This is a question that we all ask ourselves at some point in our life. Usually, it is a thought that pops into our mind when life isn’t going quite as well as we’d like. It is when we question the purpose of our life experiences?
So, what is the answer? We search through vast numbers of religions, alternate ideas, read Greek Mythology or Ancient Celtic texts, or perhaps early Sanskrit texts. The only thing that we find in any (or all) of these things, is a set of basic ideas on how to best live our lives to complement our happiness, personal growth, social acceptance and generally how to get on with every other life form on the planet. All of that can take a lifetime, but doesn’t really answer the question – Why?
Perhaps the ‘Why?’ is because we are the only species to ask ourselves that question. All other animals have varying degrees of self awareness, but perhaps are not interested in the ‘Why?’ We don’t really know that, but we humans guess that they are not intelligent enough to contemplate their existence. This is perhaps our greatest misunderstanding. Perhaps every animal has its own form of ‘Why?’
So, ‘Why am I Here?’
What is the reason for a physical existence? Our thinking mind seems to be independent of the day to day physiological function of our bodies. Indeed, some mystics claim to have ‘out of body’ existences and others claim to be able to live without food and water! This of course is impossible for most of us. But, there are times when we wonder if there is a reason for a separate thinking mind?
Imagine that your thinking mind is independent of your body but nevertheless inherited and a part of all consciousness. A sort of accumulation of all your ancestors, passed on through the genome from generation to generation. Would this explain why often generations of children find themselves following similar occupations to their parents, grandparents, great, great grandparents? Even when they are not aware that they are copying a set of behaviours, many children choose the same path as those that have gone before them.
This idea of inheriting our thoughts or ideas would explain the Buddhist belief of Karmic lives. But it is more than that. Taken to its nth degree, we would be the embodiment of all that has ever lived (if we believe this idea). It is an interesting thought. If we are everything, then we are joined to everything and influence everything.
The ‘Why?’ is explainable, if we imagine that to influence everything, everything must also be independent to choose. Without independence, we have no diversity and without diversity, we have no change or movement. The Earth is a dynamic changing planet because of us and all other life upon it. So far it is unique in the Universe. The ‘Why?’ is because we and other lifeforms manifest a concious living planet that supports all life. So we are here to keep our planet alive, evolving and interactive in its life forms. We, and all living entities form the consciousness of everything through a mass connection with each and every molecule that makes up the physical world.
There is some interesting material on how science approaches the topic of conciousness, to be found in a 2014 TED conference talk, given by David Chalmers: