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The Purpose Of Life Is Life Itself

December 5, 2010 by  


When was the last time you did something just for the joy of it? Or not even for the joy, but just because?

Doing things for the benefits

I’ve noticed we do so many things for the benefits that are supposed to come with doing it. For instance, some people run because they want to lose weight or because they think running is good for health. Same with eating healthy. How many people drink green smoothie just because they love the taste and the feeling within them when they drink it? How many people run just because?

And many of us work to get the paychecks and the benefits, not because they like what they do.

This way of living is so ingrained in our mindset that we hardly stop and question it. And we constantly compare and evaluate things and people for the benefits they are supposed to bring.

Even enlightenment

Some people even approach enlightenment for the supposed benefits of it, like bliss (or the right to boast about their spiritual development).

This is absurd. At least when you define enlightenment as clear seeing, as seeing and accepting things as they are. How can this kind of clear seeing prevent people from having so-called negative emotions such as anger or sorrow? Judging something as “negative” is the very thing that left with enlightenment.

Of course, events that bother us keep happening with or without enlightenment. I mean, if it’s something that is caused by your judgments and distorted worldview, then you won’t have that any more with enlightenment. But enlightenment doesn’t prevent your spouse to cheat. Your kids may still get into trouble. Your loved one might die. And you yourself will still do silly things, small or large.

The only difference is, with enlightenment, you are kinda “okay” with everything. It’s a feeling that is hard to nail down with words. How can a spouse cheating on you is okay? Because you quit judging something as good or bad. So you recognize the event as “it just is”. He (or she) did such and such. That is what is happening, and you don’t repress your feelings nor attach stories around it, like “I should have been nicer to him,’” or “He is such a jerk, I wasted my time with him” or “Cheating is morally wrong.”

It just is. Period.

What’s wrong with the benefits?

Enough about enlightenment. As I wrote in the linked article, I don’t particularly like discussing enlightenment because there are way too many misbeliefs and (ironically) ego investment there. (Like, who is more enlightened, or what is the best way to get enlightened, kind of discussions.)

My point is we are so conditioned to seek benefits in all areas of our life that even enlightenment has become the means to an end.

And what’s wrong with the benefits, you may ask? Nothing is wrong with benefits themselves or receiving benefits. The problem is our attitude, or the mindset, of doing things as a way to get benefits.

Here are some of the issues when you live to get benefits:

1. We devalue the life experience
When we do things as a way to get benefits, we devalue the experience itself. When you run for the benefits of weight loss, the experience of running is devalued. You see it as a means to an end. It could really be any other form of exercise, and your heart is not in it.

When you work for the paychecks and benefits, you devalue your work. The work experience, in such a case, doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t have to be that job.

2. We forget the love for the experience
And when you devalue your life experience, you forget the love you may have had for it. It’s possible you actually love running — but got so overwhelmed with all the information of the various benefits of running that now you see running as a means to the end.

When you forget (or never had) the love for the doing, life’s unique experiences are treated like commodities, something you can comparison shop or trade.

3. We devalue the Now
And what do you plan to do with all the benefits you collect? See, when you live this way, your attention is not in the Now but in some future time. When we are focused on getting benefits, we devalue the Now and live in our mind, the fantasy land of the future.

4. The benefits may be a lie anyway
And, of course, in many cases, we don’t receive the benefits anyway. Many benefits are only mind constructs or sales strategies.

The purpose of life

It’s time we realize the unhappy nature of this approach. Do things, anything, just because. Quit doing things for the benefits.

This brings us back to the experience of doing, in the Now. For the sake of experience itself. And when you do that, you notice a simple truth: Life’s purpose is life itself.

It’s so simple and self-evident. Life is not a means to an end. The “end” includes some nice-sounding “purpose”. Nay, the meaning of life is living it. I’m afraid so many people are in the search of life purpose because they think it comes with nice benefits. Turn around — what you have been looking for is right here.

Life’s purpose is life itself. In other words, life’s purpose is Now. Whatever you are doing. Whatever you are experiencing.

Why I am writing this

So you know why I am writing this blog? Because I love writing and sharing. If I am not blogging, I am writing basically the same things in my journal. That’s fine, but I also like sharing. It’s fun to get some feedback.

But if reading is not your thing, please feel free to close the computer. I don’t say this in a mean way. I myself have reduced the amount of time I spend on reading blogs and books these days. I still like reading, but I like doing other things, too. I want to read only when I feel like reading, and read only what I enjoy reading.

Enjoy your life today. Live just because.
(Photo Credit)

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Please check About page to learn more about this blog and the author, Akemi Gaines.

Comments

14 Responses to “The Purpose Of Life Is Life Itself”

  1. Jay Schryer on December 5th, 2010 7:14 am

    Very wise advice, Akemi…VERY wise. If you’re not enjoying life…filling it full of people and activities that you love…then what’s the point? Live life, enjoy life, learn and grow from your mistakes, and graciously receive your blessings as they come.

  2. hansa on December 5th, 2010 7:34 pm

    Hi Akemi
    Since January 2009 I had several newage, self help and channeling blogs and websites added in my favourite list and I used to read their latest content regularly as soon as they were updated. I found yours in March 2010. Recenetly I have stopped visited them all. All I like now to read is only your blog which I am glad that you are updating now frequently. For The past three years whatever changes you have gone through, similar one I have gone through since october 2007 like quitting the job in the same month to start my own business but lately I have kind of lost interest in making money and becoming much more interested in just Being rather than doing. Your writings are full of wisdom which I can see and feel that you have gained over this three period, so have I. Please keep writing your blog as it very much represents my feelings and current state of being. Thanks and best regards Hansa

  3. Akemi on December 6th, 2010 8:42 am

    Jay,
    Exactly! Blessings, dear soul.

