Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The purpose of life is to try to better ourselves and our world.

  What is the meaning of something, if it is destined to end at some point? This is a simple, but terrifying question, because the answer to it, could potentially be that everything in our lives; everything that we struggle everyday to keep together or to achieve, could be pointless, since someday, it will fade away and be destroyed by the unstoppable flow of time. But the answer to this question is not actually a depressing, pointless ''nothing'', but something that can bring hope to the heart of every human and point out to us, what is truly important and therefore, what we should focus on, primary, our energy and time.
   In order for me to make my case, one must first come to the realization that the most important thing we have in our lives, is the one that is eternal, since it is the only one that will endure in time. This eternal thing, is us, and not us as in body, since even that will die some day, but us as in our soul, that is immortal. For my non religious readers if you have any objections about the existence of souls, i encourage you to read or debate me, at my previous article, where i make my case, as always based on logic, about the existence of souls. In this article i will continue taking as granted that we are not a body destined to die, but we are immortal souls, that simply have a body. The importance of anything else is limited, in comparison with the importance of our soul or simply put our inner self, for everything else including the money we have earned, our health or the things we have acquired throughout the years, will not stay with us forever or will end, with our death (hopefully not sooner), while 'us' will remain forever. This is the primary reason any person should take care of his souls. Humans, consume their energy and their time, taking care of not so significant stuff, while they overlook the one that bears the most importance, their soul. And if someone wonders how he can take care of his soul, he must gain a deeper understanding of what soul really is. According to ancient Greek philosophers and specifically Pythagoras, soul is the summation of all of our emotions, while spirit is our ability to think, meaning our intellect. So, one by taking care of his character, can take care of his soul. Socrates, represents our soul and spirit as a rider on a chariot (spirit) trying to discipline 2 horses (soul), one of the them as the obeying horse (the right, as for ancient Greeks right represents the ''good'') and the other one (left) as the disobedient. The obedient is the one that represents the positive emotions, that stems from our soul, like love, friendship, mercy etc and the disobedient represents the negative emotions, like hate, anger, jealousy etc that a person (rider-intellect-spirit) must control and discipline. In this symbolic story, in order for the rider to take the ''good path'' he must turn both horses towards the right. The right, obedient horse, being positive emotions wants from its nature alone to turn right and so the rider has no problem disciplining it. On the other hand, the left, disobedient horse, wants by its nature to go left and so the purpose of the rider is to set it under his control and force it to turn towards its desired path, meaning the right. That is the purpose of humanity, according to Socrates, to govern and rule over the negative emotions that are being produced from our soul. That is the same as bettering one's character. Of course one should not just stop there, but having freed his soul from the bonds of anger, hate etc should also live a good, fair life, by applying these teachings. That means, that the primary efforts made in someones life, should be focus into the improvement of his character, since by taking care of his character, he is taking care of his soul, which is not an object or a thing that he owns, but is what the person really is.
  Moreover, one should wonder beyond these philosophical arguments and see how spending time taking care of his existence, or simply put his soul, can benefit him in life. Because, all this theory is nice, but the practical use of it, is also important, maybe much more than the theory itself and also applicable in real life. So, it is imperative to understand, that the improvement of one's live, is not a result of the betterment of his environment, but of his character or differently put, his soul. Just think, that there are all kinds of different people, some of them living in an environment worse than you do, some of them leaving with much less money than you, or being less loved and more lonely than you are and there are also a lot of people, that live in a better environment than you, there are those that have more money than you, or have a more love in their lives, by having found maybe their soul-mate, or having a big loving family. And now think, that there are people happier and unhappier than you, who live in both of there categories. There are people, who has suffered a lot in their lives and somehow still managed to be happy and good and there are people that life offered everything someone could possible ask for, like love, family, money etc and are still not happy, or even worse they destroyed what was given to them. Why is that? Well the answer is simple. It is because these people are different from one another. They have different characters and they react different in similar situations. What makes our live and what shapes our world is us and we and only we are in charge of our happiness and we are strictly responsible for the happiness of our loved ones. Of course the situations that we have been through in our lives can affect us and shape, not only our environment, but also our character, but another person in the same position as us, could have given up long ago, or could have done much better, depending of his decisions and actions. And on what does someone's decisions and actions depend on? His character of course! The way we deal with our situations that life brings us and the way we interact with the people around us, from the smallest to the most important decision, is based on our character and if we better it, we will be led into a whole different path and will change our life positively.
  The definition of madness is to do the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. How would you expect the situation and the environment of your life to better, if you don’t improve the way you take your decisions and the way you behave? If your character remains the same, the sad truth is that the conditions in which you are living your life, will remain approximately constant, even though your environment or life style may change. That is due to the fact, that the way we see and feel the world is entirely subjective and the only that dictates how happy we are or how good we feel, is not money, a rich life, or a comfortable house, but our emotions. Happiness, is an emotion and therefore it depends only on how we perceive the world and not how the world is. That is the reason why people with far less materialistic goods or even love and family than us, are somehow happier, while humans who live in a far better materialistic or more loving environment, are not happy. And everything we wish to obtain in life, is in order to try to make our self or the people we love happy. But again, the thing that makes the biggest difference in the life of our loved ones, is us, since we are also such a big part of their lives! Furthermore, if we wish to improve the world we live in, we must change actions and start to act differently, more sensitive and help to make a difference. The fact remains, that if we do not change our actions, our live will not change and in order to ensure that you will take a different path, a better one, you must change you behaviour and your decision or simply put, your character.
  Finally, as i have stated in my previous article (http://theoryofhope.blogspot.ca/…/firstof-all-in-order-to-m… ) the only way to achieve happiness is to improve your character. Everything else a person tries to acquire (e.g. money, love, goods), is in order for him to find happiness, but as i have stated that is not the right way to find it. Instead, one should focus his energy and time more into improving himself and bettering his character, by taking control of his negative emotions. In the very end, no matter how much love or materialistic goods one have, how can he be happy when his souls is being ravaged by negative emotions, like anger, hate or gloat? And how can he be good towards his close ones, his society and even with him self, when he is being pushed into making bad choices, driven by resentment, jealousy or envy? If one does not seize control of his left horse, it matters not how good and fair life is to him, he will never be as happy and he will never be as a positive influence for his society or his friends as he could have been, if he had improved his character. Sadly, humans can never achieve perfection and will always have flaws in their character, but that should not dishearten us from trying, because the way one should look at that matter, is that there will always be room for improvement.
  All in all, the thing that is the most important in our lives, is our soul, since it is not something that we possess, but it is what we truly are and unlike everything else, it is forever. Therefore, we should focus on taking care of it, by improving our character via controlling our negative emotions and emphasizing on the good ones. Moreover, this will have many positive aspects in our lives and will lead us to a different way of thinking and behaving, which will result in improving our world and environment.
                                                                                                         Andreas Sarchosis

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