Without the meaning of life, everything is meaningless!
We must obtain this meaning of life. The starting place is Principle of life #1 – please refer to this post.
Our lives are totally independent as well as totally dependent, together as a pair. This concept will teach us unlimited lessons because it can be applied to all facets of life. How complex life is! In the article Principle of life #1, I already mentioned seven different lessons. In this article, I will connect more lessons together to define the meaning of life.
As the “Iceberg: Metaphor of Human” graphic shows, humans consist of three realms (body, mind, spirit), and each realm has its own functions:
Body – relate to the world through physics; thus learn and act (perform, work, and achieve).
Mind – relate to self and others as a being; thus learn, think, feel, and desire (will).
Spirit – relate to God through spirit; thus learn, have faith, love, pray, and worship.
We arrived in this world as infants, totally dependent and not knowing much at all. Even though infants have minds of their own, they are very immature. There is one item each individual must learn to become an entity – it is called “autonomy”. Autonomy is a compound of two words: ‘auto’ means self, ‘nomy’ means law – hence, when combined, these two words come to signify “self governing”. This is one tenet of the principle of life – total independency. Everyone needs to become themselves. This is a very difficult and challenging task of one’s life. However, without it, people will lack independency, control of their life situations, and their own identities. They will be oppressed and deprived by external forces, which is the basis of unhappiness. Consider this: if one’s daily activities are full of must do as opposed to want or like to do and not knowing “who I am”, then how can anyone be happy? But, accomplishment with regard to this idea can be very misleading if interpreted as “self-centered”. It will soon lead to self destruction. The laws of the universe will overpower any self-centered energy (entity) to balance out when the best time arrives. (By the way, we don’t have the right to judge because we don’t have any authority over other beings). One must give equal attention to the opposite pole – total dependency. Yet we haven’t finished discussing the pole of independency!
The next item is forming a sound value system, which governs how to live because it will set the direction of life. Please refer to “Value System,” to be posted soon. The total independency pole is now determined by two elements: “Autonomy” and “Value System”.
On the opposite pole, lives are totally dependent. The question is what are the needs of life? What are lives depending on? It is a need for existence.
Therefore I, as a body, need materials (physically within the ecosystems of the world).
I, as a being, need another I to be a human (this is the difference between animal versus human – humans have a reflective existence) – called intra-personal relations.
I, as a being, need other beings to form a community – called interpersonal relations.
I, as a created entity, need God for life, especially eternal life!
These are the spiritual realms beyond the world. That is why this is called supernatural, in my term meta-world. These 4 relationships summarize the human life’s needs.
Therefore, the question is what do relationships consist of? We must interact and respond to fulfill the distinctive roles accordingly. Thus, my first lesson to all the new students will be how to be good. Now, this needs a bit of explanation. I start with “What do you want?”, “Do you want to be good or not so good?”, “Are you good or not so good?”, “Do you know how to be good?”. “Who makes you good?” Ask yourself, do you know what is good and how to be good? If you think you have an answer, then please grade yourself – how sound of an answer do you have? (research “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, about why we settle for less). Please refer to the post “Master Lee’s very First Lesson”. Here is my response:
Point 1: My answer for “What is good?”: fit into purpose or needs. I teach how to be good: “answer nicely and answer on time”. Another word for answer is response, or interact and participate. Every single second of life is a response or an answer. This serves all 4 types of relationships.
Point 2: In the Bible, Mark chapter 10:17-18 demonstrate the significance of good:
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. -“Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” -“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.”
We use the word “good” very commonly in society and daily life, yet good only belongs to God. It is a very spiritual word. This is surprising and shocking to many people. When good is defined in our basic terms, this kind of definitive meaning is not provided. Only God is good. The meaning we give to good, with regard to comparison of one’s self to others fits into the worldly level. Comparison is the biggest poison of common life, because people haven’t yet reached autonomy or absolute value as beings. The opposite concept will be superiority or inferiority, both of which are fatal for identity. However, in the spiritual realms, only God is good. Lives have un-erasable obligations to each other with those 4 types of relationships.
Relationships with materials are ruled not owned (this is wrong value system of the world – what is god of world – mammon – god of money. Please refer to lesson #5 in “Principle of life #1”), Who owns who?
Relationship with self is identity, Who are you?
Relationship with others is perpetual equality/respect and love,
Relationship with God is to fear him and worship.
Lives are coexisting, therefore, everyday’s survival involves toil and steep competition; yet, the perspective of human life is much more than daily survival. Then, where can we find meaning? Sir Ken Robinson, a great story teller, explains this in his book “The Element” (see chapter 3, under subtitle “Does size matter?”) We are much more than Bertrand Russell’s 1st question: “Is man what he seems to the astronomer, a tiny lump of impure carbon and water crawling importantly on a small and unimportant planet?”. My response is that I am capable to create who I am with all the capacity granted by God. (Back to one pole of the principle of life – Autonomy) That is the journey of life! It is an amazingly creative process and every single individual has uniqueness. Every being has absolute placement at time, that is why I am here. Why? God knows – Who are you to question your Creator? – You have fatal attitude! Is it that difficult for you to admit you are limited, you are created object(one)? If I can accept the point that “I am created by God”, I don’t have ultimate responsibility, I only fulfill what is the role(relationship) God requests from me.
Genesis 2:27 [NIV] “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created man; male and female he created them.”
One day while I was reading the Bible, I got shocked, again. The script was Genesis chapter 3:9 – And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, “Where art thou?” [KJV] Reason for my shock was:
1. Did God not know where Adam is? God is supposed to know everything, so why would he pretend to not know?
2. This is the very first conversation with Adam (representation of all humans). Of course, God spoke to Adam before, but that is form of a statement and not conversational. The very first words from God are a question. Wow! I pondered about this point for years. After few years later, I connected it all together finally with God’s grace. Oh! Thank you! For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen! Amen!
Now, let me share with you my connections. An exchangeable word for meaning can be ‘purpose’ or ‘reason’, but a spiritual word for meaning is “The Calling”- “Where are you?” plus with all other relationships together – “Answer nicely and answer on time”, this is the meaning of life. If one cannot interact with physical realms well enough, then how can one expect that can interacting with the metaphysical realm well as supernatural (meta-world) realm? That is why my students must practice to “Answer nicely and answer on time” every single second of classes to improve their abilities to respond, interact, and participate. By using the extent of their abilities, when the perfect times have arrived each one of them will hear “Where are you?”
God bless you!
Ⓒ 2014 by Jeeho Lee, Human EngineerⓇ