I had a Siberian Husky once. It’s funny, but you will often hear that from people who have had a Husky. Rarely will you ever hear “I’ve had a few husky’s”, or “My family always had husky’s”. One Husky is usually enough for most people.
They are very high maintenance dogs. They are independent and willful, and are the most closely related to wolves of the domestic dogs. They love nothing more than to run or jog (the job for which they were used for generations). They tend to be unaggressive toward humans, and other dogs, probably because being used in group situations (as in sled teams), individuals that exhibited aggressive behavior were destroyed.
They also are born hunters. Since the ability to find some food on their own was not considered a bad thing it was not discouraged.
When “Jack”, my husky, was less than a year-old I was riding my bike with him in an unpopulated area and he was off the leash. We were on a dirt single track path. We rounded a little corner and came upon a rabbit in the path. The rabbit bolted, Jack went after it. In about 10 seconds the rabbit was dead, and being dropped at my feet as a contribution to the pack. It was all very matter of fact.
He didn’t seem proud of himself, and certainly didn’t seem worried that he had done anything wrong. It was as if it were business as usual, and he seemed more interested in continuing our walk.
He had come as a puppy from a shelter. He was taken from an idiot owner, by animal control, who had a litter of pups and was neglecting them. The point is he had never been in the wild or had a parent teach him how to hunt, nor had he seen it done before.
It struck me that I had witnessed a purely instinctive reaction. It was so pure in its intention, focus, method, and execution. It was a product, as were so many of his traits, of generations of survival of his species, combined with breeding and repeated specific work his breed had performed. For him to have become something other than what he was would probably have been improbable, if not impossible. It was imprinted in his DNA, essentially, in every cell of his body.
Interesting story, right? But, of course, it leads us to where I tend to go… into aspects of introspection and self-assessment.
It’s Not about the Thumbs
As humans, we love to think of ourselves as very special, both individually and collectively. We love to think our “superior cognitive intellect” and opposed thumb have made us so special that other species and even our environment are servants and hosts to our voracious appetites and “superior” needs and wants.
Actually, it is not our intellect or thumbs that makes us so (wrongfully) confident of our superiority…It is our ego.
No matter what is going on in our mind, if we are in a body, we are a carbon-based life form. The survival reactions, skills, and traits we exhibit in that life form are no different than the husky. We are linked in so many ways, as individuals and as a group to the experiences of our predecessors, in every cell of our bodies.
Generally, we don’t like to see it unless it’s something we are proud of. Then our ego likes It. As in “Yeah, my dad is an amazing musician, that’s where I got it from”.
The ego does not contribute to intelligence or cognitive thought. It only provides reactive thought response to events that either reaffirm or threaten it’s sense of separateness or individuality.
The Ego’s impulse to separate is like a loaded gun – Not inherently dangerous by itself, but brutal when misused.
Generally, the ego will do everything in its power to maintain separateness. That is, it’s primary function and all it has. It does not want to admit that we are in any way connected to or influenced by our instincts, DNA or, most importantly, our true spiritual nature. That would mean it does not have control of certain things. It does not want to admit that we, as the Husky, are connected to others, regardless of their skin color or features, through the instincts and genetics of our species.
It’s motivation for this closed-minded line of thinking is fear. The ego is always operating from a place of fear. Love and compassion and feelings of unity manifest from the spiritual part of our diverse consciousness.
Why would anyone want to be influenced by such a limiting and self-serving proposition as ego based fearful thinking? Because without it we could not play on this playing field of material creation.
It allows us to act as individuals. Without it we would exist in a state of constant unity with our environment, and all the living things around us.
Everything we do comes at a price
The ego comes with dangerous traits that allow us to play the game. You may say, “Why would God (or whatever) do that? Because with everything that happens in material creation, no matter what it is, there will always be bad and good, dark and light, love and fear, generosity and greed and the list goes on. Opposites, or “duality” are a law of this universe.
If you want to surf, you may drown. That is the risk you take. Want to play football? You may get a concussion, or blow out a knee, it is a risk you take. Want to drive to the store for groceries? You could get in a car accident and die. That is the risk you take.
Want to play as a human on Earth? The ego, that comes with that, could dominate your thinking and lead you to suffering. That is the risk you take.
What do we do? If we want to surf, we learn how to swim well to reduce our risk of drowning. Play football? Make sure we wear the best protective gear possible. Drive to the store? Become the best driver we can.
Want to thrive despite the pitfalls of ego based fear thinking? Most people don’t do shit, and that is the problem.
They understand that there are physical dangers to avoid in life. That’s easy, physical pain is immediate and obvious, so they do what is perhaps the most fundamental of human behavior; they avoid pain to the best of their ability, and pursue pleasure.
We don’t address what we don’t see
Since we don’t know that playing this game comes with certain preventable inherent psychological dangers, we accept emotional pain as normal, acceptable and uncontrollable. It is the “default” model.
So, what happens? Well, if our upbringing and environment were such that we had good examples and role models to emulate, we may do pretty well with an outlook that embraces happiness, accepts diversity and avoids fear based thinking.
If not, we may live in conflict, antagonize family and friends with drama, hurtful remarks and isolating fearful thinking. Or we may go on the internet to lash out with opinions and comments, to strangers, that only serve to sustain the ego’s motives of isolated identity. Or maybe worse, and adopt self destructive behavior. All this behavior is fear based ego acting out to reaffirm it’s delusive ideas of individual identity superiority.
What is the remedy to all this? This post is already statistically too long for the modern mind. Think about and contemplate this information. To be continued next week…
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