The symptom of Human bondage

31
Jan

From the study of the specific behaviour patterns there emerge certain general conclusions which are symptomatic of all low-loves and low-hates. Whenever these symptoms are discovered, there is low-love and there is human bondage.

According to Devatma the life of low-loves and low-hates or human bondage, is a life of blindnesses, perversions, sufferings and ultimately extinction. Let us study these tragic symptoms of human bondage.

1. Spiritual Blindness

– The complete or exclusive dominance of the pleasure determinant in our choices blinds us to the good which could be realized through that desire for the total personality. When, for example, a person is determined entirely and exclusively by the pleasure which comes through sex satisfaction in his decisions and actions, he indulges in it in excess, indulges in it too often, indulges in it when it is injurious to his health, and when it is against social ethics. To start with, he may see that he indulges in it in excess and this harms his health. He may see that he does wrong when he betrays his friend in seducing his wife into sexual relation with him. He may see that he is unjust or cruel when he induces an innocent girl into sexual intercourse. But as the bondage to the low-love of the pleasure of sex closes on him, his vision gets dimmed and blurred. He sees less and less the harm, the wrong, the injustice which the exclusive determination by the pleasure of sex involves in his decisions and acts in his relations to the member or members of the opposite sex. He loses the sense of discrimination of what is right or wrong in these particular relations between the members of the opposite sex.

Every low-love tells the same pathetic tale. A greedy capitalist gradually develops spiritual cataract and fails to see the misery, the injustice, and the evil he causes by his exploitation of labour and customers. A miser fails to see the harm and injustice to himself and his dependents by denying to himself and them the use of his money for his and their good. A parent with low-love of children fails to see his partiality for his children, how it leads to wrong and unjust behaviour. A party man fails to see or realize the blindness caused by his partiality for his party-men.

We stand in relation to others. There is right or wrong in our conduct in relation to them. The senses of discrimination between right and wrong in various relations are the eyes and the lights of the soul to walk the right path avoiding harm, injury, evil and injustice to self and to others. What is right and what is wrong are not identical with what is pleasant and what is unpleasant. When we love the pleasure of a certain desire, say, sex, it proves a cataract for the eyes which can discriminate between right and wrong in sex relation between numbers of the opposite sex and if this cataract persists, it brings complete blindness. The bondman becomes a blind man.

The wide net of human bondage does not only produce moral blindness about what is right or wrong in various relations and thus compel us to trample other existences under our feet like a drunken elephant and make our own life one of bumps and injury, it does for us something more tragic. This general leaning and attachment for pleasure as such, produces a general blindness to see and attend to the good of our soul. As this general leaning becomes love of pleasure in course of time, there is entrenched resistance in us to know the nature of the soul, its laws of health and disease, and the cures for the various diseases. Those rare souls to devote their whole life in search of the truth of the soul are betrayed by this weakness for love of pleasure into illusions and hallucinations about the soul. They fall into the error of regarding the soul as transcendental, as above all laws in nature, untouched by conduct, good and evil, and thus unconditionally immortal.

This love of pleasure, this secret subtle enemy of the soul, would not let the soul to open its eyes in the light of truth to see where the good or health of the soul lies. Every perception of the good of the soul shows some low-love or bondage in its ugliness and no wonders the low-loves must blind us to the truths about the good of our soul. The men of the cave must murder the man of light who has seen the sun and who calls their attention to it. The attraction and surrender to the life of low-loves gradually lays their hands on the life of soul.

To fail to see the truths about the good of the soul is spiritual blindness and this is practically universal in mankind.

2. Spiritual perversions

A blind man steers clear in life through guidance by others. A blind man is not blind to the fact of his blindness. He knows and accepts that some other have eyes. He accepts their guidance and help and there is thankfulness for it.

But the spiritual blindness caused by low-loves and low-hates is worse than physical blindness. It involves the spiritually blind in the denial of his blindness. Nay, it involves him into accusation and abuse of persons with spiritual vision. It leads him to refuse their assistance. It urges him to take offence at an offer of assistance by them and even to become vindictive to them thus his spiritual blindness degenerates into spiritual perversion.

