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Life is not beautiful, if there is no human

About Abhijit Naskar

Abhijit Naskar is one of the world's celebrated Neuroscientists, an International Bestselling Author of numerous books and a popular advocate of mental wellness and global harmony. He has revealed to the world with his contributions in Science how the basic awareness of the brain can completely redefine our perception of life and make our daily life much more cheerful. He takes us on a fascinating investigative journey of understanding the human mind and its vivid features. He was born in Calcutta, India. His rejuvenating scientific philosophy of the mind has been lavishing human life with the colors and sweetness of self-awareness, since its advent with his very first book "The Art of Neuroscience in Everything".

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They say life is beautiful. I ask – are you sure? Say all the humans suddenly disappear from the face of earth. Will “life” still remain beautiful? In reality, life is not beautiful, it is ugly and wild. Life is not beautiful, if there is no human self to deem and glorify it as such. Take away the advanced faculties of the human mind, and there shall be only one core force left at the root of life – that force is the force of survival. This very force has given rise to the wide array of life-forms on our planet. Among those life forms, there is us, the humans. The world is beautiful, because we see it as such. The world is ugly because we see it as such. All the ascetic qualities the world has, are imposed by the humans on the mental imagery of the world inside the human mind. Turn off the human mind, and all that remains is, rough, ugly and wild survival need.

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If we talk about life as a natural phenomenon, instead of seeing it as a human phenomenon, then it is all about survival. There is nothing else. It is the vanity of the human mind that adorns life with sophisticated qualities. It is the individual mind that determines the nature of life in its subjective reality. A person stuck in misery would see life as miserable. A person in the lap of luxury would see life as glorious and beautiful. The nature of life beyond the raw essentials of survival, purely depends on the internal realm of the human mind. A beautiful mind sees life as beautiful, whereas an ugly mind sees it as ugly. And throughout the lifetime of a human, the mind keeps evolving, hence, the qualities of life keep evolving. A teenager finds the beauty of life in the idea of finding true love, whereas, a parent finds the beauty of life in providing and being there, for his or her child. That’s what life is all about, or to be more accurate, that’s what human life is all about.

Think about the teenage version of yourself. What are the things that you wanted out of your life? Now think about the things that you want now? Are your wants now the same as they were when you were a teenager? Of course not! Why? Because your mind has grown. It has evolved into a more mature version of itself. It has grown new neural connections, while getting rid of many of the old ones. And this change is a relentless process. Which means, even right at this very moment, without being aware of it, your brain is going through various neurological shifts. Over time these shifts begin to show in your mental world, by transforming your needs, feelings, desires, passions, thoughts, beliefs and basically everything that makes you who you are. So, ten years from now, your needs and desires will be different, than they are now, just like, the needs and desires you have now are different from those you had as a teenager.

So, basically life is not about its true nature or anything like that, rather, it is all about your very personal subjective perception of life itself. Your perception can make life wonderful, and at the same time, your perception can make like pathetic. It is all in your mind. What you think, you see, and then, what you see, makes you think further. And the result is an ever-changing mesh of brain cells. Your brain determines who you are, what you are, and how your life is. Your brain creates your soul, and then gives a purely individualistic purpose to that soul. So, outside your brain, your life has no purpose. All the purposes in human life, that humans deem so valuable are all purely human creation. Without the humans, those purposes do not exist. Without the humans, life is merely about survival.

When a puppy dies in front of your eyes, you feel sad. But you feel a billion times more devastated if a human baby dies in front of you. That’s because you, as a biological creature, are evolutionarily programmed to have more affection towards the members of your own species than towards the members of a foreign species, or to be more accurate, an inferior species. It has nothing to with being immoral or cruel. It is just how life works. However, because you have an advanced neural network replete with circuits of humane elements, especially a fascinating neurological system called the “Mirror Neuron System”, you still feel bad at the agonies of other creatures. You can truly empathize with them. Now that’s called being human. Nevertheless, many of us will still continue to eat meat, even though we would not willingly cause harm to another creature.

The point is, there is nothing ideal in the world, no matter how much we pretend otherwise. We are not ideal. Life is not ideal. Nature is not ideal. Yet, it is our pursuit to attain that ideal absolute – that pure perfection, that makes us the real masters of this planet. So, keep on attaining that perfection bit by bit, but keep in mind that you shall never attain it. Perfection is not to be attained, but to be pursued infinitely.

 

(Simultaneously Published on Goodreads)

Further Reading

Abhijit Naskar, 2015, Neurosutra: The Abhijit Naskar Collection

Abhijit Naskar, 2016, What is Mind?

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