Having trouble maintaining my humanity

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plantguy90
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Having trouble maintaining my humanity

Went food shopping with the family today, and I couldn't help but observe everything a little bit differently.  It wasn't about my level of preparation; it was about just watching everyone else go on with their normal lives.  Like Chris said, our economic system is somewhat fragile.  The stores were stocked and people were shopping.  I kept wondering, whats it going to be like 6 months from now? A year, Two years...  Five years?  On the positive side I told myself China has been around for 5000 years, and there will always be shops, and people trading (money) for goods.  On the negative side I noticed how many people still live blind to the upheavals coming down the pipeline.  I find I am already hard, preparing for an uncertain future, the trust in future gone and now its affecting how I see ordinary people.  Everything I read depresses me.  My family consists of farmers who have had difficult lives, sharecroppers with vivid memories of being poor and hungry.  We're not now, and I how tough some of them are and I don't worry about them.  But when I read here about people embracing the agricultural lifestyle, I have to tell you, farming is not an easy life, especially on a small scale.  There is a reason most people in the modern world moved away from the farms to cities to "seek a better life." The richness and abundance of modern life cannot be easily discounted.  Big difference between being a "hobby" farmer and one that counts on a crop to sustain his/her family.  You have to be in a situation when you stress about nature and her power to appreciate that.  Chickens are fun to raise when the grocery store is still right around the corner or down the street, what if all that changed?  When they get sick, how would you feel if they were not so easily replaceable?  Sorry to be so glum, but the title of this thread is my question, how can I maintain my sense of humanity and optimism?     

 

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Amanda V
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Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

Hi Plant guy.

I relate to you totally.  I have looked around for a while as I go out to the arcades - wondering how they will look in future.  Not only how many people, but what will be being sold.  If the arcades exist at all.

Thank you for the reality check about farming.  I needed that, as we are about to buy a small holding and I need to know what I am in for! 

In the future, there is no insurance policies.   If your chickens get sick, they get sick.  I think that is where the value of community will come in.  Hopefully.  Hopefuly someone will tell you what they know about husbandry and give you a healthy chicken to get you started again - with a trade of course.

Don't appologise for being so glum.  The forum is full of it.  I don't see it as glum - just a reality check.  And I am interested in everyone's views of the future in order to prepare for my own, I think that is why a lot of us are here.

I think only you know how you can maintain your sense of humanity and optimism.  I know it feels really over bearing sometimes thinking about what we are preparing for. 

My suggestion is to prepare as much as possible which will hopefully give you some sense of control over your own situation.  There is a saying which goes "you can't help others till you help yourself".   Even the safety instructions in air planes tell parents to put their own oxygen on before their childrens'.  They cannot help their children if they cannot breathe.  I think the same goes here.  Make some preparations so you are in a position to help other people.

Then tell as many people who will listen about Chris Martenson.  Being as proactive as you can will hopefully also give you a sense of satisfaction from some action.  I have joined transition towns which I have found to be great.

I tried to kid myself it would all be OK too for optimisms sake.  I put a thread up "can permaculture and community really save us?"  short answer was no - although there was some differeing opinion.  It depends a lot where you are and how you prepare.  And of course what your knowledge skills are.

This probably hasn't helped you, but just so you know - I totally empathise with how you feel.  Many of us feel the same as you.

 

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Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

Hi plantguy90,

I agree with you about farming.  I live in a New England hilltown where oil and electricity didn't really begin to penetrate until the 20th century.  There is a strong collective memory of how tough life used to be.  On this site, many people's big plan for the future seems to be to go into subsistence farming.  Well, subsistence farming stinks.  While I will never say a word against the immense value of being prepared, the fact is that even before the first drop of oil was pumped, the lowest rung on the ladder was a subsistence farmer.  A craftsman, doctor, shoemaker, artisan or merchant had a much more desirable occupation.

How do you retain your sense of optimism?  Simply by remembering where happiness in life comes from.  It doesn't come from material things.  Wealth gives a nice sense of security, but it doesn't bring happiness.  In times of scarcity, families and communities even tend to get along better, since there is a greater sense of collective reliance.  Today, if a thief steals a few chickens, or even breaks into your house, that's a shame.  In a poorer place, the thief will incur the violent wrath of the whole community, because everybody knows how much a chicken is worth, and how hard they had to work to keep their own.  Studies of traditional Amish communities have repeatedly shown markedly decreased levels of depression in comparison to the general US population, especially among females.  

The main result of loss of wealth is increased opportunity for worry, I think.  Without the security of a modern lifestyle, there is opportunity to worry about all sorts of things: "Will I have enough food to eat, enough fuel for the winter?  What happens if it doesn't rain?" &c.  But worry has nothing to do with happiness or sadness.  Once a person learns to tame their propensity for worry, and learns to distinguish between the things that they can control, and accept those that they cannot, they can be just as happy as any other person.