To be a spiritual pervert, is to be much worse than being spiritually blind. A spiritually pervert sees what is false as true, and what is true as false. Such a pervert may believe that he and the world are Maya and the Brahman is the only reality, or, he may believe that matter and motion are the only truth and there is no such thing as force or energy. A selfish person may think it right not to contribute, anything, his time, money, energies and abilities, to some cause, but to exhaust his all in the satisfaction of his low-love. A lazy person may think it right to lead the life of a parasite to live on patrimony, or be a burden on others. A person blinded by the low-love of money may get into perversion to think that amassing of wealth is the ideal of life. A person with the cataract of low-love of children may think it proper to will away all his property even for such of their children who earn sufficient for their living or even for children who are spendthrifts or who are cold, disrespectful and hostile to him. But he does not think it proper to will away his property or a portion of it for some good cause and if someone approach him or advises him on this, he feels offend it and wronged, tries to avoid such person and even talk ill of him. Persons with the low-love for the social, religion and political position, power and prestige consider it proper to indulge in untruths, hypocrisy, cheating and injustice to get their objective satisfied. For them everything is fair so long it serves the objective to get power and position. They resent anyone who tells them the ugliness of the means they adopt in getting at their objective. They challenge him and reject him as an unpractical man.

Every low-love erects itself into true ideal of life and rejects the true good of life as foolish, false and wrong. This is spiritual perversion. A man with the low-love of sex may spend his life, his patrimony, his own earnings, his wife’s ornaments, to please a prostitute and regard it as the be-all and end-all of his life. A man with the low-love of money considers it the ideal for his life to become a business magnate. This low-love of pleasure in general, leads the common man, no less than a philosopher, to consider deliverance from suffering of life or attainment of maximum pleasure or Anand as the ideal. There is this topsy-turvy Dom in value perspective which comes to a bondman-good is denied its goodness, the evil is invested with goodness.

This is not all. This topsy-turvy Dom in value perspective brings about a further degradation. A pervert tanks offence if some benefactor tries to help him to the right path of life. He considers such a benefactor as misguided, as his enemy and accuses and abuses him. A debauchee considers all such persons who push him more and more into the vice as his friends. He shuns those who try to save him from his rack and ruin. He considers them as his enemies, accuses them, and abuses them. A man with the low-love of wealth considers them foolish who give up the pursuit of wealth to serve some good cause. He pooh-poohs all suggestions to make room for and accommodate some higher values of life.

Spiritual perversion lessens the chances of moral blindness being reduced or cured at all. It throws a man into greater dungeon of darkness and thus makes him blind to his blindness and enemy of the friends of his good.

3. Avoidable Sufferings

The third symptom of the presence of low-loves and low-hates is that they bring about avoidable suffering. If one is free from bondage to, say, taste, he is free from all the suffering that comes from intemperance. A man of jealousy is in perceptual suffering from which a man without jealousy is blissfully free.

It is the suffering that is of one’s own creation that is more noticed than the first two evils which ensue from low-loves and low-hates.

Devatma holds that low-loves and low-hates, the product of the exclusive pursuit of pleasures, are as much the diseases of a human soul as typhoid, bronchitis, T.B. and cancer are diseases of the body, torture an individual with pain. Jealousy burns us with pain as stomach ache gives us pain. Again, since we are psycho-physical organisms, the diseases of the soul cause physical pain, too. The low-loves of sex and drink ruin an individual’s health and make him heir to painful diseases besides giving him the pain of frustrated hopes or denied satisfactions. Devatma details the suffering which various low-loves and low-hates inflict on an individual into the following eight groups :

(1). The low-loves connected specially with the body, that is, low-loves of taste, drinks, sex and laziness, injure the functions of the body, render it liable to diseases and consequent sufferings which torture an individual with persistent and/or unbearable pain. There is an unending tale of suffering, told by intemperance in food, drink, sex and laziness. These diseases and sufferings bring, in many cases, premature death, insanity, and sometimes suicides. Man can get moksha from such suffering if he attains to moksha from these low-loves.

(2). There is intense and persistent suffering caused by loss or separation. A man experiences persistent pain through loss or separation from a dear one, may be wife, or husband, child or friend, or such things as money, ornaments of property etc., for whom he has developed low-loves. Who has not heard the heart-rending cries of a wife on the death of her husband, of a mother on the death of her child, of a rich man on his loses in business. One has only to have a sensitive ear to hear the groans of suffering in the daily life of the human society which result from death, separation, or betrayal of a person or loss of things for which the low-love is developed.

