The Seed of Humaneness

The life of the seed is within itself.  This is obvious to any agrarian on any scale.  Plant a seed, water it sufficiently, allow it exposure to natural elements such as air and the sun, and said plant will reveal and develop the life within.  And the life within which is revealed upon germination and development of the seed is the very nature which is within the seed.  The nature within the tomato seed is the tomato, hence the natural life within the tomato seed yields a tomato, encompassed with all qualities natural to and inherent within the tomato.

And so it is with humanity and humaneness.  The seed of humaneness is within humanity.  Allowed to develop and cultivate naturally, and the humaneness of the human race is evident.  For such is the nature within.  Just as a tomato is naturally within a tomato seed, likewise humaneness is within the human. 

We act contrary to our natural humaneness due to weakness in the light of external influences.  When conditioned to think and operate in ways contrary to our original nature, we can be forged into less than humane beings.  Hence, we can be made to become something contradictory to our very nature.

These external influences are not to be taken lightly, for effective they are and unfortunately ever present they are to be found.  Consider our own culture.  Seemingly decent people can be influenced to think and to act contrary to our natural goodness and humaneness, and furthermore can be seduced to justify their very thoughts and actions as normal and acceptable.

How is it that seemingly decent folk who would never hurt or torture another can justify such horrid acts as waterboarding, beatings, and prolonged sleep depravation, all the while claiming to be civilized and justified?  How is it that seemingly decent folk can speak ill of and degrade the homeless and the helpless, all the while claiming to be civilized and justified as they dwell within their spacious and comfortable abodes?   I suggest that it is less than inhumane to see or know of another being in pain, and not be disturbed by the very thought.  I furthermore suggest that it is less than humane to know of another exposed to the elements and hungry, and not feel compassion for such.

The difference is the conditioned perspective.  Our culture has conditioned us  to accept the exploits of the military folk who inflict torture on other living beings as being acts of heroism as opposed to being barbaric atrocities.  We have furthermore been conditioned to assume that the homeless and the hungry are bad people, and therefore undeserving of compassion.  In so doing, our culture is conditioning us to think, act, and be less than humane, thus influencing us to abandon our natural humaneness and adopt unnatural perspectives which are less than humane.

The seed of humaneness is within the human species.  Let us be what we are naturally.  Active moral self cultivation is as natural to humanity as is the natural development of the tomato seed into the tomato.  Be what you naturally are.  Be humane.

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2 thoughts on “The Seed of Humaneness

  1. I loved this post. It echoes many of my own thoughts about humanity. I do believe that people are basically good, but get ‘trained’ to be bad. Much as a dog must be trained to sit and roll over, I believe that those with power within our society have ‘trained’ us to consume, work to the bone for ‘goodies,’ be competitive, and run roughshod over anyone and everyone to ‘get to the top.’

    I find that classical Taoist thought provides many ‘solutions’ so these societal ills. Whether our culture has gone to far to be brought back remains to be seen.

    “As the fruit is inherent in the seed, so the consequence is inherent in the act.”

    • I appreciate your comment. And I agree wholeheartedly on your two main observations: 1) That our capitalistic society “trains” us to be an active element in our selfserving/selfish society; and 2) that many principles of Taoism are solutions to such. The fact is that ours is an extremely “untaoish” culture. We are so out of balance with natural rhythms of existence that many folk have no concept of the normalness of just existing. Just being. Thanks again for your comment

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