I never realized how much I enjoy watching scenery pass by while I’m traveling. That is what I have always loved about train and car trips. That was what made the trip from Philadelphia to State College worth it. I caught myself watching the greenery by the tracks on the way to work this morning. I felt like I was seeing a hidden pattern in the green, like the code to life was hidden in the plants, the secret pattern that holds the universe together. I get so oddly rambley and introspective in the early morning. :-p
I also just noticed that I still have a tendency to try and rationalize away my perception of the world. I see things in a certain way and I find it odd only because I so rarely see or hear this way of seeing expressed by anyone else. When I do its put into these terms that make it so distant for anybody that is skeptical of the viewpoint that generates them (e.g. Kyle) It gets dismissed as “new age” and “floaty spiritual” stuff. It is too close to the vision and not close enough to the language of those who have yet to see it.
Is the idea of One-ness scary? Would it mean that people have to think about the state of the world and the way we are treating it? I know that Kyle has felt this and has seen it. He told me. Yet he also seems to both dull certain perceptions and heightens others by using substances during these experiences. It seems as though he is heightening his awareness of this but dulling his motivation to do anything with this feeling. I have also found that as much as it can enhance the perceptions and the feeling of connectedness, it’s harder to remember that feeling, and to access it later when sober. The ability to access this feeling at any time, or all times, is vitally important. I feel it is the way we should feel at all times. It would motivate people to care about the world around them and to make actions that are good for all instinctual. Oh Lord, I’m expecting everyone to behave as empaths. This is different though. This is empathy for the world that we are part of, not separate from. This is empathy for us.
Maybe this driving need people have to ignore the planet, to separate themselves from nature and the world, to act as though the world is something for them to use instead of a vast system that they are a part of, is born from some sort of inner hatred of self. I could draw lines between the system that the Abrahamic religions have become with the concepts of original sin, and man being naturally both a sinner simply from the act of existing and at the same time lord of the earth, but I hate playing the blame game. Suffice it to say that several factors over the development of Western civilizations have led to this remove from the world around us. We create little environments that have structured, controlled variables; walls, cooled or heated air, cooled or heated water, drains to pull away the natural processes of the human body, prepackaged foods, and refrigeration that allows us to eat whatever we want whenever we want regardless of whether it is the appropriate time of year for it or not. We have made actions that damage or compromise the cleanliness of these created environments socially unacceptable at best and illegal at worst. For example, smoking indoors. To smoke inside a house, even if it’s your own, is considered disgusting, rude and destructive. Many cities across the country have also made it illegal to smoke inside of any public building, restaurants and bars included.
These bans are a perfect example of this remove from nature and how we view our artificial environments as more important than the greater environment in which we all reside. It is still legal to have an industry that pollutes ground water and sends carcinogens flying into the atmosphere. On an even smaller scale, its perfectly legal, expected even, that people should smoke outside. This way of thinking shows the underlying hypocrisy of what is valued. Subconsciously, we believe as a culture that polluting the world that we all depend on is ok, but God forbid we pollute our little universes that we have created, because that is more real, more important than the outside world.
We can control these little environments we have created, but we can’t control the world around us. This is a terrifying thought, if you only feel safe in a completely predictable environment. I find it boring in the extreme. Yes, living as I did was hard. Yes, having access to indoor plumbing has improved my health and demeanor. Yes having access to all of these things has made working towards some of my goals much easier. However, I know what it is like to give up that control, to live with the unpredictability of the world and people around me with no walls to enclose it and to have control of nothing but my own actions. I know what it is like to survive without all of these little comforts we allow ourselves. I can see these things as they are now, comforts, and in some cases blessings. They are also tools to be used, not systems to be dependent on. They are not things that should be expected or taken for granted.
Honestly, if it were up to me (which it isn’t, but a girl can dream :-)), I would have everyone as a part of their education spend at the very least two months living with nothing but the most basic of supplies and the knowledge of how to make it from day to day. Train people in what it takes to make it through the day without running water, and controlled climates, electricity, or cooking gas; without refrigeration, artificial or out of season foods, or mindless ways to waste time in the name of entertainment. Let people learn to live from the land and with other people. Destroy the remove. I would make them stay there until they understand that they should value their luxuries as what they are, and value the Earth more, because that is what actually sustains them. Also to value the people around them, to learn that any group of people can be a community and that if people work together, they are much stronger than trying to strike out on their own.
Its time to wake up, people. We are part of the Earth, not separate from it or above it. We do not own it; we cannot buy it, sell it, or steal it. Saying you own the land is like saying that you own your mother’s uterus, and I certainly don’t see anyone staring a war over that. So in essence, all of these disputes over land, they are the global equivalent of sibling rivalry, children fighting over which one of them Mom loves the best. I also am sick of hearing the arguments that since the issues with the environment aren’t as bad as the rabid hippie environmentalists say, that we can continue on our headlong rush to use as much as possible while removing ourselves from the world. That reminds me of the parents who beat their child and rationalize it by saying that it’s not as bad as the beatings that they received as children. I’m going to say this once, but I’m going to say it loud to make sure I’m understood: JUST BECAUSE IT COULD BE A LOT WORSE DOES NOT MEAN IT IS GOOD! Just because you have a cold instead of the flu, it doesn't mean that you don't feel like shit, and it doesn't mean that you aren't sick. Yes, it could be worse, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take steps to make it better.