The Purpose of Life…

I thought I would go with an easy topic this week πŸ˜‰

So, for me, the purpose of life is…

photo

In case you can’t read my handwriting, it says:

To: create value, and to

connect with, and give that value to others,

in order to foster evolution.

I’ll explain.

When I talk about value I mean: anything that adds life.Β  Value can be in anything that you create, do, or are.Β  It could be something you make with your hands, it could be a piece of art, it could be a meal, it could be a house; but it could just as easily be a feeling that you create within yourself and then share, orΒ an act of kindness towards yourself or another.Β  It could be telling the truth, it could be holding someones hand, it could be creating the 8th wonder of the world.

But creating value in a vacuum is empty.Β  To share the value that you have created with others results in a far greater and deeper happiness than creating value alone.

Happiness is not the same as pleasure.Β  Pleasure is generally momentary, and generally serves only the person partaking in it.Β  It is not lasting, nor does it necessarily benefit others (unless it holds value).Β  Happiness is a different feeling.Β  It is hard to pin down with language, but we all know it when we feel it.

Now, I make no claim to knowing How Things Are, or Absolute Truth, or any of that.Β  This is simply an idea which I have found to be true in my life, and I offer it in case it has any value in yours.Β  If not, no biggie πŸ˜‰

And, on an entirely related subject:

the record is coming along very, very well.

Soon, soon soon.

[40 days till album release]


My name is James Radcliffe and I am a 100% audience supported independent artist.Β  If you like what I do (and can afford it) then please consider buying some of my music.Β  Each purchase really makes a big difference to me and 10% of every sale goes to a charity which: houses, feeds, clothes, and educates orphaned children in Nepal.

Also, every month I send out a newsletter packed with Interesting and Exclusive Things.Β  If you sign up today you’ll also get 3 FREE tracks of my music as a welcome gift.

Get 3 Free Tracks Now.

And lastly, if you’d like to find out what I’m up to on a more day-to-day basis then here is my brain on Twitter:

74 Comments

  1. Kindness, I find, is rare these days. I’m talking about true kindness, not superficial. I try to be optimistic everyday, but it’s very hard. Reading your post has started my day with hope instead of despair. Thank you:)

  2. Thanks for liking my post on Kindness and it brought me back to yours. I am envious that you know your purpose of your life….. I am seeking mine and I have a feeling I am getting closer. Thank you so much for this post, it is encouraging ( and yes, will check out your music and if any resonates with me) ….

  3. I have pondered the notion of the purpose of life for many hours, even days. I suspect I am saying the same thing as you when I say given that there is no “divine” or overarching single purpose for all, one has to determine one’s own purpose. I agree that it should include contributing something positive to others in a way that expresses one’s own humanity.

  4. Thank you for following my blog, Perspective. You have a very sublime way with words, and your music is of the same fabric. Very nice site. Having read something from my blog, you know my bent. Your thoughts on the purpose of life, giving and sharing value and the necessity of the giving and the sharing, it seems to me, is indicative of a God who is first and foremost creative, who has “relationship” within God’s own being, who’s image we reflect in our being. While some would certainly say that these things can reside within us, within humanity, within a universe without the necessity of a God. To which I would simply say that we know we did not create this existence; that such a purposeful existence we live suggests a larger, overarching Purpose. Peace on your journey!

    Kevin

    1. Hey there Kevin,
      Thankyou very much for your kind words, I really appreciate them. And thankyou also for stopping by and taking the time to write to me, it really means a lot.
      Hope you are having a good day,
      – J

  5. Hey James,
    I thought this was a particularly compelling analysis. I’ve argued in the past that one of the detrimental effects of post-enlightenment objectivity is that it’s led many people to search their lives for what is objectively valuable, rather than valuing anything; a mistake because to value is an action, a thing is valuable to you. I’ve also typically defined the meaning of life as love, valuing another person’s individuality, that is, their unique relationship to themself and their irreplaceable, qualitatively unique nature. That shares a lot of ground with your concept of giving value to others by forming connections with them. You also raise an intriguing new point- that connection with others involves sharing the value which you place upon the various objects and events in your life with them. It’s a rich, deep analysis.
    I think you’re right to say that these ideas do not constitute objective truth, but not because I find them to be inaccurate, rather because your stated reason for believing them is precisely the one I would recommend: because they are true for you. As it happens, I think for the most part these ideas are true for everyone, but they can’t just be accepted like a fact from a textbook, they have to be discovered to be true in one’s own life or not at all.

