Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What is the purpose of life?“
The purpose of life is to attain the highest and most exalted state that nature prepared for us: to ascend above our inborn egoistic selves and gain a clear understanding, perception and sensation of why we—and nature on all of its levels, inanimate, vegetative, animate and human—exist.
Moreover, the purpose of life cannot be forced upon or shown to anyone, similarly to how we cannot prove mathematical laws to cats. Instead, every person needs to discover the purpose of life for themselves: to elevate themselves in perception and sensation until they gain a complete vision and feeling of reality.
The ascension above our inborn egoistic nature to the discovery of nature’s wholeness is the fullest meaning of becoming a human being. In Hebrew, the word for “human” is “Adam,” which stems from the phrase, “Adameh le Elyon” (“similar to the most high”), which means that if we rise above our narrow egoistic perception and attain a whole perception of reality, we fulfill our role of becoming “human” in the fullest sense of the term.
In principle, there are two forces in nature: reception (egoism, negative) and bestowal (altruism, positive). We are born and raised solely on the force of reception, which is expressed in us as egoism: the desire to enjoy at the expense of anything or anyone outside of oneself.
Our egoism develops and grows over many generations, from a small desire to enjoy that demands nothing more than its basic survival needs—food, sex, family and shelter—to a bigger ego that requires fulfillment from myriad social connections—money, wealth, honor, respect, fame, control, power and knowledge. In our era, we have reached a uniquely significant transition point where we bear witness to our egoistic development reaching a dead end, i.e., feeling it increasingly hard to feel fulfilled from egoistic pursuits, which also gives rise to a plethora of negative attitudes in society—people taking out their dissatisfaction on each other more and more, leading to increasing polarization and hatred throughout society.
Today’s overblown egoism thus points the way to the need for us to draw an opposite, positive and altruistic force in order for us create balanced relations among each other and with nature.
Both our inborn egoism as well as the positive altruistic force stem from nature, and the purpose of life is that we apply ourselves to attract nature’s positive altruistic force above our egoistic one, in order that we live in balance and harmony with nature.