Stay away, don’t you invade my home

“Who can it be knocking at my door? Go ‘way, don’t come ’round here no more. Can’t you see that it’s late at night? I’m very tired, and I’m not feeling right. All I wish is to be alone; Stay away, don’t you invade my home. Best off if you hang outside. Don’t come in — I’ll only run and hide. Who can it be now? Who can it be now? Who can it be now? Who can it be now?” — Men At Work

– —

Whoah! Something odd is happening here. I just allowed myself to freefall into the abyss here. The question is: what was I thinking? I was thinking about the maximum fear factor: the psychological pit in which only bad things can happen; I was thinking about some issues of the human spirit, and I was thinking “fuck this! I’ve got to say some things about the Revelations of John, the economic, the ecological, and the spiritual twists and turns around here.”

It just doesn’t get any worse. I hate to say it, but the spiritual and religious dimensions inherent in the general topic of human driven environmental destruction, are secrets that are best not kept. My reason for saying so is as simple as it is obvious: religious, spiritual and strictly human tendencies to allow problems of the environment to become major metaphysical issues, can only work as an obstacle around here, on the third planet of the solar system, as counted outward from the starting point of the sun. I am stressing the importance of being reasonable here, even as the situation is about to be discovered as “a problem of biblical proportions.” —

I know, very well, that this may come as a tall order, but I don’t believe there is any way around it. We need to check the interior of the human and the natural spirit, and do so with a sense of purpose, simply in order to eradicate some serious obstacles which are standing between where we are right now, and the place in which so many of us dream that we will be standing when the window of opportunity is closed, which would be, I guess, on a much higher ground: I’m thinking about a ground on which the plight of the ecosystems take preference over the might of the economic systems, as is the situation today.

Let me return to the discussion that all of a sudden arose on “Growth is Madness!” — Here are the things I said, as concerns “the biblical proportions” mentioned above:

— 1

This is just a little embarrassing, of course. But I feel — and I know that many other environment bloggers must feel like I do — like something out of the Book of Ezechiel of the Old Testament of the Bible. As we are relentlessly preaching words of Earthly Wisdom — long sermons of impending disaster that should be possible to avert, but only in-as-much as the world population would decide to take steps in the right direction, move on after more than a century of industrialization and seek to reconnect to the demands of the ecosystems, after decades and centuries of artificial cultural and social disconnectedness from the vital life support systems of the planet. — And yet noone, or so it seems, are ready to take us seriously.

“And they to whom I send thee are children of a hard face, and of an obstinate heart: and thou shalt say to them: Thus saith the Lord God: If so be they at least will hear, and if so be they will forbear, for they are a provoking house: and they shall know that there hath been a prophet in the midst of them.” (Book of Ezechiel: Chapter 2, verses 4 – 5)

Now, what scares me the most these days, is my strong feeling that even the most steadfast of all environmentalists among us are starting to show signs of no longer believing that a change for the better can be achieved. I have this strong feeling that we are simply losing it, and that the winning philosophy is that of money consciousness. It is a shame, of course. But we might even reach the conclusion that strict money consciousness and brutal growth madness is indeed modern human nature; nothing more and nothing less. And that, as a matter of fact, it is making it impossible to get the message and the philosophy of wholesale change across to the general public.

— 2

Hm. Let’s not mince words here. I have read the strangest things in Norwegian newspapers over the past couple of years. I’ve discovered that some of our distinguished journalists have grown very keen on writing in numbers. Now, I don’t know about foreign newspapers, but the rather big and influential Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet spent the last few months of 2007 doing one Hell (!) of a job of preparing people for some kind of an end which ought to be called a beginning (you are all all aware of this epithet, I guess?), and that the number 18 had a lot to do with this. Now, the Book of Revelations’ Chapter 18 is all about the break down of economic systems. I know that most people tend to think in terms like these, and so do I. I remember too well how I, in my atheist youth used to sit together with friends and read that last book of the Bible, most of the time ridiculing the whole thing, but always being brought to some kind of capitalist world culture breaking point where the Revelations reaches it’s poetic peak:

“The merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise any more; merchandise of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple, silk, scarlet, all expensive wood, every vessel of ivory, every vessel made of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble; and cinnamon, incense, perfume, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, sheep, horses, chariots, bodies, and people’s souls.

The fruits which your soul lusted after have been lost to you, and all things that were dainty and sumptuous have perished from you, and you will find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, who were made rich by her, will stand far away for the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning; saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was dressed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls!

For in an hour such great riches are made desolate.’ Every shipmaster, and everyone who sails anywhere, and mariners, and as many as gain their living by sea, stood far away, and cried out as they looked at the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like the great city?’”

(Revelations, Chapter 18, verses 11 – 18)

– —

Now, I will put it to you in a manner as straight-minded as I can possibly make it. I say those of us who are old enough to take an interest in the history of world philosophy, must surely have read the Revelations of John. And those of us who are head over heals into the destruction and possible restructuring of the world today, as it lies ravaged and raped before us, must surely be familiar with the apocalyptic scriptures of the Bible, and also other religions, traditions, and culturally based cosmologies from around the globe. Anyone who says that (s)he has not even lent the idea a thought does so, I believe and shall suggest, because of personal and communal fear of repercussions.

