Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Great Opinion Piece by Pervez Hoodboy about Pakistan

Its a great article about Pakistan and I think it applies equally to India.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Meaning in a Meaningless World

For most of us, we think that life has some plan for us, a destiny so to say. I am a lawyer now because it was something I was meant to do, it is my purpose as far as I know. I'm not sure that life has an intrinsic meaning like that. There are only three certain things for all living beings: birth, death and change. We have no idea what the future will bring besides change and death, in fact sadly for millions of infants in the world that is the fate that they will experience. As human beings, who have developed our intellectual, emotional and psychological faculties, we desire meaning beyond the three certain things in our lives. We desire meaning, a purpose for our continued presence and even for our eventual yet inevitable demise. Most people find that meaning through the idea of God. In otherwords, we do not possess inherent meaning to our lives but only in light of and due to God and God's will.

As my previous posts might suggest this is not something I agree with but I think my rationale is a bit different from what is expected. I'm not saying that its not God who adds meaning to our lives but God is one of the supplemental factors. The meaning to our lives must come from ourselves, our inherent worth as the most intellectually and maybe morally evolved beings on this planet. Our meaning comes due to our relationships with each other and the bonds we possess as being born into the family of living beings and more specifically the family of beings with intelligent thought. We are the natural caretakers and guardians of each other and the world we occupy, due to which I have a natural duty to my fellow human beings to try and provide them with the most freedom and choice that I can coupled with the duty to try and help them find that best way to make our lives on this planet as wonderful as possible.

Our meaning is our guiding light and our foundation for growth in a world which seems to defy our methods to control it and predict it. It may sound confusing at first glance but I think its simple. I believe that once we as a collective species begin to place each other's fundamental freedom, well being and rights as paramount, the social world we live in will become more and more of a utopia that we dream of. Simple in theory and near impossible in practice. Why? Because of the nature of our existence as we currently understand it, the Ego or the part of us that separates us from each other and tries to pry us from the underlying unity that is reality, forces us to think of our individual selves, ideas or communities first. From this desire to see our individual selves, ideas or communities gain prominence we become attached to it and this attachment leads to our inevitable conflict with those we view as different.

So what does this have to do with the meaning of our lives? Well, we have to remove our egos from the equation and in the words of the Gita, act without attachment to the outcome. Act for the greater good, see ourselves as instruments or parts of a larger unity. All things are composites of numerous other things but in order to function they must act together with emphasis placed on the unit as opposed focused on the individual. The basic underlying point I'm trying to make here is that service to our fellow beings is the meaning that we must give ourselves, find your niche in the world and make sure its a niche that will benefit others and perform it to the best of your abilities and do it as a service to others. Doing that will bring light into the meaningless world that we lived in before and it is in that service that God can be found. Service of man is Service of God.