In thinking about this challenge, I came up with the idea that the "proof" that we are all born essentially perfect can be found in the scientific fact that we develop from a single cell to become the person we are. We know from science that every form of life, including humans, develops from a single cell that contains all the information to make it what it becomes - whether plant or animal - and how all its different parts work in concert to sustain life.
Think of it, everything about your body and brain and its functioning was contained, was programmed, in the single cell from which your life started. Life, and that means you, are a miracle!
So it makes sense that the life force of the universe is embedded in each single cell from which all things grow. And that all things – human, animal, and plant - are essentially perfect at birth. When you think of the miracle of what becomes of that single cell, this is beyond logical. Regardless what one thinks the driving force in the universe is, whether it's God-driven or evolution, how could the truth be other than all things are at birth essentially perfect?
Now, of course I know that some people are born with physical or mental genetic abnormalities or damage caused by external forces such as drugs or stress while in the mother's womb, which is tragic, but they are still essentially perfect human beings. Perfect here refers to one's spirit, the quality of your heart, not to one’s physical attributes or mental strength.
And so each and every one of us is born a child of the universe. It is often said, when referring to someone before they were born or even conceived, that they were "a twinkling in their parents' eyes." But that is not accurate. The twinkling in the parent's eyes was about sex, not about the child.
The child instead was a twinkling in the eye of the universe. The sex act of the parents was just the method, like a butterfly or bee spreading pollen from flower to flower, for the universe to create new life, be it plant, animal, or human.
As so the birth of each person on Earth is a miracle of the universe; you are a miracle.
What becomes of plants, animals, and humans after birth is another matter because, as we know, "modern" man has created a world in which man has had and to this day has little concern for the impact of his actions on the healthy development of plants, animals, and humans. And so degradation and suffering abounds.
I have often compared what happens when an animal is born with what happens when a baby is born. A baby’s or new-born animal’s need for nurturing, for unconditional love, is almost without limit. Birth, being thrust out of the womb, has to be a scary experience.
When an animal is born, it is typically licked all over by the mother and is always next to the mother’s warmth. The animal is made to feel secure – if man does not intervene.
When a baby is born, on the other hand, it is slapped on the behind, washed by a stranger, rolled up in a blanket and given to its mother to be held and fed before being put in a basinet by itself. From a baby's perspective, not a good experience. So from the moment of its birth, a baby finds that its needs are not met, and so the first seeds of insecurity are sown. Indeed, there is little thought of the baby's needs other than being fed.
This pattern continues during the baby’s formative first years. For an animal mother, her babies are her first concern; nothing competes with that. Human mothers, parents, have broader concerns.
It’s not that parents don’t love their new child and shower it with attention; it’s that the needs of the baby go beyond what most parents are able to give. Whether it’s how they were raised, whether it’s the demands of work or home, whether it’s having their own problems to worry about … it’s just the way it is. Because parents, though adults, are still the creatures of insecurity and trauma they experienced as children; their inner child is alive and well. (See my book, Raising a Happy Child.)
And so when an animal is weaned and goes off on its own, it has had nothing but secure reinforcements from its mother, it knows its place in the world and everything it needs to do in order to survive. Nature can be cruel, but an animal knows that such is life, and just like the chickens I described in my post, "The Wisdom of Chickens," they go on with their life undisturbed.
For humans, life's scenario is very different.
And so the work of spirituality, of walking the path, is to free oneself from the insecure and emotion-filled world our mind has created from our life experiences and instead reconnect with your true self, your heart, the miracle of the universe that is you.
We must live in this world, and we can do so and not suffer, but only if we approach it on our spiritual terms, not the terms of our mind, not the terms of man.
May you experience peace and happiness.