This is in contrary looking at the other side of coin as defined by religion that it is to serve God, but as we get enlightened and philosophers and intellect today have accepted the fact that we alone can define our journey and give meaning to what we want and hence are in power of defining our path. It is important to know what we really value and why.
Though it being true most of us live in progressive side of world have freedom to make our choices and hence define our experience, but this is not all true in a connected world which is constantly influencing our decision and media in determining which side of narrative we are willing to take, it’s not entirely correct to say we live as we want, It is society and narrative around us are defining structure and decisions we are willing to take and ones we are avoiding; so as religion stop producing values as it used to be society, nations and media has taken those position.
So what does God wants
Before diving more on we (the subject) first zoom into briefly what objectively the claimer of all divinity and sovereignty put forward to his subject; it’s okay if we do not want to take meaning from it as we are more important in defining our way but for this article to make sense it’s important to understand how he define us.
In plain simple words it is, we are here to worship the Supreme Being, to spend the entirety of speck of dust we have, in taking actions which move us closer to him, loving him, finding him, fighting with him, requesting him, praising him and reflecting him to and internalizing his presence in us.
This is quite opposite where a modern mind has ended in defining what life is meant and his finality of thought is that he and he alone is responsible to define what meaning he is willing to provide to his life; and what journey and passion he wants to pursue and he is not in a mood to listen to any other thesis around it.
Is finding a purpose really important
This thought which is making philosopher wonder for centuries must be important to find, since in a material world we live and breathe most of the thing naturally and unnaturally have found their idea of creation and we find them fulfilling this; and as soon it stop to produce the usefulness it is supposed to create it is not important any more. A piece of thing which is created or found to be created (naturally) is entitled for reuse or trash-able when it is not producing the meaning it supposes to have.
Human being part of Eco-system cannot put themselves out of this equation where he would continue to live without trying to reach some-where; it not a normal order of thing even in everyday lives. How many times have we been in a situation where we are supposed to do grocery and ignite a car engine and then, do we keep arguing is grocery really important? Do I need it? Would it give me pleasure; how many times we have taken the road and come back home after roaming around town empty handed and still cheerful about the fact that it was a meaningful ride. We are continuously producing meaning and fulfilling those, willingly or unwillingly both in a shorter version and long run.
If we stop doing it and keep ourselves questioning the value of what we are trying to achieve we might die of nihilism instead of improving anything and finding redemption. Humans also have an inbuilt mechanism which demands of a goal post to which it can lead and appease himself of purposefulness.
What these pieces of words trying to lead
There is a disposition that humans has taken, while objectively there is a totally opposite version being pictured by God; so what we do here is take a look at different human behavior which intrinsically most of us value on different levels and those are found to be leading us or detracting us from making different choices.
As whole individuals are found to be valuing certain moral characteristics or behavior, and decision that one follow is internally being influenced on to him by his certain desire. We here are focusing on those behaviors and trying to establish if there is any coherence between them and purpose which objectively has been set for us. Since it would be unwise of God, if abilities we posses are not in line with the journey we are supposed to set forth.
Likewise it would be foolish to put parts of a normal car together in a vehicle, which is supposed to rover on Mars. Same goes for human if we are to rise and reach a destination it would be necessary to have all the tools to constantly help us take the right turns and decision and not get accustomed to pebbles of rock which shines like a star; but rather take a ultimate flight where we find harmony and peace.
What God represent in this journey
God represent a symbol which has all the perfection and balance, it has all the attributes which we value; and represents an entity which is most desirable. It has mercy and wrath, its hidden and evident, is just and truth, loving and compassionate, hearer and know-er of everything.
He is the ultimate beauty which man aspires, and he represents the goal post in which a man can find all the concept of attractiveness summed up.
He is the star which is most shining of all; its real and his attributes are not dwindling with time and not dependent on anything; unlike any other entity existing in this universe.
What is Man
Man is not only body and mind but it has a soul carved into it by the Supreme Being; which is centered in the heart. It is it trough which it drive value structure and concept of morality. It is what tells us to do right by subjugating the wrong.
It’s the Soul which keeps one dissatisfied if it’s not able to find the concept of beauty which it has created and hence keep projecting it on different identities it find in its compass.
Like in past people used to worship Sun; since it is the one which keep us warm, holds the earth and harvest the crop, than as we progress those identifies are cast on leaders, race and nations. All these ideals are more important than the individual because it provide him reason to fulfill his inner need for finding beauty and truth and path which he should aspire.
