When man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard.” -Native American (Lakota) Proverb

Self is ego and ego resides exclusively in the dreamstate. If you want to break free of the dreamstate, you must break free of self, not stroke it to make it purr or groom it for some imagined brighter future.”-Jed McKenna

“If you have insight, you use your inner eye, your inner ear, to pierce to the heart of things, and have no need of intellectual knowledge……Let your heart be at peace…….Watch the turmoil of beings but contemplate their return. If you don’t realize the source, you stumble in confusion and sorrow. When you realize where you come from, you naturally become tolerant, disinterested, amused, kindhearted as a grandmother, dignified as a king. Immersed in the wonder of the Tao, you can deal with whatever life brings you, And when death comes, you are ready.”― Chuang Tzu

Have you ever wondered if it is possible for human beings to live in peace and balance with each other and the earth? With so many people and seemingly so many problems, is it possible for us to live in harmony with nature and each other? The answer is yes. Yet, the challenge is that to live in harmony with this planet means that we need to let go of the beliefs, identifications, and thought processes that have created such imbalance and violence upon the planet. To do so, we must begin the arduous journey into the nature of the self and beyond the confines of this cultural psychic territory. Instead of being directed by our conditioning, by our societal patterns, and living behind the masks of the roles we play out, we can confront the self head on and with awareness, observe directly thought and perception to see it all thoughts and feelings for what they are, conditioned, impermanent and illusionary.

Observing thought, not with a desire to change anything, but to actually see with total awareness, we will see how thought is the conditioned known and can’t penetrate presence. We will see the impact our cultural conditioning has on the way of thinking and perception both individually and collectively and creates the dreamstate we call culture. We will see that any desire or belief will distort what one is looking at.

Only quietly with full attention can we begin to really see what is going on in the mind. If you are willing to look within, and want to wake up from the imprisonment of the cultural dreamstate, then continue reading.

Our culture constructs the ideology over our childhood years that we are separate from the world and that we are essentially isolated individuals who are on our own to make a life for ourselves. We must compete while having some friends to be successful and make something of ourselves. We believe so deeply in this that we rarely question this. Religion and Science follow this belief. By thinking we are separate, we can then develop the idea that Nature and God are somewhere out there that is not a part of us. We can dissect and analyze things to find out how they work. Yet, the more we try and dissect and analyze the more problems arise for we are missing the fact that everything is interconnected and hitched to something else.

There is nothing in isolation. We think that we can destroy nature without any consequences. I can create the idea that my country deserves more resources than yours and because my country has more money and weapons I can do anything I want because you happened to be born in a different place. I can kill people who don’t believe in what I believe. As long as I don’t see the food I am eating, I don’t care how it got there. We can justify war even though it is a ritualized murdering apparatus. We ignore the fact that we are all interconnected, that we are nature, that God lies within all, that countries only exist in our minds, and that power and wealth are illusions built from the model of fear and emptiness.

Our thinking apparatus which constructs our beliefs and attachments into different parts within the personality, dictates pleasures and aversions to pain. We label ourselves as this personality unconscious to how it is shaped and formed out of our cultural conditioning. Without ever taking time to observe our minds, most of us have no idea of the influence of the conditioned unconscious, and who we believe ourselves to be is actually an illusion.

Sit for a while with no agenda. Do nothing but let awareness observe thoughts flowing in and out. Let the mind quiet. One may begin to see that what is perceived as “normal” consciousness is a delusion, an imprisonment of our own doing that is created within our cultural construct. We would see that our brutal conception of society called civilization is generated by our own thinking. We would see that we no longer need to hold onto this ignorance. We would see that what one is, is beyond the confines of the cultural self, beyond measurement, beyond time/space, beyond thought and has no beginning nor end. If our minds could quiet, we would see that consciousness is beyond anything conceivable and has no bounds. That consciousness flows through all. Cultural thinking makes us cloud over this consciousness and makes us believe that we are the cloud of sorrow instead of the light that shines beneath.

