Love thy neighbour, nay thy self!

If the flow of time could be reversed as easily as the vagaries of the human heart this blog post would have been published on the eve of Valentine’s Day just as the excesses of human emotions were starting to flood social media. Alas we are all but puppets in the hands of fate! And so here we are…

Let us then rewind time and imagine that it was the night before Valentine’s Day and the cockles of hearts of all the lovers around the world were red hot with passion.

And the Lord looked down upon his flock and said “Love thy neighbour!”

Well our nearest neighbour is our very own self reflected in the mirror! So on this day of all days, instead of going to great lengths to profess your undying love for your better half, stand in front of a mirror and proclaim your love for yourself! And neither in a narcissistic manner nor in a megalomaniacal manner but rather with genuine sincerity! For that is the one love story that even the great bard himself did not dare to write about. And maybe, just maybe, even our creator himself could have been equally confused as to what to do after he had created man!

In Genesis 2:18–25, it is written that God noted that “it is not good for the man to be alone.” Whereas it took God only one line to form man, God spent several lines to create woman!

Woah! Hold on a minute!

Every woman is an enigma unique unto herself. So there is a good possibility here that God just got it wrong! After all He did create mankind in “our” image and likeness. What if God, the King of Heaven, and his heavenly court is actually filled with asexual divine entities just bored out of their wits. And what better entertainment could ever have been invented but the game of love?

Fine, let us not get carried away by theology here. The roots of love are deep within our biology and are nurtured by our intelligence. It serves a critical role in the propagation of the species and even monogamy is not unique to our species. A number of other species, penguins, swans, beavers, wolves, to name a few mate for life. But then asexual reproduction is equally prevalent in nature. And even though it is the only means of reproduction for single celled organisms such as archaea and bacteria, many eukaryotic organisms including plants, animals, and fungi can also reproduce asexually. In vertebrates, the most common form of asexual reproduction is parthenogenesis, which is typically used as an alternative to sexual reproduction in times when reproductive opportunities are limited (Reproduced from Wikipedia).

So then why is self love frowned upon in almost all human cultures if not considered outright immoral. Why is vanity a sin? Yes, homo sapiens are social animals and as such cooperation in the human society would be impossible to achieve if not for acts of selfless love. But how can we be certain that the same level of cooperation would not be possible within a group of narcissistic individuals very invested in their individual survival?

On the contrary the very core tenets that form the basis of modern human civilisation have resulted in genocide and many more acts on unimaginable depravity. Consequently, we find ourselves being pushed off the edge of a precipice due to the unavoidable effects of causality. So, as we start falling down towards our impending doom let us put aside our fears and instead take a moment to profess our true love for our self! Let us forgive ourselves for the trespasses committed against ourselves whilst subscribing to a synthetic moral code that has been abused for millennia by the few evil souls that truly despise their own existence. Maybe then the untimely demise of our species would serve as a grim warning for the creator to let chaos reign supreme!

Amen!

This story was first published on Medium on February 20, 2021.

Spiritual Advocates — The missing superheroes of the hour!

“Vanity… Definitely my favourite sin!”, John Milton, The Devil’s Advocate.


The defining trial of the age of man is underway at a grand scale. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced mankind to put its core moral values on trial. At stake is our very humanity. The plaintiff is our moral code demanding that we put the collective good of the species ahead of the needs of the individual. The defendant is our very biology that drives us to take risks in pursuit of ephemeral emotions such as happiness and the satisfaction derived from indulging our basal instincts. The judge and jury is our collective intelligence. The only actors missing are the lawyers to represent both sides to ensure that the law is upheld. But will justice be delivered? Or rather can there be a just resolution to this eternal dispute between the body and the soul?


Maybe it is our vanity that is the real culprit here. After all, in our vanity we have strived to control every aspect of our natural world in spite of having been repeatedly shown our place in the natural order by Mother Nature. Why does the species as a whole then persevere in this endeavour? After all there has never been a dearth of the enlightened souls who have tried to make us see the glaring fallacies in our reasoning. These messiahs have even been able to resist the lure of vanity and have stayed true to their cause. Instead it has taken a global pandemic to force humanity to put itself on trial.


So let us then try to explore what has been missing from the cast of characters. The God and the Devil are present and so are angels and demons. Then we have human beings with varying moral standards spread over the entire spectrum from outright altruistic to downright evil. We have teachers, preachers, and gurus to guide us and marketeers, profiteers, and politicians to beguile us. The one unfulfilled role seems to be that of a lawyer, nay an advocate, who can help us represent our true selves and argue dispassionately on our behalf in a court that is inherently biased towards ruling in favour of our materialistic needs.


If the Devil needs an advocate to try and bend our free will then why should God rely only on his angels? Enter a Spiritual Advocate!


True to the definition of the word, a Spiritual Advocate must primarily be responsible for arguing to our flawed intelligence to strive to achieve a balance between our diverse needs. They should help us rein in our desires to feel morally justified whilst indulging our biological needs. And in turn they should help alleviate our guilt arising from bending our moral compass whilst striving to stay true to our very basic purpose as living things: to carry on living to the best of our abilities!


The situation is further complicated by the undeniable fact the homo sapiens species is the only species that consists of individuals who are prey and individuals who are predators and of individuals who are primarily producers and individuals who are primarily consumers. This results in a dichotomy in our very plane of existence producing two distinct worlds: one which consists of individuals who are driven to live by strict adherence to an agreed upon set of social laws and the other wherein each individual is truly empowered to establish their own moral code and live by it. And thus required to mediate between these two worlds are advocates who can straddle the schism that separates these two worlds and thus maintain the peace.


The spiritual advocates are themselves certainly not free of the lure of vanity as they face off against the Devil’s advocates who are entrenched in both the worlds. It is this herculean effort that they put in to stand their ground that makes them the true superheroes of our time! Let us then call out to these spiritual advocates to come out of the shadows and in to the limelight to help us restore some sense of order to this world devoured by the forces of good and evil at a scale never before witnessed in the history of our species!

This story was first published at Spiritual Advocates — The missing superheroes of the hour! | by Yatin Kulkarni | Feb, 2021 | Medium.