Take two on finding a fundamental purpose for my life.The original post is here: https://erikbenson.typepad.com/mu/2003/0...
I came to the realization that to the extent that we all have a fundamental purpose, we all have the same meta-fundamental purpose:
To be certain that we have fulfilled our fundamental purpose.
Though it appears to still leave the fundamental purpose unresolved, it does reveal to us a dependency of our fulfillment of our meta-fundamental purpose: there must be a mechanism available that provides certainty.
I think this leads to an interesting forking in paths, because I feel like most of my goals in life are subconciously trying to attack this problem of certainty, and in order to be certain of our certainty, somewhere down the line this certainty must take another form. The easiest way to be certain of something is to be aware of all possible choices. To have all possible choices, I need to have omniscience and omnipotence (maybe they are the same thing).
How convenient, because the core fundamental purpose that I work with on a daily basis is to prove myself–to show that I am smart enough, capable enough, able to make the right decisions, able to be certain of my path in life. There is a crossroads at which my daily working fundamental purpose meets with the path that I get to by stepping down from my meta-fundamental purpose. At that crossroads is a desire to have everything.
It’s not really a stretch of my imagination to believe that rooted in each one of us is the desire to have everything beyond all limits of power, reason, and possibility. It’s the same desire a small cloud of smoke feels when it is exhaled from our lungs into open space. Fill everything. Occupy every single space that exists.
The interesting thing, though, is that I think this desire is slightly misinformed. Our fundamental purpose is not really to have everything, but rather having everything is the “easiest” (depending on how you define easy… in this case easiest in the sense of number of steps between here and the end goal) way to be certain that we have fulfilled our fundamental purpose. The only reason it is the easiest is because we’ve never defined a real purpose or goal to our entire lives and so we have to instead attempt to reach a peak where all possible goals become possible.
If I could only articulate a single fathomable fundamental purpose to myself, then it might turn out that I did not have to step through the omniscience hoop in order to get there. The only problem is that I would have to solve the equation for obtaining certainty without being omniscient. For, without certainty, how can we ever know if we’ve done anything for sure? That may be the kicker. Help?