(3). There are sufferings in man which are connected with frustrated hopes. To pine away in sorrow for things beyond one’s control is the folly of human soul. But this folly and its sufferings haunt the bondman throughout life. The bondman suffers when frustrated in vain hope to get acceptance or love of one’s beloved, to get a particular girl or a particular man as life partner, to get children of a boy, to amass wealth, to rise to a particular position in social, religion or political hypocrisy, to get a particular job, to get success in an examination, to get praise and appreciation from a particular individual or group, to get free from certain diseases etc. The sufferings from frustrated hopes colour the whole texture of human psychology so much so that a philosopher could say that life is all suffering. When we say that life is all suffering we do not mean to refer only to sufferings which come to consequences on specific occasions but also to the sickening films of frustrations which cover the whole space and span of life.

Sometimes the sufferings from frustration are so intense that a bondman seeks relief from it in suicide.

(4). Sometimes sufferings come from the low-love of false believes in traditions, or hearsay. In order to get all child, a woman is led by her false belief to take such medicines which permanently injure her body and inflict intense or persistent suffering on her. A woman may suffer permanent ill-health because she considers the use of contraceptives as sinful. She may lose her only child by acting on her superstition against the advice of the doctors. A person may suffer due to a false belief based on superstitions about natural events. A man may take to severe asceticism and torture of body to attain moksha.

Buddha could rise above the traditional asceticism when he found it worthless in his search for death about woman suffering, but his fellow ascetics had low-love of false beliefs. They rejected Buddha but not their false beliefs. They left him.

What a toll of suffering can be removed in human society if we rise above the low-love of traditional beliefs and practices and cultivate impartial evaluation of them in the light of the latest knowledge.

(5). Jealousy is a breeding ground of suffering. A person in good health and in possession of favourable conditions in day-to-day life, may suffer from crucifying pain of jealousy. It is not possible to stop the process through which some individuals are superior to us in looks, physique, abilities, intelligence, motivation, attitudes, achievements, possessions of house, land or property, wife, children, relations, etc. If we do not accept this fact of individual differences, we burn ourselves in the hell-fire of sufferings. Nothing can extinguish this hell-fire of suffering in us unless we get moksha from the low-feeling of jealousy.

(6). There is suffering caused by the low-feeling or revenge. When someone refuses to comply with what we desire most, we may develop hatred for him; and this hatred may take the form of revenge. The feeling of revenge robs a man of revenge, of his peace of mind. He is restless and in the hell-fire of suffering. The satisfaction of his feeling of revenge, may further involve him in a new chain of sufferings due to the injury or harm done by him to object of his hatred. Again, it may set chain-recreation as found in tribal areas where revenge follows a revenge and runs into generations.

(7). Vanity is another fertile source of acute suffering. Each of us has the low-love of self in a lesser or a greater degree. Each of us has sense of superiority about us. Some of us think no end of ourselves. Such persons are on pin pricks all the time, for it is not possible that others may not criticize them or their views and conduct, or may refuse to acknowledge their inflated sense of superiority. Again, such persons take to tasks beyond their ability and strength and suffer the anguish of frustration of failure or injury in their impossible tasks. They may disfigure or injure their body, invite death or come in conflict with those superior to them in strength and abilities and meet their doom.

(8). lastly, suffering may come through the use of illegal practices to gain our objective. Some persons indulge in stealing, robbery, dacoit, cheating, and forgery, bribes-taking, murder, scandals etc., which involve them in litigation and gets them the punishment of fine or imprisonment.

What is hateful about these sufferings is not that they are sufferings. What is evil and ugly about these sufferings is that they are sufferings of disease. They are not the pains of growth which are welcome, but the pains of putrefying and dying soul. These pains do not proclaim life but death. They are not only pains but evils in themselves. Moksha is deliverance from these diseases and their sufferings.

            4. The death of the Life-force (soul)

– Devatma holds that a human death from these diseases. We know how a living organism loses its strength by bodily diseases. The diseases sap the energy of a living body and if they continue un-cured and un-checked, they cause the death of the body. In the same way the low-loves and the low-hates sap spiritual strength of a soul and if they remain unchecked and un-cured, cause the death of the soul.

But how do we know that spiritual strength is affected through low-loves and low-hates? What are the symptoms of strength of a soul?

