What Enlightenment Is

Enlightenment is to see the world and life as it truly is vs. how civilization has constructed it. You know you are getting there when the world appears to you as a bad Disney cartoon. Media is nonsense and politicians are clueless egomaniacs competing to be on the media stage.

Some look at enlightenment as avoiding suffering caused by grasping. But in my opinion that ignores the reality of the world and the ecosystem life that sustains us, exploitation, etc. I advocate the opposite. Grasp like hell to improve the world, be attached to a successful outcome, change your life. And if you fail, be disappointed, regroup and try again.

I have done it all, Christmas parties at the White House, Fortune 100 companies give you millions for your for advice, founding business and nonprofits, teaching, writing and parenting. To me the latter is fulfilling, the prior destructive. I would add leaving forests in your footsteps to the fulfilling list. I have three small restored or protected ecosystems to my credit so far. It feels right to see diverse plant, insect and animal wildlife comeback to what was man-destroyed ecosystems.

When we can kick civilization into the trash heap of history we will be moving towards the enlightenmentNative Americans had when Columbus was found lost at sea. Biblical scholars refer to an ancient garden of eden from which humanity came from. As in most history that could not be further from the truth. The garden of eden was North and South America 500 years, and mostly still 200 years ago.

Europeans brought many diseases, smallpox, dutch elm, chestnut blight but by far their most deadly disease  was the mind disease, civilization, dominion, taking, money, property, war, genocide, slavery, on and on. If a civilized person cannot look in the mirror and see that all of these horrors are required to maintain their lifestyle, then they are blind or had a really poor education.

Cities have created such a pig pile of population density, that there is no way left to survive than rural and foreign exploitation and war. By externalizing all costs no civilized person experiences the costs of their actions. They just order another latte. The most ironic is a bumper sticker on a car that says, “Peace Now”. Cars and fossil fuels cause war.

The survival of a species is not based on what you would think. Species survive long term by creating top soil and biodiversity. If you don’t do that long-term you go extinct. Humanity built fertility and supported diversity until we created civilization. After that we started mining top soil, creating mono-crops and mass extinction.

Peak Oil is Our Only Hope

Our programming runs so deep in almost all people that is cannot be undone. From birth mother culture whisper in our ears and we see it everywhere, our parents act it out. We are taught to consumer and work and nature is a resource. The control system is too strong.

Peak oil over the next 200 years will do a lot for us and all life left on earth. It is a blessing not a cur. Global warming is caused by deforestation not burning fossil fuels. With a slow decline of cheap energy, we have a slow decline of food and all civilized activity. The wold will look as different 200 years from now as it did 200 years ago during the American Revolution.

The problem is we have had the civilized mind disease since horse and buggy days, and thousands of years before.

The only hope is that the calamity of the slow decent will become a lesson to future generations of what not to do.

The enlightened indigenous peoples will never be as strong as the civilized people with greater food and population. This leaves our hope up to the land and time. Will the land and enough time re-indigenize the white man?

Civilization began when we were still tossing spears and arrows at each other so there may not be much hope in a benign low energy future. Native people have always known civilization was controlling and stupid and have always resisted. The misunderstood biblical story of  Cain and Abel is one such tail of the civilized Cain slaying the tribal or native Abel.

Civilized people will always kill native peoples for their land because they feel the land is idle and the natives are lazy. Which I think is ironic because all of Europe wanted a piece of the Americans once they heard about it. Then they gleefully came and destroyed the garden native peoples had created tended for 10,000 years.

Enlightenment is a Matter of Perspective

Can you see behind the curtain? Can you hear the lies? Can you feel the suffering of people and all other species? Can you see the spirits of those who lived in harmony on this land?

If you can’t you might as well accept your lot, turn the TV on and get back to work on Monday.

You reach enlightenment through steps: knowing something is wrong, seeking knowledge, finding the truth and changing your life a little or a lot. Changing your life a little is volunteering for a nonprofit, becoming an activist or community gardening. Changing your life a lot is quitting your day job and creating a new working community model that leaves forests and biodiversity in your footsteps.

See my blog the 6 Circles of Enlightenment.

Art: Paintbrush Warrior by Mark Henson.

Chuck Burr