The Gurus did not believe in religion as such. They were seekers after truth and so the ‘truths’ they promote are to be realized through reflection and experience.
Sikhs regard life as full of choices. Sikhs say that people can either choose to focus on God and live with That in their lives or stumble on with a focus on the doubting self.
Sikhs see Haumai or ‘Am I-ness?’ as the fundamental problem. Doubt leads people to fear and from there to self-centredness. This is the key problem of a manmukh or self-centred person. However, for Sikhs, the real origin of the self is that it has been made by God and contains the Divine imprint or Shabad. This Shabad or Word is God and is the reason why God is with and in all people.
The Gurus taught the Unity of Being: ‘1-All-Creativity Is Reality’. The Gurus taught that separating matter and spirit or the phenomenal and noumenal worlds was the root of ignorance.
Sikhs consider that evil is caused by people and they will be punished for it. It is a result of free will which makes it possible for us to have the chance to enjoy a relationship with God. The Sikh response can be seen as part of a more general mystical theodicy where suffering can cause people to re-focus their lives and bring them closer to God.
The purpose of life is to become a “sachiara” – truthful, real, authentic – by breaking through the “dam of filth” and re-unite with God who dwells inside us as “fragrance in a flower”, a “reflection in a mirror”, “fire inside of wood”. In re-connecting to the “breath of life” humans connect with God as “water flows into water”.
The final destiny of all beings is to re-unite with God as “sparks from a fire”. These images are not literal descriptions of the relationship between humans and God, however, since what language can tell us about can be defined as the world of phenomena. What lies beyond the reach of language is the Naam, the person of God, the Numinous who is known through personal experience through God’s own power, God’s grace.