"Only a space-faring culture could truly transcend its environment, and join others in giving a purpose to creation."I'm sure I've talked about that first part before -- i.e., my hope that humanity will indeed follow this path and at least make the attempt to seed ourselves elsewhere. It's the second part that struck me, though. "Giving a purpose to creation." It implies that there is no imposed, absolute purpose to creation, and we have to do that job ourselves. Certainly not a new idea...
But it's still controversial. On the surface, it seems to disagree with most established religions, which come packaged with tons of absolute purpose. I really don't think there needs to be a contradiction, though. With just a bit of leeway, the process of figuring out your purpose maps pretty cleanly onto the idea of "discovering God's plan for your life." Much like the idea of natural rights in law, the details about who or where or whence it comes from don't seem so important in the end. The key part is that your purpose isn't handed to you by other people. It's your birthright to discover and follow, all by your lonesome.
On a whim, I wandered a bit through Wikipedia's article on The Meaning of Life and found several close parallels to the above ideas. Like I said, not new. :-) That article didn't mention Crowley's Thelema, though, which apotheosizes the phrase "Do What Thou Wilt." The twist is that you've got to think reeeally hard about what your true will is, and you'll eventually find that it's best when tempered with love. It ends up being deeper and more subtle than something you can articulate into a few sentences, though trying to do that is helpful. Sometimes, experience and hindsight helps you see it more clearly than anything else.
As I read over the above, it kind of sounds like I have it all figured out in my own case, doesn't it? Nope! :-) But I do try to keep my compass needle pointed in the right direction with some prayer-like words. A Thelemic colleague of mine came up with the following four aspirational phrases that occasionally pass through my brain...
Lead me to the Light of my true will.
Strengthen me to embrace every experience of Life.
Fulfill me in the rapture of thy Love.
Awaken me to the knowledge of Liberty.
May all be loved.
May all find liberty.
May all become co-creators of the cosmos.
That covers all the bases, doesn't it? :-)
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Postscript: I wanted to squeeze in a reference to Viktor Frankl's Logotherapy somewhere, but didn't manage it. Also, for completeness, the title refers to this and the image to this.
Post-postscript, 10/20: As I reread my final prayer after thinking about Squid's recent post on the plight of the Palestinians, I'm thinking... #FirstWorldProblems. Maybe there should be a line at the beginning that asks first that "May all be safe and sound."