What is the purpose of life?

Arianna Huffington
Health Education
Rachel Remen, a doctor who treats cancer patients, writes, “In working with people who are dying, and in reading a lot about near-death experiences, people seem to arrive at a sense of what life's purpose is. The purpose of life is to grow in wisdom and to learn to love better. If life serves these purposes, then health serves these purposes and illness serves them as well, because illness is a part of life.” And in illness, in pain, in death we can find purpose.
William Stillman
Health Education

The purpose of life is for each of us to fulfill the destiny assigned to us in the spark of our soul's conception. This ideology also applies to all of creation---flora, fauna, and the very earth itself. Think about it: Are you entitled to the space that you occupy more so than the tiny mite that struggles to survive beneath your feet? Everyone and everything has a place and a purpose.

The challenge for humankind lies in identifying and putting into practice that "life's purpose." In my opinion, I can offer my own journey as an example to consider when pondering life's purpose.

A thorough self-examination is necessary in order to identify one's life purpose. We each possess the tools for contributing something of value---it's hardwired into every one of us as human beings. Assess your gifts and talents---those personality traits and skills that make you unique---and determine how to employ them to render good and great service to others.

If you take a full accounting of yourself---good, bad, and indifferent---and own the sum total of your individual experience with humility, you can manifest awesome acts of selflessness and compassion. And the mystery of your life's purpose will be solved, I promise.

Yogi Cameron Alborzian
Alternative & Complementary Medicine

When he laid out the Yoga Sutras 2,500 years ago, the Indian sage Patanjali wrote out the sentence: yogaś citta vṛtti nirodhaḥ. With this sentence, he defined Yoga as a system for relieving fluctuations or modifications of the mind. In life, we are predisposed to suffer in that we hold the world beyond ourselves responsible for our happiness. Our mind fluctuates by telling us that we can only be happy if we have a relationship, money, and other things of the material world.

Patanjali presented us with this definition--and the Yoga Sutras as a whole--to teach us that alleviating our suffering by quelling these modifications of the mind will lead to supreme joy. According to him, our source of happiness isn't in a relationship or money, but rather ourselves.

What is the purpose of life?  To find this supreme joy and share it with the world.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.