What is the Meaning of Life
Did God Communicate to us Through Buddha or Mohammed?
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What is the Meaning of Life? Program 30 Did God Communicate to us Through Buddha or Muhammad? by Ernest O’Neill
“Why are you alive?” That’s the question we’re discussing on this program at this time each day. What we said yesterday was it is a vital question to give your best thoughts to, because it is the most important question of all. It is quite important why you’re buying that house or why you’re taking that job, but it is even more important to be able to answer the question, “Why are you alive at all?”
Many of us have said, “Well,I don’t know. I just do not know why I’m alive, and I can’t seem to find anyone who can answer that question. Though I do see that there does seem to be a great deal of purpose in the way the birds and the animals operate, and I can see a great deal of purpose in the way nature operates, and I can see that somebody or something has brought order and design into the way the crops grow and ripen and the way the sun cooperates with them.
I can see great order and design and purpose in the way even my own body works. So, all around me I can see purpose and design and reason; but I must admit, I cannot see the reason for my own life. I cannot see why I am alive or why all we human beings are alive. I don’t really know how to find out. The only thing I can think of is that there must be some “Power” or some “Thing” behind this universe that knows why it created it in the first place.”
“I do see quite clearly that evolution doesn’t explain how the first single cell amoeba came into existence. I can see that the big bang theory doesn’t explain what exploded or Who made what exploded. I know full well that the origin of the world is something that the theories of evolution do not even claim to explain. I don’t know what did originate the world. I don’t know why it is here.”
“I see that there is evidence that whatever “Power” produced it does have intellect or reasoning power. Otherwise, you couldn’t have the chart of the elements organized in such a methodical fashion. I do see that our scientists are month by month discovering new beauty and new order in even the smallest parts of our world.”
“We do get the impression that there is more and more order built more and more deeply into the whole universe than we ever suspected. There are indications and clues left by some great “Mind” that there is an Intellect behind the universe. I can’t tell anymore about that Intellect than that the Intellect is very clever and is very far-seeing and presumably is much more powerful than our main frame computers. I don’t understand any more than that. I can see that this Creator or Force or Supreme Being must be at least as personable as we are in order to make persons because we persons seem to be the highest type of life here on this earth as far as we can understand.”
“So, presumably, the “Thing” or the “Force” that made the world and made us is at least as personable as we are and presumably, much more personable. I can see the origin of this universe is probably not just some impersonal force. It is not just some blind evolutionary process. It is an Intellect and probably a personal Intellect. I can see, too, that undoubtedly, I feel within me a desire to be good, even though I’m not good. I find within me something that tells me I ought not to tell lies even though I tell lies. I find something within me that tells me I should not lose my temper, even though I find it easier to lose my temper. I do see that even within me there seem to be some movements or motivations or some conscience that seems to be a message from beyond because it is higher than I myself am. It urges me to live higher than I do.”
“I can see that it’s not enough just to call it education and to say that morality and conscience and a sense of obligation to live better than you are is due to education because all of us seem to feel that it is wrong to be cowardly, it is wrong to be selfish. Even if we are primitive tribesmen we feel that. I do see that there is some evidence to suggest that behind this universe there is some “Thing” or some “One” that is intelligent and that is personal and that is trying to get through to us some ideas or some thoughts or some goals that He wants us to fulfill. But beyond that, I can’t tell anything.”
“I don’t see how I can find out why I’m here in this world, unless I find out why the world is here. I don’t think I can find out why the world is here, unless somehow or other, the “Being” or the “Force” behind the world speaks to me or communicates to us. I certainly can’t possibly wring it from Him myself. He is obviously all powerful, much greater than me so I cannot, by studying the world, find out what He is like. Yet, it is pretty important in order to answer your question, ‘Why am I alive?’ I really have to answer the question, ‘Why is the world here?’ To answer that question, I really have to be in touch with whatever produced this world. I cannot see how to get that kind of communication.”
Of course, what we have been sharing is that down through the centuries, different men have claimed to be able to tell us what that communication was and have claimed to be able to tell us what the maker of the universe was saying to us. You remember, we mentioned that some of us say, “Look. Everybody is in that game. Everybody is trying to tell what the Supreme Being behind the universe is thinking.”
Obviously, they’re in that game for their own interest, because if they can do that, they can gain great control over people. That’s why the witch doctors got into witch doctoring. That’s why ministers get into ministering. That’s why everybody gets into religion, because they have power over their fellow human beings if they are able to tell them what the Supreme Being behind the universe is thinking.
So, everybody’s in that game. How can you tell one from the other? Well, there are ways in which you can analyze these kinds of people that have tried to tell us what was coming from outer space. For instance, many of us think, “Oh, the Greeks and the Romans — they had ideas of God. I mean, Homer used to talk about Zeus and all the other gods.”
But, it is vital for us to see that when the Greek and Roman writers talked about gods, they were just talking about myths that were well known in their own society. When Homer wrote about Zeus talking to the other immortals beside him, he was simply creating his own imaginary ideas of what the gods might say to one another.
It was kind of a popular mythology that they all accepted. They didn’t think for one moment that they had got a message from God, himself, as to what he actually did say at that time. It’s probably important for those of us who have ever read the Greek and Roman myths to make sure that we see that they are myths.
Then, some of us look at a person like Buddha or some of the other great religious leaders and say, “Well they tell us about God.” Many, like Buddha, didn’t even believe that there was a God. Buddha was interested in a psychological means of being delivered from the pain in this world through negating the self and negating desires. He really didn’t tell much about God, nor did he really believe that there was a personal God in the sense that we think of a personal God.
Some of us of course say, “Well, no, but look at Muhammad. You can look at his life, and he claimed that he could tell what God was like. Yet, when you begin to examine Muhammad’s, you see that he, himself, though he was looked up to by many people as a leader, disclaimed any power to perform miracles.
He was involved in all kinds of vengeful and sinful incidences. He died like an ordinary man at the end of the life. In other words, Muhammad was very much just one of us — who took much of what he found in the Old Testament and elaborated it.
Is there anyone that has actually told us what God is like? Is there any evidence from outside space that helps us to understand what the Supreme Being behind the universe may be like? We believe there is, and we’ll begin to talk about that next time.