Who Am I And Why Am I Here?
Who Am I? - The Struggle
Who am I? A few years ago on an international flight, a man found himself in deep conversation with a woman who was on her way to a New Age self-help conference. “You have all the truth you need inside of you,” she told him. “You are god.”
Next, a high school student told a man about his abusive father. “I’m sorry,” he said. “You don’t deserve that.” The young man looked back at him with hollow eyes and said, “My dad says that I deserve it. He thinks I’m worthless.”
Then, a student leader at a large Christian school admitted to another man that he struggled with same-sex attraction. “I used to think it was just a phase,” he said. “But I have come to realize it’s who I am.”
These are just a couple of cases representing our struggles to find who we are. Of course, there are as many examples, as there are people.
Who Am I? - The Identity Crisis
Throughout our culture, there seems to be an identity crisis. People do not know who they are. Daily, we are bombarded with lies. “You are what you look like.” “You are what you buy.” “You’re just an animal with a conscience.” “You are whatever you choose to be.” “You are nothing.”
No wonder people are confused.
So then, what’s behind this struggle of identity? Well, It comes down to worldview. Because we are made in the image of God/Source, God is the fixed reference point on which our design, purpose, and value are established. If we want to know who we are, we must start by looking not around (at others) but at looking within (at ourselves), our Higher-Self. Our Divine Self.
Who Am I? - The Spiritual Element
Who am I? For those who reject or forget God/Source, like atheists, humans are just here. What makes humans valuable then? We look around for the best, the brightest, or the coolest. Of course, those who are weak, disabled, or otherwise misfit ... are left out. History, as well as the daily news, tells of the horrible consequences of this way of thinking.
Pantheists (the universe as God), on the other hand, say that god is an abstract principle in all of us. Therefore we need only look within for our value. Of course, some find in themselves a desire to help others, while others find in themselves a desire to hurt others. If everyone is god, whose view is right?
Without exception, cultures without spiritual basis, thus failing to recognize God/Source ... inevitably dehumanize people. The biblical worldview, in contrast, teaches that we are brilliantly created by God and designed for His noble purpose. Though sinful (ignorant and mistaken), we can be reconciled to God through the Christ Consciousness within, and come to a proper understanding of our true Self ... not ego-self.
Why Am I Here? - A Fundamental Question
Why am I here on earth? Where did I come from? What am I worth? Do I have any intrinsic value? Do I serve a purpose? These are all fundamental questions. They are life's "big questions."
How we answer these questions determines how we see the world and how we treat the world. Because you are a part of the world, how you see the world also determines how you see and treat yourself. So, it's important that we resolve these fundamental questions. And it's important that we discover the honest Truth. Wrong answers to important questions ... are not helpful.
Where do we start in our search for the Truth? We begin ... at the beginning. Perhaps the most fundamental question is: does God exist? And, who or what is God? It's fundamental because our answers to the other "big questions" actually hinge on how we answer this significant question.
Why Am I Here? - The Atheistic Worldview
Why I am here? Well, if God doesn't exist, that means that life must have come about through some natural impersonal, unintelligent, and ultimately purposeless process ... somewhat random.
That means we're ultimately as purposeless as the very process which brought us into existence. Life's just an accident and so are you. You can find short term reasons for living like you're here because your parents wanted to have children, etc., but ultimately you're just an accident and so are your parents.
The Atheist view is that life is one big accident. You serve no purpose, you'll cause no lasting effect, and in the grand scheme of things your journey through this life is utterly purposeless. Without a Creator/Source (an intelligent origin) in the beginning, there was nobody around to put you here on purpose which means you aren't here for a reason. It's that simple.
As far as asking "what am I worth," without God/Source, we don't actually have an intrinsic value, at least not an objective one. Our worth is ultimately subjective. You might think you're worth something but someone else might think you're worthless, and as long as there's no transcendent Assessor to have the final say, no one's ultimately right or wrong. There is no standard point of reference.
In fact, without God/Source (the reasoning within), there's really no such thing as right or wrong. John Dewey (1859-1952), the famous 20th century atheist explained, "There is no God and there is no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or moral absolutes."
Philosophers generally agree ... without an absolute God/Source (Divine Law) (designer or architect) to make the rules, there is no such thing as a moral absolute; there are only preferences. You don't actually have a right to live; you just prefer not to die. Someone else on the other hand might want to kill you regardless of how you feel about it, and who is to say that they're wrong? In the absence of absolute morality, power reigns supreme; the strong survive and the weak get exploited. It is our purpose to transmute darkness to light, and chaos to order.
Thankfully most governments see it as their duty to uphold what they see as your God-given right to live, and governments also happen to be the strongest institution among men (which means they can enforce morality upon those who don't necessarily agree with your right to live).
The founders of the United States of America put it well when they declared, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Unfortunately, some governments don't share this worldview and their people suffer terribly for it.
Why Am I Here? - The Theistic Worldview
Why am I here? Well, if God does exist, that means that God/Source Energy is ultimate reality. If you were created for a reason, that's ultimately why your here. If you're valuable to the universe, that's ultimately what you're worth.
What Source Energy through immutable Laws says is right, is absolutely right and what Source says is wrong is absolutely wrong. Universal Laws cannot be changed. We may be free moral agents with the freedom to make moral decisions, but that doesn't mean we can choose what actually is right or wrong; that just means we're capable of choosing to be right or wrong. God/Law makes the rules.
The question is: does God/Source enforce them? Will God ever hold us accountable for our moral decisions? The prevailing instinct among the majority seems to be that, yes, God will hold us accountable. It's as if most people instinctually know that one day they're going to have to explain all the bad things they've done (which of course means that they also instinctually know that there is such a thing as moral absolutes).
Remember also, that through the Law of Cause And Effect (karma), we are not "punished" FOR our sins (wrong thinking and actions), but we are "punished" BY our sins (ignorant thinking and decisions). Sin literally means missing the mark/target. So we do a re-take, because it was a mis-take, and as we learn and refine our thoughts ... we hit the mark of Truth ... the bullseye.
The point is, if God/Source Energy really does exist, terms like "justice," "purpose," and "morality" aren't abstract notions: God has a purpose for you (that's why your Soul is here in this body), God is the one who instituted Universal Law ... morality, and in the end, justice will prevail. It is the default. That's a comforting thought to some, but it's terrifying to others.
So don't begin by asking, "Why am I here?" Begin by asking, "Does God exist?" and "who or what is God to you?" If Source Energy doesn't exist there's really no point in asking "why am I here?" - everything is ultimately pointless. And if Source Energy does exist, you'll discover your reason for living when you discover who and what God is within you. So begin at the beginning.
Just a thought ...
~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.
My thanks to All About Philosophy.