Truth of Existence (Part 2)
Transcript from a talk (Translated from Japanese)
Instinct is the accumulation of countless experiences of success
All wild animals live in harmony with nature, and move, circulate, and relate to each other following their instinct. This is because, by instinct, they live following the laws of nature. Instinct is the highest ability, which has been gained and built up genetically through the accumulation of better and better successful experiences in survival and flourishing of the individual and species. It has been developed through infinite trials and errors in the history of evolution over many hundreds of thousands, millions, and billions of years.
So, if wild animals live and act following their instinct, all will be harmonious and follow the laws of nature. With the exception of injuries, infection from bacteria or weakening of the body from lack of food, the functioning of the body will not become abnormal. In other words, except for injuries from accidents, wild animals basically do not become ill.
Humans live with the “head”
In contrast, humans have a “head (developed brain)”. Different from other animals, a special feature of humans is that we can think with our head. However, regarding the basic topic of living, the judgment ability of the head is very poor compared to instinct. The ability to make judgments with the head comes from the accumulation of experiences over a few million years at most.
In contrast, as described before, instinct is the accumulation and concentration of a billion years of experiences of success since living beings appeared on the earth. For example, let us consider foods that are absolutely necessary for an animal’s survival. Wild animals eat things they like and as much as they want, following their instincts. Things that are suited to the body taste good, and the animals like these foods. In contrast, foods that do not suit the body taste bad, and the animals do not like the smell of these food. These are the workings of the instinct. In addition, through the workings of the instinct, they naturally feel satisfied after eating the necessary amount, and do not eat more than that.
Wild animals do not become overweight
Wild animals do not eat foods that do not suit their bodies, and they do not overeat. Naturally, there are no overweight wild animals. If you think a hippopotamus is overweight, that is because you are comparing it to other types of animals such as deer. The body structure of the hippopotamus is suited for its survival, and it is not actually overweight for its species. The body structure of the hippopotamus is the standard for a hippopotamus. There is no hippopotamus that is abnormally overweight beyond the standard for its species.
Foods suited to humans
In contrast, in most cases, we humans think about and decide with our “head” the type of food, quantity, and number of times to eat based on our knowledge and experience. The result is that we overeat in most cases.
If we humans also followed our instincts, by nature, we would probably not eat very much meat and dairy products. For example, human teeth are not very suited to biting and tearing tough raw meat. It is supposed that for humans of the time before the development of techniques using fire to soften meat such as grilling or boiling, and over the many millions of years of our ancestors which were a type of ape, even if humans ate the meat of other animals, the main foods were things like nuts, fruits and leaves.
Difference between cats and humans
If we observe cats, which are originally pure and simple meat-eating animals, if a small animal scurries nearby, the cats instinctively get excited, follow the movements of the small animal with their eyes and wait for a chance to pounce on the animal.
In contrast, if we humans walk by a pasture and a kid goat comes near, in general, we might think, “how cute,” but we do not think things such as, “This looks delicious.” Still more, unless we are facing severe starvation, normally, the urge to pounce and capture does not naturally well up from inside.
These are only some examples. Of course, we humans can eat meat and consider it “delicious” by grilling or boiling it to make it soft, and adding seasonings such as salt, and vegetable and fruit juices that have good aroma and flavor to hide the bad taste of raw meat. Setting aside the question of whether meat is truly suited to the human body, it is a fact that these methods of preparing meat have widened the range of foods for humans, enriched our diet and food culture, enabled humans to survive more easily, and greatly broadened the area inhabitable to humans. However, perhaps the fact that we cannot consider meat to be “delicious” unless we season it or mix it with other things that have good aroma and flavor such as vegetables and fruits, means that it cannot be said that meat is originally a food that is very suitable for humans.
Is milk a good food?
How are dairy products? The components of milk differ for each species of animal. A human mother’s milk is suited to a human baby. A mother cow’s milk is suited to a baby cow.
In this sense, wouldn’t you say that there is a problem with giving cow’s milk to a human baby? Still more, mammals wean naturally after a certain period of time. They do not need the mother’s milk any longer.
When mammals mature, they get their own food and eat. However, many humans continue to drink milk even after becoming adults. Furthermore, this is not their mother’s milk, but the milk of a mother cow. Isn’t there something strange about this?
