Soh Wei Yu


"In the Christian perspective, just as Self can be awakened, Purpose also has to be awakened."

From a Buddhist perspective too. IMO and I have seen Buddhist teachers say this as well, a non spiritual person's life is pretty meaningless and very much a torture from certain perspectives. We have to survive, work all day for a living just to survive, and suffer all kinds of problems, traumas, illness, death, separations and so on in the process, and to what end? So we distract ourselves with pretty meaningless entertainments and other sort of temporary pleasures and distractions. A very meaningless or purposeless life.

Some non spiritual people then feel that life is about helping other people. We have very rich philanthropist billionaires like Bill Gates and many others who devote all their time and money to helping the poor, the world. With their money they could get all kinds of pleasures that money could buy, but the wiser ones sees the vanity and futility in all that, that life has to have a higher purpose than simply spending money on buying bigger cars and houses and what have you. I would say this is the beginning of a purposeful life but it is not yet the very "high and noble" sort of purpose that only Buddhism offers.

In Buddhism, a higher purpose would be, 1) to seek a higher rebirth [still within the vehicle of gods and humans], and even higher than that: 2) to seek liberation from the cycle of rebirth [sravakayana], and even higher than that: 3) make the bodhicitta aspiration to attain Buddhahood or full awakening for the benefit of all sentient beings, and to practice the bodhisattva path.

So the highest aspiration, or purpose, which needs to be awakened, is the aspiration for total awakening out of compassion for all sentient beings. To be liberated and help others be liberated.




Soh Wei Yu


So purpose and meaning is not given, but as John Tan also said before (verbally many years ago, I think in a group meeting) if I recall correctly, we have to live a life that is purposeful or meaningful.



1 Response
  1. Ash Williams Says:

    I submit that first you need to seek truth (this prevents errors such as "Bill Gates is a philanthropist trying to help the poor", b/c with a little investigating it's apparent that sentence would more accurately be "Bill Gates is a crony billionaire seeking to further enrich himself by sterilizing and killing the poor").

    Second, I submit that you must practice virtue, the most important of which is courage; because without it no other virtues are possible.

    Perhaps we should practice courage first, though. Because without courage, it may be impossible to know truth.