The Precious Human Realm

During the course series, I taught under the umbrella of Beyond Mindfulness, we focused on the subject of the environment to understand how nature works and the role of animals in the environment. Exploring the interconnected links between all living things, I asked my class to watch a documentary about the astonishing impact of a pack of wolves reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Within a few years, some desolate landscapes of the park were transformed into thriving habitats filled with new plants, trees, birds, and other animals. This was because the wolves were living, and hunting, and became the main link to food growth for the rest to thrive. If you haven’t seen it, I really recommend it. It’s very inspiring.

Watching this documentary, I had an aha moment of the power of insight and action we humans possess that helps us make things right. We talked about how the Buddha presented Karma as actions with intention, which also includes inheriting the results of those actions with intention. The power of such perspective is that with intention and action at our disposal, we can always create positive karma or results, even when the negative consequences of past actions come to hunt us. At the least, with appropriate intention, we can reduce them so they can be experienced with more ease and well-being.

I had heard a Buddhist view that there are other realms of existence aside from the human realm, including the heavenly realm, the ghostly, and the animal realm. This viewpoint holds the human realm as the most precious to be in. The logic behind it is: that in the human realm, we have the opportunity to reverse our wrongdoings and create goodness in the world. By doing so, we could finally become free of the cycles of birth death, and suffering. This seemed too philosophical for me at the time and not relatable to human growth and development, so I didn’t think much of it.

One day, while watching the “Wolf in the Yellowstone National Park” documentary, and learning about the brilliant solution of reintroducing wolves to reestablish a thriving ecosystem, it hit me why the human realm might be the most precious realm!

We, humans, have the cognitive and analytical capacity to become aware of our own actions, realize the harm we’ve caused, and can course-correct by taking new intentional actions that undo or remedy the harm we may have done. However insects, termites, for example, may not be capable of understanding the ramifications of their actions in the way we seem to be able to do. They’re unable to change course or make things right if their actions have caused any destruction through consciousness unless other natural conditions are present. Of course, termites follow their innate template and don’t intend harm in the first place. They eat away dead, fallen trees in forests, a very beneficial service we should all be grateful for. They can also destroy our homes and cause real hardship and suffering for us. While eating away wood used to build our homes, termites are oblivious to the consequences of their actions and just follow what they are programmed to do. Even though they are not acting out of harmful intentions, being unaware of the harm they cause us won’t provide them the chance to make their “wrongdoing” right. So they remain hostage to their programming to do as their roles are assigned by nature. Nature has given them a role, and equipped and positioned them to perform it. It’s not personal.

On the other hand,we humans are bound to the laws of karma (inheriting the results of our intentional actions, whatever harm or good we cause we’re connected to the outcomes). We cause anguish and suffering for ourselves and for others, which can be eliminated. Humans have evolved to enjoy the features of consciousness, thinking, reasoning, understanding, and compassion. These capabilities though are not automatic. We have to learn and develop them.

We can learn to evaluate the causes, conditions, and effects of our actions and how to best navigate relationships and changes in our lives. To best create systems, products, and innovations that do not hinder ourselves and others’ sense of well-being and sanity. Many of us still miss essential pieces to an effective functioning inner-navigation system that can help us live with ease and successfully.

If you are interested to learn more on how to improve your life and be effective in stewarding our planet read my upcoming book.

Click Here To Pre-Order:

It’s Not Easy to Be Human:
A Guide to Optimize Inner Navigation Capabilities and Asset
To Ensure Personal and Planetary Success

I would love to know your thoughts. Please leave your comments in the comment section.

Warm Regards,