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The meaning of life

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Sufism and Metaphysics

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The meaning of life

Are all of life's hardships worth enduring? The answer depends on what our goal is in living. In fact, understanding the purpose of life is a slow and absorbing process. We sense its mystery while reflecting upon our existence and humanity. Therefore, our concept of life evolves gradually throughout our lives.

The purpose of our creation is obvious: to reach our utmost goals of belief, knowledge, and spirituality; to reflect on the universe, humanity, and God, and thus prove our value as human beings. Fulfilling this ideal is possible only through systematic thinking and systematic behavior. Thought will provoke action, and thereby start a "prosperous cycle." This cycle will produce more complex cycles, which are generated from between the spirituality of the heart and the knowledge of the brain, thereby developing evermore complex ideas and producing more ambitious projects.

Carrying out such a process calls for strong belief, consciousness, and understanding. People with these characteristics can perceive and analyze the unreflective lifestyles of others. Such people reflect, do what they believe to be right, and then reflect upon their behavior, thereby continually deepening their thoughts and acquiring new ideas. They believe that only those who reflect deeply are productive, and that the pain and suffering they endure make their belief stronger and more acceptable.

They live a life of reflection by observing creation every day, sometimes reading it like a book or embroidering their minds with the wisdom they acquire. Believing that the universe was created to be "read" and understood, they see the purpose of our creation as nothing less than that.

On its own, existence is the very bounty that leads us to a prosperous path of bounties. Given this, we should appreciate its value. Since we have been created along with an entire universe of bounties, we must then use these gifts and benefit from them.

To reach this goal, we must use our will power, a voice noticed and attached a value only by the AllPowerful One, and develop our abilities and skills to their furthest extent, thus proving ourselves to be willful beings. Our duty is to reflect upon our place in life, our responsibilities, and our relationship with this vast universe. We should use our inner thoughts to explore the hidden side of creation. As we do so, we will begin to feel a deeper sense of our selves, see things differently, witness that events are not what they seem, and realize that they are trying to communicate something to us.

I believe that this should be the real purpose of life. We are the most important living creations in this universe. In fact, we are more like its soul and essence, from which the rest of the universe develops. Given this, we should reflect upon and observe the universe so that we may realize and fulfill the purpose of our creation. Our duty is to hunt for insights and divine joys in our hearts and souls, for only this way of life can move us beyond the frustrating endeavors of a totally materialistic and painful life.

What makes this painful life worth living is the joy we feel while moving along the path and receiving these gifts. Those who walk this path are constantly delighted with various insights. They run enthusiastically toward their final goal like a river flowing to the sea.

We do not believe that happiness comes from temporary exterior sources. True happiness comes from within, deepens along with our relationship with God, and turns into an eternal life in heaven . . . yes, this is how joyful we are. Our inner world is a realm of Divine insights, and our consciousness is a follower of these insights. As we beckon and wait all our lives for the slightest glimpse, our souls sing in utter pleasure:

Our hearts are your throne, O King! Welcome to our hearts! (M. Lutfi)

Our generation needs guides to teach us how to achieve such belief, thought processes, and happiness. Their guidance will allow our youth to enjoy being young and live upright lives. They will experience existence and nonexistence as the same thing once they feel immortality in their souls; they will be able to realize that they can do more than they thought in only a couple of seconds. They will see the afterlife reflected in everything and thereby witness endless life; they will discover that life is worth living; they will witness that all creation rises and sets in their souls; and they will journey through the dimensions of their souls, just as if they were traveling through galaxies, observing infinity within the dimensions that they have reached during this mortal life.