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Concrete tower blocks make you stressed just looking at them, let alone living in them.
"Technology should be used to help us, not entrap our lives further by making exploitation easier in an austere system. Technology is a tool which can either be used for good or evil. A gun is as good or as bad as the person using it."
So if it is best for people to be surrounded by trees and water - as they are the rootstalk of good health - how is this possible in an industrialised computer age? Especially when a non-democratic style of living and architecture already dominates?
We cannot change what has been, but we can ignore mistakes and rebuild new, better areas – forsaking the concrete stacking block society and mindset. Only 10.6% (2014) of England is urban landscape. We tower one-another over each other. The green belt and forests are there, so why not turn them into new living quarters in an interactive and coalescent way?
Humanity is currently like an overly pushy parent ruining their child’s self-esteem and future for their own ‘stressed-out’ selfish needs. Many global companies are the bullies promoting a “buy-and-chuck” society and citizens are their victims. Our own characters’ want to do as they are told if things seem reasonable, and this decency has been taken advantage of by very manipulative and misguided, megalomaniacal individuals (the three M’s of social disease).
Consequently, many people turn to God to find some peace and salvation against an unforgiving artificial setting. By huddling together in meaning to find meaning, religion promises and sometimes provides real camaraderie and emotional support. But truly religious people often find themselves more isolated and in turmoil – as many religious values are sadly virtually impossible to follow in a monetary led system. Almost all religions are against modern ways which are unavoidable, preaching the dangers of holding possessions and misleading our fellow man for financial gain: which is the society we are currently in.
By segregating ourselves from the mainstay of thoughts and drives we allow ourselves to enter a permanently incomplete state of promised happiness which falls short of the enlightenment we should be seeking? Others see the logic in science as a counterbalance to the control they feel oppressed by. Believers in science are drawn by the explanation of truth in tangible forms. Yet many feel lost and lonely in a vastly unimaginable universe?
Anything that helps is generally very good. A positive and effective extension of these good willed thoughts is to hold the hand of Mother Nature and let her do what she has been doing very effectively for millions of years. We are not even a blip in her cradle of time and nature shall overgrow our impatience to find meaning in life.
Progress, for once, would be to go backwards. It is not a case of rowing back the tide – it’s flowing with it instead. What is the point of taking away a person’s purpose by making everything electronically controlled? We like to do the stuff we like to do and only use machines to speed-up the boring chores. Our ancestors have been around for about 6 million years, and for about 200,000 years modern mans’ brains have developed and worked responsively in tandem with evolutionary demand. But since the start of industrialization in about the 1800’s, society has moved at an alarming pace, far too quickly for us to reasonably cope with (ergo, depression clouds over so-called progress).
Technology should be used to help us, not entrap our lives further by making exploitation easier in an austere system. Technology is a tool which can either be used for good or evil. A gun is as good or as bad as the person using it. Right now, very little technology is helping us mix with the world: in reality, it’s stripping it bare. In about 30 years there will be hardly any rainforests left: I know – we’ve heard all this before – many times, as we sit powerless to stop the companies selling off the world’s natural resources. This powerless feeling has become the staple diet of our mentality. The 80’s (with Live-Aid) and other greatly optimistic and confused enterprises, gave people the feeling that positive change was around the corner – yet this was false hope, naive and preached by false egotistical prophets. We have seen the failure of these grand ideals as we’ve watched companies grab the money, strip the good-will bare and distribute the funds to their business colleagues. Very little of that money made it to the people it was given to and did any long-term good. Large parts of Africa and the world still live without fresh running tap water, in poverty and with slavery in full swing – this is the true state of things.
My point being, we cannot improve things in the system and false paradigm we presently operate in. A natural environment may well cure the sickness of greed? Like an obsessive personality; we should not try and cure the particular isolated creation (or obsession), the only way to cure a massive obsessive is to either take away the need to obsess (end the chaos and organise) or turn the obsession into a healthy focus – petering out into free flowing thinking later on. Humanity is obsessed with worshipping money. ‘Money Worshippers’ are more common than Chicken Tikka Masala in Britain; confusing what we’re born to do. We need to take away the desire to buy endlessly – not block it. If the materialistic passion is still there waiting to pounce – even just lingering a bit – then it will find its cake and eat it, gobble it all up and look for more sources of pleasure. We are a stressed society and desperately need to remove this quite pointless stress. The answer is to re-organise, re-build, re-evaluate and live around and amongst trees, wildlife, green grass and near fresh water. Do you want to be happy or wealthy, you decide?
