Rehab: How to Quit Being Addicted to Modern Life
See also: What To Do About the Upcoming Economic Crash, Why the Global Economy is About to Crash, Books About Survival in the Future Hard Times, Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course Directory, The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil (Video), Arithmetic, Population and Energy (Video), What is Peak Oil?, Why is Peak Oil a Problem.
This page is a new page which I will be working on over the next few months, and is still UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Everything here will be expanded on a lot, and more things added.....
What's On This Page
The Two Main Obstacles
- Focus on awareness rather than learning information.
- The best introduction to this "awareness" that I've seen is this audio series "Reclaiming Our Natural Connections" by Jon Young of Wilderness Awareness School, available here and here.
- Much more info to be added in the future.........
The Two Main Obstacles
These are the two main obstacles to escaping the trap of (i.e. the addiction to) modern industrial society.
For most of us, the greatest difficulty in escaping the claws of industrialised life is the fact that everyone (or at least almost everyone) we know is also living that life. This means that it can seem like it would be very lonely (and can sometimes actually be lonely at first) to not be living that life. It also means that you will have millions of thought fragments stored in your mind — bits and pieces of memories of people, of conversations that you play over in your head, etc. — all of which are a strong pull towards the situations and lifestyle that these relationships represent.
2. Things (stuff, possessions)
The other main difficulty is escaping the attraction to the high material standard of living that modern people have available (and have now learned to expect, and to seek out, and base much of their lives on maintaining and increasing).
This difficulty is so strong that it alone is often enough to pull entire cultures away from their traditional sustainable life and into the addictive trap of modern industrialised life. (See here for an example of this).
The only way to avoid this problem (that I know of) is to learn to see it for what it is — a trap.
Learning this will allow you to view the "benefits" of modern life with a massive pinch of salt. Once you learn to see (and to feel) the downsides that go hand in hand with all of the "benefits" of modern life, there is motivation to learn how to escape this trap, and to rediscover much of the enjoyment of life that has been taken away from us by corporate interests.
Slavery is the first step towards civilization. In order to develop it is necessary that things should be much better for some and much worse for others, then those who are better off can develop at the expense of others.
Alexander Herzen (1812–1870)
One of the main characteristics of something addictive is that it appears to be much better than it actually is. Another way of saying this is that the benefits (if any) are exaggerated (or even entirely illusory), and the true costs are hidden.
As an example, imagine you were living in a tribal hunter-gatherer society a million years ago, and someone gave you a modern LED battery powered torch. It would seem like magic (and no doubt you would use the word for 'magic' in your language to describe it), and it would seem completely amazing. It would seem like a great advantage to be able to see in the dark hundreds of times better than you could ever see in the dark before you had the torch.
However there would be a great number of problems introduced by the torch, that are not completely obvious initially.
One would be the problem of availability, in that now there is something that someone has, and other people don't have, but they want to have. This makes me think of the example of the Coke bottle in the movie "The Gods Must Be Crazy". In the movie, a Coke bottle is thrown out of a plane and lands unbroken among a tribe of Kalahari Bushmen. At first they worship it as a sacred item from the Gods, which has all kinds of uses. But there is only one of them, and this brings all kinds of unexpected trouble that they never had before: Jealousy, envy, anger, hatred, and even violence. So they come to see the bottle as "the evil thing" and send one of them on a mission to go to the end of the Earth and throw it off.
It's been a long time since I've seen that movie and after writing that, now I want to watch it again, lol.
Another massive problem introduced by the torch is how you make it in the first place. Up till now, everything in the lives of the tribal society has been available to them locally, and sustainably (traditional hunter-gatherer cultures can exist for tens of thousands of years, a vastly longer time than any industrial society can ever exist for).
Think about what you need to make a modern LED battery powered torch, starting from scratch, using items available from nature: Just for starters, you would need mines (several different ones for all the types of minerals needed), people to work in the mines, electrical and oil based power, power stations and infrastructure for that, workers to provide the power, workers to design and build the parts, oil wells and oil refineries, semiconductor technology and all that goes with that, a supply of food and water for the workforce, a system of currency/money, a system organisation and incentive/control (such as a government and/or monarchy and/or market based economy) to keep the workers working, somewhere to put all the waste products from all of this, the displacement (and destruction) of a great many plant and animal species, the displacement (and destruction) of a great many native human cultures whose land and natural resources are necessary for the many different components of the torch, modern high-tech armies and war machinery (and wars) to displace these people and keep them displaced and to maintain the complex political and economic relationships necessary for this level of high-technology, and so on, and so on......
Consider again the tribal person, relaxing by the fire at the end of their day. If you weigh up the benefit of them being able to click a button and instantly have light with the cost of them having to get up from their comfortable spot by the fire and get to work on implementing everything in the above paragraph — now, perhaps, the torch might not seem to be so magical or such an amazing benefit.
For some readers, those factors alone might seem bad enough for them to view the torch as not being worth the effort. But when you also learn about and account for the qualities of human awareness that are lost in going from the original scenario (of traditionally living people sitting by their fire) to the modern one, the "benefits" of the torch weigh in as going so far into the minus that it almost defies comprehension that such a thing could have ever existed.
The more things (possessions, stuff, things you own or seek to own) from modern life that you can think this way about, the easier it will be to escape the claws of attraction to them. And the easier it will be to free up the many future years of your life that would otherwise be taken up with acquiring them.
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What To Do About the Upcoming Economic Crash
Why the Global Economy is About to Crash
Books About Survival in the Future Hard Times
Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course Directory
The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil (Video)
Arithmetic, Population and Energy (Video)
What is Peak Oil?
World Scientists' Warning to Humanity
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