Addendum to Evolution: Origins of the World by Eastern Speculative Philosophy
By BS Murthy
One might approach this postulation as an addendum to evolution for it comes in the wake of the great works of the past. It would seem logical that any proposition about evolution cannot bypass the idea of creation, buttressed with religious belief by those closer to the beginnings of life. Just the same, though all religions propagate the word that God created the world, nevertheless their scriptures differ about the way He went about it. Given the religious assertion that God is the personification of perfection, one need to reckon whether He would have created an imperfect world such as ours! Besides, how come His intellect that placed planets in the orbits failed to visualize a quake free earth that is volcano prone as well! The scriptures that picture Him as the All Merciful, however, prevaricate when it comes to the unjust 'species feeding upon species' way of His creation.
Would it not then make a case for viewing with suspicion the religious assertion that the world was His creation? That was what many a Hindu seer of yore was obviously at, going by their advocacy that the species of the world was the result of an evolutionary process. One such theory of evolution in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad reads thus - He had no pleasure either: so when alone one has no pleasure. He desired a companion. He became as large as a woman and man embracing. He made that self split (pat-) into two: from that husband (pati) and wife (patni) came to be. She realized: "How can he couple with me when he begot me from himself? Ah, I must hide!" She became a cow, the other a bull, and so he coupled with her. From that cattle were born. She became a mare, the other a stallion; she became a she-donkey, the other a he-donkey: and so he coupled with her. From that solid- hoofed animals were born... - 'The Upanisads' by Valerie J Roebuck published by Penguin Books India. This could as well be man's first thesis on evolution.
Well Spencer, Lamarck, Darwin and others of our times could have breached the religious idea of creation with the collective force of pure reasoning. But would their standard of evolution thus erected on the land of religion stand up to logic? After all, the three millennia or more of anthropological data that modern man is in possession fails to indicate an iota of variation in the existing species not to speak of the evolution of the new! That being the case, could it be then the world came into being on its own, as it were! Well if it were so, the question that arises is, wouldn't have the first men made their progeny privy to that story? But that didn't happen either, as we don't even have hearsay to go by about our origins. Besides, the religious routes of creation shown by the later generations all led us into blind alleys. Thus, far removed from our beginnings, we had to figure it out ourselves as to how we came into being. After all, it's that quest for his origins that lead men to the theories of evolution.
Nevertheless, won't that be like putting the cart before the horse, for earth is the only planet known to nourish life. Won't it be imperative to try to assess whether the way the earth itself came into being would have had a bearing on the evolution of its species? It would seem there could be but mere space in the beginning - infinite and empty. At some stage, its gathering cosmic charge, having become boundless, would have disintegrated into infinite number nebulous stars of vast proportions. Needless to say, these stars, in spite of being nebulous, would have acquired a definitive magnetic moment of immense intensity of their own. And the attendant magnetic field could have kept the residual cosmic charge around them at bay. In time, the interplay of magnetic moments would have fragmented the residual nebulous energy around these stars into their planets. In the end, it could be the powerful magnetic thrust the stars would have exerted on each other, that caused their cosmic drift along with their planetary formations in tow.
In was in that altered station, far removed from the cosmic bosom that an intense centripetal force would have come to exert on the sun and its planets in their nebulous state. Over the years, this phenomenon would have occasioned their nebulous energy to compact into spherical formations. This in turn would have brought to bear the centrifugal forces on the sun and its planets that tended them to shed some of their heat energy. That in turn would have occasioned the peripheral cooling of the planets. In time, all the expelled nebulous heat would have galvanized itself as the moon to turn into the satellite of the earth. It would appear that the concept of astrology could be but the appreciation of this cosmic phenomenon.
Be that as it may, where to begin to find out what could have helped the mother earth to bring beings into being? Well won't it be in order to assume that the spread-split-steady syndrome that was behind the formation of the solar system would have been at work in the evolution of the species as well? Won't the procreative process, the feature of perpetuation of the species subscribe to this? Of course, since neither custom stales nor age alters the procreative process of the species, we might reckon that it is in that process must lay the clues to the origins of beings.
Well the world in its beginnings would have been but wilderness of earth, water and air - the gross elements of nature - that would have been evolved owing to the altered cosmic equations. The day and night phenomenon on the earth would have perpetually subjected these elements to some annealing stress - while days would have warmed them by the sun-rays, nights could have gripped them in their cold embrace. However, the landmass, once it got solidified to some depth, would have rested on its laurels but for the jerk of an earthquake or a jolt by a volcano. On the other hand, air and water, given their volatile state, would have been perpetually stressed and strained by the day-night syndrome. Thus, the constant impingement of heat and cold on air and water, both containing oxygen and hydrogen, would have come to impact upon the chemistry of them both in the climatic laboratory. In the end, it would have been the atmospheric disturbances like cyclones and hurricanes that would have brought about the fusion between the much strained water molecules and the turbulent atoms of the air.