For millennia, we have been heavily conditioned and traumatized by our cultural ideology, and all of us, no matter what strata within the hierarchy, are imprisoned within the cultural dream state. Makes one wonder if it is possible to actually wake up. Security makes one think no. However, are we content to stay within the known even if it is full of sorrow? If we could simply be quiet and listen in, we may discover that you are much more than you could ever know, beyond anything personal or constricting. It is already within you.

— — -

The rules of our society are generally dictated by those that have power and money and placed down on the populace through propaganda and education. Our educational system enacted by parents and teachers, coerces our children to play out the roles that we all play out within the oppressive hierarchy. Parents and teachers who have been conditioned into this society, are unconscious of how they are playing into our cultural drama and actually restricting our children’s innate learning and wonder, as they force children down the rabbit hole of ignorance and fear. This power of coercion that education perpetuates is not only unnatural but also dysfunctional. Yet, to most people, this seems and appears quite normal, natural and real for this is all they know.

In actuality, hierarchy and division don’t exist except in our conditioned beliefs individually and collectively. We have been taught to see the world in parts. Because of believing that we are separate, that our voice doesn’t matter, we then see that the world is divided, nature can be controlled, poisoned, polluted and measured, injustices become magnified and entitlement grows, while resources are there for the taking, and ownership is seen as a necessity. Based on this, over thousands of years, with more and more momentum, as we continue to spawn more and more people into this dysfunctional paradigm, we quicken our pace down the path of complete collapse.

As our culture has quite possibly never had the conjecture to think generations ahead in terms of impact upon ourselves and nature, we have never lived in a sustainable way. Any culture that is not living sustainably, will at some point collapse. An easy example to see this is how our culture since the dawn of its conception has continued to outstrip its resources and has needed to conquer new lands and people in order to keep up with its cancerous growth.

This has been our societal journey. We keep conquering, destroying, and manipulating without seeing the fact that we are all connected. Nature is us. When we try to control and conquer nature and oneself, we put ourselves in direct conflict with who we are and destroy the very life blood that gives rise to life itself — we are destroying the ecosystems in which we need to survive.

If we are at all interested in stopping the violence we perpetuate within oneself and in the world, then we must wake up and see how we continue to be caught in our society’s dream by identifying with our own separatist beliefs and cultural conditioning. In this awareness, we can confront our attachments and let go of the roles we play within the societal framework. Just as importantly, we must change the way we see and interact with our children and let their wonder, voice and wholeness blossom. We must wake up from this hellish dream. We need not suffer nor make the earth suffer.

— — -

We are not who we think we are. We are not Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist Taoist, nor atheist. We are not a communist or socialist, nor Republican or Democrat. We are not American nor Russian. There is in actuality nothing to own or steal. When we die, we see that ownership is a human created ideology for in death we are left with nothing but a hole in the ground. Labeling ourselves in any way, destroys our ability to communicate with one another. For example, in wars, leaders try to make sure that soldiers don’t interact with the perceived “enemy” for fear of them becoming friends and then not having the motivation anymore to fight.

Our culture is the mirror of ourselves collectively dreaming. Anything spoken about society, is really reflecting back what lies within you and I. Pointing out the aspects of what makes our society so dysfunctional hopefully leads each and every one of us to look within and take responsibility for our own actions. If we truly want change, then first we must look within oneself.

Identifying oneself as a part of society, caught within our self conditioned minds, feeling isolated, and living lives of stress and anxiety, makes living in wholeness seem impossible. I wonder if this needs to be the case?

So how can one live in wholeness and in love? For now, we can see that as a society, we do not live in love. We live in a childish drama, where division, domestication, conflict and ignorance are embedded in our minds, creating sorrow. We have imagined the world into a divided dualistic world that has created a global tragedy.

