling, it even makes me cry sometimes.
So what does this question mean?
I have found that anyone who questions life, even slightly, comes to this feeling.
To me, it is each of us seekers opening up, ever so slightly to the universal energy, some deep, subconscious part of our brain that is connected to all that is physical.
I’ve spent the past 18 years of my life trying to die.
Rather than giving my sob story, I’ll leave it at: I am simply just so exhausted of this life.
At the turn of my eighteenth birthday, things were finally going my way.
I am in a healthy romantic and sexual relationship with my girlfriend of a year.
I have severed ties and not spoken with the most detrimental person, my mother.
I thought I figured out everything I wanted. I wanted to be a writer and am going to school for it in the fall.
All good things.
Yet, I am still trying to fight the daily urges to end my life. Everything seems so pointless, irrelevant, and unimportant.
Everything that I can accomplish will someday be forgotten or obsolete. If I spend so much time trying to make myself happy, what will it matter when I die?
Thank you for writing this, Vern. It was refreshing to know that even the best of people struggle – maybe not with wanting to die, but struggling with finding the point of life.
Just, thank you.
Thanks for writing! I think that most people – when they really look at the big picture – like you obviously have, wonder naturally about – what is the point of LIVING? When you look at the point of life – if it doesn’t make sense to you, then what is the next question? What’s the point of living at all? I’ve asked myself that question hundreds of times. My answer? Who the hell knows? Lol.
When I look at the big, big picture – I don’t see any grand scheme – any good plan, any worthwhile explanation at all about why we’re all here and playing this ridiculous game that just seems to be one of lasting out various pain. Sure there are good times, but, if you look at it closely – most of our life is just spent getting over various things that pain us.
Gravity is a pain we have to overcome every time we MOVE. WHY? Who knows. Why do we have to stay between a certain temperature to be happy? Why are we at 98.6 while reptiles can be a whole range of temperature and be fine? Why are kids born without ears or conjoined to their twin? Who knows! Is there a good point to it? Hell no!
So what to do? End your life? See… we know nothing about what’s next either. Whether this life – this soul – something of “me” is carried on after death – WHO KNOWS? We could be reconstituted and have no recollection of this goofy game at all. We could just die in the dirt and have no consciousness ever reconstitute, or continue. We could go to a much more horrible place and play a really sick game next…. or, it could be the best game. Who knows?
There’s no more point in killing yourself than living. And actually, since you fark up your loved one’s games profoundly when you kill yourself – it’s not about you – it’s about staying alive for those that love you and think you’re cool to have around. If there are none of those people – then yeah, whatever, kill yourself and see what’s next… to me – no real difference in my mind then.
This game is a very twisted thing… there is no good answer that I can see for the WHY it’s being played out. So, there’s no good answer for how we should all go about playing it out either.
Life, death, no matter… whatever started this game thinks – no matter either – or we wouldn’t die in such ridiculous ways, at young ages or old… in spite of how we live our lives morally – it makes no difference at all…
;) Cheers bro… Oh, and on being a writer – YES! Write your ass numb. Checkout MikeFook.com if you get a chance.
I have pondered this for a long time and I am currently writing a book on the subject. I think I may be able to help you by giving you a perspective that you have not considered. Email me at email@example.com and I would be glad to share my thoughts with you.
I really enjoyed this article. Thank you for posting your words. I have wanted to leave this world almost everyday since the day I came here. I think about death all the time. It’s the only thing from life I really want. But, beyond life, I want benevolence, peace, harmony, serentity, everything beautiful that isn’t here, or at least severely lacking. I want to be nude with faerie wings on and flowers in my hair, telling everything around me every beautiful thing about what it is. Yes, I could do this but, I would suffer so much negativity from others, which is silly concidering I give nothing but love to everything. That’s all we really want, love. If you could only feel one thing forever, it would be love. It’s the best feeling. One I have never experienced, not in a “transcending, encompassing” manner. I think that life is like a rubix cube. We have to try everything wrong to know when it fits into its perfect place. We are all experiencing everything there is to possibly experience so we can all finally come together and feel “just right”. We are all experiencing everything wrong so when we come to our individual perfection among all other perfected things, we will understand why we experienced all the shittiness. Because, it will make it better, somehow. I like to imagine God sneezing everything out, scattering it everywhere and from the moment of existence we are all trying everything possbile, walking every path, to find our perfect fit among everything else. I do this strange thing, when I’m urinating I stop because when I let it go again it feels sooo good. That’s what I think life is, experiencing all sorts of pain so pleasure will feel that much better, so we can understand why that “perfection” is perfect and nothing else can compare to the ecstacy that comes with the “fitting” of everything. Trying on every “wrong sized shoe” so when we put the perfect fit on, the feeling of satisfaction is overwhelming and we will never doubt its place on our foot. I believe in balance, it’s only when someone falls that we have an opportunity to pick them up. We need to see “evil” to know good. But, I think, eventually, when we are done our jobs of experiencing all the shittiness there is to experience, we will all bathe in serenity together, with nothing but love circling through everyone and everything, just feeling content. Ah, contentment. It’s what we all want and it’s impossible to find in this world. I concider taking my life often but, I resent the shortcut. When you travel the long hard road and look back on it, the view is so much more meaningful. Climbing a mountain is hard but, the view makes all the pain worthwhile. When we all look back on the suffering we went through, the crappy hike will make the view what it is. If experiencing a sublime, eternal ecstacy means suffering for a while to have that forever, why not?
It’s late at night here and I was pondering again the meaning of life after having a rough day… I’d like to share with you one fundamental truth that I personally believe in, which I came to believe after many years of reflection and still believe in now.
Essentially, I believe that the amount of pleasure that a person experiences in life is equal to the amount of pain that this person experiences in life. If you try to increase the amount of pleasure, the amount of pain will also increase to maintain the balance, and if you try to decrease the amount of pain the amount of pleasure will also decrease to again maintain this balance.
For example, the better food tastes (pleasurable) the worse it is for your body (pain in the form of fatigue, heartburn, obesity, disease, etc). The more you exercise (painful), the better you feel in general (pleasurable). If you take narcotic drugs, you may get high (pleasurable) but will have to suffer from a come down or withdrawal (painful). And so on and so forth…
And therefore, any attempt to improve life (i.e. increase pleasure, decrease pain) or increase your happiness (which is one form of pleasure) are bound to fail. You just have to accept this balance and live your life the way you want…
Hope someone finds these thoughts interesting…
I found it interesting!
Many of life’s rules have this inherent catch 22. The foods we find pleasurable are the fatty, sugary, salty ones that are also killers on the circulatory system and other body systems. Have sex too freely – too often, and catch something. Drink too much alcohol, take too many drugs – all the sudden you are addicted to them. Like exercise – just for the activity itself… do it too much – wear your body out – knees go, motivation dies, pull muscles, etc. Love to write? Carpal tunnel awaits. Love to sit and watch TV? Your brain atrophies. Love to talk? People grow tired of listening. Love to Sing? Eventually you lose your voice. Lots of things like this… I’m writing a book that covers things like this – not as a whole focus, just mentions it. Thanks for writing Pierre! Cheers… Vern
I agree with everything you said.. in fact, some of it sounded like some things I have written in the past. I stumbled on this when searching google in the hopes of discovering anyone out there who thinks like I do. I feel like I’m trapped in a meaningless existence that is just cruel and going downhill fast. I wonder if there is any point to it, sometimes I consider just giving in and taking up religion but it just doesn’t fit me. Sometimes I just think the world would be better without me or that I would be better without it. It’s so rare for me to have any friends or anyone else I can have deep conversations with. I always used to have deep conversations with my friends but I have lost so many over the years and the ones I still have don’t want to talk about this kind of shit. I’m telling you, for 24 years I’ve been cursed with the problem of watching girls that would be perfect for me go for my friends that are terrible for them. This is what got me thinking about all these things tonight. I finally reconnect with a girl from high school that I can talk to. Someone who actually seems to enjoy talking to me, laughs at my jokes, seems to want to spend time with me, and yet, she has the hots for (and has been seeing) my best friend. So now not only am I out a best friend but I get to sit around alone all day thinking about how they are together. I think if someone asked her to be honest she would say she wanted to have someone with my personality and his looks and this is what makes me think this world just isn’t fair. They have nothing in common outside of the fact that they are both the “beautiful people” to quote an old Manson song. He won’t sacrifice anything for her. I would give a limb. I would die for someone like her. I would change everything about myself. I guess it’s just not a fair world. Sorry, this response has been all over the place I just really needed to vent that shit because I can’t sleep; it’s all I think about. Maybe I’ll write a book but I can’t imagine who would want to read it. Thanks for reading this if you actually took the time.
I read all the comments here – and reply to most. Yours was exceptional.
You know why? The timing of it. That What is the Point of Life post has been around for a couple years now. 3 maybe. When you mentioned the “beautiful people” song by Manson I was like, WHAT did he just say?
I’m going to use that in my next book coming out in a couple of weeks. The name of the book? “Kicking Life’s Ass!”. I’ll send you a free copy if I remember, or, feel free to remind me that I said that!
You sound a bit like my friend Dave. He’s 44 and having the same issues. He was engaged and then his girl decided, she likes Dave’s best friend better. So they went off and got married. Dave still goes to their house – the two coolest people he knows hooked up. LOL.
Here’s my 44 year old wisdom speaking… At 24 years old you should only be looking for girls to have sex with. Your hormones are on fire and some say, “raging”. If you add up all the explosions in all the Bruce Willis and Arnold Swarzenegger movies – then that would roughly 10% of what MY hormones were doing.
Trying to have a relationship with someone who bases worth on appearance is a losing idea. Number one – you have an idiot you’re dating. Number 2, she’s going to find someone hotter than you no matter what.
Falling in love with such a person is a horrorshow I don’t wish on anyone.
Use this time to find fun people that like to have sex. Get rid of your raging drive and this way you’ll be able to focus on something other than chasing the hot chicks that want nothing to do with you. They want hot guys, rich guys, or bad boys. If you’re not one of those – you need to radically change who you’re looking for because you’re going to come up a loser a LOT for the next 20 years. Picture the last 6 years, 18-24 multiplied by 9.
I’ve dated models, Miss Columbia, and a handful of other hot girls that were neither – but though they were. A hot girl in the USA is usually almost devoid of personality traits I like. Great for sex – and little else. Society taught them to be this way.
Get this next book and I think it will hit many topics you’re dealing with right now. I may not have the answers, but I think you’ll enjoy reading it.
I went ahead and emailed you a response to your response but I thought I would come back to the site and thank you again. I never really used to feel any comfort in realizing that I wasn’t the only person experiencing the problems I have, but it does seem to help now. Anyway, you really helped me feel better about myself and I appreciate you taking the time to do so. I am looking forward to your new book. Thanks again.
my xbox 360 is the only reason i have not killed my self
Well i just dont know what the point of life is, but what i know is that, life is short, life is yours, live it or be it, your way or the highway ;-)
hey i was going through an anger crisis before reading your article and i feel so relieved to have done so. This is great advice and im feeling so much better. thanks
Cool – glad you were able to calm down… the big picture is hard to see when anger has a hold on us. :) Read it again and maybe you’ll really feel calm! ??? lol. Take care there…
Well, to start im about to be 15 years old in June. When I started to realize I was thinking differently then everyone else was when I started to doubt my religion that I had grew up around. My entire family (from both sides) have been Catholics for generations. And for me to come along and think, “Is there really a god? If so what has he done for me? Why do I have to follow his rules in order to be with him when I die? If he really loved me he would accept me no matter what.” This caused some sort of a chain reaction which then affected my school work.
I started to ask myself, “Why do I have to waste 4 years of my life learning how to solve 2u^2-7x^2/43x-7^3? When will I ever have to use this in life, unless I decide to become an algebra 1 teacher? Even if this was nessecary, is this all there is to life? From age 5 to 18 im in school, trying hard to get good grade so that I can get into a colledge, and do more hard work for another 4 years, just so I can get a decent job to do more hard work for the rest of my life? Thats absurd!
The only thing in life that gave me some sort of satisfaction were very common to other teenagers, friends, sports, and video games.
I started Jiu-jitsu at 10 years old and have loved it ever since. I feel so relaxing practicing the techniques, and then working my butt off when its time to spar.
As for friends, I feel so free while I’m with friends, doing what I could not do at home with my parents. Whether its talking about girls, skateboarding or biking to the other side of town to meet more friends, it just makes me seem like theres not a care in the world, other than that moment.
And for video games, when I was 12 in the 7th grade, I recieved my first computer. Eager to see what the internet holds for me, I tried all sorts of things. One was gaming. These Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG) they make now are so amazing. They allow you to enter a fantasy world, with a fantasy YOU. There are so many of these MMORPGs that you can find one for almost any setting of time or place in the world. It allows you to escape the ooutside world and enter another where there is barely any suffering or disapointment or stress. You can make friends and do so much, its increadible. People have succeeded in creating an alternate universe in which you can live in.
These 3, very simple things, are what please me in life. Whenever I get nagged about doing my work in school by my parents I try to explain but they always say that IM not the one listening. I know what I want to do in life, it is to either, own my own Jiu-jitsu gym where I could spread my knowledge and secrets to others so that they can prosper. Or become some sort of gaming engineer, to help create one of the best MMORPGs out there.
If I became either one of these I would just.. feel like my life is complete. That if anything would happen, such as death, I would be happy knowing I did what I wanted in life. Fulfilled my dreams and lived in pure happiness.
I know this post has been all over the place but I just don’t know what to do anymore. I guess just tough it up and live life how everyone else does. Thank you if you have read this far.
I totally agree with everything you have stated and I also have a heart murmur which does not slow me down either. I do not have a set religion though I am growing up in a Christian family.
I Have separated myself from my parents because they hate me because of my outlook on things. Which is how I realized how hypnotized society is to not keep an open mind. If my parents will not accept me, that is there problem. Since the separation I can say I have enjoyed life a lot more.
I do not believe there is a set point of life but I believe it is up to you as to what you want it to be. Since I have had a good 2 years to think through all of this, I have realized that the only way to make people see as I do is to open them up to the herb (marijuana).
People judge me, but that is not my problem. I have figured out I am to share the herb with everyone and go around traveling on the west coast of the U.S. and have the best time of my life.
Some of you may question as to why I would waste away my life doing this. And I will reply saying I am not wasting my life. If you see that it is not what you want to do then do not do it. I see it as an opportunity because when I am 50 I will be living no more due to the heart murmur. Am I scared? NO. This just makes me more willing to get out there and have the best remaining years of my life.
This must be the funniest response I’ve had yet. I don’t why it hit me like that, I mean no disrespect to you and your opinion. I enjoy the hell out of it really. It just hit me as absolutely hilarious because at first I thought you were going to go through explaining some very serious meaning of life beliefs.
Parents often think their kids MUST take their same opinion on things. Parents shove things down kids’ throats and if they spit it up – bam, they shove a hand in there to force it right back down. When kids become adults some parents still don’t ‘get it’ and they continue to try to run their children’s lives.
It’s a losing game. For both sides! It takes the kids a lot of mental energy to avoid the schlock the parents are slinging… eventually, like you – some bail out on the family.
Is it the right thing to do? In my opinion – it reaches a point where there is nothing else TO DO. Go your own way. You’re an individual above all else. Your family – if they can support you whether they believe in what you do, or not, are wonderfully positive resources to have around you. If not – they’re like a ‘friend’ that is always dragging you down with negatives, nagging, and disrupting your life. Leave them. It’s harsh. I know.
There is nobody in this entire world looking out for you as much as you are. Though your parents might seem to be looking out for you – they are looking out for themselves. They’re looking after their own interests.
I decided today to write a book about the point of life. I’m 12 pages into it since just last night. It’s a topic that has been burning inside me for years, and it feels good to start addressing the many things I couldn’t in this short post, “What is the Point of Life?”
Though I don’t partake of “the herb” I understand what you’re saying my friend… it’s an opportunity. Use it as such. Stay out of jail. It sounds like you’re focused on enriching others’ lives… I say CHEERS! Let me know how your trip goes if you think to…
I liked this article. I am a young person and still in schooling programs. I often think why is society like this? What is the point of life? Are we supposed to have a childhood, go to highschool, worry about college, get a job, find a lover, have kids so they can just repeat the process?
There is this tv show on MTV and it’s called The Buried Life and its about young boys that made a list of what they really want to do in life such as travel the world, do incredible spontanious things and I really like watching. One day they just dropped everything and do things that make them happy.
Some days I just want to drop everything myself and go away, travel, do my own thing instead of being forced everyday to do many things I don’t really want to.
I agree with the having babies part too. Do you want to bring a child into this world that is just so cruel and negatively mind-blowing? But then again, I would absolutely love to have a child to call my own and love.
I liked this article and I agree with many of the things that you stated. I wish the world would just let you do whatever you wanted to do without people making judgements or society being so negative. Maybe in the second life..
WOw, someone thinks like me… It is surprising to me how nice many of the people are reading this webpage.
I would like to say that I have read and somewhat enjoy this post. My thought, on what is the point of life, is that we are here simply because we are, not by our choice. The world exists simply because it exist. We as humans have been giving a chance to believe or do whatever we want in our lives’. The only thing that governs us as individuals is our own morals.
I too have meditated many times and have been able to turn off my conscious in nature and in public places. It feels very in lighting but can also be scary because it’s almost like being an animal, all your doing is absorbing everything around you without really processing it. At some point when your conscious comes back you will be glad that you have one.
I think that this is what makes us superior to all other creatures, having doubt being able to control our selves without just reacting. With this being said live your life the way that you want to live it, because it’s your life to live after all.
I am 15 and came up with this article after searching the same thing as all of you guys probably; “What is the point of life?” and I was feeling the same way as “Depressed?” has been. I was having a very hard time deciding why we were here, what comes after death, and if we even matter in the scheme of things, which we as living beings probably do not. My biggest question though, was what the difference between a “Material” thing that gives you temporary joy, and something that can give joy without disapointment following. For example, I realize that buying whatever the new popular electronic that everyone has is just temporary joy that ends and is pointless, but is doing something such as exploring and travelling the same (my absolute favorite things to do)? If I am able to implicate travelling and my love of foreign languages into my job, will that joy go away since I am accustomed to it? I dream of combining this love with my dream job; becoming a journalist that travels the world, making peoples lives better by revealing the things hidden by the liers and corrupt leaders we unfortunately have. I have been a really lucky kid. I have been able to travel with my family to many different places such as Viet Nam, Galápagos, Panamá, and South Africa. I also spent the greatest three weeks of my life when I went to a camp in Spain by myself and met people from all around the world, from Saudi Arabia, all the way to Russia, France and everywhere in between. I am lucky to have found something I am good at, at such an early age. Currently I speak Spanish and I am studying Russian and French. But is it even important? I am constantly debating within myself whether anything matters, or if we create our own lives by the effort and care we put into them since nothing else matters but happiness. I am not sure what to think, since I have ousted religion, and although I have friends, I think everything that happens in High School (relationships gossip even grades) dont matter. I do things because I want to do them… luckily I want to succeed and I do well in most classes :) sorry for the long post, but i’ve been looking for somewhere to let it all out becuase I don’t think my parents of friends other that those I met in Spain would understand because they haven’t gotten to the point of deciding what matters outside of material things…I don’t know if they ever will.