The outcome of this fusion could have altered the molecular structure of countless water particles in a way to originate the organisms - O, that we might call onams. As the seas played the mother to this earthly union, onams could have embraced their waters, though in time many might have made their way into the sister rivers as well. But the cyclonic and such atmospheric convulsions that fathered them would have been ever tending many of them into the atmosphere. Likewise, the ocean tides and the flooding rivers would have displaced many an onam onto the ground around. Any way, it didn't hurt them. Being fundamental organisms, the onams would have been unicellular in construct and microscopic in size, sans digestive mechanism of note. Besides, their micro construct would have only needed miniscule diet for self-sustenance. Thus irrespective of their station they would have come to survive on their self-secretions in a unitary and conflict free environment. That was how the onams would have come into being and came to exist as such. Thus, we might reckon that the instinct of the species to prey upon their fellow species would have certainly been a non-onamic character.
Having thus emerged from the nebulous state of non-being, the onamic state of being would have been one of stagnant being. However, as nature could have caused more and more of them to come into being, in time, there could have been the onamic clusters in their trillions all over. At some stage, nature itself might have come to grips with its own waywardness, exemplified by the regulation of the seasons. And all that would have changed the character of the prevailing environment itself, affecting the climatic conditions conducive for furthering the onamic generation. As nature would have ceased to occasion their propagation, the onams could have been compelled to self-generate so as to remain in being. This could as well be the harbinger of the evolutionary process that could have led to the emergence of the species
But how come the unicellular onams could have multiplied into a wide variety multi-cellular species? And then, where from did the plant life emerge? Well the ebbs would have retrieved into the high seas some onams that the tides could have washed ashore. Likewise, the receding river waters would have salvaged some of its onams from the riverbanks that the floods inundated. This great escape would have exposed such of those water onams to an amphibious experience of being. Nonetheless, owing to this recurring phenomenon, many in their millions would have been periodically left stranded in the unfamiliar environs of the beachheads and riverbanks. In time, the stimuli of their clustered existence would have induced in the onams of the world the instinct to spread. This in turn would have imbibed in them the urge to split. The very instinct for the individual spread would have insensibly led to the collective onamic surge. Needless to stress, this could have been achieved with each yielding space to the other in order to gain the same for the stability of the self. This could well be the harbinger of life on earth, though in its rudimentary form. What is more, this characteristic of yielding to gain seems to have shaped the nature of beings during their evolutionary period and beyond. However, with their imbibed instinct to stay in air, the atmospheric onams would have had a free access to the world at large and thus would have been less urged to spread. Thus, the atmospheric onams would not have come to feel the need to split at that stage.
As the earthly onams began to gain in size, they would have needed extra secretions for sustenance that the system was unaccustomed to generate. Besides, their state of growth would have undermined the onamic sense of safety their unicellular compactness provided. Understandably, all this would have ensured that the systemic pulls and pressures came to bear upon the onamic growth. This, in turn, could have forced their survival instinct to cap further growth. Thus, at that state of growth, there could have been duality of purpose in the enlarged onamic organisms - the acquired habit to grow in order to gain and the innate need to remain small so as to survive. Naturally, this clash of interests would have induced fission in the system that could have lead to the eventual rupture of the mechanism itself. It was thus, the onams could have split into two and that would have ushered in the second stage of evolution. Understandably, the coming into being of two organisms - plunams - in place of one, would have enabled the agenda of unrestrained onamic growth. Dictated by the inherited urge, the plunams would have pursued the old onamic agenda of growth till the need arose for yet another plunamic parting of ways. This phenomenon of onamic split would have in time led to the plunamic proliferation of exponential proportions on the ground as well as in waters. In the process, though being unicellular, the plunams would have begun to experience a vague sense of biological difference amongst themselves. However, the atmospheric onams would have been some way away from the plunamic state of evolution on the earth.
