What do you mean by ‘world’ anyway?
The Universe? – It doesn’t need to be saved.
The Planet? – So far we cannot destroy it.
The Biosphere? – Well, one could say that man, being the most powerful species on Earth, has some responsibility for his fellow creatures. But that derives from a human understanding of ‘morality’, ‘rights’, and ‘justice’ or, on the material level, of ‘resources’ and ‘life stock’. It has nothing to do with laws of nature – if they even exist outside our intellectual concepts of the fabric of reality.
So maybe saving the world is about saving our species, our civilization, the status quo. And I am not even trying to help that. It would mean that I’d impose my idea of what the world should look like on others. It would mean that they’d have to live under conditions that I find to be useful, regardless of their needs, and I think that is a fascist way of handling the situation we’re in.
I mean, it’s alright to find likeminded folks to join forces. But there’s a limit to how many allies you can bind. Have you ever explained your world view to another person, or have you ever tried to help them, and then noticed how many reject your view or your way of helping? Even if you had the power to force ‘their advantage’ onto them, the only thing you can achieve by that is turning an advantage into misery for them.
So what can we do at all?
As far as I’m concerned the only thing we can actually change is ourselves: our way of looking at the world, our emotional, rational and behavioural reactions, and our expectations. Altering ourselves can be learned easily and it doesn’t require the smallest piece of technology. Not even a pencil.
That sounds revolutionary but it is knowledge having stood the test of time for thousands of years.
That sounds selfish but the result of changing yourself into someone content is a human being able to relate peacefully to others.
That sounds destructive, and in fact it is. It destroys the notion of being a separate self and creates a feeling of oneness that comes from deep within. It destroys my ability to act loyal towards faceless institutions and replaces it with loyalty towards all forms of life. It destroys consumerism and progress-ism and gigant-ism in favour of sustainable living. It destroys the belief into atomistic models of reality so I am able to mentally return to where I am never able to quit physically – interdependency.
If you are content with what you have – what you ARE – then there is no need to argue with others over world views and resources and saving the world. There is no need for a common system of governance, trade, administration, farming. There is also no need for an objective language (which is physically impossible to have anyway). And most important: there is no need for waiting for the right moment, a trustworthy politician, or a ‘necessary’ invention to actually make the world a better place.
You can argue that backing down from the world’s affairs doesn’t solve anything. But the same goes for forceful intervention which we have tried over and over again, this situation being a result of it. Top-down doesn’t work. It never did.
After all, what does a group, organisation, institution, society, or even mankind consist of? It is persons, isn’t it? You and me. What each of us believes, thinks, says, decides, does, sums up to the thing we call society. It makes a difference, however small you may think it is.
So, whether I try to change society or myself, it is a systems approach because I face the situation at its very root: human behaviour, and at the root of that: human thought.
Only that, starting out small, I am not dependent on others.
When I decide not to take a gun then war stops right where I am.
When I buy less stuff then consumerism ends at my door.
When I step back for the benefit of another person then greed gets extinct before my eyes.
When I share my surplus with others then poverty ends where I live.
When I neither demand / expect nor obey the culture of dominance collapses.
When I see similarities instead of differences human unity becomes real.
Trying to change the world without having to change oneself right now is an attempt to have the cake and eat it, too.
Did you like the content?
Subscribe for more!