Is anyone else feeling a pervasive sense of helplessness?
Does anyone else feel that we’re massively on the wrong trajectory and heading towards certain plunder of (all of) the species – us very much included?
Can anyone else not quite believe that we inhabit this extraordinarily beautiful planet..and yet, the most prevalent picture that we see is of the gross destruction of forests, utter desolation of natural habitats and simply atrocious levels of rubbish strewn everywhere – roadsides, our oceans and beaches…?
Or after our respective lockdowns, have recent relative freedoms given us just enough distraction again to brush these uncomfortable truths out of our mainframe…? Easy to do, right, when reconnecting with the beach feels imperative for our health (and indeed it is!)?
But what have we gone through this episode for – curbing our naturally inclined social togetherness – if not to bring to the surface, and then enable some shifts from our deeply, grotesquely, destructive ‘culture’…?
So what do we do now?
It seems fair to say that if we leave the destiny of our planet in the hands of central government and their current corporate-political policies, then we can probably kiss goodbye humanity (after who knows what other insane, inhumane, controlling and disempowering policies which speak almost exclusively of depravity and greed have been invoked).
We have to take the reins of power for ourselves, and our communities.
Easy to say, right?
But just what does it look like?
Looking deeply at the real issues behind who has succumbed to this truly global disease, it’s clear that those who are elderly and arguably with less robust immune systems, plus those who have been living with inflammatory disease who have suffered the most plight.
More about our elderly citizens later.
Why are we living lives wholly rife with internal inflammation? Leading to chronic disease left right and centre – diabetes, obesity, heart disease, autoimmune diseases.
Ok, we all know this (don’t we?) – processed ‘foods’ are laden with sugar; there’s a stimulant available on every corner of practically every street; we’re numbing out on beer and wine; our veg flies half way round the world before it reaches our supermarket, let alone our plate… our soils are leached of essential nutrients at the behest of massive monofarming, chemicals layer each and every fruit or veg picked. To name a few reasons.
Plus we’re living chronically disconnected, isolated, spiritually-starved lives in our hidden-away nuclear families at the top of tower blocks, far removed from the heart of the extended village of a family that were supposed to be living in…on ground level. (Or some variation of this sweeping statement.)
Isn’t it time to change this model?
And no surprises the government are not going to do this for us. When the power structures in place in our current world have ‘us’ as minions in their money making machine, while supporting the feeding of toxicity into our systems through the soil, the seed and its also-corrupted magic ingredient, water. The human lifeline essentially. (Other than the breath, and that’s pretty polluted too.)
And then we’re getting sick. En masse. Fat and sick.
And infertile. Our gut is so clogged up with sh*t – literally – that we’re ceasing being able to carry out one of the reasons for being: to reproduce.
Is anyone surprised to hear this story?
If we want change (and if we don’t change, we’re headed for the cliff like lemmings), we’re going to have to organise this, on a local level, by ourselves for ourselves. To clean up our food chain from soil to delivery; to make it local, seasonal, self-sustaining and to make it free from chemicals and full of flavour again.
We are going to have to compromise on avocados all year round, and eat cabbage when it’s cabbage season. (Sauerkraut, by the way, could not better support our gut health, nor could it be easier to make. And it’s a delicious accompaniment.) We’re going to have to stop demanding meat with every meal. Instead we’re going to have to collectively stand up and demand that factory farming be closed. Completely. And with it the junk food ‘establishments’ selling it.
Because unless we stop our consumptive, destructive, resource hunger at the expense of the planet – our home – then we might as well kiss goodbye ‘modernity’ for good. And we deserve that too, what with our current collective modus operandi, and our present separatist perception of the ego’s ‘mememe’ (which we conveniently refer to when we want to distance ourselves from the shocking state of everything that we see around us).
We are all intrinsically linked, and ultimately collectively responsible.
We not only live in ‘a beautiful part of the world’ we are a part of the most beautiful world. And we have been, collectively, endorsing it being ravaged. Raped and pillaged as we manically seek more and more and more material stuff, and packaged foods, and fossil fuels to burn through. Thinking that recycling and charity shops and electric cars are the entire answer, and carry on regardless in every other way…
There is so much beauty around us, and yet we’ve paved (almost) everything with grey. Dirty, noisy building sites making way for dirty, noisy conglomerations.
