The Mind Disease

Civilized people have thoughts today that would never be considered by the previous 99.9% of human generations. I do not mean clever thoughts of science, but the thoughts that prevent civilization from coexisting with nature and living in peace with each other.

The mind disease puts civilized humanity on a collision coarse with the destruction of the biosphere. If you do not believe me, put your butt on a plane tomorrow and go walk around any ancient Middle Eastern or Mediterranean capital. The landscape is one step up form the surface of Mars, somewhere between desert and scrub brush. Forests gone, top soil gone, biodiversity gone, the cedars of Lebanon gone.

Plato described environmental degradation of early Greece as early as 400 to 500 B.C. in Cririas , “What now remains compared with what then existed is like the skeleton of a sick man, all the fat and soft earth having wasted away, and only the bare framework of the land being left.”1

If you think about it, the memes that have infected civilized human are easy to spot. Here is a short list with some related sub-memes.

  • war, military
  • power, dominion, binding decision
  • farm, herbicide, pesticide, monoculture, domesticate
  • money, consume, property, exploit, commodity, own, slave
  • education, media, religion
  • growth, population
  • government, law enforcement, prison

Pre-columbian Native Americans would never think of such things: a spray that would kill all life, waging war, clearing the forest and prairies to create over populating, trades with profit. The purpose of this post is not to detail Native American history such as the “erratic retaliator strategy” vs. “war”. Just focus on these thoughts were brought from Europe with Columbus to America.

The meme’s infecting the human mind are using us to reproduce themselves through civilization, education, media, laws and religion.

Two take away points. First, do not delude yourself. Civilization in no way can be made sustainable or be fixed. It is an earth-destroying social organizational system. Buying LED lights or an electric car is still consuming. Permaculture still imposes a human design and a small piece of private property.

In my short 50 some years, I have never seen a landscape restored and made healthier over time except on our own Restoration Seed’s Farm and Tompkins Conservation creation of national parks protecting over 2 million acres in Chile and Argentina in perpetuity. Everything else I have seen is slowly run down exploitation after exploitation from farming, logging, development, desertification or being loved to death.

Second, be for something instead of against something. Being against something also gives it energy. Say, “peace now!” instead of, “no war.” The most ironic thing I have seen are peace bumperstickers on cars. Yes, they are for something positive, but they are placed on something that creates war through the acquisition of its fuel and pollution through its manufacturing and use. The place to put a “peace now” bumpersticker is on your hiking backpack. The only way to overcome a meme is to come up with a better one that turns the flow of the river of thoughts.

One more thing, become a shining light. We need more working examples of people tribing up, living in harmony with all of our relations and creating new cultures. Time to get back to the garden.

Chuck Burr

1. Culturequake: The Restoration Revolution, Chuck Burr, 2010, p 91.