Why are We Here?

“To be or not to be that is the question…” and it is a question we may not ask of ourselves enough. In fact, it is a question that many never ask of our true self at all.

We may ask this question of others from time to time during our journey through life, however that is where the problem may lie.  

We may look to our parents, coaches, teachers, religious leaders, or other role models, to guide us in how to behave. And that is OK, as there is no doubt that our heroes have adopted many positive or good practices to navigate life’s twists and turns. However, they also adopted many negative practices as well. And we have a human tendency to deify our heroes as if these role models could never do any wrong.

 

To get closer to the truth there is only one place we can go. That is deep inside our true self.  That is a place where ego does not exist. Ego used in this context, describes that piece of our mind which wants to separate us (or our group) from all others, the mindset of “looking out for #1”.  It is that which wants us to stay safe in our cocoon or comfort zone. And it is that(ego) which also is at the root of all human suffering.

 

Author Gregg Braden feels there is another question we must come to terms with;

“That question is simply “Who are we?” Our answer to this question speaks directly to the core of every challenge that will ever test us in life, no matter how big or how small. It’s at the heart of every choice we’ll ever face, and it forms the foundation for every decision we’ll ever make. Our answer to “Who are we?” penetrates to the essence of each moment of our lives. It forms the perceptual eyes—the filters—through which we see other people, the world around us, and most importantly, ourselves .. Our self-esteem, our self-worth, our sense of confidence, our well being, and our safety stem directly from the way we think of ourselves in the world.”

 

When we arrive in this world of form, we are put here for a purpose. This purpose determines the path we take, and depends on the unique set of talents we were born with.  But it all boils down to giving back. The more we give, the better we feel. The other piece of the happiness puzzle is gratitude. When we express gratitude, we feel better. Simply stay humble and give back. 

However, after we are born, expectations are thrust upon us, many by those same heroes we so respect. And that leads us into the outside world of form, where success is measured by how much stuff you have; “Whoever dies with the most toys wins”, “The American Dream”. This way of thinking leads us down the path our ego wants us to go, satiating our human greed. Where you never have enough, and are always seeking the next level of so called “success”.  

 

We are here to help others through life. Discovering the special set of talents that each of us has, enables us to fulfill our mission. On life’s journey, we remain humble and grateful for all that is, and all that ever was, allowing us to be present.  “to be” in the NOW.  

Comments

Dino Manalis Added Feb 20, 2017 - 10:26am
We're here to make a positive difference and we should strive to do that in any way possible!
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Feb 20, 2017 - 10:28am
Stephen
 
Wrong question. The only answer is BECAUSE we are here.
 
The word "Why" points to human reasoning, and nature does not "reason" as we do. There is no why and no purpose in our existence. Our existence itself is what counts for US, is defined by us and is a result of evolution of life. It is in fact as absurd as asking why the sun will cease to exist in some billion of years ;-)
 
BECAUSE :-)
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Feb 20, 2017 - 10:32am
....but I agree on: 
 
We are here to help others through life
 
I would just say it differently: We are here because we happen to be here and we can make our existence useful by not only caring for ourselves but also for others.
 
The only fault we do is to mean that we're here for a higher purpose. The old useless remains of religious brainwashing.
Stephen Hunter Added Feb 20, 2017 - 10:51am
Dino, it all starts from there for sure. However we cannot help others until we first help our true self accept this notion. 
Stephen Hunter Added Feb 20, 2017 - 10:56am
Yes Stone, the "higher purpose" is misinterpreting by many to mean something beyond this realm of existence. Our higher purpose is much simpler. 
 
Stephen Hunter Added Feb 20, 2017 - 11:03am
Stone while you suggest that this question is not necessary, and that may be true in the end (because of the simple fact that we are here), our logical brain would still like us to think it through. (and come to this conclusion, but with an added sense of purpose and inspiration) 
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Feb 20, 2017 - 11:04am
Which is ? And why is it "higher" ? 
 
