A Lizard ran out on a rock and looked up,
listening no doubt, to the sounding of spheres.
And what a dandy fellow!
The right toss of chin for you
and swirl of a tail.
If men were as much men as lizards are lizards
They’d be worth looking at.
~ D.H. Lawrence
Men can imagine what they are supposed to be,
But they are not as much men as lizards are lizards,
Because they are not free.
They have lost their freedom because their own thought
Has imposed upon them a boundary,
Beyond which they cannot move,
Beyond which they cannot see.
Why are men not as much men as lizards are lizards? A lizard is wired to protect itself physically. Man is the only living being who puts his own physical security and physical well-being at risk for the sake of protecting ideas. In so many different ways men are harming themselves, harming the society, and the environment in which they live.
The life of a lizard is determined by innate intelligence. This intelligence maintains its existence. Man’s life is mainly controlled by thought which is based on the accumulation of knowledge, social conditioning, and past experiences. The domination of this thought process has pushed intelligence to the background. Because of this overpowering influence of thought, man remains bereft of the innate intelligence and joy of life.
Man moved away from his natural existence when he created in his mind an idea that he is an entity separate from nature and separate from other human beings.
A lizard does not have conflicting or contradictory wants and desires. Yet man’s thoughts are fragmented. They have opposing desires and wishes based on opposing ideologies.
Structure of Thought
The psychological structure of thoughts is full of conflict, contradictions and confusion.
These thoughts and ideas are shaped by accumulated knowledge from past learning, experiences, pleasures, pains, suffering, despair, agony, anxiety and feelings of hurt. They contain numerous images that man has formed about himself and about other people. They form many beliefs, opinions, prejudices. This conditioned existence determines man’s quality of life and the quality of his relationships. The nature of his responses and reactions to day to day challenges in life are determined by the content of his thoughts.
This network of thoughts and accumulated knowledge, based on the past is always limited. Thoughts and words based on the past are always dead. That which is living and has a living quality cannot be expressed in words. A living quality demands awareness and experiencing life from moment to moment.
If a person protects himself physically in the moment, that is natural, but when he starts protecting ideas, beliefs, opinions, and prejudices, he creates all kinds of problems for himself and for the society. Identification with ideas may provide a false sense of psychological security but such identification threatens the physical existence of the person and mankind.
A Self Created Prison
Instead of being used how it is needed, thinking has taken on the role of an illusory notion of a “self” separated from the rest, to protect at all cost from the rest.
Being merely a thought itself, the “self” by its very nature is something unstable, insecure, and uncertain. Thought seeks security and continuity of “self” through a process of identification and attachment. Identification and attachment to property, people, beliefs, and ideas make up the idea of “self”. A person becomes what he identifies with. The identification and the person become inseparable. This identification has far reaching consequences.
Instead of keeping his curiosity and sense of wonder alive, man explains away his existence in limited terms. He has even created ideas of God and described in words that which is unknown and indescribable. After creating the idea he started worshiping that idea. But the word God or any notions about God is not God. That which has a living quality cannot be expressed in words.
If you put a lizard in a cage, intelligence dictates it will do everything possible to get out of the cage. Yet man has lived in a self created prison of words and thoughts for centuries. He has gotten used to the prison and does not even notice the limits of it’s walls. He has devised so many different ways to adjust and escape from the deplorable condition, instead of facing the fact of the condition.
Man has, however, the ability to set himself free. This requires serious interest, passion, and attention to see the facts as they are. Awareness is an absolute necessity. Seeing the condition of mankind, without judgement, will itself spark the intelligence of freedom.
To be Human is to be Humane
Where there is fear, ambition, greed, competition, jealousy, and violence, there cannot be love. Through a fear born of protecting his identity, man continues to meet hate with hate and violence with violence.
If there was unconditional love in his heart, there would be no perpetual fear instigating the protection of property, people, and ideas. There would be no need for wars, brutalities, terrorism and senseless killings.
If there was unconditional joy in man’s life he would not be dependent on so many different kinds of escape – from habits of drugs and alcohol, to blindly following religions and ideologies – all of which desensitizes our innate intelligence.
If man was living intelligently he would naturally eat the right food, living in a healthy and harmonious relationship with nature and fellow human beings.
– Sardar Singh –
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