Changing Natural Evolution With Spiritual Evolution

Spiritual Practice

by Jayaram V

We are Nature’s robots, created to speed up its processes and evolutionary mechanism. We are already doing its bidding, working vigorously to evolve Artificial Intelligences, eliminating weaker species, designing more capable and powerful robots, and inventing efficient biological and mechanical systems. We have yet to realize that the world is the factory of Nature in which it employs the beings to do its work. Even climate change may be part of that evolutionary process too, which Nature intends to accomplish through us. Jayaram V

We are all born with the natural mind, which is subject to the natural pattern of thinking and behavior. Because of that we are subject to ignorance, delusion, duality, desires, and attachments. Under its influence, we act according to our desires and perceptions and according to the threats and opportunities which we perceive in our environment.

Much of our behavior is predictable because the same mechanism is at work in all. We do not perceive the reality without filtering it according to our awareness, desires, maturity, knowledge, ignorance and understanding. With regard to the world and worldly life, we are mostly driven by selfish desires and natural instincts to ensure our survival and success, which we measure by how much we are appreciated, accepted, approved or criticized.

Understanding Nature's agenda

I have stated elsewhere that if we let Nature play out its agenda, the world would witness increasingly dominant species who will exemplify asuric behavior rather than sattvic behavior. Nature does not promote morality or virtue but dominance and survival. It favors those species and individuals who survive by all means rather than those who are gentle, well mannered and well behaved.

For Nature morality, honesty or virtue are means or strategies rather than ends, just as immorality deception and vice are. Nature favors those who have the flexibility to use them according to their convenience, rather than those who strictly use them according to their moral values. Whether you like it or not, this is the truth, and if you want evidence you can just look at the people, the leaders and businessmen who are more likely to achieve success, name and fame in this world and attract our attention and adulation.

I have also painted a dark picture, suggesting that if we let Nature have its ways, the world would become increasingly darker and evil, inhabited and dominated by more aggressive, insensitive and destructive people, who will throw all caution to wind and focus upon their survival and success. They will disrupt the traditional way of life and introduce a new set of rules and code of conduct that will break lose all morals and traditional institutions of marriage, family, gender roles, etc.

Fortunately, we do not have to live by primitive instincts or play out the hidden agenda of Nature. We have a choice to rise above the natural mind and express our humanity and the highest of our moral and spiritual values. Although in Nature’s lexicon, morality and immorality, vice and virtue are strategies for survival, we do not have to fall into its trap and let lose the brute in us. We can use our intelligence to transcend Nature and express our humanity.

Spirituality as a solution to contain Nature

Spirituality is the only solution to save the world from the chaos of lower Nature and manifest its higher intent and purpose. The lower Nature is a primitive and brute force, with the predominance of darkness and grossness (tamas). The higher nature is a divine force with the predominance of light and purity (sattva). By spirituality I mean using the higher nature to restrain the lower nature and manifesting the divine qualities which are listed in our scriptures such as the Bhagavadgita.

Spirituality also means cultivating purity and removing the impurities of our minds and bodies so that we can bring out the best in us and establish a just world based upon our highest ideals. It is setting in motion a self-regulated evolutionary mechanism, which is different from what Nature intends to promote, whereby we mentally and spiritually grow and transform into beings of light and wisdom rather than being guided by the barbarian principle of might is right or the survival of the strongest and the meanest.

Cultivating higher qualities will help you transcend your primitive human mind and your instinctual responses. It is where spirituality becomes important and relevant. We already have a spiritual solution in place to transcend Nature and restrain the natural, destructive behavior in us. It has been tested for centuries in many traditions and in different parts of the world and proved valuable even in case of the most evil people. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to practice spirituality from an early age and evolve into better humans. We should make it part of our academic learning so that from an early age people can learn to safeguard themselves against Nature's evolutionary pressure.

Practices which can alter the course of natural evolution

You do not have to believe in God or any religion to practice spirituality, but for its practical value to experience peace and equanimity and become a better human being by rising above your own meanness and pettiness. To be spiritual means to be a better human being who looks beyond his or her selfish concerns and desires. It is to live responsibly with better awareness, intelligence and social responsibility. In this regard, the following qualities are considered universally beneficial to keep your monkey mind under control.

1. Compassion

Rich or poor, strong or weak, everyone suffers. Therefore, everyone deserves compassion. Compassion arises when you focus upon suffering, while envy is the result of comparing your success or wealth to that of another. Success does not necessarily make people happier or better. When a person becomes successful, he will have more enemies, more suffering, and more possibilities of indulging in sinful actions and earning bad karma. Therefore, with compassion you can establish a positive attitude towards the world and avoid feelings of envy and anger towards those who are more successful or happier than you.

2. Detachment

Generally speaking, detachment means being aloof, uninvolved or disinterested in the happening around you. We become emotionally involved with the people and the world around us, which often lead to mental and emotional instability. Excessive involvement with the world would also lead to attraction and aversion to the dualities of life, which in turn color your thinking and cloud your judgment. Therefore, cultivate aloofness or indifference towards the happenings outside. Detachment also means letting go and not holding on to any past grievances and grudges.

3. Not hating

We tend to hate many things in life. Hatred is responsible for all our physical and mental ills. Hatred manifests as anger, dislike, annoyance, frustration, resentment and so on. In many cases the source of anger is hatred only. Those who dislike the world and people in general tend to be angrier. Therefore, if you want to resolve your anger, you have to understand what you hate and why you do. If you can manage not to hate anyone or anything by changing your thinking or your responses, you will automatically get rid of a lot of negativity from you. Not hating is also the basis of nonviolence, which is considered in many spiritual traditions as the highest virtue.

4. Sameness

This is the most difficult virtue for anyone to cultivate or practice. Sameness means being equal to all the dualities of life such as praise and criticism, love and hatred, and success and failure. Sameness arises from letting go, discipline, balance, self-restraint, flowing with the flow, getting along, and knowing what you can or cannot control. You may not always be successful in your effort, but try to practice it whenever possible until it becomes a natural response.

5. Right Living

This is not a recommendation to become a Buddhist. Right living means virtuous living. It is to be on the right side of life, avoiding the sins and the evil to which our minds and bodies are vulnerable. Right living is the foundation of all spiritual practices. You cannot be spiritual without being virtuous. In this regard there is no better example than the Eightfold Path of the Buddha, which goes by the name, “Right living.” It can be practiced by anyone, even secular people. Right Living or the Eightfold Path consists of the eight important practices which lead to peace and the resolution of suffering. They are, right view, right intentions, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Translate the Page