#17: Existential Question!
An amazing question from a listener:
So the question was: "With regards to life itself, what do you think is our purpose here on earth? And do you believe in the hereafter? And with the world going nuts, what do you think is the cure to the sickness? Love maybe?"
First of all, thank you for such a thoughtful question. These are some of the most difficult and important questions. And I will try to answer in the best way that I can.
What is our purpose here on earth?
It seems since the beginning of time, maybe for fear of death and as an attempt to justify the pain and uncertainty we experience through life, humans have felt the need to assign meaning to everything.
Death is a scary concept to most, but is part of the same life cycle that every person through history no matter how great, how wealthy, or famous has gone through.
And as advanced as we may like to think of ourselves as a species, what really separates us from, say, the mold growing on a piece of bread?
Is it possible we are maybe nothing more than very evolved growths on the planet earth with no advanced agenda at all?
I have heard a lot of interesting hypotheses as to the meaning of life or whether there may be an afterlife, but I think settling on one is ultimately a rejection of all other possibilities, closing the door to further learning and exploration of these questions, and I think this has truly been the plague of humanity - the dismissal of new perspectives, ideas, and ways of life.
In fact, when considering our "advanced" evolution, new ideas continue to threaten organized governments and societies, even in the 21st century, and human beings continue to demonstrate violence on others and groups who threaten their perception, groups who threaten the structures we as humans have *chosen* to subscribe to.
So now, how "evolved" are we actually as a species?
In addition, with the advancement of technology and new social media channels, people are growing more and more unhappy trying to measure up to the perfect, very curated lifestyles of social media influencers and are being manipulated online by targeted ads.
When once we as a society had limited access and fewer options, we now seem to have too many options, an overwhelming anxiety, and for many, the fear of missing out. We're terrified we won't make the right decisions, that we won't stand out in a crowd or live up to our full potential or others' expectations of us. We're fearful that we might be overlooked or forgotten...
A a symptom of this anxiety has been the surging need for validation and has resulted in a generation more driven by vanity than maybe any generation before it, motivated by likes and engagement on social media platforms.
Perhaps, maybe a better question might be: "What CAN our purpose be on earth?"
I think we can *choose* to be open-minded, to show empathy for one another, to accept ourselves and the very human imperfections that make us unique, and also accept that we can never fully be in control.
Sometimes, it is ok to not know the answer, and an open-ended question is the best kind of question to inspire creativity and growth.
We can practice gratitude daily for everything that we have, and realize as inhabitants of the same planet that we must take care of each other and the planet that has nurtured us.
In addition, we must know that technology has its limits, and remember to put our phones down and our computers away, in order to create a meaningful life in the real world.
Thank you so much for this wonderful question and I invite many more questions like it in the future.
Watch me on TikTok ---> https://www.tiktok.com/@samanthapreis/video/7111803842974600494?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7113879560357398058