After all, it is rather arrogant of us to think that we are the only happy people in the world, isn't it?  There are billions of people living in the most severe poverty all over the world, and there is no evidence that they are any less happy than the overfed Americans and Europeans.  In fact, the evidence points in the opposite direction.  We are already the unhappiest of them all, statistically.  So, it seems that wealth has nothing to do with the ability of people to be happy.

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Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

Plant Guy,

One thing that helped me as I became aware of these issues is understanding that the emotional stages I was moving through were a perfectly natural part of the grieving process.  Chris has written about this here in his Six Stages of Awareness article, which he adapted from the work of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.  Kubler-Ross worked with terminally ill patients, and she identified five common stages of awareness they all went through when they learned of their diagnosis.  They are: denial, anger, bargaining (wishful thinking), depression and acceptance.  Chris added "fear" between bargaining and depression.

The emotions you're experiencing are perfectly normal.  Using Kubler-Ross's framework, you're in the "depression" stage.  I would wager that everyone on this site has gone through that stage - often several times.  However, it does pass!  For me that point came when I fully accepted the reality of our situation and became actively involved (with friends and my community) in making the transition to a saner and more sustainable way of life.

Now, I have no idea what the future holds.  I'm not saying that my efforts and my community's efforts will be sufficient to meeting the challenges ahead.  In fact, I'm pretty sure they'll come up short.  But I am already reaping the benefits of a closer connection with my community, a sense of satisfaction from being part of the solution (however small that part is), and a greater sense of well-being from eating local food, bicycling for transportation, growing a garden, etc. 

 

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Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

jrf29 and Chris

Great answers.  Much more enlightened than mine.  Yes you are right about Elizabeth Kubler Ross, I hadn't thought of that.  But although it may explain the anxiety - it doesn't make the end result any less real.

Also what exactly is the definition of subsistence farming, as opposed to normal farming or small holdings ?   I am wondering whether the other trades you talked about eg shoe maker etc will still be considered better than farming in the future ?  If TSHTF, I think, atleast in the short term, growing food will be where it is at.  People can wear no shoes - so long as they have shelter food and water.  Medium term as we are working through the crisis, then perhaps those professions will be much more important.  But I think those close to the land, the land owners will come off well.  I just don't see times in the future like times of the past before oil.  

While we are on the topic, I think other important professions will be the black smith, the lady who sews things (isn't it funny that our society is moved to a point that I can't even remember what they are called ! , people who can do things with hide to make leather, doctors and vets (although not sure to what extent if medicine is expensive or limited),  teachers (although anyone could be a school teacher), horse trainers and breeders..... please feel free to add to list !

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Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

I apologize that this thread is distended and unclear and has a few subjects rolled up into it. 

The depression is starting in after I have already accepted the view of the future.  Long before I discovered this forum I thought I smelled a rat in the economy and made moves towards preparing myself and my family.  I only found this forum less than a month ago.  Most of the time I am rational thinking, usually accused of being a bit too cold in my calculations. So even after being "fairly" prepared for what may come, its not what I would consider part of CM's 6 stages as there was never any doubt for me that someting bad would hit the baby boomers, or that this country was broke, or that we were working on leaving the earth an empty stone.  Its nice to know others out there are preparing too.  And its one thing to realize and discuss academically about the "culling" of various peoples across the continents, and another to look them in the eye during day-to-day activities.  That is what saddened me today.  Maybe its guilt that I have somehow been blessed, while others will not be so fortunate..

As for farm life being grueling, I am a wholesale nurseryman.  I do not sit in an office all day, and I find myself lifting 1000's of plants a day a lot.  We do indoor foliage because the margins are better than in food crops.  My elders have a lot of experience in food crops, and its hard to convince them even now to go in that direction because they know how difficult it is.  I expect that will change in good time. 

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Damnthematrix
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Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

" I have to tell you, farming is not an easy life, especially on a small scale."

Farming is for people who don't know how to do Permaculture.  Permaculture is FUN!  Constantly looking out for ways to improve the design....  so that one day it mostly looks after itself.

Farming for money sucks.  When I look at how cheap food is (even now it's dearer) I can't understand how anyone makes a living from it.  But doing what I do allows me stacks of free time (like now!) and the variety of tasks available to me means I'm never bored.

To be sure, my chickens have never gotten sick, but I have lost quite a few to wildlife.  But hey...  they reproduce!  And don't put all your eggs in one basket Wink raise all kinds of birds...  they all do different jobs, and they taste different too!

Harvest time around here is more like browsing.....  I often eat straight off the plants when wondering around checking on the fruits of my  labor.

Why make life hard for yourself?

