The Meaning and Purpose of Life
by Fr. E.S.Q.S.
What follows is a simple, rough-and-tumble explanation of the meaning and purpose of life - in my own understanding - according to Pythagorean Hylozoics a la HTL and LA. This short article is not meant to supplement the current corpus of Pythagorean Hylozoics in any way; rather, it is mostly just an example of a private, written meditation on the matter in question. This is probably more useful to beginners than advanced students. In any case, hopefully it proves to be at least somewhat interesting and thought-provoking all the same.
Of all the things that we need to know in order to live a rational and purposeful life, perhaps nothing is quite as important as knowing the meaning and purpose of life. Where most people are concerned (to the tune of ~85% of the world’s populace), this is probably not much of an issue: most people rarely give a thought to the meaning and purpose of life, hardly feel a need to know such a thing. They are largely content with whatever meaning and purpose the pundits of public opinion - those “authorities” of the masses – proclaim; however, there is another group of people, small but growing (the remaining ~15%), that are no longer satisfied with the “dream” these snake-oil salesmen are selling. The question, “Why?” burns in their very souls and no quick-and-easy answer satisfies their hungry reason. In some cases, they turn to science; in other cases, to religion; and still others, to philosophy. Some of them are satisfied thereby, but there are others who never quite find what they are looking for – and it is those people that I am addressing here. What follows, then, is a short article addressing the meaning and purpose of life according to Pythagorean Hylozoics a la HTL and LA. It is my sincere hope that it may provide them with an answer to that burning question of theirs, provide them with some direction in life.
The Meaning and Purpose of Life
Every system of thought whether scientific, religious, philosophical, or esoteric will have a somewhat different explanation of the meaning and purpose of life (if it will provide any at all); likewise, every school of thought, every sect, and every order will have a somewhat different explanation of the meaning and purpose of life. As such, just so that we are perfectly clear, what follows is the explanation according to the esoteric system of Pythagorean Hylozoics – an esoteric system - as presented by HTL and LA. It is a very particular explanation. To understand the meaning and purpose of life, first and foremost we must need to know something about life to begin with – for example: what is the cosmos, or – more precisely - why is it here? After all, we are all a part of it and, so, our answer is definitely bound up with the reason for the cosmos’ existence. It is quite common that many people take the cosmos to be a thing. This is not technically wrong; however, it may be far more expedient (in this particular case) to take the cosmos as a process. The cosmos is very much alive; it is in constant motion – and this motion is towards a definite end: the growth and development of consciousness in manifestational matter. Of course, this probably doesn’t make much sense at the moment and, so, some basic, fundamental facts are in order.
Reality is One
The first and foremost basic, fundamental fact is this: reality is one. This cannot be disputed – and where most sensible peoples are concerned, it is not disputed.
Reality is Three
Just as much as reality is one it is also, simultaneously, three. To be more precise: reality is one, whole thing – a unity – with three equally distinct aspects namely, matter, consciousness, and motion. A most suitable metaphor to help visualize this is that of a diamond with its many facets. Reality is like the diamond, whereas its three aspects are like the facets; each facet is equally distinct and, yet, each facet is still very much a part of the total unity of the diamond. Thus, depending on how we look at reality, it appears to be a total unity of matter, a total unity of consciousness, and/or a total unity of motion while being simultaneously all three, all the time – and always a complete unity.
Matter and Motion are Primordial
Of the three aspects, matter and motion are primordial (which means that they have always existed); consciousness, on the other hand, is a potential of matter that must be roused. Original matter is called, thus, primordial matter, whereas original motion is called primordial motion. In a sense, one could liken primordial matter to a great Mother and primordial motion to a great Father; the great feminine and masculine principles. Primordial matter represents all that is possible, whereas primordial motion represents the force that realizes the possible – in a sense, like the zygotes of female and male; the unfertilized egg and the spermatozoa.
With the interplay of primordial matter and primordial motion comes the development of primordial atoms (or what Pythagoras called, “Monads”): seemingly infinitesimally small points of force bored out of the infinitely dense primordial matter. These points of force will, in due course of time, become as many individuals – such as you and me – analogically, in much the same way that the fertilized egg develops into a fetus and, eventually a fully formed child. These points of force are the smallest possible firm points for the development of consciousness; however, the consciousness does not develop in the middle of primordial matter. These points of force, these primordial atoms, must be introduced into a cosmos and undergo the various cosmological processes which will serve to rouse the consciousness of the atoms to life. In truth, it really is not much different than the fact that the fertilized egg does not grow in just any old place, but a very particular place namely, the womb.
Consciousness is the great Child
If primordial matter is the great Mother and primordial motion is the great Father, then it only follows that consciousness is the great Child – the product of the interplay of the two primordial principles. Perhaps even now it is beginning to dawn upon some of my readers why this is significant. It is significant in that it elucidates the meaning and purpose of the cosmos: the cosmos is the birth-place of consciousness. The cosmos serves to rouse the consciousness of primordial atoms, serves to cultivate that consciousness from original unconsciousness all the way through to total cosmic omniscience. The great Child is to be born – and that is the work of the cosmos in total.
Why Does this Matter?
Probably some people reading this are wondering, “Why does this matter? Aren’t we talking about the meaning and purpose of – our – lives as human beings?” Indeed, they are right. The thing is, we cannot possibly understand the meaning and purpose of our lives as human beings if we have never considered the meaning and purpose of the cosmos – that great life in which we all share. Once we have seen that the meaning and purpose of the cosmos is the growth and development of consciousness then, perhaps, we can finally answer our own question concerning the meaning and purpose of life. If the cosmos exists for the sole purpose of the cultivation of consciousness in matter, then it only follows that the meaning and purpose of life in a cosmos such as ours is precisely this:
The meaning and purpose of life is the growth and development of consciousness.
We are a part of the cosmos. We are, in a sense even, the “children” of the cosmos. We are that which is developing in the cosmos; the cosmos exists to benefit us (as primordial atoms, “Monads”), to rouse our slumbering consciousness from unconsciousness to total cosmic omniscience in some far distant future. That is why we are here. In so far as we are taking an interest in that, in the growth and development of consciousness – in ourselves and in others, mind you – then we are living with meaning and purpose; we are living in accord with the meaning and purpose of the cosmos of which we are a part.
Where we go from here, unfortunately, is beyond the scope of this short article. The work to be done is immense. That being said, there isn’t a single man alive and reading this who cannot begin – even now – to make real, deliberate and conscious efforts to be a better man; a better human being. Cultivate the mind! Cultivate the heart! Practice clear thinking and noble feeling! Try and discover yourself – that little, silent observer who looks on all that occurs! Think upon unity, upon brotherhood! There are many things that we can do – and should do – if we truly desire to make head-way in the growth and development of consciousness.
Thanks for your time,