Note for a Post-Lockdown Self
Humans, in the core of their DNA, are hunt and gatherers. Only after watching the documentary Happy People: A year in the Taiga, I realised how far away, humans have come, from their natural state of being. I’m not sure if one can call it evolution just because humans can operate the internet and heavy machinery because some do and others drink bleach when told. So if it is in fact an evolutionary trade it certainly isn’t a collective one. Learning and adapting are, I guess, flags that signify evolution but the reality of the existence of the reptilian brain shows that we are still hunt and gatherers in our core. The fact that the fight or flight part of our brain is being triggered by modern day living but there is no danger to fight or flight from and henceforth that adrenaline, with no place to go, turns into anxiety and the modern world suffers from a bunch of different anxiety disorders is probably the number one signifier that shows that we have created a world we are incapable to live and to function naturally in.
At what moment in the history of time did a human being needed 30 different types of coffee, 6 types of brew and 3 types of roast to survive? (These numbers are variables, I just assumed constants from a basic google search) That’s 540 combinations and I’m not even considering the s*** Starbucks comes up with every other week. FIVE-HUNDRED and FORTY! In what moment in time did we need coffee, to begin with, to be able to get up in the morning and function? If you are one of those people who jokingly posts about coffee is life and are literally unable to function without a cup or three of coffee in the morning I'd like to kindly ask you to take a pause and reflect a bit. I’m using coffee as an example here because it is a worldwide phenomenon. Even the most remote places in the world have coffee. I understand coffee to be a cultural and ritualistic thing and I respect that but waking up on edge, able to communicate only like an animal caught in a bear trap, I find that over the top and ridiculous. What kind of living requires for us to be so damn alert and high functioning to earn our living through a job that is basically a poking machine for our fight or flight system? What did you think anxiety was? Stress is a different thing lets not mix those too up. Anxiety is an signal from your body that tells you to GET THE FUCK OUT of a job, of a relationship, of a situation that doesn’t necessarily have a mountain lion in its background.
Taking it a step further with supermarkets. When did humans come to the point when it was considered normal to have 35 types of tomato sauce to choose from? Is this seriously the normal world we live in? Take a moment and think about this the next time you are starring baffled at the tomato sauce aisle. Is this normality? I took the time to process this and now it feels like complete and utter insanity and I’m a person that has spend hours and hours in a kitchen or two. I understand our need as an “evolved” species to want to take our time and cook nice dinners, because again that is a social and cultural thing, but do we really need imported ingredients from 7 corners of the planet to do so?
We wake up every single day and we have to choose from the type of roasted coffee and brew we want to get our machine running, to the pseudo-intellectual lunch we are going to order during break at work down to the clothes, shoes and underwear we “have to” choose from to impress. If we need to put so much effort to impress then we are probably not worth meeting in the first place. Did you know that fashion industry doesn’t have four seasons when it comes to clothing? As I have come to learn from the documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, it has 52 seasons, one for each week of the year. Why do you think some people go shopping every week and not 4 times a year? When in the name of the good Lord if he/she exists, did humans need 52 bloody fashion seasons? And that is just casually past as normal. Fifty-two seasons in fashion is what normality is nowadays. FIFTY-TWO! Side note: I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist.
These are things that have taken the time, during this lockdown, to stew for hours and hours in my head and I have come to the conclusion that no normal, new or old should ever be called normal. Just because the vast portion of the population of this planet “functions” accordingly does not mean we live in a normal world. Why do humans need to have a gazillion options in literally all aspects of life right down to the type of salt we use? Setting the number one factor, that is the capitalist induced consumerism aside, as individuals do these options and choices make us feel special? More evolved than the peasant, banana eating ape? More special and more blessed than any other creature that any God has ever created? I saw a meme the other day. It pictured an axe whose handle was made of steal and whose head was made of wood and the caption read: Just because you are unique doesn’t mean you are useful. We have come to be that axe. We think so highly of our existence and so privileged because of everything we have created, and by we I mean a handful of highly intelligent people, that we have lost track of what being a human really means and truly entails.
If you’ve ever thought for a single moment in time that people from tribes in Africa or the Amazon, the people that live in the Taiga of the Siberian desert, people who decided to live off the grid or in small self sustaining communities, ever take the time to ponder what the meaning of life is, well the answer to your question is pretty obvious.
Have we become, through time, so incapable of creating magnificence through simplicity?