It's just not making sense folks. I know a lot of people have told me time and time again that I think too much but....there is much to think about and things recently have been either confusing me or frightening me, so I am going to try and explain (just in case readers of this blog were getting deluded and maybe a little pissed off by the idea that I spend ALL of my time being ecstatically happy)...
Things are really frustrating me such as my difficulty in finding contentment with what is such a conceivably perfect situation I find myself in right now. This means that all I am about to complain about is really not something I believe I even have the validity to do but I am going to go ahead and do it anyway, call it an experiment in moaning....
All those 'regular' things that most westerners do with their lives and seem to find such satisfaction with, really don't do it for me as ideas of ways to be fulfilled. I can understand the appeal of marriage and children and hold masses of love for those who are prepared to go through such lifelong projects, but they are still not things I strive to make happen.
Therefore, a rather large amount of significance that I could potentially have found for my existence, must now be filled with other things.
Well there is plenty of stuff to do with life. Travel obviously being one of them. The endless pursuit of discovery and new experience. This is something I have only really touched on doing when you consider the size and variety of the planet. So plenty of options there.
However, things are holding me back. I realise these are things of my own choosing, but they are things nevertheless...
What holds me back most is the idea that I am not worthy of having such beautiful experiences without doing something to try and stop the suffering of people or nature in some way. It is actually starting to really affect me and make me think that the only way I will be able to find enjoyment is to do a SHITload more to help them / her. I am not talking about a one woman crusade, in fact I know that the changes I have made in my life in the last 2 years HAVE been working towards those principals but it just seems the more I do, the more I change and then the more I learn, the more there is TO BE DONE. Yet also there is the other idea -
Do less, BE more.
Everything I encounter right now confuses me. Going to the supermarket yesterday. I actually wanted to go to the organic store but forgot it was a public holiday. So i ended up spending money on frozen pizza and crisps and dip, after spending about 10 minutes trying to find a cheese that wasn't produced using milk from giant dairy farms or animal rennet (made from cow stomachs). Which leads me to a short diversion piece:
The New Zealand Dairy Industry...
is responsible for a large amount of devastation to native bushland, for shit treatment of cows, for pollution of waterways and for spreading of enormous amounts of petrochemicals. It also is contributing to the destruction of rainforests in OTHER countries. Whoever thought a dairy industry in New Zealand could be responsible for the destruction of orangutans?!
The milk advert they don't want you to see
It lines the pockets of the rich businessmen and provides a substantial amount of the country's foreign export earnings. "Very important for the economy" blah blah blah - so the relatively recently appointed National Party are pushing for this to continue to expand with little concern for the harm being done to the environment or the animals. New Zealand's not so beautiful and clean and green after all. 'Green Deserts' as the dairy farms are known amongst the people, are what I spend a lot of my time surrounded by. Anyway....Fonterra, which is the multinational corporation responsible for all this shit, well clearly it takes a bit of label-reading when you're in the supermarket to ensure you avoid their products. And even then you start wondering how much of the products made by other companies use milk powder that was provided to them by Fonterra.
Even when you are super aware of something like this it's hard to know exactly where your food has come from, unless you buy from a local or organic store. And even then I wonder about the methods of production....
So anyway this is an example of the kind of struggles we are up against. The vast majority of people here either don't really know that much or are selectively ignorant and continue to purchase milk, ice cream, cheese and other Fonterra products. I am no saint and sometimes I too probably eat something that contains a dairy derivative produced by Fonterra or, as earlier on today, ate some ice cream that they produced. And yes i feel shit about it and I am thinking "Okay time to get more and more strict about this shit"....
It's not just Fonterra though, it's the vast majority of things available to spend dollars on that have had some kind of negative impact somewhere along the line of their production, either to people, to animals or to the planet.
So I am existing right now in a bit of a state of existential guilt. And yes I feel worse after buying junk food products from the supermarket. I suppose I understand the selective ignorance, because it's really difficult to avoid the bullshit EVEN WHEN you spend most of your time living far from the city and hardly ever have to spend money on food!
But what else? What other products does one buy? I have reduced my needs to a minimum. Recently I bought some new sunscreen and it was made here in Aotearoa using only natural organic ingredients, no chemicals whatsoever ("Bee Dance" - available from Piko in Chch, or email firstname.lastname@example.org). Fantastic. Then onto make-up. I have gotten used to none whatsoever but it's nice to have something for those occasional times of desiring to make one's appearance a bit more 'perfection' friendly such as when one is dancing on stage at the fabulous 'Dolls House' - so yesterday I trawled the web for about 3 hours trying to find where in the city I could go to buy some natural make up / foundation that was made in this country and contained no chemicals - not just because I don't want to put them on my face, but because if it's got chemicals in then even if the product hasn't been tested on animals, chances are its ingredients have. The more aware I become the harder it is to avoid.
Anyway I eventually found this website and I think it could be the only thing suitable.
Pete bulk buys butter from this small farm producing cheeses and butter in South Island
I could rant more and more quite easily and I don't want to pretend to have a moral high ground over anybody, I am actually quite angry at how difficult it is. And I don't want to be angry. I understand that those corporate types don't have any notion of compassion and care, they were probably not loved as children and grew up believing that money was the most important thing to aim for in life.
Avoiding money is one of my aims but it's impossible in the western world. I'm avoiding it a lot more than I used to, and buying very very little. I try to buy things that have been produced in an ethical way but I'm not perfect and still like to smoke and drink and sometimes eat crisps from foil packets that get thrown into landfill. etc. etc.
Am I angry more with my own conscience for caring about this so much, or with the global corporate businesses who are working so hard to keep the economic growth happening at the expense of everything else that exists?!!
How far apart are those two things, in fact?
For anyone who has not yet heard or seen it, watch Zeitgeist which goes a long way to explaining the current state of global society and politics. The stuff THEY don't want you to know. If you want something interesting but not quite as long then I highly recommend The Anti-Terrorist - he's got heaps of stuff on Youtube but this vid, and Part 2, is the most concise run-down with - so importantly - a lasting positive, impact that I have seen. Or if you don't wanna youtube you can read the transcript here
I'm not really too sure how to end this post. It's actually made me feel a bit better somehow, I suppose maybe it's a duty to share some informatiuon and contribute to the waking up of people. I generally do a good job in raising the spirits and this is kind of the opposite but it's important to inform as well as enlighten.
But then if you got all the way through to the end of the Anti Terrorist's 2 vids above you'd be feeling a bit of a different perspective right? I really like that guy....
Love love love