We are collectively tearing apart the wild and ourselves for we divorce it from any feeling or connection by dividing ourselves from the world and compartmentalize it. We do not care or have concern about things not in our periphery. Such as: The poor, the welfare of wild animals, the imprisonment of domesticated cattle, pigs, turkey, chicken and fish, the imprisonment of human beings, nor the vast, interwoven, intricate ecosystems that span the earth. We only care for the things we have been taught to identify with. We can love our dog, but eat steak that comes from a brutally violated cow or chicken. We can love our own children, but not care about other children who are marginalized. We can care about how I will look in my Gap jeans without thinking about the slave labor that produced it. I can own my stocks and make money off of them without thinking of the impact the companies I am supporting are having on the planet. We see ourselves as isolated individuals. We have a hard time seeing that we are interwoven in a great community of life. Seeing ourselves as isolated, it is hard to see the consequences of our actions. Only until we understand that we are no better than any other life form, and that we are a participant in the web of life, will we change our ways.

The societal drama that we see is nothing more than the collective self acting out all the innumerable conditioned roles we play within Maya’s guise. Violence and sorrow that we see in society is the mirror of our psyches and the underpinnings of what we have been taught.

Many people throughout our culture’s history have tried to change society. Yet, our culture is as dysfunctional as ever. Nobody can change us into a healthier, more peaceful, and sustainable society without first understanding the nature of the self. If we try to change society without understanding the nature of the self, then inevitably, we will foster more problems for the nature of the self is a microcosm of society. The self is constructed and conditioned by society.

The issues of what we think to be an external society is an actuality, a dreamed up dramatization that mirrors the multifaceted, conditioned and fearful self. What we think we see outwardly is simply the reflection enacted by our own fanciful beliefs and ideologies. Thinking we can fix society without knowing the self is simply insanity. And of course what we mean by insanity here is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result as Einstein postulated. No matter how we have tried to change it, our society’s dysfunction, growth and destructiveness simply has continued. Nothing within its confines can change it.

Cultures are nothing but a collective dreamstate. It can be a dream within the spectrum of heaven and hell. Either way, it is just a collective dream, created and conditioned into us by thought. Most of us believe this dream to be reality, and the roles we play as essentially who we are. Yet, these roles have been conditioned into us since we were children, continuously forging the road that creates a collective ignorance and momentum towards global ecological destruction. These roles are illusions and of course greatly limit our capacity and potential. This cultural dream is full of noise, noise of thought that, like clouds, covers our ability to see.

Collectively speaking, there is dysfunction in our homes, in our communities, in our countries, in our world. Of course, for that to be, there must be dysfunction within ourselves. Because this dysfunction has been taught into us since we were children, we believe it to be real and continue to imagine and dream into existence our cultural drama.

We have come to deeply believe in the role in which we play because we have been so conditioned since an early age. We think we are awake, but in actuality, we are asleep to what is truly oneself. We dream our culture into existence by thought, which develops our conditioning and beliefs.

Lurking underneath our collective self are the roots of fear. Fear created by authority, authority taking away authentic voices. From lack of voice and authenticity, the idea of separation psychologically enters into consciousness. From the idea of separation comes psychological fear, ignorance, aggression, power-over, apathy and violence. This framework is systematically orchestrated in order for our society to continue its destructive progress in order to conquer all things. Why conquer? Simply because we are inherently afraid. By creating the idea of control, and by conquering the unknown, we feel temporarily safe. But of course, all is impermanent so we need to keep conquering in this rat race of insanity.

Our societal dream is built on a hierarchical belief system. Yet, all of us are conditioned into ignorance no matter what our role becomes in this society. Either we become part of the small group of people who dictate policy or we become the voiceless group who help keep them in power and their policies of greed and hate that progress senseless ideologies. And of course, this culture will never fill the soul of humanity and create happiness. This is not a culture that takes care of its people nor the environment and those in power perpetuate this and the rest of us are complicit in our apathy.