    1. Thankyou very much for your in depth, and rich analysis of this idea. When someone goes deep, they can get lost, but your arguments and reasoning are cogent, logical, and useful.
      I really enjoyed reading this.
      Best wishes,
      – J

  6. Thank you for liking my post it lead me to your blog then this post and then finally your music which I’m now playing, love is a river. Just what I’m feeling right now, feeling lonely. Lifted me up thank you

  7. Thank you for stopping by my blog, It gave me an opportunity to visit yours. You are a talented musician as well as a writer that uses his words well to convey a message that everyone can understand. I really liked this post especially where you state: “To share the value that you have created with others results in a far greater and deeper happiness than creating value alone.” It has the opportunity to affect others and can make a difference in their spirit. Wishing you many blessings for success in your music.

  8. Thank you for liking “Night Beauty.” I enjoyed reading your thoughtful post. I like that your concept of the purpose of life involves actions that spread positive energy and experiences to others.

  9. Good stab at a purpose in life. It works for me. But for me it is multilayered.
    I do not understand the overall purpose of mankind, or the universe as there are many questions but I have found no good answers. God for me has not meddled since the big bang.

    “It is what it is, but what does it mean – We are ignorant parts in a greater machine (evolution of mankind).
    “We are free to choose our own purpose, without fear if we dare
    As we run too fast from a life not fair”

    Life is inherently not fair but once accepted can be forgotten – we are born we live and we die, we compete for we know not why – Depending on where we are in our lives our purpose can be big or small…inevitably love plays a big part.
    I have come to believe that while we have something to share (adding value) we have a purpose in life and that may be as small as a smile or a nice greeting.
    Thanks for visiting my blog.
    (Quotes are mine from a poem/song Black Hat)

  10. I love your music – it would be great for meditation and reminds me of some of the “out of the world” places I’ve visited high up in the wilderness. Glad you checked out my blog too. And you’re right the purpose to life is to evolve spiritually!

  11. When I saw the title to this post, I said to myself, “I’ve got to read this! Finally, someone with an answer!” I wasn’t disappointed. This is, by far, the best explanation to the proverbial “purpose of life” question I’ve ever heard. All the other explanations I’ve stumbled upon seem to be merely skimming the surface of what the actual purpose of life may be. I”m delighted to see someone fearlessly take the plunge below any surface meaning and do it eloquently as well. Bravo.

    1. Wow. Thankyou very much. I am humbled.
      I am really glad that you got something from this. Makes me happy. You are very kind.
      Hope you are having a good day,
      – J
      P.S. As a side note, I’m a big fan of your blog. πŸ˜‰

  12. Hi James, I think that’s a great perspective on life. I would agree that our lives have more meaning and purpose when we include others in the process. And I love your definition of value as adding life. Thanks for creating great music and words to “add value” for others.
    blessings, Brad

  13. Congrat’s on your music success and for creating a valued blog.

    I’ve often considered the “value of life” or the “Meaning” of life. Many people live with confusion and angst over this idea. They feel that they cannot be successful until they understand the meaning of life.

    I believe that life has no “meaning.” It does not exist for a purpose. There is no deity – other than the never ending wonder and force of nature. Religion was created because of our abject fear of death. Yet death is completely normal and natural. It is the relief of pain for many and the end for all. Death is not frightening, happy, sad, confusing or delightful. It is nothing – the complete lack of consciousness. Once we understand this, our fear of death is diminished and we can move on to individual goals.

    Evolution is reality. It is not a “theory.” It has been proven hundreds of thousands of times, from Darwin to Sagan. Life – all life – exists for one profound reason… to procreate and to evolve. All other considerations are secondary and of far less value. From the tiniest virus to the largest mammals, we evolved and we continue to evolve. Producing progeny is all that really matters. We should not have trouble comprehending this.

    This certainly does not mean we should stop tying to make our planet a better place for our progeny to live. From basic science to advanced cosmology, we can and should use our ability to create tools that make our planet better, cleaner and more safe for the next generations. But without the next generations, our effort carries no meaning.

