Humans who pursue subhuman goals become anti-human
We humans are considered the most evolved among all species on our planet. Ironically though, we often cause more destruction than all other species – destruction not just of other species and of the ecology, but also of our own species. No other species develop ideologies or technologies that lead to the systematic mass annihilation of their own species.
Why are we so self-destructive? Because we are abusing our higher intelligence.
Gita wisdom explains that we humans have been given specially developed intelligence for pursuing life’s higher spiritual purpose. This pursuit culminates in understanding the highest spiritual reality, Krishna, and learning to love him, thereby attaining eternal life in his abode.
However, while we are spiritually uninformed or materially infatuated or both, we neglect our higher spiritual purpose and use our higher intelligence to pursue the basic bodily activities that all living beings pursue: eating, sleeping, mating and defending. But these activities require material resources whose supply in nature is limited and yield only limited pleasure. Wanting to increase this pleasure, we become greedy, exploitative, even unconscionably destructive. The Bhagavad-gita indicates that when bodily gratification becomes our life’s defining purpose (16.11), we become bound to our innumerable worldly desires (16.12). These desires impel us to seek wealth at any cost (16.13), even the cost of destroying our rivals (16.14).
Abusing the advanced human intelligence to fashion new reasons and means for eliminating enemies, we end up becoming not just inhuman, but even anti-human – not just inhumanly cruel, but inhumanly cruel towards other humans. We devise deadly technologies and devious ideologies, deploying them to decimate others of our own species. Today, the greatest threat to humanity is humanity itself.
Nonetheless, if we start using our human intelligence to pursue spiritual realization, we can gradually savor higher happiness, thus playing our part in raising human consciousness.
Think it over:
- What is ironic about humanity’s being the most advanced species?
- What is the higher human intelligence meant for?
- How do humans end up becoming anti-human?
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