By: Larry Molina II
God created the oceans and Man created the ship so that he may defy boundaries and conquer the world, or is he just trying to conquer the demon inside himself? He gave his power a name; currency. He developed a way to become better than his fellow tribesmen, he created envy. Through this envy he found a lust for other’s objects of attraction. A want so deep for material possessions such as territory he would kill his own kind to gain what should be free to all; land. He fashioned shiny objects to himself, struck down beautiful creatures so that he may cloak himself inside their flesh. So angry was he with his own simple creation, with the confusion of the world, like a boy without a father. There is a longing inside Man for something unknown to even himself. Why do we strive to gain only for ourselves? Man even blames this curse on a woman who simply bit an apple. He cannot accept himself to be his source of misery. Yes, that is what Man is, miserable. He must be for all the sin he has created, for all his heinous acts towards others in order to fill something inside himself that cannot be filled. His own greed.
It’s in his nature. It is no more Man’s fault to be the root of all evil than it is the lion’s fault he attacks the gazelle. The cat was designed to be hungry and built to slay its food. He was designed to eat the other animal alive with superior speed, strength, planning, and looks. Yes, even the big cat’s looks give him strength to elude the observations of his prey. Just like a Man takes on a cunning persona to gain, manipulate, and strike his foe without warning. However Man creates his vanity of distrust to elude the guise weakness. He will wear contacts instead of eyewear, so that his genes may appear to be of good stock. He buys a gym membership to find a physique he finds desirable. He learns a trade that will gain him that ever so elusive money.
Through it all, he has evolved to make his creation of sin a necessity. The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity replied, “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
Man’s conquest of the universe has found itself in full circle of life. He has included in his scope Death, and the desire to prevent and prolong it. Man’s fight against Nature has led him into the battle of immortality. Pyramids, sculptures, conquest, and financial gain have all been strived for in order to gain Man’s fear of being forgotten. Yet during this fight he forgets to live. We are our own poison, yet it is necessary. It is necessary for the lion to eat in order to live and it is necessary for the man to kill or be killed because he like all creatures doesn’t have to enjoy being alive, but will struggle to remain so.
A change is happening inside the modern man. He no longer strives for greatness. He will commit to mediocrity, a 9-5 job that holds no progression for his own empire. The modern man takes precaution in spontaneity. He will not climb a mountain simply because it is there anymore. The modern man is losing his manliness with vanity and submission. He is accepting the things he can change as common practice. He realizes this to a certain degree that his manliness is slipping. He creates a “Dude Ranch,” defines himself with a “Man Card,” a “Man Cave,” and goes through mid-life crisis because he realizes he should have died on his feet than lived on his knees.
When I was a boy I lived near a Wild Big Cat Sanctuary. My family would often drive through this sanctuary to observe the captive cats for free. It was a sort of entertainment on a limited budget. The sanctuary was fixed in a way that you would drive though the land with caged animals on either side of the trail. Their pens were large, acres even. Some Saturdays my father would take me, his only son to the sanctuary. He would drive at a pace much faster than my mother would without a care for the other cats until we reached the male lion’s pen. He’s pull over and step out of the vehicle to approach the large sunbathing animal. It would lie there, even as my father was against the fence, the beast would lie. The cat would casually swat flies with its tail or shake its head. It would yawn, look off in the distance, avoid eye contact and almost act as if my father, who was pressed against the fence taunting the animal, was not even present.
Some days my father would curse and speak loudly at the caged beast. It would never reply. I once ask the purpose of this harassment of the creature. “Why do you taunt the lion so, do you hate him father?”
“No,” he said, “I hate what he has become. That lion was once the king of the jungle, and he has now forgotten that son. He has forgotten he is a lion… I never want you to forget that you are a Man son. I want you to conquer the world.”
“And a Man sat alone, drenched deep in sadness. And all the animals drew near to him and said, “We do not like to see you so sad. Ask us for whatever you wish and you shall have it.” The Man said, “I want to have good sight.” The vulture replied, “You shall have mine.” The Man said, “I want to be strong.” The jaguar said, “You shall be strong like me.” Then the Man said, “I long to know the secrets of the earth.” The serpent replied, “I will show them to you.” And so it went with all the animals. And when the Man had all the gifts that they could give, he left. Then the owl said to the other animals, “Now the Man knows much, he’ll be able to do many things. Suddenly I am afraid.” The deer said, “The Man has all that he needs. Now his sadness will stop.” But the owl replied, “No. I saw a hole in the Man, deep like a hunger he will never fill. It is what makes him sad and what makes him want. He will go on taking and taking, until one day the World will say, ‘I am no more and I have nothing left to give.’” – Apocalypto by Mel Gibson