Once most of us have made our minds up to be happy, it would not be as difficult as you may expect to dismiss the current trends as they are going to collapse at some point anyway. The problem with waiting for a collapse and impending doom is it may be too late to save all the species and diversity needed to progress scientifically and emotionally. Also, a nihilistic feeling produces apathy, and that’s what vultures prey on, creating a carcass of a society. What do you personally respect the most; your own feelings or the way other people view you?
Pretend you’re on a date, you really like the person you’re with and are trying to impress. If you say something slightly off-key, or receive an unexpected negative reaction from something you’ve said, not understanding their past experiences – what would you do? Only a pig-headed fool would carry on saying similar things and upsetting their date on some misguided principle of direct honesty or stubbornness. That’s not honesty; its selfishness and stupidity – and that’s what humanity is doing to planet Earth. Great potential wasted is a terrible crime.
What currently exists are unrealistically unliveable (stay with your relatives) minimum wages, zero-hour contracts, an overload of applicants for one job, and a general feeling of desperation and return to Dickensian poverty. Most great musicians, artists, philosopher’s, engineers, scientists, builders, etc, are just making ends-meat and up to their eye-balls in debt, with no banks lending to anyone poor to start new enterprises. 3-5 year financial and political plans for short-term gain ends countries. We require 50 year visions and investments to build something worth having. Renting a property makes you nomadic in thoughts? A nation of renters could become a powerful force against a land owner’s monopoly and greed; an anarchical antithesis of the control they seek to perfect.
A positive change is needed, more than just a total system overhaul and quiet ‘little-spending’ revolution too. Humanity needs a complete environmental change if we are to become as great as we promised to be and keep telling ourselves we are. So we have learnt to machine nature into things we want: big deal! The real deal would be to do something noble and good with those tools to return the favour of life back to the place we came from. One must be more than grateful for our lot to achieve happiness: we must gift every person who has helped us along the way.
The current trend of thought in the last 50 or so years is a penchant for minimalist open spaces. In a warped attempt to balance our aesthetic ideals with status, architects have confused our desires by bringing and mixing the outside, indoors and whiting out all diversity of pigmentation. It has come to be known as the “White Cube” art gallery look; clean cut, man-made smooth angles with more space than one needs – displaying vulnerability in reverse. In a nutshell, or should I say “echoing tunnel?” the idea is that less is more – which it hardly ever is. This vacuous approach to life has been designed by wealthy people to justify the ludicrous, undeserved financial status they inherit. Minimalism tries to hide greed by presenting innocent virginal white space in equal importance to the objects of opulence and apparent beauty? In actuality, minimalism has proven to make people feel uncomfortable.
Returning to a natural setting (forests, plains and lakes), using advanced technology to maintain our safety and also sustaining our resource usage whilst living in harmony with other nature – is the way forward. So how can this be realistically done – if feasible at all?
Usually when a system or way of life collapses, it is just totally abandoned and appreciated hundreds of years later by nosey and interested historians, brushing around the bones of misery. The hugely sophisticated Mayan civilization of over 19 million people, collapsed sometime during the 8th and 9th centuries due to over-logging and lack of cloud water, “because cleared land absorbs less solar radiation” (Smithsonian). System collapse is not a pretty thing, as desperation brings out the worst in all of us. As a species we have done very well in many respects because our fight for survival is super strong, with our relatively big brains doing whatever they can conjure to keep fed and warm.
If we want to change we shall encounter our first huge problem: how to beat the controlling bullies? Bullies are never happy when they see you are no longer afraid of them. We may have to wait until their natural reign ends with the collapse of materialism, because any forced escape from their system – and they will cut-up rough, that’s for sure? We won’t be able to persuade them their greedy ways are simply rubbish either, because they are disturbed people (psychopaths) who love exploitation and the false spoils of corruption. It would be extremely difficult to beat them, but that doesn’t mean we should join them in turning the world into a polluted rubbish tip either. The best way to beat a bully is to use direct force towards the pressuring individual (EMA does not advocate violence of any kind unless in unavoidable self-defence). But we don’t want to have to fight back, we want to live peacefully, without stress and enforced retaliatory hardship. Few people are brave renegades or heroes – most of us just want to get by as easily as possible. Our days should involve some practical chores to keep the troops fed and housed, but quite honestly, life is for living not leading. The way to triumph, I have discovered, is to follow natural patterns of thought.
