The satisfaction. For many centuries from now, many people

The process of finding the
purpose of life have always been a key problem that faced almost every human
being regardless of his or her social status, economic well-being, popularity
and public honor. There is no universal solution to the problem that can be
accepted by everyone, because every individual has his own values and life
principles. While plenty of people, having materialistic understanding of the
world, live in order to make money and search for human happiness; some may search
for something non-materialistic, but mental, spiritual and supreme
satisfaction. For many centuries from now, many people found their purpose of
life in religion and God worshipping, as did the protagonist of Ibn Tufail’s
novel Hayy Ibn Yaqzan and Christian theologian St. Augustin. Although, Hayy and
St. Augustine found the main goal of their lives in perception of the almighty
God, each character had his own life background and path to the communion with
the divine.

              Hayy’s path toward
understanding the God was different from Augustin’s. Hayy came to religion
through his gradual mental development and studies of natural sciences. Due to
his detachment from the society of people, Hayy had to survive in the wild
world himself. The lack of strength, comparing to animals’, absence of fur,
tusks and other natural apt weapons for survival did not let him to compete
with animals for food. Thus, he started creating weapons that would help him to
struggle for existence. After the death of his “mother”- doe, Hayy made first
steps toward discovering basics of medicine, anatomy and biology. His education
has not stopped on it, by his deduction he managed to discover and study other
sciences like astronomy and physics. Gradually, Hayy’s knowledge and
intelligence made him the dominator in his environment. Cognizing the world, he
finally came to thoughts about the creation of everything, “Whose essence is
necessary existence, Who gives being to all that is?”  (Ibn Tufail, “Hayy ibn Yaqzan”, p. 64, 12th
century,). The question that Hayy asked himself was the point of departure into
the unknown world of religion. He stopped discovering and studying natural
phenomenon, but dedicated all the time toward understanding “the Necessarily
Existent Being” (Ibn Tufail). By contrast with Hayy, Augustine lived within the
society and was able to use knowledge of ancestors. Thus, his enlightenment of
mind happened through reading, “The book changed my feelings. It gave me
different values and priorities.” (Saint Augustine, “Confessions”, book III, p.
31, AD 397 – 400). While Augustine was studying to become an advocate in the
law courts, he used to live a life full of carnal corruptions and thefts, being
led by desire to fulfil his human needs. Once, during his studies he came
across with a book by Cicero, which completely changed his understanding of the
world. He realized everything he had done before was meaningless and miserable.
Augustine’s mother also contributed to enlighten her son’s mind. She did not
let him to wallow in sins and folly, asked a bishop to talk to Augustine and
correct his thoughts and paid money for his education. There is no doubt, if it
was not for his mother, Augustine would not have read that book by Cicero and
would have never turned to divine studies.         

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              Perception of God transformed lives of both our
characters. Before illumination, having both physical as well as mental
activity, Hayy led an active life of scientist who was constantly discovering
something new. Enlightenment resulted in his change of living habits and
conversion of most activity into spiritual. Hayy shortened the amount of
consumed food, ate only to stave off hunger, and helped every living creature
as much as he could, because he understood his life better by his
consciousness. In addition, in order to be like heavenly bodies he always kept
himself clean. Most of his time was devoted to meditation and thinking about God.
Hence, Hayy transformed his life by changing usual life activities, which
helped him differentiate spiritual phenomena from a usual lifestyle. Similarly,
Augustine’s life changed too. His human needs were no longer the priority. He
changed his mind and understood own wrongdoings, “I intend to remind myself of
my past foulness and carnal corruptions” (Saint Augustine, “Confessions”, book
II, p. 21, AD 397 – 400). Concupiscence and pleasure of stealing were replaced
by confessions, worshipping in Church and studying of philosophy. Previous kind
of lifestyle was no more accepted as a desirable one, but was considered
miserable. In book, the author regretted that the illumination of his mind
happened late for him. Confessions to God helped him to console his consciousness
and soul. Once lustful and wicked young man turned into theologian.

              Religion for both Hayy and St. Augustine brought new
lifegoals. Aim is a crucial thing that makes people’s lives fascinating and
drives them toward achievements. Religion and believing in life after the death
create an aim in people to live following basic rules like helping each other,
protecting animals and not committing crimes and sins in order their soul to
get to Heaven after death; or by mediation and prayers  perceive some innermost secrets. As a famous Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung said, “By
far the greater portion of mankind have from time immemorial felt the need of
believing in a continuance of life… For this reason we are thinking correctly,
and in harmony with life, even though we do not understand what we think.”
(Carl Jung, “The Portable Jung”, p.92, 1971). Previous monotonous lives of both
characters were becoming annoying. Religion imbued energy for both Hayy and Augustine. They had common idea that God
can be comprehended only by effort. Although, they had different methods of
communion with divine they both reached their goal.

               Hayy Ibn Yaqzan
and St. Augustin were two different people who lived absolutely different lives.
Hayy lived completely isolated from the society in a wild environment. By
contrast, Augustine lived within the society  Both of them found the purpose of life in
perception with God.