Chapter 11: One in the Many
If everything is simply happening, then can there be any ultimate purpose to it all, or is life just an accident? Can it be said that life is evolving towards some ultimate goal?
It is very difficult, particularly for the Western mind, to understand that life is purposeless. And it is beautiful that it is purposeless. If it is purposeful then the whole thing becomes absurd - then who will decide the purpose? Then some God has to be conceived who decides the purpose, and then human beings become just puppets; then no freedom is possible. And if there is some purpose then life becomes businesslike, it cannot be ecstatic.
The West has been thinking in terms of purpose, but the East has been thinking in terms of purposelessness. The East says life is not a business, it is a play. And a play has no purpose really, it is nonpurposeful. Or you can say play is its own purpose, to play is enough. Life is not reaching towards some goal, life itself is the goal. It is not evolving towards some ultimate; this very moment, here and now, life is ultimate.
Life as it is, is accepted in the East. It is not moving towards some end, be-cause if there is some end who will decide the end and why? If God decides it, then you can ask the same question about God: “What is the purpose of creating a world with purpose?” or, “Why should he create a purposive world?” or even more deeply, “What is the purpose of God’s existence?”
Maybe life has a purpose and God decides the purpose, but then God’s existence has to be questioned - why he exists - and that way the question is simply pushed one step ahead. Then God becomes purposeless, or you have to create another God to decide the purpose of this God. Then you will be in a regress ad infinitum, then there is no end to it. Somewhere deep down you will have to come to the conclusion that this phenomenon is purposeless; otherwise there is no end.
So why go from the world to the God? Why not say that life itself is purposeless? The whole game of logicians, theologians, is stupid in a way. They say, “God created the world, because how could the world come into existence if there was no one who created it?” But the question can be asked, “Who created the God?” - and then they fall on their own. They say, “God is uncreated.” If God can exist without being created, why can’t this life itself exist without being created? If you accept that something is possible without being created, then what is the trouble? Then why think about a God who created the world?
The East says God is not the creator, God is the creation. Nobody has created it, it is there. It has been so always, it will be so always - sometimes manifest, sometimes unmanifest; sometimes visible, sometimes invisible. It goes on moving in a periodical rhythm, in a circle. But existence itself is uncreated and it has no goal.