I know Iíve blogged about this before, but as itís affected me so deeply, I really have to discuss it again.† Whatís the purpose of life?† Why are we here?† Why donít we get eternal satisfaction from material pleasures?† For those whoíve got everything, you can almost hear them screaming, ďDammit, Iím always travelling first class, Iíve got men & women fawning about me all the time, Iíve can buy anything that I ever want, but so what?† Whatís the point of it all?† Itís so meaningless.Ē †
Between 1990 and 2000 the Chinese saw an incredible boom in their economy such that millions were pulled up out of poverty to earn a decent living wage.† However, in 1990 28% of Chinese people described themselves as very happy, but by 2000 this figure had dropped to 12%. (Source).† We donít have to go to China for examples, a look at our own lives is sufficient.† India is having a boom of itís own.† Many have experienced new found wealth which they didnít have before.† Especially those who have lived the 1970ís and 80ís in India, many are now exceptionally well off.† Rate yourself (or your parents) on a scale of 1 to 10 your level of happiness then and your level of happiness now.† Is it much different?† Were you severely depressed then and deliriously happy now?†
So if health & wealth is not the source of ALL happiness then what use are they?† Well these are not the source of happiness, but the tools to help us achieve eternal bliss.† To quote Imam Ghazzaliís Analogy, our life in this world is like that of a person (letís call him Abdul) going for pilgrimage on a camel.† Without his camel, Abdul certainly wouldnít be able to complete his obligatory journey.† However, what would be his plight, if he cares for his camel (feeds it, clothes it, gives it adequate rest & relaxation) but has forgotten the purpose of setting off on his ride in the first place.† He just wanders along the desert, trying his best to keep his camel in as good humor as a camel can be.† Soon Abdulís steed grows his old, his faithful camel cannot support his masterís burden anymore. And drops off and dies.† Leaving his master alone and stranded in the desert.† Miles away from his home, and even further away from his destination. †
The story of those of us who are searching for Eternal Bliss or Meaining of Life in wealth, fame, material objects is not much different from Abdulís story.† Just like Abdul we have forgotten the purpose of our journey and are fully focussed on our wealth, health, status, which are mere tools/vehicles which are there to help us complete our voyage.† They are not the purpose of it.† So whatís the purpose of our journey/voyage?† Abdulís was to complete his spiritual pilgrimage.† Ours is the same.
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