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Living -- Not Surviving


Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.


The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.

-- Arnold Schwarzenegger

Harmony -- a True Measure of Intelligence

Belittling as it may sound, but some folks are simply not equipped to "get it". Aside from all excuses and explanations existing in vocabulary of compassion and altruism, they don't seem to be wired to produce the quality of thinking that would result with a harmony in their own hearts as well as a harmony in their interacting with others.

As you can tell, I am ascribing harmony to intelligence as its most important measurement, because it pertains to every aspect of effective functioning in life. Everything else is secondary to it. From cellular functioning to sending a manned rocket to the moon, nothing works without a harmonious organization.

Out of my own sense of fairness I won't call those less-harmonious, or less intelligent folks any names, but since they seem to be locked at the lower level of sheer surviving, let's call them "survivalists".

I see this survivalism as the main feature in model of functioning of those of lesser intelligence, as their priorities are all gravitating around an almost animalistic survival instinct. With the main drive in them to secure as much as possible of the means of survival -- while not necessarily being concerned about those similar needs of others.

In that garden variety of assorted egocentrics, you may identify them in a range from greedy careerists and social climbers, all the way down to a "professional victim" -- equally in the game of surviving, with only the style being different. In one way or another, those in their life merely existing there to cater to their needs.

Somewhere at the bottom of that scale, we can see a mass of those just locked within a survival routine of work, eat, drink, and sleep, with some chemical and sexual surrogates posing as their life purpose.


It's better to conquer yourself than to win thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken away from you, not by angels, or by demons, heaven or hell."

-- Buddha

Suvivalism Doesn't Spell Happiness

As for the quality of life, survivalists are almost as a rule quite dumb, wallowing in excessive emotionalism dictated by those low, animalistic energy frequencies ruling in their model of functioning.

That's why you can hardly see a happy rich person, a movie celebrity, or a social climber, their relationships being a disaster of a constant drama. Just in a different appearance, you'll also see that emotionalism in those families of lower income whose only goal in life seems to be to get by, without anything inspiring them to improve themselves and their condition.

Every conflict, big or small, regularly starts with survivalists who are extremely sensitive about who is in the way of their best interests. Every war, every revolution, demonstration, violent crime, looting, union activity---is initiated by survivalists. They are the shit-disturbers of this world, not carriers of any harmonious changes.

Interestingly enough, those "deep" folks hardly ever get to the top of events, as their advanced nature seems to lack the "brain muscle" propelled by survivalism. They lack social agressiveness, that "alpha-in-the-pack" drive with sense of entitlement that is so typical of survivalists.

You may mostly see them secluded in communities of those alike, enjoying their own world of a refined spiritual and studious advancement. It's a true tragedy of the mankind that those with most to say live in the shadows of those who speak a lot while saying little.


Give me something about bacteria. Give me something that won't make me feel so inferior.

-- William Saroyan

Nothing Inferior under the Sun

I believe that the world is operating on the principle of variety, with stupidity evolving shoulder to shoulder with smartness. Looking at the fractals and analogies recognizable in all macro and micro world, nature obviously likes repeating its patterns.

So, like there are some over 100 chemical elements composing our material world, there are many different mentalities, with many levels and aspects of intelligence. All seem to be necessary and included in the grand scheme of consciousness evolution, just like all chemical elements are fashioning the material reality on earth and in cosmos.

That's why those less intelligent folks also have a purpose, they are not to be underrated as inferior, just recognized for what they can or cannot contribute by their level of intelligence.

Have you ever tried to point at something pretty obvious to someone, and all you got as their response was that clued-out expression that gave you little shock of disbelief over the person's intelligence.

Just watch how most of the daily news provide evidence of an incredible part of the world's population not "playing with a full deck upstairs" -- which doesn't exclude our politicians.

Actually, politicians and governments, with their almost perverse passion for competing, for dominance, for an "alpha-in-the-pack" status, for an upper hand in the national and international game of coexistence -- are the elite among survivalists. Their attitude is not the one of a fairness, cooperation, support, but manipulation by any means from the "devil's manifesto of power" if one would ever be written.

It has to make you wonder what's behind such an unfair global distribution of intelligence. Is it genetic? Is it something we eat? A matter of different social influences to which we are exposed? A matter of deep insecurity compensated with a need for power?

It could be any of the above, or a combination of them, but it could also have a lot to do with what I mentioned up there. That is, the nature's principle of variety at work, necessary for that collective dynamism pushing for the next step in consciousness evolution.

Somehow, this line of thinking about nobody and nothing being inferior in the universal scheme of creation, brings to mind an old joke, going like this:

A man of intimidating, athletic physique walks into the lobby of a hotel, with a sudden need to visit restroom. In a great hurry, but with enough time to write and leave a short note on top of his luggage, which he leaves by the wall.

The note read: "Don't touch! Signed: Boxing champion". On his return, he sees only another note in place where he left his luggage, reading: "Thank you. Taken by Olympic runner".


Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity.

-- Thor Heyerdahl

Not more Intelligent - but with less Imposing Emotionality

Indeed, maybe we need stupidity, and mediocre reasoning, and negativities of coexistence to be pushed towards the next level of awareness. Like a poet expressed it: "And blessed be that dark force which gives us these wings..."

