From Instinct to Boredom – Have Human Beings Stopped Evolving?

From Instinct to Boredom – Have Human Beings Stopped Evolving?

Why have human beings seemed to have stopped evolving, and instead are often bored and even suicidal?

Boredom and suicide are both human. No animal can commit suicide, no tree can commit suicide.
Why has this happened? What is the reason behind it?

“Has man forgotten completely how to live, how to celebrate, how to be festive? While the whole existence is festive, how has man retreated out of it and created a sad milieu around him?

“It has happened.

Animals live through instinct; they don’t live through awareness.

“They live through instinct, mechanically. Nothing has to be learned. They are born with whatsoever they need to know. Their life runs on a smooth instinctive plane; there is no learning. They have an inbuilt program, a blueprint in their cells, for all that they need to live and be happy, so they go on living mechanically.

“Man has lost instinct; now there is no blueprint to live. You are born without any blueprint, without any inbuilt program. No mechanical lines are available for you to move on.

“You have to create your own path. You have to substitute instinct with something which is not instinct, because instinct has dropped.

You have to substitute your instinct with intelligence, with awareness.

“You cannot live mechanically. You have gone beyond that stage where mechanical life is possible – it is not possible for you. You cannot live like animals and you don’t know how t live in some other way – this is the problem.

“You don’t have a natural inbuilt program to follow. Without a program you have to face existence. And boredom, suffering, is bound to be your destiny if you cannot create such awareness that you can live through awareness rather than living through instinct. You have to learn everything. This is the problem. No animal needs to learn anything. You have to learn everything, and unless you learn it, you cannot live it.

You have to learn how to live. No animal needs it.

“This learning is the problem. You learn many things: you learn how to earn money, you learn mathematics, you learn history, you learn science, but you never learn how to live. That is creating the boredom. The whole of humanity is bored because a basic thing remains untouched. And it cannot be left to instinct, because there are now no instincts to live.

“For man, instinct has dropped; that door is closed. You have to build your own program. You are born without a map.

“This is good, because existence thinks you are so responsible you will create your own map. This is a glory. This is magnificent.

This makes man the highest, the peak of existence, because existence leaves you free.

“No animal is free: he has to live and follow a particular program that existence gives to him. When he is born, he is born with a program – he has to follow it. He cannot go astray, he cannot choose. There are no alternatives given to him. For man, all alternatives are open, and with no map to move with.

“If you don’t learn how to live, your life will become a dreary affair. This has happened. Then you can go on doing many things and still you will feel you are not alive – dead.

“Deep down something is dead, not alive. You go on doing things because you have to.

Just to live you go on doing things, but that ‘just to live’ is not life.

“There is no dance in it, no song in it. It has become a business. There is no play in it, and obviously you cannot enjoy it.

“These techniques of Tantra are to teach you how to live. They are to teach you not to depend on animal instinct, because it is no more there. It has become so faint it cannot work for you, it cannot function.

“It has been noted, observed, that if a human child is brought up without the mother, he will never be able to learn love, he will never be able to love. For his whole life he will remain without love, because now there is no instinct; he has to learn it. Even love has to be learned.

A human child who is brought up without love cannot learn it.

“He will not be able to love. If a mother is not there, and if a mother doesn’t become a source of happiness, of ecstasy, then no woman can become a source of happiness and ecstasy for that child. When he becomes mature, grown-up, he will not be attracted to women, because now instinct is not functioning.

“This will not happen to animals: in the right moment they will start functioning. They will become sexual; they will move towards the opposite sex – that is instinctive, mechanical. With man nothing is mechanical. If you don’t teach a human child language, he will not learn it. If you don’t teach it, he is not going to have it. It is not natural; there is no instinct for it.

Whatsoever you are is because of your learning. Man is less nature and more culture. Animals are simply nature.

“Man is less natural and more cultural, but one dimension, the basic and the most foundational, remains uncultured – that is the dimension of being alive. You take it as if you already have it; it is taken for granted – that is wrong. You don’t know how to live, because just to breathe is not synonymous with living. Just to eat and sleep and just carry on the bodily affairs is not synonymous with living. You are existing, that’s right, but you re not alive.

“A buddha is alive, not simply existing. That aliveness can come only if you learn it, if you become aware of it, and if you search for it and if you create situations in which it can evolve.

