Thursday, February 24, 2011

Daniel Pinchbeck on Survival

'...As Wangari Matthai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for starting a movement that has planted 45 million trees in Kenya, notes, "The word 'craving', so implicated in the physical exploitation of our environment, indicates psychological desperation and spiritual weakness. It illustrates a want that goes beyond simply filling one's belly or satisfying one's thirst." In order to survive, our species has to graduate from insatiable consumerist craving and choose self-limitation and self-sufficiency...'

(From an essay by the writer Daniel Pinchbeck, in Dazed and Confused, January 2011.)

I was having a conversation with a good friend on Sunday about emotional self-containment and survival. We were in awe of her boyfriend who is a hero of containment and well being... we were discussing how he manages to move through life with an inordinate capacity for maintaining his own inner peace despite what's going on around him. Needless to say, he lives with a mindfulness for the environment and a willingness to censor his desires for the preservation and aid of the natural life-force. Then I found this essay by Pinchbeck and I think it's a reminder to me that I need to strive for mindfulness despite what society dictates - that more is more is more and we all want more... I think I want a lot less in my life. I feel so much freer - emotionally and certainly creatively when I'm able to maintain my integrity on every level of my life; physically, emotionally, environmentally, psychologically etc etc. And I'm also far more able to adapt to altered circumstances when I'm not trying to stuff-up the holes in the well of my (imagined) emotional needs. My naturopath has been trying to convince me for years that reality is a myth to get us detached from our true selves, and I think I'm beginning to understand...

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