The natural is not necessarily desirable
The Bhagavad-gita (11.29) while describing how the warriors on the Kurukshetra battlefield were doomed compares some of them to moths rushing towards fire. Commentators explain that through this example of volitional self-destruction, the Gita points to warriors like the evil Duryodhana who brought about their own destruction by their depravity. The Gita (11.28) contrasts them with warriors like Bhishma who were circumstantially pushed into the war such reluctant warriors were like rivers that are pushed towards an ocean by the higher forces of nature.
Of course, some people may argue that the moths too were acting naturally their nature impelled them towards the fire. Such arguers had predecessors even at the time of the Mahabharata. During the peace negotiations before the war, Duryodhana, when reproached for his depravity, countered that he was simply acting according to his own nature: When the Creator had given him his nature, what was his fault?
The moth doesn’t have the intelligence to recognize the disastrous consequences of its attraction to fire. But we have the intelligence to foresee such consequences of giving in to our lower nature.
The fault with this argument is that the Creator has also given us scripture which educates us that we humans have a dual nature: a higher nobler nature coming from our spiritual essence and a lower baser nature coming from our psychophysical mechanism with its many past impressions. Further, the Creator has given us the intelligence to understand that we should choose and strengthen our higher nature, for it will bring out the best within us. And we should reject and weaken our lower nature, for it will bring out the worst within us.
The moth doesn’t have the intelligence to recognize the disastrous consequences of its attraction to fire. But we have the intelligence to foresee such consequences of giving in to our lower nature. By learning from scripture, we can avoid falling for the “natural equals desirable” sophistry and train our intelligence to make healthy choices, thereby promoting our ultimate good.
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