I would first like to dwell on the conditions necessary for life to exist.
We have air. The plant takes out carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and replaces it with oxygen for other creatures to breath. The herbivores keep the plants in check as the predatory animals keep them in check. The predatory animals also keep themselves in check by regulating their litter to suit the amount of prey available. Too few predators too much strain on the flora as we would be overrun with grazing animals. Too many and flora would take over. You have a balanced air supply.
Earth, the fly is eaten by the spider that’s eaten by the bird all the way up the food circle. The lion dies and once scavenged by everything from the vulture to the fly its remains are broken down by micro organisms that along with other decayed animals and plants make up the organic part of the soil from which the growing plants gets its nutrition. You have a balanced earth supply.
Water, water is evaporated in the sea forming clouds that rain over the land causing rivers and lakes before returning back to the sea to start again. You have a balanced water supply.
And finally Fire. Photo-synthesis, the basis of all life
Elemental really when you think about it.
Having gone into the elements of life I would now like to go to the next stage and that is the natural laws that shape life in its early stages. These are:-
To adapt every organism to the best of its ability-
To evolve to its purpose
To survive in the habitat around it
To survive in the climate around it
To survive in the social climate around it
To attract a mate
To defend and hunt
To give its offspring the best chance of survival
To find its niche in the eco system
I believe that these laws can not only be recognised in the animals around us but are enshrined in our being and form our instinctive drive. I also believe that, that is as far as we can take it on a physical level.
Now to me life is spiritual energy that animates matter and brings it into being so as you can imagine it dwells heavily into the metaphysical. I do not know if science could ever quantify that as it seems to dwell more on the physical though I have read somewhere that they are starting to recognize that all matter has built in mind potential which would be the next logical step in the equation. (matter or mass, mind or constant so MC, just a little self recognition to square the equation). To me the mind is like an electrical wiring system inbuilt to aid the living of life. It is not life itself but the channel through which life works. That might sound a little farfetched to some of you so I had better state that I think that the body does not generate life but is merely the vehicle for life. We know that life evolves but some Esoterics’ believe that the self has to evolve also. This evolution involves it purging itself of the matter that tainted it, in other words material desire through selfish thought to achieve a state of mind called selflessness and once done it attains purity of being, gets enlightened to its purpose and reaches what we call the God-head.
To me everything that has life from the humble flower up to the humble man is all part of one great thing, the mind of God. Now as the self grows in understanding of itself and purpose it grows in purity and with it awareness. At its early levels though it is constrained by the shackles of the mind what we called tied to the cosmic wheel and lives in an instinctive mode. I had better give you an example of that. The flower heads to the light, it has no control of its mind at this stage, its essence’s level of awareness though is to head to the light and the method it uses is called Phototropism. It has no control of this method though as it is done by its mind. (That might be a little too simplistic as its roots head away from the light in search of water and nutriment from the earth but the point I am making is that the action is not done consciously by the flower but by its mind). Now as its essence grows in awareness it is able to take on more complicated structures, fauna (by which I include man), the more understanding the more complicated the structure. It does start to break free from its cosmic chain (the natural laws) at that stage and develop a thing that they call free will. It can think for itself but it still has the chains restricting it through selfish desire for in its early stage of development it was necessary to be quite selfish just to survive. As it grows in awareness more though its desire, in theory should diminish for with its more complicated mind it leaves the basic survival stage and prospers.
So back to the natural laws then, now man when he developed the power of discernment also developed self-consciousness (This believe it or not is the mind’s fundamental tool for growth. It can only grow through relating things to its self or personal experience) which at its early stages can actually be quite detrimental to man’s evolution into a spiritual being. This along with his new found ability to reason and problem solving gave him mastery over the environment although the laws that still shackled him to his instinctive drive had their hold. Now though they had evolved into character flaws, the matter of the mind that wanted purging before he could reach the next stage. Where once he was nomadic to survive in the climate he got slothful and took to wearing other animals’ skins, utilising fire for heat and generally staying put over winter. In hand with this he wanted not only to survive in the habitat around him he wanted to excel, he got avaricious.
This was helped by the fact that he no longer had to carry his possessions with him every time he moved so he was not restricted in the amount he could actually own. In hand with this and to survive in the social climate around him he fell to envy and used the tool of self – consciousness to gauge not knowledge but material wealth. With his evolution also his sexual drive was no longer confined to when his mate was in season, he got lecherous and it became a matter of pride for him to give his offspring the best chance of survival that he could. His temper would also come out to play should he feel threatened (He always had anger, even before as it is just an adrenalin boost to prepare him either for flight or fight) and finally instead of finding his niche in the eco system by not taking more than he needed he upset the balance and got gluttonous. They have evolved since but I believe that is how they come to be – the seven deadly sins (the components of the ego). I have not used that term though for I believe that if you see them as character flaws you have a firmer basis to deal with them if your aim is self – development.