So people have become fat and sick. And sick and tired (of the hamster wheel keeping this model going…). And now, just sick.
And the government’s medical response? Pills pills pills pills pills. Or perhaps, cut it out…or burn it out, or just plough it with more toxins.
And in the backdrop of a new level of dis-ease in our midst, what is the ‘only answer’? To allow the big greed of big pharma to inject more toxicity into our system, and this time, en masse directly into your bloodstream.
Is this really the only conceivable course of action?
If we can step aside, for a moment, past the media-induced fear and society’s disconnection and sheer aversion to entertaining a transformative notion of death, and consider what this really looks like for a moment.
It looks like an opportunity to start living. Fully, by embracing what needs to change.
Our body, given the right conditions (not too hard to create, either), thrives. That means, it works phenomenally well, efficiently and effectively, and in a graceful harmony. This is how it’s designed. As with all of nature.
When the system is out of harmony, we experience unsettling, but related symptoms. The symptoms might seem obscure or completely disparate but this is because all of the systems of the body are interconnected, and so one system does not become disturbed in isolation.
And, in a similar fashion, so too do those pills that you’re prescribed. They interrupt every system in the body (because in a startlingly phenomenal way proteins in the body are so multi-purpose that it’s impossible to map the fullest extent of their impact, and our man-made medications certainly can not replicate their extra-ordinary adaptive capacity), and you experience ‘side effects’. Or effects. You experience the effect of the medication – aimed to target your specific primary problem – and how that same chemical concoction affects every other system.
But herein is the underlying issue: that we’re considering our ‘medical’ conditions in complete isolation. (Almost as chronically as we consider the separated, isolated members of our society.)
We have a prevailing thought system which reduces every aspect of our society to the smallest denominator, and totally and utterly loses the concept of the whole. (It’s why we shut away our elderly, out of sight, in their ‘care homes’ – because we no longer value their contribution to society after a certain stage, or age… Why aren’t we caring for our relatives in our homes? They’d need far less care in they were held close in the bosom of the family…)
Likewise, the body is a whole system. And our individual system works in an interconnected nature to every other system. As do every other ecosystems ‘in nature’ (ie. outside our front door, because heaven forbid we become overrun with creatures in our living space… Let us ensure that we live sterile lives separated as far as possible from nature. Are we not a part of nature…?)
Note: our individual system is dependent upon innumerable ‘creatures’ in our microbiome. Which, in among our obsession with stripping away anything unsightly, we’ve aimed to strip away all possible, invisible ‘germs’ too with devastating effects on our microbiome..and along with it our immune system. (Is it any wonder that our physical health is in such dire straights? Aren’t we going about this whole health business unbelievably ‘base over apex’…?)
Are we not a part of nature…? Do we not need to work with it?
So how do we start working more harmoniously with nature, to build bodies that are healthy and communities that function in togetherness?
How do we build up a society that functions well – optimally, in fact! – out the chaos of all that is crumbling around us…
It has to start with us, individually.
It has to start with making choices about what we do – what we consume, where it’s come from and how we prepare it.
It starts with asking the challenging questions of what do we need – do need more material items? – can we think twice before we throw away items, could we reuse them instead, or possibly even mend them, or just do without? Could we find different ways of doing what we need to do – finding properly ecological solutions in our homes rather than relying on toxic chemicals…?
It starts with asking how are we spending our time – are we exercising, are we looking after our own mental health (rather than causing an argument with our spouse, and yes, we’ve all been living in each other’s pockets for a long time now…perhaps in order to bring to the surface some of the tough stuff to work through?), are we giving up some of ‘our’ time to help others – our neighbours, or elderly close by?
It starts with getting involved with local initiatives – supporting the community which in turn will support us. The act of giving is always always reciprocated by the act of receiving…maybe not in exactly the same manner, in exactly the same way…but always in the right way, at the right time. Always…
Sounds easy right?
Or maybe it doesn’t sound easy. But it’s not difficult either. It requires that each of us take a long hard look at who and how we’re being in the world, and asking if this way of being is sustainable multiplied by 7 billion, ad infinitum.
And if we find our answer to be no, then we need to seek ways to make changes. Small shifts – little efforts over time build up and create big changes.
If we all do this – make small changes – separately together, then in not too far into the distance we’ll start seeing a society that’s bursting with life and bustle and the excitement of togetherness.
And small changes are easy, right?
Photo by Shane Rounce