Rob Wood is a friend and neighbour on the island next to mine, a retired world-class mountain climber and hippy philosopher who is just as boring as I am when it comes to sharing his thoughts on life. Maybe more so. He (and I) just doesn’t seem to get that most people couldn’t care less what he/we are thinking. But, upon learning that I have discovered a few innocent victims (you) who might listen now and then to such rants in this blog, he allowed me to partially reprint an email he shared with me:
I am impressed with Naomi Klein’s claim (the book: This Changes Everything) that for our species to survive the threat of catastrophic climate change we must abandon obsolete belief systems (myths) that are driving the fossil fueled juggernaut of modern society.
These dangerously deluded myths are: first, that humans are superior to the rest of the world and therefore have the right and capability to dominate and control it; second, that we are separate from nature and can therefore use and abuse her bounty without any cost to our selves; third that survival of the fittest justifies and even glorifies unmitigated self interest, competition, violence and greed; fourth that wealth is the necessary precursor to happiness. Underlying them all is the almost psychopathic delusion of righteous moral certainty.
To make matters worse, wealth and power are being centralized in the hands of those with the strongest vested interest in perpetuating the myths and suppressing meaningful alternatives. The fox is running the hen house with increasing authority to convince the hens it is in their own best interest to comply. This Orwellian nightmare is orchestrated through incessant brainwashing and propaganda which thrives on the fact that most of our thinking is not actually conscious but rather the automatic replaying of subconscious cultural conditioning; tunnel vision.
Even in our personal lives most of us are very busy pulling blinkers over the eyes of ourselves and our children. Ironically, conscious brain power, the very attribute that is supposed to make us superior and separate, is exactly what we rarely practice.
Whereas it may be true that civilizations have always been controlled by powerful elites with vested interests in perpetuating their view of the world, it is also true that many civilizations collapsed because they collectively failed to adjust to the changes in the environment brought on by the consequences of their myths.
What is different this time is that the consequences of our myths have the potential of annihilating our species along with many others.
It seems the choice we now face, both as individuals and collectively, is between continued allegiance to institutionalized dogma –the myths – or becoming more conscious of the fundamental survival messages in our social and natural surroundings.
Recent extreme weather events are finally inducing people to wake up and pay attention to what the Earth might be telling us. The possibility of the environment telling us how to live represents a radical shift in the prevailing cosmology; one that is struggling for popular acceptance because it challenges the vested interests of the status quo.
One way to read Rob’s message is that all the systems, they are broken. I stated that in a small way (last blog: Duffy is a symptom) and Rob is saying it again on the more important, larger scale; the whole system is broken – a term I refer to now and then as the BIG LIE.
But here is the bonus prize-in-the-box of boredom that is our preaching: Rob points out that seeing this now so clearly is a direct result of living in the midst of natural beauty. It is so much easier to see what is truly important when your mind is free of the junk and clutter of running with the rats, working for the man and driving in traffic. As H.D. Thoreau pointed out, walking in the forest tends to clear away the cobwebs. Rob thinks nature is to modern man what prescription eye wear is to the short-sighted. Everything important becomes more clearly seen out here.
In other words, folks, we are the lucky ones who get to live in the forest. And – just for the irony and serendipity of it, I will share this weird little fact with you; Sally’s eyesight is 30% better since we moved out here. That’s right, her ACTUAL vision also improved with age.
So, there you have it – improve your vision both literally and metaphorically by living off the grid.