Where to go from here?

Jay (@jaygran7) 8 years, 9 months ago

I’ve been a member of this site for a little over a year now, and one of the questions I frequently asked myself when I first joined is “Where do I go from here?” I found this site by luck really, and was enticed by the blog postt “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Huxley vs. Orwell.” (https://www.highexistence.com/amusing-ourselves-to-death-huxley-vs-orwell) After reading George Orwell’s novel 1984, I really was certain that what fate humanity would fall to was the authoritarian society depicted in the novel. I had what I found from this site to be a confirmation bias—since I really only noticed the oppressive aspects of our current society that paralleled the dystopia I read. It was very strange, that my first encounter with this site was the Huxley vs. Orwell post, because that particular post, is what once again leaves me questioning “What do I do from here?”
After reading Brave New World recently, I found a myriad of wealth in the novel. I didn’t find it to be very inspiring really, but very informative. It was much more insightful than Orwell’s novel, because it has much more obvious parallels, and also has a subject matter that basically described the Americanized world I live in. The theme of the book, as the blog post above says, is entertaining ourselves to death. I didn’t read the book when I first found the site, because I felt I had better things to worry about and more self-learning to do. As true is it was, now, in reflection, I am curious what my take on the book would have been if I read it then.
Now, shortly after reading Brave New World I condensed the subject matter into a lyrical rap song. I wanted to be able to make the theme obvious for the population of people who do not read very frequently, because they like myself, when I first joined this site and did not understand myself, probably feel like they have better things to do. After writing the rap, and taking the time to really process what it is I was thinking about, and what I was writing, the question hit again. What do I do from here? After realizing that soma, in his book, is basically the pharmaceutical industry, I took a step back again and reflected on how I was when I first joined the site. I was unable to really function without having high doses of palperidone and lamictal in my system—and, more disturbingly, for the most part, I was content with that numbness to reality.
So, I read Brave New World, fell in love with Huxley’s ideas, and decided to read Island. I read that Island was his counterpoint to Brave New World, and that it depicted human existence as a utopia—an obtainable utopia, at that! I won’t ruin this book for you, but the theme of the book basically is how mindfulness, meditation, hallucinogenics, tantric yoga, and therapy can change a human being from a volatile primate, into a calm and serene person. The idea of this world is beautiful, in theory. But, I ask myself how is it obtainable without disengaging from the society that forbids such a world to exist? There is no easy answer to this question, really. So, what I am trying to do at this point is to take the skills, knowledge, experiences, and wisdom I’ve gained from this site and the reading I have been doing in the last year, and applying it directly to the system, within the system, in order to change the system itself. Right now, it is a small project, but I feel that eventually it will grow. I am hoping to provide clothing, food, and eventually scholarships for homeless youth going to school in my state. So far, a faculty member of my college and I have set up a program for students to be able to get a free meal if they need it. Progress, it seems, is possible. Communistic ideals are able to be integrated into the capitalist system, so long as the one formulating the schematics conforms to the requirements of that system. I am now at the point that I realize that my intelligence is not to be undermined by my lack of formal schooling, but rather, embraced due to having had the privilege of not having to learn how to think. For now, my biggest plan is to continue to put in the effort to have this system reach actualization. After that, I want to have the concept of community funded meals or student scholarships grow, more so than they already have. It is possible for us as a society to rise above the influences that supposedly determine our futures.

For the sake of giving free education, too, here are the .pdfs for the novels I’ve mentioned in this post:

http://www.idph.com.br/conteudos/ebooks/BraveNewWorld.pdf
http://www.planetebook.com/ebooks/1984.pdf
http://www.huxley.net/island/aldoushuxley-island.pdf

February 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm
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Anonymous (2,833) (@) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@jaygran7, I thought the idea of Island was cynical, that the ideal can never be reached, and is basically a poke in the face to idealists? I’ve never read it, or any of his work though, so… I could be backwards stupid wrong.

Anyways
“So far, a faculty member of my college and I have set up a program for students to be able to get a free meal if they need it. ”

p.s. why did you tag me specifically, just wondering
I applaud this, you’re a good man. How did you go about doing this – I wouldn’t even know where to start..

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Jay (87) (@jaygran7) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@ijesuschrist, I tagged you specifically because I’ve seen your posts on here, pretty much since you joined, and even when I am just a reader, you have something insightful or witty to add to the discussions that usually keeps me engaged. I thought when tagging you, that you’d contribute something to this idea of implementing communist ideals, or the straying away from cut throat capitalism here–right here in America.

