Saturday, March 7, 2020

Hobby vs. Purpose

Observation: in modern times, the trend is to make a certain lifestyle our purpose, but lifestyle is an effect of purpose.

Many people report feeling unfulfilled and suicide rates and mental illness are higher than ever. Could some of this be a result of the nihilistic thinking that permeates post-modern society?

This is a difficult topic for me, and I'm nowhere close to having it sorted. I tend toward nihilism, I can find peace in the notion that there is no purpose or meaning to life, that alone can drive and inspire me. Still, I think more richness can be found in other approaches to life, specifically those oriented toward purpose and meaning. Eventually, just working toward our own goals becomes dull. More layers of depth are required, at least for me.

Distinction: hobbies are the what and how; purpose is the why.

Some examples of my own (a list which is ever-evolving):

purpose: individual freedom and autonomy; what: having a homestead with systems of self-reliance and beauty in place; how: establishing online and passive income streams that free me from the shackles of exchanging hours for dollars

purpose: transcendence; what: higher level day to day relationship with reality; how: paying close attention; knowledge accumulation- research and contemplation of traditions, philosophy, spirituality, literature, and history (both human and natural)

purpose: leaving the world a bit better; what: contribution ; how: either through raising a virtuous family, and if this is not in my cards, to contribute by helping others via charity, service, creation of content, frequent acts of kindness, taking care of my parents when they become elderly, and spending a great deal of time studying esoteric philosophies and eventually contributing to seekers in those circles.