Mother Nature’s Best Friend

I have realised, once again, how insignificant we are. We believe that we are ‘God’s gift’ to this earth, yet where would the planet be without all the suffering we cause both to ourselves and to it? In a much better mindset, I can assure you.

Sure, we can say that we’re at the head of the animal kingdom, but I bet all those other animals out there are preaching exactly the same sermon – from the amoeba to the elephant, I am sure we all have an ego which wants to break free from our physical body, for most are probably more capacious than the largest blue whale in the deepest of oceans. Consistently, I see my cat walk past the mirror, turn, and walk back, as if he believes that one day, that handsome figure in that far off land may vanish; never to be seen again. And I know they may not be aware it is a reflection of themselves, but surely everyone believes themself to be an individual; cut off from the world – a free spirit to roam as they please? For surely that is the reason for some individuals’ trivial manner as they partake in a wrongdoing: they can torture and kill, for they have the right to do so; as long as the same does not happen to them, everything is ‘fine and dandy’ – ‘What business of mine is it, so long they don’t take the yam from my savouring mouth?’

But then, so many individuals talk of following ‘karma’. Surely that reasoning presents the idea that one must do no wrong to others, for the world works as one to send it flying back in your direction, and – no matter how much you run – it is bound to catch up with you in the end, only to leave you sprawling on that cold floor. Surely, if everyone believed in karma, the world would be a much happier place? For all you Christians out there, didn’t Jesus say, ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself?’ Is that not the fundaments of ‘karma’? It is strange how what was once said thousands of years previous, is still relevant today.

I sometimes wonder what the world would be without humans: a much greener, less gassy place, I am sure. Or, to turn this upside down, what the world would be without the ego – the I, as it translates in Latin. Surely we would realise that we are all interconnected; all living as one, and, if a sole individual topples, the rest follow suit? This would mean less crime, less murders… so why is it, then, that people find it impossible these days?

Now don’t get me wrong: although I believe in karma, sometimes I find it more difficult to stay on that straight and narrow track than anything, and I often fall headlong into the muddy sides, until, having had my comeuppance, I heave myself up – soaked through – back onto the path. I am not saying it is easy, I am merely saying that I cannot understand why – for some part of every individual’s life, at least; whether they be in the midst of making a cup of tea, or else stealing the handbag of a kind elderly lady – one does not encounter an epiphany whereby they realise that there are only ever negative repercussions if we act immorally.

Yet other animals do not have this problem; there is no ‘killing for fun.’ I often wonder if there have ever been long-running battles between two main government parties as to whether or not ‘participants’ can partake in the vicious murdering of wild fox, for example (and using another species to do their evil bidding, at that), in other bestial creatures. I think that description pretty much wrapped up the truth in a giddying, horrific box; only humans.

And we say that we are the superior race? Don’t make me laugh.


Author: Jasmine

Hi, my name's Jasmine, I'm 25 and I live in London. This blog is simply to note down my current thoughts - got any opinions on what I write about (or if you simply want to drop me a line), comment me :)!

3 thoughts on “Mother Nature’s Best Friend”

  1. i’m glad to have stumbled upon your blog because it’s giving me something worthwhile to read and while i have enjoyed reading your post i can’t say that i agree with everything you’ve said. i do in fact believe myself to be superior to animals because of the fact that i have a will apart from my mere instincts. i can analyze situations and reason changes in my behaviour. it is precisely because of this that i can be said to be a moral creature while a mere animal cannot be said to be moral or immoral. to be moral is to be good, and if an animal cannot be moral than it cannot be said to be good (nor bad). humans are the only creatures capable of being called good and so they have the capability of exceeding all other animals, but it is precisely because they have these capabilities that they are able to fail so spectacularly and kill, torture, and hate one another. even when they fail it is proof of their excellence because only someone with the potential of doing the greatest good can commit the gravest wrong.

    on another matter, “love thy neighbour” is not the fundamentals of karma. karma claims that you should be good or else the world will punish you (more or less)–that is essentially a threat. do good, or be punished. while “love thy neighbour” is just that, it is just to love one another because it is good to do so and not because you are scared of being punished by this impersonal force called karma.

    i could never live in a world without the ego because the ego is the self, and it is only the self that can love, and forgive and yes, even hate. a world without the ego is a world where you can neither know or be known, love or be loved…it is the worst of all possible worlds. yes, the ego may lead people to doing atrocious things but it also leads people to do the greatest good. hence, it is not the ego that is the problem but rather the decisions that are made.

    hmm…i guess i wrote too much.

