What is Life?

What is Life? Why is it important to understand it?

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - November 16, 2020

 

Life is one mystery both science and religion are still grappling to understand. Where, when, and how did life begin? What's its purpose? Can we create life? What are its ingredients? What's there in life that makes our existence worth living? Can we, earthlings, exist without understanding what life is all about? Answers to these questions will help us realize how to live life fully.

What kind of life awaits us in these trying times?

Paul J Dejillas, Ph.D. - June 18, 2020

 

This will really depend on the choices the individual makes daily and how one makes use of the challenges as well as the opportunities unfolding from moment to moment, given, of course, the level of one's knowledge, expertise, resources as well as the various concerns one is facing everyday. 

Each one of us has some priorities in life and any slight deviation can lead one somewhere or elsewhere in the future, far away from what the individual may have intended to achieve. We are experiencing this deviation right now and, sadly, it is not slight. This could have an exponential effect on us that could either be beneficial or damaging to us in the future.

If the future depends on our choices and actions today and the future is uncertain and unpredictable, what becomes of our life then?

Life is not all about goal-setting or setting of priorities. It is meaningless and unproductive to set up goals for tomorrow knowing that we are not certain of their realization. 

Goals may be necessary but they do not constitute the basis of our decision-making and action. In daily life, we are dependent on what the moment brings us and it is our choice and action on this particular moment that will lead us to the next moment. In effect, we are creating our next moment by the decision and action we take in the present moment.

It's better to live life without some goals to achieve. Without goals, we don't sense a feeling of frustration, despondency, or stress if we fail to realize them. 

We simply go with the flow of the present moment, making the best out of it, enjoying the ride on the current of the river, we know will lead us somewhere even if we don't know where. 

 

What is life then?

We are left with the barest essence of what becomes of life. Life is simply acting and doing things every moment of our life. It can be steering the wheel or navigating a stream on a sailboat. 

Likewise, life is an endless process of making choices as we go on a journey or an adventure daily. It is making decisions whether to turn left or right, to proceed downstream or make a u-turn and go upstream. It is deciding whether we go on moving or stop moving altogether. 

If life is a process of making choices and acting, whose life are we maneuvering then?

It can be our own life that we are acting. We are in complete command of the boat we are sailing. But every action we make is our accountability, accountable to ourselves and to others who are sailing with us on the same stream. Thus, we owe it to ourselves and to them that we perform every action we make as responsible and perfect as possible.

We can also be acting the life set for us by others or society. While we are not as free as we would like to be, we nonetheless perform our duties and responsibilities gladly because of the benefits they bring us. 

Whatever it is, life becomes our own making. We can say that life has no purpose at all except to make choices and act.

The content of what we are acting is immaterial. What’s important is the awareness that we are the ones acting, doing, and creating every act. It is our own true and real Self that is doing the acting and playing. 

We can make our acting real, devious, or illusionary, if we choose to; it depends on us. We can even pretend that the life we lead is real even if, deep inside us, we earnestly know it is not. Whether we want to be true or not to ourselves, whether we want to play our act well or not, it's our choice. 

Nonetheless, for whatever act and play we do in life, we are solely responsible for them. What we think, feel, and behave is our own making. How we respond to these mental states is our own doing. We can make it enslaving or liberating and spiritually enriching. Whatever it is, we are accountable to them and we must be ready to accept the consequences of our actions.

Then, let's love our acting and doing because it’s a projection of our own true Self. Let's love every story that unfolds before us every moment since it's our very own creation. There's no need for fretting and whining.