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A bit long, I know. I wrote this a few months back during a small bit of depression, and I just found it when recently cleaning out my documents folder....

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Where did we go wrong?

Somewhere along the way, we took a wrong turn. I don't know where; I don't know when. I just see it now. Where have all of the St. Augustine's, the Socrates, Platos, Aristotles, etc., of the world gone to? We are now more consumed with who is going to win the current season of “American Idol”, or the latest celebrity gossip, than we are of our own existences.

This saddens me.

Original thinking is discouraged. We hear that we need to “think outside the box” all the time – but when people do this, they are criticized. It is as if this “box” that we are supposed to think outside of, has its' own set of boundaries as well. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

We have evolved into a society where extreme carelessness, self-importance, and gluttony are not only cherished, but rewarded. We look up to these individuals. We aspire to be them. We only dream of living one day in their shoes.

This is not life. We are wasting the one thing that we are guaranteed. It is the most precious of gifts that we have been given, and we are using, abusing, and destroying it. We only have a finite amount of resources to go around, and our vast overpopulation has caused a crisis. We will run out of these natural resources one day. Then what will we do?

Nature used to keep a delicate balance, in order to maintain this equilibrium. We have disrupted nature's course, and even when she strikes back and shows us her power, we continue to ignore it. “Survival of the fittest” used to be the way of life. The weakest/slowest animals at the back of the herd were the ones that got slaughtered, to ensure the continuity of the rest of the pack. We have but one purpose in life – and that is to reproduce; to keep our species alive. There was a time when the average human lifespan was a mere 20-30 years. Now we are pushing 100 years, and in due time, I fear that the average lifespan will be 120+ years. Our planet cannot sustain this. It needs life, and thus death, in order to survive.

Nature itself already cannot produce enough food for us to survive. We grow crops, such as corn (grass), wheat, and soy, to feed us. We have to enrich these seeds with the necessary vitamins and minerals that we need to survive. On their own, these foods would kill us. We could not survive on them alone. We have animals that are mass-produced in “factories”; these animals are given torturous lives, and will never know the happy life that humans get to live. We have to give cows hormones so that they lactate most of the year, to give us our milk and dairy products. We pump our chickens, cows, and pigs full of hormones in order to make them bigger, to produce more meat for us to consume. These hormones are then consumed by us when we eat those very same meat products.

Without humans playing God in this manner, we would die. Nature cannot do its' job, because there is only so much time and space available, and way too many people to take care of. We artificially keep people alive for decades beyond nature is wanting. While it may sound cynical and crass, if a person gets cancer, perhaps that is nature's way of saying “Hey! You're killing me here – help me out; I can't do this on my own … let's get rid of some of these people”.

We never want to lose our loved ones. But remember, that our only purpose here on earth – is to reproduce; to maintain our species' survival. It is embedded into our DNA. It is an undeniable task that we can not ignore. Every person, at some point in their life, will feel the biological urge to have a child. They cannot control it. It is science at its' finest.

We have messed up, a lot. And I fear that we will not be able to fix it before it permanently brings us to our own demise.

We put too much emphasis on our lives based upon what people dictate is right or wrong. Are we not our own? Slavery was abolished in the states in the mid 1800s. Why do we still allow it to flourish now? We can not fool ourselves. The slavery that is in abundance now, while in a different form than what we are traditionally used to, is still just as prevalent as it was then. It is even more cherished and sought out than it was then.

We do not own our bodies, nor own minds. We are not allowed to do anything that we so desire (as long as it does not infringe on another person's desires). We are not allowed to question the way things are. If we dare do so, we are labeled as truant. As troublemakers. This is not life. At least not the kind of life that I wish to be involved with. A person once told me that in order to be truly happy in this life, one must maintain a permanent state of stupidity. You cannot ask 'why'. You must just do.