Our culture, one that has become global in scale, has been taught into us. It is a culture that has the same agricultural, economic, and ownership practices that we also see in China, Switzerland, Brazil, Egypt, Thailand, and Australia. We call them different names, but essentially, we are all tearing the world’s ecosystems apart by our continual growth and belief that we can dictate what lives and what dies.

A common belief is that we can conquer and own anything, that the ends justify the means, that wars can be won. Yet, what have we really conquered? The more we pit ourselves against something else, the more it fights back. Violence begets violence. Never has any side won a war. Trauma lives within both the victor and the defeated. Unless we have questioned our own thinking, much of what we think and do has been conditioned into us. And what I have come to see is that our particular cultural conditioning is not only harmful for the planet, but how we are taught is harmful to oneself.

Fear conceals us from truth, love and freedom. The irony of all this of course is our belief, drilled into our psyche since we were young, that we are separate from all that is and happiness will come through outside sources such as gaining more knowledge, experiences, wealth and acquisitions. Of course, having all the things in the world does not create happiness at all but rather is a violence to ourselves and those that we feel stand in our way.

Nothing profits the world more as much as the abandoning of profits. A man who no longer thinks in terms of loss and gain is the truly non-violent man, for he is beyond all conflict.”

- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

No matter if you are impoverished or you are wealthy, one is enslaved to the system, constantly striving for material benefits and comfort. This is juxtaposed to a way of living that is based on helping every individual discover themselves and find value in their potential as a human being. Our culture is based on finding material gain for as a culture we see ourselves as separate from what is around us. We are going in a completely wrong direction for in fact we are not separated from anything.

Money and power do not create happiness. In fact, materialism and our capitalistic belief system destroys happiness. In order for capitalism to work, we must create profit and growth, and continue the game between the have and have nots while destroying the land in order to thrive. Believing in this, or in any hierarchical system, we develop within our collective consciousness the externalized outcomes of poverty, racism, nationalism, patriotism, sexism, and environmental degradation. These major issues that affect all of us is the backwash of our hierarchical underpinnings shedding light on the dysfunction that is our cultural state of living.

Ambitiously pushing for more wealth and power illustrates the inner fear and despair deep within. An addiction, those who find great security in their wealth and power, the ones who dictate so much of policy and manipulate others with their false words are also enslaved for they are desperately afraid of losing their fear based authority and disillusioned power. Depending on what class we are born into, we could all fall into the roles we see others playing out.

There have been heroic people within our cultural past who have seen the dysfunction and violence of our cultural mythology and have voiced with courage and wisdom that there is a better, healthier, more enlightened way to live. Lao Tzu, The Buddha, Jesus Christ, Gandhi, Maya Angelou, Margaret Mead, Rachel Carson, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King Jr., Thoreau, Tolstoy, Hesse, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Robin Kimmerer, Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh just to name just a few have pointed to how inept our cultural beliefs are. In unique ways, they have shared the story of love and our connection to what is, and fought against the deep rooted sickness within our cultural conditioning.

Yet, with all these voices crying out to us that there is something wrong and that there is a better way, I wonder, why is it that so few of us pause nor question the construct of our thinking and the way in which our society continues to cause such harm? Maybe it is because of the heavy influence of our own cultural conditioning. Perhaps it is because our society teaches, encourages, and rewards conformity. Perhaps it is because people find themselves on the treadmill of life with or without realizing it and don’t slow down to ponder and attend to what is really happening around oneself. For the wealthy, who hold such externalized power and wealth, who control much of the ideology of our cultural underpinnings, there is a great fear of losing what they have, for what are they without their heavy costumes?

Progress is our motto. There has been perpetuated this ideology of a want to improve, a belief that we are separate and flawed since the dawn of this culture’s inception. Once our ancestors somewhere in the Middle East settled into a specific agrarian way of life, living bound by their newly settled agricultural practice, slowly over generations and generations, hierarchy and ownership began to develop and their population began to rise. At some point, growth and progress began to become envisioned collectively and they began to take over more and more land as their population expanded, destroying any other cultures that got in our way. This we call the agricultural revolution.

