By Craig Bridges
Sep 8, 2016
The concept of purpose is so significant in society on account of its justifications of our existence and demand to make efforts in sustaining this. However, in doing so we may be disconnecting ourselves from the natural order of things. Perhaps our existence is simply purposeless?
In today’s society the idea of purposelessness would be condemned as unfit, even shameful; as anything without a purpose could be seen to have no future. However, Chinese Taoists value the concept as a great thing of nature;
“like wandering on into a great forest with no thought of return.” (Alan Watts).
Capitalism however allows no time for walks in the woods. The business model which currently governs our purpose has implemented a strict program in “sustaining” our existence. We are conditioned from birth until death to be seeking a purpose; using each step to get to the next yet never really living in the present. Furthermore, it is a competitive system and our flawed concept of survival has become an individualistic one based on this competition.
“Our integrity is only as good as the integrity of that around us.” (Peter Joseph).
In a society organized by fear, competition, scarcity and consumption all integrity and understandings of purpose will disseminate based on this structure. As a result, our purpose is detached from nature and is integrated in the system we have constructed. The very purpose we have created is destroying us.
Is purposelessness our solution? Well for one it may make us healthier in general. In today’s society, we have become so wasted with individualism we have broken off from the natural existence of life. When its natural it is free, unshackled from the chains of manufactured difference.
Our current concept of purpose is a cancer on both our mental health and environment. Stress, anxiety and mental health issues have risen as a result of competition and individualism. Furthermore, our need to globalize, expand and survive at maximum capacity has resulted in serious resource depletion and environmental degradation. It may be time we found a new purpose, or even took time to forget we had a purpose altogether.