Essence as Light

   AIA Home


   Recommend this URL to Others

Questions and Replies

Question #3
Why are we here?  What is the purpose of existence?
What is our purpose in life?

This question can be answered one of several ways....

At its most basic and fundamental level, there is no  
"purpose" to existence beyond the simple, sufficient
and magnificent manifestation of Reality, as it is.  

In this sense, the "purpose" of our existence is simply to
release our resistance to our experience as it manifests
within the present moment. It is this process of letting go
that allows us to fully appreciate and accept Reality, as
it is here and now, with a full recognition that:
	Beyond This
	there is nothing
	to do or achieve.

As Alan Watts has said:
     "This -- the immediate, everyday, and present experience
      -- is IT, the entire and ultimate point for the existence
      of the universe.

     "The work of the philosopher as artist is to reveal
      and celebrate the eternal and purposeless background
      of human life.  Out of simple exuberance or wonder 
      he wants to tell others of the point of view from 
      which the world is unimaginably good as it is, with
      people just as they are."	
			   Alan Watts
			   This Is It, p. 11, 33

In reality, the universe is more "playful" than "purposeful."
     "Human purposes are pursued within an immense
      circling universe which does not seem to me to have 
      purpose, in our sense, at all.  Nature is much more
      playful than purposeful, and the probability that it has
      no special goals for the future need not strike one as
      a defect.  On the contrary, the processes of nature as
      we see them both in the surrounding world and in the
      involuntary aspects of our own organisms are much more
      like art than like business, politics or religion.  They are
      especially like the arts of music and dancing which unfold
      themselves without aiming at future destinations.  No one
      imagines that a symphony is supposed to improve in
      quality as it goes along, or that the whole object of playing
      it is to reach the finale.  The point of music is discovered
      in every moment of playing and listening to it.  It is the
      same, I feel, with the greater part of our lives, and if we
      are unduly absorbed in improving them we may forget
      altogether to live them."
			   Alan Watts
			   This Is It, pp. 32-33

In my experience, "purpose" and "meaning" do not exist as a means to some other external end. They are inherent within the nature of Reality, itself -- exactly as it is. Reality needs no reason or purpose to justify its existence. It is innately satisfying, self-sufficient, and self-fulfilled.

It is only within the relative, thinking mind that we believe things must have some reason or purpose to exist, above and beyond their own innate Presence. With the experience of Awakening, this need to justify the existence of Reality falls away. It is experienced as completely and innately self-sufficient.

Awakening to the essential Wholeness and Completeness 
of Reality involves recognizing that nothing requires another
point of reference to justify its existence.  

In many ways, this Realization is profoundly liberating.
  • It frees us from any misconception that we need to become something other than who and what we already are.
  • It allows us simply to relax into our own Essential Nature, without pretense or struggle.
  • And, it enables us to observe the manifestation of existence without the need or desire to change, fix or improve upon the essential nature of things.
  • This realization also allows us to recognize that the only meaningful sense in which we can talk about "the purpose of existence" is within the context of Reality infinitely unfolding before us within the present moment.

    In fact, some have described the nature and purpose of
    existence as consciousness discovering itself. Within this
    context, it may be helpful to understand the "purpose" of
    our existence, both yours and mine, as an expression
    and celebration of this Infinite unfolding and discovery.
    In this sense, the entire purpose of manifest existence
    is simply to facilitate the realization of who and what
    you really are. There is nothing more or other.

    1997-2000, Metta Zetty
    All Rights Reserved.

    AIA Home   |   Questions

    AIA Banner