These short essays to follow are written from the standpoint of trying to distinguish between violent behaviors for a means of survival, and violent behaviors that stem from an appetite to commit violent acts. After approximately 5000 years of civilization, humans have erected themselves out of the natural world and have constructed their own. The civilization system, so to speak, depended on infinite amount of resources, of all forms, to fuel the process. Resources that from our early ancestors perspective, were only there for the taking. At that time the population was significantly smaller, which meant the impact on the environment could be absorbed without recourse. Throughout time our mythology even reflected this perspective by placing the Earth at the center of the universe. As a result, the civilization system was highly successful in growth, and accepted violent acts as common place.
Acts of violence have built and will continue to build this world in the form of one species consuming the energy of another for its own survival. The modern world follows the same way. However, through civilization humans must question what is necessary for survival if they intend on surviving. Our modern society has packaged resources in cute little boxes made from almost any material. But for most, the thoughts on the origins of these materials, the true necessity of the items, and the impact on the environment are never questioned. Simply put, I believe the majority of the population has lost connection with the impact of how much violence we tolerate.
My hopes are to extract a truth that I can hold up to my self and decide are my acts just. It is important from my perspective that this kind of questioning begin to tingle in the cortex’s of the public’s consciousness. The human race has been very successful at taking control over a large amount of the planet. We have put a man on the moon, dabbled in the nuclear forces of the atom and now we can build a human with digital implants. Our power is only strengthened by our technology which has taken us now to the brink of a new age of human beings.
My thoughts lead me to conclude the following: if humans are to survive the coming times an awareness of the interconnectedness of life and matter must increase in the majority of the world population. Each one of us is made from living and non-living matter. Before you were you, your atoms were somewhere else, being something else. We are made from the Earth, as much as we are the Earth.
Man is not the center of the universe. Not only are we analogous to a proton in the vastness of the universe, but contemporary cosmology suggests (allowable through Quantum Mechanics) that the universe itself may be one of many. The point here is that a shift in perspective is in great need. We are part of something so immense and delicate, as opposed to something being just for us. With a perspective of ownership towards the world comes unregulated consumption, and with todays population size this translates into huge violence across the globe. In order for humans to survive in the future, their place in the universe must be clear.
Of course this will change many beliefs. Think of this: how can 2000 – 5000 years of ancient beliefs handle modern moral dilemmas such as stem cell research, cloning, human organ printing, gene manipulation, and the other issues that will surely arise as a result of twenty first century technology? I feel that the further we probe the more we will realize all creatures and even matter are at different levels of consciousness. Our actions are a result of our beliefs, which are a function of our perspective. The species is too powerful to run an old program at this scale of population. The violence is too great for the planet to absorb anymore. More importantly, for what purpose is this conscious engine intending to do and for whom? How many entities must be sacrificed for survival or for the sake of a tiny minority? What does the planet gain in dividends for being on the receiving end of such violent acts? Lastly, how does violent behavior affect our humanity, are we evolving or are we dis-evolving?
This leads me to the first basic question, when is it just to kill and when is it not?
More to come….
Written by Erik Niel
When the time comes to leave the desert a heavy feeling settles down on your heart. Even if your skin still sizzles from yesterday’s hike, you can’t help but feel sad to leave. There is something very cleansing about the desert. Somehow the hot sun melts away all the stress from the rigors of life. With its simplicity and beauty the desert can realign ones compass and refuel the soul.
The world of Dr. Suess’ comes alive at Joshua Tree National Park. The Joshua Trees are scattered like a forest throughout the desert. It feels as if you are walking in a magical land in the clouds. The desert is dry, hot and huge rocks scatter the open land like the Flintstone’s cartoon. Even though the desert is an extreme environment, there is still much beauty and life about. It reminds me that life is a hardy force. I keep finding myself thinking that a giant will pop out from behind the rocks singing, “Fee… Fi… Fo… Fum”…ready to pounce on me. This strange environment allows my mind the space to wander freely. I look out beyond the horizon and breath in the clean air and take everything in through all senses. I am thankful to F.D.R. for setting aside this land, the people of his future. What would it be like without places untouched by man’s hand? How would we gain any sense of perspective?
Take any way possible to visit Joshua Tree or any other National Park. I find it interesting that Joshua Tree park is very well maintained. All park structures are in good condition and most of the park is very clean. My thoughts wonder and begin questioning why we do not have protected cities? People should live under similar guidelines that protect the environment, and regulate the amount of traffic so the environment is protected preserved. I vote to set more land aside as protected by our country. More land under protection means people can connect back with nature and disconnect from the frantic drive of life. Places like Joshua Tree are extremely important for people to be reminded of the world outside of the one we create. Rejuvienate your spirit and sit high on a rock and stare at the beauty of Joshua Tree National Park.
