Watching the movie Defending Your Life generated a discussion and prompted the age-old question, “Why are we on Earth?”
The post-movie discussion included such questions as: Is being on Earth or going back to Earth a “punishment” for not learning some sort of lesson? Is the “karmic” payback of having to be on Earth just a way for some people to rationalize some sort of “guilt” about what they experienced in a past or present life?
If God knows all and experiences all through every human being on Earth, then what really do we have to do as individuals? If God already knows everything, why, as some believe, does our soul group sit around a table deciding what we are going to experience when we go to Earth?
Which brings back the original question: “Why are we on Earth?”
My online search for the meaning of life lead me to a quotation that really resonated with me. Joseph Campbell (The Hero’s Journey) said, “Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”
So each of us is the meaning. We bring our soul to earth and make life what we want. Then “experiencing” life seems to be the answer. I believe God said, “Go to Earth and experience life in the human form.” It was not, “You made a mistake, go back.”
I have always liked this quotation: “We are not human beings going through a temporary spiritual experience, but spiritual beings going through a temporary human experience.” That makes more sense now; my human experience allows me to try out Earth in a human body. My spiritual being can try unlimited things in the world, and my human body will experience the consequences, good or bad.
Nobel Prize winning author Hermann Hesse once said, “I believe that I am not responsible for the meaningfulness or meaninglessness of life, but that I am responsible for what I do with the life I’ve got.” This also reinforces experiencing life as a reason for being on Earth.
Of course, experiencing life can happen in all kinds of ways. While my kids were growing up, we took them to a number of theme parks. The Disney group — Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Epcot — were my favorites. Each park provides its own unique experiences. Parks like Magic Kingdom were great when my kids were young, but not so great when they were teenagers. I would visit some parks, like Epcot, even without my kids; it is a place that I enjoyed as an adult. Thinking back about past trips, maybe a soul’s time on Earth is like a trip to a “giant” theme park.
Remember your first roller coaster ride? Did you like it? Some people put their hands in the air and scream with delight, while others grasp the safety bars and scream with fear. I think that’s how we experience life. When the human experience is over, the questions will be: What did you think? Did you have fun? Did you learn anything? Was your experience on Earth a scream of fear or a scream of delight?
When this time is over and I am sitting at the conference table on my “exit interview,” what questions will my soul group (or God) ask? Will the soul group want to know what I learned this time around? Did I enjoy it? Do I want to go back? Do I need to go back?
I wouldn’t go back because I am being punished or because I didn’t learn a lesson, but because I want to experience something else that human form offers. The author Welwyn Wilton Katz once said, “Life is a fairy tale. Live it with wonder and amazement.”
Sounds like maybe we should live our life to the fullest and just enjoy the experience. I didn’t really care for Magic Kingdom, but that doesn’t mean I can’t go back and experience the wonder and amazement of Epcot again. Hmm…so maybe there are lessons to be learned, too.