And it's impact on civilisation
It's a well established fact that alcohol dulls the senses and over a long-term period destroys brain tissue. Yet we are sensory beings and we rely on our senses to perceive the world around us as well as to make sense of that world. Therefore alcohol in effect is destroying sensitivity to life; in other words, making drinkers stupid.
Civilisation is a recognition that one belongs to a collective. So if we look at ants, each colony is a unique civilisation in a similar way to us. As human beings we all share common traits, but our sense of civilisation depends on our language and upbringing.
When we look at human civilisation, in the West we think of civilisation as being the past 3000 years, but civilisation goes much further. Our earliest ancestors going back millions of years or more were civilised, the only differences are that they didn't have the same level of technology that we have today.
The general theory of evolution has us evolving from the simple amoeba, through the fish and primate forms to where we are today. This evolution has taken place over several billions of years, yet for the most part, our scientists have yet to paint a complete picture of this evolutionary journey.
The principal argument is the origin of our present form which is generally accepted that we evolved from the amoebae, through the fishes, primitive primates to many human forms similar to our own. Theory then contends that we evolved 'out of Africa' through our final stages of our physical, intellectual and social development in the past 200,000 years to finally emerge as modern humans only in the past 30,000 years with the peak of social and intellectual development being centred in Europe.
However there is abundant evidence of advanced and sophisticated civilisations that pre-date modern Europe. The history of China is well known while the Indian and African civilisations are less well known due to modern influences. These modern influences are primarily colonialism. The very wealth of Europe and North America is a result of the exploitation of the rest of the world through the colonialism and capitalism.
The impact of alcohol
affect one's prana? Sadhguru
Prior to the rise of Greek and Roman empires, the use of alcohol in the world was medicinal. But the Greeks and Romans used it as part of their recreational activities. It's well-known that people under the influence lose sensibility and often create the most grandiose delusions which over time has resulted in empire building, a tradition that is terrorising today's world.
When we began counting the years as we do today, alcohol became widely available to the masses. For the rulers of the world this was a good thing because it helped to keep the population in line. However an exception to this was India.
India has a great pantheon of godlike figures and yet the Indian people have never believed in God's in the same way as Christians or Muslims. The Hindu gods are tools to help understand the nature of life, and to connect with life. But this is something that was lost in the West due to the influence of alcohol, religion and imperialism.
The Indian civilisation before the British arrived never succumbed to alcohol, the entire population was engaged in determining the nature of life and seeking the ultimate freedom from suffering. Gotama the Buddha is best known in the West for establishing a clear path to prevent and end suffering, but this path had been available to the Indian population for many thousands of years before Buddha.
100,000 years ago, Indian astrologers were mapping the night skies and there is evidence of India's existence as a civilisation underneath the fallout mount Toba eruption in 74,000 BC. The avoidance of alcohol, the striving for knowledge and an end to suffering makes India unique.
The Indian civilisation evolved around seeking knowledge and understanding of what makes us human, but most of that was destroyed by the British as well as the Muslim invaders who took over large parts of the country that once included Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
India was never a completely peaceful country, the people still had their disagreements and skirmishes, but with minimal use of alcohol, the civilisation flourished which is why so many people still look to India to understand life and find solutions to end their suffering.
In Europe (the west) the influence of alcohol sent people looking for pleasure and they found that in the short term in sex and violence, and in the long term through empire building and creating corporations that are today engaged in destroying life.
More than ever today as we stand on the brink of annihilating all life on earth through our search for temporary pleasure, we must look to India for guidance and above all stop consuming alcohol.