If we all act as individuals amongst a sea of competing animals, the net result always ends with the best weapon winning. Fear of force and coercion has been our only pattern of behaviour from day dot to now. Who are we to say we’re superior to other creatures if all we do is beat ourselves down because we can? Winning isn’t beating. Winning is keeping as much life alive as possible.
Picture a world where you wake up to water dripping off leaves just a few feet away – dripping onto a welcoming, all-absorbent earthy ground. Life is full of lush greens and reassuring browns. You wave at your trusted neighbour in a near-by tree house and they return your warm gesture. Then you walk to a lake nearby where other members of your community are bathing, some fishing out deep, with splashing children laughter. Words like “agenda” and “schedule” have no need to surface as you are just living - just being yourself. You see sun-water glimmers and they have more meaning to you in that moment than the entire monthly mortgage payments you previously stored in your mind bank. You never delay enjoyment these days. On the whole, you’re not totally sure, but you think you may be living in bliss with nature and friendship as your guide to life? You never realized and felt truly at home before, but now in nature you do, and it feels great!
We humans are like a mix of ants and elephants: eusocial creatures with a combined drive and hybrid emotions. There is a collective consciousness and direction which builds a different momentum and character - as well as extended - from that of an individual. When a person is isolated for more than about two months they do what are deemed strange things, not just because their minds are still struggling to homogenise with a social reality that’s not there, but also because their individuality has found an awakening. These new found thoughts have no social pull and can be uncontrollable as no-one has ever taught the individual to be an individual. In a super-huge community an uncomfortable mixture of little bubbles of auxiliary character and airheaded domes of political correctness has evolved: both states are unhealthy and unhelpful as they take us away from a conglomeration of goodness.
Every member of an ant population is just building for the sake of building and survival. But humanity has inventively pulled itself objectively away from survival - enough to engineer a different non-slave outcome. However, we choose to use this superior information and standpoint to do just what ants do. For over 10,000 years we have no longer been 2-D subjective beings, having evolved into directors of our own destiny (in the smaller picture). Having cracked the hunt for food problem, we’re on unsteady ground to claim ignorance. So we are like aliens on our own planet, observing wildlife doing its thing. When we come across an ants nest we become like a scientific God (with time on our hands that is), looking, poking and probing another intricate world without any fear of reprisal. Intelligence grows with enough spare time to play. We are very playful, like dolphins and monkeys too. And have the time, the space and the motive to change our fortunes, yet our self-turned ‘trap’ prevents a sensible evolutionary move? No-one likes the stress of moving house, but we usually move because the space and deal we are in is no longer beneficial. Humanity has outgrown the city model and desperately needs to move philosophy and design before our present way outstays its welcome and is evicted by natural law. The vacation of cities will fill our future full of emotional goodies and promises great things.
When somebody has had a breakdown, I teach them how to affectively sift through the mental wreckage to salvage all that was good about their lives, themselves and everything useful they’ve learnt about their reactions to extreme stress – in order to prevent future patterns reoccurring and to rebuild a brighter, realistically sustainable mentality and life. Humanity is rapidly exhausting its unsustainable philosophy and needs to bring along our beneficial research and inventions and leave a hollow house behind. A move would not be a reckless gamble, as we cannot lose what we have already by majority lost.
In bow-tie or sand-timer formation, trees sit into a perfectly married balance of growth: up-and-below ground in unison. What they take from the ground and sun, they return in full honour. Trees are honest and (unlike us) when they spread, little is worse off for their success; quite the contrary, they grow in balance with the sun and wind. Giving so much life and air to the world, we must not underestimate trees’ importance to our existence and the wellbeing of the planet. Each tree is a totem to life, the more the better. It is possible and essential for us to return to a tree way of living if we want to understand why we have developed a consciousness beyond our own actions? The root to solving mental illness and social inequality lies in correctly interweaving the dichotomy between desideratum (wants and needs) as well as deciphering the many plateaus of consciousness which confuse our daily decision making. We cannot make good if we don’t know what we’re making.
Trees seem timeless and reliable. Plant one anywhere you like, follow its gradual progress throughout your life and your problems are put in perspective. Trees are like super reliable granddads, catching every anxiety fruit-fall you produce. They grow like us (spinal column and trunk to brain canopy) but with freedom to expand beyond a shell’s perimeter. Holding evolutionary intelligence which we envy, people always desire to be near and around trees. Trees are our best friends, and dogs like them too.
Authored by Andrew Voller
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