Only Human... Is That So?
In evolutionary terms, I think we can all agree that human beings are at the top. We're the most sophisticated species on the planet, as demonstrated by the mind-blowing things we've managed to create.
So why is it that, whenever we utter the word "human", we're always talking about the limitations of being human?
"I'm only human," we say. "To err is human."
But what about the immensity of being a human?
Are we missing the point here? Have we gone wrong?
Isn't it true that all other creatures on this planet - plants, worms, insects, animals of all sizes - are conducting their life process quite well?
Eating, creating shelter, reproducing - all various processes of life and death - they simply do. But we - the great human species - do all of these things with enormous struggle.
Why is this? Does this look like the activity of the most intelligent species on the planet? Why doesn't any other creature on the planet struggle like the human creature?
We've been blessed with the most sophisticated gadget on the planet - the human intellect. The problem is, we don't have a clue how to use it, and in fact, we let it use us.
We know how to build rockets to get to space, machines to split an atom, and an invisible web to connect people around the world, but when it comes to the inner workings of our being, we're in big trouble.
We suffer everything. Think about it. Poor people suffer poverty. The rich suffer taxes. Uneducated people suffer lack of opportunity. Those who are educated suffer student loans. Unmarried folks suffer loneliness. Those who are married, well, they suffer that. No kids? Suffer. Kids? Daily suffering.
The list goes on and on. We are suffering every single aspect of life. You tell me, what's one thing we're not suffering?
The truth is, what we're really suffering is our own psychological process. How we think and feel is causing our suffering. It's not the outside world.
Life is not suffering, nor is it joy. It's simply there. Life simply is.
What happens in the world may not happen how you want, but what happens within you can only be determined by you.
I think we can both agree that things on the outside will never go your way 100%. There are simply too many forces at play. Besides, if they go your way all the time, what about my way?
But if what happens within you is not happening your way - all this suffering about every little thing - then can't we agree that we fundamentally don't understand the nature of our inner being, and that we ought to make that inquiry more often?
No wonder we have problems. No wonder we're suffering. We don't have a clue of why we're suffering in the first place. We think it's because of all these external circumstances, but those are just pointing to the problem within.
Everything that ever happened to you - pain and pleasure, joy and misery, light and darkness - all happens within you. Stimuli come from outside, but your experience is always within.
Please understand this.