Straight answer: So I will not lose myself in a world that is totally created by humanity and has little to do with the actual world around us. We have invented some kind of world and we take it so serious but without us, it would not even exist (like the stockmarket). I am talking about a big part of our modern civilization. All those weird redundant products, all those unnecessary services to solve problems we created ourselves, all those unsatisfying life-destroying (office)jobs.
It is a world of plenty but also a maze of detours while the easy road is often right in front of us. We just do not see it anymore. We are so desperately looking for happiness and self-fulfilling but we often get so lost. Maybe it is good on those moments to stop running, to take an actual good look around us and to go back to who we really are. To feel the earth under our feet again and to realize where we really are. Earth!
Think about it, what would the earth look like if us humans would not be there? It would for sure be a lot more basic than it is now. There would be no brick cities, no asphalt roads, no plastic, no perfumed toilet paper and no little umbrellas to keep your shoes dry. There would be forests, deserts, mountains and the circle of live would do its job.
Nature will do what it always does, organisms will grow, organisms will die and if necessary, adapt to their environment. Life would be complex but living relatively simple. Not even that long ago, we were part of this circle as well. We lived of what nature provided and when sources ran out, we went to a new place. But somewhere along the road, things started to change.
First, we learned how to use our environment. We learned how to make fire, how to make tools out of stone and metal and how to build shelter. A technical awareness had sprouted in our minds. After this, we learned how to shape our environment to our needs. Our environment had to adapt to us instead of the other way around. It all started pretty harmless. After the last ice age when the climate stabilized, we started to build settlements and to domesticate plants. This way, we did not have to move from place to place anymore.
Instead of living in small tribes, we started to form bigger societies, flourishing by the certainty of food and safety. Cities started to exist, society became more complex and so did life. The child of complexity is often a bigger complexity and the bigger the complexity, the harder it is to control. We started to provide different things as individuals. One had bread, one had meat and a trading system was introduced. Later, money was invented and turned out to be a better solution.
Still, for a long time, we lived a relative basic life. We were farmers, bakers, butchers, etc. but our minds kept inventing things and society grew bigger. Because society grew bigger, the demand for products grew bigger as well. Things had to be manufactured faster and on a larger scale. With the energy of steam, this became possible and there we have the industrial revolution.
From here, humanity took a real turn. Machines took over our psychical jobs and with all this mass production, we did not want to lose overview. Data had to be written down and that is how we ended up at the office. Nowadays, a significant part of the world is spending his life behind a desk, entering data in a computer.
It is considered normal to work 5 days a week, 8 hours a day having the same routine over and over again. It is considered normal to wake up, hurry to work, spend 8 hours in pixelland, go home, heat up an easy meal and watch television before we go to sleep again. It is even not weird if we do the same things the next day. We isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. We are always somewhere else with our mind and we are detaching ourselves from the earth we are walking on.
The free market is another thing that has a lot of influence on us and creates a redundant somewhat illusionary world. When money became one of our main reasons to live for, making money became super important. With a lot of money we can buy ourselves the freedom again which we had in the first place without it but just a little fancier and with more to lose.
Because so many people want to make money by selling products and services, the result is a lot of competition. But how do you get people so far to buy your products? The answer was marketing. Now marketing does one tricky thing, it raises us with the illusion that we need a lot of things. Sure, some things are very convenient and can improve the quality of life but some things are also just ridiculous.
Next to that, products are also improving and improving, just to make us spend our money. We were perfectly happy once with a small black and white television. I am sure that no one thought back then “this sucks, I want a big color flatscreen, dominating my whole living room”. Yet, it exists because marketing made you believe that you need it.
So it is never enough and that is what we have become, a society of ‘never enough’. And if it would lead to great happiness and satisfaction, it would be perfect but it often does not. It often results in less freedom, depts, greediness, stress, depression and insecurity. So many people say that they are much happier without all these things and of course, if you step out of that world of greediness, you are no longer controlled by it which results in much more freedom. Many generations before us survived without a heated toilet seat for example, I am sure we can.
Of course this is the world we humans are living in nowadays and we cannot get around it. A radical decision would be a life in the woods again but for many of us, that is not really an option. We would not know how to survive and we do not have to. But on those moment when you feel lost, imprisoned, stressed or burned out, it is nice to know that there is another world next to the one we created ourselves. A world which have always been there, many years before us and maybe many years after.
This world was our only world once, before we made up our own. It is world that we need, a world we can always rely on, a world that is our home. So when you feel yourself floating in society and when modern life is catching up with you, it is not comforting to know that you can step out of it, even if it is just for a few minutes. Just focus on the things we did not create ourselves and get back to basic, back to nature, back to earth. Take off your shoes and feel the grass between your toes and connect with the core of life because after all, you too are just a child of the earth.
A stone axe I once found in a river
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