THE HUMAN REALM
The human realm brings out another kind of situation which is not quite the same as the animal
realm of surviving and living life. The human realm is based on passion, the tendency to
explore and enjoy; it is the area of research and development, constantly trying to enrich. One
could say that the human realm is closer psychologically to the hungry ghost quality of striving
for something, but it also has some element of the animal realm, of putting everything into
action predictably. And there is something extra connected with the human realm, a very
strange kind of suspicion which comes with passion, and which makes human beings more
cunning, shifty and slippery. They can invent all sorts of tools and accentuate them in all sorts
of sophisticated ways so as to catch another slippery person, and the other slippery person
develops his or her own equipment of anti-tools. So we build up our world with tremendous
success and achievement but this escalation of building up tools and anti-tools develops
constantly, and introduces more sources of passion and intrigue. Finally we are unable to
accomplish such a big undertaking. We are subject to birth and death. The experience can be
born, but it can also die; our discoveries may be impermanent and temporary.
FROM Sogyal Rinpoche in 1992, a presentation of the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead or Bardo Thodol.