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Swandancer

Primitivism

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Here is a site with many good articles on the subject of Primitivism, which to me, is "living naturally". It is life in communion with the Earth and Nature; something Humans used to have, and the animals still do.

While it's easy to jump to conclusions on what this means and where these authors are trying to take us, it took me about a year of reading and pondering before it began to make real sense to me. Not all the authors in this site's collection of articles typically agree with each other, but they make for a good eclectic study, imo.

When I discovered and read these articles, it immediately came to mind that it seems Jesus Christ lived this way, as did John Lennon to a certain large degree. Perhaps Ghandi also?

Primitivism: The pursuit of ways of life running counter to the development of technology, its alienating antecedents, and the ensemble of changes wrought by both. This site is an exploration into primitivist theory, as well as various works that contribute to an understanding of the tendency.

Here are some of my favorite articles, not that I'm saying I could live like they're talking about, and most of them do say it would take a few generations to make any such transition. I mainly go along with not leaving our culture, but definitely radically changing the way our civilization and society are set up.

In Search of the Primitive, by Stanley Diamond

The Primitivist Critique of Civilization, by Richard Heinberg This is the same Heinberg of the "Peak Oil" fame.

Running On Emptiness, by John Zerzan He is the main proponent of this movement, lives in a rural cabin, and travels around giving lectures.

The Machine in our Heads, by Glenn Parton one of my particular favorites.

The Art of Nothing, by Thomas J. Elpei He is actually teaching the art of "doing nothing".

Henry David Thoreau was a primitivist. It is said that he once brought a rock into his cabin to use as a paperweight, but when he discovered he would have to dust the rock occasionally, he put it back outside.

Primitivism teaches such things as society being a slave camp so people can live close to their "work", be kept track of more easily, be "programmed" and "indoctrinated".

Primitivism teaches subtle and pacifistic anarchy and subversion. It teaches total, absolute peace and non-violence in bringing about a revolutionary change. It is not about "going back" but about going forward safely, intelligently and purposefully, without all the wear and tear, stress and strain of today's hurried pace of the proverbial rat race.

I find it quite refreshing and it gives me hope to know there are some people who can think this clearly about our true purpose for being here. It isn't, to them, to work ourselves into the ground and worry from day to day about paying bills, etc. It is to actually enjoy life, the earth and each other.

So, since this thread is an offshoot of the Krishnamurti thread, would anyone say J. K. might have been a primitivist also? Especially in light of the fact that he opened schools in natural settings and always liked to be among the elements of nature himself.

I cheated a little, though. ;) Last year I worked up his Numerology. He has many, many 7s, which, especially in a man, is a sign of a gentle spirit, reaching for higher knowledge, and yes, loving nature and needing to be around it as much as possible.

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Any sophisticated person can easily become "primitive". What this really means is the person's way of life changes. Old values change, becoming linked with the landscape with it's plants and animals. This new existence requires a working knowledge of those multiplex and cross-linked events referred to as nature. It requires a measure of respect for the inertial power within such such natural systems. When a person gains this working knowledge and respect, that is called being "primitive". The reverse of course is equally true: The "primitive" can become sophisticated, but not without accepting terrible psychological damage.

Remember one thing about the term "primitive". The "Agri-forestry" practiced by the Eastern Woodland Indians of North America cannot be reproduced today in any lab, greenhouse, or woodland no matter how controlled the situation. So what is actually defined as "primitive".

Lapiche

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Here is a site with many good articles on the subject of Primitivism, which to me, is "living naturally". It is life in communion with the Earth and Nature; something Humans used to have, and the animals still do.

Hi Swandancer :-)

I'm curious to know, in your opinion, is there a group of people in our society that you think would be most close to following Primitivism? the Native Americans on reservations? The Amish? Amazonian Indians?

I think it would be nice for us to get back in touch with nature again. Just as they say "No man is an island", I also believe that it is natural for us to want to be in communion with the Earth and Nature. I know for myself, I feel so much better spending a day surrounded by nature.

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Any sophisticated person can easily become "primitive". What this really means is the person's way of life changes. Old values change, becoming linked with the landscape with it's plants and animals. This new existence requires a working knowledge of those multiplex and cross-linked events referred to as nature. It requires a measure of respect for the inertial power within such such natural systems. When a person gains this working knowledge and respect, that is called being "primitive". The reverse of course is equally true: The "primitive" can become sophisticated, but not without accepting terrible psychological damage.

