The Nature of Man

By Hari Prasad Shastri

Every human being is a microcosm in which all grades of existence are repeated on a minute scale. Our nature reaches up to the Absolute on the one hand, and down to the animal and the plant worlds on the other.

Although we are bound up with matter and occupied with the care of our body, we derive our life from the universal intelligence (Chit). The material of our thought comes from the sensations of the physical organism, and consequently we are apt to be enslaved by the animal appetites. We may be subject to undefined instincts, which are derived from the nature we have in common with plants and animals.

Yet each of us is capable of becoming a philosopher, a spectator of all time and existence, and of rising beyond the life of intelligence into immediate contact with the Divine. Thus we are like an amphibious being who belongs to both worlds; we can climb to the highest—the Divine—or sink to the lowest.

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This article is from the Autumn 2018 issue of Self-Knowledge Journal.