It may be a fact that cow’s milk has components that are also nutritious for humans, but nutrients that are necessary for a baby cow are concentrated in cow’s milk. Is cow’s milk truly good food for an adult human? Adult humans are stealing and drinking the milk meant for a baby cow. Even adult cows do not drink cow’s milk.
Food suited to the human body
So, what is the most suitable food for the human body? Basically, it is food that is raw, tasty, and has a good aroma by itself without being mixed with anything else, and without being cooked or boiled.
This may be quite far from the conventional ideas of most people today. However, if you look from the viewpoint of what is the natural way of the human body, you will see that this is definitely not such a strange idea. Our ancestors survived over many millions of years by choosing and eating foods that were tasty and had a good smell in the raw form, based on instinct, which is our highest ability given to us from nature.
As a consequence, the structure of the human body was adapted to these kinds of foods. Later, humans developed various methods of cooking and broadened the range of foods, but this history is only about a few tens of thousands of years old at most. It cannot be said that the human body has sufficiently adapted to these new foods.
Why do we overeat?
In many cases, we humans choose and eat food based on judgments and knowledge of the “head.” If we followed our instincts, we would eat things that suit the body, feel satisfied at the appropriate amount (relatively small amount), and stop eating.
However, since we eat based on judgments and knowledge of the “head,” we often do not eat things that are truly suited to the body (that our body likes). So, no matter how much we eat, we cannot feel truly satisfied. Then, in order to gain a feeling of satisfaction, we cannot stop from eating more and more. In the end, we overeat.
Abnormalities of the body are caused by unnatural lifestyle
In modern life, we do not walk much anymore. By walking, the human body adjusts itself and becomes balanced naturally, but now, we cannot do this natural adjustment well.
In addition, since we lack exercise, many people commute to a gym for exercise after work. Wild animals do not lack exercise even without commuting to a gym.
We can see these kinds of examples in various aspects of our every day lives. In short, since we humans make judgments with the “head,” we go away from the laws of nature, our lifestyles become unnatural, and as a result, our bodies become abnormal. This means that in principle, the abnormalities of our bodies will be cured if we correct and conform our lifestyles to a natural lifestyle, and leave things to the life power of nature (instinct).
Human society is a society that is one body
Our world, that is, human society, is a world that is one body in which originally everything is connected and circulates. This society is formed from relationships in which all people, including adults, children, elderly, infants, men, women, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, grandfathers, grandmothers, uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces, are connected to each other and circulate.
These people are in various types of relationships such as family, friends, and acquaintances. Further, through organic gathering and joining, these people form the many types of systems and organizations such as shops, factories, offices, companies, public offices, courts, and schools.
Then, these collectively become a nation, and further, the world is formed from all of these factors.
The basic unit of the international society is the nation. Similar to all the cells, tissues and organs of a human body, it can be said that all people and other components, are irreplaceable and precious existences that form this society, which is one body.
Our society is not in harmony
Nevertheless, can we say that this society, which is one body, is completely sound and in harmony? Unfortunately, this is not the case. Even if each existence in this society is irreplaceable and precious, and inseparably connected to each other, their workings are not sound workings, and this world has not become one that is happy, in harmony and at peace. Why is this so? It is because abnormalities have been created in society through ideas and judgments that are not in line with the truth.
Similar to the situation of the human body, abnormalities are created in society through activities of individuals and each type of system and organization, when we follow mistaken beliefs, ideas and judgments of our “head” that are not in line with the truth (laws of nature).
This is the cause of suffering and agony of the mind and body of individuals. Further, it becomes the cause of hatred and fighting among people, and also becomes the cause of conflicts and wars, poverty, famine and environmental destruction.
In short, our society is also one body. However, it is not in harmony. This means that abnormalities have arisen in our society because of ways of thought and judgments that do not follow in line with the truth that “all existences are not separate, but one indivisible body,” which is the truth of existence.
The workings of the body and the workings of society
The body is one whole, so if there is an illness or injury somewhere in the body, it leads to disharmony of the whole body. In addition, the effects of the illness or injury and reaction of the body affect all reaches of all cells. Also, an illness or injury to one cell connects to illness of the entire body and mind which is one whole.
Similar to the human body, human society is also one body. The many problems of society are like the illnesses of the human body. In other words, just as suffering in one part of the body becomes suffering of the entire body and mind, if there is even one person in the world who is suffering from poverty, famine or war, is in need or is suffering, to feel it as my own suffering and unhappiness is a normal and sound sense that is in humans by nature, and this is the correct way of seeing things.
