Depending on who I am and what my self-concept and self-worth is, I take a view of the world.
If there is a pool of water and I am playful, then the pool of water is a sport for me. If there is a pool of water and I have a phobia, then the pool of water is a danger for me. If there is a pool of water and I am thirsty, then the pool of water is physical sustenance and survival for me.
Now, if I am someone who is always feeling incomplete within himself, if I am someone who exists in order to take something, snatch or extract something from the universe in order to fulfill himself, then my view of the universe will be very utilitarian, rather exploitative.
So, there is that little squirrel there. How do I look at her? I could look at her as food if hunger is what I most identify with. I could also look at her as a companion. Whatever is the form she takes for me is very intimately related to the form that I have assigned to myself.
If I am feeling incomplete, that incompletion will remain irrespective of the temporal presence and disappearance of anything outside of me.
If I always feel hollow and hungry, then everything in the universe is but a resource for me. I will want to exploit the man, the woman, the tree, the rock, the child, the animal, just everything.
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