What is the meaning of life?
Do not worry. I am not mad or crazy enough to claim to know. I am just inquisitive.
Why do I ask such deep questions? Well I have been trying to address these questions that pester my mind in the assumption that when I ask them to the open world, I might find an answer? Although I do realize that in the end, even though I might be asking these questions to you, I am trying to ask ‘myself’ these questions.
The questions often asked to me is why do you want to even ask these questions? And the only answer I can give is – I do not know. However what I really intend to say is that I am empty, in the fact that when for years, the thoughts created by the human mind, the emotions created by the human mind as well as the identity we wish to believe in or perceive of ourselves do not amount to anything. When we do not get what our belief systems prompted us to want and we have to settle for something less. When we finally realize that this negativity, this discontent, this sadness and despair lies within us and people who seem to care do not actually care because the day you die, they might remember you but a year later they wont. And even if they care, they care because their happiness is dependent on the idea of you staying alive in them. It seems the idea that people should remember us, care about us or worry about us, is a temporary, false, idea because people in the end, including me, till today have only cared about the self when they cared about others. The day, they felt that they were not serving themselves by caring for others, is the day it becomes amply clear that it has always been the self. The discriminatory self which creates dissatisfaction with the self and with others and is most discontent.
For me, the purpose of human life (or me) is to not identify with myself in any shape or form. The day I do not identify with my name, work, laurels, relationships and any other quality that defines ‘me’ is the day we stop feeling disappointed in ourselves or others.
I know, it seems like an impossible task. But then, everything else seems like a momentary escape. The fact that we can be content with family, means we are not content with ‘ourselves’. The fact that we can be content with a lover, means we can never be content with ourselves. The fact that we can be content with ourselves (our name, our laurels and our gifts basically our identities) means we can never be content with ourselves. The fact that we can be content with places, means we can never be content with ourselves. In such circumstances, what communicates with me is the fact that the self should not remain. What remains minus the self therefore should remain. If we are not ourselves, what are we?
And if we are ourselves, are we destined to never be content with life? Do we just need to have gratitude for what we have? And be content with that while we crib about what we do not have and continue to be discontent?
The fact that we need to add onto what we have seems to add more misery in the end. As we have less misery to work with when we do not add more things or people which give us security.
Perhaps the counter-argument would be that I am very ungrateful and that even though I have so much, I tend to crib about not having enough. Another argument could be that there are people who are less fortunate with what they have and we certainly have much more and yet we crib. Let me ask you then – Are you happy? If you are please share with me, this secret so that I might find happiness as well. And if you claim to be happy please be certain that you are not happy about what you have. Because if you need something to be happy, you are dependent on something else to give you happiness.
While we can be happy about the basic needs of life. The needs that give us food and shelter and I acknowledge that no form of philosophy or spirituality can ever give me food and shelter until I am a ‘dhongi baba’ with a huge beard giving people places in heaven which I will and shall never be. I am still searching what life is.
The reason why I am searching is that even though my earlier perception of life which was very materialistic and focused towards goals and relationships has proven to make me feel quite unsatisfied. No amount of money, salary, family, love made me feel whole. And when one or two of them left me, it did not shy away from making me feel worse – overridden with guilt and shame. Proving that even though I was not happy internally, I was worse off when one or two of the things I depended on left me.
Is there a way therefore, where we can be happy without being dependent on something else to be happy about? It seems like when we talk about ‘my happiness’ we are in competition with your happiness. So shouldn’t we just lose the me, myself and ourselves which prompts the selfish desires. I know it is easier said than done. We have to be our names, degrees and the ego when we are at work, when we are applying for that visa application, when we are falling in love. But do we at all need to truly believe in these identities to be happy?
Or can we drop the me and talk about how we can be ‘all of humankind’ to go to the root of the problem. When i care about my happiness only, I only care about my selfish desires of temporary satisfaction. But If I care about the entire humankind’s happiness, at least I do not have to be selfish and that’s a start.
Please share your thoughts too.