Below is a very brief introduction to The Aetherius Society’s approach to the question “What is the meaning of life?” which will hopefully give you a slightly better idea of the wonder and depth of this vast and mysterious subject.
People often talk about the “meaning of life” as though it were totally out of our reach – completely unknown and unknowable – to such an extent that the very phrase itself is, to the more cynically minded, virtually meaningless – or even comical.
If people do talk about it, trying to give serious answers, all-too-often these amount to little more than religious dogmas based on myth, or – worse – vague pseudo-spirituality which is just materialism in a pretty package.
And yet, all the while, this great and wonderful truth is just waiting to be found – by all of us! More amazing still, it can be found in all sorts of different philosophies and spiritual paths. As Mahatma Gandhi famously, and wisely, said: “Truth is one, paths are many.” The meaning of life is not unique to one religion – with all the others being false, as some may claim. It is above that. It is above any single religion – or path – or philosophy. It is above everything – and yet it is the very essence of everything – for it is an aspect of God itself.
As such, it is not easy to explain in words – because it is of course above words. As it says in the opening lines of the Taoist classic known as the Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching): “The way that can be spoken of is not the eternal way; the name that can be named is not the eternal name.” Spiritual truth, which is the source of all truth, is something to be realized by our whole being – and cannot be successfully intellectualized.
What is the meaning of life?
1) The reason we exist:
All living things exist in order to gain experience. To learn life’s lessons. Different forms of life and different individuals have different lessons to learn at different times. The law of karma is what provides us with these lessons.
Why does life exist in order to gain experience? Because in the beginning the Absolute – God in its highest sense – chose to “wrap itself up”, as it were, in the form of manifestation – i.e. the universe, while at the same time remaining greater than, and above, the manifestation which it had created. Through spiritual evolution, which is the result of learning the lessons of experience, the Divine spark within all life becomes less and less “wrapped up” in manifestation. This means that as we evolve spiritually we become an ever-brighter reflection of the Divine source from which we came, like unwrapping a beautiful light. The ultimate goal is to go back to God, having gained all necessary experience.
Our journey through spiritual evolution is explained in more depth in The Nine Freedoms.
2) What we need to do:
We need to raise kundalini. This is the mystical power within us which gives us life. By gaining control over it, we gain higher states of awareness which bring us ever closer to God-consciousness. To master kundalini is to master life on Earth.
3) How to do it:
There are many spiritual practices in the yoga tradition designed to raise kundalini. Some are quick but dangerous and should be avoided by the overwhelming majority of people. Some are slow and safe and are to be encouraged. However the focus of all spiritual aspirants should be selfless service to others, and all self-development should revolve around service. Service causes the rise of kundalini in a natural unforced fashion.