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Donnerstag, 2. Juli 2015

After-work hike

 After work the other day the woods were calling again. No words did they utter, and did not scream. It was just the memory of light and the light rustling of leaves, as fine a touch as by a feather; and so I hitched the bus and went out into their loving embrace. Of course, there is a chance you find that boring, and it is very difficult to find words that suit the experience, or pictures. But in my book, exactly this is the culprit. We love to read something spectacularily new, especially on the internet. We are hunters and gatherers, only that what we hunt and gather does not feed us in any way. We pile heaps on heaps of gleaming crap into the corners of our minds. There´s always some new flash and dash and the latest run-of-the mill. Heard about that scandal? This one or the next?

The woods actually DO change. But they change according to their own devices, and bend and bow to the laws of nature, not to the constant debts and vicious cycles we love so much that we compose our very lives out of them. Our culture keeps us low when we should be vibrantly flaming. Put your noses to the grindstone, or you won´t belong. I have personally come to the decision that I´d rather die than belong, for then my death would be according to my own devices. It is not out of depression, but out of joy that I come to this conclusion.

How come?

I have decided to live. I want to truly live, not a masquerade, but a life that somehow fits into the world. And to experience joy, I have to accept grief and pain. To live I must accept death.

There can be no security in this life. Our culture tries to sell us this, and charges a lot of fees for it, but all the promises it makes are rendered absurd by contemporary developments. World-wide terrorism, economical instability, a world on the threshold of world war IV (yap, did not recognize we still got World War III, do you? Lost track myself....). And if we all are honest, it has always been that way. There can be no certainities. Everyone can die at any instant, everywhere, and in spite of any promises of national security and whatnot.

So what? Quit whining! Any tree can fall, any wild piglet be killed by a wolf. They do not complain. They do not change that much. Oh, I hear those high priests of economy complain, what, humans are far aloft from animals and even trees, how can that outcast state we have anything in common? I hear priests and imams damn me for being heretic and infidel, for we should dominate, not care.

But this is not how I understood Economy Report, Bible, Koran, Vedas, Pillars of Insight or whatnots. We must care for our fellows in creation. It is a fallacy if anyone says otherwise, for we can witness in our days that such a behaviour leads ultimately to the extinction of man. This cannot be a goal for neither Christians, Muslims, Mammonists (...erm, maybe...).

But theology and philosophy is not subject to the woods, either. It is a common mistake that we all tend to project our humanity onto trees and wildlife. They simply do not "think" that way. And it is not thinking they do in any way we can understand. This makes us not superior to them in the least, not at all.

A dolphin does not need clothes or a computer. Why should it develop them, then? And dolphins are not cute, in fact they bite off their victims´heads and give the rump a fucking, excuse my language, but this makes it clear. Wolves are not nice, or free or wild. They just are. All those are human attributes, illusions at best.

This does not mean we should quit telling tales. It is human to tell tales, and good fun. But we have forgotten that there´s always a secret truth hidden behind; a glimpse behind the mirror, a look into the face behind the mask.
 Oh, no, I do not belong. I have long trodden another trail. It did make me lonely, but no more. I have looked behind my own failure, and I can now smile. I have experienced no mercy from my fellow humans, and they can expect no mercy from me. I would never want to voluntarily hurt anyone. Walking barefoot teaches you to avoid treading on snails, however disgusting they might look;-). But I am amazed that I have lost my mercy for humans complaining about the mess they created in the first place. They have taught me that; for if I make any mistake, they would laugh at me and kick my head instead of helping me up. I´d never kick them, and offer my hand whenever I can. If they don´t take it it´s no longer my business. I am amazed because this is what I have also learned this in the woods: If you allow yourself freedoms and make mistakes, you are in trouble. There´d be no whining and postponing or paying by instalments. If you don´t find a solution, you are fucked.

At work, I had a funny conversation the other day I had several times in my career already. A business man stated he believed in a "might makes right" justice. Okay I said, since we were standing together in a one-to-one situation and no one to witness, how much money´s in your purse? He replied and told me the amount. So, I said, give it to me, plus the keys of your car, and make no fuss. He looked at me, not quite sure if I was serious. I donned an air of menace and stepped closer. He looked at me in terror. Then I stepped back and explained to him that this was exactly what he believed in. For I could have beaten him up with two fingers only. He was a bit thoughtful afterwards. Of course I did not do any harm to him, and never would, and I´d never recommend this. I just could do this because I have a very good reputation amongst those business partners. He even gave me his thanks afterwards. What disgusts me, however, is, that he would not change anything, and no one would. But, if life - as a normal and necessary consequence of their behaviour - gets the better end of them, they start whining and complaining and expect others to help them out.