Ego and Ultimate Ego
Another perspective of looking at whole picture is to consider we as human as self ego which makes us feel important and have the urge to be in power and control of this material body, this material body relies on earth to get all it demands fulfill like food, sex and authority. While soul in a human body has higher motives to find real and accomplishes his goal of finding truth and beauty.
God represents ultimate ego which does not need other ego to fulfill his needs and does posses any desire which can leads or influence him to follow an incorrect path and commit injustice.
Since soul has a reflection of ultimate ego it has ability to rise and reflect his creator but at same has been provided with lower desire and materialistic body which keep him busy to counter the effort of soul. So there is constant war going on between power of good and evil with in a human body. On who is able to conquer it will be able to reflect all the attributes of the creator with in him, and will be at peace with his own existence.
It is the reason Individuals keep changing their ideals constantly based on which of the two powers have more influence on him but as man grows if he does not protect his soul it will get caged in a dark chamber inside the heart and than human has all given himself to his lower desire of materialism (or body and worldly affairs) ; This is the reason one would find people with younger age tend to be more attracted toward something which imitate truth and beauty rather than getting fascinated by ability to influence and rule.
Lets now look those inner desires which most of us have been built with, and how their presence are driving us toward finding an ideal which can fulfill our need and which represent our concept of beauty to the fullest. These desires are driving us slowly and gradually toward that perfect ideal, and as we peel layer after layer of unknowns he is the one we will end up stopping at.
Progress, on it outset is driving people to invent and be creative, but at its core it is the innate feeling among us to find real and differentiate from what its outer look like. Historically man has be trying to explain nature around It, in early days superstition used to explain unknown phenomenon, then religion played it part and so did deductive reasoning also played its part in reaching certain conclusions. Now with the advent of Science couple of centuries ago, it has been the tool to derive and find the reality of nature by experimentation. Science is able to differentiate between real and superstitious; and in process it’s able to move humanity as whole toward in a right direction to find the real.
We all consider Progress as essential, and value individuals who has contributed to human progress; either providing it another luxury, finding a cure or explaining an unknown in this universe. Modern states are found to be investing billions in space exploration or research in health industry, but why? What is motivating us?
This is all at the cost of billions of people living below poverty line and not sure about the next meal, and instead of solving climate issue we are consuming more energy and constantly developing more advanced warfare mechanisms.
Peace, we would be protected physically if we live under secured walls and in a stable country, but to find inner peace and tranquility is a long quest which one would find individuals aspiring for; although most of the inhabitants living in progressive world would be physically safe but fail to be at calm with their own inner self and end up using different means to achieves it (drugs or consuming alcohol).
One would find Individuals constantly trying to find meaning which can provide them satisfaction and end up either dozing themselves off reality or doing crazy things. Many would try to derive those from family, status, luxuries, nation, and groups and would get successful in short run, but deep down there is a feeling to do more to fill the hollowness. This keep us restless but we keep trying to numb the feeling by constantly doing more of what we are doing thinking it would go away but does it go away.
Would one be at ease if one comes to acknowledge that his intentions and efforts cannot produce the results, he can try but he cannot turn the tide as he want, acquires what he wants and even if he acquire what he desires he does not know would they be good in his favor or a rather have an unpleasant results. If he submits his will to a bigger will, and put onus of results and output from his shoulder to him would one be able to reconcile with the reality.
Freedom, one would want to live as he desires and think deem necessary. But as we see around humans freedom has been cut as we have become more civilized, previously one can be at any part of world without getting prior permission, we can built our houses where and how we want but now we have licenses, processes and law. In a modern society freedom is also under attack by constant pull towards consumerism, by luring one to do that next thing which would give happiness and satisfaction but it’s a constant mirage which keeps eluding us. Similarly nations, groups and leaders are influencing our decision, in making us buy in to their ideas to get support and power.
But humans are not found to reacting on the attack of their basic instinct of freedom and instead found to be in compliance with modern idea of restrictions, laws and condition. So a cut down on freedom is required to give structure and control, same is the case when raising a child we cut down freedom like what he eat, watch and learn to give order in his life so he can grow healthy and develop good habits.
More or less same is expected of mortals when a supreme being put freewill inside us, but give us a constitution, reason, observation and a sound heart to think and find a path freely without compulsion, so it can organize and give structure and provide meaning.
Freedom can also be understood, more in a sense of rights and duties. So as one live in a country he has certain right that state should be responsible for and in return he has certain duties he is obliged to do, give and take this is same case when you are on job, living in a family or in any social contract.
