In a new article on the Alternet website, “Why Are We All Ignoring Our Loneliness? We need to acknowledge our mutual human suffering,” author Salvatore Folisi writes about modern life and the cumulative effects of loneliness on just about everyone. Take a look at this short excerpt:
These days, when we pass a person on the street we usually don‘t say hello or even look them in the eye. In the city, we live in a world of strangers, the vast majority of whom we have very little to no personal relationship with whatsoever. Occasionally we may get into brief, interesting exchanges with the person behind the counter at the café or the grocery store, but these exchanges are predicated upon our purchase of something the shop is selling.
This makes me wonder if such conversation is merely a byproduct of the capitalist machine in motion, a human byproduct of commerce whereby the exchange of cash sparks the expressive faculties while also providing an adequate social lubricant. While it is, of course, natural for human beings to talk and communicate with one another, unless we have a good excuse or reason to do so we seem to maintain our typical everyday stranger status with the entire general public surrounding us.
The article sparked some interesting comments from readers and while some of the comments make good points, others seem like pessimistic realists who do not realize how capitalism, even if better regulated, creates alienation from self, community, and nature.
From the neighborhood block club, to the precinct, to the township, to the county, to the state, and ultimately to a democratic, world federal government that creates radical egalitarianism in which no one in the world earns wages that are more than 3 times the wages of the lowest paid worker.
Unlike your typical collectivist who merely wants more money spent on public education with smaller classrooms – I, a retired teacher, would like to see the neighbors who live in the boundaries of each elementary, middle, and high school to create their own educational philosophy and curriculum using government money. I am tired of the top-down, hierarchical control from school superintendents and principals.
The above described policies will force neighbors and citizens to get to know one another as they work toward common (even tribal) dreams, while maintaining a global and ecological focus. At my website www.NowSaveTheWorld.com, I describe these ideas more in a few political essays.
Consciousness, Drugs and America’s Laws as Related to Capitalism and the Self
As thought provoking as the TED 19 minute webinars have always been, I have always thought they were less fully accepting of alternative world views. Recently, Graham Hancock’s TEDx Whitechapel presentation was censored by the TED leadership and removed from the TED youtube page. Later, it was reinstated, when the leaders realized that their reasons for censoring it were unfounded.
Graham Hancock (born 2 August 1950 in Edinburgh, Scotland) is a British writer and journalist. Hancock specializes in unconventional theories involving ancient civilizations, stone monuments or megaliths, altered states of consciousness, ancient myths and astronomical/astrological data from the past. ” alt=”Graham Hancock (born 2 August 1950 in Edinburgh, Scotland) is a British writer and journalist. Hancock specializes in unconventional theories involving ancient civilizations, stone monuments or megaliths, altered states of consciousness, ancient myths and astronomical/astrological data from the past.
Consciousness is the greatest mystery of science, but hard, conventional scientists believe nothing survives after the brain and heart stop functioning. But the ancient Egyptians believed the Soul survives death. They highly valued the dream state.
Capitalism and the Self
Our culture has a love affair with alcohol, the most boring of drugs. Under the influence of alcohol, people still support war, capitalism, and conspicuous consumption, so it is not banned. In America, adults do not have the right to have sovereignty over their own consciousness. The armed bureaucracy breaks down doors and imprisons people for life if they should attempt to enter into a consciousness realm that challenges mainstream worldviews.
The author has experimented with a plant found in the Amazon, whose active ingredient is DMT, which is actually a hormone found in the brain. He frowns on psychedelics for recreational purposes, but encourages them, under safe settings, so that individuals can experience self knowledge similar to what shamans have discovered. The drug sounds a little freaky and scary, but the 19 minute seminar is very thought-provoking. The argument is that psychedelic plants may have caused early humans to evolve into higher states of consciousness.
The mainstream media is finally realizing the benefits of the marijuana hemp plant. It may be that our culture is not ready, however, for the ideas of Graham Hancock. Rupert Sheldrake and Terrence McKenna (who has also done DMT research) are other authors worth exploring.
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