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Author Topic: Human uniqueness?  (Read 1672 times)
Cliona
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« Topic Start: February 07, 2010, 08:31:43 pm »

A book I'm reading - actually for light reading, it wasn't meant to supplement my spiritual/religious research at all - brings up an interesting point and I'm curious where others stand on it. It discusses Yogis and how "true Yogis" view the world, all of it, as a manifestation of "God." (term used loosely here) Everything is divine, but humans are unique, "special," because only as a human can "God-realization" occur. Other forms of life do not have this opportunity.

This is something with which I fundamentally disagree. Personally I find nothing "special" about humans and I do not hold a view in which humans are above other forms of life. In an article somewhere (about dolphin communication), a researcher said, "It's only due to our lack of knowledge that humans remain this exclusive species." I can't for the life of me remember her name, but that resonates very deeply within me.

So...thoughts?
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Elisabette
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« Reply #1: February 07, 2010, 09:55:52 pm »

Everything is divine, but humans are unique, "special," because only as a human can "God-realization" occur. Other forms of life do not have this opportunity.

I'm not sure what "God-realization" means in this context; is the author of this book saying that everything is divine but only human beings are aware of their divinity?  If so, I think I can see what he/she is getting at: human beings have a tendency toward self-examination that I haven't noticed in other species, at least not to the same extent.  I wouldn't call this "unawareness", though.  It seems to me that there is awareness of divinity in non-human spirits (animals, plants, things) but a lot of the time they're too busy being manifestly divine to think much about how their divinity is manifesting. 

Betty

 

 
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Pythuna
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« Reply #2: February 08, 2010, 02:03:36 am »

A book I'm reading - actually for light reading, it wasn't meant to supplement my spiritual/religious research at all - brings up an interesting point and I'm curious where others stand on it. It discusses Yogis and how "true Yogis" view the world, all of it, as a manifestation of "God." (term used loosely here) Everything is divine, but humans are unique, "special," because only as a human can "God-realization" occur. Other forms of life do not have this opportunity.

This is something with which I fundamentally disagree. Personally I find nothing "special" about humans and I do not hold a view in which humans are above other forms of life. In an article somewhere (about dolphin communication), a researcher said, "It's only due to our lack of knowledge that humans remain this exclusive species." I can't for the life of me remember her name, but that resonates very deeply within me.

So...thoughts?

I'm a panentheist, so I do believe everything is a manifestation of God.   I also believe that only humans can manifest that part of God that is human.  But I also believe that only dolphins can manifest that part of God that is dolphin, and that only rocks can manifest that part of God that is rock, etc.

We're exclusive in a human sort of way, but so is fungus in a fungus sort of way.

Me ka pono~
Pythuna
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RandallS
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« Reply #3: February 08, 2010, 08:29:32 am »

Everything is divine, but humans are unique, "special," because only as a human can "God-realization" occur. Other forms of life do not have this opportunity.

Even assuming that "everything is divine" is true, how do we know this "God-realization" experience is unique to humans.  After all, we know of other self-aware, thinking, communicating species (dolphins and whales anyone) so it is hard to KNOW whether or not this particular experience is unique to humans or not.
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« Reply #4: February 08, 2010, 11:31:05 pm »

A book I'm reading - actually for light reading, it wasn't meant to supplement my spiritual/religious research at all - brings up an interesting point and I'm curious where others stand on it. It discusses Yogis and how "true Yogis" view the world, all of it, as a manifestation of "God." (term used loosely here) Everything is divine, but humans are unique, "special," because only as a human can "God-realization" occur. Other forms of life do not have this opportunity.

Oh, believe me. My dog knows She is God. People usually only give credit for this to humans and cats... but Chelsie's known She is God since we brought Her home.

Seriously, though... I think a lot of times people classify themselves as outside of nature entirely, both people who think we are somehow above nature, and those who think we're unnatural and nothing human-made is capable of being natural. I think we'd like to think that we are somehow special and unique but we haven't quite grown into that exalted position yet.
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sparrow125
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« Reply #5: February 10, 2010, 11:18:51 am »



Seriously, though... I think a lot of times people classify themselves as outside of nature entirely, both people who think we are somehow above nature, and those who think we're unnatural and nothing human-made is capable of being natural.

I totally agree with this. Whenever people say something like, "don't you just love nature?" I think, "... I am nature. We all are." It seems like people view humans as some kind of unnatural alien to this planet instead of seeing us as a species that has evolved and adapted just like other species'. Our houses are a part of our habitat, just like a bird's nest. (Granted, ours tend to be more destructive to our habitat, but hey, we're big mammals Tongue ). We are destroying our habitat just like any overpopulated species, our adaptations have just made us very effective at that, unfortunately.  Undecided

I use to think that humans were unique, but now I think that we are only unique in the way that we do things. We see the world through language, so we think that anything that can't speak back to us is unintelligent. We're good at using tools, so we view anything that doesn't as primitive. I actually think we might be handicapped as far as understanding things beyond the range of our five senses, though. Just my two cents. Smiley
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