This revolution did not happen everywhere to all the thousands of indigenous cultures that were spread across the planet, just specifically to one culture in particular. Over ten thousand years, our culture has swelled and advanced until we see now in our present day and age that there are no indigenous cultures left while millions of species have gone extinct and our ecosystems are now mere islands in a great sea of our cultural domestication. For ten thousand years, our collective beliefs yet all built around how to control nature, that we are separate from nature, that we need to perpetually grow and it is our manifest destiny to conquer the land has created great harm on our own individual psyche and on the planet as a whole.

We developed a totalitarian agricultural system that perpetuates violence upon the earth. We now live in a great oppressive monoculture. As Daniel Quinn shared, “That’s what our agricultural revolution is all about. That’s the whole point of totalitarian agriculture: We hunt our competitors down, we destroy their food, and we deny them access to food. That’s what makes it totalitarian.” Our mono-cultural conventional farming takes away food sources from myriads of species (we tear down the ecosystem to grow our own food). We then use herbicides and pesticides to kill off any “threat” to “our” crops as if they are ours to own and govern. Of course these herbicides and pesticides then get into the soil and water systems impacting those rich environments with horrific consequences. With all the toxins that we have put into the soils and our food, it is wonder why cancer is so prevalent.

— — -

Can we hear what our collective cultural consciousness is whispering to us? Always lurking in the background, through advertising, in our schools, from our family, a whispering, a subtle nudge that we are not okay, that our lives are lacking, that we are separated, that life is scary and there enemies around us, and that things are to be bought and sold, and if we work hard enough, in the future we will arrive. There is a blind assumption that what we do to other creatures, to our ecosystems will not impact us.

Our cultural mythology simply keeps us from meeting our fullest potential as it keeps us locked in a dreamstate that blinds us from seeing truth. Our beliefs and assumptions push love down and embrace cowardice, lies, and destruction. Our culture whispers.. hide your pain, hide your love, hide yourself and keep working, keep moving, keep being ambitious, keep your head down, work and you will someday arrive and become the person you want to be. Yet that person is simply an illusion built upon our cultural construct. That to improve, to compete, it is okay to destroy what lies in our path. Just keep consuming, keep your mind occupied, keep moving forward at any cost and blind yourself to what is happening.

Have we ever asked what exactly is progress and why is there this innate belief that there is something wrong in us? What is there to improve or prove and what is motivating us? Have we ever questioned these beliefs and seen underneath their illusionary veils? The only thing that holds up these cultural ideas is what we have been conditioned to think. The way we think creates the world around us. Many of us will cry out and say we have progressed as a civilization. They will argue/debate, ‘But we have cars and airplanes, computers, i-phones, air conditioning, vaccinations, great towering cities of high rises, and hot water for showers..”

Yet, at what cost do these things have and can most people on our planet really afford them? We also have over-population, weapons of mass destruction, pollution, monoculture agriculture, extensive debilitating poverty, toxins in our air, wars, soil and water, depression, greed and a great ecological extinction because of our cultural actions. In many ways, it seems like we as a culture are a pariah, a poison to anything, such as other cultures, animals, forests, ecosystems that get in the way of our relentless growth. We have been conditioned to act like gods, controlling, dominating and conquering all we come across, and in the process fouling up everything and losing ourselves in the fall of our own damnation.

For our certain cultural methodology to exist, we need to progressively consume resources, take up more and more space for more agriculture and for more people, and thereby destroy our planet one day at a time in the process. We consume and consume in our ongoing conquest believing that our cultural way is the only purpose for humans in which to live. We may have many things, but within oneself, we feel empty and dead. We may have “conquered” the world, but we have created a mass extinction as thousands of species that had survived until this point in history and are now gone to antiquity. We think we have so much knowledge, yet we do not truly know ourselves nor on how to truly live.

