As Chellis Glendinning reported in What A Way To Go, more than half of the human population now lives in urban areas. That means most human psyches are locked in boxes their whole lives long. They wake in boxes, eat meals in boxes, drive here and there in boxes, work in boxes, shop in boxes, come home to stare at plasma enhanced electronic boxes, and then retreat to sleep in boxes.
“Go to your box, I mean, your room. And don’t come out until you are ready to say you are sorry.”
I read this and shivered, the thought that halve the world is now living in urban areas scares me, I find suburbia hard to live in and I spend most of my days gardening walking and connecting with real living areas. How can others live in such a sterile environment without any cconnection to reality at all? And is it any wonder we are so destructive when none of us understand our gardens let alone the mind blowing complexity of non domesticated areas...
Besides the sick entertainment industry, there’s school. Go ahead. Put active, lively, curious young humans into age-segregated concrete buildings. Sit them for hours in metal chairs and desks. Make them line up and walk to the lunchroom every day. And then tell me you don’t wound their spirits. It works for Empire of course. Because after twelve years in public school it’s easy to sell those wounded spirits into corporate slavery and corporate executive slavery because they will accept as adults the same insanity they were subjected to as children in school. They will believe it’s normal. They will even say they like it. They will work ungodly hours for the privilege of paying the exorbitant mortgage payment on their McBox McMansion. Will we ever recover from this?
It’s possible to step out of the insanity. But it isn’t easy. It takes monumental effort because everything about Empire is set up to make it hard. Everything is set up to promote the continuance of the insanity. While it isn’t easy, there is a way that it is simple.
We only need to stop and sit together and regain our sanity. But what an anomaly it is for people to sit together with the simple intention to speak as openly as I write in my journal or on my blog. Thoughtful, compassionate, sober, honest sharing needs to be part of people’s lives on a regular basis.
I’m literally mad, insane, because that simple practice isn’t a regular part of my life.mI can’t be sane without it. None of us can. Not truly, deeply sane.
I know this. I know that time to speak fully and truthfully about one’s experience is as important to people as healthy food and clean water. Acts of violence and episodes of depression in our culture are now epidemic. People of Empire are frantically trying to fight their way out of this deadening culture that keeps us alone and isolated. A year ago U.S.A. Today reported that one of every four Americans have NO ONE to confide in. One in four! Shit.
Graphic violence and sexuality on the big screen testify to this reality. Americans are violently upset and dreadfully lonely. And we’ve no way to express ourselves or get our needs met except vicariously on the screen. Or violently in the streets and on college campuses. We want to shoot the face off of this culture and get to the blood, the heart, the body, the life that is somewhere there, under the masks, the clothes, the images.
Human beings need to sit in a circle regularly with others where getting beyond the masks is possible. The hours of my life that I have sat in a safe, intimate, circle with other people have been way too few. The hours I have sat alone in a metal box speeding over asphalt on rubber donuts, or in public school classrooms indoctrinated into hierarchy, or in darkened rooms, my face stuffed with Frosted Flakes or buttered popcorn, violent or even just stupid images flickering on a screen in front of me, have been appallingly too many. I didn’t even know it was possible for people to share honestly in a group, or anywhere for that matter, until I was a young adult.
I mean, who did that? Who sat in a circle with people, talked sincerely, cried openly, and faced into conflict together? Nobody in my childhood did. I have consciously sought out and created those opportunities over the course of my adult years, and still that experience represents only a precious drop in a lifetime spent keeping my head and heart just slightly above the murky waters of the ocean of Empire
The full entry here
Just this morning I had a long conversation about this sort of thing, New Zealand has the second highest working hours in the entire world and I have no idea why. How can people put up with selling their life away, and to go back to empty houses comforted only by the flickering blue light of a television screen. Its a wonder that only a quarter of people are depressed.
I know not everyone can walk away, and I know that people still need to eat. But I feel those are just excuses. If we wanted to if we really wanted to we could live differently, their are other ways of growing food, schooling, consuming and relating to each other. I don't know what it is that keeps us from walking away, I don't know why this culture has been able to overpower every indigenous culture every revolution that has faced it. Perhaps it is because this culture is so inhuman, dulled to pain and without any empathy towards anything really.
Just knowing that other people think this society is completely fucked makes it easier....
On a positive note things are going really well at the moment, I spent tuesday sheet mulching a food forest im helping develop at the local organic gardens using banana palms, paper and straw today was spent gardening and talking to a TV (hehe the irony) production company about a gardening program and this weekend has 2 working bee's at different community gardens planned and a class on permaculture principals. All things permaculture and organic are bubbling away and its a nice break from activism.