So what is that next level supposed to look like, if we are to stay so different with our capacity to process reality in a sensible way? In my opinion, the solution is not in trying to make those other folks more intelligent, but to remove the edge of their emotional extremism that breeds drama on the individual and global level.

That survivalist animalism I see as the culprit messing up every prospect of any version of global harmony. It is more than normal that we are all different, and that our intellects express themselves through different tastes and channels, but it's the excess of emotional charge attached to it, with energy frequencies interfering with those of higher vibration which produce harmony. Something like an idiot in the audience starting to whistle a tune at a symphony performance.

I tend to compare survivalists' emotional extremism to tantrum that kids display when they don't get what they want. What happens after an unpredictable time? They get tired of screaming, as if exhausting their adrenals -- and something similar is bound to happen with all this terrorist craze, political militarism, and other forms of emotionally supercharged survivalism.

Being an incorrigible optimist, I think mankind will simply mature from within, with this kind of optimism not being without a little historical evidence. Namely, when you think of it, all major jumps in our awareness didn't happen because of any dramatic animation from a sudden social movement -- but rather in a spontaneous fashion, like shifting from puberty into teen age.

So, I don't think that next big change will be stimulated by any new ideas -- we already have all of them, and only time is needed for more people to start following them, until those of higher intelligence prevail and start leading, instead of these power-hungry careerists and manipulators.

Maturity happens when one system outgrows the other which has become tiresome, and people are known to get tired of sameness. No need to cross fingers, survivalists are only people, and they do get tired and bored -- even if not getting smarter in the process.


There are all these moments when you don't think you will survive. And then you survive.

-- David Levithan

Personal Detail of Growth Enlarged

Somewhere at the beginning of my story I mentioned how nature works with fractals, often repeating its patterns. It may become more obvious as I show how the pattern of individual growth can also be seen on a large scale of the mankind.

Namely, I spent some initial decades of my own studious interest in my betterment by believing that reading a lot and so making myself "smarter" I would set my foot on that path. So I was reading like a man possessed, hundreds of those smart books.

Was I getting any smarter? I guess -- in a sense -- but that onset of wisdom only came after I intuitively realized that it was something to be removed, not something new to be added. And it was my own survivalist emotionalism.

Greatly inspired by eastern philosophies, I realized early in life the incredible value of emotional equilibrium. Once that those inner demons of survivalism -- usually called "ego" -- were quieted down with meditation, qigong, breathing techniques, and some other practices, a new mindset was born with priorities on happiness, peace, and harmonious interaction with the world.

Life became an art of experiencing, not anymore a life story longing for its shiny cover. So, this is from where I am drawing this prognosis about mankind heading towards getting tired of its nonsense of survivalism.

Excessive emotionalism of existential fear, ruthless competition, and hoarding of more than we need for a pleasant life -- all that being replaced by an emerging need for harmony, that this tired planet has been wanting for so long.

© 2016 Val Karas


Suzie from Carson City on September 05, 2016:

Val.....So good to see you, as well as your meaningful words!! Let me tell you that every one of your photos caught my attention and each had a special meaning to me! It's almost as if you were reading my mind as you created this fabulous work! OH that tiny infant...I have such an urge to hold him! Newborns~~the very realization of a "Miracle."

As always, your wisdom makes perfect sense and reminds me that some of us really do know what matters most in life. It's such a comfort and pleasure to hear from a kindred spirit that our beliefs are in fact our blessings. The way that we think.....it's a gift or a curse. Thank you Val, for once again reconfirming we have the GIFT!.....Peace & Harmony.....Paula

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on September 05, 2016:

I couldn't have said it any better...and I haven't. :)

"I am ascribing harmony to intelligence as its most important measurement, because it pertains to every aspect of effective functioning in life. Everything else is secondary to it"

I have learned that the payoff for living in harmony is less stress, peace of mind, and increased devotion and passion toward all you do in life.

Thank you so much for this refreshing and inspiring wake-up call.

Your message is exceptional Val.

Val Karas (author) from Canada on September 05, 2016:

Reynold - It's a pure pleasure to know that someone actually wrote a bestselling book with ideas relating in some way to my theme. But more than anything it feels great that some other thinking fellow shares my way of seeing these global issues. Thank you for the nice comment.

Val Karas (author) from Canada on September 05, 2016:

Readmikenow - You are right, education is basically an ability to absorb a lot of information - but then it's entirely up to the person what he does or doesn't do with it. It may stay just a sterile accumulation of data, not making much difference in his private or even professional life.

On the other hand, people have benefitted from a bartender's advice more than some others did from spending years on analyst's couch. Yes, like Thomas Carlyle said - anyone can teach us something valuable, but then again, it's up to us to be good listeners.

Reynold Jay from Saginaw, Michigan on September 05, 2016:

Much to contemplate with this as it touches so many bases. The title sucked me it! I read only one or two HUBS in a month!! This takes my best selling book, "Born to Be Rich" to a new level as I touch on much of this within its pages. Well done!

Readmikenow on September 05, 2016:

Good article. How to determine and measure intelligence is something that has been debated for hundreds of years. I don't believe education determines intelligence. I've met people with PhDs who were not that bright. I met a man who had an 11th grade education, owned two businesses and was brilliant. Some people are poor and brilliant and others are wealthy and only cunning and resourceful. Wasn't it the Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle who said "Every man is my superior in that I may learn from him."

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