    Hansa,
    Thank you. Basically I just write what I want to write when I want to write, but it’s wonderful to know it’s helping someone.

  4. David on December 6th, 2010 4:03 pm

    My Dear Friend Akemi,

    I first must confess that I only read the last paragraph of this blog after taking in the “vibe” as this is also a time when my own creative expressions must out. And I still greatly enjoy a good book which doesn’t glow and hum like my faithful laptop ;O)

    I have a gut feeling that your blogs may be adapted to a book if you choose, a wonderful gift. I also am feeling into the reading you gave me in January as a source of renewed inspiration and gratitude.

    Thanks so much for BEE-ing You! /\

    Perhaps we will meet for a cup of tea sometime. I love a nice hot cup of tea on a rainy day in Oregon!

  5. arina nikitina on December 7th, 2010 6:33 am

    This got me thinking. Why should I comment? Do I see this as an opportunity to foster friendship? Do I expect general reciprocation to take place? Will I see more traffic to my website tomorrow? What? What?

    I am filling my thoughts in here BECAUSE I wanted you to know this post is GREAT. There. :)

    Clever, Akemi. Well explained, too. Wanted to say I can’t wait for your next post. But then, it might run counter to the idea you’ve expounded, right. Heck, just the same, I said it all. :)

  6. Akemi on December 7th, 2010 9:19 am

    David,
    Thanks. I seldom go to your direction, but if you are coming to Eugene, let me know.

    Arina,
    Well, no “should”. You just comment when you feel life it.
    Btw I have been checking your blog, just haven’t got the chance to comment there. So much traffic there — and these days, I’m just not so in tune with big crowds, whether it’s online or real crowds in the city. Every time I drive up to Portland, I find myself saying, “Wow, so many cars. So many people.” I’m so comfortable with the small town life…
    But I do see you are very smart. Keep up the good work.

  7. Reviewing My Old Articles On Life Purpose | Real Life Spirituality on December 9th, 2010 8:27 am

    [...] the realization of “The purpose of life is life itself,” I want to review my previous articles on life purpose. If I were only partially true (not [...]

  8. Igor on December 29th, 2010 7:46 am

    Hello Akemi,
    It sounds interesting what you mention. I think you share a particual point of view from someone on a different life path. Well, most of us are on a different life path of course, but what I meant to say is that this apply only to people with a certain degree of spiritual development. That said, people will do what they do because they need the experience of it to move on with their development and there is nothing that will change their mind set until they figure what it’s all about by their own experience. Think what you share doesn’t apply to everyone, evidently.
    Each of us, even on our quest for inner freedom, will find our lessons along the road and our quest to decide the highest purpose we want to give life. Each person has his own idea, consciously or unconsciosly, of what they think life is all about and what you want to get out of if, even if not for the benefit of all people around, but maybe for he benefit of the soul concerned. Even darkness is in the way for so many people because you can find material for growth. We all delve into darkness from time to time, no matter how subtle.

    Thanks and regards,
    Igor

  9. Akemi on January 1st, 2011 2:36 pm

    Igor,
    Some of us have had Ascension soul shift and for us, life is not about learning lessons any more, but more about living it and applying what we have learned. You may find this article interesting:
    http://reallifespirituality.com/no-life-lessons/

  10. Jimmy on January 7th, 2011 1:39 am

    Hey Akemi,

    I usually never comment on things, however I found your blog fascinating, there’s so much to read and it all really resonates with me. Thank you so much for sharing and I hope you will continue posting more insights.

    Best Regards,

    Jimmy

  11. Jason Kraft on January 10th, 2011 10:32 pm

    I imagine an open ended learning experience. Our consciousness is in a constant state of development. We come to here to struggle and it is vital that we do. It teaches. Resistance to the “Now” is in all of us. I believe this is innate to the “Life” experience. We will allways find a situation that will present a new challenge for growth. It is normal. We can train ourselves to become better people, which means less and less resistance. One thing in particular that can make a tremendous change in your life is to seek unbridled truth. Seek truth and watch all the petty arguments you might have with others dissipate.

  12. Matt on February 5th, 2011 8:05 pm

    Reading this gave me a very positive vibe and I agree with you. If your thoughts are negative then it makes it that much harder to be positive and live in the now. I have a lot of things going on in my life that are difficult, but by keeping my positive attitude and finding things that are positive to think about keeps me from the negative. You are right the good things in life are all around us, we just need to embrace them and realize that today is the best day of my life.

    Thank you, I enjoyed reading this!

    Matt

  13. Cassandra on February 6th, 2011 3:42 am

    What a marvellous and uplifting article you wrote. At this time of year – Spring – it is particularly apposite as the strength of the new Life bursting through, despite setbacks such as the horrendous weather, is a lesson to human beings that all that matters is Life and how strong it is if left to itself and not compromised by all the gee-gaws of modern society. We only need to see that someone who is near the end of their life (for whatever reason and whatever age) wants to cling on to Life, not trillions of pounds or that gigantic TV set. Life is the best value you get.

  14. talismanjan on March 6th, 2011 12:14 am

    thank you for this beautiful piece of heartfelt writing! ❤

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