Essence gives purpose; it is the central meaning of anything in existence. Anything that has essence exists for a powerful and prodigious reason. If something is essential, then without it, there is no meaning to another thing. If something lacks essence, then it is insignificant, dispensable, and can be deserted. Man cannot desert the sun, because the sun is essential to human life, and the same can be said of water and air. Because we need these things to survive, they are thus essential to our lives.
Although, there are various religions in the entire cosmos, from Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, to other relatively less common ones, such as Scientology, Bahaism, Asian shamanism, and Sikhism, all of which believe that their practices and doctrines are divinely true and superior to the others, the underlying cause for the existence of these numerous religions and sects is the search for essence. Everyone wants to know why they exist, and in other words, they want to know why they are essential.
Essence describes the significance of your existence. It clarifies why you exist, and what importance your existence is in the entire universe. Most theists believe that God exists and He has a specific purpose for creating us, while many atheists believe that we exist due to some random, unpredictable behavior of the universe, the big bang theory, Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection, and several others. Differences in religions and ideologies have shown their powerful adverse effects in the world; from blood shed to terrorism, and from victimization to large scale wars. And while we are all similar in so many ways, the primary difference between every one of us is how we perceive the world.
Therefore, is existence essential, and is there essence in existence? These are two questions that are very difficult to answer. The question, ‘Is existence essential’ seeks to understand if existing is better than not existing. And the question, ‘Is there essence in existence’ seeks to understand if there is purpose to existing. Somehow, both questions perfectly complement each other; for there to be essence in existence, existence must be essential. Yet, it is difficult to understand if existing is better or worse than not existing.
Why are we on this earth? What grand purpose are we supposed to fulfil? What is the reward for our purposeful action? And how essential are our lives? Will the world stop if any of us ceases to exist? Will the entire system of the world collapse if any of us dies? Would the world have been in a terrible state if any of us had not been born? Our existence becomes essential if the entire world depends on it, and if the effect of our existence in this world will last for all eternity.
Have you found any man whose departure from this world stopped the earth from rotating around the sun? Einstein was a great scientist, and his numerous discoveries and inventions are admirable. But Einstein has been dead for a very long time, and some of us do not even know about him. Despite his departure, the world continues to exist, and humans continue to go about their businesses. I use Einstein as an example because he is believed to be one of the greatest men to have ever lived.
After the famous pop star, Michael Jackson, died, many people mourned him for a few days or less, and then got back to their daily activities. He became history, although still in our memory; many of us practically forgot about him. We simply remember him as a famous musician who exists no more. New stars emerged, and life went on. Every season has its stars; the ancient stars are forgotten and present stars are celebrated. These present stars will also be forgotten some season to come, and future stars will be celebrated at the time, and this goes on and on.
With all these examples that I have given, it would seem that human life is not essential to the universe. The earth is like a speck of sand in the entire universe, and a single man is like a Nano-particle in it. Regardless of all these discouraging facts, you are fortunately essential to this world. The deep matters of human existence and the universe may seem a mystery, but each and every one of us carries within himself/herself a gentle light that ‘literarily’ has the potential to shine as bright as the sun. Do you want to know what this is? I’ll show you.
Whether you are a Christian or Muslim, creationist or evolutionist, theist or atheist, you’ve got to understand that you do not exist for nothing. You exist for every neighbor around the corner; every single person you come across is a reason you exist. You bear within you a bright and powerful light waiting to be unleashed. And this light has been put inside of you to shine into the lives of other people. We all possess this great light, but many of us have let bitterness, hate, grief, and despair to keep us from realizing the most important purpose of our lives.
Some call it unconditional love, others call it kindness, generosity, forgiveness, and thoughtfulness. Whatever it is you call it, that is the reason you exist. It is the power of this love that enables you to see the pains that other people go through, the troubles they deal with, their fears, hopelessness, and insecurities. And it is the power of your love that enables you to strive to simplify their lives. It is unconditional love that allows you to see the good in every human being; including hardened criminals and hooligans. And when you see the good in them, you are not being delusional; you are being real.
Every human being is imperfect, has fears, insecurities, nurses bitterness, resentment, has a low self-esteem, desires acceptance and approval, is angry about something or with someone, and sometimes feels lonely in this world. While some of us prevent these painful emotions from turning us into inhumane, narcissistic fellows, the rest of us have allowed them to color our view about the seemingly unsafe world we live in. We stumble and fall, but the strong among us should get us back on our feet. We offend and malign, but only because we have suffered rejections and failures, have fears and are unhappy in our lives. It’s the patience and enduring respect that others show when we are misbehaving which will enhance our healing and recovery process.
The patient should persevere and hold on when we err, because desertion will do us no good. Noble men help others, not because they deserve to be helped, but because they need it. Those who hate you, ridicule you, wish you ill, castigate you, contemn you, and dis you are immersed in their pains, fears and bitterness, and particularly need your light to find peace and happiness. Your love should never be conditional, your kindness should never fade. Feed the weak and helpless, but stay far away from their vengeance and destruction. Heal the wounds of the pained, but avoid the wrath of their pains. You can’t do this all by yourself (you must never abandon your needs), but your quota is always a blessing to the universe. None in the world is as wise as a man who is willing to let the light within him shine into the lives of many others. That is the essence of your existence.