Thanks for everyone’s interesting comments!
I guess I should weigh in with my “opinion” too since I opened the topic.
In a purely analytical approach (one that tries to shun all subjective opinion), I would have to say that there “may be” no meaning (or purpose) to life at all (objectively). Purpose to me is like a jacket one tries on to see if it works and is in congruity with and in alignment with a person’s path.
To say something “is” this or “is” that may be a lie. “Is-ness” requires an observer. It is the result of an observer giving an account of something. This is why I’m saying “may be” instead of “is”.
“Is-ness” immediately brings up what a thing is not. “Is-ness” requires what is not in order to be distinguished as something that “is”. A door depends on the surrounding wall (that which it is not), up depends on down, good depends on evil. All things depend on that which they are not, in order to exist.
Oddly, everything that follows the word “is”, may be a lie!
People exhibit traits (behave in certain ways), they don’t “have” them and are “not” them. I may be described as “opinionated”, “coordinated”, “clumsy”, “stupid” or “smart”, but if I look inside of my body, I won’t find any thing called “opinionated” in there… We relate to each other and human beings as if we are a collection of properties and characteristics. But we really aren’t any of that… (perhaps? ;-))
So in the same way. Life can’t “have” a purpose. Life is just life. It doesn’t own anything and may not confer any other meaning other than the fact that it may or may not exist.
So if we are not our traits, characteristics, properties; bodies; history; or strongly felt opinions then what are we?
The things we spoke of earlier, are “content”.
Love, hate, war, famine; our histories, beliefs and characteristics people use to describe us - but are not really us are all examples of “content”. “Content” depends on what it is not in order to exist. It depends on its boundaries (that which describes what it is not), in order to exist.
But all content requires what I will describe as “space” - in order to exist. Space is the closest analogue for it, but it isn’t really space because “space” is just another thing. It has boundaries like any other thing.
The word that best describes it is “Context”. Context is the space for things to exist. It doesn’t have boundaries - it IS the space. So if we aren’t the “things” used to describe us, (and logically how could we be anything else but what we are? After all how can a chair be a floor, or a person be “smart” - we can’t be anything else or anything that we are not)…
…than what we are is the “Context” for all those things to exist in.
Now… I can’t be one context and you be another; because that would make context just another “thing” with boundaries. So we must be the SAME context (or in the analogy - space for all things to exist in). This is what I believe prophets like Jesus Christ meant by “we are all brothers”. The illusion of separateness may be just that - an illusion! In the most analytical sense, who we are isn’t located in the same place as our bodies. Yes we may “have” bodies, but we are not them - just as we aren’t anything else.
Here’s a thought experiment. Notice that in the following sentence, there is opportunity for argument:
“This thing is good.”
Notice in this following sentence, there is no opportunity for argument:
“This thing may be good.”
The “truth” is just whatever it is, and is obviously so. (The word “is” was used in the preceding sentence for clarity only. (It may not be true and is for you to decide).
So back to the beginning. Life to me has only the meaning we assign to it. The meaning we bring to the table. We make it up because it “may not have” any inherent qualities at all! So make it a good one!