I am a 17 year old male, living in the heart of Iowa, USA. I was brought up in a Christion family, but, once I started to think for myself, I really did not understand the religion. It seemed extremely futile and realatively depressing (no offense intended)I ended up simmply labeling myself as an Atheist as something to tell people at least.
Honestly, I have not experienced much of life, and I don’t necessarily feel that I have anything substancial to offer to this disscussion, but I do find myself writhing at the concept of suffering another day. Most people chalk this up to “depression” and “teen rebellion”, which it very well could be. I reached an all-time low tonight when I learned that a good friend of mine died from a brain tumor. I found myself thinking about this (in the shower of course) and wondered to myelf why I was bothing with showering, homework, or even putting on my pants (which I still havnt done). In terror I turned to google and found this page. As I read I became increasingly interested in your methods of how to suffer through life. I like the idea of “living in the moment”, though I think that easier said than done.
I guess what I am really asking is help in finding some way to get through things that I hate, that seem utterly pointless (Schoolwork for example). Philisopically speaking, how can I define the “self” in me without feeling dissappointed at my awnser.
P.S.I am probubly posting this comment to organize my thoughts and keep myself from crying, but it truly was a helpful artical, thank you.
P.S.S This also is probubly not the right place to post this kind of comment, but you seem like bright people, thx for the help.
P.S.S.S This is the first time I have ever posted anything like this online……so please dont be mean.
WOW! Thanks for writing this… you’ve already contributed something to the discussion… there are only tens of millions of teenagers in a similar spot as you are – across the world…
It’s the right place to post this comment – no worries. Nobody is mean here – well, I can be a bit direct – but, I don’t think ever mean. This is not a forum where idiots rule.
I’ve written many teens responses to their questions about life… You know – when I was a teen – I thought – “what is going on here?” “How can I possibly be going to continue like this my whole life…?”
The answer was, and I found out about age 15, you don’t have to. Once your teens end the world opens up – and you find out what YOU like, not what your parents and friends like. Your friends will probably change if you go out and see the world. Your parents and bro’s and sis’s opinions won’t matter that much anymore. It’s you. Life is about you man –
When I was 13 and drinking beer in the downstairs of a popular bar in my tiny city in Pennsylvania where all the guys on the soccer team went for the weekends I looked at the rafters in the ceiling that were covered with scratched names – the mayor, the police chief, many police officers in our city… they had all been there. The owner of the bar was a local celebrity… nobody would ever tell his secret, much less prosecute him for serving 13 yr olds beer under his ‘respected’ bar.
I think the guy knew that kids have a hard time. Teens are an insane time where nothing makes sense. Maybe you’re at odds with EVERYTHING around you… maybe you’re depressed and don’t see the point. There are people in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and old farts at 100+ that still haven’t figured out for themselves – what is the POINT OF THIS LIFE?
The sooner you figure it out for you – the better because you’ll stop asking yourself and just start doing it… living more in the moment… It’s a tough question but you can figure it out by asking yourself some basic questions.
1. What do I like to do?
2. What makes me feel good when I do it?
3. Am I supposed to be selfish in every way in order to get happiness out of life?
To get out of depression you can ask yourself some more questions…
1. What am I looking forward to? How long will this period of “suck” last before it is over?
You’ve got to have something to look forward to during bad times… for me – looking forward to the time I graduated High School was the hardest period of my life… I needed to get away from my controlling mom and get out and see the world beyond western Pennsylvania. A trip to Ocean City, Maryland or New Jersey – I forget which now – showed me the beach. Girls in bikinis. People having a blast in the water… wow. That was a life changer for me and I knew instantly – I’d spend a lot of time by the beach in the future…
Living in Hawaii and Florida, and now Thailand for a total of 22 years proved that to be true.
Getting through schoolwork is a necessary evil… it’s not going to go away. Look forward to the next step – the next level… what happens after graduation? I knew I’d never study in college. I never studied in high school. I promptly joined the air force and they, luckily sent me to Hawaii. Otherwise? More studying at Penn State and hating having to study. I wasn’t ready then. Study can come any time. Better if you go see the world at 18, not study more and rely on your parents more. Study later. I started back in college at 25 after spending 4 yrs in the air force and 3 in NYC. It was a good time to re-start school – I was ready. I was motivated. I saw that a degree was probably a good thing.
You might try the same – or something TOTALLY different. You might go to alaska and catch fish. Who knows?
Living in Iowa I’ve gotta say you probably haven’t seen much of the world…. well, the crazy world… the diverse world… the east coast, the west coast… a beach? You MUST see these things… at least to give you some reference and you can either like them or not.
You ask an AMAZING question… “how can I define the “self” in me without feeling dissappointed at my answer?”
At 17? You can’t. Seriously… at 17 you don’t know who the heck you are – and none of your friends do either. You are like an amoeba… you come and go, eat, drink, doody, and bump into other amoebas…
You wont’ understand who you are – until you start enjoying the freedom from your family and friends to find out. You need time to do things you like to do – and to learn about life… as a teen your head is filled with SUPPOSED TO’s. You know what you SHOULD do, like, be, etc… you dont’ know what the reality of it is and what YOU like to do… or what means something to you… (most teens don’t). That’s part of the whole life process…
Your friend died of a brain tumor…
What does that tell you?
It tells me that life is not really that important. People are born and dying everyday. Most of the deaths make no sense to us because we’re not ready for it. I accept that I might die tonight as I climb a mountain I love to climb. Some doctors have said I have a slight heart murmur… others – that they dont’ hear any problem… Am I going to stop climbing the mountain because I might have a problem? Heck no… I’ve run and done triathlons, bike races, running races, etc – all my life… if I die while climbing – good place to die.
If death happens anytime, to anyone, what could life really mean? What could death really mean? Not much. That’s my take… it happens often… a couple billion people have died before me – should I fear it? It’s more natural than anything – it’s just a step… bang, we go on to the next level… is it good ? is it bad? Who knows? How are you going to figure it out? Listen to books people that never experienced death, wrote? Listen to the dreams of others that turn it into a religion?
For me…. no idea what’s next… but, I’m ready… and looking forward to it… this life is way too long in my opinion anyway. If this life meant so much then what did your friend accomplish before he/she died? If he or she is a teen you might say – not much… brightened my day a lot when alive, and that was cool…
Maybe the point of life is to brighten someone’s day when you can… when you feel up to it… help someone else get through their day easier and make it suck less – maybe that’s one of the points of life…
For me – it is.
I think – don’t worry about defining yourself – who you are – for a long time… just live for experience right now… “who you are” will come later… and it changes all the time too for many people… just go with the flow…
Why do you want to stop from crying? Society told you not to? Just cry… holding it does nothing good for you – let it out – and if you’re angry – let it out… if you’re happy – let it out…
hit a punching bag… let it OUT…
I too grew up in a christian family. When I hit 16 and “confirmed” I asked myself – what did I just do, and why? From that point on I didn’t stop questioning Christianity, catholicism, every religion… I can honestly declare myself religionless – and yet, I’m at peace in my mind over it all… death doesn’t scare me – so, religion has little place in my mind. I’m more moral than I need to be – and I’m a good person – not wishing anyone harm, and trying hard not to cause anyone harm… just trying to get through life and make myself happy first – and others when I can…
what else can we do?
My uncle told me at 15 years – after mom sent me there for a “talking to”… the only one responsible for me – is me. The only one going to make me happy – is me. Nobody else is looking out for my happiness but me. Is my mom? Dad? Brother? Girlfriend? Nobody can look out for me – better than me. Just impossible that someone else could. It’s all on me…
I liked that idea. From that point on I lived life as I wanted, and pissed many people off… but, I’ve been quite ok. Such is life… you cannot, should not try to make everyone happy… impossible task.
So, I don’t know – did I help at all? Hopefully just giving you a bigger picture scene than you might be seeing right now. Life sucks at times – HORRIBLY SUCKS. A friend dying – has got to be a HUGE tragedy in your life…. In the big picture – you’re alive now – and can do things to make yourself and other’s lives suck a little less.
Or you can go drink a beer under your local bar.
Or you can read about life experiences of other people online.
Or you can….
up to you.
Good luck my friend – and don’t take the whole game too seriously… it’s a game… just a game and until you figure out it’s more – play it like a game… keep your nose clean and play within the rules – but, experience a lot of the game… everyone playing is having different experiences… you can change your experience anytime you choose.
When I first noticed you replied, I was a little too excited to sit still, this is pretty cool lol. Then I was able to read what you were saying to me; First of all, I feel better, thanks for that. Secondly, you are making alot of sense, I think that your absoutly right, there really is not much I can do right now then tough it out, enjoy it, and experence.
You helped me to see that, this is really not what life is, I will not always be controlled and tormented as I am every day now. I can work to fully experience anything I can. Heck, I might just skip a few days and hike to Wisconsion, go fishing. My priorities need to change, I need to stop caring about things I have absolutly no control over. Take it as it is, make it better when I can.
I also think your right in chosing your religion, I would like to say that I don’t fear death, but, honestly, I do. Why should I fear something that I have no control over? (aside from the obvious of course) The threat of death should not stop me from climbing a mountain just as it doesnt stop you. If that were the case, I would end up as my worst fear, living a boring life, where my greatist joy is a TV dinner at 7:00 sharp. Even if this does become the case, I will have a goal to grow and experience, and if I die at 20, I am simply moving on, it doesnt matter what to. I need to be able to tell myself (even though I’m dead) that I enjoyed as much of life as I could…The end. The best religion is to live happily, and help others live happily.
Thanks for telling me to cry…I think I will
What’s the point to life? I think we are all born with one or more purposes. The point to life is to find that or those purposes, and fulfill them. Some people are lucky enough to have amaizing talents that people look for.. ie. good at sports, singers, artists, etc. Other people have to look for them, some may stumble accross them by chance, others may never find their purpose ie what you said about being stuck in a dead end job and stagnating. This stagnation is, i think, due to the constant “noise” around us, tv telling us what to buy, what we want, what we absolutely need, governments telling us how to act, living up to parents expectations etc.. To find our purpose, i think we should take a step back, try and shield ourselves from this “noise”, and listen to our nature. I think we all have a feeling inside, i’d call it a “purpose sense”, that can steer us in the right direction, if not get us exactly where we need to be.
I’m only 22 but i’m sure of this… all my life I have felt this “purpose sense” but never listend to it, because of outside “noise”, trying to do what your parents want you to do, or buying the next big thing advertised on tv, tell you it will make you happy…etc..That has brought me no happiness whatsoever, and now I feel like i’m in a cage…
I have had enough now, and i’m going to try and do what my nature is whispering from within..
I hope and really believe that my “purpose sense” will take me to my “sense of purpose”.
ps. I’m lindsey’s son.
wow. i searched “what is the point of life” and found this site. Great read thank you for writing this. I’m off to do the dishes now…enough procrastinating.
So, what is the point of life for you then?
The point of life can be explained with one simple word “why”.
Vern, I love this, it sums up pretty much how I feel about things. I used to live on Oahu in the early 90’s – absolutely loved it! I find myself grasping even the most simple moments these days when I feel good and all is great with my world – they are so fleeting and I am so grateful when they do slip into my consciousness. I don’t fear death, only pain lol. Glad I found this :) Happy 2010!
You too – have a great 2010… go back to Hawaii sometime – it’s still amazing…
I googled “what is the point of life” to get here, and it’s interesting to see posts recently after two years of none as shown by post dates. Just got back from Vegas, and it made me feel extremely small and unimportant; maybe it was the booze and the bad run at blackjack, but I had a similar feeling when lost in the Andes Mountains in a strong fog. The ego gets a real wake-up call when it realizes how little it actually has control over; it really is like a protective rationalizer for being a physiological organism in a very large, chaotic, and violent universe/world.
I’ve heard meditation works, but so do psychedelic drugs. And yes, being certain a benevolent or just god exists could certainly induce happier states, but there is no evidence. It may be comforting, because the notion that each person here is uniquely, completely, and imperially alone within an ego and without a reason is a sobering conclusion to draw.
I’m ok with that idea… lol.
I’m not sure why you didn’t see all the comments – there are 122 and no break of 2 years where there were none. I have considered a book about the topic, there’s quite a bit of interest and some great comments to get me thinking… thanks for your comment.
In response to your article though, you raise some interesting points – particularly relating to Buddhism. About 20 years ago, I worked with a really REALLY nice Sri Lankan Buddhist man for several years. Whenever we had down time, we discussed religion and I learned a lot about his religion (which is more an explanation of life than a religion).
It seems EVERYBODY is born, lives, dies, is reincarnated and the cycle continues indefinitely – until the being reaches enlightenment (or nirvana). To do that, you must shed yourself of all possessions, feelings, worries, dependences and desires. I often argued with him that he was a hypocrite because he was an IT Support Specialist working in the city. He had a mortgage and a family. To me, you could only reach enlightenment if you lived as a monk on a mountain somewhere in isolation.
He said that each lifetime should be aimed at slowly shedding one’s responsibilities, but your current lifetime is unaware of your past lifetime. So if you were living as buddhist during one life, on your way to enlightenment and then you end up being reborn in Hollywood, Los Angeles as the son of a Jewish movie producer, then you’re back to the start of the wheel. He called it “Samsara” – suffering. He believed that all life was suffering and challenged to meet up with me in thirty years time to see if I was “happy”. He predicted I would not be.
There’s about 10 years to go before our meeting, and to date, I am still happy – why? Because I have worked out what the point of life is. We all get just one chance to exist. If we are fortunate enough to have been born into a society where we can make a difference, then we should. If God is supposed to the be Father of Man, then that implies that we are all brothers. We should all work to help the Brotherhood of Man.
Aim for Awesome. :)
I predict quite the contrary… you WILL be happy. Happy as can be.
And, that’s the problem with reincarnation – “He said that each lifetime should be aimed at slowly shedding one’s responsibilities, but your current lifetime is unaware of your past lifetime.”
If you only get experience with Buddhism once every few lives or so – depending what society you’re born into – it could be a very long time before you make any progress at all… at least it’s more forgiving than Christianity’s one shot to come to a crystal clear picture of the truthfulness hidden in the contradictions of the bible, jesus, and which Christian church is the RIGHT one to follow… One shot to get it, or Stu, you’re toast. Guess Muslims believe in the one-shot idea too…
You know those from the UK like their toast brown only on one side? We ‘mericans like it cooked on both sides Stu.
I think the point of life is worshiping Allah the only God there is no God but Him. God is the Creator of the whole world starting with Adam and Eve till now. He created you, me, and everyone. He created us to worship Him. And if we made the right choice we will go to Genna the place that is so Great that no eye have seen and no ear have heard about. You should try this point of view you will be happy when u find the truth.
Vern, stop picking on “I am a Muslim and proud”. He clearly has worked out what the point of life is – to live out your 75-years (or 20 if you’re a suicide bomber) by praying 5 times a day, every day, by fasting for a month during the day (and stuffing your face at night), and if you’re lucky enough to be a woman, to live in the shadow of your husband veiled from the world – all in the HOPE that you will end up in Genna (the place that is so Great that no eye have seen and no ear have heard about).
Of course, if you put one foot wrong in your life, or you happened to be born in a country where Islam was not the dominant religion (the OTHER 80% of the world), the you WILL be going to that other place that is NOT so Great that still no eye have seen and no ear have heard about.
To Muslims, the point of Life is submission (that’s what the word “islam” means). You have no life. You have given it up because someone promised you entrance to this wondrous place that is so Great that no eye have seen and no ear have heard about.
Too bad if that someone was lying.
Wait a second… Genna is a place so great and yet no eyes have seen it and no ears have heard about it… and you came to find out about this place… How? Great comment, this is one of my favorites….
I just want to say thank you for posting this. Thank you.
hmm….. ive read about that nirvana thing and to tell you the truth i was there befor i evn new about it…..well thank god i didnt get on that nirvana stage but im able to feel and not feel in a momemt. i can choos if i want to think or not. mostly i go about the day without thinking but still knowing what i have to do. I can analyze information without thinking my own thoughts. for example in a convrsation. When ppl say they r just listening to it they actualy meen they are hearing what ur aying and givin their own oppinions in ther minds to see if they r wron or right. I dont do that i just listen while ppl talk i listen to what they say and my thoughts arnt there but if someone was to ask for my oppinion i could answer in a split moment. its the same with everything els. but i have a choice if i want to do that or not. i usualy dont coz ppl ur stupid when everybody laughs at a joke and u dont even if u did get the joke and u think its hilarious. the thing is u know its funny but there is no need to laugh there is no need in showing that its funny. in another moment when my friend would tell me the joke again i would laugh my head off just coz i wanted to feel happy or something like that. its the same with pain. like 2 weeks ago i scraped all my leg and deep there was blud evrywhere but no pain coz i didnt want to feel the pain. ijust stared at the ppl around me. they were screaming and wondering if they should call the embulance or not and they were all in panic while i sat there on the floor bleeding with a hole on my leg. i tolled them there was no need for an ambulance just let the nurse patch it up. i kept walking and runing around that day.
i dont know how u call the stage im in coz i didnt get it from a book ive been like this ever seen i was born. i could have a perfect life if i wanted to but that not the point in life. i think we were given this chance to see life and be life y in the world would we throw that away. there are beautiful things that pple just dont see. i meen has any1 ever felt happy just looking out ur window even if there is a buiding in front of it. i bet u wished u were watching a beautiful sunset at the beatch through ur window. even the air in between the buildin is beautiful to me…. there is nothing much i can say i dont know what its like to be enlightened and i dont want to know coz id be givin this world up i wouldnt be human i f i were an enlightened one. i dont want that just for the fact that id rather feel a day of happines than i lifetime without pain…… but then again i have the choice.
Honestly i think that the point of life is to not be understood because the human mind can not interpret it. But it makes you wonder why have life? if we did not have it then what is the difference? Understand what i am saying. Best way to find the answer is to (Go and try to be abducted by aliens) Since they can travel light speed possibly they know the answer to life or have a theory. Just my thoughts on it.
Wow what an amazing read. I find myself wondering about these things to the point of almost complete inactivity.
I find almost no true purpose in doing things outside of what makes me feel good. All of the work I am forced to do within my life can be logically connected to the fact that I am making someone elses life easier.
Why is that person, or those people more important than I am? Even if they are to everyone else, why would I perceive them in any way shape or form to be more meaningful than myself?
Whether one believes in God or not, the truth is that how you feel in any given situation is how YOU feel, and how you want to react is what is MOST natural to you.
Why would I believe that on some transcendent standard, my actions are WRONG?? My thoughts and desires are BAD????
I am finding it very hard to participate in certain aspects of society because of these questions. I realize that those who have taken these thoughts the deepest, rule the world. Living life based on how you view it allows for control, because others are to afraid to create their own sense of value and they’d much rather attach themselves to an existing identity, no matter how imaginary it may be.
Why am I doing things that do not make me feel good, and don’t directly relate to maintaining my survival. A survival that only through my opinions do I feel is worth maintaining anyway, and is best experienced through what I DEFINE as feeling good.
