What is life in the context of human existence? What is the essence of life; not just limited to scientific definitions, living cells, reproduction, evolution, and empirical facts about the universe? How does one begin to define the beauty of life from the moment one is born when that first earthly breath is taken? Consider the unrevealed mysteries of hope and joy that comes with life itself.
Some scholars have described the meaning of life to be derived from philosophical and religious contemplation, and scientific inquiries about existence, social ties, consciousness, and happiness. They have also confirmed that other issues or elements are involved such as symbolic meaning, ontology, value, purpose, ethics, good and evil, free will, the existence of God, the soul and the afterlife.
Before the existence of this present generation, questions about life have been asked by many people from diverse races.
Great philosophers and scholars have answered these questions amongst many others such as: where do we come from? Why are we here? What is life all about? What is the purpose of existence, and where are we going?
Many from a variety of different cultural and ideological backgrounds have proposed answers to such questions. Most answers are linked to either or a combination of philosophical, scientific, theological, and metaphysical beliefs and theories.
This book is intended to focus on unravelling the definition and meaning of life itself. It is not intended to answer questions about life - scholars have already undertaken a good job in answering questions relating to life.
This book focuses on everyday living, the realisation of existence, coupled with its puzzles along with joy and happiness. It also focuses on the phases of life to the end, thus, let’s begin by saying that life is a journey. There is a famous quote from the great philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson from the 19th century that says, “Life is a journey and not a destination”. I will add to that famous quote that Life is a journey to a destination.
If we look at the literal meaning of the word journey, it has a start and an endpoint. An endpoint, meaning, the destination, an arrival point or final bus stop if one was to be riding in a bus or car. If we relate the meaning of journey to life, it will be life’s stages or events of everyone’s life from the moment one is born to the destination or arrival point.
The arrival point, also known as the last phase of life, is that final place where one will reach before retirement from all of life's stages and events. One could also say that the arrival point is the resting phase or end of life which can be sudden or expected.
This book is not intended to focus on the end of life. It will focus on life’s journey, different phases and concepts, and it will use the terminology known as life trajectories; a discussion to be expanded upon in the coming chapters of this book.
Let us pause and reflect on the very beginning of human existence. There are scientific explanations about evolution and the biological discoveries around species and early human migrations, how humans first evolved from Africa, amongst other theories.
This is a topic of which my opinion on the subject matter on evolution differs. We could have a debate on the whole topic about evolution and the big bang theory but having said that, everyone is entitled to their beliefs on how humans first evolved.
There are the scientific evolution theory and the theological or biblical multiplication theory (Adam and Eve). Whichever theory one is compelled to believe isn’t relevant in this book, however, the theory that makes more sense to the author is the theological version on multiplication (the Bible).
Irrespective of the type of belief, human existence is real. We are living examples of humanity and the various stages of life from the moment of conception to the end of life.