Mike 

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Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity
plantguy90 wrote:

Went food shopping with the family today, and I couldn't help but observe everything a little bit differently.  It wasn't about my level of preparation; it was about just watching everyone else go on with their normal lives.  Like Chris said, our economic system is somewhat fragile.  The stores were stocked and people were shopping.  I kept wondering, whats it going to be like 6 months from now? A year, Two years...  Five years?  On the positive side I told myself China has been around for 5000 years, and there will always be shops, and people trading (money) for goods.  On the negative side I noticed how many people still live blind to the upheavals coming down the pipeline.  I find I am already hard, preparing for an uncertain future, the trust in future gone and now its affecting how I see ordinary people.  Everything I read depresses me.  My family consists of farmers who have had difficult lives, sharecroppers with vivid memories of being poor and hungry.  We're not now, and I how tough some of them are and I don't worry about them.  But when I read here about people embracing the agricultural lifestyle, I have to tell you, farming is not an easy life, especially on a small scale.  There is a reason most people in the modern world moved away from the farms to cities to "seek a better life." The richness and abundance of modern life cannot be easily discounted.  Big difference between being a "hobby" farmer and one that counts on a crop to sustain his/her family.  You have to be in a situation when you stress about nature and her power to appreciate that.  Chickens are fun to raise when the grocery store is still right around the corner or down the street, what if all that changed?  When they get sick, how would you feel if they were not so easily replaceable?  Sorry to be so glum, but the title of this thread is my question, how can I maintain my sense of humanity and optimism?     

Maybe you shouldn't seek a justification for your optimism.  I mean, maybe that's just how life is.  Age-old tales, legends, and myths have revolved around this issue.  It's what makes, life, life.  This isn't the first time something like this happened (to civilization) nor will it be the last time.  During your lifetime, do you know how many people have died from the very things you're so worried about?  While you were growing up you probably had no idea that, then, and now, there were thousands and millions of people starving (I mean really starving) and dropping like flies everyday.  This is life!  Whatever you thought life was supposed to be is not what it is.  We can survive IF AND ONLY IF we (and the PTB) cooperate and make very intelligent decisions from here on forth.  We are not cooperating because we are not educated to cooperate in this manner.  WE ARE EDUCATED TO COMPETE.  Competition is cooperation's vice.  Sure, we may be doomed because we have ill-educated ourselves and our current future generation.  BUT, this is life.  We will make it; or we wont.  We will clean up our world or we wont.  We will educate better or we wont.  IT IS ALL UP TO US.  There is no one else.  We must make the best of our lives or we'll die as a civilization.  And believe me, the human species isn't the first, nor the last species, on this earth to go extinct. 

WE WILL OR WE WONT!  Most of the world hasn't woken up yet.  Maybe they never will.  But how can we blame them?  THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WAS ENGRAINED IN THEM FROM BIRTH----CONSUME! BUY! WATCH T.V.! CONSUME! BUY! WATCH T.V.! CONSUME! BUY! WATCH T.V.! CONSUME! BUY! WATCH T.V.!

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Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity
plantguy90 wrote:

But when I read here about people embracing the agricultural lifestyle, I have to tell you, farming is not an easy life, especially on a small scale.  There is a reason most people in the modern world moved away from the farms to cities to "seek a better life." The richness and abundance of modern life cannot be easily discounted.  Big difference between being a "hobby" farmer and one that counts on a crop to sustain his/her family.  You have to be in a situation when you stress about nature and her power to appreciate that.  Chickens are fun to raise when the grocery store is still right around the corner or down the street, what if all that changed?  When they get sick, how would you feel if they were not so easily replaceable?  Sorry to be so glum, but the title of this thread is my question, how can I maintain my sense of humanity and optimism?     

 

Hi plantguy90, I'm completely in agreement. 

I live in India where things are more like how Dmitry Orlov describes the fmr soviet union. Slow, inefficient, sluggish and you need 'friends' to get things done. Though things have 'changed' a bit since India's economy got globalised (and is moving to a US Mal-Wart culture from the beautiful local communities that used to thrive).

I work at Yahoo! and my wife works at Amazon. We're in India and maybe we can take comfort at this possible resilience due the the structure of life out here... but yet my entire family's income depends on the US. There are other friends of mine who have this magical belief that even if US dies there will be needs for software development and managing computers within india. Of course,these are nay-sayers about an eventual energy decline and I can only pity them for being so blindly confident in humanity.

I bought a small-patch of land (< 2 acres) just with the aim of getting some source of food for family's own needs if not an abundant source to bring to the market and earn 'capital'... and I'm in agreement with you for this very reason: Nature is way too powerful, there IS a reason why farming is not an easy job. Especially when you consider that oil allowed agriculture to run on steroids for a while.

