Thursday, January 17, 2013
rewilding for wild humans
Rewilding is the process of returning to a more natural or wild state. It's the process of undoing our domestication. One of the first steps is expanding your knowledge and skills about it, and since most of us can't go to wilderness survival skool or buy all kinds of books or apprentice with an elder, we do it online. These skills are often easy to learn and hard to master. They include everything from rewilding your calendar (renaming the full moons) to rewilding your pantry and rewilding your family and friends and community.
The term originated from the anarcho-primitivist, or green anarchist movement, many of whom believe that humans must return to a more "feral" state, through the process they have coined "rewilding," either because of their personal ethics (they must walk their talk) or for survival as civilization collapses on itself. It's more of a lifestyle change, than a hobby focused on learning primitive skills.
Many wild humans don't know any primitive skills at all, and that's ok with me. They are often masters of urban survival skills. Those skills are good to have too. Rewilding is about finding a meaningful life for yourself as civilization declines and begins to collapse, and some wild humans are nonviolent resisters who seek in various ways to help dismantle society.
There is much I can say about learning both wilderness survival skills and urban survival skills (catching a rabbit in a snare and cooking it by making fire with no matches vs dumpsterdiving etc.). Both skills are valuable, and the more skills you have, the more adaptable you are, which increases your ability to survive and thrive. It's a big worthy project, equivalent to a bachelor's degree, to rewild yourself completely, yet it's as simple as you can make it, by taking one step at a time as opportunities present themselves.
So we combine modern technology with primitive knowledge, because the next step in rewilding is to participate in creating a feral culture, by networking with other wild humans and learning the ways of your more natural, wild predecessors. Our wild ancestors have long since disappeared, and teachers now are few and far between, so we gather here and communicate, empowering and helping transform one another. As we grow a feral culture for ourselves, the need for computer networking will greatly decrease, but right now we use it to disperse information, provide cultural cross-pollination, provide community for those with little or none, provide free networking for those with computer access who aspire to educate themselves, and provide a meeting place for those who wish to make plans for when things finally do crash down.
Civilization requires domestication. We domesticate plants and animals and people too. And of course we domesticate ecosystems like the Colorado river. Domestication goes against the flow of life. It may be successful for a long time, but eventually nature wins out. So by rewilding, we are actually aligning ourselves with natural truths and the laws of life, a smart thing to do. Now, most people do not want to rewild. They want progress and ever more domestication, to the point of force and destruction. So when that all collapses, guess who will be left standing? The wild humans, that's right.
So it's in your own best interest and the best interest of the Earth to learn about rewilding, anarcho-primitivism, survival skills, meaningful resistance to modern lifeways, economadism, and so much more. It's enjoyable and empowering, too.
We obviously cannot abandon all modern ways, because we are interdependent and tied into the economy and other systems together, but we can transition and make our survival more likely. And that survival can be more enjoyable when we study and practice things like rewilding. I like a lot of the things about modern life, like pizza and movies. But when we get too distant from how we are meant to live, life gets a little ill. Balance balance balance.
How are we meant to live? We are meant to live in small bands, and even if you live in a huge city, you should still find a small band to bond and align with (your tribe). Humans need relationships with one another. We are meant to eat foods that grow locally, and our bodies adapt over time to our diet so they function at optimal levels. We are meant to use what is right around us, and we are meant to enjoy it. I believe this because of my studies of humanity and religion. We are to be stewards of a beautiful garden, a wildcrafting garden where plants and creatures and humans are free and can breathe easy, and their hearts are full of emotions, and their minds are stable and wise, and their bodies are reliable and strong. Where we can feel safe knowing the Earth will support us, and feel safe knowing we live in accord with our fellow creatures.
Anyway, here are some of the aspects of rewilding you can focus your growth on.
*Diet--adopting a paleolithic, foraging (incl. dumpsterdiving and food banks) or other wildcrafted/wildgathered diet.
*Camp and shelter methods as a wild human, including tools we use. (incl. squatting, ninja camping)
*Musical instruments, such as drums, and heartsongs.
*Networking at workshops, camps, guerilla skools etc.
*Ceremony and building community circles.
And much more!
Here are some of the ways that wild humans begin to rewild themselves!!! They are only suggestions, and always open to debate, but I've heard all of them mentioned by fellow wild humans I've met in person and online:
Consider quitting school. Maybe even quit your job and follow your bliss.
Stop reading books for awhile, or read as much as you can, as you gather a variety of voices and perspectives to guide you. Study your specific bioregion and apply your knowledge directly. Balance book knowledge with life knowledge.
Look people in the eye, acknowledge them, and talk with them, or at least say hi.
Go barefoot. Sleep with your windows and doors open. Feel your feelings.
Sing your song, dance your dance, tell your tale.
Practice coming from your own place of internal strength and knowingness. This is a way to really be here now on Earth and in your body. You can go barefoot (it's amazing if you haven't done it in awhile, very liberating), eat wild foods (chickweed, blackberries, nettles, dandelion, just for starters), hang out in the woods whenever you can. From that place of presence and feeling the wildness of life, you can take action in your life and find lots of ways to integrate wildness and naturalness in your life.
Turn off the electronics for a while each day. Find activities that are more rewarding than your vices, and balance them.
Try to actually design a flyer and post it, or pass out free food, or play music on the sidewalk, or build a bonfire, or make your own drum, or start a small garden. Give it a try!
Be kind to the people you meet. Remember solidarity. Bring people along on the cool things you do, like going to a waterfall or a swimming hole.
Take responsibility for your life, all aspects of it. Be the master of your circumstances.
Take a break from video games, or use them to learn and sharpen your mind.
Lighten up on the alcohol and dope, if you are not usually sober. Clarity is a good thing in survival situations.
Be uniquely you!
Take brief breaks from the internet, especially if the climate is not conducive to growth and change. Focus on positivity and empowering yourself and transforming culture.
Stretch your mind and challenge yourself to rewild in your own unique way, and share it with others! Choose life, and choose meaning.
Love yourself, love life.
Learn and understand the basic facts about civilization (See crimethinc, dismantlement, and many, many more topics. Do a google search for blogs about the topics we want to explore.)
Serve your bioregion and your community with knowledge, insight, and creative expression.
Challenge yourself to rewild, and share that challenge in fun ways with others.
Wild humans tend to balance time in nature with time in civilization. Time in nature deepens our feelings towards the Earth. Time in civilization is where we go to create a culture. Both experiences help us to build something new to serve who we are right now, a blend of ancient and modern. Civilization is not so much a location in physical space as a social space.It takes up physical space, but anyone can testify that wildlife ignores and adapts to cities. Civilization exists in our minds. Rewild your mind and you will ignore and adapt to cities too, just like a natural animal. It won't control you so much or bring you down in the same way.
So rewilding is about spending time away from the social and mental space of civilization, as well as about reclaiming the physical spaces, with things like graffiti and music. When you go in the woods, you take civilization with you, and when you go into civilization you take the woods with you. That's what wild humans do. It's both mental and physical. You can learn survival skills in a finite amount of time, but not so with deprogramming your mind. It takes time to change your perceptions, so it's good to both spend time in the woods and spend time in your culture.