Nonetheless, it appears, in spite of the plunamic evolution, the onamic urge for surge remained unsullied. And abetted by habit, it would have indeed turned into a plunamic obsession. In turn, all this might have enabled the plunamic organisms to gain some sense of memory. It is but natural that the urge to grow and the need to split would have impacted on the plunamic memory to impart a sense of separation to it. Thus, it could have been only time before the plunams would have seen the means to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable - that was by splitting within their body itself so as to augment their individual growth! Thus, the plunams would have started splitting within themselves into two organisms - qunams. Thus, in a continuing process, the emerging qunams in the individual plunamic bosoms would have split in turn, to cause the cellular multiplication within the plunamic bodies. Hence, the evolution of the qunams in the plunamic frames at once would have enabled the overall organic growth of the latter. This qunamic state of being could be called the third stage of evolution of beings that was probably the first triumph of something of a mind over matter
In time, the lack of cohesion amongst the individual qunams of the enlarged plunams would have ruined the plan in the making. Obviously, at some point of time in the growing process, the organic self-secretions wouldn't have sufficed to sustain the overall plunamic health, not to speak of the qunamic growth. Driven by the imbibed onamic urge to survive, the individual qunams in the plunamic bosoms could have begun to feed on their weaker cousins. Incidentally, this altered nature of intake would have occasioned the need for the plunams to develop some digestive system of their own. However, this unexpected turn of events would have pitted the stronger qunams against the not so strong of a given plunam. To begin with, the lesser breed would have made a common cause to ward off the stronger elements amongst them. The emergence thus of qunamic sub-groups within the plunamic frames would have caused the functional imbalance in their body organisms. This in turn would have led to the schism in the plunamic systems that would have caused the eventual split, though of a different kind.
Whereas the original onamic split that brought about the plunams into being was for the functional growth, the plunamic split that followed, on the relative qunamic strength, was for the systemic survival. Thus would have come into being plunams stratified by their relative strengths. Nevertheless, the phenomenon of the relatively stronger qunams in a given plunamic organism feeding on their weaker cousins would have continued thus occasioning the perennial parting of ways. And this in turn would have in time ushered in countless plunamic cousins of varied strengths. What was more, the compulsion of the weaker qunams to separate from the stronger would have at length led to the reverse phenomenon whereby many plunams were reduced to the original onamic unicellular and microscopic state of amoebae!
This split syndrome would not have helped ease the plunamic condition in any way for their qunams could have tended to negate each other, though in the end the stronger overpowered the not so strong amongst them. Needless to say, with the relatively weak qunams having been consumed in time, the resistance against mutual qunamic poaching in the individual plunamic bosoms could have resulted in an eventual stalemate. Besides, the qunamic need to prey upon the weak and escape being one for the strong would have tended to weaken the plunamic strength at all levels. Inevitably this would have hindered their collective survival not speak of growth. Thus this qunamic fight for survival within the system would have brought the plunamic structures to the brink of extinction. However, in the end, the survival instinct that would have become the second nature with all plunams by then could have averted the collective calamity for all of them.
After all, it was this plunamic urge for survival that would have induced in them the urge to devour others without as a way out. And that could have given the struggle for survival amongst the world of plunams an altogether different dimension. Obviously, to avert the threat the stronger plunams posed, the lesser kind would have tried to escape into the anonymity of the hinterland or plunged deeper down into the safety of the seas. But as the plunams got scattered in their bid to survive, their very survival would have been threatened just the same what with the scarcity of the relatively weaker around to feed upon. Thus would have developed the need for the plunams for extra reach for preying upon the weaker while themselves keeping away from the stronger. When at some stage, the plunams of the world could have acquired near parity of mobility, it would have been back to the square one for all of them. This in turn would have forced all of them to find ways and means to ensure their individual survival.
All this would have made it imperative for the plunams to imbibe new attributes, the forerunners of the characteristic survival instincts of the individual species. Thus, the survival instinct would have impelled the plunams to grow big or turn bizarre besides acquiring the requisite speed to survive in a given environment. The developments on the ground would have invariably hurt the atmospheric organisms still in the onamic state for they would have made ready pickings for the plunams of the world as and when the winds could have brought them down. Well in time, their own survival instinct would have enabled them to reinvent the wheel to cope up with the hazards on the earth. However, when evolved as the atmospheric plunams, ironically, their ability to be airborne would have limited their size as well
This brings to the fore the question whether the plant life preceded, succeeded or contemporary to the plunamic evolution. If there were plant life existing in the plunamic world, would there have been the need for the plunams to prey upon each other in their struggle for survival. Wouldn't have all those plants come in handy for the plunams to feed upon? Thus, it could be inferred that as there were no plants in place at the plunamic state of evolution, the plunams, in their bid to survive, would have been forced to feed upon each other. For that reason, the eventual evolution of the species that came to depend on the plant produce as their means of survival could be but of post plunamic evolution. Be that as it may, for the plunams it would have been a period of growth as their bigger bellies would have occasioned greater appetites and their improved reach could have enabled them greater catch. In time, all those dinner parties would have pushed the plunams to the brink all again, as the stronger and the weaker alike facing extinction. Well the need of the strong for more prey would have tended to deplete the ranks of the weak, in turn tending the former to famish and the latter to extinct. It was thus all plunams, more so the weaker ones would have felt the need for procreating their own ilk for their prey!
