purpose of life

The Science Behind the Purpose of Life

Oh no! Not again! I mean, how many million zillion times will we ask this question?! And just how many million zillion times will we try to answer this question?! And yet, every time there is an answer, it just does not seem satisfying enough. Obviously not, because if we feed the word “satisfaction” into the human mind, it will raise its eyebrows – like dude seriously?! That is how insatiable the human mind is.

So, let us try and give this answer another go

Here are some of the more serious answers to the question of what the purpose of life is. Our highly enlightened ancients informed everyone that the answer was, service to goddo whatever you do to please the almighty, and keep doing it all through your life. And we nodded in acceptance. Further on into evolution, when the call for equality began to grow, the purpose of life became service to humankind. And we all embraced each other, or at least tried to do it. Right now, in the age of man, the purpose of life is the pursuit of happiness.

There are a few other million answers to the purpose of life. We could read every answer and not be satisfied with even one, or feel that every answer sounds correct. Take the latest one for example. It sounds pretty logical, doesn’t it – who wouldn’t want to die happy?! Especially since we get out of the womb crying our inner organs out. So, it makes sense to chase happiness during our lifetime and die with a giant grin plastered across our face. We could fall into the unknown abyss that is death with a bright beam, and our tombstones would read – she managed to laugh a lot – or something of that sort.

But, what if there was another answer, something that science backs up?

If your interest is adequately piqued to read on, then wear your imagination glasses and take a walk with my words. I know, I know, I just said something about science. So, what is the big deal with imagination now? But science is born out of imagination of an idea, a question, or an experiment. So, it always begins inside the head first. So, come on, walk with me inside your head…

Where we are right now, is at the end of life. See there, there is a gigantic hole looming ahead of us, and we have absolutely no idea what it contains, or when we are going to fall into its mouth. But we know that fall we will. So, the question is, how do we fall into this unknown black hole called death that we have been slowly gravitating towards ever since we were born. The whole scene resembles our galaxy. We are like the stars and other heavenly bodies that are being consumed by Sgr A, the galactical centre of the Milky Way. There you go, we have linked the primordial science of the universe with that one description of death.

So, back to how do we want to die

The answer is currently ranging from anything as simple as I have no idea about this, to something as complex as grinning happily. Because, let us face it, considering the current material consumption levels of humanity, the pursuit happiness drives a hard bargain.

We can keep wondering about the numerous solutions that will help cushion our fall into the black hole, even as we are being pulled towards it, or we can move back through time and stand near the operating table or where ever it was that we were born.

Look! There we are, surrounded by smiling faces of loved ones, exhausted nurses and hurrying doctors. Everyone seems to be in a different mood. But we are too busy screaming at the top of our voices to notice this myriad of emotions.

But why are we screaming in the first place?

To get an answer to that question, all we have to do is stop the good doc in his tracks, and throttle him – Why the hell am I crying? What did you do to me? And the doc would raise his eyebrows, and go, Dude, if you brought me out of my comfort zone, I would cry too. Duh! And that is science fact number 2.

Quite unlike what is popularly known, birth is not something that happens when we come out of the womb. It happens the moment the sperm successfully fuses with the egg. We begin to grow inside the womb and spend a good part of nine months floating in comfort, surrounded by the several protective layers of our mother’s uterus. Life, although quite dark, is absolutely peaceful.

And then one fine day, we grow big enough to disturb our mother’s own peace. And she decides that enough is enough – kid, I am done with you, I am kicking you out of the dark and into the light. So, that is how the universe, in cahoots with biology and our mother’s emotions, secretly plots and destroys our real home. That makes this science fact number 3.

So, when we come out, we come out crying because, technically, we lose our inner peace

Now, let us go into a different place – our mind – when we were babies. Since we cannot see so well during our early months in the outside world, we also cannot absorb much information and our brain’s wiring system is still in its primitive form (science fact number 4).

So, the only thing that could possibly be going on inside our head are these words – Inner peace! Inner peace! Inner peace! Where in the good lord’s name did my inner peace go? Although not in so many words, but rather, in the form of emotions filled with fear and agitation, since the brain’s wiring system has not yet made its connection with language. We have reached science fact 5 that proves that we are born with our emotions.

When we cannot find our inner peace, we scream!

Mommy hears our scream and comes to feed us, and Bingo! we become peaceful once again. But just like everything else in this universe, the peace does not last. Then we go, Oh no! Not again! And scream. Mommy also goes, Oh no! Not again! and rushes to get us to sleep, a position in which we have always been finding peace. That is how food and rest have always calmed us down, because both activities deliver a sense of inner peace. Not to forget the idea of “mummy.”

Life, from then on becomes all about doing things that bring us inner peace. And how does this happen? We have our brain to thank for that. The brain is all about habit formation, and when we repeat activities based on our needs and wants, the brain begins to form habits. By crying our lungs out all through the first year of our exit from the womb, every single one of us on earth, have made the quest for inner peace our brain’s greatest and loudest habit. That makes a grand total of six science facts.

So, based on the science of the universe, psychology, biology, neurology, and behavioral science; we can safely state that the…

Purpose of life is to find inner peace

Phew!

Two things are a constant throughout this journey of finding our inner peace – food that appeases hunger, and sleep that relaxes the brain. Now, the other parts of this quest are up to us to figure out and work upon – finding and keeping family, chasing and managing our passion, and so on and so forth.

Yet another thing that is a constant (hey, we are getting into a bit of math here!) is that peace itself is not a constant. It is something that is lost and found, every day, every year, every time, and everywhere. To find peace, we have to understand and accept that we have lost it in the first place. Think of the guy who has had enough with his state of depression and begins to work on himself. What he really is working upon is something that will lead him towards inner peace. And what about the apostle of inner peace himself, the Buddha – it was his frustration with the things that he was surrounded by that drove him towards his awakening.

Here is one last bit of a science fact. For peace to reign within the womb, the mother herself must be at peace. This means, for peace to exist within, it needs to be experienced outside. So, if we want to keep our inner peace, we also have to spread it outside, just like the Buddha did.

Here’s to finding your inner peace! 

Kanika Kumar

Dear You, I am a writer and I specialize in Dark Spaces. As a child I explored the unknown through my reading. Now, as an adult, I traverse the spheres of fiction and non-fiction through my understanding of this unknown space that exists both within and around us. Through all of my lessons in spiritual reasoning, physical well-being, mental connections and emotional awareness; observation and experience have been my greatest teachers. Join me in my travels as we grow together through discovery, acceptance and progression.

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