Finding your purpose…
Up until the 15th-16th centuries, our purpose was determined by religions, by ordinary daily routine tasks. Then science realised and proved that the Earth wasn’t the center of the universe, that there were other laws than those edicted by God to explain our mouvements. Philosophers started thinking what then could our purpose be, since it was not given by religion anymore.
At the end of the 19th century, F. Nietzsche in Germany (and in Italy as well as in Nice where he used to spend time for his health) explored these questions, especially in Thus spoke Zarathustra. And he proposes the following path for us human beings : we will find our purpose by first educating ourselves, before questioning the values of the systems around us. Then, and only then, we will be able to fully be, like a child who doesn’t stop because of the fears accumulated from the past, a child who is innocence and play.
The first step on our path is to load up with everything we can, with all the burdens : they can be intellectual learnings, but also courage, generosity, going beyond our comfort zones and our fears. The mind loading up with all this to strengthen itself and become stronger is like a camel who starts crossing the desert.
Then, after crossing the desert, the camel becomes a lion. A lion who says “I want” and who must fight the dragon. It’s a dragon covered with scales on which “Thou shalt” is written. It’s the dragon who represents all the obligations that society and our education have imprinted in the lion’s mind. The lion must free himself, it’s his great challenge and to get there he must question all these “thou shalt” he hears or accepts. But he likes the dragon, he likes all these obligations which reassure him but deep down he wants to be free and to be free he needs to question all the dragon’s scales. It takes a lion to get into such a challenge.
And then, finally, the winning lion because a child… As Nietzsche put it : “Why must the preying lion still become a child? The child is innocence and forgetting, a new beginning, a game, a self-propelled wheel, a first movement, a sacred Yes.” The true free spirit is like a child playing, who discover without the burden and fears from the past, and thus, only thus, will we be able to create our own values, our own purpose, taking the risk to find what we want from life : this is the sacred Yes, saying yes to what we truly want, after being educated enough to have the courage to fight all the “shoulds” we encounter.