I can also see how the water table is falling all around my patch of land. In 2003, there were a total of 2 bore-well pumps to irrigate. Water was available at 80ft... Now there are 120, thanks to govt incentives... and now water has sunken to 250 ft - in just 5 years! But people are happily running the system at full speed because with abundant energy, they can afford to produce through out the year... and yet, farmers commit suicides across india due to nature's ravages. My own crop was affected in December due to a never-before-seen-in-history super heavy rainfall. I got some yields but I made a loss.

However, there is one vital point to take heart about: I got _some food_. It is definitely enough to feed about 20 people and that should be okay for me to even barter out essential nutrition if a community of locals plan their stuff. If planned smartly (permaculture) I'm sure 2 acres is enough to feed 20 people.

Sure, its tough. But that's reality for you. The oil drug has worn off, it was a brief glimpse of heaven...

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Like Chris Martenson says, you can either feel depressed about it or feel exhilarated about some new opportunities. The choice is yours.

 

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Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

hey plant guy,

I know how you feel.  Best thing you can do is to farm even if it is just a hobby ((with heirloom seed)). Than you can ramp up quickly and farm for family if you need too. 

The point of humanity,  we need technology to get off this rock before the red sun comes ((we have a bit of time for that LOL)), but need to learn balance and to get more in tone with nature.  You are going through that transformation now.  In tone with nature but able to have technology.  Once you are comfortable with that than you will teach others in the best way possible:

"Teach a balanced life, and if you need to use words"

Thank you for this thread, it has helped me focus.

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Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

OK, I want to drop the whining about farming, it wasn't the point of this thread. 

I dunno about the rest of this board, but the loss of trust isn't just with the financial system, or my govt, its infected how I see everyone.  I sense correctly or incorrectly the edges fraying into people's everyday lives.  I find myself second guessing everyone.  Generally its the people I exchange goods and services for money with, both as a buyer and seller.  I keep wondering, is that person doing allright?  How will that person behave when and if that person becomes desparate?  Employees, contractors, customers, etc...

Sure I have tried to discuss the CC with others; 99% of the time I am ignored.  So I just say %$^& 'em?  Its that simple?

Wow, what a way to conduct yourself.  That stupid bubble wasn't so bad, when the funny money made everyone feel good.  Some replies seem to advise "Too bad, welcome to dog-eat-dog!"  That's what we have to look forward to?  Sure, I probably do fine, I'm built for it, but at the same time my yin flips to yang and at times feel a real sense of loss.       

 

 

 

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Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity
plantguy90 wrote:

I dunno about the rest of this board, but the loss of trust isn't just with the financial system, or my govt, its infected how I see everyone.  I sense correctly or incorrectly the edges fraying into people's everyday lives.  I find myself second guessing everyone.  Generally its the people I exchange goods and services for money with, both as a buyer and seller.  I keep wondering, is that person doing allright?  How will that person behave when and if that person becomes desparate?  Employees, contractors, customers, etc...

Yeah, I can completely relate to that thought because I used to think about it too. I've also heard stories from people where communal riots break-out. Now, that was just communal - we're talking about food and survival. I wonder how nasty things can get.

But then... I feel it is something we can only do so much about (ex: self-protection, security, surveillance, etc.,). Essentially, its a matter of survival and I'm not looking at this as a serious thing. It will be a tide to pass through, but I'm confident things will stabilise very soon into an evolutionarily stable strategy. Conflict is always expensive ... unless of course, resources are very scarce. I feel we will find clever ways of reclaiming everything. Like I said in another thread - think about how much metal is there above-ground - all those war machines that are just dead weight because we couldn't make them run on any other source of energy. IC engines are designed for one purpose - to burn a liquid fuel with specific characteristics - these will be a lot of metal to begin with.

Above all... We're social animals... and I'm hopeful that it will favour sharing of roles and resolving conflict using resources at hand will be the norm than fighting for everything. There is enough still on earth. Its not like we have nothing to start with.

 

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Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

Hi Plant,

I think a lot of people here are trying to find a connection with you to make you feel better and thats just the way we are. You're never going to feel quite the same again - you can't un-learn what you now know?

My writing style changes dependant on my frame of mind here, I can spot it from day to day as, I write here day to day. My patience with some people just runs either a riot-bludgeon-murder-kill, or harmony-altruism-care-consideration; take your pick of the spectrum, it's within us all.