In nature, this can prove fatal. And it is always interesting to see indigenous woodsmen of all cultures act in contrast to many so-called survival gurus. Seldom if ever, for instance, would a Saami be caught so unawares in nature that he´d call for a survival situation. Instead, indigenous people tend to be much more careful und prepare every step with caution so as to avoid saying "survival" in the first place. These people try to remain as self-sustained as possible, while on the other hand they would help anyone in a bad situation according to a very strict cultural code of conduct. The behaviour of white men is often called insane, and I would not argue with them.     

 I am not a survivalist. I love the woods and hope the love is -keeping in mind it´s not that possible at all ;-)- mutual, in that I will be sustained by them due to my respect and knowledge. When I walk along the creek, I not only think about how to make the water drinkeable but also feel the lovely song and soothing sound it provides. It keeps me sane to walk the woods that way. If you quit lying to yourself and actually think your thoughts and feel your feelings, there is an infinite wealth to be harvested. It´s not free, for to get the heart of the woods you have to pay dearly with the blood of your own heart and life. But this will give you so much back in turn that you would pay any price for it.

The new path I am on is fascinating me, and, oh, yes, I will continue, for the one who lived once, lived in fear and debt and self-neglect, is dead.

And I smiled.


  1. Good words! "I´d rather die than belong...I want to truly live, not a masquerade..."

    Creative way to handle the "business man [who] stated he believed in a 'might makes right justice." Ever read Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. He explores this ubermensch mentality to its end. The guy who believes this resides in a comfortable place of unreality. When reality hits, his "theology" suddenly vanishes....

    Your post reminded me of these words by another writer I admire....

    The opinion of others about us––this is the mirror before which we all, almost without exception, pose. A man molds himself in order to be such as he wishes to appear to others. But the real man, as he actually is, remains unknown to all, often himself included, while what acts and lives is a figure invented and dressed up by his own imagination. This tendency to deceive is so great that, distorting his very nature, a man will sacrifice his own self––the unique and inimitable element present in every human personality.

    But how great is the attraction we feel whenever we meet a person free of this cancer, and how much we love the complete simplicity and directness of children, who have not as yet entered the realm of self-consciousness! Yet we have the alternative of struggling consciously to return from this evil complexity to simplicity. In any case, when we become aware of the presence of this evil in us, the task is already half accomplished.

    We can live our entire life––and many in fact do––as a pale reflection and copy of someone else. The first and primary meaning of living is to be oneself.

    Alexander E.

    I think this explains the appeal I find in your posts....

  2. Those are great words, and I find a lot of inspiration in them. We are wearing a mask that has been strapped onto us. In order to "put on the mask of burning gold" we first have to undo the straps that tie us down. I take this to truly live one´s personal myth in the Jungian sense of the word, to really try to become oneself, even if this task is utopic and can never be achieved by our conscious mind. Our subsemantic mind, our soul, however, already is.

    I simply want to stop lying to myself; it is not the next salvatory religion or "the" next enlightenment. But fact is, I am angry. I am mad with fury, not for myself, but for all the beautiful souls in our society simply destroyed by those "ad baculum" monsters we all have to answer to. This is the reason I write. I do not want a revolution, and certainly no pink-clouded-teletubby-wonderland, but a world that´s having a fair balance and offers a fair chance for everyone.

    I have no kids, but I want a true world for the generations to come, for all the kids that can still play and still have a soul. I have seen what living as a pale reflection of an image one should be, instead of what one is, can do to children. They become monstrous parodies of humankind, and thusly mutant grown-ups.

    Of course I cannot change the world, and I am not as naïve as that. I can but change myself and question my behaviour every day. I have the impression that there are a lot of people out there doing the same.

    I hope you all remember that you are beautiful.

  3. Spoken with sincerity and passion! I like your emphasis on the legacy, the impact we have on those around us. I believe that even when we are working on only changing ourselves, we are having a powerful impact on those around us. St. Seraphim said, "Save yourself, and a thousand souls around you will also be saved." I think it is the best course of action, rather than the one who gets up on his soapbox and tries to convict and change the crowds with his fiery speech. Your words about making children into "monstrous parodies" strike close to home for me because I am a school teacher. More and more we see politicians (and other forces) pushing educators into a "monstrous" mold of inhumanity. It gets harder and harder to be authentic in this profession, yet the kids respond to it like parched nomads coming upon an oasis. Yes, we need to question ourselves every day, as you wrote.


Now go on, discuss and rant and push my ego;-). As long as it´s a respectful message, every comment is welcome!

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