Originally Posted by impaul99
All this would mean that there is no real meaning to life, in the sense that the only reason for life to exist is so that we can experience the polar opposites of pain and pleasure in all their different forms.
If that's the case, then that would mean that there is no point in trying to help the suffering people in the world because they are SUPPOSED to be suffering so that God can experience what suffering feels like in order to appreciate non-suffering somewhere else in the world.
Would that mean that if your life is somewhat happy, you should try to make it complete absolute bliss so that God can experience bliss through your life, and if your life sucks right now it's because you're supposed to experience pain in this lifetime so you might as well make yourself experience a LOT of pain by becoming more and more destructive?
This seems like a flawed concept. Also, throughout our history I am pretty sure that someone out there at some point must have endured torturous agony and pain beyond belief so if God already experienced that once why have ANY pain in our lives? Same goes for pleasure. If God wants to know what it feels like to feel proud, isn't there someone already out there who has felt proudness to a super high level so that we don't have to try to achieve it?
In either case, pain, suffering, proudness, pleasure seem all like human emotions. Why would God want to experience these anyways? And if he did, why not just experience them directly like manifest himself as a human being in a void of black space and then manifest feeling intense pain for however long he feels like testing that feeling out and then manifest intense pleasure in this body for however long he wants to test it out and then end the experiment. Why invent a whole world of cars, trees, insects, stop signs, pens, computers, cellular phones, light switches etc. just to experience the range of human emotion indirectly?
Paul, Buddhism can help you answer those questions. To the Buddhists, all life is suffering.
Sounds depressing, doesn't it?
point of view, how could happiness and bliss be suffering? But from the Buddha's
point of view, anything else than enlightenment pales in comparison.
That's why the Buddhists say to be stuck in the wheel of reincarnation is suffering, for exactly the same reasons you mention, that we're still experiencing the polar opposites of life and subject to the twists and turns of outrageous fortune.
The ultimate purpose of life is to gain enlightenment, to mix it back up with the idea of God, it's returning to the Source, so that one day when all beings gain enlightenment and return to God, God shall have known all of existence.
And the way to gain enlightenment is through personal development and growth; the betterment of our being.