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Survival of the "Fittest"

By Roya Monajem, Tehran

The briefest way to define evolution is the survival of not only the physically or militarily stronger, but also of the fittest. This has been the state of affairs not only in Nature, but in human society throughout the history of mankind, hasn't it? As a physically as well as religio-legally minor member of the human society in general and this land and some other lands in particular, while having paid and still paying the required price, finally the question crossed the mind whether there is any way to lower this price by finding out what are the main characteristic of the fittest, so that even if incapable of acting like one, at least know amongst whom one is living.

The first characteristic feature of the fittest appears to be a greater capacity for telling lies! The higher this capacity, the fittest appears to be the person. "If you don't wish to be betrayed, wear the same color the crowd wears," says a Persian proverb, because truthfulness and honesty involves a great risk, particularly when living under totalitarian despotic tyrannical systems with the accompanying social culture, to the extent that sometimes even the survival instinct may not allow one to take the risk! "Just tighten that knot of scarf around your neck, shut up and don't act like some foolish or mad woman; in other words, close your eyes and lie happily!"

Or of course we 'have' to smile at our clients and bosses - no matter how much we dislike them inside- otherwise there will be no bread! It needs a great deal of courage to do otherwise, doesn't it? That kind of courage heard of and practiced by old chevaliers, knights, heroes and heroines! Look what happened to us on this land when we refused to accept the big lie! Amazingly symbolic that our new national heroes in this turn of transformative events on this land, so many but the ones who accidentally came to be known even internationally are Neda (meaning: sound, call, symbolizing hopefully a much greater loving feminine awareness) and Sohrab (associating one of the most tragic epics of Shahnameh, somehow common on this land which is the story of the chief sheriff knight of this grand epic, that is Rostam killing his own son - by mistake, for the simple reason that the father had never seen his son until then!) [1]  Usually, and in most other cultures, it is the son, killing the father which is at least in more harmony with another rule of Nature that the new should replace the old. Isn't it strange that on this land it has been historically so different? In other words, it has been the old trying to conquer the new. I wonder how much of it comes from our strong national sense of nostalgia! The good old days of Cyrus the great, the gorgeous blue pond with fountain and red fish in the middle of a yard full of flowerbeds and fruit one word, the Lost Paradise!

Not jumping into another concept, let us continue our survey and see what may be other characteristics of 'the fittest.'

The second, as an "effect" of the first (i.e. the capacity to lie) or as its "cause" or else its natural "companion" is the lack of a faculty known as conscience. In the absence of remorse of conscience and the resulting pain, a kind of emotional numbness will develop which can be counted as the third trait of 'the fittest': emotional apathy. One fails to be touched by anything, outside one's self and at most immediate family... Of course this doesn't include failing to sense the appetizing scent of food or getting excited on seeing a blonde or brunette, or the tactile enjoyment of a good massage, etc... But this is as far as 'the fittest' need to use his/her senses!

Before moving to the next feature, let us pause a bit on the concept of 'conscience' which is usually defined as a sense of right and wrong which automatically associates morality, one of the main causes of conflicts, opposition and war throughout the history. Each culture thinking its sense of right and wrong being superior to its neighbors! On seeing and realizing this fact, one naturally strives to teach oneself impartiality. Then what happens to the definition of conscience? The word in Persian means also heart, the supposedly seat of love-mehr in all cultures. In this meaning, conscience seems to be what love-mehr ordains? So, even when beyond the idea of good and evil, there is still going to be pang of conscience when one ignores those ordains. But still no use for the fittest whose heart is filled only with selfish self- love!

Then the fourth, an outcome of the third (i.e. emotional apathy) would be narrow-mindedness. The world of the fittest is confined to its petty self. In society where one is needed to believe in some sort of ideology, she/he gets easily mesmerized, enchanted by any system of thinking which she/he has been exposed to since childhood depending on the scope and intensity of her/his narrow-mindedness (and herd instinct). She/he may even hear voice of oracles talking inside her/him, which is perhaps a kind of defense mechanism to escape confronting her/his sorrowful smallness.

The fifth feature is what is called egoism-narcissism. "I alone know the Truth. That's It! So you better shut up, if you don't like to be tortured and banished from this world!"

And finally the worst comes as the sixth trait, the capacity to practice brutality, from verbal violence to even killing one's brothers and sisters, parents, children; a kind of vampirism. Frightening, isn't it? Yet, this has been more or less the natural way of human affairs determined by the Law of Jungle, hasn't it?

Whence may hope come? From the fact that what the Law of Jungle takes into consideration is preservation of not only mere life on Earth, but life in its manifold manifestations! Historically, there has always been a halt to victorious invasions of other-lands by any avaricious conquering emperor, king, president and ideology. After all, birth, growth, death, birth, growth is the basic regenerating rule of life-existence in our universe, isn't it? In other words, Law of Jungle has its own virtues too.

[1] I wish I could name all of those killed here with the literal and associative meanings of their names.

... Payvand News - 04/13/10 ... --

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