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The Elephant in the Room

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The Elephant in the Room

Civilization’s Achilles Heel that Business, Science, Religion, and Government Cannot See

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By Chet Shupe,

author of:

Take Us Home, Girls!

 

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Synopsis

Humanity is blind to the failures of civilization. Though we suffer emotionally from the shortcomings in our way of life, we work hard to ignore our pain, assuming our suffering is our own fault. If we could observe civilization from the outside, we might see these failings and be able to free ourselves from all the mistaken beliefs that hold modern society together, and relieve the pain.

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Subtitles Page

Emotions Are Expressions of Life 2

The Modern Psyche will not Accept

the Life that Nature Gave Us 3

When Humans Ceased Behaving like Humans 4

Emotional Intelligence Serves Life, not Self 5

The Three Categories of Unconditional Love 7

The Elephant in the Room 8

Recovering from Ownership Addiction 9

Living In the Moment 10

Emotional Dishonesty 11

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The Elephant in the Room

Civilization’s Achilles Heel that Business, Science,

Religion, and Government Cannot See

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If this life is one act[
__]Why do we lay all these traps[
__]We put them right in our path[
__]When we just wanna be free[
__][
__]I will not waste my days[
__]Making up all kinds of ways[
__]To worry about all the things[
__]That will not happen to me[
__][
__]So I just let go of what I know I don’t know[
__]And I know I only do this by[
__]Living in the moment[
__]Living my life[
__]Easy and breezy[
__]With peace in my mind[
__]With peace in my heart[
__]Peace in my soul[
__]Wherever I’m going, I’m already home[
__]Living in the moment

—The Beginning lyrics to Jason Mraz’s

“Living in the Moment”

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Why, indeed, do we lay all these traps, when we “just wanna be free?” Why do we waste our days worrying about things that never happen? What would it be like to live with peace in our minds, hearts and souls? What would it be like to know that wherever we’re going, we’re always home?

From the point of view of this modern world, those questions seem unanswerable. What person has any of us ever known, who is worry-free? How, in this constantly changing world, is it physically possible to be entirely at peace in mind, heart, and soul? What does it even mean, to be “at home,” no matter where you are going? These are magical states of being, not real ones to modern humans. So, you have every reason to be shocked, or surprised, when I tell you that, not long ago in evolutionary time, all humans lived in the moment, never worrying about the future. Whether at rest, or in battle, they were at peace, in mind, heart, and soul. Their “home” was not a place, but the network of intimate relationships of trust they had with the people around them—people with whom they were joined by absolute bonds of physical and emotional interdependence, bonds that have nothing to do with our modern concepts of friendship or, often, even love. For upwards of two hundred thousand years, human beings lived in this state, which I call spiritual freedom, a state defined by the fact that they lived in intimate connection with others, yet were free to do what they felt like doing in every moment of their lives.

Emotions Are Expressions of Life

Humans are sentient beings—really, sentient spirits. Each spirit is the repository of the sumtotal of evolutionary wisdom that preceded us. And it communicates that wisdom, moment by moment, to our conscious minds, always in the language of feelings. The significance of this to each human life becomes obvious only if we ask what life would be like without feelings.

If we didn’t feel, we wouldn’t know anything—not when to eat or stop eating, sleep or rise, or even find shelter from the cold. We would have no basis for accepting or rejecting others. Mothers would never love their children, not only for lack of the ability to feel love, but because there would be no children, if not for the desire for sex. Nor would any man ever have a reason to place his life on the line, or to kill, on behalf of others. The beauty of Nature would be as nothing, to us. Without feelings, we would have no will to live, not only because that, too, is a feeling, but because we would be no more aware of our existence than a robot—no matter how intelligent we might be, or how advanced our sensory systems. Everything we know about life comes to us through feelings—including the realization that we exist. Even our desire to learn is inspired by feelings.

In short, feelings make us living things. They are the source of every expression of animate life. Feelings are so central to life that we experience pain every time society’s moral or legal obligations force us to behave in ways that deny how we really feel. Despite the pain, it never occurs to us that to deny how we feel in any given moment is to deny life. We are blind to it, because we accept as a given the society in which we grew up, never wondering where all the myths and competing belief systems invented by human societies down through the ages came from—or why. We have no way of knowing that their only contribution is to numb us to the pain of denying the feelings that are constantly welling up from our souls.

***

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The Elephant in the Room

Humanity is blind to the failures of civilization. Though we suffer emotionally from the shortcomings in our way of life, we work hard to ignore our pain, assuming our suffering is our own fault. If we could observe civilization from the outside, we might see these failings and be able to free ourselves from all the mistaken beliefs that hold modern society together, and relieve the pain. Humans instinctively prefer living in the moment, over role playing. So why do we spend most of our time living for the future? It’s because civilization is based on the belief that humans must control the future. You can’t live in the moment, and do that. Essentially, human civilization has trapped us in a false paradigm, imprisoning us in the roles we must play to fit into civilization that believes only in the future. Humanity embraced ownership and the future thousands of years ago. In doing so, we banished ourselves from our natural state of happiness and balance with Nature that all people once took for granted. Living, as we do, as part of the complex system known as civilization, we cannot be true to the selves we evolved to be. We’re being true, instead, to the institutions that grant us the right to own property. Being true to ourselves was once the organizing principle among humans. Now, ownership and the role-playing it requires define our lives, within the context of institutionalized civilization—causing perpetual emotional pain. A key element of civilization is the nuclear family, which is based on the tradition of men owning women. It is in the family where the role playing civilization requires is the most onerous to our spirits. That is why nearly half of American adults now live alone, why marriages are often unhappy, why divorce and spousal abuse are so rampant, and why ever more children are in need of foster care. This is but one example of the suffering mankind continues to endure, never knowing why. The solution begins with acknowledging the elephant in the room—the failure of the nuclear family and the many other institutions on which civilization stands. This will not be the end, but the beginning of our return to the natural way of life through which humanity once thrived.

  • Author: Chet Shupe
  • Published: 2016-09-08 17:05:09
  • Words: 5635
The Elephant in the Room The Elephant in the Room