As for Island, I think that Huxley really did believe that it could be possible for our society to reach a state of harmony. I feel like that is what Jordan is also trying to show, in Quebec. I don’t know if I am a lunatic or a visionary, but I believe that Huxley wanted to leave behind Island to show that although we are born limited by our socioeconomic class, we can transgress or transcend those limitations, either individually or as a community. Orwell mentioned this idea of transgression and transcendence, but much more cynically in 1984. He says something along the lines of “the proles no not what power they hold.” The fact that Huxley incorporated the impact an individual can have within their community against an oppressive society, is inspiring. Although that theme is revealed later in the book, I will say that the happiness in finding individual meaning life, is just as important–if not more so, when that truth is expressed for the community’s gain.

As for what I will call the “Hunger Cards,” that came to be from a campus reads event. The professor decided to choose the Dystopia “Hunger Games” for the campus reads. Let me explain campus reads, since it’d be elusive not to. Campus reads, is basically the name of the schools primary focus in literature. It normally is decided by students in the Literary Journal on campus, and their director. The director in this case, was my French professor. The literary journal decided to raise money, with the theme of supporting those who are hungry–like the characters in District 12, in Hunger Games. She, for the most part, started the “Hunger Card” idea, and I just have been doing the legwork to see that it comes to fruition more quickly, and with more support. I have been talking to different people on campus who have authority, and am planning on creating a school wide support for this theme. I figure every different club on campus, at this community college, will in some way be able to contribute to the cards. After the cards become of importance, I think that the next objective will be to have can drives year round. Clothing banks set up around campus, with gift certificates to the thrift shops those clothes are donated to, free for students… etc.

Then, I hope it spreads around my state.

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The Panolipsist (22) (@panolipsist) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@jaygran7, I enjoyed reading this. I am usually only a reader. I have always tried to learn as much as I can and I consider myself an observer. I had to let you know though that I have often asked myself the same question “where do I go from here?” I feel that someone can only observe so long before they need to get involved. I want to open my home up. not necessarily a commune but a kind of support center. eventually I would like to get a larger piece of land here I could let my community start a garden there. Teach classes on art, literature, gardening, meditation, and yoga,. Have horses and places for people to keep there horses or pets. It might send like a far fetched idea but I have thought about it for awhile and decided I don’t care how long it takes this is what I want to do.

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Jay (87) (@jaygran7) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@panolipsist, I don’t think that that is really a far-fetched idea, but I do think it is one that you can do better than someone who does not want to do that. There is, or may be the potential for something like that to become of use to other people. I know that college students leave for school, and sometimes are required to donate their pets. Depending on who you are trying to branch out to, and the reasons why–I think that a lot of the actualization to your project depends on how you are going to do build it. I know it is very hard in a free market society to build upon something with no money or power, but, I also believe that there are eccentric ways of doing so. Whereas Jordan has posted about how he taught himself how to code this website, you can, on the internet, teach yourself what you need to know about botany or agriculture, and network with people who are interested in doing something like what you want to do. I think all the people who have potential to change things for the better have to have their own aspirations. It’s most likely a matter of being able to navigate around whatever barriers get in your way.

I think that once someone starts to think outside the box, there’s really no returning to the box though! So, if you commit yourself to it, it’s bound to get done.

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Midz (26) (@mcmidz12) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@jaygran7, Damn Jay. Word up. My own spin on the quote is “Where to start, where to start?”. I tend to find when I open up to the possibilities no matter how odd they seem, parallels become apparent. Even today, I was daydreaming about using lyricism to inspire my friends to break from the typical specific pathway view of education to occupation while knocking out bioengineering homework then I sign into highexistence to find a post from a fellow friend and rap-tivist about his own movement for social change. Now matter how coincidental of strange it may be, the universal flow never ceases to amaze me. I’ll take it as personal message. Though I don’t know of the same troubles in my community as you face in yours, but I am surrounded by thousands of individuals in transition from youthful ambitions to a corporate slave system with no true knowledge of their position and the future they’ll be missing if they don’t make a decision to create and participate in a better way of living. Sooooo, I guess I gotta let um know! Thanks Grant, the inspiration was much appreciated.

@ijesuschrist Island does have a rather unoptimistic ending, however, Huxley pokes no fun at idealists. Rather he suggests a multitude of cultural practices which combine the best of both worlds (modern science and indigenous symbiosis) in a seemingly practical manner. I would even go so far as to predict @jordan and/or some of his Vahalla partners may have gained some insight and ideas from the novel. I will say that I’ve heard Huxley did not believe such a society could exist while the rest of the world remained the same… which I guess, in the case of the self-sustainable movement, means we’ve just got to change the whole world :D

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Jordan Lejuwaan (23,445)A (@jordan) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

My only answer is the Valhalla Movement :)

If you have any concerns/criticisms over what we’re doing, I would love to hear them. I know this movement can change the world, and at least edge us closer to the utopia we all know is possible.

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Jay (87) (@jaygran7) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@jordan, I’m on board from the outside, Jordan.

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