Remember this: for man, mechanical evolution is not. Conscious evolution has taken place, and now you cannot do anything about it – you have to move into conscious evolution.

“You cannot fall back. You can stick where you are – then you will get bored.

“That’s what is happening. You are not moving. You go on accumulating physical things, so things are moving, not you. Your riches go on accumulating, they are growing – your bank balance is growing, not you. You are not increasing at all. On the contrary, you may be shrinking, decreasing, but you are not increasing.

“Unless you do something consciously, you are lost. A conscious effort is needed. It is not asked from the animals because they are not responsible.

So you have to understand one very basic thing: with freedom comes responsibility. And you can be free only if you are responsible.

“Animals are not responsible, but they are also not free. They are not free; they have to follow a particular pattern. They are happy because nothing can go wrong. They are following a predetermined course: they are following a pattern which has been worked out in millennia, in centuries of evolution. It has been worked out and found correct. They are following that. There is no possibility of going wrong.

“There is every possibility for you to go wrong, because there is no plan, there is no map, there is no pattern. Your life ahead is not charted. You are free. But then a great responsibility falls on you, and that responsibility is to choose rightly, to work rightly, and to create your future through your effort.

Really, the human being has to create himself through his own effort.

“What existentialists in the west say is true. They say man is born without an essence, or you can say without a soul. Sartre, Marcel, Heidegger, they say that man is born without an essence. He is born as an existence, and then through his own effort he creates the essence. He is born only as a possibility, and then through his own effort he creates the soul. He is born only as a form, and then through his own conscious effort he creates the substance.

“Just the contrary is the case for all nature: every animal, every plant, is born with an essence, with a soul, with a program, with a fixed destiny.

Man is born as an opening with no fixed destiny – this creates burden, this creates responsibility.

“This gives you fear, anguish, anxiety. And then wherever you are, if you don’t do anything you get stuck. That getting stuck creates boredom.

“You can be alive, happy, festive, joyful, only when you are moving when you are growing, when you are increasing, when you are creating the soul; really when you are pregnant with the divine, and when the divine is growing in your womb, when you are going to give birth.

“For Tantra, God is not the beginning, godliness is in the end.

God is not the creator, but godliness is the ultimate peak, the omega point, of evolution.

“It is the last, not the first; not the alpha but the omega. And unless you become pregnant and unless you carry a child within you, you will be bored, because then your life is futile – nothing is going to come out of it; no fruit is going to come out of it. That creates boredom.

“You can make this opportunity a source of evolution, or you can miss the opportunity and can make it a point of suicide. It depends on you.

Because man can commit suicide, only man can grow spiritually.

“No animal can grow spiritually. Because man can destroy himself, he can also create. Remember, both the possibilities move simultaneously. No animal can destroy himself – impossible. You cannot conceive of a lion thinking about suicide, to jump from a cliff and end the whole thing – no, impossible. No lion can think of it. Howsoever brave, no lion can think of ending himself, destroying himself. He’s not free.

“You can conceive of destroying yourself. It is impossible to find a human being who has not thought many times to destroy himself. And if you can find a human being who has not thought of committing suicide, then either he is animal or a God. That is very basically human – the possibility to destroy. But that also opens another door; simultaneously both the doors open – you can create also.

You can create yourself, because you can destroy yourself.

“No animal can create himself. You can create yourself, and unless you start creating, you will be destroying. Unless you create yourself, start creating…. And it is not a thing to create yourself, it is a process – you have to go on creating. Unless you reach to the ultimate, you have to go on creating.

Unless godliness is born within you, you have to go on creating. If you are not creating, you will be bored – uncreative life is boredom.

All these techniques are to help you to create, to be reborn, to become pregnant.”


Osho, The Book of Secrets — 112 Meditations to Discover the Mystery Within, Talk #63 – Start Creating Yourself


To read the full series on evolution:

An introductory summary:

The Origin of the Species – A Revolutionary New Understanding

Links to excerpts from Osho on different aspects of evolution:

From Unconscious Evolution to a Revolution in Consciousness

Evolution and Consciousness – The Ultimate Journey

What Is the Evolution of a Seeker on the Journey to Consciousness?

From Natural Selection to Conscious Evolution to Total Consciousness

Evolution and Consciousness – From Existence to Essence

Does Evolution Naturally Lead to Freedom?

This article is published on Medium

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