It was a large park on a Saturday afternoon. It had many ponds, trees and flowers in a humid Summer. The master and his disciple sat near one fishing pond.
The disciple observed how a man was trying to catch fish. Once caught, he threw the fish back into the water. The disciple exclaimed: “That man is playing to be God. He decides over the life of those fish. Master, what is the right that a man has over the life of another being?”
The master listened carefully and after taking a few seconds, responded as if he was assessing the readiness of his disciple to assimilate what he was about to say. “A person is programmed with certain beliefs. The more unconscious that person is, the hardest it is for him to consider a different view point or belief. Many people with the same unconscious belief make up the collective consciousness. That program is hard to change for it brings some certainty, security to them.
A long time ago, there was a belief that the Earth was the center of the Universe. What was the basis for that? A belief in anthropocentrism. That is, life is according to human understanding and humans are the measure of all, above any species.
For instance, a Dolphin is considered inferior in that view, although it is quite intelligent. The label ‘intelligent’ is used to organize species according to how well they follow human standards. Humans are dominant because of their capacity to subdue others. Then, violence becomes the measuring stick for superiority over others. This also occurs among human races, gender, nationalities and religions and with greater intensity toward animals and plants. However, humans are afraid to live in an uncertain world which they cannot dominate completely. Nature is above any human power. Then anthropocentrism creates a being at the image and likeness of a person for protection and certainty. This fear of Nature, has increased to the point where most humans are no longer in touch with Nature, living artificial lives heavily surrounded by cement, processed food and mental entertainment. The master paused, watched the reactions of his disciple and continued: “To be able to observe how much egocentrism exists in many human beliefs, requires intelligence. Greater intelligence means to be able to discern if those beliefs are influenced by some needy psychological interest. As long as fear is the engine behind human decisions; humans will not be able to understand and become sensible of others’ needs.”
The disciple said: “There are religions and political systems proclaiming that man is the ultimate creation and that life and freedom are the greatest rights to preserve, but yet in practice that doesn’t happen, for man exploits other species and even other men.”
The master said: “ Fear brings corruption. That desire for certainty and security in an uncertain world brings a neurotic response in man. Knowing that, observe your beliefs and their emotional roots. There lies the human knot to untie in yourself. That is the most effective action you could do to benefit all.”