A higher purpose for a human being than survival does not exist ;-)
Stephen Hunter Added Feb 20, 2017 - 11:14am
Stone, while I agree that this is the baseline level, i.e 'it is hard to worry about draining the swamp, when you are up to your ass in alligators'. But as Maslow suggested in his "Hierarchy of Needs" , at the top of the pyramid of human needs, is "Self Actualization". And imo when many reach that level, they go down the greedy path. 
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Feb 20, 2017 - 11:18am
Stephen
 
Self Actualization
 
? You mean updating yourself from time to time ? ;-) Never heard of him. Might check that out.
Stephen Hunter Added Feb 20, 2017 - 11:28am
Self-actualization[edit]
Main article: Self-actualization
"What a man can be, he must be."[3]:91 This quotation forms the basis of the perceived need for self-actualization. This level of need refers to what a person's full potential is and the realization of that potential. Maslow describes this level as the desire to accomplish everything that one can, to become the most that one can be.[3]:92 Individuals may perceive or focus on this need very specifically. For example, one individual may have the strong desire to become an ideal parent. In another, the desire may be expressed athletically. For others, it may be expressed in paintings, pictures, or inventions.[3]:93 As previously mentioned, Maslow believed that to understand this level of need, the person must not only achieve the previous needs, but master them.
Self-transcendence[edit]
In his later years, Maslow explored a further dimension of needs, while criticizing his own vision on self-actualization.[8] The self only finds its actualization in giving itself to some higher goal outside oneself, in altruism and spirituality.[9] "Transcendence refers to the very highest and most inclusive or holistic levels of human consciousness, behaving and relating, as ends rather than means, to oneself, to significant others, to human beings in general, to other species, to nature, and to the cosmos" (Farther Reaches of Human Nature, New York 1971, p. 269)
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Feb 20, 2017 - 12:23pm
Stephen 
 
Thanks. But the question remains: All this is a matter of chance and possibility. And to most of us on the planet it is out of reach.
 
Needs are today defined by material needs. Other values don't bring profit and are therefore marginalized.
 
To achieve those goals we are entering wishful thinking land ;-)
 
"Transcendence refers to the very highest and most inclusive or holistic levels of human consciousness, behaving and relating, as ends rather than means, to oneself, to significant others, to human beings in general, to other species, to nature, and to the target="_blank">cosmos"
 
Can be said simpler: Be aware of yourself and don't do to others what you don't want to be done to you.
 
George N Romey Added Feb 20, 2017 - 12:59pm
Over time this question has had many answers.  When we were primitive man it was to hunt and gather food for survival.  Eventually mean't exploring lands outside of our own.  As society grew we became more interactive so our impact was just not felt in a local tribe or extended family.
 
Today we should be here to make a contribution and do our little part to better society.  Many seem to forgotten the calling "to whom much is given, much is expected."
Stephen Hunter Added Feb 20, 2017 - 1:35pm
Be aware of yourself and don't do to others what you don't want to be done to youYou pretty much nailed it Stone. 
But would you not agree that one does not have to reach a certain financial level to get there? Just enough to eat, a place to live, a feeling of safety, a little love and belonging, and then what? 
I am not saying that we can turn around consumerism quickly. But you must admit that many have way more stuff now than they need to certainly survive. Nothing against being comfortable, however my point is that it never seems to be enough, once you do get there. 
Stephen Hunter Added Feb 20, 2017 - 1:39pm
Many seem to forgotten the calling "to whom much is given, much is expected." 
George that is very insightful and takes us down another personality trait; the victim mentality. Some do feel that the world has dealt them a bad deck of cards so there "friends and family" have to constantly take care of them. 
When you discover a victim mentality, you should politely disengage. (and run as far away as you can) 
Mircea Negres Added Feb 20, 2017 - 2:03pm
I've asked myself that question. Never getting my phone rung by the great caller in the sky, I pulled a trick out of Richard Marcinko's Rogue Warrior book (long before I read it) and decided to operate UNODIR (UNless Otherwise DIRected). Chose my own path, stayed on it, took my lumps, bitched about it, got grey hairs in my beard and other places, all to be able to say when I finally kick the bucket that "I have lived".
Mircea Negres Added Feb 20, 2017 - 2:07pm
On the other hand, there's "cogito ergo sum" or "I think, therefore I exist". Exist to think, think to do, do to exist- until you don't have to. That's pretty much my simplified thinking on the matter. Nice post, Stephen.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Feb 20, 2017 - 2:13pm
Stephen
 
But would you not agree that one does not have to reach a certain financial level to get there? Just enough to eat, a place to live, a feeling of safety, a little love and belonging, and then what? 
 
