Lessons from Rats and Cats When Falling for Sexual Attraction!

Toxoplasma-Infected Rats are Sexually Attracted to Cats, Claim Researchers Educators and anthropologists have been puzzled to decide whether human beings are governed by nature or nurture. The conclusion is quite significant because if we are the slaves of our animal nature, then why should we spend so much time, effort, and money on educating the beast? If our many drives, drive us to predetermined destinations no matter what, then why waste the time entering moral and spiritual education into the picture?

Is not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself both outwardly and inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external conditions? For if the character of mankind be not changed, the futility of God’s universal Manifestations would be apparent.

Baha’u’llah

In a recent conference for marriage, family, and child counselors, a sex specialist asserted that pornography is governing all of us by nature and there is nothing anyone can do to liberate men and women! The conclusion he made was to let the beast have his feast! The men in the crowd felt liberated and women were horrified and the foundation of the family fell apart! Then, the other day I came across the article about rats and cats’ mutual attraction, by the very dictate and design of nature!! I wondered about other incidents of highjacking in nature and what could those incidents means to the way we box ourselves in one tendency or another and give up our human rights to animal nature!

 

New York Times reports:

To Get to Cats, Common Parasite Hijacks Rats’ Arousal Circuitry  written By WALLACE RAVVEN

 

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between danger and sex appeal, at least for rats infected with a parasite that twists ancient rat instincts to its own advantage.

 

The researchers say:

“The rodents’ fear of cats is such a strong innate reaction. Something that’s going to override it is going to have to be quite a focused, fine-scale response in the mind of the rat. The neuronal activity underlying sexual attraction is a good candidate.”

The parasite, a common single-celled organism called Toxoplasma gondii, infects all sorts of animals, including rats, which causes a strange transformation.

For obvious reasons, rats normally avoid cats. In the presence of cat urine, they become very timid — unless they’re infected with Toxoplasma. Research over the past 10 years has shown that infected rats drop their normal fearful “freezing” response, and instead go exploring. They even approach the cat smell.

 

Bad news for the rats, but very good news for the parasite, because Toxoplasma reproduces sexually only in cats. The parasite infects rats. A cat eats a rat. Parasite reproduces. If a parasite can hijack the sexual attraction of the rats to the by-pass its survival instinct, I wonder how much humans should give way to their sexual attraction and let it govern their lives and relationships. If our natural tendencies are at the disposal of parasites, viruses, and other forces, then who is behind the wheel of our decisions, who is running the show? Who knows best? These questions must open our minds to asking other questions about who are we and what should we want. How much credit we can give to the natural tendencies we feel and have? Which nature do we take our orders from? What lover do we allow to pull our strings?

 

Well, the article about rats and cats and how the tiny parasite highjacks the rats by getting into their pants, was most intriguing to me as an educator that is convinced as human beings we are not here to fulfill the sentence of nature but to break its code and fulfill another, a much higher; our spiritual nature.

 

The good news is that no parasite, big or small has the power to hijack the properties of our higher nature. Human will, we are taught by Baha’u’llah, is a divine gift and can prove itself a liberating force if it chooses to fall in love with the divine Will. To be honest, to be caring, to be loving, to be compassionate, to be persevering, to be or not to be, is all in our hands and education plays a big role in teaching us how to be. Indeed that is the main role of divine educators such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Krishna, Buddha, The Bab, and Baha’u’llah.

It is comforting to know that the Divine Physician has not left humanity to its lower nature and has His finger on the pulse of humanity, diagnosing the disease, and prescribing what will make us whole as one family. He is showering all with the kind of remedy that will make us ultimately whole as one loving family if we heed His prescription.

Baha’u’llah presents a vision of life that insists upon a fundamental redefinition of all human relationships–among human beings themselves, between human beings and the natural world, between the individual and society, and between the members of society and its institutions. Each of these relationships must be reassessed in light of humanity’s evolving understanding of God’s will and purpose. New laws and concepts are enunciated by Bahá’u’lláh so that human consciousness can be freed from patterns of response set by tradition, and the foundations of a global civilization can be erected. “A new life”, Bahá’u’lláh declares, “is, in this age, stirring within all the peoples of the earth.”1

Because the implications of Bahá’u’lláh’s message are both social and spiritual, His teachings redefine the very concept of religion. He is not the Founder of a religion as religion is conventionally understood, but rather the Prophet of civilization and collective transformation–the “Originator of a new universal cycle” in human history.2 His message transcends all religious categories. His vision of the oneness of humankind involves not just the deepening of human solidarity, the safeguarding of human rights, or the establishment of an enduring peace, but rather “an organic change in the structure of present-day society, a change such as the world has not yet experienced.”3 His prescriptions for the moral reformation of human nature are unique in their approach and universal in their applicability.

Let us hope we get it before it is too late.

Keyvan Geula is a licensed Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist; LMFT. She received her Master of Science in Marriage, family, and Child Therapy from the University of La Verne, in La Verne, California. She employs the latest research in behavioral sciences, neuroscience, and the Baha’i principle of the oneness of all humanity to serve the well-being of her clients.

She offers her services as a clinician, lecturer, trainer, and supervisor to a global set of clients in person and online. In her clinical work, she incorporates the wisdom of the Baha’i Writings, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy research, Mindfulness meditation, and consultation skills, as well as knowledge of the spiritual self.

She is an adjunct professor of Behavioral Sciences at Citrus Community College, faculty of continued education at Claremont Graduate University. She teaches psychology online to students at Baha’i Institute of Higher Education.

She is the Founder and Executive Director of Center for Global Integrated Education (CGIE), a non-profit Baha’i-inspired educational organization, which explores oneness of all humanity, and teaches the integrated mind-body-spirit approach in education.

She has served for two years as the producer and host of a two-hour weekly live radio show for the Persian community in Sothern, California focusing on the role of the psychology of spirituality in personal and social transformation, creativity, emotional and social intelligence, and a greater sense of harmony in a global society. She also has been the host and producer of TV series called Transforming Human Consciousness for eight years. She regularly writes and blogs on www.cgie.org/blog on topics related to integrated education, the oneness of humanity, the powers of the human spirit in the betterment of global society, elimination of all prejudice, equality of women and men, and education reform. Some of her shows are posted on her; Keyvan Geula YouTube Channel.

Mrs. Geula has served in several Baha’i institutions since her youth in Iran and USA.

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