“We don't perform religious rituals because we believe in God. We believe in God because we perform religious rituals.”
Robert Pirsig

Lila

Of Jobs and Farming

n

A new name to me – Frithjof Bergmann speaks of lost jobs due to  automation and globalization (two widely cited causes) and farming (a much less cited cause):

via David Korten and The Partially Examined Life

Posted in AltEco, Business, Intake, outside | You are welcome to add your comment

Something hurt

n

Andreea left abruptly from her last visit (last weekend) … she was called to a birth.

It wasn’t just how she left, but also how she was here.

When she got on the bus, we were both choked by tears … we were both hurting.

Something in me was hurt during that last visit.

The days since then I’ve felt deflated, low energy, low motivation … I’ve been living with a background headache.

Today my calves hurt, my gums are sensitive, my throat is sensitive … something in me was hurt.

Thankful for quiet days, good food … looking to recollect myself.

 

Posted in Fragments, inside | You are welcome to read 1 comment and to add yours

Food Sharing & Living Without Money

n

An interesting video about a German who lives off the wastes of society, demonstrating that we live in a world of abundance and that scarcity is a misperception rooted in our relationship with the prevalent abundance. I have mixed feelings/thoughts about this (there are english captions):




As I was watching it I thought about strawbale and earthship construction methods. Both are prominent players in the eco-construction field and both rely on the wastes generated by modern day society. This dependence on waste questions, in my mind, their sustainability. If one day we stop massive monoculturing of straw-producing crops (or leave the straw to decompose and nourish the soil in which it grew) and stop moving around on tires and, for example, start moving around on magnets (or bicycles, or heck stop moving altogether) then both these construction methods become obsolete. What then? We are still going to need to build houses – how will we go about doing that?

I live in a Romanian village. There is no waste here. Everything is used, then reused, then reused and continually used even when things are unsafe or unreliable to use. This mentality has its limitations. Animals, for example, are also used … and mistreated. Forests are used … illegaly harvested and entire ecosystems are in a state of deterioration. Soil is used … and is dying, infertile and inable to hold water. People are used … there is very little sharing and giving … most giving is done in barter mentality that can be as careless and ruthless as money.

I placed myself in this reality and in this reality a life cannot be created through sharing. I find myself reflecting on many issues faced by leading edge thinking of more modernized societies and I often, by trying to apply their solutions to the reality in which I exist, come to the conclusions that their logic is incomplete or flawed simply because it is not applicable here in a Romanian village. They seem to imply that the Romanian village would first have to become a wasteful modern city-like entity and then, upon the waste, we could apply these new “solutions”. I believe that Romanian village life presents a raw challenge and a valuable playground for experimenting with a better future.

It is in that spirit that I questioned the ideas in this movie. Raphael is a courageous and committed person. He is a force of nature that is much needed in a modern city-scape. His existence complements and balances the wasteful habits that modern cities have become. His efforts may inspire others and may give birth to new ideas. But his view, to me, is incomplete. His solution makes him a parasite on the back of a beast that itself is threatened – making his life-balance as fragile as that of the people who’s waste he consumes.

My financially-poor neighbors (destructive though they may to their environment) are still the most resilient people I’ve met … yet their way of life is dying and to me unappealing. In this reality I ask myself what to do? In this reality I see the useful functions that money can have and I live with nagging and difficult (for me) questions not on how to escape money but how to shape it into a better tool.

A few meta-observations came to me as I re-read this post.

  1. Wow! There is a growing global society of deeply motivated and caring people who are compelled to question, challenge and create a better world.
  2. Wow! These people were born from the patterns of the existing world. That indicates that the existing world we can be so critical of has embedded in it DNA the potential for becoming better.
  3. Wow! Many of these people seem to be rooted in a “protesting-against” mentality. That indicates that they are still indirectly defined by and tied to the patterns they want to change. I have a feeling that’s a good thing(just getting used to it myself). What may not be is not acknowledging this relationship and not appreciating its evolutionary role.
Posted in AltEco, Intake, outside | You are welcome to add your comment

EdgeRyders – Living on the Edge

n

My short excursion to Rosia Montana this summer gave birth to something new. I met there a young man who attended both the cooking rocket stove workshop and one of the yoga sessions. I remembered he attended both but I did not know anything about him, nor his name … until he contacted me sometime after the event. His name is Andrei and according to his twitter profile he was from Strasbourg and was associated with a community called Edgeryders. Hinted by the German Strasbourg I assumed Edgeryders was a German name of a physical community in which he lived and tried to read it accordingly “ed-gar-eeders” or something. It was only on my 2nd or 3rd visit that somehow I figured out it was to be read as “Edge Riders”.

