The Meaning of Life
by the Dalai Lama
While we exist as human beings, we are like tourists on holiday. If we play havoc and cause disturbance, our visit is meaningless. If during our short stay -- 100 years at most -- we live peacefully, happily, always create fun, help others and, at the very least, refrain from harming or upsetting them, our visit is worthwhile. What is important is to see how we can best lead a meaningful everyday life, how we can bring about peace and harmony in our minds, how we can help contribute to society.
Scientists speak about evolutionary changes and about how the human body can further evolve. Buddhism also describes the natural evolution of the human body. According to Buddhism there are a limitless number of universes. It is we who are dependent on this Great Triple Thousand World System, rather than our affecting its course. In this vastness, can we ever know why we are here? From the Buddhist point of view, our consciousness has the potential to know every object. Because of obstructions, we are, at present, unable to know everything. However, by removing these obstructions gradually, it is ultimately possible to know everything.
Those who believe in the theory of rebirth would say that we are here because of our own past actions. It can also be said that the essence of life is the search for happiness and the fullfillment of one's desires. All living beings strive to sustain their lives so that they might achieve happiness. As to why the self, wishing for happiness, came into being, Bhuddism answers; This self has existed from begining of time. It has no end for it to ultimately achieve full enlightenment.
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