What's the point of life?

What's the point of life? So many people ask this question, from bored housewives to great philosophers, from teenagers to people dying in a hospice. Why, we ask, do we go through such trauma and trouble just to end it all by dying?

If one were to study philosophy and religion one would see that on average, it seems that people believe that the one should try to be good in this life. But, having said that, you may wonder, like I did, why? Why should one try to be good? I certainly didn't buy the "hell" or "purgatory" reason that many people receive in religious studies. This is because I couldn't reconcile a just and loving god, one who forgives the prodigal son, with one who would condemn his own "child" to everlasting hell. Didn't make sense.

So why should we be good?  What about all those people who are good and have so many troubles? "It's not fair!" many people cry. Or they even say "there can be no God" or "how could God let this happen?" Yes, indeed. This is why Western religion is losing ground. It does not explain WHY we should be good other than giving graphics accounts of the punishment one will receive if one is not good. It seems that even if we are very good in this life, we are still punished. And we see those who are openly "bad" getting away with it and looking happy. It is the seeming unfairness of life that makes people question the point of life.

I've spent my whole life working this out, based on much introspection, reading and postmortems of my own and other's lives and I've come to this conclusion:- the reason why we are born, the point of it all, is that we have come to this level of existence in order to pay for the mistakes we made in past lives.

Yes, past lives. And know this:- we are in control of all that happens to us in our lives. This is because we CHOOSE everything about our lives before we are born; the types of people we will be related to and have dealings with, the types of  circumstances we will come up against, our strengths and weaknesses, our blessings and curses, so that we will be faced with what we did to others in previous lives and spend time discovering what that felt like and learning how to be sorry and ask for forgiveness. It's the only explanation that makes sense to me.  I much prefer the idea of being in control of my destiny rather than handing it over to a nebulous deity. It's empowering.

Life on Earth is simply one  level of existence where we, as souls, experience a physical incarnation and there are many other levels of existence available to us. Just like at school we start off at grade one and work our way through the grades till we graduate. 

Buddhists believe that there are thirty-one planes of existence available to souls, and that one generally moves upward through the planes but one can also move back down depending upon one's actions. If you want to have a look at these planes in more detail, here is a good link   http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sagga/loka.html.

But for our purposes lets just look at the planes of existence in a simple way, starting from the top, that is, the highest one can hope to achieve:
The realm of the Immaterial World - there is no physical body, only mind - some may call this "heaven".
The realm of the Fine Material World - this is where angels and other great beings exist - some may call this "paradise".
The realm of the Sensuous World - this consists of two levels:
Happy Destinations - this is where we as humans exist. Fairies and other beings who delight in the senses inhabit a plane here too.
States of Deprivation - this is where lost spirits and animals exist. The lowest level of this state is what one could call "hell".

All of these planes are temporary. No-one remains in any of them for ever, unless and until they reach the very highest one.

But back to the point. Why and how have we incarnated as humans? As I see it, some of us are here for the "first" time, having left another (most likely lower) plane of existence, and another small portion are those who have had many lives on Earth and are just tidying up a few things before moving on to the next realm. The rest of us have probably been here many times, having built up karma through our actions during each existence, which needs to be atoned for and so here we are.....again. It's a bit like the game snakes and ladders. We have as many chances as we need, and we are the only ones who judge how we are doing.

This is because when we have finished in one life, when we "die", we assess our life (your whole life flashes before your eyes) and we see where we failed. Then we choose our next life carefully in order to atone for past mistakes (sins) and also throw in some extra challenges to make us really have to try hard to be good, to hone and shape our souls for the better. These choices are traceable through our astrological charts or numerology. We can see in these charts that we have certain strengths and weaknesses, blessings and challenges. This is why we keep on banging our heads against the same sorts of problems over and over again until we learn the right way to deal with them, to pay for our past mistakes, and then we move on to the next lesson.

So the next time you wonder what the point of life is, just remember that you CHOSE THIS LIFE, and stop blaming your parents, God and the government for your troubles. We need to get on with the game, which is our own particular set of challenges and blessings, and try our hardest to rise above bad thoughts and deeds. This is the only hope we have of not only securing a happier life next time around, but eventually making it to the realm of angels and beyond to eternal peace.

I know some of you want an answer to this question - do animals go to heaven? Yes, I believe they can. So how does an animal, who cannot reason, get up the ladder? This is where you come in. If you love and bless your pets, immerse them in kindness, you will fill them with the spirit of Goodness, and this will allow them to move into the next phase. Also show kindness to all Earth's creatures. Any act of loving kindness not only affects your own karma, but also shines out and affects the whole of creation.

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