In order to be really comprehensive the whole system of knowledge about human being should be based on the premise that man is not his body, but consciousness, i.e. living energy, capable of self-awareness and that possesses mind and memory. Body is merely a transient habitat of man’s consciousness. And throughout his personal evolution every person moves in and out of those habitats, dropping off his old body and entering a new one.
Materialists and adepts of primitive religious sects do not believe this. On the other hand God has been telling us about this through Krishna, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Huang Di, Babaji, Sathya Sai and other numerous Divine Teachers and prophets.
One may or may not believe in this. Small and weak consciousness, which associates itself with contaminated and sick body, is generally unable to switch from blind faith (or lack of it) to the knowledge. But one can experience this if one starts to develop oneself as consciousness. This process is also known as walking the Spiritual Path.
It is this process of development of consciousness, both qualitatively and quantitatively that constitutes the meaning of man’s life, as well as of lives of virtually all living beings.
But what is all this for, one may ask? The answer is — in order to merge with God, thus enriching Him with oneself. All material Universe, including our planet and everything on it, exists only for that purpose: to ensure the possibility of development of individual consciousness on material mediums.
Evolution of any individual soul starts as follows. On the lattices of growing minerals the processes of formation and growth of the first rudiments of initially diffusive energy (called protopurusha in Sanskrit) begin. Subsequently the tiny amount of energy formed in this way gets incarnated into bodies of plants, where it continues to grow, then it moves into animal bodies and finally into human ones. The soul grows from one incarnation to another.
One can observe some primitive emotional reactions and motor reflexes even in the vegetative forms of life. Evolutionary advanced animals have a wide variety of emotions and feelings and, in some instances, even possess a developed intellect.
At the human stage evolution of the soul implies, but is not limited to, getting an understanding of these fundamental principles of consciousness’ development as well as taking an active part in this process. Unfortunately, the majority of people do not do this, mainly due to the ignorance in philosophical and religious fields that currently prevails on our planet.