All animals, from humans to Pavlov’s Dogs, download an operating system. The key is which operating system to you run. Understanding this programming is key to what it will take to improving society and literally saving the world. The most dangerous thing in the universe is a sentient mind on civilization.
Programming has Two Parts.
Controlling an entire society or just an animal herd uses the same two-part process.
- Limit Choices
Sequence is important. First you have to remove alternatives from your children or your dog. Then, educate for the remaining options.
Removing alternatives is a conscious process. The last civilized loophole was closed when “The Commons” were taken away in Europe. U.S. citizens cannot live in the National Forest. Land is not free. The food is locked up. Savable “open pollinated” seeds are being taken away. Wild food is being made extinct with dams, hatcheries, clearcuts and farms. Money is not free. The wealthy have most of it and will not share.
Skills of how to make a livelihood from the wild or even just permaculture are not taught in school. No one should graduate from middle school not knowing how to start a fire, build a simple shelter, and wildcraft a few edibles and medicinals. To an indigenous person, an old growth forest is a grocery store and pharmacy. But civilization has even taken away the diverse forest and perennial prairie as tall as a man on a horse so people have no choice but to go to the market.
The best chapters of the book called Earth have been torn out by long-dead civilized men in the name of greed.
Mother culture begins education at birth from plastic bottles and toys on into school that goes on forever. In civilization, we learn by sitting. How horrid now that I think about all my years from elementary to my MBA in finance that I spent literally sitting being told what to think. OMG. In a native culture, one learns by doing. An indigenous person can walk through their land and identify 100-200 wild plants and animals with their complete uses.
Author’s note: Civilized man is a complete horticultural idiot. I know. I founded Restoration Seeds and created the second largest collection of savable seeds seeds for sale in the world, 1,100 varieties. I grew and saved seed from up to 250 varieties a year. I have bred several vegetable varieties of my own and pledged them as open source so they can never be patented. I memorized the native Oregon soil seed bank and can tell you in an unplowed field what species come up each year you plow in sequence. Chris Hardy and I were the two farmers whose seed crops were threatened by Sygenta’s GMO sugar beet pollen, which led to two successful county campaigns to ban growing GMOs in southern Oregon. The problems is, there are too few people who have these skills. We learned what we know from nature.
From stories, books, newspapers, radio, TV and now electronics, civilized culture speaks to us constantly. Social media has become an echo chamber reinforcing what we believe and learning nothing new. The news is either fake or government / business propaganda. Businesses are now people and can contribute to election campaigns.
We have reached the, “there is no limit to programming” or the “control system” era. The NSA reads or listens to everything we say. The Chinese government computes a social credit score for its people to determine who can travel, who gets the “good job” and whose kids can go to the “good school”.
Civilization makes the naturally unimaginable normal. Customs such as rental of a home, payment for food, profit on transactions and commoditization of life and the land the norm. Civilization creates uniformity of thought, form and process.
Programming is successful when we go through life blissfully not knowing we’re programmed. We don’t seriously consider alternatives and we cannot see beyond our own needs. Here is how deep civilized programming runs. We can have our city bombed to the ground and want to go back and rebuild the city again. Native Americans can be programmed, much by force, to abandon their language and old ways of making a living. We all have been programmed to leave our tribal ways whether from Europe or Asia. We should hold in the highest regard any native member who knows their old ways and language. They are the wisdom keepers. They are among the most important people on Earth alive today.
The danger of effective programming is that we cannot see problems. Problems are literally invisible. To us a problem looks like, “Just the way it is and there is nothing I can do about it.” This creates a barrier to change because we cannot solve a problem we cannot see. We also have environmental amnesia. We live too short a time to see the complete picture of the damage we are causing. We see a few farm fields turned into track-housing, but we never saw the herds of buffalo or perennial prairie as it once was. We have no appreciation for it. Nor do we derive our livelihood from the wild. It seems today the wild is of little more value to us than just recreation.
Bad or civilized programming aka culture, runs amuck when it creates descending loops that make each iteration worse. 10,000 years in a few sentences: Domesticate all of the wild to grow more food to create more people to keep control. Create villages, towns, cities where people start living with strangers instead of tribal peers. Create more laws, use force. Reinforce with religion. Repeat as long at all costs, as you can.
I am amazed that people put up with this level of programming. We are past the time to think outside of the box. It is time to throw away the box and start completely over. I suggest we look at when things last worked: the time before the agricultural revolution when humanity lived in harmony with the earth.
Culture is the Result of and Reinforces Programming.
When a group of people are programmed in the same way, it is called “culture.” For a group of animals it is a herd or flock, etc. We make a human/animal distinction. However, the only difference is that a branch of Homo sapiens called “civilized man” domesticates, where as animals and indigenous, non-civilized humans, make their livelihood from the wild. Culture is a social organizational system for making a livelihood.
When the slave trader Columbus was found lost at sea, he brought a fatal mind disease, or meme, with him called “civilization”. Civilized humans take more than our fair share and replace wild places and species with our domesticated species, be it cows or crops. We dam rivers and the salmon runs die. Then we build hatcheries and fish farms that extinct the remaining wild fish and the whole ecosystem collapses.
When we support dam removal, we must also INSIST on hatchery and farm closing. Otherwise the dam removal is almost pointless. Learn more by watching Patagonia’s related movies, Dam Nation and Artifishial. There is no good way to do the wrong thing — Yvon Chouinard.