That's the problem - that little word. Humans don't know that word. They created it but not for themselves but for all others.
 
George N Romey Added Feb 20, 2017 - 2:17pm
Stephen we have abandoned opportunity for all and replaced it with immense prosperity for the few.  More and more the deck gets stack against those not born into privilege.  And yet they are blamed by the same privilege for not getting ahead.  We are turning our society into a stream of Uber drivers then complaining that people just want to settle for being an Uber driver
Stephen Hunter Added Feb 20, 2017 - 2:18pm
Thank-you Mircea. It appears that you have been able to accomplish the task of marching to your own inner drumbeat. 
Mircea Negres Added Feb 20, 2017 - 2:27pm
Thanks for the compliment, Stephen. I sure as hell got beaten enough times over 35 years to make a lot of noise in the last 15 years or so, because one thing about that inner drumbeat is that others don't like the sound it makes. Well, it is my drum... ;-)
Stephen Hunter Added Feb 20, 2017 - 2:29pm
But can we learn that word Stone? When we have that ego induced desire to get a more luxurious car, our logic kicks in and says no, if I can retire early, I will have more time to help others. 
I am not suggesting that we all have to live like Gandhi. Just think more like he did. 
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Feb 20, 2017 - 2:31pm
Stephen
 
if I can retire early, I will have more time to help others. 
 
Problem is we don't know if we'll be living that long. Someone who knows the word enough is not an egoist. But there's not many, and the consumer industry is built to enforce egoism, not fight it.
Stephen Hunter Added Feb 20, 2017 - 4:43pm
Slade, some believe that it symbolizes the choice we make to do what we came into this world to do, or just carry on and ignore your inner true self.  
LOVE the joke!!!!
Stephen Hunter Added Feb 20, 2017 - 4:47pm
Stone I am not proposing a movement to fight consumerism. I only ask that we consider wisely how we spend our hard earned cash. I did recently watch a Doc on Netflix called "the Minimalist". It makes you think. 
Ryan Messano Added Feb 21, 2017 - 1:49pm
We are here to please God.  Solomon, wisest man who ever lived, after going through a life of pleasure, wealth, sex, and philosophy, concluded his masterful book of Ecclesiastes by saying, "
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."
 
Further Revelation says: "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
Those are happiest in this life and the next who lose their lives to gain them, and they are most miserable who gain their lives to lose them.
 
Stephen Hunter Added Feb 21, 2017 - 8:44pm
You know Ryan I agree with you, in a certain way.
Those are happiest in this life and the next who lose their lives to gain them, and they are most miserable who gain their lives to lose them.
I see God as being a piece of, and within all of us. That true inner self which I refer to, is where God lives within each of us.  "lose their lives", I take that to mean one's outside life, the one based on form, physical items, and the approval of others. We gain a closer connection to our true inner self, and we are happier. :) 
Stephen Hunter Added Feb 22, 2017 - 7:38am
Other, some also say that our thoughts are energy that we project out into the universe, which in some way do affect all of us. And these thoughts bounce back and manifest into our reality. 
We do get to choose our thoughts, and the more negative our outlook, the more negative and scary life will be. To me this is choosing the dark side. (letting one's ego control one's actions driven by fear and anger)
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Feb 22, 2017 - 1:00pm
Stephen
 
I only ask that we consider wisely how we spend our hard earned cash.
 
Our whole education and culture is not made to consider but to get what PR tells us to get, if only to impress others that we have it and, by that, having the impression we are "one of them" or even a little bit more.
 
We have defined our own value to be what can be seen and not what really IS. We've become as superficial as the stuff we buy, because we haven been driven into a culture where inner values can't be turned into the profit that allows us to feed that urge to be even or more special than the others by acquiring material wealth - see the first paragraph ;-)
Stephen Hunter Added Feb 23, 2017 - 7:22am
Stone, what you have articulated is exactly my point. 
But can our society shift these values over time back to satisfying our souls, as more important than "keeping up with the Jones"? Many think so. The Corporate Elite are doing everything they can to keep the status quoi of course. 

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