In behaviorist psychology thinking about the purpose of life was considered a sign of mental disorder. It seems an incomprehensible judgment over what is considered by many as a token of intelligence.
In some cases the old psychological school may have been right, though. To accept life as it comes is a gift we have to cherish. Those who have gone through a depression – a dark night of the soul – will fully understand what absence of joy in life means.
In a state of despair or depression one will try to fill the emptiness, caused by a lack of life instinct, by searching for an acceptable explanation and a good reason to go on living. Unfortunately the intellect at such moments will not be able to provide one.
Chronic states of depression should be taken seriously – one should not consider it a failure to take recourse to anti-depressants as the cause may be somatic.
Admittedly, the mind is in need of some form of philosophy. Especially when one harbors a completely outdated orthodox view from childhood. Many are burdened by a trauma because of instilled fears for imaginary sins. In such cases a greater view of life comes as a blessing.
There is a limit, however. Pondering may become morbid. Some major mysteries cannot be solved by the mind. The reason for suffering in the world is one of them and may better be left alone until one has grown to a state of consciousness in which questioning disappears.
We may learn a lesson from animals which are free from such deliberations. All species are instilled with a life instinct that drives them on. They have no security, do not know how they will survive from one moment to the next, yet accept life as it comes without hesitation and qualms. Alas, such dedication is exceptional for man. His mind stands in his way.
Life should be seen as an eternal process of joyous spiritual discovery and growth: in the beginning stages of earthly life, the individual undergoes a period of training and education which, if it is successful, gives him or her the basic intellectual and spiritual tools necessary for continued growth. When individuals attain physical maturity in adulthood, they become responsible for their further progress, which now depends entirely on the efforts they themselves make.
Through the daily struggles of material existence, people gradually deepen their understanding of the spiritual principles underlying reality, and this understanding enables them to relate more effectively to themselves, to others, and to God. After physical death, the individual continues to grow and develop in the spiritual world, which is greater than the physical world, just as the physical world is greater than the world we inhabit while in our mother’s womb.