The defining characteristic of humanity distorted by ignorance is inhumanity
Both materialists and spiritualists consider humanity as the pinnacle of evolution. Materialists believe that humanity is the apex of a multi-millennia journey that began with a primordial soup. Spiritualists know that humanity is the peak of a multi-lifetime journey of the soul that has wandered through many species.
Either way, both materialists and spiritualists acknowledge that humans have a higher intelligence than other species. A distinctive feature of this intelligence is our humanity – our capacity for sensitivity, sacrifice and selflessness. Due to our humanity, we go against nature’s imperative for survival of the fittest and risk our lives for protecting those less fit than us – isn’t that what lifeguards or firefighters do?
Despite having this outstanding capacity for humanity, humans sometimes exhibit inhumanity that would put animals to shame.
Despite having this outstanding capacity for humanity, humans sometimes exhibit inhumanity that would put animals to shame. Humans abuse their advanced intelligence to manufacture ideologies of hatred and weapons of mass destruction that bring devastation and death in the lives of millions. The Bhagavad-gita (16.14) outlines such a conniving mentality that inflicts murder with cold-blooded glee. Such perversity, the Gita (16.08 – 16.09) indicates, is the end-result of a manically materialistic mindset that believes the world of matter to be life’s be-all and end-all. The Gita (16.15: ity ajnana vimohitah) asserts that the cause of such horrendous inhumanity is ignorance.
Gita wisdom counters this ignorance by revealing the world of spirit, of endless love between our spiritual essence as souls and our eternal Lord, Krishna. The more people develop their dormant spirituality, the more the base tendency for inhumanity departs from their heart and the sublime tendency for divinity – life centered on the divine – awakens. It is in this awakening that our evolution attains its zenith; we attain godly virtues that enable us to do the best good here and attain the supreme good hereafter: eternal life with Krishna.