Civilisation Detox has Arrived

Coronavirus is humanity’s chance to find its lost humanity.

How’s your quarantine going? It is a question that you have most likely not been asked, and won’t be asked, as there is no one to ask you directly. Besides, the person who asks you is probably wondering the same about themselves. If you live alone like me, you are in isolation —  minus the occasional WhatsApp text, the surreal work conference call where you pretend the world is still standing, or Skype with family.

We are all in some kind of shock: experiencing social withdrawal, avoiding some of our favourite activities like exercise and restaurants, and slowly sinking into a quiet, uneventful life. A walk in the park, where you can keep a safe distance from strangers that might have the virus, is sometimes the highlight of the day. This does feel like a world after a dystopian collapse of some sort. But at the same time, it feels peaceful. My highlight of the day is kneeling in the dirt and smelling dewdrop-covered hyacinths in the park early in the morning, before I come back to my urban enclosure where I have to sit and pray all day in front of a shrine that serves a God that serves himself, not humanity. The shrine is my laptop, and the God is big brother capitalism.

But like the flower hyacinths, unaware of the virus, we were unaware of the toxic life that we were leading. The life that we all had even as recently as a few weeks ago seems so distant, so far away, like another lifetime that was happening on a world running at 5 times the speed. Getting on trains, getting on planes, spending gas, spending money everywhere, doing anything and everything we wanted to, and doing it in excess. Consuming, throwing away, and repeating. Now, a time of simplicity, frugality and sensibility has dawned upon us. Home cooking, reading, and simple pleasures that require no expense or “purchase” whatsoever. We are having time to ourselves to just feel our own breath, hear our own hearbeat. like digital zombiescoming out of deep sleep, we are become self-aware. Sentient again, we are also understandably much more careful of our surroundings, and slightly more aware of our place not only on the street, but on life and on earth. The change is subtle, but it’s there. And it feels like a slow, deep breath of fresh cold morning air.

And all this because we’ve been humbled. We realise that we don’t own everything. The Virus is our humbling momentas we retreat into an almost monastic life focused on survival in the present, and gratitude that we are healthy and alive. It’s funny because living in the present, and being grateful are said to be important ingredients of deep and lasting happiness.

It’s kind of where our head should be, but where it hasn’t been for centuries. We went on a binge: pursuing mad careers in professions we didn’t even like, numbing the pain away with alcohol and drugs, and taking the rest of our traumaout on nature by destroying, consuming, exploiting, or on our colleagues and relationships by going on power trips. We finished off our transformation to modern humans by numbing ourselves with fake happiness, fake news, and fake identities in a society where everyone has to wear a mask, otherwise their reality is perceived as a dysfunction and weakness. What’s the matter with you? Why can’t you be fake? 

Now the surgical masks are on, but the people are more real. Isn’t it Vironic?

to be continued…

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4 thoughts on “Civilisation Detox has Arrived

  1. Hi George, civilization is not natural to those of us that function more from the right half of our brain. The long human story is one of fear and confusion. A deep identity crisis. Who,what,where, how, am i to live. We have no exact script playing in our brain. We are freaks of nature. We are very vulnerable to the fear of death. It is used by those of us that are better at following the (narcissistic/humanist) human made script (leaders) to mutually coerce the rest of us. We never really get a chance to fully develop into adults. We are perpetual children, allowing ourselves to be led around by other children. We have tragically allowed this social arrangement (civilization) to get way to complex for our childish minds. Our humaness (empathy) has been deeply suppressed. Survival instincts rule the day. Making food and shelter a privelege as opposed to a right has created an extremely neurotic human animal. A domesticated animal is not natural. After 200 hundred generations or more of this story (social arrangement) (hierarchical civilization) our collective memory of a different type of arrangement can barely be imagined. I think Lord Hugh’s synthesis of our predicament is a pretty good one. Have you read Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael trilogy? I think his take on our predicament is also a good one. We have collectively allowed our fear of death to turn us into an unnatural creature. Our neurosis has made us very disconnected from the part of us that is transcendental. Right brain. We live in a state of fight or flight. Very herd like and controllable and easily prone to confusion, distrust, and violence. Animals that are harder to domesticate are those with less fear of death. Allowing our food to be controlled by others was a very bad idea. Food is a natural right if ever there was one. Food and shelter should be free for all. It would go a long way in the quest to cure our neurotic behavior. All life (DNA/RNA) is functioning in a massive game of stimulus response within a very clever set of rules. For the most part no animal or plant is allowed to hunt the others to extinction. We narcissistacly broke the rules. We more than likely will eventually get spanked for doing that. We perceive reality as object and subject, but there is no object, it is all subject. We suffer from amnesia. As the buddha says, there is no other, all is one. Love Rick

  2. I love it how you introduce the mask analogy. Frugal, sensible, simple – that’s how we have been living for the last seven years as it in here in the wilderness of Tuscany. Talking of prepping. Now it’s as before except my partner is free from work. Some kind of paradise. Nothing works, all is closed except one food shop, police stops you if you want to go to buy groceries in a town 15 minutes away, but Amazon – Amazon still does it and prevents humanity from worrying for real. What will they do with all this money?

  3. I am praying Ho’oponopono (I’m sorry (humanity, for the virus); please forgive me (humanity, for my role in the virus); I love you (humanity); Thank you (for your forgiveness humanity). Every day, Going through the 4 statements in a deep state lying down. For several minutes. I’ve described this in a Linked In article. Ho’oponopono is powerful as Dr. Lin has shown us scientifically.

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