TELOS is ‘purpose’. In our philosophy, it indicates the ‘end’ or the ‘final objective’ of life. Aristoteles (Aristotle) strongly supports the idea that everything has a specific purpose. He names <telos> this goal.
The word also means ‘intent’, ‘aim’, but Aristoteles uses it in specific ways. In fact, he refers to the inherent <telos> of each thing, the ultimate reason for each thing being as it is. <Telos> is in the expression <entelecheia> which designates “that which makes actual what is otherwise potential”. The notion is in connection with Aristoteles’ differentiation between matter and form, or the ‘potential’ and the ‘actual’.
We are all born to have a rule and to blossom according to inborn elements. In fact, we originate from seeds already containing the ‘information’ about what we have to become in the future. The seed of an oak contains the ‘instruction’ about size, shape and ‘form of existence’ of the future grown plant. So, the <telos> of the newborn oak is to accomplish itself, following its seed’s instructions. And the same apply to all of us. However, our case is more difficult than the oak’s. It is so because we have a mind/conscience enlarging the margins of our choice. The oak’s margins are extremely narrow and they depend on external circumstances. For instance, abundance of water vs. lack of water, plenty of sunlight vs. lack of sunlight, and so on. Instead, our margins are definitely much larger. And they also depend on internal things.
<Telos> is ‘purpose’. Life needs a purpose. We have a ‘purpose’. The status concerning our (relative) ‘freedom’ in front of our <telos> is clear when considering that we can actually go against our nature. This option is denied to all the other creatures. We can even commit suicide! This (relative) ‘freedom’ is evident also in our prerogative to choose how to react in front of all events. For instance, we can choose to react simply shrugging our shoulders at the news of a robbery in our home. Or we can choose to react with screams and desperation. In both cases, IT IS A CHOICE, IT IS OUR CHOICE, IT IS A FREE CHOICE.
Because any reaction is in our command, we reject the idea that some individuals are born in such & such a way so they would not have the chance of deciding their reactions. It is just a matter of training (<askesis>), self-knowledge and self-discipline.