“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” Lao Tzu.
If you are bewildered by the meaning and purpose of your life, it is because your thoughts are trapped by the aspirations of a self-serving egoic consciousness, the conditioned beliefs about your personal identity.
A better way to figure out your purpose is to ask about the purpose of life, the universe, and evolution. The simple answer appears to be to become more conscious.
If you look at our own recorded history as a species and if you look at your own personal history, you will see that both human life and your own self-awareness is a movement toward becoming more conscious.
So, if the purpose of the human race is to become more conscious and the purpose of your own life is to become more conscious, it’s fair to assume that the purpose of life itself throughout the universe is to become more conscious.
If both you and the universe want to become conscious, then it is because the evolution of consciousness is the ultimate game of life.
When you think about it, nothing else matters as much.
It is a far greater contribution to evolution if you evolve from a mean-spirited person to a kind-hearted one than if you acquire wealth, power, and influence in your social sphere — because you can take your refined qualities with you beyond death, but you cannot take any of the trinkets and baubles of social success with you.
In other words, if you think beyond the needs of the body and focus on the needs of your soul, you will see that you are here on a great purpose. This world may be one of many your soul is passing through as it ascends and accesses more intelligence, love, and connection with the universal essence.
But before we delve deeper into the call of consciousness to know itself better, let’s pause for a moment to discuss the ideas of existentialism.
Is Existentialism a Complete Philosophy?
If you have bought into the religion of the reductive materialism of science, then this argument that consciousness is on a quest to become more conscious does not makes any sense.
You see yourself as an accident in time, a victim of predatory forces, a sentient being surrounded by inanimate things and empty initiatives.
Following this line of thinking, death is the end of everything, not the beginning, and, since this is the case, everything you do is futile because it will all come to nothing. It’s reasonable then to assume that you live in an inanimate universe where rocks and gases and lights float in empty space; it’s reasonable to assume that all sentient life is absurd; and it’s reasonable to assume that the best you can do to avoid despair is to play some social games to occupy your time.
Yet even physicists, the champions of reductionist science, those who puzzle over the physical structure of reality itself, are beginning to question if the mind over matter theory may be correct.
As early as the 1930s, Sir James Jeans, the renowned astrophysicist wrote:
“…the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine.” So, too, I am proposing, in The God Theory, that ultimately it is consciousness that is the origin of matter, energy, and the laws of nature in this universe and all others that may exist. And the purpose is for God to experience his potential. God’s ideas and abilities become God’s experience in the life of every sentient being. What greater purpose could there be for each of us humans than that of creating God’s experience? God experiences the richness of his potential through us because we are the incarnations of him in the physical realm.”
This reads more like the Upanishads rather than a philosophical discourse about the findings of science.
Still, Jean’s conclusions are now more probable rather than less probable as Quantum Mechanics, the most successfully verified theory in the history science, has advanced. For instance, at the subatomic level, physicists have not been able to find any hard pieces of irreducible subatomic stuff. Instead, they currently conclude that there all subatomic particles are only clouds of probability. If there is no basic stuff upon which the universe is built, no basic building blocks of hard matter to construct the entire edifice, then it seems increasingly probable that consciousness rather than inanimate matter is shaping everything.
Aligning with the Universe
So what does it mean to become more conscious? To answer this question, we should look toward mysticism, which can best be described as an intuitive knowing without any religious conceptualization.
The quest of mystics has always been to align with the invisible force that shapes this universe, believing it is the ultimate source of consciousness. They see themselves as waves in the ocean of consciousness, not separate, but part of everything.
In their earnest quest for truth, they meditate, contemplate, and follow age-old practices to raise their own consciousness so that they can align with the greater intelligence of creation. They are looking beyond their own form that will dissolve, seeking transformation by peering into the timeless dimension. Based on this weltanschauung, they see the arising of birth and the descent of death as only one aspect of the journey of consciousness.
They seek to break free of the conceptual universe and experience the actual universe, moving beyond symbols, images, and ideas to gain direct experience of unitive consciousness. They seek to move beyond cultural intelligence, which is based on the limited concepts of language, into a natural knowingness.
In Walden, a classical book written by the transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, he describes his experiment in simple living in the woods. Apparently, his agitated thoughts fell away since he was no longer socially engaged. He then began to feel the world around him as alive, as overflowing with an invisible vitality that seemed to connect everything together into a harmonious whole. He reports that although he was alone, he was never lonely. The natural world became his companion, friend, and guide.
Mysticism then appears to begin with dropping concepts and expanding the heart. It’s a journey of learning how to love without conditions, a process of becoming increasingly innocent and loving and dropping all neurosis and dysfunctional relationships with the world of people and things.
Is the mystical path a valid solution to overcoming all the angst of social living stirred up by the frightened ego trying to survive in an indifferent world?
If you read books about mystical experience, you will find plenty of case studies, lots of anecdotal evidence, but the only real truth is to experiment for yourself.
Your hypothetical question might be:
Is it possible for you to move ever deeper into this moment and discover illuminating insights that will clarify your bewilderment of how consciousness moves through time and space?
In conclusion, no-one can tell you how anything works. The grand scheme of things is something that you must find out for yourself by actively cooperating with the evolution of your own consciousness.
All life forms appear to be moving toward greater complexity and sophistication. We can discern this by looking at the history of our world and our own history. The evidence of evolution is all around us and within us. It’s not too far-fetched to then assume that evolution is not some blind force that accidentally rearranges atoms and genes to produce superior versions. Instead, it is more reasonable to assume that there is some invisible intelligence shaping it all.
If you assume that it is all dumb matter that miraculously configured the right combinations to continue life, then your journey ends there. But if you assume that there is more to life than meets the eye, then you will feel a longing to connect with this deeper consciousness that shapes worlds and births sentient forms, align with it, and ride the evolutionary wave of consciousness to higher states of ever-unfolding love, power, happiness, connection, and deeper understanding.