(a)  A soul suffers lose of strength when its higher hatred for some evil conduct is lessened or disappears. A man may hate dishonesty. If he develops low-love of greed he may take dishonesty. If he develops low-love of greed he may take dishonesty. If he develops low-love of greed he may take to dishonest means which he hated before. A man may be punctual in his time engagements. If he develops low-love of laziness, he may start disregarding his time engagements. A man may be particular about the finish of his work. But if his work starts flourishing, he may neglect the quality of his work to make more money. A man may hate to take coffee. But by habit he may develop a weakness for it.

At first a person may feel unhappy at these degradations. Even though he indulges in dishonest practices, violates his time engagements, indulges in slipshod work, or takes to coffee, or drinks, he may still hate to slip into them. But gradually his vision is affected. He sees less and less the ugliness of his degrading acts. When his vision is closed, he no more sees any ugliness of his acts. He no more hates the slum condition of his moral life. On the contrary, he starts justifying his ugly acts into which he has fallen.

When a man ceases to hate particular evil as poison for his soul, he shows deficient vitality to protect his personality.

(b) When the higher feeling of hatred for some evil is lost in an individual, indulgence in that evil no more gives him pain. When we are sensitive to the evils of a wrong conduct, we experience pain. We value money. When we lose money by some carelessness or someone cheats us of it, we feel pain. To feel pain is to be sensitive to the loss.

When we value our honesty, we feel pain on doing a dishonest act. It is a pain at the loss of something we value. When we have compassion, we feel pain for some act in which we have unintentionally inflicted pain on another. When we value to do over duty we feel pain in the neglect of duty. In such cases we may not only feel pain b ut also feel an urge to make amends to the person who has been harm by our acts of commission and omission. We may feel an urge to return the money wrongly taken from another, or compensate for the pain inflicting on another, or make amends for the neglect of duty in relation to another.

When this pain at the loss of some higher sense of feeling or at the pain or injury done to others decreases or disappears, or when the urge or the capacity to make amends to another for the harm done to him his decreased or lost, the soul experiences death in some part of its being.

(c) The third symptom of the decreased vitality of soul is its the soul of satisfaction in rapport with noble souls all service of one’s benefactors or of some good cause. Suppose a person was once appreciative of some service done to him by his benefactor and felt gratitude for him and rendered service to him. If he now feels no satisfaction or happiness in his acts or appreciation, gratitude, or service in relation to his benefactor, it is symptom of decrease vitality of his soul. Again, suppose a person felt satisfaction and joy rendering service to some good cause and now feels no satisfaction in such service, the vitality of his soul is on the decline.

(d) The fourth symptoms of the decreased vitality of the soul is its reduced capability to get rid of low-loves and low-hates and to evolve altruistic loves.

A body, in order to live and grow, must be free from diseases. But this is not sufficient. It must get nourishment to compensate for its loss and wear and tear or to meet the needs of its growth. The human soul is also under these two conditions for its growth or survival. It must be free from the diseases of the low-loves and low-hates. Besides, it must develop altruistic feeling of compassion, justice, disinterested service of other existents in different kingdoms of Nature, in order to gather in strength and vitality.

An organ must function in order to live. If an organ is not allowed to function, it loses it strength and dies in course of time. If a seed is allowed to remain inactive, its power to sprout and grow into a plant, is gradually decreased and may disappear in time. So the powers of the soul must be exercised. If they function in violation of the law of evolution, i.e. the process which makes for things and species which are innocent and harmless or are helpful for others, it courts disease and death. If they act in the service of the process of evolution they strengthen the survival of the soul. The feeling of justice in social relations makes us serviceable to others. The feeling of disinterested spiritual service makes us cure low-loves and low-hates in others and to develop altruistic feelings in them. To be altruistic is to be a participant in Nature’s invincible process of creativity, harmony, beauty, and joy and thus to share in its invincibility.

Therefore, when we lose our attraction for doing well to others, in relieving them of their pain or suffering, in educating them into enlightenment, in curing them of their diseases, physical or spiritual, cultivating health and strength in them, we show decrease in our vitality. If a person felt happy to give time or money for a good cause, and now feels less inclined to do so, he is declining in his spiritual strength. If a person felt happy to appreciate and create beauty and now he has lost all interest in it, he proclaims his decline. If he was responsive to new truths as they were discovered and now he lacks sensitiveness to new knowledge, he is slipping into spiritual death.

When a soul loses its sensitiveness, attraction and serviceableness for things good, true and beautiful, it fails to reinforce vitality. It is on its way to death.