Before I left England last September, I spent an endless amount of time trying to turn people on to what was happening. It amazed me how their eyes would glaze over. Dependent upon my own personal "Faze", I could happily go for the throat of the nearest idiot to hand when they gave their take on what they thought of what I was telling them. "Your f*cking life is going to change markedly, don't you f*cking get it!!!", was one memorable encounter I'd really like to forget. Those same people are only just recently telling me their personal fears and concerns of the coming financial meltdown, but are they asking me about CM.com? I spend a year or more covering heavily on topics such as global climate change, population and peak oil, roughly 8 hours a day accounts for an awful lot of hours; so much knowledge leak with all those hours of study yet, within 5 minutes of even one of my most careful and psychologically mirroring approaches to these vital subjects - in conversation, the subject matter is changed from the sublime to the fantastic, "Would you like a coffee with that donut...?"

 

...and we watch the crowds of happy shoppers dawdling within simplistic little easy-going worlds, bumbling aimlessly from one rootlless task to the next; in the bloody way of your arrow-straight and driven moves among the crowds with your mind peaking with "there's-only-so-much-time, gotta-get-things-done-before... "

Yep, ain't society grand? But it is that 'Can Do' optimism thats been driven along with oil, blinding the conscience from reality. I liked Richard Heinberg on his take in the book 'The Party's Over', where he stated that he could be sat for 10 hours straight (I do this!) at his computer where reality is unravelling page from page, then, he goes out and joins the human race with their take on reality. To me it feels a bit like :-

They Live

...totally unreal!!!

My thoughts are that 'Critical Thinking' has become something 'Someone Else' is supposed to do. What a sharp awakening for them this is going to be.

I remember sitting on a bench in a park with tears in my eyes watching children happily playing, with their 'Mothers Meeting' on another park bench accross from me, talking about the day to day trivialities of, "He-Said-She-Said-And-He-Did-Though-You-Know", and I almost at that moment wanted to walk over and straight out tell them everything in clear cut glass exactly what the true answer was. You would've liked that wouldn't you, to march over and begin a discussion like a raving looney in the park. What would the outcome have been? It would have become a brand new topic for them to disect; probably for simply weeks!! "Remember that crazy guy that told us that plastic is made from oil and how 48% of Britains food is imported on the back of depleating North Sea oil reserves and...", they still wouldn't make the connection; maybe 1 in a hundred as you say - takes a lot to draw out that much breath doesn't it?

Let me say it straight. In my thinking, you've a head start. Others will catch on sooner or later. As the housing bubble has popped and ever deflates, many of the people who are loosing there homes and jobs are as a collective. They lean on eachother and it reduces the burden. I think many will learn a great deal from you very soon, and your worth of knowledge will be a dominent factor in supporting the 'Newbies'. The responsibility of that will most likely throw a whole new set of feelings into the mix and, I hope the internet is still running when your next thread appears called, "F*ck, All These People Think I've Got All The Answers!!!

Truthfully, I don't think I'm even close to how you feel right now, most of the others have covered plenty of the bases here and this is just my personal take on things...

Good Luck Anyhow,

Paul

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Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

I see the future as different, not necessarily worse.  Yes the transition will be a challenge.  But change is inevitable anyway, economics aside.

I believe I have more trouble maintaining my "humanity" in our current system of shopping, overconsumption, and complication. I speculate this will not actually be a "normal" life when viewed in the grander time scale of human evolution.

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Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity
plantguy90 wrote:

Sure I have tried to discuss the CC with others; 99% of the time I am ignored.  So I just say %$^& 'em?  Its that simple?

That's definitely not my approach.  Patience, compassion and understanding for oursevles and those we are educating about these issues is paramount.  I can't emphasize that enough.  The truth is that most people are not even aware of 1% of what is discussed on this site.  Once informed, they will likely go straight into denial.  That is just human nature.  

The most important question is "what happens next?"  As a friend or family member or concerned citizen, you can certainly help them to move through the Six Stages of Awareness outlined by Chris.  You can provide information, emotional support and practical help when they are needed.  But ultimately, as I'm sure you're aware, the ball is in their court.  If they are intent on putting their head in the sand and continuing with "business as usual", there's very little you will be able to do IMO.

Since I have a limited amount of time and energy, I've decided to focus my efforts on those who are at least somewhat receptive to hearing about this stuff and open to change.  I trust that over time, as the number of people aware of the Three Es increases, it will begin to permeate the collective consciousness and all of a sudden even the most vehement skeptics and naysayers will start paying attention.

In fact, that's already started to happen.  I've noticed a huge shift in public awareness and receptivity in just the past six months.  Peak oil and the potential of an economic crash were fringe subjects a few years ago.  Nearly everyone is aware of them - and talking about them - now.  

So for now, perhaps you focus on that 1% who doesn't ignore you and have faith that the 99% will come along soon - either willingly or unwillingly.  Change is threatening for most people.  But humans are very adaptable and we're capable of it once we recognize its necessity.