Get Over Ourselves.
Get grounded. We are not special sacred cosmic beings. We are only here because our parents were horny and had sex when our mothers were fertile. Maybe it was planned, but it does not matter. We are another generation as the result of sex. Get over it. We are a programmed animal no different than a mouse learning where to find the most food in the garbage.
There is no “all-seeing superhero creator” either. There is no god, at least one that we can comprehend with our simple minds. Civilized humans cannot even live without destroying our own home. All life is the result of sex and variation of genes: mushrooms to corn to humans. Life begets life. No god.
Evolution is the “intelligence” of the universe. The repetition of endless gene combination experiments and environmental stresses over 3 billion years creates an intuitive system. This is the crime future generations will curse us and our forefathers for. We are breaking the perfect machine and losing parts. We are losing species and entire ecosystems. Dam a river and install a farmed hatchery and you kill an entire watershed with hubris. God is a name for the entirety of the seen and unseen universe. Intelligence is not from a god that does not exist. Intelligence is from endless experiments over time immemorial.
All organized religions are merely created to reinforce civilization. They are mostly perpetuated by over-programmed people who want to keep their jobs. No modern religions existed before civilization; they were not necessary to mitigate coping with the misery of civilized life. Depressed and insecure people are drawn to religion because religion is an absolute acceptance or love. They may feel unloved by their family or friends, but a made-up god will always love you.
Organized religion loses all credibility by being homo-centric. Religions, in fact, give humanity dominion over the other species. We will never see a priest, or other holy person, holding up a cross to stop a clear cut shouting, “In the name of god, thou shall not pass to destroy his creation!” Instead he will be blessing the loggers destroying the forest. (Nothing against those needing minimum wage jobs that know not what they do.)
Civilization keeps us following and teaching our children the same programming because we are terrified of losing our home and starving to death. We cannot imagine an alternative because access to skills and resources to make another living are blocked. This is why homeless people are such a threat. They have shed their programming and have just decided, “fuck it”.
Why are Entheogens are Illegal?
Entheogen, or Psychedelics, enable us to see beyond our programming. Liquor dumbs us down and can destroy us. Psychedelics, I am told, can expand our minds and open dimensions, open the heart chakra, give us deep answers or reveal to us our life lessons, as well as reveal to us our inner wounds so that they can be healed.
In one weekend, Psychedelics can blow the chains off of our wrists and ankles and give us freedom. They can open up entirely new roadmaps, taking the blindfold off showing us that we are living in a bad Disney-esque cartoon. Psychedelics can also open our hearts to a higher love and heal our deepest wounds or PTSD.
Cast what does not serve you to the fire — Dustin Thomas.
Here is the biggie, Entheogens turn on brain super powers heretofore unknown. We can silence the chatter, instantly go to the wounds in our minds, have endless loving conversations, literally feel love, and be awake for the first time ever. (Side note, the military probably has experimented with Psychedelics to create super-troops but gave up because the soldiers would no longer consistently do what they were told.)
Our official advice: don’t take drugs and don’t drink alcohol. Pay your taxes. Always use peaceful nonviolent communication.
Any programming created by the human mind is ultimately a disaster for humans and the 30 million other species with which we share this planet. We rely on each other for this life support system. The old growth forests, prairies and ocean life, create the oxygen we breathe and the hydration cycle that waters the planet. Let me dumb it down for you,
Humans cannot out think 3 billion years of evolution.
The only programming of human culture must come from nature because we live by her rules. A rule, or law, from nature is one that is proven by evolution.
Evolutionary rules include: Create biodiversity and topsoil. Keep our population down to enable the prior. If we do not follow these rules, eventually we are taken out of the food chain. All indigenous people, plants, animals, fungi, protozoa and bacteria follow the laws of nature. That is why they are still here.
The Solution is Multi-Generational
The solution to overcoming our civilized programming will happen over generations. We cannot drop acid and everything will be enlightened tomorrow. We will never see the future better world. We can only program our children to make fewer children so their children can have a better life. Our children will probably go through a lot of hell as fossil fuels start to diminish starting in about 10 plus years.
Keeping the population down may be the key to overcoming our programming. One child families would reduce human population to 1 billion within 100 years. That would re-open up enough wild space to enable people to begin walking away from the control system. Hierarchies have strong defenses to attacks from below, but they have none for abandonment.
The most revolutionary thing future generations can do is have just one child or none.
Daniel Quinn, in his book Ishmael, called civilized man Takers and indigenous people Leavers. He is right. We have to stop “over thinking” and literally walk away from civilization. We have to leave behind our electronics, plows and chainsaws and re-wild humanity.
One last key, we must start valuing the wild greatly because it is our children’s future livelihood. For example, we must declare entire watersheds wild and scenic as the Oregon law enables rivers to be declared. Our children will need a lot more of three environments: wild rivers, old diverse forests and prairies, and restored ocean fisheries which loop back to the rivers. We just need to get out of nature’s way.
This essay is more dangerous than a nuclear bomb. Share it on social media and help spark the mind-revolution.
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 Open Source Seed Initiative. www.osseeds.org
 Buy open pollinated savable seeds at www.restorationseeds.com.
Editor, Beth Brown.