The Voices of America project is an archive of American lives at a amazing point in history. Through knowledge, technology, and most importantly information transfer; the world is at a precipice of a whole new frontier of existence. While the old powers attempt to contain these historic evolutionary steps in civilization, it is inevitable that some dramatic change will ocurr. “Once eaten from the tree of knowledge, forever are the eyes open.”
Take a short break from the routine of life and submit your own personal thoughts. Leave an account for future Americans what it was like to live at this historic transition. You do not have to be a writer, a journalistic, or teacher. The only requirements are that you live in America and give the readers your perspective on the state of America. Help us build a massive archive of American thoughts that reflect back on their homeland and themselves.
The goal is to take a portion of these articles and publish them into a Voices of America Journal for all Americans to read.
Submit a short article, poem, picture, or what ever and tell your fellow Americans your unique voice. 180 Films will take submissions up until May 31 2011. Register for Voices of America CLICK HERE
180 Films staff
The Sun God has returned today. I am sitting here trying to grab a hold of myself. I feel the stress creeping on me like a thousand ants. Each tiny bit tickling my nerves fueling the anxiety through my blood. My conflict is the outside, and my little garden is my shield. It is only a 3ft wide by 12 ft long porch with an ugly pink stucco, but I and my love transformed it into a private sanctuary in the chaos. There are tall snap dragons climbing to the sky, rich purple flowers spill over the balcony like a water fall. There is a bushy lavender plant that filters out the air with its soothing scent.
The concept was to create our own little zen hide away. It is amazing to me how much little items like a stone can change ones perception on anything. The soft contours of the white Alabaster rock take my mind to a beautiful pond in the mountains with birds chirping in an audience of trees.
There are no worries, for at this spot the mood is heaven. The fears are left way behind. It is wonderful to give my mind the sanctuary to calm itself down. Regardless how much life may demand at anytime, I must allow my mind to feel peace. The soft green vegetation surrounds my vision and softens the concrete around me. Having plants relaxes my body and I can see the beauty of the sunlight on the flowers. Even in my tiny garden I have a little fountain that rains a curtain of water around a small candle. I look to my Eden and wonder how can I improve my garden? My dream is to create such a lush garden that I am shielded from the outside world. I love our little Eden. Without my plants growing well, how would I enjoy each day?
Pay back is a bitch! “Green for green,” is the pulse that fuels the hearts of the Environmental Capitalist. I see times when the industrial money making devices are bled dry. Only selected factories stand ruin as a reminder of their ancestors errors. Like ghost towns of the old west these empty shells reflect the emptiness of it’s previous tenants. Every ounce of energy that went into building these profit engines is gone. The fuel is given back to restoration of living things once bleed on the alter. An equalibrium state between all things is sought after, for this will be the resonance frequency for all things to meet their greatest potential. These environmental capitalists of the future stand on the knowledge that a different world is not only possible, but necessary.
There will be platoons of granola eating hippy armies, who left their apathetic ideals behind. These revolutionary flower children are well armed, well trained, and highly sophisticated people. They will utilize current resources beyond anyones imagination. Peace and love are still the mantra, but now used as an instrument to achieve their agendas. With the population infected by alienation, it becomes easy for the environmental capitalist to find followers, by applying ideals such as respect, knowledge, and objectivity. Flocks of minds will bend to the words of the new ideals like grass in the wind. People of this thinking are not stressed by the worries of the old world. They have desires, they have passion, and know their life has meaning.
The Environmental capitalist is greedy for harmony and well being to all entities. The purpose is to discover the next layer of our existence. These men and women strive to steer the world to a higher vantage point of awareness. There is no selfish means by these people for they are already filled with the spirit of discovering the uncharted depths of our universe. The quest for origin is want it really boils down to. The environmental capitalist sees a world when all men and women utilize their vast potential as a conscious being to explore new territories beyond the gods. The Environmental Capitalist understands that this fight is a real war, but still holds respect to the old ideals and their practitioners. If it were not for them, the level the environmental capitalist quest to now, would have never been in reach.
Hear my words brothers and sisters, times are changing. A new rebirth is rumbling beneath our feet. The alarms of uncertainty in our current world are ringing. Do not be scared, or frighted by new perspectives, remember each one of us is our own governor. The only thing to do is embrace the vast potential of the unknown with confidence and self alliance. The new conditions to come demand a highly creative human being, who is of sight and strength. The days of rebirth are near, stand tall and stand with your fellow comrades shoulder to shoulder.
Written by Jak Ahabdune
|From Voices of America -Authors Pictures|
Jak Ahabdune is an eccentric and enthusiastic writer from Venice, California with a unique, creative approach. Currently, he enjoys writing for e-zines articles and for a variety of websites as well as his own blog site, Jak’s View. He also frequently writes for 180 Films, an independent film company based in Los Angeles. His innovative and inspiring imagination strikes as a fresh draft of originality when he explores topics like skateboarding, consciousness, science, film and music.