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Moz Kaytie - 04 Jan 2021
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On the shoulders of humanity then, it's clear we need to grow more of our own food and stop current first world agri-business because the resultant poor soil creates nutritionally sparse food using a bad for the soul kind of technique.

I was a typical teenager – I hated schoolwork, worshipped Mark Owen and got pissed on the park. I was pretty typical at university too – resisted work as much as possible, got into debt and partied every summer in Ibiza.

A big awakening happened at the age of 25 though when I realised that poetry is good and Capitalism is bad. Then came that classic realisation of truth-seekers that all is one. These happenings meant that I no longer found satisfaction in, what can I call it - traditional life? The established mainstream culture of the masses? First world, developed society?

I lived in a caravan on my own for a while. Learning the guitar and violin, writing poetry and taking walks, runs and cycles in nature every day, washing my clothes by hand. This was a dignified way to be back then. And while I did have visitors to my little paradise, I did get lonely, so went back to the city to find my tribe.

The city seemed a bit crass and scary then, so I wrote a novel about what I could see with my re-newed vision and what I could see nearly killed me as I watched a version of myself burn and die.

But in those ashes, I found a higher purpose and began to teach in our state schools and be part of the social change I concluded was definitely necessary in my experience of working and middle class community.

When I went to stay with a spiritual community last New Year on a tidal island off Mull in Scotland, I realised how depressed I had become back in an urban space, working long hours, estranged from a true community life, living out my evenings in front of a screen absolutely exhausted. There, I was re-connected with the good stuff in life that I had lost on the treadmill of work and socialising that we call living. I had lost my connection with nature. With creation. I had lost time to express my true self. And I had also lost a lot of physical strength too. Had lost that glow of one who is serenely in balance with the transcendental beyond a petty little self lost in a vast Capitalist mechanism.

Maternity leave has given me the opportunity to grow again – to learn and travel and speak with new people. To re-connect with a self, a higher self and a lovely little baby being also!

And this is what I have learned:

I remembered how much I love the developing world. Because when the old world and new world, first world and second world, meet, I am between the two in fascination: old-fashioned customs and thingamabobs create a tangible nostalgia. Cafes and buses stink of cigarettes. No one's in a hurry. People stop to give you advice or pass the time of day. You have time to breathe in, look backwards and reflect on what the developed world has gained.

And lost.

Our connection to nature is one detail. And I'm not talking about our spiritual disconnection by suggesting one can hike in the hills to reconnect because what I'm talking about is the practical disconnection from our food chain.

In the Bosnian Highlands, you might rear and kill your own meat. And it's fresh - organic; raised with unsentimental respect. But even those in the lowlands buy organic meat as a normality they probably aren’t even conscious of. In the first world, organic comes with a flashy, higher price tag and not as the birth right that some of us believe good food should be. And I am very serious about food.

In the first world the 'big farmer' intercepts the food chain and the result isn't pretty: caged animals are raised in industrial utilitarianism - fed growth hormones, cleaned in chlorine. Giblets aren't attached to the plastic packaging anymore - the reality of meat eating is distasteful made tasteful by bread crumbs or a polystyrene tray. Bad food. Sanitised food. Not even thinking about where our food comes from at all.

What affect does this detachment from our food chain have on the first world psyche? Maybe nothing. Maybe a careless attitude to life. Poor health? Who could know?

Yet I know we are standing on the shoulders of our ancestors with all of these glorious advancements helping us. Yet who is synthesising what our ancestors knew with what the first world now knows to make everyday living better, thereby creating the new paradigm? And, if anyone is assimilating this knowledge to create our collective, universal wisdom, how do we get it? Is it in Oxford University? Harvard? The Nobel literary novelists’ novels? Bob Dylan’s poems? Can we buy it in a manual on Amazon?

So I look around and what I notice is that folk here in the second world grow vegetables and fruit. I know that every hour after a vegetable is picked nutrients disappear. I’ve learned that the soils that produce is grown in has been depleted of nutrients due to the nature of first world farming. Selective breeding practices have increased the sugar and starch content of fruits and vegetables. Plants are grown in polluted environments using harsh fertilisers. All of this means that even those (like me) who eat their 5 a day can’t get enough nutrients from the food we eat anymore.

