The Gift of Being Human / by Tom Maloney

Congratulations!  If you're reading “The Gift of Being Human,” there’s a high probability you are a human being.  Or a very special horse.  Or a precocious chimpanzee.  You could have been born as innumerable other beings into innumerable other realms.  You could have been born a Mayfly, saddled with the evolutionary mission to reproduce as quickly as possible since your species’ maximum lifespan rarely surpasses twenty-four hours.  You could have been born into the realm of hell-beings (narakas), enduring eons of intense suffering until any karma has run its course.  You could have been born as a hungry ghost, forced to endure limitless thirst and hunger even with access to plenty of sustenance.  You could have been born a Deva with no faculties to perceive the impermanence of even the most decadently luxurious existence.  But you were not.  You were born a human into the realm of the manusyas.  Your physical body is here, now, on a relatively small, compacted ball of space dust floating in a suspension of particles we do not understand.  After an unfathomable span of time and innumerable incarnations, your individual string of karma has reached a critical mass, an escape velocity. You were handed an opportunity unlike any other.  The opportunity to avail yourself to the awesome power of self actualization.  To hear and apply the wisdom-teachings of humans who learned to lead rich, fulfilling lives unburdened by expectations and doubt.  To escape from the wheel of Samsaric existence in a single lifetime.  To curate your life as you see fit.  To accrue no more karma, neither positive nor negative.  To experience the richness of the entire emotional spectrum; from despair so intense it is life-numbing to joy so uplifting it is life-transforming.  And of course, the opportunity to be acutely aware of mortality as an eventual, capital “T” Truth; dissolving illusions about the importance of petty bullshit.  This is it.  The time is now.  You are here.  Live fully and seek wholeness.