Response to Psyche.co essay: "How to rewild yourself"

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Daniel
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Response to Psyche.co essay: "How to rewild yourself"

Post by Daniel »

Due to exceeding the word count at Psyche.co I've placed my response to the essay 'How to rewild yourself' in this forum.
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Response to How to rewild yourself by Jessica Carew Kraft

"As Homo sapiens, we evolved in an environment and social context aligned with our instincts to be outside, procreate, find food, and celebrate with our small clan. For the vast majority of our 300,000 years as nomadic hunter-gatherers, we relied only on simple, hand-made technology. We satisfied all needs directly from nature and face-to-face communities of fewer than 150 people."

All of this is true but as with all things there will be change. The history and contexts of hunter-gatherer women paved the way for modern women such as yourself to evolve in a contemporary context. You and men and women like yourself will pave the way for those future contexts of development and let us hope they are beneficial rather than dystopic.

"Our brains and bodies are still built to live a Palaeolithic lifestyle: outside, exposed to the elements, getting plenty of exercise, and finding everything we need in nature."

Yes and no/maybe:

"Fossils and DNA suggest people looking like us, anatomically modern Homo sapiens, evolved around 300,000 years ago. Surprisingly, archaeology – tools, artefacts, cave art – suggest that complex technology and cultures, “behavioural modernity”, evolved more recently: 50,000-65,000 years ago."__When did we become fully human?

We could have a slide-ruler argument about this but the key point is the change, the adaptation and evolution that can be noted. The 'brains and bodies' had to adapt to the time/space process of our particular existence. You yourself had to adapt in your own timeline from your perceptions as a child, to a person working in Silicon Valley, to the person you are now able to note what you've learned and assessments thereof. By the way, I resided in the San Jose area during the boom. I heard many stories in their prime, and of course, each with its own aftermath. Who knows how many 'rewildings' were initiated after that.

As for the, 'What to do' section of your essay, consider the following: The homeless, gangs, crime, organizational dysfunctions in corporate and government levels (a subset being bureaucracies increasingly weighted by demands of all types), unregulated immigration, the economy at large, "bullshit jobs", questionable law enforcement, foreign political/military concerns, and the list can go on by filling in the blanks with categories of your choice.

Take any of the above and regard them in the context of the headings in 'What to do'. As examples, no one except someone with a bent for dark humor would tell a homeless person to 'Spend more time outside', or 'Spend extended time in wild settings'; the urban landscape for them is wild and dangerous enough.

'Aim for autonomy in small social groups' ? Gangs, terrorists, cartels, and assorted political groups have their own take on that and where 'Positively stress your body with some discomfort' takes on a very different meaning.

Does this mean that the headings you note are without merit? Not at all. But they are remedies that to be used in their proper and beneficial context requires elements and components that are not widely available to society in general. And even for those to whom they are available the practice of them is rarely an activity without concerns. The simplest example of this would be you or I considering a trip to a National Park or scenic area to 'get away from it all'. Yes, it can be done, but you and I know that our health to begin with has to be in relatively good stead, reliable transportation is a must, the credit card(s) have to be taken along, and of course, be mindful that the benefits of the moment are book-ended with the ongoing management of the realities we are each tasked with. If all that is in place, then of course the views from Island in the Sky in Utah or other places is inspirational and helpful in many ways.

"..sufficient leisure time, supportive intergenerational social networks, and a life-long sense of purpose and relationship with nature."

It's what we all want, what we all need to make life better. But alas, the overall tapestry at the moment shows many frayed areas and threads dangling. Let us all hope, even with the smallest repairs on the part of each that the image in time becomes clearer.

A nice essay, Ms Kraft. And as soon as the weather permits, I shall rewild myself - modestly - in my local area. :-)

Daniel

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