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Archive for the ‘consumerism’ Category

“One goes to a work of art a little bit more opened and also the interaction is one of immersion. For a while there you are living other people’s lives and you are paying attention to it with an empathy. Especially with books you have to imagine it yourself and you imagine what was it like to be in the Napoleonic wars and what did it feel like? Not the facts but the feeling. So it’s a very emotional business and once you get to the emotional level, you begin to process in a different level than when you are reading the news in a more cognitive sense.” (Kim Stanley Robinson)
Devouring the planet

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Why do we celebrate Earth just one out of 365 days of the year?

I may sound radical and against tradition but one day of Earth remembrance is just not enough. Our home planet is not just a celebrity whose birthday we remember or another mundane holiday or shopping day like Halloween or Valentine’s Day; not even the honorable causes that gave us Martin Luther King or Veteran’s Day. No, the Earth’s significance is far beyond any tribute we may pay to any past human hero or cause no matter how magnificent.

With all due respect the very organism that gave us life, everything we enjoy and keeps us living, our Earth, deserves our homage, care and devotion every single day in the calendar. I think we need more than an Earth Day.

Earth

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Dr. Fritjof Capra told us in his book The Web of Life our global crisis is a crisis of perception. I would like to build on that brilliant conclusion. Our consumption driven social and economic system dis-empower us by creating a warped perception of scarcity where we are led to believe we never have enough and we are never enough. We are not wealthy enough, not good looking enough (not enough boobs, butt or muscles), not successful enough, not courageous or free enough.

Global capitalism creates an illusion of inner vacuum which can never be filled. It was an amazing economic breakthrough, a Perpetual Motion Machine for the market moved by the ever thirsting egos of billions of consumers; an inexhaustible voltage of wants; an unbridgeable gap between we are and where must be. Most if not everyone who will read these lines can relate to the compulsive search to fill the vacuum we fill in our guts when we count the hours to complete our work day to the frantic weekend.

We try to fill this undeniable vacuum with that new car, next vacation, new extreme adventure, our dream home, possibly that new romantic partner or the marriage that will follow. Perhaps we will fill the vacuum when have our first born? Or will it be when we retire and we have more time to indulge in many more of these diversions.

Materialism and capitalism despite the progress and the quality of life that have brought to humankind, have also come at a very high toll: the disintegration of the world inside and outside of us from the processing and fragmentation of our food to the fragmentation of our psychology. All life on Earth including our very own species is was conceived and developed in a cradle of unlimited relationships, most of them synergistic. In fact if you want to look beyond the laws of biology and ecology, you can ask a physicist what is the essence of the universe. He or she will respond with more or less mathematical detail it is a dynamic flow of relationships.

Such notion of reality is in complete opposition to the ever fragmenting world the Cartesian-Newtonian materialism we are still abiding by. The compulsive categorization and break down of reality driven by such paradigm has divided the world into more and smaller compartments. Such event has literally fragmented the notion of our universe and our very selves. It is this culturally imposed sense of separation that has created countless disconnections between our believes, knowledge, emotions, our bodies, our fellow human beings, our sister life forms and the rest of the planet outside the lonesome voice of our ego, all of which used to be seamlessly connected sometime before we started looking at the world as a machine, and by default at ourselves.

Life is very complex and theories come and go but I am completely certain our prevalent profit and control driven notion of reality is fundamentally false. It is a psychological program designed to enslave us all. The future of humanity if it has one, is to overcome the current perception of ourselves and the world in which we have been imprisoned.

I highly recommend this article from Resurgence and Ecologist magazine. It offers a great insight on this topic.

The wolf of wall street

Image source: ‘Why Do We Like to Watch Rich People on TV and in the Movies?’

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4th-of-July-Burger

 

In these times of rapid global change we tend to seek a sense of stability and security by holding a tight grip to old customs and tradition. The fact is that some of these traditions which most people rarely question because they are so embedded into the culture can actually be detrimental.

One prime example of such traditions is the American ritual of cooking and eating hot dogs and hamburgers. This custom has become probably a sacred tradition in American culture, the celebration of Independence Day on the 4th of July.

I have a message to those who still believe consuming burgers is a patriotic duty. If you are a proud American, you should have no problem demonstrating the values our culture so well advertises to the rest of the world. I am referring to the exercise of courage, truth and justice, and let’s not forget the crusade against all evil.

And to honor that courage, truth and justice we so highly regard in our beloved country may I ask that you watch this video?

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I have good news and bad news. The bad news is everything you have been taught about prosperity and success in this economy is a lie. Your school, the people around you, the media and your officials have all been complicit in this lie but you can forgive them for they have believed the lie themselves. Everyone has been the victim of this lie as well as the victimizer.

The good news is you can choose to acknowledge the lie and help us build a real future. You can become fully informed on the lie and educate yourself on the alternative. There is a growing number of workable alternative and sustainable economic and life models we can develop and implement in our very own neighborhoods and beyond.

These solutions are primarily place and community based, but they are transferable and scalable to the size of the planet. I will be writing about them. We need to understand what is wrong before we can fix it.

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One day I want to be as composed and moderate as Post Carbon Institute Fellow Bill Rees who appears in the video below. I think there is enough justification to be emotionally explosive about the dramatic reality he describes, precisely because of how real it is. Bill is a source of inspiration not just in the scientific sense but also at the emotional level. Behind his refined and corteous professor demeanor lies a visible flame of outrage, passion and justice.

The message Bill provides is liquid gold, so concentrated and rich that it becomes precious. I feel I must not allow myself to run the risk of taking away anything you may get from his discussion by adding my own thoughts. If you read me enough you will realize I am on his page. Enjoy the potent flavor of truth.

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