The Purpose of Life
What is the purpose of life? I have the privilege of being John’s friend. He was a successful businessman in his younger years, but sold his business and moved to the countryside, to a beautiful historical town, a cultural center that attracts many painters and sculptors searching for a relaxed life. Moving to Tiradentes, MG, after retiring, John now dedicates his life to his
hobbies: reading and gardening.
Getting older has always been dreaded by most men and women. As times goes by, some get bitter, and only a few get wise. John is one of these few. In fact, he is my version to the Wise Old Man character that appears so often in my books.
Backed by the huge library of books he has absorbed, John can be seen as a kind of philosopher. The other day I talked to him about the meaning of life.
“When I was young, a father taught me that we are born to be tested. If we live our life according to God’s precepts, when we die, we go to heaven.
I scratched my head. I wanted details, and I insisted: “What is the purpose of life? Is the opportunity of being good the reason we live?”
“Buddhism and Hinduism claim that we have many lives, and our goal is to achieve illumination. This is their purpose of life.”
“Well, incarnation is widely believed in the East, and the theory that
we live to perfect our soul makes sense to my rational side.” I said.
“The problem is that such questions cannot be answered simply by our rational. When Jung was asked if he believed in God, he answered that he didn’t, he knew.”
“Jung also believed that the purpose of every life is to increase one’s level of consciousness. The temple of Apolo in Delphi has an inscription in the front door – Know thyself. Jung believed that each increase of the level of consciousness of any human being adds to the level of consciousness of humanity in general. Human beings should follow the journey of individuation.”
“Yes. The journey of increased consciousness, of increased awareness.A journey to know more of what is hidden in the unconscious. ”
“Why is consciousness so important?”
“A poor fisherman had a wife and five children. The catching of that week was meager, and they were starving. Buried under his cabin there was a treasure, placed there by his great-grandfather, but the fisherman was not aware of if. Was he rich or poor?”
What do you think?