Life: The Hows and Whys

The Six Kinds of Life: 

1-A life with no consciousness, freedom, free will or independency of character: In this form of life, only things that are necessary for survival are of concern, like reproduction and resisting the adversities of nature. Man thinks about neither the meaning of life nor material life. Such people have no self-independence; they purely obey natural factors.

2-A worldly life purely for the world: Material life is sought and nothing else. These people do observe some of the laws about nature, and do not consider it as total farce, however. But they are content with their material life, and ignore higher aspirations. They are ignorant toward their standing in the universe, and do not tend to find answers to basic questions like: Where have I come from? Where do I go from here? Why am I here?

3-A spiritual life to provide spiritual delicacy (living purely for the other world) In this form of life, one spends his whole time struggling against his desires and natural emotions keeping them silent in order to purify his soul. Some ascetics believe that the highest aim of life is activating the delicate aspects of the soul. 

4-A life aiming for both this and the other world (a life of two independent goals) In this lifestyle, attention is paid to both worlds. However, these people see no relation between this world and the other. They do not realize that man's life is an inseparable reality, despite its numerous aspects. They neglect the unity between life in this world and in the other.

5-A spiritual-looking life aiming for material life (pretending to aim for the other world, but actually aiming for this one) Those who have chosen this kind of life are incapable of understanding the truth about life, and merely pretend to know it. They ignore the fact that being pretentious will only fool the simple-minded, and even that for a short time. These people have actually tricked themselves, living a life of gradual spiritual suicide. They look quite like a saint, but are evil inside. 

6-Living in this world on a path to life in the other (an intelligible life) This is the lifestyle prophets of God have approved of. They believed that life is a truly great reality, and that proper, pious knowledge and deeds are needed like two wings that can fly man toward evolution, guiding his worldly life toward a life in the other world. Man should make use of this world only to develop; however, the heart and soul of all of man's worldly activities relate to the other world. This form of life – worldly in appearance but in fact aiming for the other world – will never make man feel nihilistic, and its many problems are easily tolerable for man.

 

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