    1. Hey there,
      First, thanks for your kind words, I really appreciate them.
      Your point of view is very interesting. And I think that the fact that you seem to have made your peace with death is a very laudable and courageous thing. It is certainly a generic fear that we all have to process / overcome / come to terms with in our lives. To proactively confront this is to be ahead of the curve for sure.
      I also agree with you that life is evolution. In a larger sense, that is the meaning behind the post. I think that, to create value and share that value with others is the fastest way to evolve. Selfishness puts the brakes on evolution and it was ever thus.
      Thanks for connecting and your well thought out points. I am glad to speak with you and hope you are well.
      – J

  14. I would like to sign up for email updates, but had a hard time finding where to sign up rather than just “follow”. Please show me the link. Also, my way to give back is through giftjoy.org. I use my art to support artists with special needs. It is always beautiful when we use our gifts to support others.

    1. Hey there Holly,
      First, thanks for wanting to sign up, that’s really cool.
      There should be a little form in the sidebar on my site, (just below the wordpress follower count). If you input your email address there, then you’ll receive the email updates. Hope that answers your question, but if it doesn’t then feel free to get back to me.
      I think it’s beyond great that you support artists with special needs thru your art. I agree with your ethos entirely.
      Having a portion of my album proceeds go to VSN and seeing the good work they do has been one of the real joys of releasing the record for me.
      It’s good to meet you,
      Best wishes,
      – J

    1. Hey hey,
      Thanks so much my friend, I’m glad you liked them. πŸ˜‰
      Album is done and out and doing well. I am now onto the next thing.
      Really hope this finds you well,
      Good luck with whatever you’re into,
      – J

  15. Reblogged this on Ginger Root and commented:
    I like his perspective and value of life. It’s valuable to experience life in HD of what my brain can handle. The HD only works if my house is in order, and I’m trying to give something away that holds value. Read it in this blog. Thank you for sharing this message.

  16. “You wander from room to room, searching for the diamond necklace that is already around your neck!” -Rumi

    It is the nature of human beings to be lost, initially and then during periods throughout our lives. We tend to search for anything outside ourselves to be the source of our pleasure, the source of our happiness. When these don’t do the trick, fleeting and unstable as they are, we look outside ourselves some more. In reality we need look no further than our own necks to find the shimmering hope, the limitless joy, the necessary empathic sustenance that keeps our souls from fading or stagnating. When we do manage to realize this, we can see that it is indeed the sharing of wisdom, the baking and breaking bread of experience with others that they may partake of a path (hopefully) less of needless suffering and more of personal development.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, James!

    1. Thankyou very much, for both the compliment AND the Rumi quote.
      I love Rumi. I have quite the thing for Sufi poetry AND music. It is ass-kickingly good.
      I am glad to have met you, and hope you are well,
      Best wishes,
      – J

        1. It’s interesting to note that the body represents a casing in skin that takes food, or fuel, to work. Body, mind and spirit all thrive on the same, but different sometimes, elements. If I neglect one area, I neglect it into nothingness. Perhaps than I become anorexic which deprives the rest. So, now i have no point, but i refuse to erase this.

          1. I respect very much your commitment to your words πŸ˜‰
            The body is totally important, it is fundamental. It seems that everything (mind / body / awareness) work synergistically – each influencing the other.
            Don’t become anorexic if you can help it. That doesn’t look like fun.
            I, also, refuse to erase this πŸ˜‰
            Hope you are well,
            – J

            1. Nope, far from anorexic, but at one time went from 125 to 97 pounds at 5’6. I know a little, or a lot about struggling. Have a good day. Hope it zooms by with blessings and pineapples .I’m weird.

  17. Hey James, not sure what brought you to my blog, would appreciate you letting me know so I can better understand my own traffic. but I hope you did genuinely like it and come back again soon. I’m new to this game and found your post on the meaning of life quite fascinating and must say I can’t disagree with any of it. Good luck with your work

    1. Thankyou very much sir.
      I believe I came to your blog thru the wordpress reader, I did a search under the keyword ‘world’ and was browsing thru the blogs that came up. I hope that helps. Thankyou for the luck, and thankyou for reaching out – it’s good to make connections! πŸ˜‰
      Best wishes,
      – J

Click Here To Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s