What is LIFE?

Oh yes, just what, exactly, is life? I would like to open a discussion.

“We don’t have a very good definition of life,” said researcher Christopher Voigt of the University of California, San Francisco, who works on synthetic biology. “It’s a very abstract thing, what we call life, and at what point we say something doesn’t have the necessary components versus it does, it just becomes way too murky.”

Perhaps Aristotle was the first to attempt to define life, and his proposal boils down to life being something that grows and maintains itself (he called this “nutrition”) and reproduces.

In 1944, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger defined life as that which resists decaying to disorder and equilibrium.

The question of what exactly is life or what constitutes life has dogged scientists since the early days. There are many other interlinked questions,

What is the Purpose of Life?

Everybody has wondered at one time or another why they exist. What is my purpose in life? Is there even a purpose in life? If there is, what is it?

How do I find my purpose in life?

Perhaps, the purpose of life is to be happy

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” – Denis Waitley

Perhaps, the purpose of life is to leave a legacy

“All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine.” – Jim Rohn

Perhaps, the purpose of life is to love others

“Not only do self-love and love of others go hand in hand but ultimately they are indistinguishable.” – M. Scott Peck

Perhaps, the purpose of life is to create your own meaning

“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” – Joseph Campbell

Perhaps, the purpose of life is to make a positive difference

“Aim to make a difference in someone’s life every single day, including your own.” Dow Zantamata

Perhaps, the purpose of life is to find something important enough to justify suffering

“If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering.” – Viktor Frankl

There are numerous answers to the question: what is the purpose of life?

I like the simple but effective description by Steve Maraboli,

This life is for loving, sharing, learning, smiling, caring, forgiving, laughing, hugging, helping, dancing, wondering, healing, and even more loving. I choose to live life this way. I want to live my life in such a way that when I get out of bed in the morning, the devil says, ‘aw shit, he’s up!

And finally, perhaps, the meaning of life, of our life, is that which we choose to give it.

Pray, do share your thoughts.

Jonathan Solomon
Jonathan Solomon
JONATHAN is a Finnish citizen of Indian origin and in the early 70’s was one of the very few “foreigners” to be granted a full construction license in Finland. Concentrating solely on the upper market and by identifying very talented architects he not only built exclusive homes in one of Europe’s most difficult countries, but also designed and crafted unique bespoke furniture specifically suited for these homes. He has been involved in various projects in over 20 countries. He is the Executive Trustee of an American Foundation involved in humanitarian projects. He brings his international experience and cultural understanding to create new exciting design solutions to satisfy even the most discerning Client. His clients include celebrities, VIP from the various segments of society and from the hospitality industry. He has managed an international interior design studio responsible for both residential and corporate projects and implemented numerous furniture procurement contracts.

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  1. If I had to give my definition of what life is, it would be: “it is what you want it to be”, neither more nor less, because even though we are all human beings, we do not all see the same way even though we live the one next to each other.
    Life is what we believe it is and the more we expect from it, the more it will give us. Life can go in different directions, but we choose which ones to take.

    • Aldo, thank so very much for adding your perspective to this discussion which, many of us seem to take it ‘matter-of-factly’. But … yes, Life is not easy or hard, life is not cruel or soft, life is what we make it.

      Everybody, whether rich or poor, from whatever culture we may come from, or whatever level of society we find ourselves in, wants to happy in life. I guess we all dream for a prefect life. Perhaps, the purpose of life is not necessarily to be happy – but to Matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that we have somehow lived at all. Life is many things. Perhaps, Life’s purpose was never to live to define the phenomenon, only to live a life worthy of the gift we have been given.
      Life is indeed an opportunity; it is God’s greatest gift. Life, full of promise, let each of us use it wisely.

  2. Another way at looking at life which I read was compared to a train journey. You get in at a station share the journey with your co passengers and how you share and enjoy that journey is left to us. Everyone will get off at his/her designated stop and the same applies to us. You board the train and get off however both the boarding station and the one you disembark is not in our hands but decided by our Creator.
    My idea of an ideal train journey is interacting, mingling with co-passengers, helping where you can, enjoying every bit of the journey until our final destination arrives.

    • Thank you, Suresh, for being a part of this discussion and for sharing your insights into going through life. Your analogy of the train is interesting and would also be influenced by the people of different countries and cultures, faiths. Others have also portrayed it as being participants as we all walk along life’s pathway.

      Dan Millman once said,”There is no path to Happiness. Happiness is the path. There is no path to Love. Love is the path. There is no path to Peace. Peace is the path.

      “I don’t always know where this life is going. i can’t see the end of the road, but here is the great part: courage is not about knowing the path. It is about taking the first step.” Katie Davis

  3. Your eyes open and life begins. Your eye close and it’s done. You blink and you’re old. You smile, you cry, you laugh, and you die. Life is a moment of time that has gone bye. Smile at me, love me, enjoy me, hug me, cry with me, think about me, that the meaning of life. Sharing the love in heart and life in the soul. God gave us life to open your heart and see life. Life is us.

    • Thank you Robert, for sharing in the discussion The meaning of life has always perplexed humankind. From the Bible to various schools of life, all focus on comprehending the meaning of life and the creation of humanity.
      In the journey to understand the same, it was discovered that people find fulfillment in various ways- some through the love of their family, some by being successful and then there are those who renounce it all to search for something greater.

      The purpose of life varies for everyone based on their awareness and understanding; no two people will have the same perspective or purpose in life

      The whole purpose of life is to love God above all else, and for people to love their fellowmen as they love themselves. All the laws mentioned in the Old Testament and the New Testament, and all the prophets in the Bible “depend on these two commandments.” (Read: Matthew 22:37-40)

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