Thanks Vern for your detailed response. I really appreciate your thoughts as it shows a lot of depth. I have been to Thailand, Phillipines, Laos, Cambodia and I have witnessed what you describe. And yes my life is pretty cozy and nice. Like you, I don’t know what to make of the inequality, but are we supposed to? perhaps everyone is not meant to have a happy life. many of those very poor people i saw in these countries are much happier than people in the USA who have soooo much yet still are so unhappy and ungrateful. So I really appreciate your empathy with the unfortunate nature of life and I feel that to and try to contribute what I can to help out but perhaps we re not meant to explain it all. Lets face it, we don’t have all the answers, we dont know anything. Is there a god, I, like you, I am not a believer in traditional dogmatic religions, but I believe there is a greater force out there, there is some energy, something bigger than we are and something that we have no capability of understanding, it is just beyond our abilities. Who is to say you should know the answer to this question. Your just a small person (although you have more insight and depth than most people), why not just live your life, trust that things are the way they are for reasons that are beyond your understanding, do what you can as the one little person you are to help others and live and enjoy your life in a happy positive state. life is good for you, its not good for everyone, but who even said that it should be good for everyone?? who made that rule up? Life is a suck for some, but not necessarily for you or I and we dont have to be unhappy about this fact, it is the way it is and perhaps it makes sense in a way that is beyond our understanding. I am curious about your response.
I have read your article and I really like it. You are quite an intelligent and an excellent writer. However, I disagree with you that life is a suck. In all honestly, it has been a little bit of a suck for me because i Have just worked hard and not really enjoyed, but I am hoping to change that. But I see many people, some of family who live with me that their life is blissful and not at all a suck. I agree that for most people it is a suck. I think I know why you describe it as a suck. Its because you have not found the one thing I believe will bring you the happiness and that is a nice relationship and love in your life. I read the part about Love in your article and it is sad what you describe and in reality my experience has been similar. But I have learned and I am confident that I will find the love that I am looking for. you seemed to have failed at it a few times. So what, keep trying. how many times does a baby try to stand and walk? thousands of times…. Your an intelligent person, use what you have learned in your prior relationships to find someone that you can make happy and she will also make you happy. then think about having some little ones and that, at least for me, is one of the greatest joys of life because then it is not just about you, but someone else (who happens to be sort of an extension of you). giving your love I really truly believe that this is the one element that you have been missing in your life and that is why you describe life as a suck. and yes it is a suck for many people and perhaps it will be for you and perhaps it will be for me too, I hope not. What is the point? I dont know, but I have one insight. We are just animals, look at all the other animals in the world, they are very similar to us except that we are far more intelligent. What is the goal of an animal, to live life, to eat, have a mate and have babies and reproduce and then die. I would suspect that our goal of life is similar. We will all die one day just as billions before us have as well. I d like to have love and have some little ones with that special person, i think that will bring me much happiness and life wont be a suck. I think for you it may be the same. let me know what you think, but dont forget we re just a very intelligent animal, not much different and have our own unique but animalistic needs to make us happy.
All the best,
Thanks for your response. No, I have found an amazing girl. This one is “THE ONE”. No doubt. And, you’re right – keep trying and trying and trying because if a family and a good relationship is what you want -eventually you will find it. I never gave up – and many people wished I would – family members tired of seeing me go through hell with each break-up.
No, my idea about life sucking is not really about me. My life hasn’t been too bad at all. I’m always optimistic and I usually enjoy each and every day. Every minute…
My idea about life sucking hits me really hard when I see kids that are not able to enjoy life the way I was able to. Kids with cleft lips even. In our appearance is everything society that poor child will, as a result of some genetic anomaly (genetic yes? Or intra-uterine… not sure) go through life completely differently than I did and differently than every other kid on the planet with a normal face.
Christians and others that want to argue for god’s wonderful plan. His… PERFECT plan say that this boy is the impetus for others to help – and it brings out the best in others… who want to take care of him and help him get through life easier, and whatnot.
You can apply this same idea to anything you see wrong with a child or an adult that happened as a result of something he/she couldnt help… missing fingers. Black birthmark all over a girl’s face. Bowed legs. Children with cancer. Children with Spinal Bifida. Etc.
You know what? If god allowed these things to happen to people so that other people could live better lives… that’s even more sick. This one child suffers so others – can get more meaning out of their lives. Well, I say, politely – F THAT and god should start all over and re-think what all is going on here.
Does my life suck? Nope. I didn’t grow up in Lebanon, Israel, Darfur, Cambodia, Laos, and dodge bullets my whole life. I didn’t lose parents, friends and classmates to landmines all through my schooling. I didn’t have to live in fear my entire life. I didn’t have to scrounge for food or water – ever in my life. I didn’t have to watch a couple hundred thousand people all around me die of hunger and watch vultures eat them after they died. I didn’t have to watch my son or daughter born with AIDs and soon get HIV.
The people that don’t see this life as SUCKING real good are those that generally have their head in a place they can’t see it. They’re generally people that don’t see the big picture. They’re generally people that are living cozy enough lives and that haven’t pulled themselves out of the comfort zone to see what the rest of the world – MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS of people are living like… whether they don’t care, or just choose to remain ignorant – is up to them. The world is full of the most severe suck my friend. Whether you see that or not probably relates directly to whether you’re experiencing it or not.
Empathy is a horrible thing in my case. I feel more for other people because my life has been pretty ok. I’m not complaining about my failed relationships and things that have happened to me without my having done anything to cause them. I’m not complaining about things I directly caused.
I’m saying, the world sucks with tremendous force because god, or even two kids playing in a distant galaxy that decided to send a rocket to a planet to plant the seeds of 50 million kinds of life on it -just to see what would happen – just didn’t give a rats tookus.
We’re living that stupid game right now. Whether you come out of your hole and see it or not – the world is in a profound state of the worst suck that anybody could come up with. It’s a horrorshow without end.
Whether a god is there listening, watching what’s going on – I’ve no idea. Nor do you.
What I have a real good idea about – is that – if there is a god with knowledge of what’s going on here – it isn’t doing a damn thing about it that we can discern.
:) And that’s how I feel. Lol. I’ve a book coming on this subject… I should go check the domain name to see if it’s open, I was thinking about this today… If I’ve offended anyone with the use of language – apologies, but this is a topic that gets me going emotionally. It rarely happens here at Aim for Awesome. But, it happens…
Thanks for writing Joe! Best, Vern
Even famous and rich people will get sick, will age and will die. They may die of accident, die of sickness, no difference from any other people.
Nobody is exempted from this ultimate sense insecurity, and everybody is trying to escape it. This sense of insecurity is the driving force for human race for achievements, although helpless.
Most people are just ostriches, close up their eyes and enjoy the sunshine.
Hi Sabrina, Thanks for writing… so is the point of life to do just that- close one’s eyes and enjoy the sunshine?
There is no point we live senseless lives and then we die
I often to ask myself what is the point, or why me at this time? not just here, not just on earth, but in the entire cosmos. Then I was introduced to a new method of meditation. My mind was blown; and it only got better as I did it more. After years of meditating and watching the Universe, I began to realize how insignificant I am on the galactic scale. Not that I don’t have potential but that I haven’t done nor intended to do anything. I cleared my mind to think about what I want to do with my life but it generalized down to going to college, finding a career, and then working until I retire and die. Even the best college, best job, and all the dreamy luxuries I could have didn’t sum a to happiness that would satisfy myself. I’m not one to let the world trample me, so I thought to myself, well what is holding me back? It was then that I came to the conclusion that our global society is not yet advanced enough (not technologically but socially) and until we abolish our social barriers I would not be happy. Then I truly understood the phrase “what if the world worked as one?” Instead of 6,700,000,000 people working alone we could be the 1 Earth that we actually are. I’m in no way a peace promoting, tree humping hippie, but it made so much more sense that we as a planet could achieve so much more than even the smartest person alive. For instance, Einstein answered many questions in the world of physics but it was the entire history of physics that made the study all it is. Anyways, anyone reading this will only grow older and then die, leaving our only planet the same way, if not worse, than the way it is now. My meditation enlightened me to a whole new life order. There is no white or black or what ever be your ethnic background, there is only the 1 human race. We are the only planet to harbor life in the entire 13.7 billion years of space that we can see around us, and yet we wage war upon each other. The worse part is that I can do nothing, yet, to change this. At least I cannot do it alone. My suffering is our current worldly struggles, and the end my suffering, I would rather devote me life than work until I die. Luckily, I am only 16 years old. I have a life time to let people see the world the way I do, if they don’t already.
im sitting here, infront of my computer and wondering whats the point of life? i’ve had this feeling before… while i shower i get the feeling, i’ve considered suicide just to find out if there actually IS an afterlife, but havent gone through with it… i goodle’d “The Point Of Life” just to see if there where any, then i came over this. I want to belive in a higher power or “God” as some call it, but i just can’t, i just dont see the point in saying a prayer to something that dosent exsist…
I think religion is a funny thing,( buddah is the only one i belive in, he was only an ordinary man, not a god or anything. ) Most americans are christians, and they say that their religion is peaceful, BUT! so does the muslims and the people in the east.. then why the hell do they have a war? its like the muslims say “We are a peaceful religion, NOW SAY YOU’RE SORRY OR WE’LL KILL YOU!” i mean… of all religions, buddhism is the only religion who hasen’t killed a single soul!
if anyone would like to help me find the meaning of life, then please Email me @ Wultzi@hotmail.com
The point of life is to better ourselves as a race. The point of my life is to gather knowledge and experience and pass it on to both descendents and friends or others.
The problem with this is we rarely tend to listen to advice and learn from experience. How many people of how many generations do you think have made the same mistakes or had the same experiences?
The other problem with the modern world is that humanity as a race is weakening. Modern medicine defies ‘darwinism’ and people survive who thousands or even hundreds of years ago would not have (me included), creating an artificially supported species which should be much less prolific. – This conflicts with my point of life as I see it.
Everyone I think I know would like to ‘make a difference’. Make some lasting mark to be remembered by. For many the point of life is to simply be remembered.
So, the collection of knolwedge for mankind is a worthy goal, but intelligence species-wide is waning, and that which is gathered is not necessarily passed on due to each generations’ stubborness in wanting to experience things for themselves rather than trusting in the knowledge of those that came before.
And I miss god. Having faith eases the pain of passage a lot to know that there is a point to it all!
In response to MikeAth’s post.
“The point of life is to better ourselves as a race. The point of my life is to gather knowledge and experience and pass it on to both descendents and friends or others.”
I was just wondering why you feel that bettering our race is an ultimate goal. At the end of the day even if we manage to leave our solar system all life will eventually be extinguished in the universe, so in the long run, if you have no other beliefs, what does it matter how great the human race becomes?
It also sounds like you lost your faith at some point. For what its worth I think that if you are going to hold any definite philosophical point of view Christianity is as defensible a position as any (this is coming from a theoretical physicist). Of course you can never have definitive proof for any belief system (be it atheism or Christianity), but there certainly are rational, motivated grounds for Christian belief.
All right, first time reader and I found it amusing. Nirvana almost sounds like a deep depression or apathy heheh. I do understand it but all this is is a headache to think too deeply into.
I look at this life sometimes like a waiting period until we get onto the next. Kind of like a video game. Right now we are pumping quarters into the machine and after we kick the bucket, we start the game. Sure; odd way of looking at things but its all opinion based. I enjoy that thought because yes, there is no real purpose but we are here alas. Though one thing that is bugging me more than the purpose of life right now is the purpose of living. Follow me on this for a moment, if you can.
I live in the U.S. and am a bit fascinated with cultures and languages. But to cut it short since I am just going with my thoughts unedited much; the samurai had a code of honor. Honor, this word is no longer around. We have nothing, in my opinion, to really fight for anymore. This isn’t a battle of territories much anymore since we all seem to try to govern each other throughout the world. Everything is in set, everything is limited if you are law-abiding (I am *sighs*). As a culture maybe (culture might not be the best word) we have no more purpose, that is what I think I was trying to get at. Sure, there could be something there if we had something devastating happen but until then; nada.
Ok, I am rambling incoherently now so to sum it up, what we need to have is an alien invasion haha. That way we can turn our instincts of control and power as a race and fight something else. That would be worthwhile rather than just fighting each other; thats getting boring.
Thanks for your comment Choiseul. It was entertaining too!
Nirvana to me – is not depressing but, apathy – maybe that’s JUST what it is… lol. There’s peace of mind – but, that doesn’t have to mean it’s a fun state – it isn’t… it’s more like apathy – great call!
Re: your statement about looking at life like a video game – yeah, me too. I look it as a level in the big game. We’re bound here on Earth – wrapped up in thousands of social rules that inhibit what it is we really want to do – biologically speaking, and so most of us are limited to being pawns of tradition, culture, our childhood experiences.
Some of us break away a little bit, but unless we’re going to start axe-murdering people or cattle it just isn’t all that cutting edge – this life.
So you’re saying that an alien invasion would give us all an immediate sense of purpose and provide a focus… I can see that. Christians have their alien invasion coming any day now – so they’re joined in some purpose to living… Muslims – I’m not sure what they’re all excited about – I don’t really care enough to find out. Jehovah’s Witnesses are scared about something – they’re even over here in Thailand trying to scare the Buddhists into joining their fear-based cult.
For me – I can fear only dying – the process – the physical process where I realize – hey, this is it – last minute or seconds… or thought… when the body is screaming in pain and wanting to go somewhere else… you know, I’m very excited about what’s next. What is the next level? When this level of the game is over – then what? Someone pulls the electricity plug and there’s just nothing afterward? I could go for that. Or maybe reincarnation? Sure, sounds cool. I want to be something that flies or even a woman next time. The Christian idea of another hell awaiting me because I couldn’t figure out what the hell this level means and what to fear most? Nah… I just can’t see it. Might well be – and such is the mystery of life… lol.
Thanks for writing!
Hehe the Christian idea of hell is amusing to me. I’d make the best of it cause heaven could be boring if you follow the bible to the dime. At least then if I was in hell and knew it, I could do whatever I want and not fear repricussions cause I would have them anyway. I just hope there is a sweet roller coaster ride or a very long free-fall hah.
I will look it up but I am curious since you speak of philosophy which is by far one of my musings, I will have to see what else you have written to comment on with my own lil thoughts.
On a second thought, it seems each religion has made up some sort of reward for suffering through this life with being pious. Which would generally reward those around you through life but as we all know religions are just as corrupt as the people practicing them (generalities). Of all the religious views I would almost prefer that after death I would go to Valhalla. Everything a man could want that doesn’t feel they fit into the scheme as of right now. But i am speaking on my behalf alone.
Just the thought of battling for eternity, with each day or night or so on that passes you return to the great hall and eat and drink with all the great warriors. Not to mention the gals. St. Paulie’s type o gals all around hehehe. That is heaven in my eyes. If there is nothing else past this world then yes, that would be my heaven. (almost… if I were any more normal it would be perfect but I would change a couple of things..)
Thanks for your reply. Have you considered that everyone who has visited this page is searching for knowledge in asking the question what is the meaning of life? If we had knowledge of the meaning of life then we would know what it is, so the point of life must be to attain knowledge. I have no idea what our actual purpose here is and if we even have one but i would say for definate that the more knowledge i aquire of the world around me and other peoples perspecives and beliefs the closer i will get to knowing or at least affirming my own beliefs. I think its ridiculous that some people believe the point of life is to procreate as we are so much more advanced than that. I think its equally absurd to suggest that the point of life is to enjoy it as i believe this philosophy has only arisen from the idealogy of western culture which idolises sex and fame and completely neglects the other parts of the world that live in famine and poverty as well as those who are completely unaware of civilisation other than themselves.
Hey Vern. Great site, your views are extremely honest and you seem to be genuinely trying to offer good advice when people comment. I believe that the essence of what you say is what anyone thinking logically and objectively about their own life experience and the world around them should come to believe. I feel a mixture of astoundment, frustration and bemusement towards those who devoutly follow a given religion. Having said that i have found that the vast majority of Christians, Buddhists and Hindus that i meet are kind, happy and extremely giving people so whilst i cannot subscribe to their own beliefs i respect them immensely. In my opinion the ability to think for yourself – to free yourself from the expectations of those around you and the pressures of society that are drilled into our subconscious as we are raised and dictate human interaction – is extremely valuable. As for answering the original question, i would propose that the point or meaning of one’s life – which i definately feel should be enjoyed, not taken for granted and used as a means of enhancing the lives of others – would have to be knowledge. The aquisition of knowledge to the end goal of achieving omniscience (stealing this word from another post.) I would really apreciate it if you would give me your thoughts on my answer.
I really enjoyed your comment. Whenever I sit and try to think up a reason or the reason I’m here and all mankind is here I look at the basics… what is basic to every one of us?
We need food. Shelter. Safety. Love. Affiliation with others. Sex feels good, don’t know if we need it but we’re driven by it. With all of these basic needs we have to figure out “how” to get them consistently, often, and in ways that don’t affect others negatively.
The HOW is what we’re after. The HOW is found by figuring something out. By exploring. By curiosity about things.
The thirst for knowledge as you said. If you sit me in a room as a child, or as an adult – I won’t just sit there. I’ll explore something. My mind inclines toward exploring and finding out about my environment. The two cobras I had for a week did the same thing. I put them in their new environment – a glass aquarium. They explored every inch of that place. Why? It’s just inside them, same as us.
It seems odd to say knowledge is a reason we’re here because then it’s like we’re guinea pigs in an elaborate experiment. Whatever brought us into this situation – nature, god, or aliens already has knowledge of the world and how things are I guess… Is it watching us and learning more? Or, were there never humans before this and it’s all a novel experiment to see what happens when humans are created and interact with this rule controlled environment with dangers and pleasures surrounding us?
I can’t deny, the desire for knowledge drives me like nothing else. Surely it’s part of the answer.
hey i posted on this page a while ago, but it seems that i cant get a copy of that post because this page has written over it with new posts? is there any way i could go back a page or something cause i would really like to make a copy of it? thks
Meditate and break the chain of reincarnation.
“What is the point of life?” Look at any piece of fruit, such as an orange. The ‘point’ of the orange is to eat, to be ate and to reproduce. But when we ask the question “What is the point of life?” What we really mean is “What is the point of MY life?” or to be clearer, “What is the point of I?” That’s where the trick comes in; “I’ is a recent invention. The ego (there’s really nothing there) does not benefit from life, it has no point and no purpose. It’s just the product of stress.
Seems simple enough. There looks to be only two main beliefs here for when we die.
1) We go somewhere else and are held accountable by some power higher than ourselves for what we did in this life.
2) This is it… There’s nothing else.
If point one is correct, those that believe in point 2 are destined to punishment. If point two is correct, the point one-rs can’t really have any regrets, as they no longer exist.
Logic would follow that the wisest course of action would be to believe in point one and live accordingly. If true, you’ve found the point of life. If false, you won’t have regrets when you die, as you won’t have (or be) anything.
If you live by point two, at best you live a pointless life asking ‘What’s the point”, and at worst, you get spanked HARD!
That sounds like a slight variation on Pascal’s wager.
Well personally i feel that when you die, you return to where you were before you were born, nowhere! And i have good reason to believe this, i have a few friends that have died for several minutes and all have said the same, they saw nothing. Therefore, there is no more suffering for you, no more arguements, no more wars and fights.
