Decolonizing Gaia: The Great Rewilding
“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” –Mark Twain
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent… It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” –Charles Darwin
The system is not ascended. It is not dominant. It is in all ways beleaguered. We have moved from an empire of innovation to an empire of consumption; from the land of the free to the land of the fee; from a state of equality to a state of equity. We have gone from a nation of proactive inventiveness to one of paranoid defensiveness; from one of active citizenry to one of passive consumerism. Congress no longer regulates the banks, the banks regulate congress. We no longer have elections, we have auctions. What is being auctioned is power and control. The problem is we the people have been left out of this auctioning process due to lack of power and control.
The system suborns the people who uphold it by convincing them that money is speech and, as ridiculous as it sounds, that corporations are people. All while keeping us fat, lazy, and vegetative in front of television sets that exacerbate the problem through smokescreen propaganda and pithy diatribes of hope. The good thing is that this system is dying from eating itself. The bad thing is threefold: we’re being eaten along with it, it is dying slowly and violently, and it is destroying the environment.
How did this happen? Through the creation of an inextinguishable debt the plutocratic regime and its financiers have sought to gain iron-clad control over the world and its resources. They have the world’s governments in their pockets. Because of this we live in a fear-based system fueled by the fear of discomfort and potential loss of luxury. Our periphery has become a wall of mirrors. The stereotypes by which we define our world are a cartoon in the brain. Ours is a system of superficial expectation, breeding a society of the spectacle, where millions of people have been dumbed-down into living nine-to-five lifestyles while chasing after the dream of one day becoming rich. But we are slowly starting to realize that the majority of us are merely spectators to the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer.
John Adams wrote, “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” Sadly, the way of debt is working. And any sign the so-called “authorities” get that debt isn’t working (such as protests and civil disobedience) they are resorting to the sword. Mega-corporations are giant vampire octopi wrapped around the face of Gaia, relentlessly thrusting their blood funnels into anything that smells remotely like power (money). Corpocracy has run its course. It did its job well, producing more with less. The surplus of innovation that has been produced from this diabolical machine cannot be denied. But this does not supersede the fact that it’s still a diabolical machine. Lest we become diabolical machines ourselves (as power corrupts absolute power corrupts absolutely) it is imperative that we change our existing economic, politic, and spiritual infrastructures.
We do have a choice, but it’s a scary one: create something new that trumps the conquer-control-destroy-repeat mindset that has plagued the human condition for a millennium.
So the system is dead, or at least dying. But the people are alive, and people living in a dead system are not yet free. They are just spectators to a dying system. But spectatorship is an invitation to fear. Decolonizing Gaia is an invitation to trump that fear with acts of courage. It is up to us, we the living, armed with direct democracy, self-organization, and social solidarity to make a stand and wake up others to the level of their delusion. We must help those who are less capable by raising them up to the consciousness of their illusions. This worldwide wakeup call is what I refer to as The Great Rewilding of the 21st century. But in order for this call to be heard the cacophony of corporate dogmatism must be silenced, or at least brought down to a tolerable level. It is imperative that we decolonize the world and reinvent the sacred. Creating something new and healthy that leaves behind the outdated and unhealthy system is a reinvention of the sacred.
The Great Rewilding suggests a ruthless opening up to the infinite possibilities of nature, as against dogmatic rigidness, artificiality, and the parochial pretense of finitude in truth. No philosophy,” William James’ asserted, “can ever be anything but a summary sketch, a picture of the world in abridgment, a foreshortened bird’s-eye view of the perspective of events.” The cosmos will always be greater than our microcosmic perspectives can possibly allow, but allow it we must. Progressing toward a healthy sustainable equilibrium with nature is an act of allowing the greater cosmos a place in our lives.
Decolonizing Gaia is a deconditioning of our current condition. It’s a re-sensitizing of our current desensitization. It’s an opening up of our currently closed minds, especially pertaining to the concepts of fear, shame, and courage. In short, decolonizing Gaia is rewilding humankind. Not in a regressive sense, but in a progressive, proactive sense, that uses technology to co-create eco-conscious infrastructures with healthy sustainability as a mandate for and toward the common good.
But decolonizing Gaia and rewilding humankind requires a particular flavor of courage that is seriously lacking within the majority of people. Sadly sheeple don’t need shepherds, they herd themselves. This is because Mankind has become a neutered animal, a subtracted being. What has been cut from us is Nature and, more importantly, tranquility. We have forgotten how to speak a language older than words and we rely far too much on outdated inherited traditions. These traditions, through conditioning, have caused us to grow complacent and fearful of change. But the only solution to fear is courage. We transform fear through tiny acts of courage. If we cannot transform fear into courage we risk losing our souls. This loss of Soul has become untenable. Hegel’s “silent weaving of the spirit” has unraveled and is now rewinding before us into discordant knots of anxiety and neurosis. What we need is a turning away from the parochially unsustainable and a turning toward the progressively sustainable. What we need is not to fear change but to change fear.
