The idea of the Natural is truly interesting when one considers our current state of existence. It is almost impossible to disentangle one’s self from all that “is.” Likewise, there are so many contradictory “ways” that one could spend their entire lifetime sifting through each touted “way” and come up completely short in terms of finding “true nature.” True nature is as elusive as truth itself.
What we can do is uncover what we intuit as being most honest and there, the Natural would likely be found.
When we are honest with ourselves we discover we don’t want to go to the bar and get drunk or sit in front of a TV and vegetate or work a 9-5 or engage in shallow conversation. So many people today find themselves spending the majority of their time doing things that they not only do not find pleasurable in any way but worse, things that they don’t even believe in.
In my past I have found myself engaging in certain social activities simply to maintain an air of normalcy and also to be around people that I found to have merit. I have acquiesced to a job that I didn’t believe in and I found myself putting on costumes and dousing myself in potions and lotions and all sorts of chemical madness. In my case even though I was in that position once upon a time, even at that time, I was completely half-assed about it.
I started to unravel throughout the course of my travels when I realized that people in other places live the way I have always felt is ideal. It is hard to explain but in a sense it was as though something that I have always known and felt was being validated each time I visited a place where people carry things on their heads and squat to poop.
Knowing what is natural, especially in the realm of the human is a lost cause. I don’t think we could possible mimic how our ancestors did things because the paradigm has shifted and let’s face it we have cars and airplanes and most people are using them. EVEN ME!
I’m not saying we can’t escape it totally, but chances are we won’t. Whether you’re making your “paleo” pancakes in an electric blender in a modern kitchen or doing your primitive skills course in the middle of the jungle that you took two planes, a van and a motorboat to get to…
What we can hold on to are these natural proclivities that can be realized when we are honest with ourselves.
Without having to be told I have given up a bed for ten years, do not overdress in the winter, do not freak out in the heat, find furniture to be frivolous, hate artificial light, desire to sleep when its dark out and enjoy putting myself in the freezing ocean in the winter. I also felt it was wrong to pull up weeds before finding out about Fukuoka’s methods. I simply came upon these things in my life the more and more I listened to myself.
So many people, in moments of drunken truth or late night confession, discuss similar proclivities but interestingly they seem to fear the outcome of simply letting go of the crutches–the social acceptance or the mental cushions they have neatly piled up for themselves.
The other day I was thinking about “psyching yourself out,” I’ve been reading House of Leaves and the thought entered my mind that being in the cold is not as bad as thinking about being in the cold (ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU’RE WARM). This simple, daresay crude, little thought that entered my mind really summarizes the affectations of most people. They are simply psyched out.
Too psyched out to eat real food, to be dirty, to admit they like their own smell/funk, to walk instead of drive to sit in silence rather than turn on the TV–computer–iPod.
The western world has created the illusion that everything is OK. We have built a fantasy world where it is safe to waddle around in our adult playpens with our adult diapers and our adult pacifiers. In every case where we find ourselves under the illusion of “safe and sound” we are adhering to a big grotesque lie. It is only though dishonesty that we can believe that things are neat and ordered and controllable and the result is the saturated, critical mass level of discontent and malaise and ennui that is rampant in western society.
People are so bored and unchallenged that they are exhibiting all sorts of bizarre behaviors from murder to Reality TV.
We need to find that honest place within ourselves, it is there and I see it every day in both adults and children. They recognize it in me and sometimes feel safe enough to express certain features of that natural proclivity. They are thrilled when they hear that I haven’t used soap on my face in over two years or that I don’t wear deodorant or watch TV. These of course are minor and superficial things, things that I can use as a segue into the even stranger more exotic world of self-honesty. It is a way to test the waters, to gauge how much truth I can divulge.
Why are they thrilled over these things?
Because to them they are weird or gross or lame or boring and most importantly DIFFERENT. These divergences speak to the truth in them that they have almost buried–under the disguise that is both externally and internally fit.