I’m all for the ‘live life to the full’ expression. I suppose even that is a waste as, when you die, its all forgotten anyway. I am just having trouble understanding the point of being here. Everyday getting up for work, eating, sleeping. All seems slightly pointless if you ask me.
So ‘The Point Of Life’ …..there isn’t one, and if there is, it is beyond my comprehension.
Thanks for elaborating Rich – I tend to believe like you.
I just have to reply to the part of your comment about people you know who’ve died for several minutes and then said that they saw nothing. Whereas a person may be declared clinically dead when their heart stops beating it doesn’t mean they have actually died. If their brains had been deprived of oxygen for a long enough period they would be brain dead and not return to consciousness. Once cells literally die they don’t come back to life, so these people were not really dead. The only person to ever have come back to life was Jesus, and we’re not at all sure about that one either.
So, my point is that these people can not claim to know if there is anything after death as they couldn’t have “gone there” and returned. I don’t know if there is any “point” to life but I do know that there’s no way we can know if anything follows it. I’m as certain of that as I can possibly be about anything.
I tend to think the same way… except “The only person to ever have come back to life was Jesus…”
The only ‘Enlightenment’ you get is death. That is the end of suffering. So do the things you want to do. You wont get another chance after you are gone.
Is that the truth Rich?
does it really matter, Vern?
This is my first time at blogging – do you feel honoured?
Well this is my two cents worth:
Firstly, what is the hang up that a lot of you have over having faith or belief? I would like to put to you that you ALL have faith, you just label it differently.
Take DNA for an example. It has always been there, from the birth of creation (or evolution….HA!), yet no one would have understood what you were talking about if you had presented it to them 100yrs ago. To tell you the truth, a lot of people STILL wouldn’t believe you if you tried to explain this bizarre coding inside each of us because they simply don’t have the knowledge and basis for what you are talking about. You have to be ENLIGHTENED (or taught) a ground level of science first. Do you think those scientists that discovered DNA are loonies? No? They were smart and were proven right, but they believed in something that they had not seen. They knew in their hearts that it had to exist, because they could see the effects of DNA. And now I bet that most of you agree that DNA exists even though you haven’t studied it, haven’t even seen it or have any first hand proof that it is real! But you trust it to be true because you see the effects of it – We are all very different! You BELEIVE in DNA – You don’t know it. Others do, but YOU don’t.
So don’t be so afraid of faith in God. It is believing in something that has always been there, never fully understood, but the effects of a creator God surround us. It makes sense. And just like DNA – we will never fully understand it, but it remains REAL never the less. And there is so much more to the human body that we are yet to discover and that remains true of God too. Just because we don’t understand it now, doesn’t mean it is not true or real. But the more enlightened (or knowledgeable) you become about a subject, the better you are at discerning whether it is true or not and while ever you remain uninformed, you are making decisions without a balanced input of information. So, go on, I dare you to find God. Ask God. Talk with God. He will reveal Himself to you and until that happens whatever I say will just seem like foolishness.
Secondly, living your life for perceived personal happiness? Trying as little to affect others lives negatively? – this has such limited boundaries. I am a mother of 4 and if I was to live my life solely for ME, my children would pay the price – My husband would pay the price. I have to choose to SACRIFICE myself for others. I have to give up my own personal gain and sometimes enjoyment for the greater good. I did choose to become a wife and mother, I am now living with those choices and some days it gets me down (hence why I ended up at this site) but I am all the more convinced after reading all these previous blogs that THE POINT OF LIFE is much more than personal happiness. The BAD helps make sense of the GOOD. Low times, allow the High times to be that much greater and more enjoyable. Sacrifice is one of the most powerful things you can do. Again, I dare you to GO OUT OF YOUR WAY… to sacrifice yourself….. for someone else. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing: make an encouraging phone call to a person who is really hard to like (perhaps family?); buy someone something that you DON’T have the money for; Etc. Don’t do this as a random act of kindness, do this a personal sacrifice…. it is not about you and what you will get out of it (i.e. pride, self satisfaction) it is about them and what they will get out of it. Try it. Let me know who it goes.
I do pray that this has been a help to many of you. All of your comments have been helpful to me…. even if they have just served to confirm what I know is true. And God is true.
The Point of Life is RELATIONSHIP and TRUTH. With God and with others. Try it.
Thanks for your time.
P.S. Yep, you can’t get away from it – Love matters!
It would be good if god existed, if there were things after death, just to know would be a relief, don’t you think? if you knew that it wasn’t over after death, it would make life soo much happier?
Not sure… in one sense it would take the edge off life… this wouldn’t be “it” – the whole deal, there would be more so we might relax more here and take things less seriously. On the other hand, because many of us think this is it – it makes life more special… this IS it… this is the only game we’re going to play… it makes everyday more important I guess…
Thanks for your comment Mark!
The point to life is to experience.
Well…. no. Because I may think I’m great… but maybe other people find me obnoxious and rude. And maybe I think I’m pathetic, but people around me only find me dejected and annoyingly self-pitying… so i think no.
However, I was thinking, what about the people who are grossly misunderstood? I mean people who Do good actions, and such, but other people still find them rude or selfish. But then I figured… if you do good actions, even if its like giving to the poor anonymously, but your rich friends who say you’re rich think of you as just a rude penny pincher…. but the point is the people who’se lives you’ve changed with charity. Is this theory actually making sense?
I have recently come to conclusion that life is naught but a series of moments, life is mostly about the memory. If had no memory, life would only be a series of things we would forget, and would lose all meaning, all fun, relationships, expirience… thank god for memory, right?
But I try not to think about that. Basically, what I’ve decided the “meaning/point of life” is, is the impression you make on other people. You aren’t anyone, it only other people that will show what you are. Maybe deep inside you think you should save the world, but your afraid of failure. Well, noble intentions, but without action, you are nothing, and your life means nothing. Even the serial killer has more “life”, as it were, because of their (albeit negative) affect on others.
So, maybe I’m just nuts, and I’m only 14 so what do I know? But I believe the point of life is to make yourself count, by leaving an impression on others. You are only what others think of you.
Hi Joz, thanks for writing. That’s an interesting perspective – that we are nothing except what others think we are… does it matter at all to you what YOU think you are or no?
Wow this is a popular subject. This seems to me that you all are writing down all the stuff I have been feeling but still the suck exists and without it there would be no fun. so ya …. what you said
I am a professonal woman just about to reach 40 years of age. Despite having a career and according to others alot to look forward in my life – I’m blind and just can’t see it.
I have just come out of a 3 year reltionship with someone that I loved deeply – he terminated matters by text a couple of days before Christmas – I hadn’t seen him until Friday when i bumped into him ad his new girlfriend. I have to write it hurt like hell.
During our reltionship found out from his mother, (she returned to my belongings in February depsite for months requesting the return of my belongings) that he was also towards the later part, seeing a 23 year old that works in retail. He is now living after meeting his new girlfriend of 2 months on Facebook with her.
I am a decent person, care for others etc but am at a loss – i see no point in living, my days are dark. It has now been 5 months and despite doing all the right things am still no further forward – he is it would seem.
I am told that I am remarkable on so many levels – but can’t see it. Any suggestions ? I value people reltionships etc as being the point of life not material objections but despite being who I am – there is no comfort, little point etc etc
I’ll post this at the site as well – but wanted to reply to you directly in case you don’t read it there.
Man, I have had some outrageous break-ups over the years… Despite great intentions and I think doing the right things with what I was faced with I still lost some amazing people that I fell totally in love with… If we’re counting, that number is 5. Currently I’m head over heels with my current girlfriend/commonlaw wife and finally I know what it is to be in a healthy relationship where trust = 100% and yet, if it goes tragically wrong I’ll be OK in a short time because, though I love her to death – I’m also OK with knowing that things can change anytime.
The way people – and especially women I think – are raised in the USA – and I guess the UK – is that they think there is one love relationship that is IT forever. There are good and bad times – but, it’s forever. They search for that relationship and every time they fall in love and get married or date seriously for 2+ years – that’s it. That’s the one and they are totally taken by surprise when something happens – like the male partner finds someone else.
I have to admit – when I fall in love – I’m IN LOVE – completely, 100% in it for the duration and head over elbows in love with the girl. I don’t feel right when I’m not in love and I miss the 1-1 relationship if I don’t have it.
Well, lose 5 people you love tremendously and there begins to be some intelligent common sense that takes place. In hindsight I can see the faults that happened in each break up and see where though I couldn’t have prevented any of them – I could have not been so attached to the person – to the relationship and think – THIS IS THE ONE, The only one for the rest of my life…
All you can control is yourself. And, it’s quite tough to do that. Extremely tough.
And yet, you can.
After a break up you should grieve and throw shi* across the room, hit your pillow, buy a punching bag, take up racquetball and get your frustrations the hell out of your system because you need it. You were wronged – horribly wronged in your mind and you’ve gotta deal with that by expressing it. You’ve gotta express it.
Feel like dirt for as long as it takes you – but, always have some other parts of your life that are rewards… that are good to you.. make sure you’re having fun when you can. Sports, movies, reading, traveling, eating out, friends, anything that makes you happy – do it and do lots of it.
Relationships are either 100% of your life, or as little as 10%. If 10% and you lose it – what happens? You grieve – yah, but you have 90% of your life remaining the same.
Structure your life more like that… give your relationship 25% maybe. 50% if you dare.
Tracey Chapman says in a song… This time… I won’t show I’m vulnerable. This time I won’t give in first… this time I will hold out with my love… this time, I will not be hurt…
I’m gonna love myself more than anyone else… I’m gonna treat me right. Gonna make you say that you love me first, you’ll be the one with the most to lose tonight…. this time… this time… Won’t let my emotions rule my life. This time… gonna lock my heart up safe and tight… this time… I’m gonna be my own best friend… this time… I’m gonna be the one….
and that’s sort of the same attitude you have to take… hold a little bit back for yourself, for your sanity…
How can I say this?
In a relationship where you’re in it 100% That means at best you’re 50% of the equation.
Your partner is the other 50% and you NEVER know how much they’re in it – or, if it’s changing within their mind at any time… They might be 100% for a few months, then 80%, 50%… Maybe they find someone else they’re 50% for – damn, that’s 50% you and 50% the other person… and you’re in it 100% for you…
You’re going to get hurt if you don’t hold something back… that something doesn’t have to be what you GIVE that person. It doesn’t have to be how much you love and feel the love of that person…
What you need to hold back is your idea in your mind that it can’t change… it can, everything does change.
Every single thing that you can point out to me – changes as time goes. Time affects everything. It’s a basic truth the Buddhists have acknowledged for thousands of years. What else do they believe? Everything is non-permanent. You might attach to the idea with your mind that your relationship is permanent. It isn’t. It’s ALWAYS in flux. It’s ever-changing and not completely controllable by you, or you AND your partner. Time introduces so many variables to a relationship that it’s impossible for you both to control them.
So, in the short term – you’re angry and hurt… life seems like a joke without this person you built your life around. You feel like it’s all over… and I’ve been there. Couple times. Though I thought – maybe I’ll kill myself I never reached that point. Never got serious about it because I always had something fun – some friends, family or someone that was worth living FOR.
Someone that I didn’t want to destroy because I couldn’t tough it out and continue what seems like a stupid, ridiculous game at times (life).
And, so I hurt for months the first time. It ripped my insides out and that’s all I saw for a couple months… and then, gradually I pulled out of it.
If you are seriously thinking of ending your life over this person’s knife in your back I’d ask you to reconsider. I’d ask you -beg you even, to call a suicide hotline or see a professional psychologist or psychiatrist that can help you through it. I have a master’s in psychology. I’ve talked to MANY people that wanted to kill themselves. I know what it’s all about… what people need is just to talk. Have someone give them a perspective on the situation that helps them to learn something …
You’re learning about life… you’re slowly mastering this monstrous game that has infinite ways to hurt you… and you’re getting better at it with each major problem you put behind you.
Put this one behind you… take some time and learn something about what happened… figure out how to go about it smarter this time… with a little bit saved for you…
Change the pie-graph so it looks more like 25% friends 15% family 15% Self 20% activities and 25% relationship.
You can’t be a loser with that system. You just can’t be…. give it another shot and keep playing the game… !
i wrote this with the intention that it would help me and it has been very disiponting. allow i wrote this is what i say true. can this be a possiblity? please help and for now a glimps into my world…..
My name is Adam smith. It short and simple. As am I. I’m a one track guy. I’m really only interested in one particular thing and it life. I think openly about my life. I have come to realize live is to short and until recently I thought that life was given meaning by death. Having an endpoint would or should urge people to embrace life and what they have.well death isn’t the meaning of life. I was narrowed minded to think so. There is a saying about life and its that no one gets out of it alive. We all act like we are going to live forever. But that’s just not going to happen. If you know when you are going to die, life looks different. Its said that one may be blessed to know that date in which they were going to die. For you look at life different by cherishing moments more thereroly and you holding tight to moments that are dear to you. Life is about the journey. You have the power to change your own life. It all depends on how you ack. Its about living. An old folktale who’s author is unknown once wrote, “A fight is going on inside us,” said an old man to his son. “It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you…………” Now which one wins? Its the wolf that you feed. Now know one has the power to create there own future, as do they have the power to choose witch wolf to feed. By choosing which one you feed you create a path for yourself. It make the person how you are today and to become. It helps us see the world. As for one being blessed to know that date in which they were going to die. As I said, its all base on the time you die. Placing your self in ones position who knew they were to die at age 50, one would pay special attention to there life and live fully in the moment. The trick to doing this is recognizing all the important moments in your life. Although who am I to say this. I mean The Meaning of Life isn’t like not just knowing that our lives are having an impact; it’s also about knowing exactly why you got up in the morning; it’s knowing the reason for you existence. The meaning of life is to live it, in whatever fashion you find suitable. This is a general observation, the point is to live life to its fullest and get whatever you would like out of it. Know don’t expect me to throw some shit in about god. I not that religous not saying i’m not but really there is no definite indicator that there is a god. What difference does it make anyway, in terms of concrete choices? Would you suddenly stop trying to be a good person if it were revealed that there is no God? Would you suddenly become an altruist if you learned there was? What is right is right, weather or not God exists, and the qualities that make a good person are widely agreed on in any case. Is there any reason to care, aside from pure curiosity? The meaning of life is just to live it. I’m not one to speak vaingloriously nor will I ever be. I’m simply me. I plan on lifting my life in witch ever way I prefer. And that is how it just goes.
A lot of things you say I enjoyed reading – thanks Adam!
You know though I enjoy your writing because I too am in search of this meaning of life. I have had some experiences that cannot be explained. What I can tell you is that they were good and mind opening. What I have experienced was the day after my mother passed and I can tell you that fear of death and is there life after death well I believe that yes there is life after death.
I believe once our human body leaves we transform into energy and move on. I can tell you that minutes after my mother left I meditated in the room where she was and what I saw was unbelievable and that night what came to me in a dream was not just fascination but was life changing. I continue to meditate ten minutes to half an hour each morning and before I go to bed.
I have enjoyed your writing and will continue enjoying.
Thanks for sharing that… As rational and logical as I am I’ve had some experiences that defy logic – completely. I wrote about seeing a ‘being’ in the pattern in my carpet come to life as I meditated almost at jhana level one time… I wrote about it at http://Seemlessness.thaipulse.com – ok, let me find it exactly or you might never find it in that mess that’s there…
Baby Died Poem – and description of what happened during meditation the night before.
Woh, this is really meaningful. I’ve been having some rough times recently and this has really helped. Thanks
Great! That’s why I wrote it! – Hope things clear up for you soon. Remember, we’re all on these ups and downs… like sine waves… sometimes the up lasts a long time… sometimes the down seems to have flattened out… eventually you’ll find an “up”. :) Vern
That post really meant a lot. I really agree with you on getting through these rough times. Its hard i know but i have recently began to realise how time heals all. especially going through relationships, you their loving someone then you lose them and think you will never be the same.
Almost a month after that its like it never happened, cause really time cured you.
My main problem has been this one girl i have been in love with for years and years. she lives far away though and i rarely see her.
In my opinion relationships seem to be the hardest thing for me going through these rough years. Especially that girl…
Its hard, life at this age, like you said all the pressures from your friends and peers to get involved in stuff like drugs and all the rest, thankfully i havent taken this path as i know once i get through these years it will be well worht it coming out on the other side.
thanks again for that post it really gave me both something to think about and something to make me feel better about everything thats going on for me now.
Best of luck to you too Vern in your life.
Yep, relationships are tough. Long distance relationships at that age – or any age really… impossibly tough.
It gives one a helluva focus though. Everything you do can be a small step toward meeting your girl again in the near future…
Good luck my friend with everything.
i took so much time with my previous post because at the time im so confused and lost i dont know what to do.. life just doesnt seem great anymore.. theres no point in my mind..
did you have these same feelings when you were in your teens or am i just one of those few who seems lost and alone?
Hi Connor – thanks for writing!
This is a great comment because I’ve wanted to do whole post about this – and haven’t yet.
All teens are in a weird mutant state where they don’t know where they fit in with life… among other things teens are starting to understand that the things they once counted on in life – are untrue at best. What I mean is – you’re starting to come around to the truth about what’s going on around you – and it may really suck when it hits. You might find out that your parents smoke pot. You might find out that there’s no easter bunny, Santa, or Elvis. Elvis is dead Connor.
Teens are hit with all kinds of questions from adults… like – what do you want to be when you grow up… Ha! WHAT? How should you know what you want to be as a teen? Few know. I didn’t know – in fact I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I just refuse to grow up and I do my own thing – whatever makes me happy.
Most teens don’t know which way is up Connor. That’s not an insult – that’s a function of life. You feel lost because you don’t know 1. What you like to do. 2. What is best to focus on. 3. If you’re ever going to find a girl and get married and have sex. 4. Why everything is starting to appear so difficult to get done. 5. You’re arguing with parents, brothers, sisters, friends you once were tight with, teachers, any adult… nobody gets you. And that’s EXACTLY what 90% of all teens are going through. 6. You want to try alcohol, drugs, sex, smoking, running away, getting a tattoo, all that stuff. It conflicts with what your parents want. In fact, EVERYTHING you want conflicts with what your parents want. It seems like there is no way out of this horrid mess…
But there is a way out. It’s called, “time”. That’s it – time. If you can get through the insane state of happenings that go on when you’re a teen and just break through to the other side you’re going to find a completely different ballgame. A ballgame where testosterone and estrogen are not turning you upside down and screwing up your emotional states – which then screws up your thinking states…
Time heals it all. Time can take people that are at the bottom of nothing – and set them on a path to change the world.
I knew a teen – he was 15. He was a computer junkie and he also played basketball on his highschool team – JV. He was fast, little, and said not 3 words to adults during his entire teens. He was lost and didn’t know which way was up.
By the time he graduated high school he was top of his class… He went to Georgia Tech. He aced it. He was homecoming king. He was mr fraternity (which to me means nothing except he was annoying to everyone else – but, to many that’s an accomplishment). He went to University of California – Berkeley Campus and is getting his masters there now.
The kid was more lost than Casper the friendly ghost in his teens. He was going nowhere that anybody could tell.
Look at Eminem – he went from nothing to megasuperstar just because he kept doing what he wanted to do during his teens.
