Is the Paleo diet just another fad diet? Is Crossfit just another fad fitness craze?
They are not - and you should not dismiss them.
They are in fact the early signs of a new revolution in human society, economy and culture. A revolution where we return to working with nature and where we accept that we too are part of nature.
Where we accept that trying to dominate nature and so each other is an idea that is taking us and much of life on the planet to doom.
For we can only abuse the rules of Nature so far and we can only abuse our own nature so far and Nature will push back. And when she does, we lose. The Natural world and our own Nature is not infinitely plastic.
Nature can take a lot of damage but a Tipping Point will arrive when we go too far. We can only take so many fish out of the sea, clog up the atmosphere with only so much CO2, lose only so much topsoil, use more water than we have.
The same is true for us as part of Nature. We can eat junk food, live in crazy circumstances and in crazy social and political systems - for a time. But when we do, nature will push back at us too.
For the planet is a closed natural system with key rules. And so are we. The closer the planet is to its interacting norms, the more it can support life. And the same is true for us.
Millions of years of evolution have set up an ideal set of environments, food, social, physical in which we are designed to be at peak health and happiness. The closer we live our lives to this set of ideal environments, the healthier and happier we will be, (Thesis #2). Conversely, the further away we live our lives from these ideals, the worse our health and our happiness.
We live today at a time when most of us live as far away from Nature and our Nature that is possible. She is pushing back harder and harder. As more of us get sick and as change to climate makes life hell for millions. we see her as the enemy but in fact, she has always rewarded those that work with her.
Our only chance as a species is to "Go Home". To go home to working with her.
The beauty of this impending revolution is that we know how to be in this new relationship with nature and each other - for we are hardwired to do this. We have just been distracted by 10,000 years of a phase of development. Maybe we have been like teens - all about me? Maybe this is our time to be young parents and be a true member of the community of life again?
Ideally we are designed for this new/old relationship with nature and our nature - the life of a Hunter Gatherer.
Does this mean we have to go home to the caves and wear skins? No - no more than at the time of the Renaissance, we went back to wearing Togas. No it's all about ideas and principles and mindset.
Men and women in the 15th century applied ideas that had been forgotten and even prohibited to how they lived their lives and so created the modern world. A world based on observation rather than dogma.
What I think could happen now is the same. We can and should use the PRINCIPLES of the Hunter Gatherer World to design the Post Industrial and Post Agricultural Society that will have to evolve to help us get though Peak Oil and Climate Change.
This series will explore how this is taking place - without any "Plan" or leader. The new world is naturally emerging as it should be! But what I think we can do is accelerate the process of transformation by seeing it more clearly.
For to "Get There" all we have to do is to accept that we are there - all Dorothy had to do to go home was to say "I want to go home".
For "Home" is deep inside us. It waits only for us to say yes. All we need to know to do well in this New/Old World is hard wired inside us. All it has to be is remembered.
You and I can immigrate to this New World today.
Today the New New World is a State of Mind. We don't have to get on a boat. We just have to see ourselves in a new light. The moment we do, we have arrived at the pier. Life will still be hard, it always is for immigrants. But few who got off at the pier ever wanted to go back to the old country.
So in this series I hope to paint you a picture of what this new country will be like. You might see that you are almost there. I doubt that many of you will be surprised. The ideas are not new they are older than us. But we have forgotten them.
So I offer you not a new book but a mirror. And at the heart of it all is the heart and love and the acceptance of our true place. We will, as Paul hoped for, have grown up.
"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."
Here then is the structure of the series:
1. In the next post "The Emergent New Hunter Gatherer Society": we will see how the new Unemployed, the Under Employed and the Freelancers are not failures or misfits but are New Immigrants who are in engaged in a massive new project - to redesign our economy and food system using these principles. We are creating this new world for ourselves and for our children because we don't fit the existing system and worse it works against our real needs.
2. "The Principles of HG Life as they are practised today": We will extract the principles from the emergent patterns and see how they can be used as our guide for making our own choices and how they put meaning on our lives. What can each of us do to disconnect us from the old system and connect us to the new?
3. "The Principles of Real Revolution": The full power of the old system is lined up and is already pushing back at the new. "THEY" know we have their number and they know we are death to them and they will fight tooth and nail to defeat us. So it is important for us to know how to deal with this and people like Gandhi and Havel show us the way.
4. "The Heart of the Matter - Food": There are several factors that shape human culture. Our primary energy source, climate, our primary communication tools. So Peak Oil, Climate Change and the Web will rock the old system and make the birth of the new essential. For the old system cannot cope with these changes. But the real deal is the food system. How we get our food is THE most powerful factor is shaping human society, culture and so power. What will it be about the new food model that is the Game CHanger? Why will it set you free? Why will it change everything - where and how you live and who has power and who does not.
You and I can go home - all we have to do is to change our mind about who we are and where we are.
Here is a piece that make me cry every time I read it out loud - it says it all for me.
There will come a time when humanity will choose to go against nature, to exploit her bounteous gifts, causing a sickness across the planet. People will forget the ecstasies of communion, and life will become drab and colorless.
In these coming dark ages, though, a deep sense of loss will cause the beginnings of a Great Return. They will look at the landscape and the old temples, built to withstand the cataclysms of millennia and understand once again the sacred laws of Existence.
When this day comes, humanity will have come of age. It will consciously acknowledge its role in the creative impulse that comes from the Sun, fertilizes the Earth, and calls forth the flame in the hearts of men and women to worship Life and the miraculous forces behind Creation.
Miller, Hamish & Broadhurst, Paul. The Sun and the Serpent: An Investigation into Earth Energie