How does one know if they have had a good life? How is it measured? What is the meaning of life?
The latter question has been the brunt of comical representation, and some regard it as: Whatever you want it to mean, which has its merits.
First, regardless of what you think about life or death, one thing cannot be denied that everyone has some element of consciousness, whether you believe one is born with it or it just miraculously develops at an early stage of life.
If you do not pay attention to the conscious then you are apt to have an evil life; and if you totally rely upon a specific aspect of that conscious you will be taken advantage of by those who have chosen to ignore consciousness and follow the path of evil and/or, thinking they have reached the spiritual plane dictate to others what is to become of another individual's soul. It really does not have having anything to do with what we call religion because that entity is only the creation of humans that believe they can govern natural law.
The measurement of life, which the Egyptians thought that your Ka, the soul, was weighed on a special scale as to how much evil you allowed to control your life or good; and if it at leased balanced or dipped toward the good side of the scale, you were not devoured by the soul taker.
In almost all cultures and religious beliefs there is a heaven and there is a hell, and while there my be an argument as to the concept of just what heaven or hell is and what it constitutes, the ultimate reality can only be that it is the state of consciousness of the soul, that which the Egyptians called Ka and has many other names in many other earthly languages.
Religions have much to do with the soul, especially Christianity whose beliefs and doctrine are based upon a special person who lived and died more than 2,000 years ago. And what ever anyone believes about that teacher/prophet they call Jesus of Nazareth, his words, or the words his disciples have passed on, remain a wisdom that can never truly be outdated because that is the element of true wisdom – it is timeless. Jesus was more concerned with spiritual life rather than earthly life. The problem with the doctrine of Christians is that they claim that if those words of Jesus are not known or no one knows anything about that teacher/prophet, their soul cannot be prepared for what is after life. Talk about unfairness. Yet, there are humans, more than can be counted, who have lived their life striving to favor the conscious and favor goodness while not favoring evil. Which also brings to the forefront that there is not just natural conscious, but an element of it that is instinct that every person has and depends upon if they are aware of it or just been blessed with having a greater degree of it.
But we are forced to live an earthly life, at least once, depending whether there is the condition called reincarnation that several cultures have throughout human history believed to exist. In general, and according to some Eastern religions, the soul must reach a certain plane, a certain level of conscious in order to not be reincarnated. Whether there is a choice in the matter cannot be determined without losing one's life. The irony of it is that when we lose life, it seems we cannot convey to the living the truth of what is beyond death.
That then brings us to those who believe there is nothing at all. The body dies, the brain's energy fades out and then nothing becomes of the conscious or the soul, because what is called soul is energy and once the source of energy is gone – so the element is forever deceased.
This may sound reasonable until we consider what has been learned from Albert Einstein: Energy cannot be created or destroyed., it can only be changed from one form to another.
Einstein also showed us that the concept of a spiritual world and an earthly scientifically explained world can certainly coexist and compliment one another.
Thus the Christian Scientists formed where religion and science melded into spirituality. But remember that religion is created by humanity, organized by its leadership, and governed by its specific doctrine. It may or may not represent spiritual truth or describe the real spiritual world.
After all, more often than not, scientific explanation at least begins with only speculation; and then it must be examined and tested in order to show that it is a fact. It never failed to amaze me how anyone could consider that Albert Einstein was an atheist because an atheist believes in nothing. What they mean to say that Einstein may have been an agnostic, which is a person who believes in an afterlife and most likely an omnipresence that is an energy of great magnitude which oversees the universe or at least is powerful enough to do so. There too, humans provide that omnipresence a gender. In early humanity it was feminine, but throughout most of human history it has been considered masculine, just as the nucleus of family and its conditions of considered existence.
So the idea of reincarnation does make sense if one believes that energy cannot be destroyed. But the conundrum is that if one considers that the energy we call the soul cannot be created or destroyed – how did the first soul or souls come into existence?
So back to the concept of reincarnation, which despite what Christians may accept or not, involves their founder, Jesus, whose earthly life stopped and whose soul rose to whatever plane souls go. The uniqueness about that transition is that for a given period of time, the spiritual likeness or whatever it was stayed in the earthly plane, the material plane of life for a given amount of time before departure for the spiritual plane. In a sense this also attested to the possibility of reincarnation.
Today, abortion has come to the forefront of discussion and argument because it deals with life. Plainly, it deals with the soul, which is the energy of life – that which life at certain levels have and that which drives the machinations of what we call the body. Once thought to have existed in the heart, science shows us that it is the center of the brain where the driving force of energy dwells. It is the energy that operates the wonderful electric currents we call nerves, and which governs motion, thinking and all the other biological and pathological processes.
The one thing that can be agreed upon is that abortion destroys life. It has come to such a forefront of argument and discussion because it has become such a process on a large scale; accepted as a norm instead of as an exception to the rule. Whether if one believes in reincarnation or not – it is obvious that abortion has stopped a life. If it was because that life would not have a good life being terribly deformed, or that life was conceived under conditions where a person was forced upon sexually – that could not be against consciousness. In momentarily digression and in most cases, those that agree that abortion is okay because they do not accept that a living being has been horribly killed are the same people who would prevent a demented evil person who has taken a life or many lives cannot be put to death after proven guilty of such crimes. They are not just guilty of hypocrisy, but guilty of lying to themselves and going against their consciousness.
Which brings us back to the concept of conscious and the mechanization of religion. The golden rule would be that if a religion's doctrine dictates that life must be taken for any reason, usually to keep in favor of the omnipresence – than that religion cannot be recognized by civilized people, and indeed must be quelled.
Religion has its purposes with its rites and doctrine, but the ultimate center of attention should remain with the soul.
