Thursday, January 1


Environmentalism is an exercise in being alive and awake.

Last summer, I read Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael and began to realize that we are all caught in a current called Culture. I didn’t choose my culture, anymore than I chose my hair color or eye color. Still, unlike those things, I can change my culture in a very real way by practicing constant wakefulness as I begin to step out of the current.

Quinn has a metaphor for this current. He calls it “Mother Culture,” and she is constantly rocking us to sleep and humming lullabies. Her primary motive is to get us to stop crying and to stop thinking for ourselves. She has a vested interest in moving us away from wakefulness. Our culture is one of capitalism and consumerism, and so our Mother perpetuates these goals.

As far as Environmentalism goes, I see this awareness as a way to examine some interesting facets of our cultural current. Our cultural current is particularly strong when we live with “disposable” norms. Out to eat? Grab a plastic fork. Cell phone a little touchy? Get a new one. Our Mother wants us to believe that these things are disposable, and croon us to sleep as our fourth grade science class teaches us that plastic never biodegrades…

We need to wake up. We need to see “disposable” as a lie, and force our way out of the current. We need to examine our habits, and change them. Just because naivetĂ© is convenient doesn’t make it right.

My environmentalism did not start today, but I grasp this opportunity for a fresh start to share my thoughts with the world. When Thoreau left the woods of Walden Pond, he knew that he needed to share his ideas with others, lest they be worthless. I am leaving my own woods (university), and I need to make my ideas known in a new way.

I am an environmentalist, a socialist, and a spiritualist: I love the environment, people, and the rhythms of the universe. This is a thought journey, but also the ins and outs of daily life now that I’m keen to the Matrix. This is my journey into wakefulness.

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