The Purpose of Existence

The question, What is the purpose of existence? has puzzled humanity for centuries. The Epicurean avoided it with his motto, "Eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow we die." The Spartan answered it by the development of the physique. To some the purpose of existence has been the accumulation of wealth, of material possessions; to others, the acquiring of material knowledge. To still others it has become inseparable from some human personality. To the average man, deep in the affairs of daily living, the purpose of existence seems to be the earning of a sufficient wage to provide material necessities. There are others whose purpose of existence is the realization of a high ideal, the emancipation of a people, or the accomplishment of a needed reform. To the artist it is painting of a great picture; to the author, the writing of an exceptional book; to the inventor, the perfecting of a new machine. Yet when all is said and done, when the material purpose has been accomplished, although it may bring joy for a time according to the service rendered, a yearning for something higher remains, and still the question, What, after all, is the purpose of existence? remains unanswered.

Among all the types of mankind, be their ideals high or low, there are those who are so overwhelmed by the sorrow, weariness, and wickedness of material existence that they despairingly question the use of it all, and cry with Job, "My soul is weary of my life." Tired of chasing shadows, of serving material gods and pressing toward material goals, men grope for something higher, and almost unconsciously yearn for spiritual understanding; but to understand existence we must understand the source of all real being. Mrs. Eddy says on page 306 of Miscellany, "Divinity alone solves the problem of humanity."

To acquaint ourselves with God we naturally turn to the Bible, which, illumined as it is through the teachings of Christian Science, is a wonderful guide in all things. We find that the patriarchs and the prophets caught clear glimpses of God; but it remained for Christ Jesus to express most fully the divine nature. Christ Jesus was the most Godlike man, the highest and best expression of God. His mission was to reveal the nature of God, not alone by words, but more especially by his healing work. A thorough understanding and study of Jesus' earthly life, his words, and his works will illumine and broaden our sense of existence and reveal much that is applicable to the solution of our daily problems.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Correct Reasoning
March 29, 1919

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.