Look at me. I was drinking at 13 in a local bar. I was arguing with anyone over 18 and I thought my life would turn out for shi*. It didn’t. I’ve had an amazing life… why? Because I got through my teens and started living life on my terms.
You can do that too – find some coping strategies to get you through your teens. Maybe it’s video games. Maybe it’s friends. Hopefully it’s friends and videogames.
Maybe it’s an adult you respect that has the slightest idea what you’re about and gives good advice and understands your situation.
Maybe it’s just knowing that this too shall pass… and it does… over and over throughout your life – the clouds pass and show you some blue sky. Jump when you see the blue sky and take control of your emotions, your drive, your outlook, your actions, your reactions, everything – take control of everything you are during those times when things are looking good. This will pull you through your teens and into reality.
Teen years are like a fuzzy haze… you’ll understand that as you hit about 25 and see how different you think you are from when you were a teen.
Good luck Connor – make the best of whatever good you have going on. And, make your own good too.
I really admire your point of view to such a topic and has given me many things to think about through my days. I feel wierd as a teenager to be questioning these roadblocks through life but am also so intrested and so amazed. You are a very inspirational person and i have enjoyed reading your documents and hopefully through my life i will experience these moments of elnlightenment that you have mentioned. thank you.
Hi Noah, thanks for writing! Glad you’re thinking – me too. I wrote it to inspire thought and tell people what my conclusions were. Really I’m open to other interpretations too. It’s an open-ended question – unanswerable at the moment for the world – but, individually – answerable for each person that gives it a shot.
Meditation is something that is available to everyone… I give away a free meditation ebook if you want to try it like I did.
Free Meditation ebook >
Hey author of this page….I enjoyed your writing here…I am at a point where I’ve tried religion, tried doing the christian thing and though if I believed in something I could not see, hear, or feel that I had faith and that that faith would pay off in the end days…But It never got me anywhere I never heard from Jesus and didn’t know if I was talking to myself or that innervoice was god or whatever…So I’ve been looking into some people saying we have Higher Selves in the Etheral plane with Spirit Guides trying to help us play this so called video game we came down to choose to learn a objective…In the end i’m stuck, life as you put it realy is sucky, we have one happy experience and 10 shi# ones to compliment those…People walk around totally unaware are a only “nice” to you when you give them what they want or do what they feel is “right” Its all hypocritically people judging everybody else no matter the religion and I’m tired of it all..I kinda wanna end it just to find out what else is after life, but I won’t because i’m not suicidal I just need guidance and help…Can you please email me and maybe give me some ideas into achieving this super happiness loss of the mind and experience maybe another side of life one that doesn’t rely on materialistic things and happiness. Anyways hope to hear from you firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for writing – you’ve mentioned many things that I’ve questioned in my life – and I’m sure others have too. For me – meditation turned out to be an amazing tool to help my mind. Some turn to meditation and then Buddhism as the answer. I left ot the Buddhism part – for me it’s just another religion – like replacing Christianity with another ‘ism’. My idea of Buddhism goes more along the lines of Buddhadasa Bhikku from Suan Mokkh. I live close to there and visit the temple a couple times a year…. anyway…
Try meditation – vipassana… focusing on the breath to calm the mind. I offer a free e-book here on this site, I think at the top of the page in the grey links section. If not there it’s at the bottom of the page in the grey links section.
Let me know how it goes… Best of life to you…
It is four in the morning and I decided to ask the question in the world wide web… What is the meaning of life? and I found this website. It is a comfort to know there are others out there that think like me and that question the things I question. In my life I get two answers from everyone I know… “Be happy” and “Trust in god” That’s it? That’s the answer to all my questions, that’s what’s going to resolve all the pain in my soul, just like that, poof?!? I had a friend that said he was the biggest follower and friend of god and because I couldn’t see things from his point of view ( god didn’t appear in front of me, like he did with him in his jail cell ) he stopped talking to me, supposedly I was going to get in the way of his path to god… I guess that’s what 13 years in prison can do to a brain! I wanted to travel the world and look for answers to this meaningless life, he told me that everything I could ever want to know is in the bible. That was not satisfying to me, there has to be something more, something that unites us all, not divides us. Why is a unicorn just a myth, a story but god isn’t?
everything you have said from the start of this thread to the end i have read and re-read to try and better understand. I mean i am only sixteen, I know so much yet so little. i don’t feel like i could even contribute to your discussions as i haven’t even began to grasp the true concept of what we call life. I want to be able to respond to you with my own opinions, go on and on about what i think life means or what the real point of it is, but the truth is im not their yet. I can’t give you or anyone else here my full opinion on this topic because at the minute i just don’t have one.
You are years older then me. know so much more, experienced so much more that i don’t think at the minute my opinion would even matter or mean anything to you. At least thats how i feel.
You seem to have your own conclussion on life and where it will take you, but for me i have only begun. I have years ahead of me to grow older and understand further what our true meaning is. I know i will never truely figure it out or to be able to answer “what the point of life really is” but im trying.
I haven’t really discussed my view on life or the world we live in but i would like to try.
All i have right now are questions with no answers, all of us have our own questions, who knows if any of them have or ever will be answered. There is so much out their we will never know its incredible.
I really don’t know if theres a point to life, but i would like to think there is.
My most biggest interest is the universe. The stars, the cosmos how we got here and why.
Our planet, Earth we call it is amazingly large and beautiful, it is full of so much life. I often like to look out onto the vast amounts of stars that litter the sky and think whats out their, are we really the only living inteligent race? Is there civilizations out their far more advance then us that if ever we incontered would simply look down on us as we look down on a small ant, not carring who or what we are or if we would ever make it to being as advanced as they. Its a scary concept, of being alone. To think we may be the only ones out their, or are there similar civilizations who are struggling to make their own footprint in the vast depths of space. Looking out and thinking the same thoughts as we are now… is there truely a meaning to life? Are we the only ones out their? Someday though i think we will travel to distant stars and possibly encounter other civilizations.. Although the chances are slim that we would ever encounter a civilization who is just as advanced as we are, most likely they will be far more advanced or far less..
Our planet really is merily a grain of sand in the cosmos. we mean nothing at all if you look at the big picture, all there is out their and all that ever will. When i say we mean nothing just think for one minute that if our planet were simply to disapear, who would know? Or realise we were gone? Who would care?
(in my opinion) I think we are lucky to have made it this far, our planet. Look at all the millions of years its been around. All the random events and happenings that have brought us to the present. To make up what we are. Its crazy. We are truely lucky to be where we are now.
But i mean theres so much out their its hard to really say how we came to be. Maybe in a thousand years humans will have a better explanation for what we call life.
A single lifetime dedicated to researching life and why we are here and what our meaning truely is would not be enough to come to a true conclussion on this topic. Maybe even hundreds of lifetimes on end all dedicated to this topic wouldn’t ever be enough, or quite possibly we never will come to a true conclussion on what our true meaning in life really is.
Only time will tell…
Thanks to those who took the time to read my first attempt at discussing this topic.. Sorry if its not the greatest…
Also thanks to Vern and everyone else who have really took the time to post their thoughts in this blog, i mean… it really helps me to better understand what life is when i can have resource like this to come to and read.
But its 2am and i have school in six hours so im gona get some sleep lol… hope to here some more on this topic in the coming days!
To be honest you want to know what the point is. I tell you there is no point in life. People must find their own point.
My point is simple. Enjoy the best things of my life.
You are right, having God as an explanation does make things simpler and does requier less thought. I have just had this my entire life and am not sure of wether or not to believe in it. I am complately deadlocked, and can see that both make equal sense to me.
I have read all of these blogs up to date, and frankly, I am torn between a religion that I so desperatly want to believe in. On the other hand, I have read what was written on here, and some part of me, a part I have never felt, agrees.
If there is God, or if there is science, or if there is nothing, just ablissful serenity, I just would really like to know which one is the most likely.
I hope that you can provide me with some direction, because I feel so lost,
Thanks for commenting. I want someone to provide me with some direction too… unfortunately all I can do is look at everything that is here – my whole experience and ask questions and try to come up with answers. Everyday I’m asking myself… is there a god here that I can see – can feel – can interact with – can communicate with in any way?
We want to believe in a god because it makes it all easy. We have something we accept as the ultimate responsibility – and it’s unreachable. What can we do? Might as well make the best of life, right?
I can’t come to that point though… I see plenty of evidence for an intelligence brilliant enough to create living things coded with DNA… There is such an intricate order and balance to everything that it doesn’t make much sense to say there isn’t something that made all this or caused it to come into existence…
But, where is it? Absent. It’s unreachable… and so, with my logical mind I don’t see any god.
Maybe just keep asking questions… I occupy a lot of time doing that… I ponder different possibilities and that’s enough to keep me off the main reality – there is nothing tangible of any god that I can grasp onto here. Nothing. So, what will be my answer on this question?
Everything is possible. There may be a god. There may not be. If I can’t do anything to figure it out – then I’m wasting my time trying too hard. I’m happy in my life – with what I have, not with what I’ve done all the time – but I’m pretty happy, have needs taken care of and I can help others sometimes – which is immensely satisfying. I’ll just go on bumbling through life like this and not put too much energy into WHY it’s all like this… the why is completely unknowable because we don’t even know the “WHO” yet.
Good luck in your quest for the truth for you…
RoW rOw RoW yOuR bOaT gEnTlY dOwN tHe StReAm, MeRrIlY mErRiLy MeRrIlY mErRiLy LiFe Is BuT a BOUNDLESS MYSTERY!!!
will i am 15 years old i go to school and i am inyear 11 i shoulde be in year 10 .and some times i ask my self about the point of life because i have been falling my tests the problem is that i sudy hard then when i get to the test i get nervous then i can’t answer.and i want to be a chemical engineering.and some time i think of killing my self .so should you think i should do .
I think you should take your childhood – your teens a LOT less seriously. I know it’s tough if parents, friends, or your internal motivator is telling you to GO GO GO and crank out some success so everyone will be proud of you. I know many engineers, computer programmers, and others in accounting and management jobs that are bored out of their minds doing what they’re doing. They didn’t question what their parents were telling them and they just jumped into college after high school and did what they thought they were “supposed” to do.
I’m 43 now. I was thinking today as I was riding the motorbike to a mountain to climb… man, I don’t have any regrets at all for enjoying my life from the time I left high school up until now. I did what I wanted to do. I tried many things. I experimented and found out what I like, what I don’t. I created a life that I liked – I didn’t care who else liked it. Not until I was married anyway. You’re responsible NOT to get a high-paying job, a prestigious job, a job to make your parents proud… you’re responsible only to enjoy your life as much as you can – and be OK with that.
Even though I’m working my fingers to nubs on this keyboard everyday for the last 2 years I’m happy as I ever was because my relationship, my fitness level, and my mental health are all thumbs up.
I guess I suggest if you’re working hard or studying hard – DON’T forget to play hard too. Really hard. Balance it all out.
Thanks for writing – good luck with life!
life sucks period!!!
Ultimately – you hit it right on the bullseye. Go get yourself some satisfaction Juliet Helena Doss! Best, Vern
the point of life is to enjoy it while it lasts because it isn’t permanent …. And who knows maybe whats next is evan better than the experience of life or maybe its 1000 times worse . Witch ever one it is we wont know til we get their.
I like that…
You rock. I didn’t read your entire essay as it’s almost midnight.
I’m a newbie to Buddhism. Raised Catholic. Went two decades without practicing any religion before trying Religious Science and now Buddhism.
The point of life is to be present to our life of course. Which isn’t really a point. As fully present to as many moments in as many days as we can. Unless someone is born mindful, I think that requires meditation often enough to stay present.
Simple analogy: My father was a traveling salesman, with probably about 50 percent travel I think. And when he was home, he was not present to his kids nor was he present that much to his wife I don’t think. (I don’t harbor any resentment regarding this.) At Christmas, he was present, and he did not skimp on providing presents for all 6 of his kids and his wife. What he didn’t realize is that we would all have rather have had his presence than his presents.
I’ll read your post again another day.
this is such an interesting page, i didnt realise there was such depth to this question. thank you!
i am doing a talk in a few weeks about what is the point of life, which is a really difficult topic, as you can see form the sheer number of different opions and views there are posted on this blog and so many tangents i could go off on. Therefore, i was hoping that someone such as vern who has been an avid member of this blog, would sum up for me, the main views on this subject that would aid me as subject headers
Thanks for commenting… yes, a diverse response to this question! Sorry, I don’t have time to do your homework for you… I think you’ll get much more out of it if you read the whole post and all the comments and sum it up on your own. Good luck with your talk.
…After reading all of the posts, I really feel as though M. has the explanation to “what is the purpose of life” if there is one. Thank you M, for responding to Verns original post. I was in need of a “sign” and you blew me away with your knowledge and cristal clear explanation. I never thought of meaningless/pointless/ect as beautiful…but as I contemplate your words Matryoska I can see that there is beauty in it. Its like a breath of fresh air, I was hanging on by a thread…thank you for throwing me a rope.
It is astounding how much power that culture and society has to shape the way that we think and feel about our lives and how we choose to live them. However, we must never lose sight of the astounding power that we have to shape the way that we think and feel about our own lives and how we choose to live them! All great changes in both society and in individuals have come from the inner strength to push on the boundaries that define who we are on both collective (macrocosmic) and individual (microcosmic) scales.
Inner expansion and growth is more like a circle that widens when we stand in the center and push out the circumference than it is like a straight line with an “A” on one end and a “B” on the other. It is like the expansion of a ripple on the surface of a lake or the unfolding of lotus petals. As the circumference expands and the petals unfold, the dark mirror that we are looking into becomes less and less obscured and we begin to see all of the elements and sub-elements that combine to form the vast complexity of who we suppose ourselves to be.
When we approach these boundaries there is always a feeling of excitement, anxiety, curiosity, and self-doubt. After all, what lies on the other side is none other than the Great Unknown! And it is but a perspective and a choice to peer into the Great Unknown from a safe distance and view it either as a destructive or healing entity. It may be one, the other, neither, or both! However one chooses to view it, the reality is that it has always been what we might call a loyal ally throughout the course of our lives in terms of our collective and personal growth and development.
Where would we be if we didn’t experiment with the unknown as an infant by crying and squealing at different volumes in order to see how this might affect our environment (i.e. bring mommy’s breast to our lips)? Imagine if we didn’t experiment with placing all of those objects into our mouths or with crawling hither and thither, climbing onto the furniture, and standing up on our own two feet? What if we didn’t touch that hot stove or draw with crayon on the bathroom wall? And what if we didn’t get up onto that bicycle or behind the wheel of that car?
What if we didn’t open ourselves up to socializing with people who are nothing like us (different shapes, sizes, colors, orientations, agenda’s, etc.)? How about if we never explored a diverse range of books, music, movies, writing, or even just walking through an unknown secton of the woods? And what about looking within?
What if we didn’t explore and experiment with the Great Unknown as it expresses itself through our visions of mystery and magic (divinity!). What if mountains weren’t climbed and seas were never sailed? What if religeous and political institutions were not embraced and challenged? What if our lips and tongues never touched those of another or our yoni’s and lingam’s never connected in orgasmic ecstacy and bliss?
This is the Art and Science of life! The whole point, purpose, and meaning of it all! To expand the ripple of wisdom and understanding! To reveal the divine eternally infinite radiating clear-light of truth/love and the heart of the ever-expanding lotus! To peer into the great unknown with reverence and respect and to take a deep breath before bravely stepping straight into it! To push on those boundaries of society’s and our own definition of what is “real”, what is “normal”, what is “truth”, and what is “love”!
This growth does not have to stop when we have come to a certain age and point in our lives. It does not have to stop when we have become citizens full of expectations placed upon ourselves and one another. Virtues ought to be sought out and conserved until they evolve into vices and vices ought to be sought out and liberated until they evolve into virtues! Nothing is stagnant in nature, all is spiraling in ceaseless cyclical flux!
Occasionally there is the introduction of something new and exciting into the dance! Free radicals chaotically colliding aeons ago eventually formed into the novelty of simple molecular structures. And its a good thing that the creator/creation tried something new because without simple molecular structures there would not have appeared more complex molecular strucures.
Thank the magical mystery that the essence of being, force and form experimented with creating galaxies, solar systems, and at least one planet suitable to host the most simple form of carbon-based life! Three cheers for evolutionary experimentation with single celled organisms in the primordial soup! Thank God for those courageous amphibious aquatic creatures who ventured up on to dry land and in time the genetic anomalies that brought those chimps out of the trees and into the valleys in search of food!
What of the great monkey-types who pushed the boundaries by munching on those funny mushrooms and experimenting with mixing berries and painting on cave walls in order to communicate to the others where the herds were moving and to tell stories? And what if that furry genius didn’t experiment with rubbing two flint stones together?
And it goes on and on and on and on! The boundary pushers all along the way who brought us out from being “knuckle dragging shit slingers” to astro-phycists orbiting the planet in a space craft! Who took us all along the way from the truly ingenius idea of pulling the grubs out from inside of the log with a stick to General Relativity and String Theory! Who took us from staring up at the stars at night in wonder to staring up at the stars at night in wonder!
We ARE the free radicals and the transformational force of evolution! This wave across unknowable and immeasurable epochs of time is still and forever rolling itself out like the giant cutting edge of an enormous ripple! We are STILL the little infant experimenting with reality in order to figure out exactly where the boundaries are so that we know precisely where we stand and the work that needs to be done in our lives! Why stop here? The work never ceases until the moment that one decides that she or he no longer wishes to grow.
So as we approach the Great Unknown together let us keep all of this in mind. This is a journey of self discovery and healing! Not only for us but for all and for this beautiful planet! I believe, no, I UNDERSTAND, that to free one’s self of her or his own restrictive limitations is to allow more and more of the inner light that is shared with all to explode out into the darkness that has been longing for far to long to reunite in holy communion with its beloved radiance!
If we choose to live in this manner then our lives are going to be incredibly beautiful as our hearts, minds, wisdom, and understanding of ourselves and each other are most certainly sure to deepen and expand! Let us take this precious opportunity to explore and express!
Wonderful changes are here and on the way!
I am not enlightened. I know that much. I came across 3 books by JED McKENNA, that shows me the most convincing picture of being enlightened. I highly recommended them. Also this website convinced me and it’s useful in my groping in the dark.
I had asked the same question, what’s the point of life, and why are we searching to stop being blind and why not just enjoy the moment.
I guess I found trying to prefect my life is futile, it cannot be perfected. To try to get as much happiness as I can and avoid as much unhappiness as I can is futile too, because it simply cannot be done. The “trying” is the key problem.
My wish now is to awake, or to use the word, to be enlightened. I have to go to the end which I name it “truth” at all cost, then I’ll decide what to do with my life. Which according to Jed McKenna, LIFE HAS NO MEANING. According to David at http://www.justperception.net, LIFE IS JUST “FOR NOW”, CASUAL ENTERTAINMENT, NOT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY.
Definitely I’m not doing this to help other people. A man drowning cannot be any help to another man drowning.
If human are not meant to know the truth, it doesn’t make sense that we have the urge to know the truth. It is there, so I have no choice but to go for it.
I grow up here in Thailand, and (superficial) Buddhist culture, and when somebody stated they are enlightened I automatically reacted with what I was taught all my life, BULLSHIT!! But when I plowed on and tried to challenge my contextual belief, I found JED’s books are godsend.
