One thing that all humans have is problems. Problems are defined discrete tension-pockets that create irritation, discomfort and pain for humans and that inspire humans to try and find ways of eliminating these tension-pockets or else to expel them from their fields of experience. Many times, a problem is encountered initially as some vague inchoate flowing blendable continual entity or situation that bothers us, but we aren’t exactly sure as to how to deal with it. Particularly in modern technological society, it is only after we are able to transform this vague entity or situation into a defined discrete problem, that we have any hope usually of being able to effectively deal with it.
Now, generally speaking, problems manifest themselves very differently in our modern technological society from the way they have manifested themselves in the past in traditional natural societies. In the past, everyday people didn’t usually have the preparation in science and logic that elevated their consciousness and allowed these people to be able to define most problems in such a neat defined discrete way. The tendency was to focus on these problems in a more blurry flowing blendable continual way and t with them like that. Many explanations for these blurry situations from these traditional people came from magical or mystical sources.
In modern times, given our greater background in science and logic, people are much more able to transform blurry negative abrasive situations into well-defined discrete problems. And of course, given our greater knowledge of science and logic, we feel that we can solve most defined discrete problems and make them disappear. Make them dissolve as it were into the experiential vacuum. As a matter of fact, we believe that there will come a point in time that with our mental tools, we will be able to solve practically all of our principal problems and live in peace and happiness.
Imagine what that would be like. With nothing major to bother us, we could all go fishing. Metaphorically speaking, that is. Seriously, I’m playing games now, because I actually believe that if we could solve all our life problems with the focus and the completeness that we solve our problems in math and science, we would have little to think about, we would become very bored, and we would all end up crumbling apart in an experiential vacuum. We would become immersed in more and more layers of numbness, we would lose the sharp focus of our consciousness and descend into an endless living death. This observation is not made out of some Puritan belief that suffering must always remain a part of human life. It just means that people need some kind of meaningful friction in order to stay fully conscious and feel fully alive.
Now ideally in today’s world, the kind of friction that would act as the best counterbalance to the numbness we all experience to a great extent, would be the kind of friction that is the scarcest today, the kind of friction that comes from the organic stimulation that is found in a lot of traditional natural environments. Because the kind of abrasive friction that is generated by machines in modern technological environments has as many problems for absorption by humans as does the experiential vacuum. This kind of friction is the result of tension-pockets that are overstimulating for humans.
And when we have primarily the waste product tension pockets that come from machines, humans are faced not with a problem, but a dilemma. A dilemma means that there are no solutions that create not only freedom from numbness but also freedom from the abrasive technological movements, the tension-pockets of a machine, or the noise it generates, or the pollution it creates. So, one could say that solving the problem of getting rid of a tension-pocket in today’s world really may not be a solution at all. It just means that one is substituting one form of discomfort for another. Going from tension-pocket to vacuum. From overstimulation to understimulation. But from the perspective of most people today, getting rid of the tension-pocket, the abrasive technological friction, is always the goal, even though it means that one is immersing oneself in the negative experiences of numbness within an experiential vacuum.
People who have lived in traditional natural environments experienced a different kind of negative living situation. Instead of not having enough organic stimulation, they have had too much. All the rich organic stimulation they had from still being somewhat close to nature resulted in their experiencing a threat of losing their personal boundaries and being psychological swallowed up by their surroundings. All that flowing blendable continual stimuli led to their experiencing themselves being swallowed up by nature, to feeling themselves being undifferentiated and melting into their natural grounding. Into a swamp, a bog, a quagmire. This is what led some people to rise above this living situation in the first place in order to create a platform of technological protection for their senses of self. We who live in modern technological society have the luxury if not also perhaps the necessity of longing for organic stimuli and organic grounding as a counterbalance to our vacuum and tension-pocket living situation. The problems that people in traditional natural living environments had to resolve are very different from the problems that people in modern technological living environments have to deal with. So many people today only wish they could have the intense organic stimuli that existed in days of old. In the old days, people immersed in organic stimulation with passion and lost control of their responses and of situations. Conflicts could become explosive. People could be accused of being sorcerers or witches as a way of explaining destructive occurrences. Solving conflicts with meaningful conflict resolution was a rare art. Pulling a conflict into a vacuum framework in order to examine it with reason was a rare situation. In the old days though, people needed more problem solving, not less.
Today our fields of experience are so off-balance, as a result of nature and traditional living environments not being able to provide the kind of grounding that we need. Instead, as a result of climate change, nature has been turned into an enveloping tension-pocket that threatens to swallow us up and destroy us. What is needed is not simply a focused problem resolution, but a complete revamping of the way we live. Some of this means some focused actions like changing our sources of energy. But, also, we need some blurry responses, behaving differently in our interactions with the world, so that we can feel grounded, bonded and connected in our interactions both with that which surrounds us and that which is inside us.