Remember one thing about the term "primitive". The "Agri-forestry" practiced by the Eastern Woodland Indians of North America cannot be reproduced today in any lab, greenhouse, or woodland no matter how controlled the situation. So what is actually defined as "primitive".

Lapiche

I'm certainly no expert on this, and was just introduced to it last year, as I said. What I'm also trying to say I think it means, after reading many of the articles at that site, is that the proponents of this movement are trying to move us away from advancing technology, with which we are ruining our environment and our health. I don't think it's their aim or desire to get everyone running around in the woods like monkeys; not at all. We would probably stay in our homes, or at least rebuild sustainable homes and communities.

It's easy to misunderstand at first glance, but reading over time about this, and pondering it, becomes very 'fruitful'.

I myself could most definitely not survive out in the wild. I need the modern conveniences of electricity and such, but that isn't what they're mainly concerned with. It's bombs and hydro-carbon fuels; it's burning down the rainforests, ruining the natural waterways/watersheds, making animal populations go extinct, and eventually possibly ourselves.

Mainly, it's the REASONS we have come to the point where we are doing these things, that concerns the primitivists.

Like I tried to say earlier, I don't think they have named it the right thing. At first glance, I rejected it just based on its name, but I'm warming up to it and calling it 'natural' or 'sustainable' living.

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Hi Swandancer :-)

I'm curious to know, in your opinion, is there a group of people in our society that you think would be most close to following Primitivism? the Native Americans on reservations? The Amish? Amazonian Indians?

I think it would be nice for us to get back in touch with nature again. Just as they say "No man is an island", I also believe that it is natural for us to want to be in communion with the Earth and Nature. I know for myself, I feel so much better spending a day surrounded by nature.

linked-image

Hi Isis2200 :D

I think everyone you've named there could fit into primitivism one way or another. It's an attitude as much as anything else; an attitude of peace and egalitarianism, of living in Intentional Communities to sustain all life and the Earth continuously.

There are also Intentional Communities of westerners/Americans who have formed these communities based on the main primitivist principles. They usually move far away from the cities and live naturally from nature. Grow their own food, make their own medicines from plants and herbs, make their own clothes, etc. They work together to raise children, and the child and mother are never separated for the first several years. The mother is not puttering around a house with a million things to do, tearing her hair out, telling her kids to 'wait another minute, please', etc. Everyone in these Intentional Communities have their particular place, and all work together for the good of everyone, just as in the Hunter-Gatherer era.

Perhaps that was not a 'perfect' era, but what ever is? Agriculture came in because of the population increase. Then it became big business and the acquisition of and desire for wealth, and voila, here we are where we stand today, on the brink of destruction. :(

I like your scarab, btw. Turquoise is my birthstone. ^_^

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Mainly, it's the REASONS we have come to the point where we are doing these things, that concerns the primitivists.

Like I tried to say earlier, I don't think they have named it the right thing. At first glance, I rejected it just based on its name, but I'm warming up to it and calling it 'natural' or 'sustainable' living.

That is a much better term. I believe in minimal technology. I neither have a cell phone, microwave , DVD, CD, or home PC. I am on this forum while "moonlighting" at my tribe's center when the weather is bad. (you'll notice I am only on this forum in the winter).

We are not "advanced" with this technology just "idiot savants" and I noticed the more gadgets people have, the less they are aware of their surroundings. "Sensory retarded" is the term I use and that is putting it nice. Lack of electronic technology does not nesessarily mean lack of comfort. It is just many of these authors ( who never actually lived that lifestyle) take it to extremes. Technology can be natural oriented too, eventually leading to "organic" advancements. For example, geneticists in a lab still cannot do what Native Americans did when they developed the "three sisters" (corn ,polebeans and squash) from the 3 original symbiotic plants that existed in nature in Western Mexico.

Lapiche

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It appears there are many good approaches to this. The main objective, with which they all agree even in their many and varied differences, is to save the Earth and Humanity from destruction through the wrong use of technology.

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People in a technological environment who become wholey dependent on that environment become primitive in effect as well. A primitive is someone who is well in tune with their environment. We dont idolize statues but we idolize technology, politics or our own morals. We are primitive to our own technological western life style. We would be clueless if we had to be thrown back into nature and had to hunt for food or dig for roots, the "native primitives" would be clueless if they were shoved into our world and asked to drive a car.

So we also are primitives and we differ from our nature ordained cousins in degree and not in kind.

