Contemplating Survival

It can be very powerful to understand the fundamental forces that drive our actions and dominate our experience. In this article I will provide an explanation for ALL human activity. This explanation is simple, even obvious, but often overlooked. If considered seriously and contemplated in relation to your life and being, it can revolutionize your understanding of human nature, and more importantly, yourself.

This explanation is so inclusive that it exceeds my ability to convey. I will not provide many examples, it is up to you to realize and witness firsthand. I assure you it is worth the effort.

Treat this as a guided contemplation.

Take each line as far as you can before proceeding to the next.

Everything you do is for the sake of survival.

Every thought, emotion, action, and behavior is produced to ensure the continued existence of the character and person you are.

Survival explains your every move. There is no other driver of action.

Do not brush this off. Do not underestimate the significance of this realization. 

Survival means you keep being “you”.

We can begin to understand this by thinking in terms of biological evolution. Ask yourself, what is a body?

It is a survival bot! Survival is its only function. Survival is its only function. Every organ serves a function, every movement is toward an advantage and away from a disadvantageous condition. If you think about your body in terms of evolutionary biology, it becomes clear that it exists only to serve the function of survival.

The presence of survival is obvious in lower life forms. For example, it is clear to us that an insect’s every movement is either towards something that ensures its survival, or away from something that threatens it.

When we look at ourselves, survival can be harder to see. Survival often shows up for us as seemingly non-survival activities, which are in truth simply you trying to stay alive.

That joke you cracked? Survival.

That haircut? Survival.

Your taste in music? Survival.

No matter what you think of, it will be survival. Go ahead, try to think of something that isn’t for the sake of your personal survival.

If you don’t see how it is survival, try to make the connection. Sometimes it is convoluted, twisted, or distal. But it is always the case. Even suicide is an act of survival.

If you thought about it, it should be obvious that survival is not restricted to the physical.

You must survive conceptually. Your self-image must persist. Your ideas must persist. Your conceptual identity must persist. It is what you are. It is the very substance of your person.

You must survive socially. Others must see you as you, whatever that means. Your relationships must persist, or end, depending on your agenda and needs. Your status must be ensured. You need acceptance.

It is all survival.

Why is this important?

Because it’s true, and applies to everything that is of any importance to you.

The truth empowers you to act more effectively, because it is what exists.

The truth is where you must begin any attempt at freedom.

It is YOU

Suffering is for the sake of survival.

You suffer because you believe you need to in order to survive. It serves a purpose.

The struggle to be yourself is the source of all suffering.

If you don’t need to survive you don’t need to suffer. As long as your survival is necessary, you will suffer.

As long as your identity is limited to an ego, survival will motivate a life or death battle to maintain that ego. 

If your identity is extended to something larger, such as humanity, then survival will be on behalf of that identity. 

If your identity is extinguished entirely, then your survival will be extinguished. Suffering will end, but so will all movement.

You cannot escape survival, but you can choose what survives. Letting go of one identity allows for the promotion of another. This transformation, letting something new survive.

This understanding can be applied to everything that is your life. Its explanatory power is astounding.

All perception is survival, every emotion is survival, every behavior is survival, every thought and action is survival.

Your very self is a function of survival.

Get in touch with this truth! The power and freedom that follows is astounding.

We may encounter some traps when trying to deeply understand this. They may look like this:

  • Taking this on conceptually without experiencing it directly. If you merely ‘believe’ that survival is the operating principle of your life, but don’t directly experience its power and influence, then the understanding is of limited use. By directly experiencing it, you are able to relate to that fact as it occurs in real-time. You are able to see how and why you do what you do. Truth, power, freedom, and mastery are made possible by experiencing foundational principles like this. 
  • Resting on your laurels. It is easy to believe you understand the survival principle because it is seemingly obvious. There is a tendency to stop an investigation prematurely because it feels good to know. Once we’ve attained some level of understanding we may be inclined to end the inquiry. Don’t. You can always go deeper and more holistic with this understanding. It will always be worthwhile to do so.

The power and importance of this concept comes from its broad explanatory power. 

This article is an intro to the concept of survival. This is only the first step in our endeavor towards truth, power, and freedom. Next we must begin to experience survival in our own life. We must see it in motion, learn its methods, and feel its power.

Then, we can begin to master survival and ultimately transcend it all. 

First things first.

Contemplate, beautiful survivor

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