When I look deeply into myself, I realize that all the fruits of my life would be meaningless to me if I cease to exist upon my death. Money, fame, and even passions, even though they may sustain me now, what are their real meanings to me if I shall die any way? Since every human being belongs to mankind, the meaning of one’s life for one’s self is a part of the meaning of that life for the world. A life full of passions and selfless deeds can be very meaningful for the society and for the world, for the fruits of that life are carried on by the world even after the person’s death, but is there any part of it really meaningful for the person living it at all, as he shall no longer exist any way?
Therefore, if I want to hold strongly to my faith that my life must have some meaning for myself, then it follows that I must hold as strongly to another faith that I am immortal.
However, with a sane mind, I cannot yet find any strong evidence in this world that human beings are immortal. All I see are lives followed by deaths. Except that, mankind lives on.
So a question is, is there any way to connect an individual human being to mankind as a whole so that a life meaningful to the world is also meaningful for the person living it?
And yes there is, and it is the following. It is the realization that my existence is in fact not confined only to my physical body, but it is carried on within mankind, and forever that will be, as long as I am still holding on to my faith. My faith implies that my real body, my so-called spirit, extends far beyond my physical body, and my spirit permeates the world, so to speak. And a single life, or a so-called incarnation, is meaningful to me to the extent of how further it brings my spirit to permeate further into the world, into mankind. This is what I believe is the essence of the evolution of individual human beings: the evolution of human spirits.
Therefore my life is meaningful to me as much as it is meaningful to the world, for I am in the world. But what is the point of this knowledge implied by the faith? It is this: this knowledge gives me a powerful force to do good deeds to the world without expecting any thing in return. In other words, this is the force of Love. And this love is not one tied by blood, such as parental love, or by any kind of grouping, such as nationalism, but thanks to this knowledge, it is the Universal Love springing forth in Freedom.
Contemplation on the meaning of life gives me the force of Love in Freedom. And then when I look up to history, I behold the One who taught mankind this very Love in Freedom. He was the first One teaching mankind doing so. Since what I have found concurs with His teaching, I feel compelled to embrace the teaching from Him, and from those sent by Him. And when I open my heart to His teaching, I find in it an infinite, life-giving source of wisdom that sustains my faith, my Freedom, and my Love. He is Jesus Christ.
(And Jesus answered:) “Whoever is not born anew from the heights cannot see the Kingdom of God.” — Gospel of St. John 3:3
Indeed. One shall sooner or later perish, unless one lets the force of Love in Freedom be the driving force of one’s lives on Earth — that is, when one is “born anew from the heights”. When one does so, one’s existence then belongs to the eternity — to “the Kingdom of God”.
And that is a story of how the force of Love in Freedom may spring forth in the human beings.
A very important note: Christ’s teaching has not always been understood in the light of Love in Freedom. The only known systematic and scientific path of approaching Christ’s teaching in the spirit of what this article attempts to touch on is through Anthroposophy (meaning “wisdom of the human beings”), founded by Rudolf Steiner in the late 19th century. Anthroposophy provides the foundations for Waldorf education, biodynamic farming, three-fold social order, and many other movements calling for social renewal. The following book is strongly recommended as a starting point for studying Anthroposophy and for a deep treatment of Freedom and Love:
- The Philosophy of Freedom, Rudolf Steiner, 1984.