Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Human Or Reptile?
Reptiles have survived on earth for a very very long time. And the reason behind their success is simple – Conserve as much energy as possible, and spend just enough of it necessary for basic survival and reproduction.
Thinking about it for a while, the reptilian approach towards life can be described in one word – Lazy.
The snakes are quite happy just surviving. Besides there is not much they can do with life anyway. Nature has given them just enough to survive. They live to live and they die. They are biologically engineered to do just that.
So if you see a snake slithering across the grass in the park. You don’t have to stop and ask it where it is headed and for what. Chances are that either it is headed to find a mate or to find some food so it can tuck it's self back into it’s comfortable burrow.
Also it would be worth keeping in mind that snakes are not very friendly creatures, so it would be advisable to not intrude on a busy snake. Because it’s reptilian brain will most likely see you as a threat and the snake might attack. And we all know that is not a very healthy thing for you.
Rather a jog around the park would be something I’d suggest for good health since you are in the park anyway.
Even though reptiles like snakes, and lizards have been around for millions of years. Their brains did not evolve beyond mere cold blooded survival because they had evolved enough to survive just fine in their paradigm.
But over these millions of years a line of evolution ended up with us humans. So logically enough, since we have evolved from reptiles, our brains have evolved from them too.
And it is a widely known biological fact that our brain can be looked at as consisting of three layers, namely.
1) The innermost and hence at the core we have the reptilian complex
2) Over that we slowly evolved the limbic region as reptiles gave way to early mammals
3) And right on top, we humans have developed the final part of our brain that makes us human to begin with – The Neo-cortex.
And all our actions without any exception are a result of combinations of all these instincts our brain has collected over billions of years of evolution.
But even though our brains our bigger and more capable than that of any other animal on this planet. We don’t seem to be living very differently from the rest of them.
Today the human society is only evolving along the lines of reptilian concept of laziness.
Our technology, and our way of life is only aimed towards making us more lazy and lethargic. Just like the reptiles- We are obsessed with conserving as much energy as possible, and we see it as a good thing too.
Affluence, comfort, social classes, and quality of life are all closely associated with how one can get more lazy and comfortable and get more and more of their work done by other poorer people. Be it driving, washing dishes, cooking food, doing the lawn or taking care of children.
We consider hiring other people to spend time with our own kids as a classy act. A thing for the successful rich and the famous. This will give you a good idea about how lost humanity is.
And everybody in society who is not in a position that fits with these notions of a good quality life is striving to get there. We are constantly chasing materialistic objects for momentary satisfaction.
Doesn't anybody ever wonder how our ancestors would have lived their life before the advent of all the modern technology?
Then people wonder how the ancient people had so much knowledge about the mind and the universe.
Because they spent time on things that mattered.
A humble life is never seen as an option for the so called smart people in the society.
But I resonate more closely with Henry David Thoreau’s idea of an intelligent lifestyle.
He said “Any man intelligent/wise enough would choose a life of poverty over that of affluence.”
As a civilization and a specie at large, our reptilian instincts have dwarfed our newly found intelligence completely.
Looking at the way we live our lives as a global culture, our reptilian instincts stand tall and proud like The Himalayas, while our intelligence is like a feeble individual contemplating the thought of conquering the majestic peaks.
It is not impossible, it has be been achieved in the past.
As Hunter S. Thompson rightly and very gently described a scene from a bar in his book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – “I was right in the middle of a fucking reptile zoo, and somebody was giving booze to these goddamn things.”
And reptiles have all the right to live a reptilian existence because that’s what they are capable of.
But what are we going to hide behind? What reason do we have to still be living such decadent, creepy and grossly unintelligent life?
When is the intelligence going to take control of our rampant crazy and out of control reptilian instincts, and pull humanity forward?
When are we going to stop seeing comfort, laziness as ends in themselves? When are we going to open ourselves to the true potential of human life of creativity, love and peace?
As Einstein said in his essay – The Life As I see it
"I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves -- this critical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty. The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. Without the sense of kinship with men of like mind, without the occupation with the objective world, the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific endeavors, life would have seemed empty to me. The trite objects of human efforts -- possessions, outward success, luxury -- have always seemed to me contemptible.”
Any man truly aware of what it means to be human would choose eternal bliss of kindness, beauty, art and truth over the trivial meaningless concepts like luxury, comfort, materialism.
Today human race has still not reached a point in evolution where it truly deserves to be called humanity.
If one were to compare the fundamental aspects of paradigm of dinosaurs with our own. I doubt one would spot any differences.
It was cold blooded unintelligent survival 220 million years ago and it still is the same. Those reptiles mindlessly competed with one another for survival, so are we.
So while the common man without much thought feels that humanity is slowly moving forward. I see something quite the opposite.
If I am to look at the ground reality of things, humanity seems to have not moved one inch out of the jungle. Well! scattered individuals have through out history tapped into the unchanged beauty and truth of the universe.
But as a species not only have we failed, we are in fact headed in completely the opposite direction, if we are moving at all that is.
Today humanity seems to be headed on a one way track to destruction, and hope for any positive change is diminishing by the hour.
And if the human specie does go down, it is not the humanity that will fail.
True humanity never really got a chance.