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Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity
Vanityfox451 wrote:

Let me say it straight. In my thinking, you've a head start. Others will catch on sooner or later. As the housing bubble has popped and ever deflates, many of the people who are loosing there homes and jobs are as a collective. They lean on eachother and it reduces the burden. I think many will learn a great deal from you very soon, and your worth of knowledge will be a dominent factor in supporting the 'Newbies'. The responsibility of that will most likely throw a whole new set of feelings into the mix and, I hope the internet is still running when your next thread appears called, "F*ck, All These People Think I've Got All The Answers!!!

Truthfully, I don't think I'm even close to how you feel right now, most of the others have covered plenty of the bases here and this is just my personal take on things...

Good Luck Anyhow,

Paul

You are beginning the process of exiting the pro-State fallacies that you have been Skinner-boxed into from the cradle.  It is a very traumatic experience - I know...I am personally living it.  Your whole indoctrinated value system is being turned on its head.  Thanks to the Internet, members of The Remnant are no longer isolated and can congregate to share thought - as long as the Internet cannot be regulated (suppressed) by the State.

Sometimes I wonder if human beings were split into sub-species for whatever reason.  Those who can, those who can't, and those where it is sleeping.

I believe the greatest community killer is the State itself.  Most people think they have fulfilled their obligation to society by scratching a few marks on an income tax return and flipping it back to the State.  The State will take care of the poor.  The State will ensure they are fed.  As we have been conditioned to rely on the State to take care of others, we become increasingly spiritually isolated and distrusting of each other.  People can live side my side in an apartment building for 15 years, and never know their neighbour.  We buy an enormous amount of technological "bling" to entertain us without leaving the house.

Consider this.  Pretend for a moment there were no safety nets provided by the State (welfare, education, food stamps etc).  Let's also consider that there was very little to no taxation.  If you got to keep MORE of your money, would you be more inclined to help others or less?  If you got to keep more of your money, you would have a new surplus of time to spend as you see fit.  Would you more inclined to spend on charity, or less?  Would you be inclined to volunteer more time to your local community or less?  Yes, I am fully aware that some would NEVER help.  Yet charities still flourish.  I heard that in Canada, we have about 38,000 registered charities, even with State extortion (taxation) in place.  Such is the soul-killing logic of the State.

Zafra Davian's picture
Zafra Davian
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 5 2008
Posts: 9
Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

Some days, I am guilty of being the same person in the store you probably want to kill with a look. :-) It's just human nature,. When I first watched the presentation (all-at-once), I was absorbed for days. I couldn't think about anything else but how the sky was falling and how we needed to fundementally change how we lived and what we do *right now*. Nothing has changed. I still believe that we need to make changes. I have seeds to start growing and instructions for making a hydroponic growing unit. If I get to keep my house (I'm in the clutches of the self-employed who borrowed on their home w/ an ARM and now can't re-fi because I have no W-2) I want to get a rain barrel and setup composting bins.

I think as others have said, you keep your humanity by realizing that you are doing what you can, and so are others. Also, realize that there are those of us out there who are still moving through the stages and trying to work within the confines of what we are given to prepare. I'd love to say I have a solid home w/ a mortgage I can afford and a good job that allows me to dabble on the side learning a different trade. In reality, what I do have is a house I am underwater in, a family LLC that revolves around technology and somewhat 'luxury' consumer goods (home theater, etc), a Type-1 diabetic 3yo and on top of it all, I am just 'waking-up' after a very long depression, thanks to medication and therapy.

So, don't give the sheep in the stores too much grief. We're all dealing with this the best way we can to preserve our own sanity and humanity.  

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

Hi zafra,

I promise, I haven't given up talking to people, that is why I'm here, posting threads and writing on other threads. I write on other sites too, writing to people, opening avenues; lots of people from all walks of life from the bottom of the heap to the top of the pile; each and every one a story to tell of the lives they've lead, where they were in themselves when they found out and what forward steps or backward steps they are taking with their future.

I've been there, where you are now with friends and family. Before I left to go abroad I gave my car away to a friend and left some money with her and her husband to make ends meet and I'm only writing this now in a sense to alley the idea I've instilled in you that I do truly give a damn. A lot of frustrated people writing back to me, sharing the pain of trying to wake the family up from the social day-dream that they refuse to shatter even with reality staring them in the face. Friends with Type-1 diabetic husbands and daughters with autism complete with digestive issues that need carrying everywhere like cotton-wool while the house around them forecloses.

With all these people, the numbing and undefendable reality that there are people a house or two away with the means to help and support them but believe in the bitterest sense that 'The Government' can look after the problem so they don't have to get up close and involved - it's all a bloody trap isn't it?

