Tuesday, 11 November 2008

the trauma of civilisation

I came across a most appealing article recently, thanks to a link on survival acres blog, titled The Machine in our Heads by Glenn Patron. The article was first published in 'Green Anarchist' in 1997 and more recently links to a blog entry in Tierra y Vida.

Although there's little presented within this article that’s particularly new to me I do find the overriding premise of it to be quite impactful. The gist is as thus: civilisation, as we've known it for 10,000 years, is traumatic to the true, ‘tribal’ self of an individual baby, or child. It is utterly foreign to our way of being and living. And so for that matter, are concepts of property, hierachy, and the State. The writer speaks of this as the "trauma of civilisation". He blames the trauma or terror of civilisation for the loss or derangement of reason, and the loss of deep thinking, ie, the free flow of natural ideas that are shut down through traumatic socialisation. He writes, "...tribal ideas threaten civilisation, so they cannot pass through the censorship of the false self, which functions specifically to ward off all serious challenges to civilisation."

I felt all that more ennobled for having read this piece, accompanied by a fresh sense of relief and purpose. It validated something in me, that the fundamental way of life represented by the living lives of the billions of people on this planet Earth, is basically skewered and off the point of our primary purpose as living human beings on this planet. But this is no-one's fault by any stretch of the imagination. It is the carry-on effect of some sort of mass drive into civilised life thousands of years ago that has now brought us to this seemingly treacherous point.

I studied Australian history at school. I studied American history at uni. I noticed many similarities in these two strands of study, ie, the craziness of Western colonisation into both of these foreign lands, the zealots, the drunks, the pioneering spiritors, and the systematic breakdown of the fabric of its indigenous peoples. I recall studying the 'trail of tears' as the American Indians were systematically led to wasteland reserves. In Australia, the white invaders remain guilty of the most sadistic felony, the genocide of the indigenous Tasmanian population. The lingering sadness you sense in that sweet beautiful island remains palpable.

And yet it appears to my understanding that indigenous, non-civilised cultures throughout the globe were in some way, corrupted like ours, although nowhere to the extent of our high-tech, high-con societies. The American Indians spoke of the 'Happy Hunting Ground', the Australian Aboriginies 'The Dreamtime'. Perhaps these myths are representative of actual, ancient times of purity, before superstition and ritual clouded the pure perception of Woman, Man, and the living Earth. Perhaps the lapse of purity in indigenous cultures throughout the planet is racial to all peoples, that the psyche of the earth "shifted" some 20,000 or so years ago, so that ritual and superstition began to make their way into the lives of indigenous peoples just as other cultures began to amass the civilising drive that has brought us to this point.

It is worth remembering that Aboriginal cultures, and American Indian cultures surely, are as vast and varied as the lands they surface on. Aboriginies throughout Australia were living totally different lives and depending on their locality, some were happier, enlightened, more gratified, more peaceful, than others of other parts and localities.

Neither peoples held concepts of speculation and property value. The Europeans enforced this practice onto their conquered lands much to the horror of the native peoples who lived primarily for the land in which they all lived and shared.

I read this article and feel an inner empowerment. Of course the concept of property, the State, hierarchy is bullshit, dead-weight. I'm not into any of it. I look into my mind's mirror and see a shining way of life that is real and true. To be man & woman of the Earth is to be one's own authority of being, life, love and God, and to demonstrate this in practical love and deep, cosmic reverence for the Earth and life on it. This, of course, is impossible to do in today's world....or it can be done but takes tremendous lift-off to pull through the gravitational sludge of the world and the turgid psychic energy now surrounding it.

And yet, I'm a man of the modern world too, albeit to a small-ish degree. Paradoxically I've been accused as being bossy and authoritarian which I don't think I am but have had occasion to be. Sometimes you have to live in this world and deal with it. If you have a job then these traits come through and often spill into the personal life.

....and I'm told I'm an angel by many people. This was said to me last night, on the phone. I'm glad to be an angel...

I enjoy the world. I enjoy the Earth in it more, such as the flowers, the birds, and the trees. And I'm certainly not adverse to chores, shopping and walking into department stores when need be.

My artistic pursuits are all that matter to me as far as "doing" anything in this worldly-world is concerned. Increasingly this includes handiwork and gardening. Jobbing I consider to be a joke, a comic absurdity, even though I actually do like my job and it's not the sort of post one can complain about. It's just that, I don't have any particular attachment for the "real" world of tax preparations, suit & tie, climbing the career ladder or obtaining a 'property' portfolio. But to live in this world and enjoy its cubist fruits, one must pay it its due. Work, and serve what you must, and make the most of it for yourself and others.

“everybody must give something back for something they get” – Bob Dylan

The knowledge of 'tribal' self, the essence of it, I taste quite clearly and openly. This is a good way to be.


The Knitting Songbird said...

Lovely post Ross, just beautiful.

And soooo agreed - this civilisation stuff is such bullshit. I'm just sad that I didn't discover it earlier - I've wasted so much time!

And for the record - I think you are an angel too :)

ross b said...

Shucks, thanks Mary!!

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