Friday, February 5, 2010

the hookworms of the system

Most people don't want to create a new culture. Of those that do, most can't get beyond the wishing stage, because they are lazy and can't take the discomfort, both physical and emotional, that is necessary to do something revolutionary. Of those that can take discomfort, most do not have enough energy and time, after earning their livelihood and meeting their familial responsibilities, to put into creating a new culture. There is also the belief that children need to have the comforts of the old culture and that they need to be "put first". The obvious selfish gene/meme evolutionary advantage to putting one's children before other people's children and before any revolutionary program explains the morality that has developed around this meme. However, as in the prisoner's dilemma, acting in this selfish manner not only is currently worse for the planet (the "greater good"), but is actually worse for one's genes and children. Because everyone is "putting their children first" (translate--doing the short term culturally-normative things to provide for the children's comfort and security and so-called "education"), they don't have the energy to create an alternative to the culture that is destroying the earth and our souls.

For every joule of energy that the Possibility Alliance is losing by using human power instead of petroleum power, they gain about 5 joules of energy by not having the systemic hookworms sap their energy. No governments who sap their energy with zoning, board of health burocracy, and legal stuff. No ex-wives who sap their energy with "child support" payments. Children who contribute to the well being of the community and are involved in community work, learning and ritual, instead of parasitizing it in the name of the liberal (and originally well-intentioned) idea of no child labor. No planet/soul-destroying jobs to commute to. No cars that constantly break down and require huge sums of energy to purchase. No police and ambulance sirens, day and night. No air and water polution to destroy one's health. No beliefs of "me and family first" which are a poison to the human spirit. No computers or TV which shield people from real live human to human contact and promote ADD (how much energy is wasted because of ADD?).

You want to do well by your children? Then think of how to make things better for EVERYONE's children and everyone alive whether they are children, men, or women (I always bristle when people are outraged that someone is killing women and children, as if men are totally expendable). Sometimes this global view will cause some suffering to yourself, and even your children. There are tradeoffs to be made. What is good for your children in the short run often will be bad for the planet and other people's children in the long run, and vice versa. This selfish tendency to put oneself and family first is very hard to overcome. It is the same biological root of laziness, doing what is best here and now even if it makes things worse globally and in the future. But we humans can overcome laziness and we can overcome selfishness.

Oftentimes we can do both: take care of our children, and follow our heart path to heal the planet. Or help the homeless old man on the street and follow our vision. But when we can't and we choose heart path and vision, we are no less "responsible" than those who merely follow their biology and try to dress it up with morality. I have tried through the years to offer material and emotional support and guidance to my son. But after I started living responsibly and sharing resources with people who were not my biological family, it was difficult for him to spend time with me. I have asked him several times if I should come to where he lives and "put him first". Everytime until this summer, he said no, he understood that I am doing something important and he respected it and wanted me to keep doing it. This summer I came to help him, but I am not giving up on my work (and I mean life-work, not the prostitution that most people call work because it pays them money). He respects me more than his mom, who has done whatever the culture considers right except have a loving, respectful relationship with him (which the culture is split on-some say parents are just supposed to control their kids, drive them everywhere and make them planet-destroyers just like their parents) and model a good way to live.

It is possible that sometimes people go to the other extreme and get so caught up in their vision and heart path that they are blind to the suffering of their children and other people close to them. My friend Christina claims this has happened with her mom, who according to Christina neglected her.

An analogy (based on the mountainpass analogy mentioned in another post): We are 18th century pioneers trying to get from our valley (which has become hostile to humans) to another valley, where hopefully things are better. It takes alot of energy, not just in preparing the wagons but in crossing the mountainpass, where the weather is nasty. If we spend most of our time just surviving in our valley, we will never make it to the other valley. If we spend most of our time climbing the mountain, without stopping for rest and taking care of each other, we also may not make it, or we will make it alone and then perish. We need to do both to make it to the promised land.


  1. Been looking for more information about the Possibility Alliance Farm. Are you planning to go there this year to live?

  2. Call me at (917)324-9862. The PA has a phone number which I might give you.

  3. I found their phone number online already, so I will publish it here: 660-332-4094. You are still welcome to call me if you want more info from an outsider. I made a commitment to my son here in GA for another 1.5 years so I am not at the PA.

  4. Sort of missing the point in your closing analogy. If we continue to look and travel to another valley, what dictates that the next valley will not then become hostile(from our behavior) as well? And then need to move again to another valley. This is the cancerous behavior that has characterized our species. Isn't it necessary to heal and mend the conditions in our existing valley so that we can coexist?

  5. Good point. The only thing that matters in this model is the height of the valley--there is no making things better in any other way. The lower the better. Making things better is equivalent to changing the height by moving along in 3 dimensions. Other species can change the shape of the valley. It is quite possible and happens in biological evolution that moving to a new valley still leads to extinction. But I would say that as far as this model goes, we haven't moved to another valley, we have been stuck in the same valley for quite a while. Abandoning this model for a sec, you are quite right that as the mainstream culture has populated this earth, it has brought its cancerous world view and behavior wherever it went.