It is the conditioning of a lifetime of gained independance where the individual can defend him/herself admirably when the world around them is in boom-time. They don't need for another because it is easy to support the lifestyle in as selfish a way as the imagination can muster up for its own fickle amusement. Lots of toys and a car with empty seats driving past a bus-stop in the rain filled with a line of soaked people that would have made the journey that much richer if they'd been offered to share the ride.

Hitch-hikers, I've been one and know the perrils of the waiting time for the next chance lift in a fearful society with too much wealth to protect to make the sacrifice. Believe me, it doesn't stop me from opening the door to a stranger and even going out of my way to help and I've never ever had a bad experience from it because I'm instantly empathising with why they are there and doing what they are doing.

I'm a people watcher and always have been from what family talked of my baby buggy rides. I advise many to take a day out of their lives and get on a train to a major city nearby without any money and just a bottle of water in your pocket. You have no food and your return journey must be 14 hours between the time you arrived and the time you leave. What ever you do, don't dress smart so as to 'Blend In'. Now watch and watch close...I've done this all over the world and my memories of Sydney Australia are haunting. Aborigines everywhere subsisting on very little with the white westerners not so much as giving them a glance; they are invisible to the human eye but not to a hungry visitor with only bottled water and a return ticket from where they came.

The places and sense of feeling I'm trying to project is where the social depression of a lifetime of being ignored is, with only dignity left to protect it. The very illness society has had bestowed, by Statism and for all it stands for. 

Get connected to as many people as you can, be honest with yourself about yourself and build a network of people around from now and from today. You simply must realise how much you're needed and how important you are.

Take Care,

Paul

Amanda V's picture
Amanda V
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 31 2008
Posts: 262
Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

Vanity Fox

You buggar !  I was catching up on all the posts I have missed - read your previous post - which was a great read BTW but got stuck at that blimmin Utube video.  Watched it and thought it looked interesting so ended up watching the whole rest of the movie for the next hour ! 

Great movie although I had allocated the time to do other things !  Now to continue catching up on the Chris Martenson posts .... !

But I do like the analogy between the movie and our present life.

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

Amanda,

it's a plot hatched and a dastardly plan of mine to detract you from reality!!!Cool

Whilst you're here, a while ago you told Mike(DamnThe Matrix) that you'd finally decided to get on down to your local video store and rent 'The Matrix'. I never did find out what you thought of it? To me it was surprising that a film making such a powerful metaphor for modern society (Battery power/taxes?) was viewed more as an action film. It proved something to me at the time that people didn't know they weren't free anymore - yeah, a bit deep...

I'll just have to keep provoking you with You Tube titbits in and around threads heyWink

Take Care,

Paul

Amanda V's picture
Amanda V
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 31 2008
Posts: 262
Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

Paul

I do actually enjoy the U tube postings despite the fact I don't get anything else done, so please do.

Of course I got out the Matrix.  I really really enjoyed it.  I enjoyed the concept in the film that you wake up and find that all you thought was real was just a dream with no reality, that we are a slave to.  Maybe that is part of the human condition that we all want freedom, but as humans we are unable to recognise when we are tightly bound in to a system.  Or maybe I am just getting too deep.

Trouble is, the movie is a trilogy and I had to go back and rent the final two movies.  So I got the end of the story but of course they were no where as good as the first movie.

 

On a different note, this morning we have been given 4 weeks to get out of our rental property.  So now I am in a rush to buy something, but have no idea where the best place is to locate to.  I know a lot of opinions are already all over the forums, but I need some more opinions !

If I plan for Madmax, I need to buy the place we looked at way out in the sticks by itself.  But my inclination is to buy a big bit of land with no house and just grow things - closer to society.  It is close to a town which has not got the socio -economic reputation that I am accustomed to.  So I am a bit worried about that in tough times. 

I am using the assumption that NZ will transition "relatively" smoothly over time with all its arable land around towns.

But then maybe I am underestimating the importance of buying a small suburban house within walking distance to electric trains and public transport.

I am feeling rushed in to deciding - ahhhhhh

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

Hi Amanda,

I think practical and level headed answers need throwing back at you then, rather than a film review? Though I agree that part 2 and 3 of The Matrix lost their way and sold out for the money...

I've lived and worked in New Zealand for about 2 years over the space of a decade and, speaking from experience, the last demographical place you want to be moving to is a place chock filled with 'Dole-Bludging-Hoons'. You need to be on your feet and along with your husband, talking to as many people as you can about their feelings of the place they live. Knocking on doors and asking questions is hard sometimes but, this is going to be a choice that is going to affect the rest of your life?

There are cracks that are going to appear in your choices much sooner than you can imagine that are going to affect your day to day relationship with your partner if you buy down to price and not upto standard. You can remain pre-occupied with areas based on your own pre-assumptions of where you've 'Come From', but 'This' is where you're headed and there's a difference to your needs.