In other words we must reimagine ourselves. It is time to counteract this growing dysfunctionalization by moving from a culture of zero-sum games to one of positive-sum games. Pro-action speaks louder than action. Jonathan Haidt’s concept of the Contingent Superorganism (the idea is that when you reach a higher level, you are willing to put the success of the group, or a higher cause, above your own), coupled with progressively sustainable nature/human systems (Eco-moral Tribalism, The Zeitgeist Movement, The Venus Project, and Bill Plotkin’s Eight Soulcentric/Ecocentric Stages of Human Development) and adapting cyclic approaches toward governance as opposed to linear approaches, are a step in a healthier direction. The linear either/or approach has become parochial and grossly incongruous with the cosmos. The circular balanced/cyclical approach has always been the progressively sustainable governing principle for human beings wishing to live in healthy equilibrium with each other and the greater cosmos.
Sadly, nothing short of a spiritual/political/economic revolution will awaken the majority of people who have been brainwashed and conditioned to think linearly, either/or, about all manner of things. But here’s the critical question: are the silent majority –those who have been dumbed-down by TV and false news their entire lives– really ready to be free? After all, freedom isn’t like going on a diet. It’s no easy task. It has to hurt first. And even after the pain has faded and only scars remain, there is still the fact that freedom is a lifestyle choice. It’s not like you can free yourself, then go back to being a slave, and still declare yourself free.
“There will always be pain in life. This is something we learn as we progress spiritually. We also learn that if we resist pain, if we fear it, then we create additional pain called suffering. Our resistance to pain stands between us and full-bodied living; it keeps us at war with our problems and from making peace with life’s dual nature. When pain arises in your life and you stand to greet it with calm curiosity, you will know that you're making progress on the path.” -Chogyam Trunpa
Insurrections are never as cut-and-dry/black-and-white as they seem. Doubt should always be a looming presence. Reformation must accompany revolution (that is to say, fallibilism and humility must be inherent within insurrection) lest we regress back into parochialism and complacency. We doubt, therefore we exist. So it’s not like we just step from black to white and call it good. The transition will be through the middle gray. It always will be. Good, healthy intention is the key. Bad results coming from good intentions are better than good results coming from bad intentions. It will get worse before it gets better. But something needs to happen if we are going to survive as a species on this planet. The earth will be just fine (and would probably be better off) without us. We can either live in a healthy balance with Mother Nature or in an unhealthy misbalance with her. If we choose the latter, we die; if we choose the former, we prosper. It really is that simple. Don’t fear change, change fear.
Five Steps toward Decolonizing Gaia and Rewilding Mankind
1- Discover a Sense of Community: “Public spaces are favorite places to meet, talk, sit, relax, stroll, flirt, girlwatch, boywatch, read, sun and feel part of a broader whole. They are the starting point for all community, commerce and democracy. Indeed, on an evolutionary level, the future of the human race depends on public spaces. It’s where young women meet and court with young men—an essential act for the propagation of the species. Numerous studies in fields ranging from social psychology to magazine cover design have proved that nothing grabs people’s attention more than other people, especially other people’s faces. We are hard-wired with a desire for congenial places to gather. That’s why it’s particularly surprising how much we overlook the importance of public places today.” –Jay Walljasper. The Occupy Movement has been attempting to provide these public spaces, but the police keep violently discarding them away.
2- (♥ > $): The heart is greater than money. This is so important in an age of profit over people, where even corporations are treated more like people than people. The heart is greater than money. The only way money should ever be regarded as valuable is as a tool for enhancing the human heart. As it stands, we don’t have a proper orientation between culture (economy) and nature (ecology). As such, we have failed regarding the human heart. Like Gandhi said, “the world was built to provide for every man’s need but not every man’s greed.” It is due time we focus on need rather than greed.
3- Escape the Pyramid: This is a Nature-deprivation Cure. The main reason why people are incapable of listening to nature is because they have forgotten how to. Simply put, our nature deprivation has prevented us from “hearing” what it is nature is trying to tell us. A “Pyramid” is a symbol representing any established hierarchical civilization that believes it is the “one right way” to live, forsaking all others. Relearning the language older than words is critical to reclaiming a healthy equilibrium with nature. Escaping the pyramid liberates us from cultural clichés and hand-me-down societal norms and forces us to think creatively in regards to nature and the human soul.
4- Rebel so that we may exist: Camus wrote, “I rebel; therefore we exist.” What did he mean by this? He meant that we’ll reap no evolution if we don’t sow a little revolution. In order to create something new we have to don the mask of the Rebellious Creator, because it is only by resisting the unhealthy system that we can imagine a way to build a healthier system. In other words, it’s only by thinking outside the box that you can imagine a better box. This is insurgent innovation that discovers itself through healthy, well thought out, civil disobedience.
5- Progression through regression: There is an old African proverb that says, “Through mistakes one becomes wise.” This is true only if we have the capacity to learn from our mistakes. How might we learn from the mistakes we’ve made as a culture of occupation turned preoccupation? We systematically and organically separate the healthy aspects of our culture from the unhealthy. Then we take those healthy aspects (namely technology) and we unite them with a historically proven, healthy way of living: ecomoral tribal communes. Through the progressive restoration of these communes and the combined force of ecomoral technologies we can discover progression through regression while at the same time decolonizing Gaia and rewilding humankind. No easy feat. But no feat has ever been more necessary.
George Monbiot: Rewilding the World
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