I feel it is human nature to consider this as suffering and unhappiness of oneself that is one whole, and work to remove the suffering or unhappiness, and restore soundness to the body even one moment sooner.
In this way, if each person becomes aware of this truth of existence, conflicts would not arise, and egoism such as “as long as it is in my interests” or “as long as it is in our interests” would not arise.
Sense of oneness and sense of separateness
Let us consider again the sense of oneness and sense of separateness from the perspective of the individual and the whole, because each of us humans certainly has an awareness of the “self” or awareness of the “individual.” In addition, it is a fact that each person, or each existence, appears to be separate. So, how should we think about this?
We can think of it as the difference between our picture of things based on our sensing and seeing with our five senses, versus the true form of this world. Let me explain this difference with an example.
Sunlight is colorless and is one. However, if colorless sunlight passes through a prism, it separates into seven colors like a rainbow. In fact, it is divided into many more than seven colors.
Just like in this example, we can think that all existences are originally one, but if passed through our five senses, it looks like countless numbers of “individuals.”
All humans are brothers and sisters
I would like to explain about the relationship between “the individual and the whole” using another example.
In 1987, according to research by Dr. Cann and colleagues, comparison of the genes of newborns from locations around the world such as Asia, Europe, Australia and New Guinea, showed that all humans living on the earth have in common the same ancestor, a female who lived in Africa 200,000 years ago.
In other words, all humans are descendants of this woman, and we humans are all brothers and sisters.
Setting aside the question of whether the common ancestor of all humankind has truly been determined, I believe that there is no objection to the idea that all humans have a specific common ancestor and that all humans are descendants of that specific ancestor.
This can be expressed by saying, “We branched off from a common ancestor.” Male and female descendants that “branched off” were united, and descendants of a common ancestor were born. This was repeated nearly an infinitely large number of times, and all of the descendents are related like the mesh points of a three-dimensional net.
It might appear that people branched off and became separate. But, actually, through this process, new bonds can be formed. So, in fact, we have not become separated and lost all relations to each other. We might appear to be separate, but this is also a form of one indivisible body.
All existences are one body
The relationship between “the individual and the whole” becomes clearer if we think about our human body.
Each human life starts from one fertilized egg. This fertilized egg cannot do many detailed biological activities as it is. One fertilized egg divided and became two cells, divided again to become four cells, and after dividing nearly an infinite number of times, formed over 60 trillion cells. From these cells, tissues and organs that have various functions were created. All together, these form one living organism, that is, one human.
So, is it the case that each cell, tissue, and organ is separate? They are unrelated? They are simply “connected”? Can the relationships with each other be explained completely with the expression, “They are very closely related?”
The individual and the whole
All of the above are mistaken. Each relationship is such that we cannot survive without the other, we help each other, and fill in for each other’s weaknesses. These aspects circulate among each other, and by each fulfilling its special qualities and roles, the one life (one living body) as a whole can live.
In summary, each individual is given life by all other individuals. Also, as an individual, the individual lives one large life that is the whole, and the overall one large life lives as an individual.
It is important to become aware of the truth of existence
This relationship between “the individual and the whole” is not limited to the human body, but is the proper form of the world of nature. In addition, it is the way human society ought to be by nature.
Indeed, we have an awareness of our “self,” and an awareness of the “individual.” However, it definitely does not mean that we all exist separately from each other.
Each of us humans, by nature, is an existence that is absolutely necessary for each other. The true form of human society is living in harmony with nature, helping each other, making up for each other’s weaknesses, and cooperating with each other.
Each person has an awareness of the “self,” and the reason we have a sense of the “individual” is that by having this sense, we can better enable others to live, and help the overall life advance. Through the inner demands of “life” itself that works far and wide throughout the macrocosm, and as a result of evolution, humans gained this kind of ability.
You can think of this as the same as the inner demand of “life” itself that caused one-celled organisms to evolve to many-celled organisms, and then to the various types of plants and animals that have complex tissues and organs.
In any case, all of the problems of human society arise from egoism, which is based on the sense of separateness. As human society has come to such a dead-end situation in the present era, now of all times, we must awaken to the truth of existence that “all existences are one (and not separate existences).”
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Monday, March 2, 2009