Jensen: If you're not happy, it's your own damn fault.
Edwards: If life is tough and difficult, then that must be the way
life is. You're born, you suffer, and you die. This idea is deeply
ingrained in people. Our society really doesn't believe it's possible
to be truly happy.
Jensen: Which is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Edwards: This system
breeds a deep cynicism, because on some level we
know it's the culture that's awful, not life. But because negativity
the culture isn't allowed—
it would call into question all of the lies on which we base our
gets transferred over to life itself. People remain unaware that
are many other ways of
life on the planet. I work
with Helena Norberg-Hodge, who spent many years in Ladakh, the trans-Himalayan
region of Kashmir. One thing she said in her book Ancient
Futures is that, when she first got there, she couldn't believe the people
were really as happy as they seemed. She thought, My God, how can
they go around putting these smiles on? It's a social pathology.
Eventually, however, it dawned on her: they really were that
happy. You read the same thing time and again in the accounts
of the European
explorers. Columbus's primary impression of the Tainos—an
aboriginal people in the West Indies that he and the Spaniards slaughtered—was
of how happy they were.
to Lose But Our Illusions", an
interview with David Edwards
by Derrick Jensen.
Read more from the book Ancient
Futures - Learning From Ladakh
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