Sorry for the rant, really want to recommend the books.
Good luck on the search all of you out there, and me too.
you dont believe in God,heaven or hell..but i do. you and i will both die one day. if you are right, then we will both cease to exist altogether. i wont be any worse off than you…..but, if i am right, and there is a God,heaven and hell, then i will live forever in heaven because i accepted Jesus’ sacrifice to pay my sins. and you would be in hell. at that point you would be forever worse off than me. i am not willing to take that risk, because once we die,we cant come back and change our minds. i am very happy being a christian,and no one is changing my mind.
Some can live their lives according to what others told them and what others believe… but, when I look at the idea of a god that is here to interact with – to trust, to love, to believe in – I come up with zilch. You too my friend, if you looked hard – and actually questioned the things you think you believe – you’ll find there’s nothing there. The house of cards exists in yours and others’ minds. In reality – there is no house… there are no cards… that we can see or that tangibly exist.
I can’t base my life on things I can’t tangibly see or affect. That won’t ever change… and you know what? You probably believe your god made it this way… some people are like this – it’s beyond all possibility that someone with a totally rational, logical mind as mine could believe in fantasy. Impossible. I must test everything to see – does it work -or not? Some parts may work – some parts I may accept.
Acceptance of a god that is invisible and that is somehow affecting things here on earth now – in real time – is beyond our comprehension if it exists at all. In my mind it could exist! I’m not an atheist because the possibility is – god could exist! But, can I prove he does or doesn’t? Nope. Neither can you. Neither can atheists. Anything other than an agnostic viewpoint such as this presupposes too much. There isn’t evidence for or against. Evolution is not evidence for or against a creationist deity…. anyway, more on evolution coming as I work myself up about the topic maybe later this month.
Thanks for writing Isaac.
Why is that the first response to this type of opinion or question is always some person espousing their belief in some deity or other? Usually with a Christian bias.
A superb post. Whilst reading it, I felt an incredible sense of empathy although I am not sure if that is strictly speaking, the correct word.
It is doubtless not a coincidence that people who have considered or are considering the original question, have arrived at this site. It is the very question that has drawn those respondents to this place.
Allegedly Einstein once said something along the lines of “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”.
Does the question need to be asked?
Perhaps all that will ever be and ever has been just is and was.
Then again, what would I know.
I have been pondering the question for over 23 years and am probably no closer to reaching an answer (assuming that there is one :-) )
HI Nigel…. right – maybe no point to life at all – that’s one possibility. I could definitely go for that idea. Thanks for writing!
Blessings, Vern and other friends!
Haunted, eh? Good good good! That’s a start! At least one of us THINKS he understands 98% of what I am saying…and it sure as Helen ain’t me! You’re right. I am quite a thinker and clearly so are the rest of you who contributed to this here blog! In my case, occasionally to a fault!
As far as whether these are ideas that I’ve come up with on my own or whether I am simply repeating things I’ve heard others say is concerned, well, suffice it to say that it is a sort of combination of the two in several variations?
What I know about the restaurant is based both on my reading of the menu and the reviews as well as my own direct experience in sinking my teeth into the delicious entees served here and the swishing of the fine wines that they offer around in my mouth!
Much of what I have read and heard other people say has opened me up to all new vistas of perspective. Likewise, many new vistas of perspective that I have stumbled upon while traveling along on my journey have been substantiated by things that I later read and heard other people say.
Like you, I have experienced directly many potent transformational states of consciousness. Some so unbelievably profound that I could not possibly put them into words! No. I don’t have all of the answers. In fact, I may not have any of the answers at all! But then I may actually have, or rather BE, some or all of the answers! After all, a question mark is only but a sleepy exclaimation point (?) and an exclaimation point an energized question mark (!).
It is very difficult for the rational mind to accept the possibility that there is no point, purpose, or meaning to life. Rationality simply won’t allow it! But the domain of rationality is limited by its very nature of limiting that which is wholly unlimited! It is but a imperceivably small speck in the boundless ocean of mind and imagination.
There doesn’t have to be a point, purpose, or meaning to life! To arive at your answer is to be a boring period (.)! Now you’ve got all of the answers, right? Well, at least you think you do! To me life is way more exciting as an exclaimation point (!) masquerading as a question mark (?) until it gets tired of this and flips itself the other way around! The question mark knows deep down that the answers are questions in disguise and the exclaimation point knows deep down that the questions are answers in disguise!
What is the point of life? I think that if you asked a pitbull you would get a very different answer than you would from a poodle! Likewise, you would get a very different answer from a vulture than you would from a hummingbird! And what if you could ask Jesus and Hitler? How about a currently undiscovered exotic fish at the lowest point of the deepest ocean or some sort of strange exotic microscopic bacterium at the peak of Mt. Everest? My God, how about you ask a handful of bloggers!
There is beauty in pointlessness, purposelessness, and meaninglessness. But right now I must go to sleep! Please! Please feel free once agin to agree or knock down this here deck of cards!
In the meantime, and time can be quite mean at times, I must hit the hay and get some sleepy-poo! Hope you all are feeling wonderful today!
What is the point of asking, “What is the point of life?” if there is no point of life? What is the purpose in asking, “What is my purpose?” if there is no purpose in life? What is the reason in blogging on and on and on ad infinitum about what does not apparently exist? What is this business of helping someone through what cannot be helped?
Humans are so fascinating!!! It is such a curious thing that we have evolved to do… to spend so much time ruminating on whether or not our ruminating has any point at all until all our days for ruminating run out. I am inclined to agree with Dostoyevsky- our fate seems cruel, and by design! Unless, of course, there is Design.
Perhaps you had it right in the beginning when you said, “After all – God, or something smarter than us – whether it’s the natural order of the cosmos, God, or aliens, something started this or is the reason for this… this thing we call human life…”
Well, if that’s the case, and if this Being or Thing or Process is truly “something smarter than us”, then maybe we should ask Him… or Her… or It for an answer to our questions? Because maybe, just maybe, if we stopped ruminating long enough to listen for an answer, we might hear a Still Small Voice.
I just want to thank you so much for writing this.I feel so much better to know that not everyone in this world is going through life as a “part of the herd” ! I agree on almost all of you’ve said and its been quite an experience reading it.
I just hope i do prove you wrong and prove that life does have a purpose and its not beyond human understanding.(Perhaps the search for the answer to this question is the meaning of life??)
Hope your health is better now. Do take care and thank you again!
I think i found the actual and probable reason of life..
i believe that the reason is knowlage, to know and to understand the world around us. to try to find out and solve every mystery. is when you look at it. like really look at is, its funny how everyone is so hard core about find this devine answer when the answer is clearly what they want, everyone wants to know, everyone wants to understand, and in return we ourselves want to be understood. knowledge is the best gift/ answer that god coulf ever give us. with out knowledge we would be where we are today. with the curse of ignorance, are humanity can be self desrtuctive. with ignorance we wouldnt pay any attention to the world around us and eventaully die off. because we wouldnt know what to do. but something tells me that theres more than one answer, i would have to think on it more.
The point of life is to die and give way for new life.
That’s an interesting philosophy. Isn’t that just another way of saying that there is no point?
Hi, Ive been looking for a discussion about this for some time. My own life has been rich in terms of emotional highs, finding happiness love and accompanying joy. Much of my life has also included terrible lows, working through blinding disappointments linked with betrayal and caring for my severely autistic son. I trained as an existential psychotherapist and have constantly searched in myself and outside of myself for my own meaning of life and ‘the point of it’. I have come to believe through thought and experience, that the love I have for and recieve from others, that connection is what makes life meaninful for me. For me this links with God, Jesus knew (alongside other prophets of god) all those years ago that this was the key to making meaning to life and I think man has come to the same conclusion either through belief or experience. However although this is a living reality for me and I do much in my life to bring me variety and in the main contentment, the question remains. What is the ultimate point of it all? I cant accept that its just about finding a way to be happy and connecting, something tells me it has to be more. Why bother asking some may reply, yet how can one not ask? Even if we go on afterwards, what is the point of that? To gain so called mastery over ourselves, to join with the great universal force? For what? Who knows!! Its just good to find a open space to send out these questions thanks for that.
I am completely open to a dialogue! Nothing would thrill me more than for all that I’ve said to be blown over like a castle made of cards or sliced and diced like a pretty and scrumptious wedding cake that you can’t have and eat at the same time! Tear it up, Vern! After all, I’m just “talking meat”!
with love (of course!!!),
Your original post is haunting me… I re-read it again, this time in an atmosphere of quiet and understanding… in the present moment…
I understand 98% (guessing, of course) of what you’re saying, and yet maybe not understanding it the way you intended or the way you understand it. What you are saying makes sense in terms of some experiences I’ve had – mental states some call jhana and that I’ve written about and actually done videos about at one of my other sites: http://seemlessness.thaipulse.com
You’re quite a thinker, and I’m curious to know whether these are ideas you’ve come up with on your own – or whether you’re repeating things you’ve heard others say. Suffice it to say I’ve never spoken in person with anyone like you… you seem to ‘get it’, but in a way that I’d never explain it – as I said, the vocabulary you use is different from how I would express it – but, we’d be talking about the same ideas – I believe.
If you ever make it to Thailand send me email as I’d like to have a conversation with you… writing is tiresome and wouldn’t really get at the “meat”.
Thanks again for the comments –
Imagine yourself in a lucid dream. Suddenly you have become aware that you are dreaming. How exciting! You can explore this most mysterious and magical dreamworld being fully aware that it is all but a mere dream!
What would be the point of walking up to a person in your dream, let’s say on a park bench, and telling her that she isn’t real and that this is all just a dream? After all, she is only a dream image so you aren’t actually telling anybody anything at all! But if you decided to do so, she might even respond to your statement. She might look at you and say, “You’re right. This is all but a dream and you too aren’t real”!
Our lives our made up of the same stuff that dreams are made up of. The brain is a projection of mind (not the other way around) and brain phenomena a projection of the brain. What is real is pure omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient awareness (being) without any quality or quantity and full of boundless possibility.
Whatever phenomenal reality we experience, whether a “dream” or a “waking state”, in any variation, is a sort of whispy desert mirage. A hologram that acts as a combination autostereogram-rorshcach blot in which an illusory reality magically appears (maya) out of a non-local matrix of pre-manifest information when intersected with the pure crystal clear light of essential awareness. Its point, purpose, and meaning is entriely subjective and has no actual basis in truth. Although one might say that the point is to be, the purpose is to do, and the meaning is to become…just for the sake of it.
You are a dream character in a dream and all who you meet are also dream characters sharing in the mirage-like illusory experience that is the phantasm that we refer to as reality. It is our sentience that holds it all in place. If all conscious beings were to disappear at once, so would everything else. What would be left is eternally infinite potential, not mountains, oceans, deserts, flames, winds, or conscious living beings of any sort. Non of these things existed as we know them to exist before awareness and non of them will exist after it. This is how important we are!
Still it is all but a dream. Quantum Physics is intersecting with Ancient Wisdom. What we are beginning to understand is that awareness and the objects of awareness are entirely synonymous and arise mutually. They are exactly the same thing! Phenomenal experiences are the spectrum of the divided light of awareness as it shines through the the intricate contours of the prism that is mind. Awareness is three-fold…three as one. It is the clear-light; it is the prism and its intricate contours; and it is the great spectrum of diversity.
Just as orange is a shade of red and yellow a shade of orange (therefore purple a shade of red if we follow this through), quark is a shade of quasar; bird is a shade of worm; thought is a shade of emotion; and all of these things are shades of pure awareness!
Nirvana, therefore, does not mean giving up your bodyboarding! It does not mean giving up your joy of eating! It does not mean giving up any of the pleasures of your life! It does not even mean that you must give up the sorrows!
Nirvana is a state in which you permenantly see these things for what they really are. They are simultaneously clear-empty and full of radiance-light! Things exist only in relation to other things. Nothing is either this or that except in its relation to other things that are not either this or that in relation to other things that are not either this or that (ad infinitum!). And all is in constant flux. Non of any of these objects relative to one another exists in any sort of stable condition. All is in a constant state of change. More importantly, all of these phantasms are entirely dependent on awareness for their existence. More acurately, all of these phantasms ARE awareness!
Nirvana is when you spend eternal infinity experiencing the secret-hidden-unspeakable state that is not a state born out of the union of eternally infinite suffering and eternally infinite pleasure. It is the ultimate state of Being, Wisdom, and Understanding (Compassion). There is no more suffering because that which you are suffering over is YOU and you are pure awareness! There is no more pleasure because that which you are feeling pleasure for is YOU and you are pure awareness! You finally get the punchline of the cosmic joke after aeons of contemplation!
Get on with your life and enjoy it as you would a lucid dream! And how should you conduct yourself? Well, that is entirely up to you. All dualistic concepts have been entirely transcended. The Mandala is circular. It is balanced, harmonious, equlibrated, symmetrical, expresses centrality, and is perfect in every way. Where there is a demon (a negative) there is an angelic counterpart (positive). Both are synonymous and arise mutually. They are the same beings perceived from different vantage points. They support each other while cancelling each other out. The mandala has a center that is nowhere and a circumference that is everywhere! Nobody said that the mystery had to be rational. This is our own illusion created for our own convenience (to distract us from the fearsome imagination and the boundless void of infinite possibility).
Live your life to the fullest extent…or sit in a dark silent cave. Neither is the right or wrong way to live. Many joys and sorrows will follow your actions no matter which path you take. Your most precious moments were preceded by many joys and sorrows. Likewise, your most regretful moments were preceded by many joys and sorrows. This porcess will continue without beginning or end. Still these are all illusions.
Nirvana is only the end of suffering in that it sees suffering for what it really is. Something that was never there in the first place…nor is it or will it ever be!
That’s quite a bit more depth to a comment than I’ve ever read in my life. Parts of it made sense to me – and yet, the vocabulary you use I’d have to get clear on before I’d say I agreed with all you said.
Awesome comment, and I’ll choose not to respond because you’ve spoken about everything in a ‘this is the way it is’ tone, and maybe aren’t open for dialogue about it? Dialogue about it would likely be based on your definition of terms since I don’t think I have similar words for some of what you’ve spoken about. I’d need to create them or adopt yours – neither of which is something I’m eager to do this morning. I’m quite ill for now.
Thanks for your comment… no website?
Reading sense into this post, is like reading sense into the nonsense that is the quran. What he is saying is not correct (things like the brain is a projection of mind, and that mountains would not exist if aware beings don’t exist. Of course mountains will still exist even if there was not someone to be aware of them). I think you are looking for wisdom in someone that wrote a lot of mixed up nonsense that didn’t really have a thread of wisdom inside it. You are looking at the emporer’s new clothes and calling it beautiful clothes. But it just is not there. The wisdom is absent from his post, it even sounds like he was not completely in a clear mind (under the influence of alcohol or tired?) by the contradiction and things. A bird is a shade of worm? There is no relationship of descent from worm to bird even in evolution. It sounds like he is just rambling in a stream of consciousness. But this stream of consciousness is a mixed up stream of words. And doesn’t have some sense, or some truth or correct facts.
Any sense or wisdom that you are looking to read into this, is incorrect information. And you said you are looking at everything in life with a rational mind. But this post that you have praised, is not rational in any way. If you disagree, post in reply any parts that you consider to be rational.
Anyone who tries to follow this thinking in that post, to help them, is going to end up going into directions of confusion, and even more mixed up and crazy.
In my opinion people should avoid it. And read the other comments to look for more clear sense that does make rational sense. Where they can find it.
The page, and comments overall are good.
Matryoshka is brilliant in that (s)he enfolds and unfolds Bohmian theory of holomovement which in turn enfolds Krisnamurti essence of being. In my opinion life is being; seeing what is; living in the self-less moment. There is only now. Life is figuring itself out on the fly just as we are. We are conduits; each an experiment in awareness. So, if you want a point to life, your life is one of many points to life.
I am grateful to you guys for taking on this subject. I have been in situations where I’ve found myself wanting to take away my life to get away from the seemingly endless heartache but have always believed God would not be happy and had a higher purpose for my life.
I still get stressed out a lot but I go strong and never give in. To those who think happiness in life is achieved by not desiring a lot though, I think maybe if you visit some places in Africa (where I come from) and you see kids maimed from wars, people going for weeks without food, you might reconsider. I think the point of life is to be honest with one’s thoughts (completely honest) , face your fears and not try to deny them (like by saying you do not need anything in life), and after all is said and done , DO THE BEST YOU CAN EACH DAY AT A TIME.
I would like to hear more from you guys on this blog or on email@example.com
This is a very good comment. You made a great point that to say that saying we don’t need much in life is not true, because it might help people to not want everything of luxury goods in the west, and so not feel high desires for luxury or status items that result in getting disappointed for everyone that is not rich, or who can afford some luxuries but not the ones they think they need like smart phones, big house, living in a great location or another country, or lots of holidays a year, instead of one or two.
But it is not true for lowering yourself to so little that you live in poverty or without basic things, like those people who are living in poverty and just struggling to survive.
And that there is some high and worthwhile value in human existence, to try to have more, and have a better life than something low or just surviving, especially for those who are maimed in wars or poor, and in the lower standards of living.
Most people who get to this thinking of giving up many things in life and need to get rid of material things, and reduce the things surrounding them. Are people who have had mental illness, depression and emotional breakdowns, and information overload, stress, and found all the requirements, or material things, and inputs, and affects, too much for them. (This is probably at least half of the world though, or even most of us, at some time. Although a lot do get back to be strong, because they don’t look for the enlightenment route and reducing things in their life, they try to keep at the same level and go back to living the life they had before, or learn to be stronger in life). And their mind is totally confused and mixed up, and that they can’t fix it and become back like they were before, when they coped and managed with normal life. And so the only way they can get over this breakdown and stress and inability to cope with their life as they had managed with up until then, is to start cutting things, or activities, or work, or responsibilities, or people, or other things, out of their life. And to get really a lack of everything in life, including lack emotionally and lack of challenges mentally (because they need to avoid stress).
I am saying that because I’ve experienced it too. And to be honest I think anyone who is talking about enlightenment, including western monks, nuns, buddhist monks in asian countries, everyone that cuts themselves off from life, in a temple, or in their own home in a western country and cuts off from work, activities, things of life, or people. Are people who have had a mental breakdown (in other words stress that lasted too long, and then led to depression, which then led to low confidence, or low self esteem and lack of social , or other life skills, lack of ability to live normal life and to be strong against it’s challenges).
And so these people are weak (they are not strong), because they had reached the point of too much stress and pressure, and after they reached the point, they couldn’t go back to the strength of before. So they are left damaged, and with less skills to face life than before. And compensated by cutting themselves out of life more, and isolating either socially, or from pressures and challenges more.
If you isolate from things, it is because you are weaker, not stronger.
The aim should be to try and get strong again. Not to try and isolate yourself out of hard things in life more.
So my summary is that enlightenment, or isolating and reducing yourself in life, is not making you stronger, it is making you weak. (And those people don’t get back into a normal life like they had had before. It is not because they found a better way and the old life was so bad. It is just because they can’t be strong enough to cope and live a normal life again).
And so the real purpose of life is to keep trying to get back to be strong, if at any time you have been broken and lost it.
