Is This You?

man_by steve cutts

Watch this video. It’s called MAN by Steve Cutts… (embedded below)

Is it you? Is it me? No need to answer, because it is both of us. It is anyone & everyone that is following a western culture; it is anyone & everyone that unconsciously uses resources; it is anyone & everyone that doesn’t value life.

The statistics become tiresome: by year X we won’t be able to sustain X, the average X uses an average of X… The numbers go on & on. They don’t sink in, they don’t mean anything. But what would mean something? What would make us say “Huh, that’s me. I need to take responsibility for that. For all of it, because I am part of it.” It’s so easy to point the finger. It’s so easy to say, “Well they do that, so I do this” or “I don’t do that, but they do this” or “It’s because of them, not because of me.”

Is it true that someone else is to blame? Are you sure? Should we examine your lifestyle carefully? Should we take a closer look? I can examine mine, & in about 2 seconds I can see problematic or irresponsible choices everywhere, absolutely everywhere. But what do I do about them? What do we do about them? What do we do with all of the selfish choices we have made & keep on making? I can speak for the both of us because I will be responsible for yours, just as you will be responsible for mine. We will both be responsible for everyone’s choices. Even the person living sustainably on very little, in the middle of the jungle, they too will eventually be responsible for what we are doing. Everyone will suffer in some way & need to deal with the consequences of our collective past choices.

The past choices are there. They have been made. But why do we blindly keep on making them? Maybe it’s not out of blindness, but out of complete denial & delusion. For a people that always seem to be limited on time; never enough time to do what needs to be done in a day, in a week, or even in a year. We are always in a rush, always racing against the clock.  Yet we somehow think we have a lifetime, or many lifetimes to resolve our habits & ill thinking. Recreating our culture & way of life has to begin with us, it has to begin today, it has to begin now. THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT DO THIS FOR YOU. No one will. You have to roll-up your sleeves & take a stand. Each one, on their own, individually, in whatever way suits them best. Then, as a collective, as a people, as humanity living on the planet — things will change & improve for all of life. (Since we have made it so difficult for other beings, especially animals & indigenous cultures, to not only live, but try their best to not be obliterated.)

steve-cuttsThis is a touchy subject for many people. Most people don’t want to give up their creature comforts: their indulgent sports, their insensitive fashions, their arrogant architecture, their merciless meals, their hoarded stuff, their automated lifestyle, their, their, their… They have too much at stake. Giving up these things that they have grown to love, grown to enjoy, grown to feel secure with, or grown to be addicted to — these things have given them a sense of self. (A grandiose sense of self.) They have based their whole identity on these inventions. Based their businesses or careers on them; based the way they socialize with others on them; based how they feel about themselves on them; based how they show love to their loved ones on them; based how they view their ethnicity or culture on them; based how they spend their time or day on them; based how they practice their religion or serve their god on them. It’s everything they know. Asking them to give up all that they know is terrifying. Fear of the unknown is what fear itself is based on. The average person avoids the unknown at all cost. It’s too stressful to even think about.

But we must. We must face our fears. We must face the unknown. We must try something new. We must give up what we know. We must let go of what we are attached to. If you don’t think we must, then just wait. Keep holding on to the past, to all that you know (or have been sold into), & see what happens. Everything takes their natural course: empires fall, people get ill, relationships end, cultures die, people perish. Everything that needs to happen will. It’s not a sad story. It’s just a story. There are millions upon millions of stories. Humankind itself is one big story.

So no worries. Whatever needs to happen will. You don’t have to do a thing. Not a single thing. Really. But if you do want to do something. If you would like to face your fear of the unknown. The fear of “what would I be like without this?” Just try. Try to let go (little by little) of the things in your life that are not compassionate. Look for kinder, less selfish ways to dress, eat, drink, read, socialize, watch, listen, bathe, work, play, sing, love, live.

If someone asked me “How do I start? What changes should I make?” The first thing I would say is to be honest with yourself, simply own up to your life. See how you are living, how you are an equal part of the problem (man on the planet causing problems for himself & other living beings). Really see it. Then see it like any other addiction. We are no different from the alcoholic or the person who is morbidly obese. We have a life threatening addiction that needs to be healed, because it is hurting ourselves & others. The things that we are addicted to, or completely dependent on, are only quick-fix remedies for a deep feeling of emptiness or inadequacy. So instead of blaming the the addiction (or the culture selling addictive things or an addictive lifestyle), let’s look at the hole. The hole inside ourselves that constantly needs to be filled. The hole that seems bottomless & insatiable. Look at yours, while I look at mine. Then let’s begin to repair from the inside out. Let’s stop relying on what is outside to fix the hole on the inside. Let’s stop using & abusing the planet (or others) to fill the hole.

the end of the world

Once we can be honest with ourselves, & fully embrace where we are today. We can then make the connection & see the bigger picture. We can get to know where our clothing is from & how it is made; we can see where our garbage goes & how much we produce; we can research how our company (that we own or work for) operates as a business & find out if it is ethical & good for all living beings; we can notice how we spend our time & if we are on a hamster wheel or if  we’re entertainment zombies; we can be honest with ourselves & look at our relationships with people & notice if they are loving & healthy ones. We just look all over our individual lives & see what is going on. Notice. See your life without justification. Then work to make the necessary changes. Without excuses, without saying “I’m doing better than that person” or “I’m doing better than last year.” Just do what needs to be done today. Right now. We can always do better. There is no limit.

Just like in love. There is no limit. We can always love more. Think of your new eco-friendly & healthy lifestyle as an adventure in love. See if you can love yourself & the planet just a little bit more each day. See each choice you make as a choice that reinforces your dedication to love. See every challenge as a lesson in love. Feel that a destination, reciprocation, or any merit at all is completely unnecessary. Just the act of loving is enough. Never forget that love is unconditional. Just as Nature has continued to provide & shine for us, we too should feel that compassion, sharing, & living fully in love, is our natural way of being. It is returning to the whole state we have been looking for all along. We now know that friends, money, things, beauty, talent, family, work, power, education — nothing outside of ourselves completes us or makes us whole. Nothing provides lasting happiness or peace for us. It is only through unconditional love. Through giving up a false sense of separateness that we finally attain what it means to ‘be peace’ or ‘be love’ or ‘be happy.’ It’s all we ever wanted. And as soon as we stop grasping, fighting or searching — & dare to let go & open our hands — we can surrender, & see that it is here. It’s been here all along. Waiting to be realized.

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Filed under art & film, tv & video, unlearning

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