I put it to you now, that the idea of slowing down on general consumption is a very good one, even if it is noted in the Revelations of John and, for no other reason than just that, can be understood as an endtime sign, and therefore something that people should disregard. As a matter of fact (oh, how I wish there were other ways of putting this straight), the simple fact that a solid reduction of general consumption is highlighted by John the Baptist (?) in the last book of the Bible, does not make it unwise! To the contrary: I will put to you that “the poison”, which is the Revelations of the Bible, can actually and equally come to be “the remedy” for all of our problems. And I will tell you that I do not give a toss about the woes of the political and financial elites, as this miniscule strata of the world population starts to really feel heat here, as more and more people from all over the planet gradually start to question and correct the consumerist societies of our time. And I truly believe that such a move would be a good option here, as we are going to have to start cleaning up the mess of generations, and embark on lifestyles that are conducive to a planet (Mother Nature; the ecosystems; the life-support systems of this world) faced with rather urgent atmospheric and material stress symptoms.

Ahem. Well, anyway. — 8)

— 3

I’m a social anthropologist by education, and I have always been keen on understanding the differences and similarities of all the cultural and social fields of this world; be it subcultures and minstream cultures, and be it different ethnic groups from around the world. But then, I must also say that I’m a sustainability philosopher of some sort, and as such, well, what can I say? — I say we’re human beings first and foremost, and that as such — human beings — we are mammals, creatures of nature, belonging to nature, as part and parcel of it. Just like lamas, tigers, elephants and gorillas are creatures of nature belonging to it and depending on it. But when it comes to man (humanity, the human race) it is actually makes much more sense to describe our said belonging to nature in the way of pointing at domesticized animals like cows, sheep, pigs, dogs, and horses: animal species that would not have been around in such a big number if it wasn’t for humanity and human agricultural practices.

It would be wrong to assert that human beings are nothing more than mere apes. We are social creatures too. And creatures of culture and also of spirit. This is the reason why taboos exist.

Now, I mentioned the Revelations and also the Book of Ezechiel, but I am not going to forget about all those other cultures and cosmologies that are around, and be so good to mention that “the end theme” is evident in almost all human cosmologies, including animist or naturalist religions / cosmologies.

Let me also point out that in times like these, when all that is human nature and all that is the nature of nature itself, so to speak, is brought to the table as relevant to the discussion of what we are going through, all of us, whether we like to admit it or not, and whether we are foreseeing a future for humanity in outer space (like Stephen Hawking so often has said) or we are doing the opposite and thereby find ourselves invariably landed in the Lovelock / Gaia tradition. — Well, in times like these, the human (animal) spirit will quite naturally be exposed in people all over the place. It’s a stress function. And yes: it can even be a sign both of warning and of real danger.

– “I think the human race doesn’t have a future if it doesn’t go into space,” [Stephen Hawking] told the BBC News website.

And I believe Stephen Hawking should have a good time reading NASA medical reports on the unpromising way the human body responds to long periods of wieghtlessness. The simple fact is: it doesn’t.

“Unfortunately, without the pull of gravity it is very difficult, if not impossible, to duplicate loads routinely experienced by our muscles and bones on Earth. The regimen of exercise that astronauts perform in space has shown some promise as a countermeasure, but not enough to protect long-voyaging astronauts from injury or bone fracture when they are re-exposed to gravity — either here on Earth or on some other planet.”

— 4

Thinking things through here. I think it might be fair to say that, under certain circumstances, all sorts of supersticions are quite natural facets of human life, both on cultural, social, and indeed individual levels. And hey: I know, far too well, how scary these things are. Again: I suggest that what we’re actually dealing with here, in terms of sustainability philosophy (or what I might call it), is FEAR. And sure enough: when things are reaching “biblical proportions” we have surely reached the maximum fear factor. Now, I have mentioned this before: not only are we cursed with religion; we are also cursed with old prophesies. Like the 2012 frenzy, and the end of the Maya calendar, for example. There is also a lot of whispering going on about the Illuminati, the New World Order, et. al. My greatest fear is that all this spirituality is going to be the perfect obstacles lying between the realization that “we got to do something about humanity’s relation to the ecosystems of the planet,” and the actual fact of doing something about it. I mean: spirituality can make us all petrified with fear, to the point when all climate change action might be seen as a total waste of time. I only hope you can catch my drift here, as these are very difficult topics to think and write about.

– — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – —

Now, of course, I’d BETTER GET A LAWYER. Let me take a moment to think about that, okay? I’ll be back shortly: like a real poet.


One Response to “Stay away, don’t you invade my home”

  1. Better get a lawyer « Mulig Says:

    […] anything is possible when everything’s uncertain « Stay away, don’t you invade my home Albert Bandura: Dissecting group psychological and socio-moral mechanisms […]

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