Once again, you’ve proven yourself absolutely brilliant…
What is the point of your life? Is there a point to each and every one of our lives that is easily found if we look for it? Or, is the search pointless? If there was meaning for your life – if there was a point to living this life – how would that affect you and what you do everyday?
Wow all i can say is thanks, You’ve helped in a way I did not expect.
ive just read all of this blog took me a while. i allways asked or wondered about the question ” ” because at 22 i just feel bored with life ive been through 4 countries 15 shcools traveling with my dad lived in buses caravans
ECT. moved back with my mum at 14, finished shcool and moved to spain ive been here for 5 yrs and i still dont know what im doing with my life Its got to the piont that i dont even go out anymore. i try to enjoy myself but it does’nt solve it whats missing in my life if there is a god then he’s not an arcutect and the bible is a rule book more than anything. ps i admire your way of thought your views make a lot of sence thank u for this blog.unlike benji who thinks the answer is some five letter word who nobody actualy understands the meaning(faith)!! i supose i need peace of mind but how
Peace of mind… yeah, I think that’s what we all need – to come to some sort of place in our mind where we can say – “OK, I have no idea factually what happened in the world to create such a complex problem – a complex existence… but, I can do such and such with my life and be OK.”
For myself I found a lot of peace in Thailand. I was able to drop much of what was stressing me in the USA and think a lot about life and what it means to me. As I’ve said in some other posts I think the main point of my life is helping others. I can’t deny that makes me feel the best. My life is stable now – in the midst of a hurricane – but, stable. I can use that place I’m in to help others when, how I can. It’s really a kick and gives meaning where none existed before.
Everyone’s on their own path though Andy – you might find meaning in something else entirely. Don’t think at 22 yrs old you need to know what you’re doing with your life… what you’re doing can change many times throughout your life… what you’re doing right now – is trying to figure out what you’re doing. So – do that. Read a lot. Write a lot if you’re into it. Think a lot. Figure it out on your own – you don’t need others to figure it out for you – but, by reading and seeing others’ experiences you might get a clue which direction to go to find the truth for you.
Might be the truth for a year. A decade? Or, if you’re like me – it might change many times over your life.
:) I think you’re in a good spot.
Hi Thomas, great question… When I was younger – say, before 30 and I hadn’t meditated at all I would always get really excited and attached to the idea that something was GOING TO HAPPEN if it was planned. I usually tried my best to make it happen. Often times – they happened. Other times – yeah, it all goes down the drain and you stand there shaking your head wondering what DID I DO WRONG? WHY did this happen? Well – the why is a mystery usually. Someone else didn’t want it to happen as badly as you did. Something wasn’t done RIGHT enough that it happened. Some piece of the puzzle was missing or not in your control and it didn’t cooperate. That’s life. Shi* happens. It happens often.
So – sometimes you know what happened and sometimes not. You know what you ALWAYS can control though? Your outlook on the event. Since meditating I became really aware that I control almost NOTHING entirely. I can’t possibly keep getting attached to the idea that something is going to work out. I’ve gone through 3 marriages. You know what? I don’t have any idea in my mind that a marriage in the future is going to work out. I don’t attach to ANY idea any more as permanent or definitely going to happen.
I may get an email from someone I’ve been bidding on a job for. Maybe it’s for $5,000 USD. The woman says, “You got the job, can you start tomorrow on it? We’ll transfer $2,500 to your Paypal account and get started.” I don’t get excited. Why? I’ve had things like this happen in my life – and they go nowehere at all. Disappointment REALLY sucks. I see by your comment you understand that. How do you get over it? Cry like a baby into a pillow and buy a heavy bag to beat the hell out of until you get over it. Getting over things takes time and a LOT of energy. WAY TOO MUCH energy for me to expend anymore. I’m done with disappointment. I no longer anticipate anything at all. I take anything that happens – or that is planned with a grain of salt. In my mind – whatever it is – is a non-event. If something great that I planned on happens – WOW. Awesome. If not – it doesn’t affect me negatively because I never got attached to the idea that it would.
I love my girlfriend here in Thailand more than any person I’ve ever loved. That’s definite. Now, if she left tomorrow because she met another guy that she really feels 100% with I would cry for a day, 2. I’d move on. I’ve already accepted the idea that this relationship may not work. I’d like it to work – continue to work for a very, very long time. If it doesn’t – that’s life and I’m smart enough to not keep disappointing myself with things that don’t work out.
So – the answer on how to recover – is to give it time and scream it the hell out of you. Get everything out and be pissed off for a week or whatever. But, tell yourself that whole week that you won’t get attached to ANYTHING like that again because the pain is just too much to keep putting yourself through.
Some things WILL work out for you. Enjoy those things everyday you have them. I enjoy my relationship every single day – often when we’re together I think – this is the best relationship in my life… and I enjoy the time we spend – I really FEEL IT in the present. I don’t think about it in the future. I don’t plan 3 kids and a house and vacations – I plan today, no further. Anything can happen tomorrow – and it does.
If you can make that one adjustment in your mind – know that you don’t control life and can’t possibly get all attached to some idea that might go *POOF* and disappear before your eyes.
Good luck with all of it – life is really a blast – yes?
so ive read everything on this page that you wrote and alot of it sounds like i would be saying it like being self directed and what not. but really all i need to know is how do you get over the things in life that disappoint you or get your hopes up or whatever. i dont have that peace of mind you had where you dont want things but its not the physical things i cant have its the way people are n what they do. how do i get over having something big planned and it all go down the fuckin drain. and i think if i could figure that out then id be good. cuz im not sure about god ill figure that out when i die or when he comes back.
hi, your blog is very intersting. i have been thinking about this question along time, 4 years in fact, only recently have i been asking people and finding out on the net what the point of life is. i have recently written a book may i say still yet to be published although i have been sending my work round but i have had no luck. my book is about life and going through love throught hate through problems, giving the reader a sence of relation and thought to my work. my book trys to portray life as it is and what is should be and thats definatly not what it is now. hope your not lost while reading. my new book carries on although in a different style it is trying to approach the thought of life as it goes through documenting life, people, thoughts and just mainly everything i see. i admire you thinking and i am happy to say you are great at it but there is one thing i disagree with and thats religion, this is like the goverment, its control and its a system. i asked my colse friend today what is the point of life, ok, anyone can ask a freind but still he is alot more older than me and has done alot of studying… his answer to my question was to pro-create. true to an exstent but its what they say in the bible its what the say in relifion itself. our means to procreate have been a abused and its so sick really… what is the point. thank you for your thoughts above. i hope you could email me back maybe we could talk more. take care hope to hear from you soon.
I really think you sir, need to stop giving things so much thought. You’ll drive yourself nuts.
Thanks for this post. You’re obviously speaking from the heart, and are a sincere practitioner.
Your experience with attaining the shamatha jhanas in 10 months is inspiring. My concentration tends to suck no matter how much I practice it. Have you been on many retreats?
I hope you don’t mind if I add my opinions to your article here. I’d love to engage with you in a dialogue, from the practitioner’s perspective, free from any dogma.
There are many enlightened beings now and in the past–that is, if you have an attainable model of enlightenment. Unfortunately Westerners don’t typically speak so openly of their attainments, which leads people to think that there aren’t any enlightened folks, or that it means something that it doesn’t. Daniel Ingram is enlightened. So is Jack Kornfield. And they will both say that they are.
But any state can’t possibly be “it,” because states change, just like sensations arise and pass. This includes states of deep peace, complete absorption, bodily bliss, desire, desirelessness, and equanimity. This includes all 8 shamatha jhanas. The jhanas arise, stay for awhile, and then go away. This is deeply unsatisfying, no? Is there anything that lasts?
I think there is, based on what other practitioners and dharma friends have told me. It seems to me that enlightenment as a model that’s actually attainable is more of a permanent identity shift than anything else. There’s also a parami model that posits the goal as more being about the development of good qualities, which I like as a way of living, but you are right in that the development of concentration and insight are not necessarily precluded by the development of morality.
Realization is beyond any state whatsoever. It is a permanent change, but not a permanent state. It’s a trait, not a state. Yes, there are highs and lows after enlightenment. Yes, enlightened people bodyboard, have sex, get angry, and everything else. Really it’s easier to speak of what enlightenment isn’t than what it is. I highly recommend reading Daniel Ingram’s wonderful article on what being enlightened isn’t here: http://interactivebuddha.com/arahats.shtml
I also encourage you to check out the Buddhist Geeks podcast, read Daniel Ingram’s book, or come over to the Dharma Overground and discuss these types of practice concerns with other hardcore dharma practioners like myself. These questions have been covered again and again by young, dedicated meditators and seekers like yourself.
In my opinion and from what I’ve read from Ingram and Kornfield, the jhanas are wonderful, but don’t necessarily lead to insight or a fundamental shift of identity to that of no-self. Concentraion is different from insight, although the two tend to merge together and depend on each other to some extent. Great work with mastering the jhanas though! My concentration tends to suck compared to my equanimity no matter how much I practice.
Enlightenment doesn’t necessarily answer questions of existential purpose either. Your intellectual-philosophical framework has a lot to do with how you answer that question. The stage of insight you are in also colors your answer to the question. This article seems to have been written from a dark night stage. When I’m cycling through the dark night, I too question the meaning of everything.
By the way, I encourage your questioning of all the teachings. There’s a lot of bullshit dogma in old texts, and especially in the east. Especially the morality of buddhist writings is usually stuck at a conventional stage. Western academic philosophy does a MUCH better job at that.
i also have to agree with some of the things that youve said. i also think that suffering has a point. if suffering didnt exist or we were to detach from suffering, we’d never learn, never grow, never find out who we are, and never find our way. dont get me wrong im not saying that permanent suffering is a good thing, i just think that suffering is necessary to open our eyes, to wake us up, to tell us that this life is real. suffering is necessary i think for us to take action, to test us, for us to discover another layer of ourselves. just a thought
Thanks for writing – that was some note! I get notes like this sometimes and I’ve responded in the past but it takes a lot of effort and writing and I thought it’s best to respond at the blog so others might get something out of it too. These are really common questions as people realize they aren’t living the ideal life…
“Your questions were: What am I doing with my life? What do I want out of my life? What I should be doing in life to make the most and get the best out of life. Is it a relationship, career , wealth or happiness I seek or satisfaction. I think the latter 2 are the most important to me but I am hopeless in achieving them. I wrote this to you as mentioned above perhaps hoping I would gain guidance – who knows? That said, surely I am the only one who can guide me to get what I want out of life. I just wish I knew which way to turn.”
Do you ever seek guidance from people? Need guidance? Question your choices?
Well – these last 3 questions are the easiest to answer.
1. Seek guidance? Not from anyone I know, but from books and internet blogs I read I’m inspired by certain things. I don’t take advice from others. What I mean is… I listen. I evaluate it – run it through the computer (mind) – and see if any of it pops out true for me. I’m really self directed.
2. Need guidance? Sure – that would be amazing to meet someone who intrinsically just knew what I needed… But that person doesn’t exist. At least, I’m not looking.
3. Question my choices? Yes, all choices I make are questioned many different times. And you know what? Some of the choices are still really bad ones. Why is that? That’s life. You can’t control all outcomes. You can’t guess all outcomes. Choices go awry sometimes. Hindsight is the best teacher, but still – many times things are outside one’s control and no sense worrying about those things.
While I don’t feel comfortable telling anyone what they should do with their life or what the point of life is for them – I don’t mind responding because you’ll know – your life, your choices, what you’re doing is infinitely more important than what I could suggest or tell you to do.
First – drugs, cigarettes, alcohol. My immediate reaction is… so what? At some point someone told you that those things were bad for you and you shouldn’t do them. You internalized that idea and now you can’t feel okay with doing them. Personally I don’t believe drugs or alcohol is the answer. I’ve tried pot a couple times and it did what it was supposed to, but I realized I wasn’t really in control of me. What fun is that? I didn’t enjoy it. Other drugs are just way too harsh and I was never that curious to try anything else. Cigarettes? I’m fascinated by people that are stuck on cigarettes because to me it seems the most ridiculous thing to light something that burns and inhale the smoke – all the while smelling badly and having all the negative effects that it does. Overall though – it’s neither here nor there. What is the point of smoking? Ask yourself that – and get an answer, before you ask about what is the point of life… It’s an easier question anyway.
Relationships – wow. I’m not one to ask about those – but in a sense I am. I’ve had 3 marriages that all failed tragically. Yes I pick the wrong people for me. No, I wasn’t ready each time I thought I was.
Do I still believe that marriage is required for a happy life? Nah. A close relationship is wonderful though. I have been with the same girl here in Thailand for two years now and even though there are many girls here that would love to go out with an American guy – it’s very easy to ignore them because, finally at 40 years old I realized that sexually based relationships are losers. I just don’t get anything out of them now. Ask me 10 years ago what I thought – and the answer would have been much different. Now as I get into my 40’s – I realize that enjoying sex with a new person isn’t anything special. It’s just something that totally lost it’s appeal over the last couple years. Why is that? I met the girl that I wish I would have met 30 years ago. Yeah, I’d have dated her at 12 years old. She is so amazing that words don’t cut it. You’d need to meet her. The thought of not having her around just doesn’t come up. She is it. The one. I couldn’t have known the difference between her and the 75 other relationships I’ve had over my life until now. At some point you’ll reach this point and it becomes crystal clear if the one you’re with is the ONE. If not – no worries, maybe you don’t even need to have a close relationship. If you have no friends though – it would be a safe bet to say you need SOMEONE to be close to you. The need for affiliation is a human need. It’s very basic. It needs filled. Whether you fill it with friends or a wife or one friend – up to you. Most likely you need it. I meet monks here in Thailand that are craving real friendship. Some pass me their phone numbers or ask for mine. They just want to talk to someone real. Someone that they could call friend. Buddhist monks don’t have those kinds of relationships with each other and their forbidden with others… so, are you a monk that could live in a cave for 13 years? I doubt it. Friends or a relationship are both good ideas.
The ultimate relationship? Don’t ever think you’ve found the ultimate because as you get older – you’ll realize – you haven’t. The ultimate relship doesn’t exist for years and years until you settle down. I think that must be the same for most people. You wouldn’t know for a long, long time what the ultimate is until you have it and realize that you enjoy spending time with the girl. You enjoy doing nothing. You enjoy sharing everything with her. She enjoys you as much. You can go through most days without grating on each other’s nerves and you can’t imagine life any other way. If you can imagine life some other way – or with some other girl, you aren’t ready for marriage yet.
Don’t fight it if you’re not ready. What’s the point? You’re getting older? Family pressure? So what. Live your life as you wish. There’s nobody in the entire world that cares about your life as much as you do and that is looking out for all of your happiness. Don’t live for your family and don’t live for society.
Hare Krishnas… well, I went to some of their meetings. They definitely are a joyful group, aren’t they? They masqueraded as some other group and didn’t tell me it was the HK group until I realized it at the first meeting. It was fun anyway. I didn’t have any hangups about who they were and though it was fun and they welcomed me like a brother – there was something eery about it.
Research a LOT if you ever consider going back to them… look at both sides. There are horror stories about it – like every other cult. But you know what? There are people happily living their lives out as HKs and they aren’t doing much harm in the world that I can see. Someone else might see differently. Of course it’s your own choice to join any group. If it makes you happy and the happiness can last over a lifetime – great. That might just be the ticket. It’s not right for me – I’ve decided that years ago. It seems to be fulfilling enough for others though.
I think you said it right when you said only you can guide you to what you want to get out of life… Your search for the truth for YOU is the most important search. Yeah, look at what everyone else is doing and then try things for you. Try everything you want. Life is a big experiment that you should be testing everyday to find out what is good for you – what works, what doesn’t work. Don’t worry about whether your family or even you think it’s Okay – if you want to do it – do it. See what happens. Tradition and past beliefs influence what we do in the present and future so much – if you can ignore all that background noise you’ll be more open to new experiences that go against what feels natural, normal, or acceptable to you.
Here are your questions again…
“What am I doing with my life?”
– I wouldn’t have any idea here.
“What do I want out of my life?
-Again, not sure.
“What I should be doing in life to make the most and get the best out of life. Is it a relationship, career , wealth or happiness I seek or satisfaction. I think the latter 2 are the most important to me but I am hopeless in achieving them.”
– Relationships can be part of the satisfaction and happiness of life – and they can be severe stressors. It’s impossible for some to put a close relationship idea on the back burner and dedicate time to finding out about ‘self’, but ideally everyone would. Happiness is much more important than career or wealth. Society tells you career and wealth are the goal. Your mind tells you – happiness is the goal. Your mind tries to make it all work so you can be the ideal human being… Career and wealth clearly aren’t necessary parts of that equation.
“I wrote this to you as mentioned above perhaps hoping I would gain guidance – who knows? That said, surely I am the only one who can guide me to get what I want out of life. I just wish I knew which way to turn.”
Why not turn inward? Question everything you believe in and maybe go to Barnes & Noble to find this book, “Think on These Things. Jiddu Krishnamurti.” This book helped me a lot when I was going through the beginning of my search for the truth about what is important in life.
And, turn outward. Read as much as you can about topics that are important to you… life happiness, career, relationships… Talk to some old people. Old people are remarkably wise. Remember hindsight? With hindsight a LOT becomes clear.
Remember, everything is Okay… Short of hurting people or yourself, everything is Okay. Once you find your balance and are happy with what you’re doing then you can aim higher. Or not. Not everyone is Tony Robbins or Steve Pavlina. Not everyone is aiming for the moon. A lot of people just find a niche in life and live it with the most extreme happiness, not craving more. What’s wrong with that?
For me personally meditation and learning about eastern philosophy in general has helped me a great deal. Living in another culture here in Thailand for almost four years has also helped immeasurably to increase my worldview and help me to see what is important in my life. Having screwed up many things in the past – and having really lived life by doing everything I could – experiencing everything I could has helped me a lot too. Hindsight has been my best teacher.
This blog is about aiming for an awesome life experience. WHAT that is in your life is up to you. It need not be what others consider awesome, just you.
I hope I gave you some things to think about. Thanks for making me think about them too!
Best of Life,
This came to me through email. I told the writer I’d post it because it required a serious undertaking to respond…
I entered the words “point of life” in Google late this evening / early morning in the hope I would find the answer or alternatively (in an ideal world) for a spiritual guide to interact with me and tell me what I should be doing in life to make the most and get the best out of life.
I used to think being in a relationship would help me in my journey of life, especially after my previous relationship which ended abruptly so my ex could chase a career supposedly anyway. I was of the thinking because I thought being in a relationship meant you always had someone there to share things with, be totally open and personal with another human who would equally trust you and want to experience life with you. That was my thinking nearly 20 months ago I was a few months into my 25th year on this planet then and now aged 27 I am not quite sure.
Why am I not sure? Well I met her, a beautiful , young, like minded lady. Suddenly I wanted to work , accumulate wealth to provide us with life’s temporary pleasures as well with a view to future commitment i.e. engagement then marriage.
