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Bulletins Bulletin : Published
Date: Saturday, May 18, 2002
From: jannat
MAN AND UNIVERSE ( Chapter 1, section 2 )

Chapter 1, section 2

Awareness and Desire in Animals

An animal knows the world through its external senses
only. That is why, firstly, its knowledge is
superficial and seeming. It does not penetrate the
things and has no access to their internal relations.
Secondly, it is partial and particular, and is neither
universal nor general. Thirdly, it is regional, for it
is confined to the living environment of the animal,
and does not go beyond that. Fourthly, it is limited
to the present and is unconcerned with the past and
the future. As animal is not aware of its own or
world's history, it neither thinks of the future nor
does it plan for it.

>From the viewpoint of knowledge, an animal cannot come
out of the framework of the exteriors, the
particularity, the living environment and the present
time. It never escapes from these four prisons. If by
chance it does, it does so instinctively and
unconsciously, and not by its own choice and will.

Like the range of its knowledge, the level of the
wants and the desires of an animal also has a limited
scope. Firstly, all its desires are material and do
not go beyond the limits of eating, drinking,
sleeping, playing, mating and building a home or a
nest. For an animal there is no question of any
spiritual needs, moral values etc. Secondly, all its
desires are personal and individualistic, pertaining
to the animal itself or, at the most, to its mate and
the young ones. Thirdly, they are regional related to
its living environment only. Fourthly, they are
instantaneous, pertaining to the present time.

In other words, the dimension of the desires and
inclinations of an animal's existence has the same
limitations as the dimension of its perceptive
existence. From this point of view also, an animal has
to live within specific limitations.

If an animal pursues an objective which is outside
these limitations and which, for an example, pertains
to its species in general and not to one individual or
pertains to the future and not to the present, as is
observed in the case of certain gregarious animals
like bees, it does so unconsciously, instinctively and
by the direct order of the power which has created it
and which manages the whole world.


* Kindness is more important than wisdom *
* and the recognition of this, *
* is the beginning of wisdom *
* --Imam Ali Raza (peace be on him) *

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