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Survival instinct, the base instinct


Why are we alive? Why are we here?

Not many people can answer this question with certainty, but many people who have died and came back, understand that they must correct their ways of living for a more loving and compassionate one. In conclusion, we are here to better ourselves, to love and help other beings, to develop conscience and presence. We are here for peace, not war.

To keep us alive, God provided us and every being in this planet, a survival instinct; the need to be alive, to keep breathing and thriving.

The survival instinct

The survival instinct is the base most important instinct- what we are born with and the instinct never lost, that we share with our fellow beings.

It is clear, there is a meaning to life, to be in our material body, to live to love and do good things, to grow and raise: plants, animals, and humans. We are all co-creating with our fellow beings in this beautiful planet. We all have to strive and thrive through a world not always friendly.

We progressed so much, but did we go in the correct direction. And what is correct, anyway? Very recently, man viewed the industrialization period as the most positive and miraculous. I have spoken already on this subject in my article: “Erosion”.

Somehow, somewhere, humans went astray. In our need for safety, to survive, we went in a dark road away from nature.

     Historical Amnesia

Emily Rust is an herbalist and director of the Safe Mountain botanical. (1)

In a recent summit interview she said:” We have forgotten the traditions and the ways of living our ancestors practiced. We live inside boxes that wall us off our ecosystem and we travel in our boxes on wheels to places, we work in little boxes, we are constantly in our devices, where our ancestors had to follow the sun and the moon in their daily rhythms. We need to be in relationship with the earth.”

We, humans, we feel we are superior to our fellow beings (plants and animals) but, in truth we are all equal and in some ways, so different. It is interesting that humans have the tendency to pity animals, but animals adapt easier to dangerous situations because they live in the present, follow their instincts and accept death better than humans.

As humans developed society, villages, towns and cities, they distanced themselves from nature and lost contact with their inner self (ruled by natural law). A human lost in a forest will be unable to survive for a long time. The incapacity to find food and water or to protect himself is a reality for 99% of the world population.

Death and the survival instinct

The survival instinct is the basic instinct that moves us, animals and plants to live; look for food, water and safety.

Of course, death is feared by all beings, from plants, animals and humans, but each species has a special way to deal with death. One beautiful example is the elephants that go to an elephant cemetery, when they feel time is coming; also pets stop eating and look for a hiding place to die peacefully.

Animals respond differently to death. Animal communicator Penelope Smith wrote in her book, “Animals in spirit”:” Unlike many humans in our western culture, most nonhuman animals have a sense of their spiritual nature and recognize that their physical bodies are but temporary homes. This awareness gives them an acceptance of life and death as a natural and ever flowing cycle. While they may grieve the loss of a loved one as humans do and may not wish to leave their bodies at certain times or under certain conditions, they are not socially conditioned by members of their own species to think of physical death as a horrible end or something to dread. They know that death is a transition to another state of being.” (“Animals in Spirit”)

The need to be safe

The fear of death leads us to a need to be safe. This necessity of protection made humans to build protection around them, with villages, houses, huts, towns, cities, states and countries. Many animals, on the opposite, never try to stay in a fixed place; they love their freedom and blend with nature, following the seasons. Many aboriginal populations behave the same way. Native Americans, although they did have tribes, they needed a minimum of material objects to survive. These humans and animals do not need: fancy clothes, furniture, cars, shopping malls, make up, hotels, industry, etc…

Animal Communicator Penelope Smith says in her book “Animals in Spirit”: “Humans in tribal societies-who live close to nature and revere the earth and its cycles- usually, accept death, like birth, as part of the whole. They are aware that they continue as spirits or that there are spiritual realms or dimensions beyond the physical plane. Death is not dreaded but is often welcomed as a healthy change or even a joyous occasion to join their ancestors or dwell with the Gods or spirits in other dimensions.”

Once, I overheard two feral cats, seeing me coming into my workplace (a small house in the north of Athens): “look, she is getting into her cage”. I was so shocked and in a way, sad- yes, I was in a cage from where I could not go out whenever I wanted. Many pets do not accept being “locked” inside four walls, they know it is not natural and they consider that four walls will not protect them from the predators lurking around (maybe they are right). I heard that from my own cat, when I told her I was leaving her with a friend that has many cats. “On the streets, we can hide, but in a closed space, it is impossible”. I have to say that she used to hide, during her stay at my friend’s, in the closet, for the whole duration of my holiday. Her predictions of the danger of my friend’s house came true when my other cat got attacked by one of my friend’s dogs. They were very friendly towards my cats but a closed space can cause stress in animals.

I will never forget the fire in Mati, Greece, when a house was destroyed with lots of cats inside. I can only imagine what they went through, trying to escape a closed space. Of course, the lady who rescued them had only good intentions, but maybe, some stray animals are much better off being free on the streets than in an overcrowded apartment or house. Not forgetting the people who start as “rescuers” and end up as “collectors of animals”, subjecting the animals to living in a crowded, dirty and fatal environment.

Wikipedia defines animal hoarders:” Animal hoarding, sometimes called Noah syndrome, is keeping a higher-than-usual number of animals as domestic pets without the ability to properly house or care for them, while at the same time denying this inability. Compulsive hoarding can be characterized as a symptom of a mental disorder rather than deliberate cruelty towards animals. Hoarders are deeply attached to their pets and find it extremely difficult to let the pets go. They typically cannot comprehend that they are harming their pets by failing to provide them with proper care. Hoarders tend to believe that they provide the right amount of care for them.”

The recent disasters (fires and floods) in: Canada, California, Lahaina (Hawaii), Greece, Turkey, Morocco and Algeria prove that a house or an apartment in a town will not protect you all the time. During a fire, your house can become your burial site and during a flood, a deadly trap.

The fact that humans are so dependent on these structures makes them especially vulnerable. The need to feel safe might be the same for humans and animals, but each species sees it and react to it in a different way. Animals are more resilient while humans are more dependent on built structures and in this way, become more vulnerable.

We are living during Hesiod’s Iron Age or the Vedic, Kaly Yuga (although many people might not agree). There is little time left for us to redeem ourselves, not before God only, but before ourselves and nature. Let’s look at animals for solutions. They know how to free themselves from the need of materialistic reality, from the need of consumerism. Let’s look at nature and see how we can learn to survive in nature and not outside it.

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