It has always confounded me to have people ring my doorbell and present themselves and a pamphlet explaining they are there to save my soul. If there is anything individual in life, the soul is the primary instrument of individualism; therefore each one of us is responsible for the well-being of our own souls. For in the end, the end of life as we know it, that soul's journey is one that only concerns the individual who maintained that soul. I presume that only the power of an omnipresence could possibly have any control over a soul or if a person allowed another to despoil one's soul.
So how does one measure a good life.
I guess simply it is mathematics. If things you want to remember outweigh or outnumber those things you do not want to remember than that probably represents a good life. It also means you have been taking good care, at least the best possible, of your soul. And, in the world of reincarnation, this means that the more pure of soul than the requirement to return to the material plane would be unnecessary.
Of course, this has all been a speculative discussion, based upon what we know and conjecture of what may be; for unlike Jesus, I did not return from a spiritual plane back to a material plane (without reincarnating, which seems to have no memory of previous lives) in order to provide testament to my experience or what I learned.
The wisdom passed down from Jesus, the person called The Christ, can be unquestioned in terms of how the concept of spiritual life and influence of his teachings has remained so long in human history. But it is the concept of natural law that was recognized by the framers of the US Constitution, who also believed in the fundamental Christian ideology, that individualism IS the gist of natural law is ambiguous, which means that it is a moral theory that all legal theories or laws should be founded upon. And the golden rule that is international and governs human behavior in the end must rely upon the conscious of the multitude, but whose judgment ultimately falls upon the individual soul. That natural law, in part, states that we have been blessed with freedom of choice, that governments have always strive to control with disastrous results. Yet with that freedom of choice comes a moral, civic, and ethical responsibility that every soul should maintain. The framers of the Constitution of the United States, like Thomas Jefferson understood these principals and applied it to civic law, although they had learned the basics of such concepts from earlier thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and Thomas Aquinas who also understood classic natural law theory. It is a testament that wisdom is never outdated.
There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person. – Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934
In the enlightenment and concept of an omnipresence, Sir William Blackstone wrote:
Man … must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator … This will of his Maker is called the law of nature … This law of nature … is of course superior to any other … No human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this: and such of them as are valid derive all their force … from this original.
Natural dictates moral duties between individuals, as Thomas Jefferson wrote:
Man has been subjected by his Creator to the moral law, of which his feelings, or conscience as it is sometimes called, are the evidence with which his Creator has furnished him .... The moral duties which exist between individual and individual in a state of nature, accompany them into a state of society . their Maker not having released them from those duties on their forming themselves into a nation.
The New Testament and text of Buddha provide timeless wisdom of the spiritual world, subjects that pertain to one's individual maintenance of one's soul; while the Constitution of the United States and the preamble to the Declaration of Independence are documents that recognize natural law that describes individual governorship of one's soul but deals with harmony of natural law and natural rights. It is also part of the moral code that is reflective of the Law of Moses or Mosaic Law. It is because that like the concept of the Golden Rule, it is international and concerns all humanity from any culture belonging to any ethnic group and transcends across religious and civic doctrines.
Therefore, as the framers of the Constitution of the United States tried make it plainly, natural law governs the soul and when civic law is not founded upon that natural law, it is also transcending upon the right of the individual and the individual's soul. The golden rule that is established upon natural law dictates quite simply that individuals are free to practice their natural rights as long as those rights do not transgress another individual's rights.
It's simple and can be universally applied across the spectrum of natural law, civic law and religious law. Religion is nothing but conceptual doctrine sprinkled with established rites – it is the natural law that governs one's soul that counts, not the human inspired schematics. The omnipresence that is called various names in different languages: Creator, God, Allah, et cetera; is the proprietor or originator of natural law; then we can all accept the concept of what is a good life and how we should conduct ourselves to each other.
Establishing that the soul is the charge of the individual than all other concepts, including natural law should not transcend the consciousness of any individual's soul and the meaning of life is simply protecting one's individual soul by living life fully into the realm of goodness and shunning evil as much as possible.
Reiterated: If you have more moments that you want to remember than those you do not want to remember, chances are you have led a good life. Of course, that is based upon those moments where you governed individual actions and treatment of others; not the moments in life where others brought memories that you do not wish to remember. Therefore, the meaning of life must fall upon the concept of natural law that puts the individual soul under the governance of the individual.
The modern arguments of church separated from state (government) is not based upon what is stated in the United States Constitution, but what was stated in a private letter of Thomas Jefferson. Yet, the concept, in so many words are there; but as with other things has been diluted and misinterpreted to match the individual or group ideology in terms of religion. Yet, religion is not necessarily based upon the concept of natural law, for it is a human organization that is under the rule of the symbolized temple, church, synagogue, and mosque that prescribes the rituals, rites, and doctrine of that particular religion or sect of a religion and not necessarily applicable or conforming to natural law that dictates that individualism is what counts in the course of life and the progress of a soul. It ends up in confusion, just as confusion has reigned in regards to constitutional law, because they have abandoned the conceptual natural law, which has been called the Golden Rule. I think Ronald Reagan stated a good example of the explanation of the separation of church and state principles:
We establish no religion in this country, nor will we ever. We command no worship, W e mandate no belief. But we poison our society when we remove its theological underpinnings. We court corruption when we leave it bereft of belief. All are free to believe or not believe; all are free to practice a faith or not. But those who believe must be free to speak of and act on their belief.
That statement is in agreement with the established natural law principle that wise humans have passed down through the centuries and millennia.
The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.
– John Locke
The life of the individual has meaning only insofar as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful. Life is sacred, that is to say, it is the supreme value, to which all other values are subordinate. -- Albert Einstein