  2. Thanks for your feedback, Methodus!
    I understand where you are coming from with all your points, but I am afraid I disagree – especially with the first one: you said that you can ‘reason changes in your behaviour,’ a key feature which distinguishes us from other animals. Do you not think that when a tame dog, for example, does something ‘wrong’ or ‘out of character’ (e.g chewing on a chair), if its owner tells it off and makes it clear that it was the misguided decision to make, why is it then that the animal usually desists from doing it again, instead choosing to look at you with those beseeching eyes?
    You also raise the idea that animals cannot act morally or immorally; good or bad. But how is this so when animals have saved humans countless times; have gone out of their way to save our lives – just type in ‘top ten cases of animals saving humans,’ there are over five million results.

    You’ve got me there. I guess I chose the wrong quote, although the idea of cause and effect is reflected (very slightly, I will admit) in ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself) – I guess I was looking into the thought of ‘treat others as you would like to be treated’ (with the added part of ‘karma’s only a bitch if you don’t’ from an unknown source), which, in a way insinuates that what we give out is what we gain. Another quotation I should have considered instead is, ‘God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap’ (Galatians 6:7), which would have probably been more fitting to the point I was trying to make!

    I see your point, but why is it then a pivotal concept in Buddhism that one should see themselves as ‘egoless’ in order to continue down the spiritual path? You would free yourself from hatred and greed, and I know you would lose ‘love,’ but a great many individuals do in fact want to be ‘egoless’ as I described.

    I guess I was just in a really down state of mind with regard to humans when I posted that blog, so I talked rambled my way through the post!

    No, no, I am glad you wrote a lot – it’s interesting to get other people’s opinions on things! Did you have any other conflicting thoughts on any of my other blogs?

    1. when a dog does something wrong, as in your example, it is simply acting contrary to the way that it has been conditioned and not contrary to the way one could think of it as acting in nature. even if it saves a person, that does not mean that it has acted morally…it has only done something good and there is a difference. if you say that a dog can act morally then you also concede that it can act immorally and would you really be ready to support such a notion? that a dog could act immorally? to act immorally means to fail at being what you are and it is only humans that can fail at being human and not animals because only humans possess moral aptitude. can you say that a dog can be ‘in-canine’ or act ‘in-caninely’? but a human can be inhuman and act inhumanely specifically because of the fact that he/she is measured against a moral standard while animals are not. to be moral is better than to be immoral or even amoral.

      this is where i find trouble with buddhism, because it also tells its adherents to forgo love. love is the greatest form of goodness and any ideology that tells one to abandon love is inherently faulty in my opinion. if love is really the greatest good, then lack of love is the greatest bad and as such to lose love does not mean to be empty, but rather to be evil. to lose love is not be better off, or even perfect but it is to be perfectly imperfect.

      even if many individuals claim that they want to be rid of the ego…few if any would be willing to follow through with this because it is the worst possible decision one could make. if one cannot love then they cannot sympathize with others, take care of them when they are troubled, poor or sick. imagine the mother who does not love her child? don’t you find that wrong and sad? and if you do find it so than you implicitly agree that love is good, and a lack of love is the worst of all possibilities.

      i feel like buddhism approaches the world through an ideology of fear. “the ego can be used to harm so we have to rid ourselves of that.” that is unbelievably wrong. where there is no love you have no good at all, and where there is no good all you have is uninhibited wrongness. a world without the ego would not be good, it would be the worst of all possible worlds. the problem people have with the ego is that people will sometimes choose evil over good but that doesn’t mean that we should try to eliminate good along with evil because where there is no good you only have evil. in short, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

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