Monday, January 28, 2013
Triumphs of Modern Man = Triumphs of an Animal
Animals similarly are very efficient and utilitarian at doing things, notes Alija A Izetbegovic. They do things with a very refined sense of pattern, timing and precise execution to survive. They care about what's useful to them; following codes written for them by Allah. They're intelligent too in this sense. Although I can't say if they can think like us.
What they can't do is art and exercise spirituality. These two feature of humans are at least 70,000 years old, as proven by cave paintings of that era. Animals don't know about rituals, prohibitions, sacrifices, irrationality, etc. Unlike animals, computers don't have feeling and emotions. I believe animals have emotions.
There's another subtle difference that proves humans are different from animals. It is when humans behave worse than animals, as per Qur'an. A squirrel, after sensing danger, would never say, "Hey bro, let's check the fire out there." It would run for its life. Humans are negligent, animals hardly are.
There's a old story. Once all animals revolted against man and took their case to Allah. They complained that man is a usurper of their resources. Man in his defense recounted his brilliant technological achievements. For each of his inventions, an animal would produce a parallel Spider would compare his complex web with man's ability make structures. Bees would show their water-tight organization to be equivalent to, if not unmatchable, organizational skills of humans. Similarly, man exhausted everything he had, from communication systems to mineral extraction capabilities.
In the end, man said that he was the only carrier and transmitter of Divine Grace on earth, and that if he is go down, earth will be emptied of that resource. At that this point, all animals surrendered to the superiority of humans. Consciousness, spirituality and art are the reasons for man's hegemony on earth.
Hence all these material achievements of modern man - technological and organizational - are accidental to his true nature and function. He has lost his centre and origion, as per Frithjof Schuon, from which he still cannot escape as it's deeply part of his soul. Therefore, this superiority is no superiority. Animals can now directly compete with him, and rebel against him just like modern man has rebelled against Heaven.