I remember a story I was told once by an old lady I used to visit when I was a child - Along a dirt track up on a mountainous plain sat an old man resting his feet while sitting on a rock. By and by a man came by and asked, "tell me old man, what is the town ahead like?". The old man asked, "Well, what was the place you came from like?" "Aah", said the man, "the people were ever so friendly and went out of their way to help. Never a day went by without laughter". "Then", said the old man, "I believe this is also what you will find in the next town". The man thanked the old man and set on his way. By and by, another man came by the old man sitting on the rock whilst resting his feet and asked, "Old man, what is the next town ahead like?" The old man said, "What was the town you came from like?" "Well", said the man, "the people were mean-spirited and spiteful, treated me like a slave and worked me long hours. I couldn't find a single friend to share my sorrow with". The old man, sat there on the rock replied, "I'm sorry, but I am afraid you'll find much the same in the town ahead...". 

A British example of demographics are with these two sites I've linked below. Surely there is something similar in New Zealand? At the very least, the points made here in these sites must be useful in helping you build up your best choices. In all, when buying a house and land it is the heart and a feeling that make your choice; not this time though, you have to use your head. I think maybe your issue is that "You Know What You Don't Want But You Don't Know What You Do Want" :-

Acorn demographics

http://www.caci.co.uk/acorn/acornmap.asp

 Up My Street

http://www.upmystreet.com/local/my-neighbours/neighbourhood-profile/l/le2+9tu.html

My partner and I bought a farm in Hungary back in October last year. We had the added bonus of knowing many of the people here already, but there is an underlaying personality that eminates from people in this village that if you've not lived-breathed-ached-and died here for 20 years, you're only fit for avoiding conversation until such time has past, with deft use of crossing the street and stairing at their feet until they're away. Fortunately, Andrea's family are well respected here and I feel confident as long as I work hard and keep passive.

We're growing a variety of crop rather than chemical induced mono-crop which is the presently established ideal here, for which as you know, doesn't have much of a future and is three times the expense it was just four years ago here. We've raised some eyebrows but mainly we're getting positive comment when we explain ourselves. One thing is for certain, I'm keeping my knowledge of the issues of the Crash Course completely to myself. When the shit hits the fan, I'll be able to help, but I'm not going to trip myself up here early by becoming an outcast?

Most importantly, don't let your landlord make your next choices rushed!! He is affecting your ability to think straight and, in the long run could cost you your marriage and future happiness, plus a shit load of money thrown down a hole in the ground if you don't make clear decisions now. In other words, don't you dare go rush out and buy a plot inside a month from now and expect it to tick all of the very necessary boxes, because you'll be sacrificing way way too much. Everything from building up the soil to getting the house off-grid and liveable day-to-day takes 5 times as much in hours, work and money than you actually think it does. It'll end up something of a vivid nightmare, which leads me to these two clips that I'm sure will again make you search Google Video for the full film... 

Waking Life - Boat Car Guy

Waking Life - Dreamers

...tough choices. Please, give yourself at least another 4 months to find a place above and beyond your landlords time limit. If it comes to storing your things and bedding down with family for a while (even in a caravan like we did!!!), it'll work out cheaper in the long run, even if socially it'll appear a stigma and a blot on your copy book, the value from the experience is the very essence of the journey ahead.

Alluding to that 'Hole In The Ground' earlier (sorryWink)

...one thing is certain, its going to be a hard transition from suburban lifestyle to farm life and, the way I'd get a full-on view of that would be to go give your services to a farmer for free just to see what this life physically entails. The harvesting season will most surely be on its way in your country soon and the experience will uncover any doubts you may have.

A great alternative has to be a Transition Town, where the work, responsibility, cost, security and sanity are all shared. One man who is recognised globally can only be Rob Hopkins, in an excellent interview here  :-

...alternatively, my money is on a suburban dwelling like this one by the wonderful Jules Dervaes :-

...In my mind, it is all about perspective?

Over to you...

Take Care,

Paul

 

Amanda V's picture
Amanda V
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 31 2008
Posts: 262
Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

Paul

Thank you so so much for taking the trouble to go in to such detail with your detailed response to my situation.  I am going to re read and re read it and work through all the videos too.  Thanks again it is very kind of you to take that time and effort.

plantguy90's picture
plantguy90
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 27 2009
Posts: 271
Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

Amanda, If you are looking for land, the most important thing to research is the availability of water.

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

Amanda,

you're welcome.

If there is anything from what I've written that needs clarification, don't hesitate in posting here...

Best Of Luck With Your Choices,

Paul

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Re: Having trouble maintaining my humanity

Plantguy,

I wrote and you never responded?

I am more than interested in getting to the marrow of what you're trying to figure out with your future and hope you'll maybe add more to this thread...

Take Care,

Paul

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