The 3 Mules, Koyaanisqatsi, and Us : Life Out of Balance

life out of balance

Think about airplanes, trains and automobiles. Think about the need for a job, then being at that job 40+ hours a week. Think about being home, enclosed, private, away — often far away — from forests, oceans and deserts. The air is stale, movement is limited. Egos get out of control. We forget how fragile and vulnerable we are. Wild animals, harsh weather, powerful plants, mysterious stars, endless waters — remain foreign to us. Even walking long distances, something we are made to do, seems like a thing forgotten and lost. Where are we taking ourselves? With all of this boxed-in living and plastic dreams? We think our technology and creativity has made us powerful, and more secure. Yet we are more afraid of the real world with each approaching day. We no longer grow our own food, or fix our own equipment, or make our own medicines. We no longer sleep outside, or live in awe of our feral surroundings. We’ve built a thick, seemingly impenetrable layer between us and the cosmos. And we wonder why we remain unfulfilled and always hungry for more. Nothing is ever enough. Nothing is the answer. And life seems meaningless, and often cruel. This is the result of a massive disconnect. It’s the result of an imagination so vast, that we’ve dreamed up an entirely different reality for ourselves. Yet, the one we dreamed away, hoping to escape from, is still part of us. Still deeply attached to our being. It continues to pull us back, and gently wake us up. But our ability to see, feel and hear is dull. It’s dim at best. We aren’t as sensitive as we used to be. Gradually and slowly, we can regain this. We can re-wild ourselves. In increments, we can allow ourselves to be more exposed, more vulnerable, more open. We can make it a practice to get out in the rain, in the cold, in the wind, in the sun. We can watch animals in the oceans, forests and deserts, and be reminded of what we intuitively know. Each day can be a lesson of unlearning. Each day can make us wiser, if we are willing to give up our efforts to control everything. Life is not meant to be controlled, it’s meant to be lived. Just as stars have no agenda book, nor stress about their existence or path, neither should we. Are we not made of stars? We are literally made of their dust. Yet here we are. Trying to figure things out and get the world in order. It’s not our job. Our job is literally to Be. How many people do you know that can simply be? Unfortunately, I know not a single one. yet we are all human be-ings — living beings. My only reference for what it means to be is in nature; watching trees, stars, plants and wild animals. Other living beings, the ones that trust the Unknown, are the ones that show me how to live, and what it means to be alive.

This week I was reminded of the 3 Mules. Have you heard of them? I adore their story. There is currently a documentary being made about them. If you can support it, please do. It is currently looking for funding to finish its project. I’ll embed a short ‘work in progress’ of the film below for you. I will also embed in the post the full movie of Koyaanisqatsi. The title Koyaanisqatsi means “crazy life, life of moral corruption and turmoil, life out of balance, life disintegrating, a state of life that calls for another way of living” in the Hopi language. It’s a film that was ahead of it’s time, like I believe the 3 Mules are. I’m sharing the work of both today (as well as my rant in the paragraph above), in hopes of raising awareness. Giving us all (including myself, of course) a moment to re-focus, and re-prioritize. To realign ourselves with what matters most. And to let go of the constant need to control and monopolize. This includes our own lives. They aren’t ours. We live for the Whole, and the Whole lives in us.


“We just feel a presence around us that protects and guides us. We don’t feel alone at all. It’s more a collective sense of being.” –John “Mule” Sears

“The outside world is disappearing. Man is building an inside world, he’s locked himself up. Everywhere you go, it’s getting harder and harder to move around.” – John “Mule” Sears



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Filed under nature outdoors, rewilding, unlearning

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