Adele determines that her purpose in life is best self-chosen, but some people do believe they serve a higher calling (or at least experience an epiphany when they figure out what they are "meant" to do). Do you feel that everyone on Earth has a "purpose" for being here that they must fulfill, or do you think we make our own? Do you think some (or all) people are "chosen" for certain purposes by God/destiny, or do you think we're each on our own to decide what our lives are for? Do YOU have a "purpose"? Can you share whether your understanding of that purpose was more a discovery or a decision?
Post by blondiviolette on Jan 30, 2010 0:40:30 GMT -5
I agree with Adele to assign her purpose herself rather than wait on destiny. I don't personally believe that everyone on Earth has a destiny, but people are very quick to judge good fortune and happy events as something mystical when really what it is, is, you were at a certain place at a certain time, you or someone else made that happen, not something unearthly. Everything that happens in our life does so through the actions of ourself and of others. Sometimes the best decision is presented to you and you go along with it and the wonderful moment happens and other times the offer comes and goes, it might have changed your life but you didn't take it, destiny or God isn't tugging at your ear telling you to go, for better or for worse. For most people who don't have psychic gifts, there is no little voice telling them what to do. They just have to go by what their heart and mind feels and of course the heart and mind has no idea of the outcome. It would be nice to think we all had a guiding direction, a helping hand in our destinies but if we did, maybe some of the dreadful things that go on in life we wouldn't have to go through if that was the case, although of course the argument there is that the dreadful experience helps us grow and was there as a lesson... I think we all have certain gifts which can determine our destinies. Very few people are good at EVERYTHING, so there is sometimes a limit to what our destiny will become, when we choose to head down a road. It's like if a person really wanted to be good at chemistry but they didn't no matter how hard they tried and would never have the mind for that, they'd have to give up the dream of becoming whatever they wanted to be, and do something they're good at. So in that way our minds and bodies are sculpted to fulfil certain types of destinies based on what's inside our makeup or whatever it is that controls those things. I'm not sure what my purpose is, but I go with the flow and happen to bump into lots of really awesome experiences along the way, sometimes bad, but letting go of the anguish and pain of the bad experiences is the only way to cope. I think all of our purpose for life is to look after each other, connect and understand about life as best we can with the limited wholly-universal knowledge we have, and enjoy as much as we can until the end!
I'm not sure if it really is possible to know your purpose in life or if there even is one (or in fact a purpose to any life anywhere at all). To be honest, I've always felt that finding an all encompassing "purpose in life" is left to fiction, hindsight, martyrs, and zealots.
Beings in fiction are always finding their "destiny". Finding this one true focus that sets up the path for the rest of their lives. I think real people are too complex for something so cut and dry.
At the end of a person's life, writing memoirs time, people sometimes find a clarity to all of the things they've done and then notice a clear road on which they feel they've always been. This though comes after a life of choosing to go right instead of left, taking chances, or choosing safe routes over others. All of which cuts away branches of possiblities that could have led to other purposes.
Then there's the zealots. People so passionate and focused on one element of life, of their life, that they put blinders on all of the other things they've done, or could do. These people take that element and label it their "purpose".
With the rest of us, I think if there is a purpose (which I find debatable since it implies a design to things and a lack of free will that seems somewhat abhorrent to me) then it isn't singular, that we have many purposes in life. Some we choose for ourselves and some are pressed upon us by circumstance. Writing the best novel you possibly can, painting a masterpiece beloved by all, designing a bridge or building that revolutionizes the industry or engineering a blue rose are all examples of things you could choose for yourself. You could also choose to raise children to do any of those things and more or you could accidentally have children and take on the purpose of just raising them to be the happiest and healthiest humans you could possibly deliver. Or perhaps a combination of many of those things while trying to feed the world and save the forests.
My point is that I don't think real people ever have to settle on one true destiny and that many paths are open to us (and continue to open) all throughout our lives.
