When I was in my youth I woke up to the evils of the society I was living in with its hypocrisy, warmongering, greed and destructive ways. I saw that the constant striving for growth was destroying nature and that most people were snared into a life of mindless consumerism. The tenets of the culture were based on greed and selfishness. I wanted none of it.
The music I was listening to reflected the attitude I had towards the evils of that society – ‘It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’, ‘McGoohan’s Blues’, ‘Maggie’s Farm’, ‘The Unknown Soldier’, ‘Who are the Brain Police’ and ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’.
I had no desire to be part of that machine. I despised its pointlessness. I wanted something more fulfilling. I did not want to have anything to do with a machine that was so destructive. I did not want to spend my time working for a society that I believed was basically evil. I wanted to opt out. I wanted to live a more meaningful life which was more in tune with nature.
I set out to try to divorce myself from the whole of that culture. I wanted something better. I thought I could live outside of that society, to live simply in a more natural way and make a living out of creativity. I had no desire to get on that consumerist treadmill. I did not aspire to be rich, or even comfortable; I wanted to be happy and fulfilled; I wanted to find something that felt more spiritually significant. I saw the life my Dad was living as empty and pointless. I saw what society was creating as a concrete nightmare.
As I grew older I discovered that my dream was just that – a dream. I discovered that one could not live outside of society. Whatever you did it pulled you back in. There was no outside.
Living simply off the land was not idyllic and 7.6 Billion people could not live like that. Making a living from creativity was not possible for most of us. Regardless of what you did society went on with its inexorable destruction. We were caught up in it whether we liked it or not. War, poverty, the destruction of nature, pollution, overpopulation and mindless greed went on all around. No man was an island and it was no use to try to blot out the suffering that was the result of this relentless striving for power and wealth.
If you don’t like something you can either try to ignore it and divorce yourself from it or you can try to make it better.