This could have been brought about by the more vulnerable weaker quanams in the plunamic bosoms by tending to acquire female attributes that in turn would have galvanized the stronger ones towards the male tendencies. In the end the plunamic splits would have come to assume male-female dimension with the stronger qunams tending to be male plunams and the weaker, their female counterparts. With the qunamic evolution having acquired biological differentiation, there would have come into being male and female plunams that got together to procreate the preys for themselves. This at once could have brought an end to the qunamic schisms within the organism that would have helped the plunams recoup themselves to resume poaching the weaker lot that too would have got multiplied through procreative means. In time, this would have removed the plunamic need to feed upon what was self-procreated, and thus the progeny would have been left to grow up and in turn further the flock. After all, what was needed was a single male in their midst for the females to keep procreating in their numbers. In spite of the new procreative multiplication, the plunams would have been still pressured for their survival for the demand for prey would have not matched with the supply of the same. Owing to this or out of sheer force of habit some plunams might have continued with the practice of eating their own produce.
However, the seeds of solace for some in the plunamic world would have been laid in an unexpected way. It could be expected that the downpour of the monsoons would have embedded some of the male and female plunams of all dispensations in the soil. At length, the minerals of the soil wealth would have altered the biological characteristics of those entrapped plunams. Brought together by the sub-soil conditions, the males and females of a given creed, and or hybrids of sorts, in due course would have evolved themselves into seeds that the soil conditions would have fertilized as plants in time. And of course, the seeds of a given category would have imbibed the respective or mixed quanamic features and the plunamic attributes would have given raise to the individual plant characteristics. In time, as some plunams would have found it expedient to feed on the sprouting vegetation, in turn their survival instinct coupled with their organic habit of growth would have shaped the latter into the varied vegetation on the earth. Like wise, as the atmospheric plunams would have been hard pressed for prey, what with their earthly counterparts on the growth path, they would have evolved as birds with the ability to swoop down on their pray and spirit away when threatened.
In time, in spite of it all, it would have dawned on all the plunams that being on the run alone was no guarantee for their survival, and thus they would have been ever at augmenting their attributes to acquire prey and escape from being one. Eventually, it was this process that would have enabled the plunams to evolve into various species of the world with individual survival instincts and preying abilities. The loose cannon that the evolution of species was, it was but natural that dinosaurs with their insatiable appetites appeared in time. With their reach and approach they would have played havoc in the animal kingdom as it got evolved. But as their pry would have run for cover in the wide world, at some stage, the dinosaurs could have found their prey so scarce as to survive. And in time, they would have become extinct for the same reason.
What about man, the acme of evolution? It would seem that with the weaker ones amongst them having gone into the hinterland, to escape being their prey, the plunams of the stronger onams, would have monopolized the seashores and the riverbanks. Feeding on their cousins that were washed ashore or grounded by the winds these privileged plunams would have had it easy and it could be this lack of threat from the others and the ready availability of prey that would have made the evolutionary process of these apart and unique. While the survival and sustenance syndrome alone could have governed the evolution of the rest of the onams into various species, these strong with no such constraints by and large, would have evolved into the thinking animal that is man. If the evolution of the animal kingdom was marked by the relative strength and speed so as to survive, the hallmark of human evolution was the furtherance of strength through cerebral power to enable domination. Thus while survival instinct would govern the animal behaviour, self-interest could rule the human conduct.
While the evolution of the animal kingdom itself framed the laws of the jungle, man had to evolve his own framework of rules so as to coexist. And the subconscious of the procreative process, symbolized by gives and takes, would have shaped his initial conduct. But at some stage, some sense of insecurity would have come to dominate his conscious mind that insensibly altered the boundaries of his subconscious comfort zone of give and take. Wanting to gain more to secure against imaginary threats and concede less and less as if to avoid the feared erosion and/or both became the credo of man that narrowed the give and take zone of human harmony. In time, in man, the urge to gain became bereft of the purpose to gain and the need to retain lost the sense of the need itself. Inevitably, in the end, man came to bring misery upon him and inflict injury on the world of the species.
However, it is worth noting that the Hindu puranas would have it rather differently with regard to the evolution of human nature as pictured in the Dasa Avatars - the ten incarnations in this world of Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Hindu Deity. The first of His incarnations was as the fish, Mastya, in water, then the amphibious tortoise, Koorma, followed by the pig, Varaaha, on the land. Then it was the half man-half lion, Narasimha, the pygmean man, Vamana, the intemperate man, Parasurama, the principled man, Sri Rama, the pragmatic man, Sri Krishna, the enlightened man, The Buddha, and finally the yet to come destroyer of a man, Kalki. Going by the said progression of the Lord's incarnations, one might infer what was hinted in the Dasa Avatars was indeed the process of evolution on the earth. Given that the concept of Vishnu's Avatars, propagated by the puranas, came to be a feature of the Hindu belief well before the advent of The Buddha, one might agree that the theory of evolution was not all that modern after all.