Even then, even after all of that, I think "purpose" is relative and dependent on perception. One day the Earth might be dead, all humans gone, and all their works turned to dust. If then, was their a destiny at all? Are destiny and purpose still valid if they are fleeting and without the design of some higher power?
How does that saying go? Something like: The Universe needs a consciousness to exist. Which is why I believe that purpose and destiny are only concepts that completely live within the minds of those that perceive and validate them. They aren't things to be grasped they are only focuses for the individual mind and without need of a higher presence to substantiate them. Is the strive to make the best fudge brownies ever an invalid purpose if you forget to write down the recipe yet each person that had one from that batch still smiles fondly thinking about that one destined weekend? To those people, to that baker, I think probably not.
I am very uncertain about this. I have no spiritual beliefs, of any kind, but the unfortunate result of this is that I'm not even sure that free will exists. Not being a neuro-scientist, I am hazy on the details, but apparently all 'decisions' are just the result of the way your brain is wired. I'm not sure that I full suscribe to this idea. It's depressing and unsettling (not to mention it has apparently been called into question recently), but strangely fascinating. If you view the whole world as just a vast chain of cause and effect, then you find yourself thinking that ever since the big bang that chain was going to lead to you, sitting right where you are now, and I actually find that thought oddly comforting. That is basically the secular, non-spiritual version of destiny.
And it is relevent, honest. Because even though if anyone asked I would say I chose my purpose in life, I'm not sure I did. I am going to tell stories. I have made up stories since more or less forever, and I don't think it was ever a concious decision (alright, deciding to actually write them down was, but that hardly counts). I don't know about anyone else (well, no, I read the other comments, so that's not true), but to me Adele's 'choice' here felt more like a realisation. I think that is how 'purpose' works. It's not about figuring out what you're 'meant' to do, it's about figuring out who you actually are, and what you want.
Post by shadowfreder on Jan 30, 2010 12:25:02 GMT -5
Adele is in an interesting position. Having forgotten her preordained purpose (to be a prophet on her home planet) along with everything else, she now has to make her own purpose, as there is no one else to tell it to her. She has already rejected one path - to be a medium for the police, but there were probably some practical limitations to that career anyway. Now, she is out in the wilderness and she seems freer and happier. I guess in determining one's purpose or destiny it helps to have some community around you so you know which talents of yours are helpful and appreciated by others.
Some accept truth offered at young age, others are more doubtful. It doesn't matter which truth you are following as long as it is your goal, not something set by others.
Competing with neighbours in material goods leads to disappointment. You'll either loose in material game or you end up envied. I call that loose-loose situation. =)
Aiming for more "spiritual" goals give more satisfaction. Teatching, helping, learning, praising, thinking, etc. If you are able to set realistic goals to yourself during your yourney, you'll end up quite happy.
I'm kind of late on this, but given the responses, I'd like to share my opinion.
The need for a purpose is something that was forced on us deep in our history. Our ancestors were required time and again to create specialized roles for themselves, and over time, this is what made us who we are. It's a part of our nature as social creatures.
The coming of civilization, and sedentary lifestyles, gave us more freedom to decide for ourselves, but more importantly, the stability it provided allowed us to better inherit our roles, from our teachers, parents, and culture in general. I believe in divine purpose just fine, but only as a mechanism through which our culture can give us our roles.
I strongly dislike the emphasis western society places on personal choice. I also dislike the emphasis on divine mandate. It's a matter of preferences, because different sources will lead to different answers to the question, 'What is my purpose?' and my ideal requires that it be given by a teacher, and accepted by me. I don't believe it should be unilateral, from on high or otherwise.
But I do love to see the things people do and imagine myself doing them. There are many jobs I can look at and say, 'Hey, I think I could do that better.' And that is where I like to start looking. The hard part is finding someone who can believe in me and help teach.
If I have to decide for myself entirely, eventually, I will.