Nature Keeps Us Sheltered from Society’s Storm


I admire the people who are able to completely detach from society.

The nomadic tribes were born into this detachment. And from watching Youtube videos they seem so in tune with nature. They would struggle immensely had they tried to integrate into modern society, just as we would in their world.

People living off the grid are hard to come by. Most people find them obscure, quirky, and a thing of the past. However, I’d argue they are more in tune with nature than any of us.

Why is this the case?

What is the spell that modern society casts on us to widen the disconnect most humans feel towards nature?

And,

How can the layman return to nature to keep him sheltered from society’s storm?

Societies Spell is a Product of the Thinking Mind

Compared to our ancestors, we have it easy.

We can thank our thinking mind and science for that. In the last 100 years, the population has grown like never before. We are living in an era of abundance.

A few lever-moving innovations can be credited for this population boom:

  • Modern Medicine
  • Modern Agriculture
  • The Automobile

The list of innovations bestowed on us through science is never-ending. All have contributed to the ease of modern living.

These innovations arose through our thinking minds. Now, with survival taken care of, our thinking minds are bored. To quell the boredom, we like to invent problems to argue about.

Inventions like putting pineapple on pizza or whether or not the Earth is flat are not to be taken seriously. 

But there are other debates going on that people invented and take way too seriously. These centre around group identity: Republican vs. Democrat, LGBTQ vs. Straight, Liberal vs. Conservative. While these debates have greater societal implications than pineapple on pizza, I believe these ideologies merely serve as a distraction. 

At least for political matters, statistics show that America is increasingly more polarized than in the past. 

Ideologies are founded on human ideas. When taken to the extreme these ideas take us further from our nature. 

Science is the study of the natural world (i.e. nature). In the pursuit of this truth, the problems that science solves are problems that actually exist in nature. Anything else is a human invention, a product of what sociologists Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann call social constructs.

Here are some examples of social constructs: race, gender, nationality, childhood, madness, age, intelligence, and beauty.

These topics fuel modern society’s storm — the endless tune of debate on topics that lead nowhere, instilling fear and confusing the populace as they wreak havoc. The reason is that our thinking minds will inevitably go off on tangents to spark more debate and argument, leading to more problems.

That’s not to say that these social constructs are not true. They are and do affect many people. I’m just saying that they did not exist in the minds of our ancestors — the people who are too busy with surviving to care.

Survival and being in tune with nature are the same.

Exhaust nature’s resources and we die.

Therefore, surviving with nature is about being and not thinking.

“Being” Shelters You From Society’s Storm

So how can the layman return to his nature but still be enmeshed with society?

I say the layman because most of us cannot completely disconnect from society. This is because our survival and society are intimately entwined. However, it is possible to loosen society’s grip on our minds.

The solution lies in cultivating a state of being throughout the busy day.

Most in the 9 to 5 world cannot cultivate this state during those hours. That is why it is important to prioritize being when not at work.

And you do not have to be in nature to do this.

A morning walk in a suburban neighbourhood does the trick for me, along with a nightcap consisting of a book and tea.

The key is to immerse yourself so intensely in your surroundings. Being in extraordinary nature does this automatically. Maintaining a sense of being while in the boxed-house suburbs is a learned skill.

Learning to meditate is how you learn this skill. The layman returns to his nature by going “head-empty” while integrated into society’s storm.

Craving the World Vs. Being in the World

Our modern world is rich with pleasures.

People fall into two camps: one of craving these pleasures vs. one of being unfazed about attaining pleasure or not. The craver is externally motivated. The being is internally motivated.

What’s the difference between external and intrinsic motivation?

It lies in what gets you up in the morning.

Is it a thirst for power, wealth, fame, or lust? If you chase and derive happiness from these, then you are externally motivated. These aspects of human nature are necessary for survival. However, not when chased incessantly and taken to the extreme.

The opposite is acknowledging these instincts but remaining detached regardless of whether these basic instincts are met or not. This is freedom. Intrinsic motivation does not change at the whim of what you achieve in life. It is the alignment of ingrained values with an external goal. These values, when cultivated properly, are as unmoving as a deep-rooted tree.

B-Perception vs. D-Perception

Abraham Maslow, famous for his hierarchy of needs, had a theory.

It states that we can perceive objects (anything/anyone other than you) with two different lenses.

  1. B-perception— “Being” perception: Viewing objects/people with no expectation of how it can better your survival.
  2. D-perception— “Deficiency” perception. Viewing objects/people and how they can meet some deficiency in your life.

B-perception is tied to intrinsic motivation. D-perception centres around extrinsic motivation.

The more you cultivate B-perception, the more you just “be” in the world.

D-perception is the ego chasing the pleasures of this world to be happy.

“For everything in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — comes not from the Father but from the world.” — 1 John 2:16 (NIV)

Don’t let the allure of the world fuel you. It may be nice for a while, but that fuel is sure to run dry.

#sparkperception


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