I love that I have to pick up my kids from school in 30 minutes and yet this topic has come to me to tackle in that time. “What is the meaning of life?” is the quintessential philosophical question. What is the point of all of this? The Vedic perspective on this can be looked at from a multiple angles, but the one I will explore today is…the meaning of life is life.
If you found this to be an irritating answer, let me elaborate. The Vedic view is that all this is one consciousness experiencing itself through many different forms. Why does it do that? To put it simply and in humanistic terms, because it doesn’t want to be bored.
The more sophisticated the consciousness of a being, the more it requires to be entertained. A puppy will be entertained by a stick for hours on end. Human beings, which can hold much more in their awareness, are entertained by plays, art, complicated music. Even when someone of a high consciousness state seems fascinated by something simple, they’re perceiving all the layers of complexity within it.
Now imagine that infinite field of consciousness with limitless sophistication. What would entertain that? How about a universe? That’s pretty complex. How about experiencing through all the nervous systems that ever existed in all time simultaneously? And that’s just the fully manifest layer, there’s a whole lot of drama at the more subtle layers of creation few are able to perceive.
Now imagine that consciousness at that level of sophistication doing nothing, simply existing as One. There’s no story. No drama. No sequence. Boring.
So it’s there, as a primordial sea, existing as infinite potential. The moment it is aware of itself, it starts to witness itself. With that comes a sense of self awareness, a sense of “I.” Once that awareness witnesses itself enough times, there’s a moment where it forgets its Oneness, and the Oneness has the appearance of two, bifurcation. Now there is sequence. Now you have two points so you have space. And once you have space, then you also have time. Voila, now you have the Universe.
And what is the Universe? It is simultaneous Unity and Diversity, uni=unity…verse=diversity. The Unity experiencing itself as diversity. That is life. That One consciousness experiencing Itself through all those diverse forms at all different levels of ignoring its Oneness status.
And what does it enjoy experiencing most? Well, remembering itself. Returning to Oneness. This is what we call “love,” when the self recognizes the self in another one of its forms. The whole thing is one great big love story.
Eventually, one of those diverse forms, or beings (Be-ings) will recognize Self in everything and experience love for all of creation, what we call Self-realization or enlightenment. The full arc has been completed. The Oneness which forgot itself has now remembered itself fully.
So that’s it in a nutshell. Nothing gives your life meaning, the meaning is the living.
Phew, time to pick up the kids.