So, growing our own heirloom varieties close to home makes practical sense if we want to eat for optimum health. And I believe that we should be doing this as a basic need fused with all the knowledge we have gained. I also read somewhere that Gandhi talked about the restorative effects of getting our hands in the earth to grow our own food and a greater reverence towards the food. Here practical and spiritual connections are synthesized.

On the shoulders of humanity then, it's clear we need to grow more of our own food and stop current first world agri-business because the resultant poor soil creates nutritionally sparse food using a bad for the soul kind of technique.

Standing on these shoulders I'm looking at the developed world with a view of the absurd: we create stylised scenes so we can float through the urban scape in a pretty get-up protected from the elements within our own microclimate. Like the weirdoes in the Capital from the film, ‘The Hunger Games.’ There’s nothing to do in the developed world but create a garish avatar of self turned immature and useless through social conditioning. Maybe I sound a little harsh. And yes I am talking about the extreme negatives of a human character here, but, still, turning a mirror towards myself, that’s what I was becoming and who I am now…

A gateway between worlds.

Here, in the mountains, my clothes take a battering and my hands are cut and scalded. Tassels on my jumper are ridiculous - they get in the way. Now, I do like my pretty clothes and can't imagine never getting dressed up again, but, I'm seeing the trade off: real fire for pretty hands and nails.

Staring into a fire makes you clever; a fire is alive and full of spirit. Staring at my storage heater isn't the same.

And here we are fed by sunlight and starlight. Not screen light and electric light. Street light and neon light.

But why am I writing this anyway?

When I get back to the UK and I look around my city, I see a lot of ill people and I don’t understand this. Aren’t we supposed to be the developed world? Aren’t the rest of the planet seeking to move this way? But aren’t I romanticising other ways of being?

No. The first, developed world are romanticising – the first world weirdness as folk float through like avatars in the Hunger Games Capital. Nothing left to do. All is grown, heat is made – instead propagate some weird individual, self-image as the earth implodes.

And when I start to settle my baby into nursery, I’m pre-empting embarrassment when I tell them that my baby doesn’t eat the sugar, refined white carbohydrate or cheese on their menu. I can’t tell them the reason: that these foods are bad for her because that means I am saying that their food isn’t good enough for us and I don’t want to upset anyone. Similarly, I am sympathetic that a nursery is a Capitalist business and therefore has to make profit and poor, cheap food has become an accepted part of the corporate machine. But I do not accept this.

I don’t want to be entirely negative about my society though. So how does a human add to the pristine wilderness of Bosnia with what the first world has gained? I don’t want to be negative but all I can think about is what Bosnia has that we haven't: potable waterways; emerald rivers teeming with fish; a unique geography as the Mediterranean and euro-Siberian climates intersect and floral regions dance forth as a diverse bio system England has lost. Half the country is forested with one of only two primeval forests left in Europe. We have 13% of our woodland left. And woodland is the natural landscape of the UK. This means that the UK is the pre-eminent industrialised island.

Cities, towns and villages take up less than 10% of our island. Two-thirds is farmland.

I read a study the other day that suggested kids brought up in nature have a stronger immune system than kids brought up in cities. Other studies suggest that urban spaces create loneliness, depression, mental health problems. But don’t we all know this? Hasn’t what I’m saying become a meaningless dirge?

Instead, let’s be positive, let’s consider what the developed world has gained?

We’ve gained a wonderful culture of music, theatre, literature and festivals. The NHS. We've gained brighter teeth. And less wrinkles. We live longer than second and third world countries.

However, old folk in the second world are more active and die at home with families. In the UK, old folk are put in homes and most old people I know are rattling with pills to ensure comfort in that extended life. I’d pick a shorter and more active life. I guess a progressive view on the shoulders would bring the longer and more active life with the whiter teeth, free health service and less wrinkles which would simply be a case of the high-impact nutrition that the rest of the world could learn from japan adding to the best social systems magpie-d from the rest of the world. Electric toothbrushes. Sunscreen. Regular physio therapy. Regular inner work. Tailored exercise plans. I’d like to live the longer life, but not if I’m screwed up in a chair with a million inner grudges and diet of prescription drugs.