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People in a technological environment who become wholey dependent on that environment become primitive in effect as well. A primitive is someone who is well in tune with their environment. We dont idolize statues but we idolize technology, politics or our own morals. We are primitive to our own technological western life style. We would be clueless if we had to be thrown back into nature and had to hunt for food or dig for roots, the "native primitives" would be clueless if they were shoved into our world and asked to drive a car.

So we also are primitives and we differ from our nature ordained cousins in degree and not in kind.

I never looked at it from that perspective, but now you make me think of it you are absolutely correct. I have relatives in the city of Camden and Bridgeton who are "high tech" but they are almost actually barbaric in the way that they think. Idiot savants thrown back into thoughts only on how to aquire and keep their technology. They would be lost out here. Their thinking processes stunted to the point that they are unaware of their surroundings. " Grog want phonecard!"

Lapiche

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It is strange people promoting primitivism use the highly technical apparatus to promote in the home the PC. I think we can have our tech and still live a natural life. We just need to be more reasonable about our tech and work toward a more sustainable culture.

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It is strange people promoting primitivism use the highly technical apparatus to promote in the home the PC. I think we can have our tech and still live a natural life. We just need to be more reasonable about our tech and work toward a more sustainable culture.

Very well said. :tu:

It is unfortunate that many have fallen into the technological trap.Some bits of technology can be used in good ways,for survival...learning or entertainment,but not all technology can be used in these ways.Some pieces of technology only makes one lazy by promoting itself as "easy to use" or "makes your life easier".One should really think hard before buying anything of this sort until they figure out if it can be used for mutiple uses such as the ones I mentioned above.

For myself,I try to stay away from the things which I cannot see being of any real use to me,and at the same time try to learn all that I can of older ways in order that I may live *with* Nature as much as possible while still being able to use the technologies which I deem useful to myself.

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An agrarian society instead of stripmalls but people miss use everthing,firearms, cellphones, video games,alcohol, autos. We are a obessive-compulsive race.

Lapiche

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An agrarian society instead of stripmalls but people miss use everthing,firearms, cellphones, video games,alcohol, autos. We are a obessive-compulsive race.

Lapiche

Yup.I agree.

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I hate stripe malls, actually I hate malls period. They have built so many in my neighborhood it is a wonder they can stay in business. I would like to live a more natural simpler life, but I can't anymore. Air is a necessity for me. I turn into a spasmed out pretzel without it. I would really miss my computer, it keeps me touch with the world and when I am too sick to get out and about it is a link to friends around the world. The TV I could live with out. I use to ride the bus when I lived in town to save gas and ware on my car, but now the bus stops are just to far for me to walk. For me what was luxury has become necessity. If I hadn't gotten sick I would most likely be living in a tent in the woods and very happy.

In an agrarian sociaty you would still need guns. You might have to put down a cow or a horse.

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I never looked at it from that perspective, but now you make me think of it you are absolutely correct. I have relatives in the city of Camden and Bridgeton who are "high tech" but they are almost actually barbaric in the way that they think. Idiot savants thrown back into thoughts only on how to aquire and keep their technology. They would be lost out here. Their thinking processes stunted to the point that they are unaware of their surroundings. " Grog want phonecard!"

Lapiche

Thanks. :) Yeah Im glad you can see the ignorance in thinking that there is a causal link between ethics and technological advance. Aldous Huxley made a very clever point when he said: Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA So incredibly witty and yet poignant. And Gandhi too highlights that: To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves.

I agree with darkwind and believe there can be a humane compromise with technology and the natural environment i.e. environmentaly friendly machinary. However Globally at the present moment we seem to be far from that and instead relying more and more on the system and becoming wholey dependent on it (in fact I think it would be safe to say that we arn't getting there but already have).

As Jesus once said about the holy sabbath: The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath... The same goes for the system and it's technological byproducts. It is there to serve us and make life better for mankind, not mankind born to maintain and help the system run more efficiently.

:tu: I love you all! Keep on thinking free!

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As Jesus once said about the holy sabbath: The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath... The same goes for the system and it's technological byproducts. It is there to serve us and make life better for mankind, not mankind born to maintain and help the system run more efficiently.

Amen! That is exactly how these corporation heads think now. People are a "tool" for a "job" and that is it. Sheep, I say and it makes me glad I'm a self employed farmer. I would kill myself rather than work and live in those conditions.

I feel for you Darkwind and you are right. That is not a healthy way to live.

Lapiche

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