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Links to My Writings

Third Daughters at Smashwords
Meditations on Maintenance for the Kindle
Memoirs of a Super Criminal for the Kindle, Nook or Smashwords
One Year in the Mountains for the Kindle, Nook or Smashwords
Adventures of Erkulys & Uryon for the Kindle and Nook

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Natural vs. Artificial

I was reading recently about the coming doom predicted by the Mayan calender. According to the theory in December 2012 we will move into a new era. Sort of like in the Chinese calendar moving from the year of the dragon to the year of the rat. Of course, some take this 2012 as a sign of Armageddon (which is Christian end time not Mayan end time) and then all of the conspiracy theorists take over and predict all types of horrible things. But in reality nothing so amazing is supposed to happen (cross our fingers). It is simply moving from one astrological frame of reference to another. In this new era, a new balance is supposed to be reached between heaven and earth, or humanity and nature, etc. You can Google it if you desire more details. This is all just a preface to some thought I had. As I was reading, the author of the article about 2012 pointed out the disparity of time. We live in time dictated by the clock, not by nature. Think about that for a moment.

Think about Nature and the natural flow to life:
  1. Seasons
  2. Birth/death cycle
  3. Migratory cycles
  4. Sunrise/sunset time frames
  5. Eating when hungry
  6. Subsistence living
  7. Hunter/gather: nomadic

Natural living is the rhythms inherent in nature expressed through intuition and instinct.

Now think about artificial living and the flow of life it creates

  1. 9-5 work hours (set work days) and long commutes
  2. Clock time
  3. Calender time
  4. Money ordered existence: consumer mentality
  5. Residential housing, private ownership
  6. Existence (self worth) defined by career or ownership

Artificial living is through constructs created to shape life with ulterior motives dictated by external pressures not internal needs.

Now I know perhaps I have lost some of you at this point. No, I don't advocate going back and living in caves as hunter/ gatherers. But I do wish that we could allow natural rhythms to have a say in how we live and commune with each other. What if I could eat when I was hungry instead of at dinner time. If I was tired can I sleep in or will my boss get mad if I am an hour late, even though the extra sleep will make me more productive? Yes, there are easy abuses in this system. I think it takes a lot of trust in fellow humanity. Can I depend upon the other person to do their job? But does that matter? Look at the stock market. That is a completely artificial system built into and on top of other artificial systems. But even it has its natural rhythms. And will it collapse if I take a few extra minutes sleep? Can a company be run upon the ideas of natural rhythms in life and in trusting others to do their jobs? Or are we all that cynical and suspicious?

I watch these squirrels run around my back yard. Right now they are mating and eating and doing squirrel stuff. But in another few months they will begin to store up for the winter. Those who store up enough survive; those who don't die. Pretty simple. Apply that to humanity. Is it even possible to live that simply? Think about it. Think about what would happen if the tree charged the squirrel a percentage for the nuts. And the dirt, a charge for storage. And then some hawk had to be paid for security. Of course the tree doesn't want more nuts; it wants fertilizer. So the squirrel has to find a way to trade nuts for fertilizer which introduces the middle man and then of course, the bank who charges interest on the exchange rate. And now the poor squirrel has to gather twice as many nuts to pay all the fees, charges and taxes (because those hawks can't be left unsupervised and the banking system needs to be regulated and so they need a government). And still it may not be enough to make it though the winter because there could be fluctuations in the exchange rate that eats up all the savings. How is a man to make it in this new crazy world? This is a drastic oversimplification. Or is it? Can we simplify society, life, community, work, etc. to reflect the instinctual natural tendencies? Can we blend the natural and the artificial to create a balanced, harmonious life, taking the good that both has to offer? Or is this a crazy Utopian dream? Maybe 2012 when force and answer or maybe not.