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In animal kingdom, four instincts are considered as rudimentary.
- Intercourse( Reproduction)
All activities of all animals are based on these four basic instincts; in varying degrees. These decide the way of life for any animal – for either a tiger or a mouse or a small insect or a gigantic whale.
Of course over and above these, love too abounds in them to some extent; e.g. love between a ring master and a ferocious lion in a circus or a dog and his master; a horse and his rider. Many a place enemies like a dog and cat are also seen living amicably in the same house. These examples imply that love too is present in animal lives.
In human beings, over and above these five; there are many more faculties- the base of which is human mind. In some animals there is also some extent of thought and reasoning. But it is on a very limited scale.
The human mind has myriad of characteristics; but in the opinion of this writer – there are four basic characteristics of human mind; which are at its root and give rise to all its unfathomable depths –
We will look into the first two here, in short.
The word ‘human’ probably is connected with ‘man’; which means mind in Sanskrit – a base language of most of Indian languages. Mind means capacity to think. This is basic force in all human beings aboriginals, laborers, highly intellectual scientists, a great conqueror, or a business tycoon. In all of them, the capacity to think is always present in large or small degree. A man observes about things and situations; compares them with his accumulated knowledge/ memories and evaluates/ analyzes them. He adds hues of imagination and logical conclusions as also sentiments; and takes actions and reactions. He develops likes and dislikes for them. These give birth to his six enemies too -Desire, Anger, Conceit, Greed, Infatuation and Jealousy.
Even in the foundation of human civilizations, in their conflicts and desires to be supreme – thought process is the basic element; in all its good or bad features. Most of human endeavor is the outcome of ‘Thoughts’
Over and above the thought process; an element of lacking is present and works independently. He always suffers from a desire/ anxiety to achieve something that he has never seen, known or experienced. He may have everything that he wanted and yet he always feels about something that is lacking. This is the experience of each one of us- even of a person at the pinnacle of social pyramid. A person rolling in wealth and power as also a poor man dwelling in a ramshackle hut or even a street dweller is always feels that something is lacking. Poets call it a mirage. This is his instinct over and above thought. This lacking drives his thoughts too. He craves to achieve something, which he has not even thought of; which does not exist at the moment. He does many useful or non useful activities, He feels disturbed due to that unknown. He feels depressed or frustrated on account of it. Ambitions, new inventions, new creations are the outcome of this instinct of lacking. If there is no lacking; nothing new could be created. Such lacking gives rise to fresh thoughts; and thoughts give rise to new lackings. It becomes a closed circle. But fact remains that these two are distinctly separate entities. They have their own existence.
This lacking gives rise to new instruments for human needs, comforts and luxuries on the outside. Lacking is at the base of science and knowledge – inventions of stone and bow and arrow to fell fruits or for hunting, stock breeding and agriculture, wheel, pottery, baskets, barter and commerce. Myriad of such inventions have given rise to science, crafts, technology, business and industry.
But such a lacking could be and is – internal too. It may generate out of his animal instinct of fear; generated from outside forces or by his own thought process. ‘Who am I?’; “Who has made all these things in nature?”; “What will happen to me after I die?”- Such questions bother him and give rise to an internal quest. This is at the base of philosophy and religion. It is on account of such a lacking that man has imagined/ thought of a superior / divine existence – of God.
Religions, sects, beliefs, faiths, religious traditions are generated out of some lacking. Perhaps they are not based on logical observations or deductions. But at their root is some sort of a lacking or emptiness. These may arise out of unknown fear or excess of satisfaction too!
A person, who is passing through a dark, endless tunnel of unhappiness and is not able to see any ray of hope in his miserable life; who is standing on the heaps of shattered dreams, lost belongings or broken relationships does experience an acute lacking. But it is also present in the psyche of a person at the pinnacle of his life time achievements. He feels loneliness at the top and creates a new longing to search for further heights – new, nonexistent visions, new insatiable desires.
These lackings go on drilling holes in the psyche. They are there, as thoughts are. These are at the roots of science and philosophy.