I then found and immersed myself in EdgeRyders. Browsing the website does not clarify what EdgeRyders is and I am not inclined to try explaining it. I resonated deeply with the name (given where my life has taken me). Once inside I felt a strong pull. When I joined the site I started receiving update messages letting me know about activities taking place inside it. I found myself flooded by inviting information with a growing number of open browser tabs I wanted to spend more time in.

A strong signal came when I discovered that Noemi, one of the prominent voices and founders of EdgeRyders, is from Cluj. On my next visit to the city we met face to face, Andreea was there too. After the meeting Andreea and I shared our fascination that there are young people, like Noemi, who begin their adult life with understanding and values that we, Andreea and I, have had discover via a long and tiring journey of escaping from the truths we were handed when we headed out into life. We don’t experience such connection often so when we did with a complete stranger we felt a surge of hope for the world we live in.

It seems that EdgeRyders have a tradition of meeting face-to-face once a year. This year the event is called Living on the Edge 3 and is happening in Italy and I will be joining them. That I am going, and the ease with which I decided to go, is still a surprise to me.

I have been living in retreat for over 2 years. Yet inside my retreat I have been awakening to something new. I think it started with Cutia Taranului – a community supported agriculture project we created – where, having decided to retreat from society, I found myself at the heart of a social project. Though, on further consideration, I think it started when the myth of “self-sustainability” crashed in my  consciousness. I have not lived, in this lifetime, with a sense of community and I now believe that community is key to sustainability and yet I have no idea what community is or can be. When I moved out to Bhudeva I wanted to be left alone, now I want to be left together.

Actually, the decision to go to Italy reflected to me how much I have retreated. I got a surprising wave of direct and indirect feedback of congratulations and happiness that I am “stepping out of my cave”. A friend asked me in recent weeks if I am happy … and I answered that I am not. He then asked me if I can recall when I was last happy and what makes me happy … and I could … with surprising ease. I am happy when I teach Yoga. I was happy when I was working with Shahar. I gave up both before moving to Romania and put even more distance between myself and those activities upon moving out to Bhudeva.

So joining EdgeRyders in Italy is not only me coming out of retreat but also a first attempt to partake in community and a shot at happiness. I will be giving Yoga sessions in the mornings (four sessions which will hopefully give enough time to build up something of depth and substance). I’ll also be facilitating a session on design focusing on the EdgeRyders online presence with a hope of opening a path for me to express my creative energies in a new context.

The event will take place in a small city called Matera. This will be my longest stay in a city in 18 months. I have found much comfort from this video of Matera:

 

Posted in About, Myself | You are welcome to read 1 comment and to add yours

The War on Consciousness- Graham Hancock

n

This is the 2nd talk that I mentioned was censured from TED a while back. It amuses me that I am rarely anymore drawn to TED talks and even more rarely interested or touched by those I view. But when it came to these two censured talks I was 2 for 2.

In this talk Graham Hancock offers a valuable question about consciousness altering drugs. He suggests that such drugs are responsible for our becoming symbolic creatures (a precious claim that deserves much more elaboration). He suggests that by removing them from our lives and culture we have introduced a spiritual detachment which is the source of so much self inflicted destruction and suffering.

It it a very passionate talk, at times to passionate … which earned even more of my respect. It makes a less fluent talk that it could be and required more effort from me … an effort I was happy to put in.

As I watched it a 3rd time in preparation for this post – another train of thought appeared in my consciousness. I have not had access to consciousness enhancing drugs. I have spent a good portion of my life living in detachment and consciously unaware of it. I have spent another good portion being aware of the sense of detachment  – a period which has brought me to this point in time where I am making an effort to see beyond detachment. It may be true that by using consciousness enhancing drugs this transition I am currently in may have been different, maybe more fluent, maybe more joyful, maybe easier.

However I do believe (not a firm belief because I have no way to compliment it with experience) that maybe as a species, we have, by removing such drugs from our life-menu, created circumstances which require us to find alternative paths of enhancing our consciousness. Maybe in another 40,000 years another creature of consciousness will look back at us, as Graham Hancock has at our ancestors, and point out this crazy and disruptive time as when new paths of consciousness were discovered that led to further evolution beyond the symbolic-story-tellers that we currently are?

The War on Consciousness- Graham Hancock at TEDxWhitechapel from Ben S on Vimeo.

 

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