Almost every corner of the globe is now filled with a growing population of people. People, billions and billions of people. Do we question this? Do we question what impact this has upon our earth? No, we actually celebrate our great cities and simply continue to populate without thought though violence rages, totalitarian governments grow, poverty is inculturated, and people live lives of shallow emptiness. We don’t question nor listen, so to do so would force us to question ourselves and wake up from the madness that we are a part of and have grown comfortable with, and this can feel terrifying.

Our culture spreads its tentacles upon every aspect of our lives to keep us contained in its worldview. Our culture’s thought control? Entertainment, fear, and conditioned ignorance. A mixture of Brave New World and 1984. Dull the senses and dull the mind into complete and utter complacency. Power, religion, medications, alcohol, sports, television, the media, politics, war, entertainment, and violence suck away wonder and authenticity and perpetuate propaganda and numbness that continue to work against waking up and living in truth. This cultural malady, that most don’t even recognize, lies malignantly rooted in sickness. If we could go back in history, we would see that this culture has been built on growth, hierarchy, and violence in perpetuity.

This malignancy has spread itself across the globe. If we paused and listened clearly, we would see that these cities are no different than cancer for they are constantly consuming the earth’s habitats through their materialistic cravings and need for food while continuously growing. Like cancer cells, cities spread larger and larger, consuming more and more land and resources each year. And no matter which city you visit, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, London, Delhi, Moscow, Addis Ababa, or Lang Som, you would find the same culture, different variations, some richer, some poorer, but much of the same thing. English is now spoken everywhere. War is mainstream and embraced. Populations continue to grow unsustainably, again without question. Agriculture and human development spread, destroying ecosystem after ecosystem. Ownership is not questioned. These are the great consequences of colonialism and this culture’s insatiable desire for more.

People keep spawning more people, and more people keep consuming more food, more land, and in the process poison everything they touch. This they think is the way things are. It is as if there had never been anything else, and for most people, that is how they think. It was as if a great forgetting had washed away the memory of the diversity that once existed on this earth. This is because this is what we teach and are taught. The consequences are that most of the Earth’s ecosystems are now mere islands surrounded by oceans of cities and agriculture, and the rich diversity that flowed abundantly, that illustrated health and awe, is now gone.

A great extinction is now reaching its zenith, as countless species were and continue to be destroyed to appease the greed and ignorance built by the ideologies of this global society. We label flora and fauna that we feel negatively impact us as weeds, vermin, pests, and predators, creatures to get rid of without a care. For this culture, so separated from the land, there was and is no understanding of what nature really is, an abundant wealth of interdependent complex relationships, in which humans were and are simply a part of.

We have so domesticated ourselves that we try to control, conquer and get rid of anything wild or simply shelter it into places that we may visit for a very brief time such as a national park or a zoo. We have been taught to destroy anything that appears to get in the way of our human contained habitats. We live in a way that consistently goes against the flow of the wilderness and the flow of our own authenticity and wildness.

How many of us would spend time alone in the wild? And I am not referring to doing an activity such as hiking or mountain biking, but in actually listening and spending quality time alone in the wilderness. Generally speaking, we don’t gravitate towards this because we believe that the wild is separate from ourselves and this generates fear. Our culture is unique in that respect. Our culture has created the idea that the wild is a scary place made for us to control and conquer, a myth that our culture has unfortunately bought into. Most of homo sapiens history has been living within the wild, embracing it. It is not inherent in us to fear the wild. This ecological antagonism is taught

If we pay attention just a little, we will recognize that the way we are living is not sustainable, is rooted in a cultural ignorance that spreads violence upon the planet and all creatures, and is bringing us very close to global catastrophe. We would see that greed is blinding and that many people who are led by wealth and power will rationalize and abuse their positions in order to keep practices that allow for a continual violent onslaught against the wilderness and our public health. In awareness, we would see that all things are always interacting and impacting each other subtlety or not. We would see that we are stuck in our inculturated egoic minds creating the illusion that we are separate, that the world and all things in it can be bought and sold, and that there are no real consequences to our general actions.

