Higher Level Living?
Because of our intellect, humankind has come to believe that we’re all living at some “higher level” than the rest of our earthly companions: animals., plants, rocks, rivers.
Lately I’ve been wondering about that. I’m questioning it is all. So humans have invented the iPad, high rise apartment buildings and gigantic mono-culture farms. Okay. We can entertain our brains, live in great stacked groups and eat, eat, eat. We are awesome at consuming and reproducing and generally dominating the life cycles of just about every creature we live in proximity with – but is this living at a higher level?
That we have the resources enough to allow us the freedom to ponder the “I am”-ness of life doesn’t put us in the present any more than the male cardinal singing what amounts to about the very same thing in the tree in my front yard. Does it?
In the Moment
The goal of many a spiritually enlightened practitioner is to experience the “being in the moment” aspects of life, hence meditation. A worthy goal indeed, but how is it we who are so clever don’t see that pretty much we’re the only ones who struggle with that? I can’t prove it, but I think a lioness laid out in the sun, a snake basking on a rock, a slug paused on a rested garden rake are all in their moments quite purely. Maybe we wouldn’t call what they’re experiencing having achieved “nirvana” but could be we’re quite mistaken.
I don’t think we’ll ever know for certain either because they may not be able to mentally grasp what not being in the moment is like. We’d ask our smartly crafted questions and the cat we’re interrogating is going to look at us in the way they do – you know the look – they’ll do the ol’ squeezy-eye and we’ll be all, like, “Awwww, cutie-pie kitty guy…” and meanwhile the puss-cat is caught in the outflow of the Oneness of Being and quite beyond (let’s not say above, shall we? It’s so judgmental.) our material grappling in that moment. This won’t be a language problem, it will be an issue of a root level conceptual incomprehension. I don’t think their brains have a capacity to not be in the moment – the thought that such a way of being could exist will be invisible to them.
So who’s living the more meaningful life, eh?
I don’t know. Like I said, I’m just asking questions.
Think about it too, if you like. Pick some creatures or objects and wrap your thoughts around how they might be experiencing their existence. Take notes. Jot your thoughts down. Take snapshots and work it out who you think has the better life.
I know, right? That’s judgmental. Maybe just look at how the differences in experiences play out for others. Make a note of who might be doing things in ways you wish you could.