In fact, I read somewhere that the way we treat old folk in the UK is a human rights issue bordering on abuse. So how can I talk positively about our country when old people should be revered. And if you are reading this, just think carefully about how you are treating your old folks. Because you reap what you sow…that’s how your kids will treat you.

But why aren’t our governments pushing us towards an elevated kind of living anyway?

While on maternity leave, I’ve regressed further than the second world. Whilst on maternity leave, in this wonderful period of growth – both mine and Silver’s - I’ve created my own paradise. We’ve been educated properly on what we’ve found particularly interesting. We’ve eaten home-cooked whole food every day. We’ve enjoyed sourcing it. We’ve swam in rivers, climbed mountains, breathed in the air of woodlands for at least two hours on most days. We’ve meditated. Done yoga. Developed family rituals and spiritual practices to keep our connection with the transcendental, with ourselves and with the collective human effort.

Part of our education meant studying social anthropology and looking even further afield than the third world to see what we could learn from our indigenous tribes – the Penan of Borneo, the Kogi of Columbia, the Piraha from Brazil. And what I learned took my breath away…

I found the hippy vibe that people in my society tell me is deluded and naïve – found egalitarian, spiritual sustainable societies living happy and free. Folk living in that sacred moment that the holy man in the first, second and third world tries to maintain. Peace. Love. Subconscious contentment. ‘Natural’ ‘no artificial colours’ ‘no chemicals’ ‘sustainable’ all these buzz words that we know are right, leading us right back to the indigenous tribes of Eden.

In fact, academics from our great institutions of learning such as Oxford, have found that these ‘hippy cultures’ are our original way of being! Fancy that! The definitive character of the homo sapiens is a hippy! I’m stunned! And delighted!

In these tribal cultures, that are alive and thriving now, and not some beautiful dream from our past as a species, If someone is unhappy, the whole tribe is unhappy. If someone is hungry, the tribe will feed them. I do know that this is the case in our society too. There are staff at my school who are deeply upset by the inequality in our society. And many that give freely to the poor in our area. But, those that govern us have the most power and they aren’t doing enough to give the whole tribe a good life. And, It’s become a cliché that indigenous people, those without the riches of the developed world are happier and isn’t that sad? Sad that the words of the good fight have become cliches…ways of selling products…meaningless platitudes…tired incantations… And sadder still that those that are touched by this perhaps don’t feel empowered to do anything to create this happier life.

While I’ve been off on my maternity leave, enjoying every moment of this wonderful period of growth, I’ve learned about our brains, about the left and right hemispheres. That we are conditioned to think via the right hemisphere, the side that always thinks it’s right – that fatal flaw that will destroy us. Because, the left side sees the whole and senses our connection to all of life more deeply.

But I have to keep asking myself: why are you writing this?

It’s not to push my point of view on others. WE all experience truth subjectively. And, many of us like first world Capitalism and thrive within the system and that’s great. Besides, as a species, I believe we are beyond reproach for our first world lives that both trash the planet and fuck off our elders. If one choses to purposefully exterminate whole species of animals, then that’s nature’s way because it is. I do not believe that murder is morally wrong. Or, the supermarkets full of products that cause misery to those who’s habitats they destroy, those who’s insides they destroy and those who are exploited to farm, harvest and transport them, are morally wrong. Nature is cruel and nature is kind and both of those states are beyond reproach. Treating women, Jews or blacks like second class citizens is not wrong. Capitalism, that puts a price on labour so that some do not earn a living wage, which is no different than treating women, blacks and Jews like a piece of shit that you wouldn’t spit on, is not wrong. Horrible, but not wrong. Fucking obscene, but not wrong. So, if we know that our way of living is quickening the extinction of homo sapiens and we don’t care, then that’s fine – some folk just aren’t sentimental.

