"what is" This relates to the second question from the plan of salvation: "What is my purpose in life?" To understand purpose, one must understand "what is." This phrase references reality--including the concrete, abstract, and unknowable things. It could be described as the Tao, the universe, or the Johari Window/Rumsfeld Quadrant. Most cultures have an origin story that tells how "what is" came to be. The type of person who uses this phrase may also likes John Cage's response when asked about the meaning of life--"No why, just here."