What was the most significant event of 300AD?
A bunch of guys going into the Egyptian desert.
Turning their back on Rome with all its excess and glory.
The desert fathers inspired the Christian Church. Which then reversed into, and took over, the Roman Empire.
The inspiration however was from these few ascetics living on starling eggs and locusts and focusing their whole thinking on what was important, really important in human existence.
Can you think now of the equivalent?
OK scroll back to the United States in the early 19th century- Emerson and Walt Whitman and Theroux- versus the growing industrial muscle and might of the United States of America. Were they the ascetics then? Looks like they got overshadowed somewhat.
Scroll forward not to Walden pond but to lonely Montana- another recluse in a hut- but this one is making intricate wooden cased letter bombs and delivers them on a bicycle- the Unabomber- is he the modern ascetic?
I don’t think so. Asceticism these days is about being free of the slavery of working all your hours for some giant corporate entity. It’s pretty low key.
The biggest difference is between people who have jobs and earn money to live the life they think they want.
And people who live the life they want and get money somehow.
One of the single most radical things you can do is give up your ‘career’- be it with BP, USAID, Microsoft, or any other famous organization or corporation.
The next most radical thing is to maximize microadventures within the texture of your everyday life. And though I am in rant mode here I’m still far from good at that myself.
Because if you don’t the model of ‘obsessive professionalism’ will pollute your own thing. If it does it is time to lifeshift again.
You might be able to do that even if you are a corporate slave. Maybe.
This website functions as a forum of ideas to liberate you from the corporate yoke. From centring your life around their plan rather than your plan. Get your own plan and stop kidding yourself that there is ANY overlap between the corporate plan and your life. There isn’t. Work for them for money only, short term. Or work for them to learn something specific, then leave.
Are you a slave?
A slave is someone who is not free.
If you can walk out of your job anytime you are not a slave.
If you can earn enough to live in three weeks to live for three months you are not a slave.
The Roman Empire, like all empires, was run by slaves. Some were every wealthy, belonged to sporting and social clubs and lived very well. But they were not free and could not leave their job. Sound familiar?
The Greek empire was run by slaves. So was the Persian and the British and the Ottoman.
And so is the American. The slaves aren’t black and living in the deep south, they’re white and living in a 2 million dollar townhouse in New York, among other places. Anyone who cannot afford to stop working is a slave.
The orthodoxy says: get a qualification, get an MBA, get a great job: that’s life!
Except we know: that’s a crock of shit. Your great job is just a way for the empire to grow. The meaningless (in terms of anything more than money) empire of Jobs, Gates, General Motors, BP, and all the rest. They don’t even have the cultural impact of the Greek or Roman empires. They are not a civilizing force. They are a decivilising force. The corporate world has only one morality: expand, grow or die. In other words- the moral stature of a virus. Of course even viruses have a function...
If you are old it may not make sense. You might not think you can change- except you can. Neural pathways grow as and when they are needed. If you need to change you will.
If you are young- start taking the right steps now. The earlier you start the easier it will be. Start by taking courses that will enable you to be free by earning your own crust in an interesting way. Film making, editing, building, plumbing, carpentry- anything practical that leads to MONEY and not to A JOB.
Use the corporate delivery system to make money, deliver your product. Just as the ancient Christianity used the Roman empire as its delivery system.