“Shivah shakthya yukto yadi bhavati shaktah prabhavitum
Na chedevam devo na khalu kusalah spanditumapi”
“Lord Shiva only becomes able to do creation in this world along with Shakthi
Without her even an inch he cannot move” - Soundarya Lahiri
Many of our decision that we take have its roots in the evolutionary process of mankind. Especially when it comes to how we react emotionally in our romantic relationships. I believe that we are designed to be one partner person rather than the most prevalent supposition that we are there to spread our genes and increase the robust gene pool for the species to survive. To an extent it is true that the evolution is all about spreading the healthy genes, which goes on indicate that it will be beneficial for a person to go on copulating with as many as willing partners one can find.
|From Konark Temple (Pic by Shashi)|
The journey of living organisms, the evolution took few important diversions, which placed the mankind on top of the living species on the planet. The first important milestone was the time, when the ancient human’s decided to get up and walk on it’s own two feet. It gave the evolutionary edge, in terms of ensuring longer field of vision to find and hunt as well as save oneself from being hunted. This simple act of standing upright, freed the hands to do multi-tasks and eventually lead to creation of tools and other beneficial side effects.
|Pic Curtsy Wikipedia|
Then came the use of fire for warmth, light and keeping the wild animals away, clearing of fields etc. but the most important aspect is the associated idea to cook food, which eventually freed humans of almost one third of its time (Time involved in digesting food and for the energy it uses for digesting required more hunting and gathering in order to eat more to replenish the energy spent).
In all this evolutionary process, one of the major milestones was the development of brain including pre-frontal cortex, which eventually got a human being from a species being driven by primal drives and sense objects to a ‘thinking’ and ‘social’ animal who could bond, make friends in order to survive harsh conditions prevalent in those ancient time.
But the other aspect of any species to survive the onslaught of evolution is progeny. Giving birth to healthy newborn that can survive and carry the healthy gene to the next generation, but here is the challenge. Unlike other animals and living beings, the human is the only species, whose offspring’s are utterly helpless and need parental care to survive for years. This is actually a side effect of evolution. As ancient human being stood up on its feet, it effectively ensured the pelvis structure evolved in such a way that a large fully developed head is not able to come out of the womb. So the evolution took an easier way out. It let the brain of the child undeveloped so that it can pass through the opening easily. This let the onus of child survival on the mother and as an extension to the tribe, including the father.
And here is the key - the development that helped mankind to survive the extreme process of giving birth to a child and fulfill the demand of progeny. The weak child bearing female, the debilitating aftermath of giving birth and then to survive from that weak state with another mouth to feed in those extreme circumstances, where getting food for oneself was a challenge, required an evolutionary hand.
|Klimt's 'The Kiss' (Pic by Shashi)|
When we consider the choice of staying with a single romantic partner, we decide not only based on the culture, societal norms or morals, the evolutionary process takes precedence. The surge of hormones associated with physical bonding, relationship and fidelity, takes charge and color our decision with the evolutionary need to be with one person who is bearing our child, who needs our support to rear up an underdeveloped brain who can not survive the next few years without the support of both the parents chipping in with taking care of its needs. This hormone is called Oxytocin.
Physically it gets the birth-giving female ready, as it triggers contractions and also releases milk release etc. but it also affects the brain, providing a motherly behavior and caring attitude, which reduces the feelings of pain and suffering in giving birth as well as the stress of rearing an under developed child. This becomes more prominent as mother comes in contact with her offspring. This is known as care giving system. This is also true in terms of males when they come in touch with their partners, especially in physical act of bonding as such sex, caressing and touching sensual parts of the skin. It turns on many of the areas of the brain, which gets triggered in a mother with the release of Oxytocin.
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Mark 10:7–9)
|Buddha at Bodh Gaya (Pic by Shashi)|
There was a study conducted on the effects of bonding with one partner, while they were given a does of Oxytocin Hormone. Even when there were better looking people, who are inclined to respond as well, the members stuck with their partners instead of the other people around. Evolution provided the glue that bonded the mother child and the father in one caring unit so that the species could survive. For evolutionary perspective the species has a better chances of survival with both parents instead of one.
Finally I leave you with some thoughts to mull over…
“Modes of thinking, such as love, desire, or any other of the passions, do not take place, unless there be in the same individual an idea of the thing loved, desired, &c. But the idea can exist without the presence of any other mode of thinking.” - Spinoza in Ethics
While Buddha extolled the virtue of being free of sense desires to be really free…
So long as lustful desire, however small, of man for women is not controlled, so long the mind of man is not free, but is bound like a calf tied to a cow.” - Buddha
ॐ नमः शिवाय