Written by Cameron Harman
Every single human being has asked the question at least once in their lives, "What is my purpose?" In my experience, the answer that people or religions have given me is less than comforting, to say the least. When I started my inner work path, the answer became obvious to me, and what had seemed like religious riddles also started to become more apparent. For example, in Buddhism, the Buddha says the mind is everything we think we become, pointing to the mind as the creator of reality for the material plane. So in more relative terms, our thoughts are projections, and those projections are what we see, think, and feel. This means we ultimately have control of how we want to see the world around us. This concept is also strongly used in Zen.
Jesus said in the Bible, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you." If you are not doing the required inner work, then this message might not find you. However, for those who are true seekers, this message means everything. By working on ourselves and trying to be better, trying to love more, and trying to treat others as we wish to be treated is the common ground that all religions stand on. Imagine, if you will, that heaven and hell are not actual places, but rather states of mind. When we are in love and in bliss, we are in heaven. When we hate ourselves and others, we are in a hell of our own creation. Now refer back to the section above to what the Buddha said. Striking similarities exist between these two teachers, and in fact, they are saying the same thing. Our projections of thoughts and feelings directly impact the world around us. To have true peace, we must give love to the world. We must love others as much as we should love ourselves.
The famous philosopher Alan Watts was ahead of his time, trying to relay the connections between the religions by showing how similar they are and what the hidden messages mean. Today we can learn so much from the words of Alan Watts, now more than ever, we need to understand these teachings. In a lecture he gave regarding Jesus Christ, he didn't single Jesus out as the only true teacher of humanity. He referred to Buddha, Krishna, and Jesus in a group of individuals with "cosmic consciousness." This consciousness is in all humans, and these masters had attained it through spiritual enlightenment. The teachings these masters gave to the world were, in fact, to help the rest of the world find their way to this very same enlightenment. During his lecture, he explains that these teachers had to give their teachings in such a way that the human mind had to decode it—not giving the people of that time a direct explanation of the Universe because it would not be received. Because at face value, what is being said is that I am the son of God, but so are you. Not that I am the only son of God but the entirety of the human race. Even with the careful words of Jesus, he was still persecuted and killed for his teachings.
The teachings of Jesus and Buddha have survived for thousands of years, sometimes not completely understood. Certainly not at the time that they were bestowed to the people of that time. The truth is that their teachings weren't meant for them; these teachings were seeds being planted in the minds of man, to be talked about and analyzed for years and years to come, or for a time when man could be more enlightened and open-minded. For when we are ready to fully wake up to our true purpose. The seeds are within us. The work has already been done. Jesus's last words on the cross were, "It is finished." The seeds had been planted. In closure, all that is left is for us to see the beauty in everything. To realize that the world is already perfect. Next time you ever have a question of what this life is all about, remember that the purpose of life is, in fact, to live, to laugh, and to love. The gift of this realization is in these teachers' words and, most importantly, within ourselves.
About the author: My name is Cameron Harman. I served in the US Army for eight years. From 2011 to 2012, I went to Afghanistan. After my service, I had PTSD and suffered from it for many years. When my time in the military was done, I started meditating and learning about spirituality. My life changed, and the pain began to fade. I started a podcast called Hermit_Radio to share what I had learned about healing the mind and living from the heart.
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