This is just where I am on my journey. First world urban living is destructive and unwholesome to and I want a better space for me and my girl. I want a better space for my mum, my dad, my gran and my grandad.

And while I don’t believe in right and wrong, believing instead that things just are, there are ways of being that feel and appear more beautiful to me, more expansive and expressive and ways that are full of the elevation and dignity that I expect for the animal that crossed the Rubicon to consciousness.

I’m writing this in anticipation of the gorgeously curated paradise that I’ve created for my baby and I will disappear when I go back to work and start living the life that I’ve been conditioned to live and I don’t know if I can do that, but, I need to think it through carefully before I make any rash decisions and this is that work.

What values am I willing to compromise? Because I’m beginning to think that I’ve been through too much to compromise any of my values. I’ve worked too hard to understand the world in order to create a value system to compromise on living true to a value system that meets my physical, spiritual, psychological and emotional needs in the best way I can. And the so-called developed world does not meet my needs.

So I have to look progressively forward. Because, research shows that living like this, operating from a competitive mentality and living in a competitive social system with inequality between people, are detrimental to human health and wellbeing. Even those at the top.

And, actually, the original state of the homo sapiens is cooperative, egalitarian society. So, on the shoulders of all who have come before us, I’ve found the ‘new age’ - a progressive way to be that is beyond the first world.

Nowhere is the value of the new age way of being more obvious than in pregnancy and birth. I’ve read that the labour of your baby is a metaphor for your life. If this is the case, then, perhaps the different approaches to labour and birth are macrocosmic, extended metaphors for the indigenous culture, the first, second and third world culture and the new age culture.

I can’t find any information at present about birth in the indigenous tribes living now. And, I don’t know anything about giving birth in the third world either. It’s only hearsay, but, I have heard that women in the third world give birth without too much fuss and continue working soon afterwards.

However, birth in the first world has become medicalised. We give birth in a hospital and are hooked up to machinery, which is not a pleasant environment. We are also taught to fear labour and have stories impressed upon us of screaming and swearing our babes’ into being. However, drugs and procedures have evolved to help with the pain, but, this is what the first world always does. Drugs and medicines are chosen to cure and deal with illness and pain, when, a change in mindset and diet and lifestyle could deal with illness and pain in a natural way that is empowering and allows a woman to step into her own power and feel fabulous.

Now, this sounds rather abstract, so I’ll use a statistic from a mainstream institution to make my point concrete. The World Health organisation publishes the ideal rate of caesarean sections as between 10-15%. This is because a caesarean has more risks than a natural birth. When I gave birth, the percentage rate at Stepping Hill hospital for that month was over 36%. The UK at large is 30%. Highest Turkey 48%. Third world countries all under 10%.

This suggests any one of the following: that women in the developed world have forgotten how to give birth; that they have lost their instinct for birth; that they don’t want to have a natural birth; that they want to remain detached from birth; that birth is scary.

Now, I’m not saying that a desire to detach oneself from birth because one is perhaps squeamish or scared of pain is terrible, but, while learning, I have come across all that the new age has to offer in this metaphor of birth

– births that are beautiful, empowering and pleasurable and in settings that resemble Eden. I have been blown away by the ways in which the new age spiritual ideas of surrender and trust can bring powerful transfigurations resulting in births that I cannot believe have occurred. And I now feel disappointed that this new age wisdom came too late and that I have not been part of an event that was not simply wonderful because a new life was coming into being, but, an event that was wonderful because it was also a spiritual experience that is worthy of a human being that has evolved to this point

– worthy of someone that has the whole world at their fingertips, someone who has the opportunity to create a life that dignifies them and those around them, someone who has the opportunity to learn about anything and to use that knowledge to be the best they can be – the healthiest, happiest, most elevated golden one that crossed the Rubicon to consciousness!

We must then look at our progress for what it is worth. We must regress to progress again with all the gifts of the old and new worlds. And here, in this threshold, we begin to make some new-fangled paradise for neo Adam and neo Eve. And this is the conversation I want to begin…

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