In awareness, we would see that there is nothing separate, that everything is interdependent upon one another, always interacting and impacting each other subtlety or not. How we think, how we see other, what we eat, what we wear, what we purchase, what and if we drive, how we talk, where we invest money, how we look at and treat the wilderness, and how we treat our children were all conditioned into most of us without question, and have consequences and many seriously. We move through life so quickly, so divided, that we rarely pause to think about our actions, where they actually derive from, and how much they were influenced by our past. All our education, from growing up in our family systems, to our own personality, to our schooling, to the place in which we live, the politics and beliefs that we were influenced by, our experiences (or lack of) with nature, how we see others in regards to sex, nationality, culture, and color, all influence and give texture to our thinking and experiences. We see through our cultural lense which begins and ends with a wrong vision, the idea of separateness and division which give rise to fear of other.

If we slowed down, observed our thoughts, and investigated our society, its hierarchy, its history of conquering, it’s want for power, growth, resources, and ownership, we would see something quite profound. One that people feel like they are separate individuals. Fear is the consequence of this and is the undercurrent of many of our interactions. Three, because our whole world framework stems from fear, a feeling that one is separated from the world, a dualistic framework comes into existence; good and evil, right and wrong, hierarchy, war and peace, black and white, possession, etc. We are our culture, and the culture is us.

We have created a world view that war is acceptable. That bombing and killing in the name of something will create a positive result. Have we really looked at the reasons countries go into war? Have we thought about the unsustainable population growth and its relevance? Have we ever really looked at the consequences of war; On the soldiers, on the men, women and children? What about the consequences on the environment and on the future? Have we ever asked how war can create peace? Isn’t this what Orwell wrote about when he wrote about Oceana’s ideology that war is peace? Have we thought about where the actual orders come from? And why are these our leaders? There is a saying those that lead shouldn’t, and those that should, don’t want to. What is their real agenda? Where is the voice in this? And why is there this fragmentary way of dealing with problems? Is this truth or a drama that we just perpetuate by our fear based thinking?

What about the environment? Is this related? Do we see the environment holistically in that we see our part in its ecological web? Or do we see the environment as nothing more than resources and places we can go to have experiences? What about the way we get our resources? We think that by putting toxins and manure on plants to kill insects and give them nutrients is a way to protect and create a plentiful food source. Do the toxins just kill the insects? Does it not get in the soil, in the rivers, in our lakes, in our bodies? Is there not a consequence to this? Or to get coal, we can blow off mountain tops? Or to get precious metals, we have to mine, and not think about the toxic residue and impact on other organisms will be?

What about the relationship between food and population growth when we tear down forests for resources, do we think about the habitats and the plants and animals and the impact on them? We are fighting against everything that gets in the way of our want, our greed. And we don’t see it. This is ignorance.

This creates constant conflict as people fill their perceived isolation and attach themselves to beliefs, opinions, and ideologies in order to gain a sense of power. This fear builds over time a strong sense of ego, always right here in front of us, illustrating its power to deceive and escape, but the ego is also good at keeping its true nature hidden. Because of this, underneath most people’s external veneer, lies a deep, yet very subtle, suffering. What is this malaise? What drives us to continue to struggle, and why are people ignorant of their suffering? Yet, once you begin talking with someone, bits and pieces of their suffering begins to leak out.

We can forever just hit the snooze button and say tomorrow. This is what most of us do. At the moment, it appears like the easy way. In ignorance, we numb ourselves and simply perpetuate the dream. The dream is what we know and it is comfortable. We shut out the light of awareness, and don’t have to feel the depths of this pain of confronting the depths of ourselves. And so, in the darkness of ignorance, we continue to play the game and don’t notice what is right in front of us. But, we don’t have to do that anymore.



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Garin Samuelsen

Garin Samuelsen

I am a guide, a teacher, and am enraptured by wonder. I have explored the beauty of many wild places. Wholeness and love is what it is all about for me.