Basic Aspects of Human Existence.

Unto the woman He said: 'I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy travail; in pain thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.' And unto Adam He said: ' (...) Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life (...). In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground.' Genesis 3:16-19

The human shape is a ghost
made of distraction and pain,
sometimes pure light, sometimes cruel,
trying wildly to open,
this image tightly held within itself.
Rumi, Furuzanfar #568, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.2.

To live is foresee in the short run and muddle through with the means at hand. (...) the human condition makes us choose in ignorance; it is ignorance that makes morality possible. If we knew all the conditioning factors, if we were gambling on a sure thing, risk would disappear, but along with risk, courage and fear, expectation, effort, and ultimately joy. We would be languishing gods, but certainly not men. The Writings of Jean-Paul Sartre. Vol.2. P.175.

To exist means to be something, a thing, a feeling, a thought, an idea. All existence is particular. Only being is universal, in the sense that every being is compatible with every other being. Existences clash, being never. Existence means becoming, change, birth and death, and birth again, while in being there is silent peace. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.62-3.


Many things could be argued to have importance for human existence. In this section I would like to include these that seem to have the characteristics of universal laws and that are irrespective of cultural traditions.

The Law of Karma, or as it seems to be known in the Western World - the Law of Cause and Effect. The essence of this law can be expressed through the popular sentence - we reap as we sow. Though very simple this law seems to be very deep and to permeat all the elements of our lives.

One of the particular aspects of the Law of Karma is the issue of Sin. Sin is the concept which can be found in almost all cultures and religious traditions, which suggests that this one of the fundamental aspects of our human existence. Regardless certain cultural variation sin could be understood as a mistake or a morally wrong action, which brings undesired consequences.

These unwanted consequences could be looked at under the one all encompassing term - Suffering. We make mistakes and then we suffer. Some scriptures suggest we may even suffer for mistakes made by our ancestors. Our children will suffer consequences of our actions (e.g. environmental pollution). Yet, regardless of this suffering, it is our duty to Hope.

Death is believed to be one of the consequences of the sin committed by the first human being, and that is why it affects us all regardless of the country of our birth or religious traditions.

All it takes place under the condition of apparent Freedom or Free Will of human beings to do good or to do bad.

It also believed that we live in the world of Maya, or Material Delusion. Everything material seems to be real, while God very un-real. This perception is very difficult to overcome. Some people believe that it is only by the enlightened guidance of saints that it can be achieved. Reading scriptures helps to prepare the mind for this task.


Last updated: 2013/05/25

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