WHAT IS INSTINCT AND INSTINCTIVE ACTION?
INSTINCTIVE ACTION BY THE LIVING BEINGS
An inborn response to an action
To an unforeseen event
Which comes just naturally
With little or no interference
By organisms’ existing intelligence.
No one teaches a baby how to cry
When in need for attention or feed
Or while learning to crawl or walk.
Animals live in the natural settings
Survive on the basis of their natural instincts
Which the Mother Nature
Has bestowed them aplenty
Even more than so called evolved humans.
The birds make their nests
On the basis of their instincts
Migrate from one place to another of their choice
In anticipation of change of climate
Caring fig for the manmade barriers so openly
or borders, which are protected, so unstintingly.
Even plants’ growth depends on the light and shade
Persistently assisted by their instincts
Sun flower changes its direction
As per the light of the Sun
Or in shade and light
There is perceptive change in the plants.
Photosynthesis is the best examples
By which plants convert light energy
Into chemical energy
In presence of light of sun
Which fuels the organisms activities
Which the Mother Nature has bestowed on the plants
Thus living beings complete their
Full circle of reliance on each other
In which instinct plays a predominant role.
Instinct is something which is intrinsic or intuitive in an human or animal which need not to be learned. It comes just naturally without a thought about a happening or an event. Our brain need not play its part in this. We observe that the newly born baby cries whenever there is a need for feed, learns to crawl or walk, which could be construed as an instinct action, etc. Then animals behave on the basis of their instincts. In other words, when there is automatic response to stimuli, we call this action based on instinct.
Instinct has been mentioned in Holy Bible as: Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtle, dove and the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the LORD. It goes to amplify that in all the living world, instincts play predominant role. Mother Nature has bestowed this train in plants too: touch-me-not (Mimosa pudica) just folds its leaves inward when it is disturbed. I am of the view that humans sometimes just feign ignorance about instincts or willfully do not recognize the existence of this important trait.
INSTINCTIVE ACTION BY LIVING WORLD
A natural reaction on the spur of moment or displaying of particular behavior by people or species without recourse to a thought or analysis is instinctive act. In other words, it is innate behavior or inclination of an individual or an organism to act in consequence to an act. It is through instincts that the birds migrate from one place to another in anticipation of change in climate or imminence of some danger. The police use dogs for locating the criminals merely because dogs’ instincts are very responsive and through their scent itself they can help locate them. Dogs are also used for locating the victims trapped inside the debris of buildings in the event of natural disasters etc. When water is thrown on the animals, suddenly, they shake their fur and remove water. There are other natural behavior of animals and birds worlds like making their living places, nests, learning to fly, animals learning to fight etc come under category of instinctive behavior.
It has been experienced, when in spiral of piquant situations, even a die hard atheist will instinctively invoke God for deliverance. This inner voice comes just naturally. In Holy Quran it has been said: The Fitrah (natural human instinct) proves the Existence of Allah.
Some factors are responsible for instinctive behavior firstly it is happens without previous knowledge or experience. In other words, it is expression of innate or internal reaction which comes to the fore without any forethought. The instinctive or insightful action that an organism exhibits can alter the stimulated action on the spur. This action could be trained or sharpened with experience.
ROLE OF INSTINCT IN OUR LIFE
The role played by the living beings/species depends on the role of social learning by individual besides the affect of environment and maturity gained through different experiences. Intuitive-related aspects play a prominent role in all the processes. Our past experiences form our behaviour. More of connective experiences make our behavior mature and when crunch comes this behavior helps us take decisive action on the spur. Meaning we can call instinctive or impulsive reaction to an event as a mature behavior (learned behavior through various experiences). Here two things have to be kept in mind; the learned behavior and the innate reaction to an event. But innate behavior does not happen without first experiencing some failures. I think a balanced mix of inner strength and healthy experiences (both hits and misses) we make mature behavior which we call instinctive behavior or intuitive / perceptive reaction or impulsive reaction.
INSTINCTIVE BEHAVIOR & SPIRITUALITY
First of all it is important to understand what spirituality is all about. For some spirituality is about going to prearranged or formal places of worship like church, mosque, temple or any other organized places for conducting religious discourses or holding prayers according to the our beliefs and faiths we espouse. Or spirituality is obtained through private prayers, conducting yogic postures, meditation or silent contemplation. Taking into account the meaning of the spiritualism, it is worthwhile to surmise that if we follow spiritualism then by its practice in real life we are actually forming a habit or behavior pattern by following spiritual beliefs. In other words, it is through training ourselves that we form our behaviour and thereby give power to our inner self. All these activities, if followed in right earnest then we can activate our instinctive tendencies.
It is said in Bhagavad Gītā that simply by surrendering oneself unto the lotus feet of the Lord….to pray to God when one is in difficulty is a natural instinct in every living beings.
Following factors are considered while we talk about instinctive action:-
(i) Instinctive behavior is automatic and sudden, without any personal effort.
(ii) It is a trigger to some event or a happening – known to have taken place or anticipated.
(iii) An intrinsic force is overpowering if developed by observing conditions required for this purpose.
(iv) For this sort of an act training or experience makes a positive impact and makes it a positive and in fact evolved habit or behavior. The behavior such as helping an accident victim, rendering help in dousing fire, cooperating in lifting a weight, sorting out differences between close relations etc.
(v) Instincts happen in all the living world. In animal it is more prominent and in humans it is evolved through daily experiences.
(vi) Reflex action may or may not happen with or without the help of brain.
(vii) There is evolution of humans due to knowledge gained over a period of time through various experiences.
(viii) Environment plays a obvious role in molding the instinctive behavior of humans and other species.
(ix) Instinctive behavior could be with learning or without learning even.
(x) When our instinct is strong, it can anticipate the occurrence of an event and prepare for the defence.
(xi) Humans have evolved from the instinct to survive through variety of experiences.
I survived solely because of grace of Providence or can say the instinct or inner voice. My left hand wrist had fractured a few months back. Though the pain is less yet it cannot be fully used i.e. it is in the process of fully healing for lifting any weights etc. While boarding a speeding vehicle, I was just to use my left hand for catching the handle for boarding the entrance door. But suddenly on the spur, my instinct fore-warned me and I stopped my extended hand and used the right hand to take hold of the handle of the window just on time. Therefore, I also call the instinctive act as the act graced by our Lord.
In Bhagward Gita it has been made amply clear: Only when we face the instinct to survive and the instinct to possess, will we enter the zone of fearlessness. Until then it can never happen.