Transcending the Beast Within

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A single acorn falls to the ground; eventually a sprout appears, grows and matures to become a giant oak. Splitting an acorn open and viewing it under a microscope we find no trace of anything that resembles an oak tree. This is very much similar to human life as well. Human life begins as a cell that divides again and again until a human being is formed. Searching within that original, we will find no “little human being.” However this first seed-like cell contains all of the forms and functions – all of the causes – that lead to a complete human being.

We might say that the only purpose or objective of an acorn is to grow an oak. However, the purpose of this initial human cell goes far beyond simply developing a physically mature adult. Along with the development of the body, is the development of the mind and spirit. With this the human being is able to experience true joy and a sense of purpose, while tapping tremendous potential. We might say that this is how human beings differ from animals or plants. In this regard, to live as a human being ought to live is not that easy.

There are documented cases of children who, after being lost or abandoned in the wilderness as infants, were apparently adopted and raised by wolves. In the wild, these “feral children,” as they are called, were observed to walk on all fours howl like wolves and eat raw meat. Though human in form, they had lost their human potential, becoming wolves in every sense except physically. Although attempts were made to teach these children human habits and skills, such efforts had little or no effect. They eventually died as they were found – as human wolves.

There is a certain religious sect where adherents fervently pray to the image of a fox. Believers have been known, on occasion, to jump about wildly, like a fox when it becomes excited or distressed. Some believe that such people are possessed by the spirit of a fox. Rather than being possessed, however, we could say that because they revered a fox as their object of worship, their lives responded by manifesting “fox-like” behavior the result of tapping animalistic functions inherent in human life.

Indeed the potential for animality exists within the human life of every human. Therefore, we must always aim to further develop and improve our “human” attributes, and to live a better, more human existence. A wolf-like environment caused the feral children to manifest characteristics of wolves. Similarly, we need to expose ourselves to the correct external influences so that we can better tap the wonderful humanity inherent within us.

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