Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The need to kill

Evolution has ordained that each living being has a relationship with nature; and all other beings, in a delicate balance. As time passes, the DNA of those who survive get passed on, and the traits of the parent DNA get replicated. Each of us have a great common feature. We can trace our lineage to the earliest living organisms. The line is uninterrupted; and the evidence is that you, who are reading this, is alive. The others simply couldn’t make it.
The traits you carry, are those that enabled your ancestors to survive, and these have got passed on to your DNA. The only mismatch is that while evolution of physical traits happens slowly over millennia, development in the human mind has been much more rapid. The instincts we have may hark back to the stone age, but our surroundings no more contain the source for the instinctive reaction. For instance, the fear of predators may have made our ancestors behave in a certain way upon hearing a loud sound. While we are no more faced with predators in our cities, yet we cringe and feel afraid if a loud sound is hard. We get startled and start looking around to understand the source of the sound, similar to how our ancestors would have done.
Having said that, I must take you back; to the early days of existence of our Homo Sapiens’ ancestors. It was a time when everything was in harmony, with each living being taking only what he required, from nature. There was abundance of everything. And then, one of our ancestors killed a bird/animal for the fun of it. This was the original earth shattering event. It was from then onwards that imbalance in nature stared. This event led to fear in the minds of others, that there is likelihood of shortage. Hoarding and accumulation became the insurance against such shortages.
The lives of people moved from the present to the future.
Violence is a part of existence. Every living being has to devour someone, whether of plant or animal origin, to survive. Is violence the way of life? The Buddha comes to our rescue and answers the question. He says that we must understand the difference between” Need to kill” and “Will to kill”. While the first is essential, the second is needless and creates sorrow.
In an expanding Universe, resources are increasing, so we have to set our fears at rest and live happy, healthy and peaceful lives. The negativity created by the first act of needless killing has led us to this state, where our fears have led to exploitation, which carries on to this day.

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