ON THE DEATH OF IVAN SEMWANGA; WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF LIFE?

Concluded: The more a person knows, the humbler they are likely to become and vice versa! Ignorance therefore has a correlational relationship with arrogance. Watching ignorance in motion, is one of the things that amuse me but at times also infuriate me. A case in point is seeing somebody speak/write so assuredly about something they are apparently deeply clueless.

Two things have therefore stood out for me in the last twenty six years I have been around. These are;

1. That as human beings, we know so little about nature, and for tens of thousands of years, we have thrived on many false beliefs, deception, manipulation, and damn pure lies that for many of them, after you find out the “truth”, you wonder how you believed the “B.S” in the first place. Additionally…

2. That what I know and hold as “True” today may actually turn out not to be upon revelation of other facts. This therefore puts me in a position where I cannot assume a know-it-all attitude for the only thing I know is that I do not know. My views thus are utter postulations.

Continuously however, the business of seeking knowledge is one nobody should ever cease. On that path personally I have been encouraged by all the sources of my normative guidance. The first revelation to prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is reported to have been “READ”,more to that he himself urged us to look for knowledge ‘even if it is in China’ (a symbol that however far or at whatever cost, knowledge must be sought) At Mbale tower primary school, our motto was “Education is your lampstand” (Knowledge), at Mbogo mixed, my O’level school, the motto was, “Education is the ultimate panacea.” Emphasizing the same essence. Further in high school at Kibuli, the motto was more concise, “Seek knowledge.” And this was sealed at university, at Islamic university in Uganda with, “Allah, increase me in knowledge.”

The pursuit of knowledge therefore is the definition of what my life is about. At this point one may wonder, “Seek knowledge to what end?” “Will knowledge put food on my table?” Some even push their cynicism further, “Professors (I guess they are assumed to be the faces of the pursuit of knowledge) are some of the poorest and confused people in society. Many a philosopher lived very miserably some even going as far as committing suicide.”

Well these are questions for another day but as far as I’m concerned nothing fulfils me like understanding mine self and subsequently an attempt at demystifying the universe within which I exist.

The question on our table today triggered by the death of Ivan Semwanga, who seems to have become famous thanks to his accumulation of money and the pomp with which he spent it visa vis that of Prof Mukiibi who on the other hand was an educationist sending us wondering; did both live purposeful lives? Or was one’s life more relevant? What is the purpose of life? I’m going to share some of the views I have absorbed and generated over long periods of searching. It should be noted that this question, I hold that, is a wrong question to ask. This is because it is premised on flimsy assumptions that also need enquiry. These are;

a) That everything must have a purpose; which assumption immediately creates another that;

b) There is a conscious force behind everything that calculatively creates “things” to a given end.

So we ask, must everything have significance? Can’t something just be for being’s sake? That is food for thought!

Striking bare all purported “truths” though, one finds that life, particularly human life, has no purpose. There was a time I was obsessed with purpose that I even monikered myself “purpose.” My belief was that as a plate is created to be used to carry food, every human is created for “some particular, predetermined purpose.” And that their role is to identify that purpose, the gifts nature has bestowed on them to achieve that purpose (talents, skills, knowledge, and any other resources) to fulfil it,then do it. I held that a person cannot “live”, “succeed”, or “settle” thereby finding happiness until they find their purpose.

I have since shifted from this position to one that, “Life has no purpose save that one chooses to ascribe to it.” This implies that there is no premeditated use of a life as we have convinced ourselves to “worship” In my taken on opinion, the force behind the universe by whatever title you call it, God/nature/or nothing simply created within the human, just like the other segments of the universe the impetus/potential/­energy to be. It is up to you then to use that potential in whichever direction you choose including none. To this end, no one has a right to judge another person’s choice of purpose. You can only choose yours for instance as many of us have chosen “to worship God.”, “to make the world a better place.” “To serve humanity.” You can also express your choice, not to impose but to put it out there, those who find it fulfilling can take it on or debunk it.

To ascribe a specified purpose to a human is to limit the unfathomable potential and possibilities that humans otherwise possess including just being and not having to do anything. Imagine how we limit ourselves to a level of for instance saying,  I have a talent in playing football which was handed to me to fulfil my purpose. Football just like all other talents are really very minute and negligible recent developments that cannot be the essence of a human in the bigger scheme of things of the universe. Of course it is fine to choose playing soccer for life as your talent to fulfil a given purpose of “impacting” the world, but by no means is that a calculation in the grand scale of things by nature beyond just in as far as you are part of the universe.

So if you are searching for the purpose of your life, I’m telling you your life has no purpose predefined. You can simply define one for yourself and pursue that. “Success” therefore is personal in that regard depending on your own parameters. Ivan and Lawrence therefore cannot be judged by us but their own volition.

Lastly, notice that everything you are is just an accumulation from the universe. The growth and mass of your body is a collection of selected minerals from food, which food is almost entirely a product of a collection of selected minerals from soil by plants or animals, not ignoring the interplay with solar energy, water and air. This means what you are today, your body was soil a few days, or years ago and that the bodies of the un borne are already here but in form of soil.

The same system is true for knowledge which we also accumulate from the universe and manipulate the laws that already exist to “create” what already existed but we were oblivious about. In short you are simply a collection of minerals and consciousness from the universe. You should therefore then not fret being scattered back into the same universe.
#TheMatandaShrine

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4 thoughts on “ON THE DEATH OF IVAN SEMWANGA; WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF LIFE?

  1. “Some day if i truly discover my purpose, i’ll feel i’m beginning to live.”

    Without purpose, life has no meaning and without meaning life has no significance or hope. The greatest tragedy is not death, but life without purpose.

    It defines what you do and what you don’t do. Without a clear purpose you have no foundation on which you base decisions, allocate your time, and use your resources. You will tend to make decisions based on circumstances, pressures, and your mood at the moment. People who don’t know their purpose try to do too much.

    Without a clear purpose, you will keep changing directions, jobs, relationships, churches or other externals – hoping each change will settle the confusion or fill the emptiness in your heart. You think to yourself, “maybe this time it will be different”, but it never is, and it doesn’t solve your real problem – a lack of focus and purpose.

    PS: Came across this in some book

    Like

    1. Interesting one. What do you think about it? Must life have significance? Is it true we feel hollow and empty that we have to fill the void with some “purpose”?

      Like

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