Mankind, the inquirying animals

The advent of Mankind:

  World is in constant flux and things are changing every moment. What is present becomes past a moment later. Events that are associated with our childhood become in our own lifetime a matter of the past and we become dependent on our memory for having a look once again at them. Faculty of personal memory is really a great tool for conveying the past to the present. However, when there is a great distance of time between past and present, there is no scope of conveyance by personal memory and we depend on other means for linking past with present. We resort to archaeological findings buried under ground, ancient monuments, written records of antiquity and such other things for this linkage. Of all these means, written records are the most eloquent in their contents and details. But these records employ language for conveyance of information and language has severe limitations in several respects.  Still, it remains the most effective tool for connecting people living in the different time frames. Language connects people with each other. And it connects not only those who live within the same timeframe, it also connects them with those who are now no more but had lived in long gone-by times. Though animals are also found to use their own language to communicate with each other, it is the highly developed form of language that, at least in one respect, sets mankind high above animals. But mankind is higher than animals not only in language but also in mind. Humans have developed mind that processes complex thoughts.

  Language is vehicle of thoughts. It transports thoughts from the speaker or writer to the hearer or reader. Language contains words and words have specific thoughts, ideas and vision behind them. When the speaker intends to convey the thoughts and visions he has in his mind to the hearer he tries to choose the words that he thinks would be most suitable to convey all that he has in his mind. However, it is not possible for words to fill in them the entire spectrum of thought for whose transportation they have been chosen.  It is inherent weakness of language as a vehicle. It is not possible for the hearer to completely identify with the mind of the speaker through language.

  The weakness of language as a means of transport of thoughts is twofold: firstly, words do not possess enough spectrums to contain the complete range of consciousness of speaker who uses them to convey his self and secondly, the self itself of the speaker is not a coherently organized being. The being of an individual is multilayered composition of elements that are contradictory and in flux. His thoughts are not only shifting every moment but also they are not always harmonious with his desires and gross impulses.

  Jacques Derrida, the celebrated French philosopher, in his method of inquiry known as deconstruction points out this limitation of language. He asserts that all writing is full of confusion and contradiction and that the author’s intent cannot overcome the inherent contradictions of language itself, robbing texts of truthfulness, absolute meaning and permanence. We are speaking of ordinary people here and not of founders of religions, saints and yogis, who organize diverse elements of their being around one single point, the Divine Being. These spiritual people have still wider spectrum of consciousness that composes not only thoughts and desires but also experiences and visions that are unknown to ordinary people. In their case, the language is much more incapable.

  Even with regard to ordinary people and in the simplest of cases of material objects, i.e. the black dog is drinking water, conveyance of all the dimensions of consciousness of the speaker associated with concepts of black, dog, drinking and water (and the cumulative effect of whole of this) is not possible. It is more so when the author intends to transport abstract thoughts and visions that are associated with his consciousness. This is the case when speaker and hearer are living in the same time and space, and have the unspoken inbuilt contextual singularity present there and understood by the hearer.

  This difficulty is increased manifold when words are spoken and heard in great distance of time and of surrounding circumstances. This limitation of language is pointed out only to impart a sense of caution to the context with which we are concerned here. In ascertaining true meaning of ancient texts this distance has to be taken into consideration. In order to be able to go behind ancient words and make their true intention a part of our present mental consciousness, we have to find adequate means to get over this difficulty of distance of time and space.

  Human being is animal by nature. He has ever been so. He emerged in millions of years of his life- evolution out of dark forces of primitive life – bubbling life-energy of impulses, all sorts of instincts – from self-preservation to dominance -, cravings, desires that may get inflated to limitless proportions. He emerged out of the dark world to evolve – to receive the light of – Mind, the reason and to establish a semblance of man-made order in his group – his collective living.  His group formed out of a community feeling is sustained by common interests and mutual support. But in his group he is not alone; there are other members of his group in the community. And every individual there in the group does not live a life – with all that that constitutes his life, feelings, desires, thoughts, – at equal level with all the other members of the group. Ordinarily, the majority lives at the bottom. But there are individuals who feel inclined to listen – and to obey – to the inner call of their heart over-ruling the objection of selfish demand of impulses supported by evil design of Mind and yearn to rise above in their consciousness.

  They may be few in number but leave an impact on their surrounding, their community. This community may be a group of people, say, an institution, a village, a clan or caste, or a nation. This community has a common and collective consciousness that is a sum total of all the people of the community.

  These few individuals contribute in raising level of the collective consciousness. Majority at the bottom is elevated a bit by this collective consciousness. Because of the nature of man, the graph of the collective consciousness always tends to fall to the bottom and at the bottom are individuals who live a life of meeting demands of their body, cravings and mind. But at the bottom they are not heaped up like a pile; there the lowest base of the formation is made up of those who primarily live catering to the demands of the body like, say, sex, hunger, preservative instincts; they, generally do not go beyond these needs. Above this base are those individuals who live primarily catering to the needs of their impulses and cravings ranging from domination to anger, to love and to pity. At the top of this pyramid are those individuals who primarily live in the world of Mind; their life is mostly devoted to demands of Mind, inventing and designing thoughts. And these three elements, three layers of the stack lying at the bottom do not exist in isolation independent and immune from the influences of each others; they inter-act, they help and service inter se. But still, each one of these is governed by its own principles.

  Over a period of time occasional – but consistently regular – powerful bursts of energy of consciousness from such advanced individuals of the community are required to again elevate and for another length of time to maintain this collective consciousness graph steadily up. This is the secret of nations’ rise and fall and of their civilization’s endurance and longevity.

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