What is natural living?
Is it living off the land? We all “live off the land”, although not directly. Not so that you’d notice where food, clothing or housing actually comes from. We are deliberately divorced from this knowledge and experience. But in reality, everything we need for our survival as individuals and as a species already comes from the land. Is this natural living? No, of course not.
Is sustainable living “natural living”? Doing things for yourself and being self-reliant and self-sufficient, independent of the larger society? No, this isn’t natural living either, not really, because of the constraints that are still in place.
Well then what is natural living? And why does it even matter?
Natural living comprises many things, but at its core is living without force. And it matters because of the imbalance between man and his environment today. Understanding our role as a species in the natural order of things is critical for our future survival and that of the planetary ecosystems.
Most of what mankind does is by force, most often violently. This of course includes human exercises like wars and resource extraction (environmental war), but civilization itself, which is a dual form of warfare upon the environment and humans.
Even agriculture is forceful, tearing up and laying down the soil in unnatural ways, forcing the land itself into the acceptance of unnatural plant species and growth. Little or nothing is naturally returned to the soil to regenerate it. The stress upon the existing natural systems is absolutely staggering.
The very foundation of our civilization are a forced construct, an artificial human fabrication of control, resulting in extensive damage environmentally and socially. The resulting human relationships laboring under this structure are also by necessity completely artificial and controlled, fractured fabrications by design, pale shadows of their true potential.
On a macro scale, civilization violently takes whatever it needs with no regard for anything else, including the planet, people, society, animals, plants or the ecosystems. There is nothing natural at all about our civilization or the society and relationships it constructs. These are in fact, unnatural relationships, based upon an unnatural society, built from an unnatural civilization, acting exactly the opposite to natural systems of balance, cycles and restoration.
Our societies are a mirrored reflection of our civilization. Society reflects the unnatural forces of artificial fabrication, resource extraction and control (you), and violence (coercion and forced compliance).
This coercion is also found throughout our social structures, where forced compliance and acceptance of unnatural things are required of entire societies encompassing millions, billions of people. The resulting stress from this forceful acceptance of unnatural things is fracturing the very foundations of civilization and society. It is one of the primary reasons why civilization and societies are failing today.
Our entire civilization is based upon the concept of high rates of extraction, with little or nothing returned being returned to restore the natural balance. A staggering loss to our planetary systems has been the inevitable results.
Nature is violent and cruel, but what nature takes, it replaces. The simple act of a deer nipping off the the tender branches of a bush is an act of violence. But the deer or the rabbit or the bear does not destroy their environment so forcibly, so completely, that it won’t regenerate itself in a single season. Nor do they engage in a pattern of systematic and deliberate ritual abuse of their environment. Such a concept to naturally living things is absurd in the extreme. Whenever the natural balance is exceeded (most often first caused by man), a few seasons returns the plant and animal life to its natural harmony and balance.
The energy consumption of plants and animals is returned to the soil in the natural cycle of re-fertilization. The power of the wind, sun, air and water are constantly in motion renewing, replenishing and restoring what nature has consumed within the natural cycle of life found throughout the entire Earth.
But this natural cycle of life, recycle and return is non-existent within civilization and society. Both of these creations are artificial constructs based upon the principles of violent extraction, returning nothing, caring for nothing from or for the natural systems that support them, or the unnatural societies that they spawn.
This constant extraction, the taking of resources, energy and raw materials and the forcible control that is exercised has enabled the development of a highly complex and unnatural civilization, which is entirely alienated to living without force.
It must also be observed then, that it is impossible for our civilization to be naturally occurring, because its very essence was built upon these unnatural patterns! It must also be observed that civilization is entirely dependent upon force for its continued existence. This force is mirrored within society and applied to its “animal kingdom”. We in turn, expect and perceive force and control as being entirely natural and acceptable, without once realizing that our society is simply a reflection of the violence of our civilization!
Every aspect of our civilization relies upon the underpinnings of force as its life blood, a force which is highly unnatural and ultimately, non-renewable. The recycling of energy is locked up into the artificial constructs and extractions of civilization, leaving the greater natural world diminished, depleted and damaged and eventually, mortally wounded. This non-renewable component also applies to our society. Eventually, society and civilization collapse, because the unnatural pattern of force and control are quite simply, unsustainable and far, far removed from the natural and sustainable patterns of renewing and recycling of life and energy.
Remove this force and civilization and society would quite simply, collapse. Therefore, it is impossible for natural living to occur under these present constructs of civilization and society. It simply can not happen. We cannot even experience it anymore.
In order to explore natural living and what it might mean, we would by necessity need to divorce ourselves from the artificial constructs of force and control. While not impossible to do, it is quite difficult to obtain. For example, it is illegal to reject these artificial constructs. Civilization and society demands your right to existence to remain under “its” control. Even your basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter must come by permission. These highly unnatural and artificial entities will go to extreme lengths to ensure that you are forced into complete compliance. Therefore, to simply observe natural living is extremely difficult, to say nothing of attempting to live natural living on a day-to-day basis.
These concepts are alien to most people. Of course they are! There is nothing within our present civilization and society that recognizes the basic rights to life and living as being inherently your entitlement, your birthright for simply existing! These rights include the use of the land, air, water and food, all of which should be free to the planetary inhabitants. Ownership of such things denies the right to life (for all living creatures, not just humans) and leads to exploitation, control, environmental destruction and eventually, enslavement and planetary collapse.
Natural living does not recognize the construct of civilization and society as being either healthy or necessary. Coercion of the land, people or resources is neither needed nor wanted and is avoided wherever possible. The best human examples still in existence today is found in the few indigenous tribes still alive, but even these are a shadow of their former selves and former existence due to the coercive and destructive nature of the surrounding civilization and its incessant demands. Much of what these tribes do is a reaction to the unhealthy civilization that surrounds them.
Other non-human examples are already right before our eyes and still exist in abundance, although under great stress. These are the examples in the animal kingdom, which do not seek to exist through force and control. Taking what they need as their birthright, they co-exist with other species without “ownership” of the land, air, water and food. Theirs is a cycle of life and renewal, returning to the soil what they have taken out. The natural ecosystems of the earth are highly adjusted to their existence and cycles, but this cannot be said of mankind. We are the one species on earth that is out of balance, creating discord and destruction with everything we do.
The root of this is caused by our civilization and its principles of force and control, which is unnatural and unhealthy for all living species. Strange, while we grudgingly admit the birthright of animals and their right to life and existence, we don’t recognize the natural birthrights of the human-animal, and go to great lengths to make sure nobody else does either.
Natural living does exactly that, while rejecting the artificial constructs and self-defeating patterns of force within civilization and society.