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Blog item: Urbanitemares

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4 comments, last: Feb-9-2010   Add a comment   Author:  chefurka (Jan-14-2010)
Categories: Philosophical & Quality of Life, Sustainable Living, Wildlife and Nature

Nightmares of the comfortableI'm waking up in the middle of the night a lot more these days.  Like so many others, my slumber is being disturbed by dark dreams suffused with a sense of suffocation.  My sleep-stopped ears ring with the lamentations of a million no-longer-existent species,  my heart is chilled with portents and signs.  Even when I awaken the feeling of stifling closeness does not abate.  Instead it is amplified by the somnolent snuffling of my numberless neighbours, all cleverly crammed into this small, safe space.

I have had to accept (reluctantly, oh so reluctantly) the evidence of my senses and my reason: no matter how safe and warm it feels in here, we are trapped.  Trapped by these living arrangements we have so cleverly yet witlessly designed for ourselves.

Oh, our velvet-lined trap seemed so seductively attractive when we had our expanding energetic future still in front of us. Now we are all safely inside here with the one-way door tightly closed against the cold drafts of the outside world. In here we're all comfy, warm and mobile, nourished through this little hose that snakes in through that closed door bringing us our daily ration of food, heat, fuel and entertainment.

We dimly remember how cold and hard it was on the outside before the velvet lining and the little hose, and so we are happy to pay the price for the easy comfort that pours out whenever we turn the little tap on the end of it.  Lately though, we've been noticing the price of that comfort has been going up, and even though we always pay there's not always as much liquid comfort coming out as there used to be.

Some of us in here are starting to have uncomfortable memories of a time without velvet linings or little hoses, and are getting a bit anxious. Some of us have even tried pushing the door open to venture outside, but we discovered that it seems to be stuck. The few who have squeezed outside have reported back that it's actually colder and harder out there than we remember.  We can't leave, we have to stay in here, and we just want it to be warm and safe forever.  Is that too much to ask?

There are so many of us in here now! Some of us are starting to have nightmares about the little hose drying up, and are starting to feel angry at all the crowding others who insist on sucking the faltering bounty from its tap. We notice that even when we try to use a little less, they just seem to use a little more. If we even suggest that they might use a little less they get so hostile and abusive!

It's getting scary in here. I want my mommy.

Related reading:
  From Farm To Fork (Feb-1-2014)
  "If your experience is that your food comes from ..." (Jul-19-2011)
  The Shrinking Pie: Post-Growth Geopolitics (Jul-7-2011)
  Enough! (Nov-3-2010)
  Another Week On The Trek Toward A Drastically Ch... (Apr-6-2010)
  Monsanto Hopes Justice Thomas Will Be Its Sugar ... (Mar-29-2010)
  The Peak Oil We Need: Peak Palm Oil (Mar-18-2010)
  If Nothing Else, Save Farming (Nov-24-2009)
  How Much Pesticide Is Too Much? (Nov-23-2009)
  What Makes Europe Greener than the U.S.? (Oct-2-2009)

Click one tag to see readings related specifically to that tag; click "Tags" to see all related readings
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Comment by: auntiegrav (auntiegrav) (Feb-9-2010)   
Paul, you might like this blog, also:
Comment by:  PT (David Alexander) (Jan-22-2010)   Web site

Yep, the choice is often to be unconscious rather than look a painful reality right in the face. Nicely written article... and Laura, maybe you will help tip the balance in a good direction.
Comment by: lauraoak (Laura Oak) (Jan-20-2010)   

I really appreciate this piece of writing. I believe that the disconnectedness from our planet leads to a sense of indifference when it comes to making the right decisions to take care of it. I want to become an ecologist as well, and this post is a very effective piece of inspiration.
Comment by:  Wavehunter (William Coffin) (Jan-18-2010)   Web site

Wonderful, evocative post. Thank you.

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About author/contributor Member: chefurka (Bodhisantra (Paul) Chefurka) chefurka (Bodhisantra (Paul) Chefurka)
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Member: chefurka (Bodhisantra (Paul) Chefurka) I am a Canadian ecologist with a passionate interest in outside the box responses to the converging crisis of industrial civilization.

The crisis of civilization is not simply a convergence of technical, environmental and organizational problems.  These are symptoms that are themselves being driven by a philosophical and perceptual disconnection so deep that it is best understood as a spiritual breakdown.  The disconnection goes by the name of Separation.

Our sense of separation is what allows us to see ourselves as different from and superior to the rest of the apparently non-rational universe we live in.  In this worldview the complex mutual interdependence of all the elements of the universe is replaced by a simple dualistic categorization:  there are human beings, and everything else in the universe—without exception—is a resource for us to use.

The only way to keep this planet, our one and only home in the universe, from being ultimately ravaged and devastated is to change our worldview and heal our sense of separateness.  Unless we can manage that breathtaking feat all the careful application of technology, all the well-intentioned regulations, all the unbridled cleverness of which we are so proud will do little to delay the final outcome, and nothing whatever to prevent it.

My desire is to find ways to heal that sense of separation, with the goal of helping us prepare for ecological adulthood.

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