Friday, December 10, 2010


I was watching a sort of reality TV video series on Victorian farming (link is to the first one), and what struck me about the whole process was 1) how much personal growth these people went through and 2) how each one commented on how much work it was to live this way.

The personal growth part I think came about from spending so much time doing things they had no clue as to how to do before, btw, but what I want to focus on is the work involved.

All the innovations of the past 150 years or so since the days this series tried to emulate make perfect sense to me now. If people believe that civilization and agriculture and all is the way humans were meant to live (as Takers do), then labor-saving devices are the natural progression to a life of ease, very much like the life of ease we used to live before all this work became the cool thing to do (about 10,000 years ago).

Used to be that labor-saving was only for the rich, and slaves were your way to lounge about. In every era, the desire to not have to work all day all your life seems to be the norm. I think people naturally have it deep in their hearts that the way we live is unnatural, which is why they try constantly to improve upon it. The issue is that "ease" (as in walk a bit and your food is there) and "comfort" (where you are wrapped in cocoons of clothing and house and car) have been conflated to the point where we don't know how to live in the very way we were designed to live, like the Leavers do.

It occurs to me that like the butterfly in its cocoon, a period of struggle awaits us in order to get to the life that we're intended to live, but not a struggle to dominate all life but a struggle to finally grow up and leave the swaddling behind.