So in the past 20 months, I have had 4 different jobs all of which are in the sector I enjoy , what I was taught when I was 20yrs old but due to a) lack of job progression b) insecurity and jealous of colleagues c) lack of salary and d) lack of satisfaction I left each job. Thereafter I was employed by an organisation on a contract where I could earn a lot of money quickly – could this be the answer to my problem , be the position to get me out low level debt, enable me to save some money and finally get engaged?? Nooooooooo, unfortunately I had been employed by a company to perform a role where I could do 80% of the job but not the 20% I told them I had no experience with, so lady luck or whatever we call it decided that 20% was more important than the 80% and moreover they were not willing to teach me the ropes so once again I resigned because I could not meet deadlines and perform the job to their expectation.
Sorry to go off the subject but I just read on your blog you hate emotional and small talk, anyway as I don’t know I decide to share the past 2 months of my life with you in the hope you may miraculously give me the answer I need. What am I doing with my life? What do I want out of my life?
I have never chased wealth or a career. The work I used to do I fell into by pure coincidence and really enjoyed doing it. Now the backbiting and bitching and hierarchical structures of organisations bore me because the majority of people are fake, just there to earn a living like me but some are there to make people’s lives a misery for no reason unlike me.
I am currently looking for another job but I don’t think that will be the answer to my question. Sure it will provide an income to pay for things that are supposedly meant to make me happy but that is just temporary.
A few years ago I came across the Hare Krishna’s , I saw the way they lived, read their philosophies and teachings and even attended their temples. Where I found a profound and ultimate source of energy, enthusiasm and enlightenment. Suddenly I remember thinking, see it’s not all about money, or getting married or being a CEO. It was free to attend their temples and see them worship and to get involved and that gave me a deep feeling of security and happiness which was priceless.
Thereafter I met my beautiful lady, I haven’t been back to temple since, been caught in the material world ( as the hare krishnas refer to it) and although I have had some great experiences in the last 20 months one thought that has recurred over and over is “is she the one?” “can i see myself with her” “do I want this”
Is it a relationship, career , wealth or happiness I seek or satisfaction. I think the latter 2 are the most important to me but I am hopeless in achieving them.
Also I don’t even have any friends, the old ones moved on or away, I was heavily involved with drugs as a teenager and then aged 20 as I got out of that I found all my so called friends left at the same time. I do only smoke cigarettes now and don’t even drink because I no longer gain satisfaction from being intoxicated unlike my teenage years, so for 8 years I have just been on the cigarettes, which I hate but do not know how I would cope with lives stresses and complications if I quit smoking. Not that they help much anyway J.
I wrote this to you as mentioned above perhaps hoping I would gain guidance – who knows? That said, surely I am the only one who can guide me to get what I want out of life. I suppose I have the choice of enjoying my existence or spend it worrying and procrastinating. I just wish I knew which way to turn. Do you ever seek guidance from people? Need guidance? Question your choices?
Rest assured I really enjoyed looking through and reading your blog I will certainly keep up to date with it.
Sorry to bore you with small talk and emotional talk, I tried cutting it short after re reading your blog and seeing its something you don’t like.
It would be great to hear from you,
Dave (I’ll call him Dave because I need to call him something!)
The point of life IS life. Eventually, the Universe itself will die. Death is so incredibly, monstrously powerful that nothing can stand in its way. And yet, that is our purpose. To be bright, shining lights of hope and life and BEING in an effort to stall the doom we all face.
I’ll tell you what I think of you and then leave my own comment in all honesty. I don’t agree with much that you have said. You are forewarned.
You are hopeless. You can’t find any point to it, so you just “roll through it, waste time, and help others along the way.” You are afraid of disappointment and pain. I think that disappointment and pain is just another part of life and shying away from it takes away from the overall experience.
The point of life is to be happy, and to be happy we must experience as much as possible. By experiencing, I mean making friends, visiting new places, setting new goals and accomplishing them, surviving, all the “attachments,” as you say that make up life. Life is something to be embraced, not detached from. Everything. Even the pain. So that once you die you and you are on your deathbed, you can say: “I have squeezed as much living from my years, and wasted as little of it as possible, so now I can die content.”
Life is amazing, we should be thankful that it has been given to us, and to want to live as much as we can before we have to leave it.
Nobody knows what there is after we die. You’ll know that when you die, or perhaps you won’t know anything either way! I’m just saying that to look at life from such a defeatist perspective takes away from the experiences awaiting just outside the door. Hardship is just another part of it, and, from your article, you seem to fear it.
Concerning happiness being lost once it is gained, this is not the case with true happiness. It is not “I’ve beat you in a chess game” happiness, but, as I said, “I’ve lived my life,” happiness.
I live under this idea here, and I’d like to hear your take on it. Until you come up with a hole in my reasoning, I will believe in mine.
I agree with this comment.
Detaching from life, or from the normal things in life, is just deterring or diverting yourself from life. And being alive but not living.
Detaching is a mistake. But embracing life fully in everything that is possible to do, is the best we can do to live and make the best worthwhile and purposeful life we can.
with my last comment… that was supposed to be ‘ LESS textual references to Julius Caesar than Jesus ‘ Sorry guys :P :D
Hello Vern, thankyou for quickly responding to my comment, you are right in the fact that I am a christian and have been for the majority of my life. I would like to respond respectfully to a number of points made by you.
1. There is no proof for christianity.
I am not going to argue this. I will readily admit that I can not prove to you that Jesus was really the Son of God or that Jesus of Nazereth ever existed. I do not base my beleif in him on evidence because I know that all evidence has the potential to be circumstantial and subjective in varying degrees.
2. My faith is ‘blind’
I beleivie passionately that my faith is not ‘blind’. My reasoning for this is as follows…
I view and have viewed many religious and scientific documentaries and conitinually test my faith against these. I, am very careful to have the most unbias standpoint as possible when viewing my spirituality. Take for example the scientific theory of evolution, I accept that there is a good case for evolution and do not see there to be necessarily any conflictions between an interpretation of the bible account (creationism) and the notion of evolutionary progress.
It is an historical fact that there are more textual references to Julius Caesar than Jesus. As I said earlier this does not ‘prove’ anything. The point I am making is that it requires FAITH to beleive that Juliuis Caesar existed.
Blind faith is faith that goes contrary to basic reasoning and has no grounding in reality. In my opinion my faith has, of yet, not gone against any basic reasoning of my own. Then what about the ‘grounding in reality’ you ask?
It is my strong view that all human beings have a soul. We feel complex emotional issues like no other creatures on this planet. You just need to open you eyes to see how very different we are from the animals around us. These differences include the ability to use tools, a higher grade of what we have self defined as ‘intellect’ and many other traits. As sociologists and physcologists will testify the differences don’t end there. In my previous comment I talked a little about our common want to be accepted to such a great extent. To ‘belong’. Where I am heading with this is that genuine emotional ‘evidence’ is something that cannot be refuted scientifically. You can not refute a personal subjective viewpoint related to something as abstract as the soul by providing mearsurements and observations.
My grounding of my faith is my heart. I will talk about this more later. Perhaps in another comment
3. Faith – what is it? Why is it?
This faith I have been talking about is faith for a reason. As you said I can prove God less than the air around me. You don’t need to take a ‘step of faith’ when you go to fly a kite on a windy day. You can see the wind, at least it’s effects. You know it is there.
Now imagine for me that you had come from a land where there simply was no wind. At all. It was also a land of immense suffering, torment and hatred. A traveller from a distant land, separated from yours by sea tried to explain this notion of ‘wind’ to you. It was very hard to grasp at first. You thought it was a crazy idea. ‘ Things moving in the air seemingly by themselves, that’s ridiculous! ‘ Now imagine your friend had built a sailing ship, something that required wind to move. He said the land where he came from was full of wind and more than that, it was full of love. But to sail on this ship you needed to board the ship (obviously) and it so happens that the sea around the land you are currently inhabiting is infested with a type of gigantic aquatic creature. This enormous creature eats anything that doesn’t move on the water, in the time period of say 10 hours. You are afraid of course. Living in your land of hurt and torment is of course horrible, but not living at all, that is somehow un-explainably… worse.
You take the step of faith. You board the ship.
When you take the step you are unsure if your friend was really telling you the truth, but something about him intrigued you. He knew what he was talking about. Alot of what he spoke of, although in riddles and rhymes had such a poignant inner meaning.
To you the chance of going to this land of wind, is infinetely better than remainging in the land of turmoil for a few more bitter years then finally stepping into the realm of the unkown. What a purposeless future. You now that if you stay in your current state there honestly is no long term hope.
The boat sybolises faith.
The sea, the journey of a ‘christian’.
Your ‘friend’ is Jesus Christ.
The wind is God.
The land of happiness where suffering does not exist. That Vern, is heaven.
At the start of your ‘journey’, to begin with – you do not have to be sure of something to have faith in it, how can you!?! but you DO need to be willing to take that ‘leap of faith’ and put your trust in it. It is all or nothing. It is a risk. If whatever you ‘put your faith in’, (of course in this case christianity), turns out to be true – then in good time you will indeed be sure of it and certain that it is the hope you are looking for. This principle can be applied to many things in life. Not just christianity. Faith grows stronger!
The saddness of this metaphorical story I have just told you is that the land of desolation actually did have some wind. Here and there it would blow but only in the most subtle of ways, for that is the nature of the wind. The wind wants to be acknowledged earnestly, it does not wish to force itself upon the land of desolation. For love is always a choice. That’s what love is, it is in fact the ‘right’ choice.
3. What makes christianity different?
Grace. G – R – A – C – E. We cannot earn salvation. Our due penalty is death. D – E – A – T – H. That is what, for me, makes the message of the Bible so powerful, every new time I read it I am amazed that holy perfect creator has the exact want I do – The want to be loved out of choice. I will never have evidence for you Vern. But I will have my own experience and emotions. Two things, among many that form my humanity. Faith That is what it comes down to. And he was willing to sacrifice his only son to this means.
Hi Benji, That was an amazing comment. I’m glad you took the time to write. I don’t share your views about anything you said, but I recognize your right to say it.
Because someone doesn’t believe in anything the bible says doesn’t mean at all that they haven’t read it. I’ve read it. Entirely. Twice.
Throughout the years as wisdom accumulates and questioning commences one is (I was) forced to face the facts… whether the bible or any other book hundreds of religions hold as sacred was inspired by a creator of all that we have here – is anyone’s guess. It’s a guess really because there is no proof of it. The same proof you offer the Buddhists, Hindus, and Mormons can offer.
I’ve never been one to believe in faith. Well, wait. As a child I believed on faith – until I started testing things. Questioning. Does faith mean anything to me that I can count on? The answer is, always was, and is presently and likely for the future – no. Faith means nothing to me. To have faith one must believe in something – which I don’t.
Christians, I assume like yourself, put forth this bewildering idea that one must have faith in something that is less tangible than air… There is more to air than there is to the holy spirit, god, or whatever else you want to say has an influence on anything going on in this world.
God, having made us knows well that Vern is incapable of having faith in that which he doesn’t know to exist. In fact, god has gotta know that there are millions of us that couldn’t possibly throw common sense out the window and start believing in stories in a book that is so old and that was influenced by so many powerful figures, and societies over the years.
Even if Vern could. Say Vern could for a few minutes, throw all that he knows as tangible, real, standing up to scrutiny and questioning right out the window and believe that I must accept a ghost as my savior to make all this worthwhile here on earth.
Vern’s next question would be… what of all the other religions claiming similar things? What is to distinguish the christian idea of god and make it more believable? Based on objective facts? There are none. Based on wisdom? There are all kinds of wisdom. Zen Buddhists seem wise sometimes as do Hindu yogis as does President Bush or the corrupt ex-prime minister of Thailand.
Wisdom based on what?
My friend… I don’t share your blind faith. I couldn’t possibly. If I read the bible again in present times I’d be wasting time. But, maybe that is one point of this life… waste enough time and get through it. Something is next.
Problem is, we don’t know what’s next. Don’t believe the fearmongers that tell you damnation awaits the unbeliever. There are too many of them and god made them all if you believe he is who the bible says he is.
God made all the other religions possible as well. If he merely wanted us to choose between right and wrong and choose him over evil thoughts, deeds, and desires then why all the other religions that seem to have as much wisdom about them as christianity does? Why?
Benji there are too many “whys” and not enough answers. In fact, no answers. Just more whys. I’m all why’ed out.
The point to me of this life is just roll through it, helping others as is possible. Enjoying food, enjoying the present moment… enjoying the good moments – the moments that make one feel good and ignoring as much of the pain as possible.
Personally I think something amazing awaits at the end of this ridiculous life.
Nothing at all.
To start with I would like to thankyou for taking the time and effort to write a blog on this issue – let’s face it, we will never come across a single more important question than ‘ What is the point of life?’
I have to admit that I can empathise with almost all of the emotions you have listed and described. However, I strongly beleive in one main concept that somewhat ‘goes against’ what you have said.
In my opinion doing what you personally beleive to be right should come before what makes you, or anyone else for that matter, feel the happiest. I hear you ask ‘ but how can you possibly define what is right? – What makes something right? ‘ Well…
In one word it is love. Not at all the kind of romantic or cheesy love that almost everyone instantly associates with the word. Not the love as in ‘ I LOVE this icecream ‘. Genuine selfless love, the love that gives without accepting anything in return, the love that prohibts a teenager daughter from taking drugs as reasonable forseight sees that addiction is not the answer, the kind of love that is blended perfectly with justice and equality. Love that is patient, forgiving, kind and genuine.
Of course life will ‘suck’ at times, we are not perfect ‘lovers’ nor is anyone around us. But image if all of us were completely incapabale of love at all or no-one chose to enact love. The point I am trying to make is – love matters! Love in the most pure sense of the word makes life worth living.
But why Love. Why try and love ‘perfectly’ when of course we will fail and not be appreciated for this love time and time again. Why love when we ourselves are yearning to be loved?
Simply because we HAVE been loved first. Jesus Christ the son of God died on the cross. He wasn’t forced to do it. We did not deserve for him to do it. And – what did he have to gain from his sacrifice….
the very thing we are all craving, LOVE. He died so that we may come to him, that our eyes may be opened, that we may LOVE HIM BACK!
We are made in God’s image. As a result we want love. No – we NEED love. We crave acceptance contentness, pleasure, satisfaction, hope and fufilment. Of course we can get these things without any notion of spirtuality at all – but only temporarily and with many flaws. The true source of love is God. God himself embodies love, justice and power. Will we ever obtain perfect love or be able to give it to our full potential by ourselves – your heart and experience tells you ‘no’. Not a chance. Why? Because we are all born with a God shaped whole in our hearts. That’s Why.
I will not pretend to have anywhere near all the answers. But there is one thing I know, in the words of John Newton – ” I am a great sinner, but Christ is a greater saviour”
I will end with three statements
– Jim Elliot, Christian Martyr: ” He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose ”
– The Bible: ” Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ”
– The Bible ” You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ”
P.S. I could write for many many hours on this subject, but time does not currently permit me to. I will check back with this site regularily and be more than happy to continue disscussion on this matter. If you have been stirred by this comment do not purely analyse Jesus only by how you perceive christians or ‘the christian church’. Go grab a Bible from your local bookstore and start reading the most accurate source of information about his amazing perfect life we have.
I too went to the web for answers to questions that have no answers. I’m 27 and have only begun to understand life. Life is loss and suffering, its amazing and beutiful. I feel like we shouldnt waste life trying to figure it out. I wish I lived life more instead of always trying to catch the train. What is everyone rushing and stressing about? Its so rediculous when you think about it yet I am guilty and so is everyone else. I guess it comes down to reality and the fact that we are all trying to survive in a harsh world. We couldnt even survive out in the elements. Who the fuck knows, not me.
I was rather bummed tonight and went searching the net looking for “answers” to the biggest questions in life. I have recently returned from a month of backpacking in Southeast Asia, and I have to agree about what one think he or she needs and what you really need in order to survive. When I first got out of high school a few years ago, I started to experiment with a simplistic lifestyle. I had always had the newest toys, the most expensive gifts on the block, and all of these things was causing me to become OCD. I cared more about my possessions than myself. Going around the world, and seeing how other cultures live, this has reinforced my ideas about materialism and simplicity. I just hope that other Americans can reach the eventual truth that I have reached. Life is short and mostly meaningless. Live cheaply, simply, and treat others as good as you can. Break free from the rat race and embrace the world around you. Become a world citizen. Become something more than you were born to think you could be. Most importantly, just have fun!
I’ve been thinking about what our purpose in this world is and I’ve just recently started browsing the net to fill that gaping hole to that question. Your entire article it well written and it has definitely given me more things to look at. Best of luck to you!
How can I prove you wrong when I’m not at all sure I’m right? No effort will be made in that direction, sorry to disappoint.
Maybe the point of life is to act as we were wired to act – to increase that which is perceived as pleasurable and decrease that which is perceived as negative. Be in the moment and experience the pleasure when it’s there. Get lost in some other fantasy that brings pleasure when the suck of life arrives in force.
It works for me.
I admire your unshaken opinion about what is the point of life. No doubt, you will live through your life without a second thought or a reminisce about the past that could change your how you made your life style. I do feel that i need to ask you a question though. You seem satisfied with having a “happy” life and consistently refer to life that lacks “happiness” as “suckiness.” I do think that you did state your opinion on the point of life extremely early in this page and finished up this page by stating how to achieve the point of life or fulfill it. Why happiness? I think happiness is grossly overrated because what if we achieve happiness? Then what? More happiness? Isnt it unusual that it causes us so much unhappiness to achieve happiness? Then why even try to achieve happiness if it causes the exact opposite? Even if we do achieve happiness, it fades just like all the other flacid emotion. Mother’s seem to forget that it was their happiest moment in their life when their child was born, when they strike them a few years later. I think that there is more then achieving happiness. I know its not love. I dont find love as a emotion. More of a mental action, that causes emotion. It could make or break your mood. My mother, i think based to much off of love. Once she found out my father was cheating on her, love is the thing that causes her today to be the most unhappy person i know. It has been easily MANY years, and i think thats a sign to not base my life off of love which is simply intangible. Never being able to control the outcome. So whats left? what else could people base the point of life? Religion gives the point of life. Some how, it all leads back to that fucking happiness, telling you to give up stuff that makes you happy to be happy. Perhaps the point of life is to simply go on to the after life. Go to “Heaven” or where ever people would go. I cannot question the after life which simply no one knows about. After life seems to be as true as unicorns and leprachauns. EVERYONE has heard about it and yet no one has ANY proof. No one believes in fairy land creatures and yet a good percentage of the world believes in the gods and after life. What if people just needed to believe in it? If people dont believe in unicorns… no lost there…. but if people do not believe in the after life and simply have no belief in the heaven…. surely this would shaken many people. Im not saying this to question what your doing, because i think you are fortunate to be so sure of your life meaning. I simply write this to ask… no beg you to prove me wrong.
I so agree with a lot of what you wrote. I choose to look at the universe as a gift from God. I can enjoy being in the moment doing dishes washing the car etc. Even in my unhappy times I can see God with me and I know the saddness will lessen with time. I enjoy the ups and downs of life. We all run the race, some choose to gather toys as they go along. I choose to enoy the moments I have been given of life. If I can make someone happy it gives me joy as well. I can cry with someone who has pain and share their pain. I choose to live life with every pain and tear that it brings. And I know my God, my Creator, stands with me. All of what you have written is in the book of Ecclesiastis in the Bible.
Creator stands with me.
Thanks Teresa .. that’s very insightful and encouraging ..