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state of nature vs State Authority

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on January 29, 2013

“In the state of nature, therefore, sin is inconceivable; it can only exist in a state, where good and evil are pronounced on by common consent, and where everyone is bound to obey the State authority. Sin, then, is nothing else but disobedience, which is therefore punished by the right of the State only….in the state of nature, no one is by common consent master of anything, nor is there anything in nature, which can be said to belong to one man rather than another, all things are common to all.”

Benedict de Spinoza, Ethica

Somewhere along the road, we drifted from living in a state of nature and slid into a civilized society living under a State Authority. This transition is  reflected in the way our religions have evolved, from ancient beliefs that were so closely aligned to natural elements to modern tenets that reek of authoritarianism. In India, Vedic Hinduism gave way to the Bhakti and Brahmanic movements. In Europe and Middle East, the Abrahamic religions replaced ancient pagan beliefs. Tortured by the excesses of an authoritative state, people found comfort in the arms of an authoritative God. Only an aggressive protector could save us from the struggles of a life that was now being governed by a State. We did not believe in the “passive” Nature Gods anymore because we did not live in a state of nature anymore.

The bottomline though is that we are intrisically a part of nature. Solutions to problems relating to our bodies, minds and souls cannot be found in the artificial state we have created around us. Hence I encourage people to try to connect with our roots, to connect with the elements that have formed us. Fire, Water, Earth, Air, and Space hold the answers to all our questions. Adding to them the sixth element, our mind, completes the puzzle of life.

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6 Responses to “state of nature vs State Authority”

  1. Very thought provoking, Raunak.
    I remember reading this from the book “A New Earth – Awakening your Life’s purpose.” It’s just a different take on the topic of sin. I’m not sure what I believe?
    “Literally translated from the ancient Greek in which the New Testament was written, to sin means, to miss the mark, as an archer who misses the target, so to sin means to miss the point of human existence. It means to live unskillfully, blindly, and thus to suffer and cause suffering.” Eckhart Tolle

  2. Reblogged this on Therestic Circle.

  3. It’s probably why the term “being in one with nature” was coined… We feel our best when we’re miles away from a city, surrounded by nature. It feels amazing when the sun is shining on our face, sitting right next to the beach. We feel very relaxed when staring at a bonfire in the middle of the night or in a fireplace. Our minds are simply at ease…

    • Raunak said

      so good to hear your thoughts…you said it…we do feel our best around nature…its as if an invisible connection exists between our bodies and the nature.

  4. Gasbagger said

    Very transcendental perhaps, but also naive. At some point someone is going to have to get up and go cut firewood. This is going to take some work and work is better done with the cooperation of others. At that point, they are going to have to be a tolerated annoyance and for this we need some rules. Besides, “it is not good for man (and woman) to be alone,” nor does it pertetuate the species and for this we also need some rules. This is not by any means the ultimate word on the subject, but it is a consideration.

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