Posts Tagged ‘purpose of life’

The Underlying Theme

September 17, 2008

The actual core of a thing is usually simple. For instance, the foundation of a home is pretty straightforward as compared to the things that are built on it, around it, over it. On the surface, the eye sees a complicated arrangement of roof and walls, doors and windows. Just below the surface, under the vinyl siding, run unseen rivers of electricity, water, and air. Deeper still, buried within the structure’s core, lies its foundation – the intrinsic mechanism that makes all the rest possible.

Is life any different? On the surface, life – including all the systems that make life possible – is very complicated. Thousands of scientists around the world spend their days working hard to uncover the mysteries of life’s roof, walls, doors, and windows. Priests and philosophers attend to the flow of life’s electricity, water, and air. And yet there are a few who seek to know life’s very foundation, its underlying theme.

How does the mechanism of life work?

Does God sit on his throne, picking which prayers to answer, weighing the devotion of each child before deciding who gets blessed that day? Is God really that interested in my day-to-day life that he knows the exact number of hairs on my head as the Bible claims? Religion has cast God as some kind of spiritual micromanager, complete with all the “omnis”: omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful), omnibenevolent (seeking the good of all), and omnipresent (present everywhere, in the past as well as the future).

Omnis, by definition, are transcendent, meaning they are as limitless as life itself. God gave us the capacity to choose from a limitless set of possibilities. Why would God micromanage such a creation? That would be predictable, downright boring. Everyone loves a mystery. God already knows the outcome of the things he has chosen to control. He gave us free will so we would have the capacity to do something unexpected. God wants to be surprised by life! That is why he made us and our world so variable, so chaotic. For it is only within a state of chaos that all things are possible. (Of course, some order is required too – yin and yang.)

In this context I believe the very purpose of life can be understood a little better. God created the universe and put billions of people in it, all different, yet all created in God’s image. Because God creates, we create. In a sense we are all just like life itself. Each of us builds a unique life on a common foundation. Simple.

Deep down we are all made of the same stuff. The differences between us are something to be celebrated, encouraged, nurtured, for they are the very reason we were created in the first place.

The Purpose of Life

December 17, 2007

Assuming God created us, why did he decide to put us here in the material world? Assuming God exists in a spiritual realm, why even create a physical world at all?

The reason may have something to do with the definition of eternity and the intrinsic characteristics of time.

There are two conflicting definitions of eternity. One says that eternity is the endless passage of time, a state in which there is time without end. The other says that eternity is the absence of time altogether, a state in which time does not exist.

Why is this important? For two reasons:

First, because time inevitably produces change. If God is unchanging, he must exist in the absence of time. The only way something can never change is if it exists in an eternal present, with no past and no future.

The second reason this is important is because time is necessary for change to occur. If people have free will, we must exist in time so that we can experience the results of our choices. We must have not only a present, but a past and a future as well, so that we can change from what we were into what we will become.

My belief is that we are the creations of an unchanging God and given free will to choose to accept him or not. Because he exists in an eternity in which time does not exist, he created a universe in which time does exist, separate from his own, a place where people can evolve into perfect spiritual beings.

We are first created in the unchanging spiritual realm, are then born into the physical world to live a life which is really just a series of choices, we enjoy or suffer the consequences of those choices, we grow or decay as spiritual beings, and then finally we return to the spiritual realm where we choose whether or not to do it again, over and over until we finally perfect ourselves and become fully-functioning members of God’s family.

Therefore the purpose of life is change.

NOTE: This is a repost of my very first blog entry and it got no comments so I thought that I would offer it up again now that traffic to this blog has increased.