Living according to instinct, animals only react to their immediate environment. They do not expend any effort towards achieving goals or dreams for the future. Indeed, they are incapable of having dreams. In other words, animals are spiritually equipped to live only for today. Of course, an animal’s behavior may change in accord with yearly or seasonal cycles, as in the food-gathering, hibernation, or migratory habits of some species. Such behavior, however, is purely instinctual – something over which the animal has little or no control. As seen previously a lion, only cares of how well his hunger is satiated for now, at that moment. He doesn’t consider about the immediate or the far future as we do, by trying to make provisions for our future sustenance.
A dog barks to provocation, but as it seems, so do we. So despite our so well-developed complex brain, how different are we from animals?
The tendency of humans to follow the so-called law of the jungle, to “fear the strong and threaten the weak,” springs from the world of Animality. In addition, a person who makes little effort towards the future and aims only at fulfilling immediate desires, can be said to be living foolishly, in the world of Animality.
The human brain is formed of three basic parts or layers. The brainstem, or hind brain, controls asic involuntary life functions such as breathing, heartbeat, and patterns of wakefulness and sleep. Surrounding this is the midbrain which controls basic impulses such as the desires for food, drink and sex – desires important to the survival of both the individual and the species that all animals share. Surrounding the midbrain is the cerebral cortex. This area of the brain is the center for uniquely human functions. The ability to control and live beyond the impulses for food and sex is a uniquely human characteristic. To act impulsively, driven only by instinct or desire, is to live like an animal. In one sense, living a humanistic way of life means remaining undefeated by such impulsive tendencies.
We as humans have been given the blessing of basing our actions on thoughts. To live thoughtlessly, being at the mercy of one’s environment, or caught up in the vain pursuit of immediate desire, is to live in the world of Animality.
Quick-fix and thoughtless solutions dealing only with the superficial layers of the matter are being implemented more dominantly as time passes.
All of us behave in a similar manner, not daily, but often. We may deny it, or use any petty excuse to justify our thoughtless actions. But if we continue this way, a time will come, when all the consequences of our actions and behaviors will dawn upon us like an immovable wall only to collapse on us, while we unable to act, would be just left staring at the extreme recklessness of our past, depriving us of our present and endangering our coming future.