The other day, a few weeks ago, I was staring at a tree.
Yes. A tree.
Although I do hope that I didn’t make it shy, that tree threw me into some deep contemplation about the process of evolution.
What is it that makes a tree, an insect, a bird, a wild animal and a pet, different from a human?
After all, these organisms also have incredible instinct and divinity in them. We surely can’t discount the motherly instincts in all species, the protective nature of animals towards their own kind and their ability to know how to hunt etc. Nature is quite an incredible phenomenon if you ask me.
I have personally never watched quite wildlife shows due to my fear of certain animals, but aren’t you amazed at how Nature just seems to ‘know’ what to do? Birds know how to feed their little ones, mamma bears know how to protect and carry their baby bears and elephants, lions, wolves all know exactly what they have to do. Yet us humans, other than our huge egos and arrogant attitudes, we seem to believe that we are a step ahead. And perhaps we are.
What else can I say about humans? Well, you know! I won’t delve deep into the story of us incredible humans, but to cut the long story short, in addition to our instinctive nature, we lead our lives based on our innate tendencies, yet we are also heavily conditioned by our upbringing and the society around us.
So, then, if we are all growing with and for nature, instinctively, I wondered about the essential difference between humans and other species. It then occurred to me, Swamily, that:
Evolution is simple. The entire process of spiritual evolution is to move from a state of living for oneself, to the state of living for others and serving the entire creation, selflessly.
That realisation made sense, because, doesn’t this sum up the lives of saints and God himself? As animals and humans, our entire lives revolve around our desires, expectations and ambitions. We constantly thrive to please ourselves and those we love, but as we progress spiritually, I feel, we start caring more about the world. Great saints and incarnations of God, have shown us clearly that the ultimate purpose of a successful life is to fulfil our duties without attachment to the outcome and to simply serve others as much as we can, without the usual What’s-in-it-for-me attitude. Although ego boosts may prove to be a problem along the way, ultimately as Swami says:
“The best way to channelise our ego is to put it to creative pursuit.” ~ OS
And if that’s selfless, we pretty much nailed it.
So, that tree, I figured was quite selfish. Just kidding! One question does arise though: Isn’t the tree providing clean air to its surroundings? Well yes it is, but not exactly out of choice. As humans, we have the ability to wilfully and consciously serve others. Out of choice, we can surpass ourselves and our circumstances for the well-being of others. Our mind and intellect, when used properly with a kind heart help us massively in achieving this purpose. And that my friend, is the difference between a tree and a human.
That tree is still there. If you’re not a tree, bring me a smoothie please. (No bananas. Thank you.) Just kidding.
Let’s live for others, it truly gives us incredible fulfilment, if done properly.