Sometimes people ask “What is the purpose of life?” or “Does life have a purpose?” These are confusing ways of asking the question, because they suggest an inquiry into a cosmic purpose at which we can only guess. Asked like that, these questions are unrelated to anything that is going on in our lives.
A better is “What purpose have I served in my life,” in other words, “What good have I done” or “What have I accomplished.” This does not necessarily refer to the time we won a trophy in high school; achievement here means a meaningful achievement, something that gives a sense of meaning and purpose to life.
By bringing the question back to achievement, we tie in our relationships, engagement and meaning, and then reach out spiritually with a sense of purpose. This is not a description of cosmic forces, merely a description of how human beings thrive and flourish.
From the side of unattained goals, and disappointment:
- Natalie Hodges, Uncommon Measure: A Journey Through Music, Performance, and the Science of Time (Bellevue Literary Press, 2022): “A Violinist Rethinks Her Devotion to Music, With Emotion and Erudition”
- Zora Neale Hurston, Novels & Stories (Library of America, 1995).
- Zora Neale Hurston, The Complete Stories (Amereon, Ltd., 1999).
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Beethoven, Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93: as regards today’s subject, the music speaks for itself, exuberant and joyful throughout – the essence of a successful personal life (performances conducted by Harnoncourt, Gardiner, Karajan, Thielemann and Karajan).
- First movement (Allegro vivace e con brio): full-throttle exuberance
- Second movement (Allegretto scherzando): playful
- Third movement (tempo di Minuetto): taking stock of the riches – not the money or the goods but the personal treasures
- Fourth movement (Allegro vivace): full throttle to the end!
- Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 4 in E-flat major, 7, “Grand” (1797): exhibiting “strong, triumphant demonstration of masterful musical architecture.”
- Glazunov, Poeme Epique (Epic Poem), Op. Posth.
- Ben-Haim, Piano Quartet in C Major, Op. 4 (1921)
- Atterberg, Symphony No. 2 in F Major, Op. 6 (1913)
- Atterberg, Symphony No. 3 in D major, "Västkustbilder" (West Coast Pictures), Op. 10 (1916)
- Atterberg, Symphony No. 8, Op. 48 (1945)
- Sergei Bortkiewicz, symphonies: Symphony No. 1 in D Major, "From My Homeland", Op. 52 (1945); Symphony No. 2 in E-flat Major, 55 (1947)
- Raga Haripriya is a contemporary ragam composed by the iconic Indian flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia.
- Raga Malgunji is a Hindustani classical raag for late morning(performances by Banerjee and Banerjee).
Albums and artists:
- Nat King Cole was a great artist early in his career. His surviving family has cooperated on the compilation and release of a 7-CD collection of his early performances.
- Steven Halpern, “Higher Ground” album
From the dark side:
Music: songs and other short pieces
- Nawang Khechog, The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel in the Himalayas