Schubert Ogden

Date of Birth: March 2, 1928

Date Submitted: January 17, 2018

Religious Affiliation: Protestant Christian

What is the meaning of life?

We are all originally called simply as human to exist both gratefully from the community of all others to whom we are related and benevolently for them.  This means that we are to appropriate every opportunity they provide, not in order to pursue our own self-chosen interest or to cultivate our own self-chosen virtue, but in order to make our maximal contribution to the same “beloved community” by optimizing the opportunity of all its members to make their own maximal contributions.

In this way, each of us is to live as a fragment, albeit a self-understanding and, therefore morally responsible fragment, of the ultimate whole of reality.  We are each to accept our own becoming and the becomings of all others as parts of this ultimate whole and then, by serving as best we can the transient goods of all the parts—ourselves and all others as ourselves—to make the greatest contribution we can to the enduring good of the whole.

The fundamental decision is the same for all of us: whether so to trust in the encompassing whole of reality that one is both free from all things—oneself and all others—and free for them; and then to be loyal to the whole by being loyal to all its parts, accepting all others as oneself and thinking and acting accordingly.