What’s The Meaning of Life ?

Here are quotes from some of the major Faith traditions concerning

our purpose and the meaning of our lives.

DISCLAIMER:

“The truth is that all mankind are the creatures and servants of one God, and in His estimate all are human. Man is a generic term applying to all humanity. The biblical statement “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” does not mean that woman was not created. The image and likeness of God apply to her as well. In Persian and Arabic there are two distinct words translated into English as man: one meaning man and woman collectively, the other distinguishing man as male from woman the female. The first word and its pronoun are generic, collective; the other is restricted to the male. This is the same in Hebrew.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 76

“Having created the world and all that liveth and moveth therein, He, through the direct operation of His unconstrained and sovereign Will, chose to confer upon man the unique distinction and capacity to know Him and to love Him—a capacity that must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and the primary purpose underlying the whole of creation…. Upon the inmost reality of each and every created thing He hath shed the light of one of His names, and made it a recipient of the glory of one of His attributes. Upon the reality of man, however, He hath focused the radiance of all of His names and attributes, and made it a mirror of His own Self. Alone of all created things man hath been singled out for so great a favor, so enduring a bounty.

Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 65

“There is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed. If there were not this Unborn, this Unoriginated, this Uncreated, this Unformed, escape from the world of the born, the originated, the created, the formed, would not be possible.”

“But since there is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed, therefore is escape possible from the world of the born, the originated, the created, the formed.”

The Eightfold Path, Buddha, the Word

“…lo! my infancy died long since, and I live. But Thou, Lord, who for ever livest, and in whom nothing dies: for before the foundation of the worlds, and before all that can be called ‘before’, Thou art, and art God and Lord of all which Thou hast created: in Thee abide, fixed for ever, the first causes of all things unabiding; and of all things changeable, the springs abide in Thee unchangeable: and in Thee live the eternal reasons of all things unreasoning and temporal.”

Confessions of St Augustine, Book 1

“The Lord of creatures (Pragapati) created this whole (world to be) the sustenance of the vital spirit; both the immovable and the movable (creation is) the food of the vital spirit.”

Hindu, Laws of Manu

“I heard that an oppressor ruined the habitations of the subjects to fill the treasury of the sultan, unmindful of the maxim of philosophers, who have said: ‘Who offends God the most high to gain the heart of a created being, God will use that very being to bring on his destruction in the world.'”

“Fire burning with wild rue will not
Cause a smoke like that of afflicted hearts.”

Islamic Miscellaneous, Gulistan of Sa’di (Edwin Arnold tr)

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4 thoughts on “What’s The Meaning of Life ?

  1. Thanks, Alex, I love your work!

    With your permission, let me “stir” a few thoughts:

    ON the statement- “But since there is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed, therefore is escape possible from the world of the born, the originated, the created, the formed”, my experience is that such ESCAPE- FROM-THE-WORLD invitations lead people on a “wild-goose chase” :-))

    THE Unmanifest (Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed) and the Manifest (the born, the originated, the created, the formed.) are PRESENT simultaneuosly. Time is “relative” – Past/Future is illusion. The SOLUTION provided by the Eightfold Path to “ESCAPE” VERY OFTEN deludes people:-))The Problem is TRYING TO ESCAPE to Past/Future. ACCEPT THE PRESENT TOTALLY. As gurus say, BE HERE NOW COMPLETELY. Whatever one are trying to escape from is a temporary mental abstraction!

    Victor Frankl’s (1946 book Man’s Search for Meaning) life, as a Holocaust survivor, was what most would like to escape from. He discovered:

    “Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is HE WHO IS ASKED. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”

    Thanks again, Alex, for posting on this topic!

  2. Namaste’ Alex; I am familiar with all these quotes, my pennys worth for the meaning of life? is simply …

    To BE

    At One
    At Peace

    How does this occur? Acceptance of the gifts of being awake, alive, presented now if we choose such awareness, and not taking it for granted, as there may not be a next now.

    metta
    ~sky

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