Why we think this contract would apply in a worldly sense but not other faculties owned by an individual? And why demand full freedom for him without any obligations. Who would be responsible for reason, senses, knowledge, and wealth owned by an individual; should he not questionable on those possessions, on how well it got splendid, did he share those with his fellow man, distribute the knowledge he is equipped with and did he use his reason and observation to find real and evident.
Fairness, this could be understood in a perspective of finding justice and restoring balance. It’s a common practice for a group of people to demand justice and fairness when they think their rights are not properly met. It’s a very powerful desire which one would find at different levels and societies, people are willing to sacrifice their self, ego and status to restore the balance or justice.
If one would notice nature has been blessed with balance, from rotation of planets to changing day and night, balance and composition of air, gravity heat and physical laws on earth. Same balance is desirable to humans to imitate the surrounding where some equality could be made between rich and poor, where no one is subjugated on basis of race, color, religion and ethnic association and where actions of powerful can be kept in check.
Now what fairness and injustice when who is the most evident , real and desirable is being devoid of existence, Can we wish for time and space where such an imbalance has been committed and still want it to take fair and just decisions for humans and nations around? It is like asking earth to stop rotating around the sun and expecting things to go normal on earth.
It is also important that we have authority among us which can determine the concept of rights and obligations between nations, groups and sexes, so justice can be served. It is the motive that accepting authority is also found as one the major traits in humans; and the reason where they are found to be creating large group (in support of an idea) compared to other species around.
Spirituality, it can be considered in a broader concept of cleanliness and purity. Most of humans do have a tendency to do an act which will give a feeling of redemption, so they can go back to their routine life which does not hold much purpose for them but lie in a bracket of essential or necessity.
One would see characters who would rob from rich and wealthy (as if they are doing a good job) and then distribute it to poor and would be considered as heroes. Similarly a super rich person would donate some amount in a cause so he can satisfy his inner urge that he is giving back and if any illegal means he is using to hoard more money is justified.
Cultures and societies has also derive ways to cater for this feeling by doing certain rituals, arranging people in different caste or race and even attributing these concepts to food chains, clothes and mediation.
Laws prescribed by religions, pushes humans to keep his body and mind clean of any negative thoughts all the time, by guiding him through different situations and providing him certain practices; instead of diminishing his inner need by certain act so he can go back to his routine. This requires a constant conscious effort on part of self to keep a link between himself and the creator and through it traverse the path full of desires, delusions and lust. And then again if one falls he can always repent, come back and be redeemed.
Here again a need put in us; can found to be fluffing be an entity that is beyond the physical realm. It is the real reason why almost all religions have some set of rituals and practices prescribed to keep one clean and be reminded to objectify the creator through some means, so he can attain the feeling of salvation.
Al-Ghazali in the-alchemy-of-happiness put it beautifully, how to keep heart which is the axis of soul in control over the body (kingdom) to attain equilibrium
Know, O student of wisdom! that the body, which is the kingdom of the heart, resembles a great city. The hand, the foot, the mouth and the other members resemble the people of the various trades. Desire is a standard bearer; anger is a superintendent of the city, the heart is its sovereign, and reason is the vizier. The sovereign needs the service of all the inhabitants. But desire, the standard bearer, is a liar, vain and ambitious. He is always ready to do the contrary of what reason, the vizier, and commands. He strives to appropriate to himself whatever he sees in the city, which is the body. Anger, the superintendent, is rebellious and corrupt, quick and passionate. He is always ready to be enraged, to spill blood, and to blast one’s reputation. If the sovereign, the heart, should invariably consult with reason, his vizier, and, when desire was transgressing, should give to wrath to have power over him (yet, without giving him full liberty, should make him angry in subjection to reason, the vizier, so that passing all bounds he should not stretch out his hand upon the kingdom), there would then be an equilibrium in the condition of the kingdom, and all the members would perform the functions for which they were created, their service would be accepted at the mercy seat, and they would obtain eternal felicity….
Humanity will continue to take different turns and twist in electing different ideals and defining new rights and wrong based on it; but it will only stop at something which can account for all of those inner forces which are pushing us, toward a being which is real and who can comprehend the concept of perfect beauty as a whole rather through its parts, and it is timeless and boundless, until than it will keep exploring new horizon and new boundaries.
At individual level, it is self that we have to understand to make real progress and to attain happiness and tranquility; to understand what we are constituted of not in materialistic sense but as an image of our higher self. It is the relationship of know-er and know-er of all things and a constitution between the two egos that can truly pacify and give meaning and transcendence; else there is a void and a constant feeling of falling into it.