Here is a question am seriously contemplating about today..…..are we, the proud human race innately cruel ? Is the sixth sense a boon or a bane?
When I stepped into the Colosseum in Roma, I was awestruck…what an architectural masterpiece it must have been! The bottom of this structure reminded me of a beehive, with closely knit cages to host the prisoners and animals alike. As I looked further up at the amphitheatre and the seating arenas of the kings and the queens, the courtiers and the masses, I drifted into a trance. A beautiful setting indeed. Breathtaking in a sense. And then, the cruelty of this whole thing sinks in. As men and women, kings and courtiers, cheer with their near and dear, unfortunate slaves and prisoners are thrown to the mercy of the ‘exotic’ animals brought in from all over the world. The losing battles begins, entertains and ends for sure, for the End is certain and the End is imminent and all who had gathered were there to witness the End. The thumping of every heart, whether it was the thrill, fear or sheer joy, resonated through every bit of this structure. And then, I felt it in my heart, the Pain.
It got me thinking. Universally, in the name of certain sports and traditions, there has always been forms of cruelty meant to entertain. The bull fights, ram fights, cock fights and god knows what fights, (incidentally it’s the pongal season that’s reminding me of this), have all been designed to entertain or impress and it always comes with a cost.
What could it be that could drive mankind to derive pleasure at the helplessness of someone/something else? Could it be similar instincts at play while some derive pleasure in raping a woman or abusing a child?
Has Maslow missed something in his theory of hierarchy? Is there a state of something after the basic needs are met, is there a sadistic state of mind, which is either asserted or trespassed, based, on an individual’s values? Is the true nature wild, untamed, selfish and cruel ? And is that why we need religions, philosophies and community values?