From my earliest memories in childhood I remember showing up differently to my peers. The world for me was a magical place, sentient and filled with spirit.
The truth is I have never fitted in.
Like all children I tried my best to see the world as the other kids did, but I just couldn’t see what they saw. I never had a desire to compete. Material things held little interest to me, except maybe a book. I preferred the company of nature to that of trying to desperately be popular. I constantly felt the pull of the creative spirit when all the other kids had long forgotten their imagination.
My ‘oddness’ at least to my peers has haunted me for most of my life. Until in my mid 40’s where I finally began to realize that not seeing the world as most people do, especially in the West, was in fact a gift.
That’s not to say that I haven’t tried to fit myself the square peg into a round hole of competition, consumerism and survival of the fittest. For a time I had all the trappings our materialist consumerist culture says you should have in order to be happy. The fancy sports car, the big house in the right neighbourhood and all the cool boys toys.
But I wasn’t happy. As Krishnamurti notes, “It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
It took a lot of courage, determination, and pain to tear myself away from the lie of modernity, that if you play by the capitalist rule book you will find the happiness you ‘deserve’.
Not only I have realized that the modern world and how it is set up is the reason so many of us now find that we are so miserable and unhappy, but that it will never be the path to fulfillment. We don’t need more science, or more technology, or more stuff—what we need is to return to our true nature our natural instincts.
The truth is, everything you require
to be fulfilled is already within you. Not in some kind of pop-spirituality Woo, Woo, self-help kind of way…But rather hardwired within you, reaching all the way back to the dawn of man. Deep within what is often considered our primitive instincts lies the secret to showing up in life with poise, focus and clarity. This starts with learning how to reconnect with our Human Animal Spirit (see the Human Animal Retreat for more on this).
I am reminded here of the words of Jim Morrison: “The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.”
At a time where people are feeling fragmented, anxious, stressed out, and suffering from a loss of meaning — I believe the antidote, and the way to show up in life with poise, focus, and clarity is to reconnect to our natural instincts. The knowledge of our natural instincts can be found in fully embracing the ancestral wisdom of merging mind, body and the intelligence of the natural world.
As such we need to ‘unschool’ ourselves from the falsehood of happiness promised in modernity and in turn relearn once again how to reconnect with the uncluttered, minimalist experience of being fully alive with ourselves.
In short we need to ‘Riˈwīld’ ourselves!