I picked this question because of the movie “The Tree of Life” with Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn and Brad Pitt that we will watch tonight. In it, we see how a religious family struggles with this very question after one of their members dies. All healthy humans experience life as our drive to survive, to reproduce, to avoid suffering, and to seek the best quality of life. This is not an individual, conscious choice, but in our nature. How we make meaning of life beyond this biological imperative depends on our level of consciousness and spiritual realisation. Preconventional people often see life as threatening and a constant fight for survival and pleasure while believing in afterlives, ghosts, fairies, angels, and magical powers. Mythic people see life as God-given and believe in some form of eternal afterlife in heaven, hell, nirvana or re-incarnation. Modern people see life as a product of Darwinian evolution that is to be enjoyed to the fullest without doing harm to others, as we only live once and the universe will end at some point. Postmodern spiritual people see life as a product of an eternal, infinite consciousness that manifests in an illusionary and ever changing play of form and emptiness. Integral people see life as an ever-evolving holarchy of physical objects in a social and cultural context with increasing levels of consciousness that are driven by Eros. Transpersonal people and mystics see life as a mystery to be lived moment to moment with love and compassion for all that is.

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