We are enslaved to our masters (our bosses, our banks that hold our debt, our culture that tells us that we must contribute to the ever-increasing state of materialism that is plaguing us). We cannot break free. Try it. We lie to ourselves and say that we have to do this things. “If I don't work, I cannot eat.” These are misconceptions. In the 18th (and previous) centuries, we fed ourselves the way that nature provided to us. We hunted, we fished, we gathered, we planted. These are the things that are necessary for us to do to feed ourselves. Sitting in an enclosed room with 50+ other people, each of whom are starting at a box, pushing buttons in front of them, just for the purpose of increasing an integer stored in another box somewhere, is not a way to feed ourselves. It dulls us. It creates this “hell” that we now reside in.

We have become comfortable, or complacent should I say, with this reality that we have built for ourselves. I fear that the majority of us, should a disaster strike and knock out our electrical systems, would simply starve to death once our current canned food supply ran out. It seems that so many of the necessary life skills that our grandparents and further ancestors possessed are dying out, and we don't bother to learn how to do them. Making our own clothes. Hunting/fishing for our own food. Growing our own gardens. Learning how to use nature's plants and herbs as natural medicines. Learning to live in peace and harmony (with ourselves, with others, with animals, with everything), without having to ingest various combinations of chemical powders (usually in a table or capsule form) in order to make us feel “normal”.

What is normal anyway?

Is normal defined by the majority of people who are admittedly happy with succumbing to this life that we have ruined? Shouldn't it be defined by the people that truly appreciate this life? Shouldn't it be defined by the people that question everything? The great inventors of our time were crazy. They were shunned. Some of them were executed. The great philosophers were not 'normal'. The men that founded the United States were rebels. Many of them enjoyed smoking a substance that has now been deemed illegal, and the mere possession of this plant will result in being placed into a structure with many other men, where you will not be able to leave until a predetermined amount of time has passed by. The many great authors of our time used “illegal” substances. Some of our past's greatest children's books were written under the influence of psychedelic, hallucinogenic drugs. The forefather of our modern-day psychology, Sigmund Freud, rather enjoyed consuming another evil plant – cocaine.
Are these the normal people? They are the people that the rest of society now look up. We love their entertainment. We learn about them all throughout life. They are cherished – now that they are dead. But when they were alive, and they were “different”, they were shunned. Why?

Humans are a fascinating genus. Albert Einstein (another eccentric genius that we used to think was crazy) said it best … “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” By that very definition, we are insane. We live highly monotonous lives. Day in, day out. Nothing changes. We awake to an artificially-generated mechanical buzzing sound (instead of the natural sound of a rooster crowing or the rise of our morning sun). We put on the latest fashionable threads to adorn our bodies. We consume a highly addictive stimulant (most commonly in a hot liquid form, mixed with sugar – another highly addictive food that targets our brain's dopamine-producing pleasure centers, much in the same way as cocaine and heroin does) in order to prepare us for the day. We spend a precious few minutes putting a highly-processed, genetically modified, “frankenfood” into our bodies. We go outside and get inside of a metal box, which takes us to an even bigger box typically made of concrete, steel, or wood. We sit in this bigger box (with many other people) for roughly 8-10 hours, upon which time, we go back to the smaller metal box, then return to the main box that we spend most of lives in.

This monotonous schedule is dictated to us by another set of people. We have to ask their permission if we do not wish to go sit in their big box all day long. We are told when we are allowed to consume more fuel to continue functioning. We are told when we have to come to the box, and when we can leave the big box. We are told how often we must do this. And while we are not told for how long we must go to this box, we all know that we will have to maintain this vicious cycle for the next 30-50 years of our lives. Sadly, some of us never get to leave this cycle. We stay in it until it crushes us. We stay in that big box, until finally we are lowered subterraneanously, in a much smaller box, typically made of wood.

Yes, this is our life. Some of us cope with it by consuming the fermented sugars from the offspring of various plants. The consumption of these fermented sugars makes us feel relaxed, and often lowers our inhibitions. At one point in time, people were actually punished for consuming naturally-occurring fermented sugars. Fascinating, isn't it? The way that people decide which botanical specimen is permissible for consumption.

For instance, let's take a look at the following list.:

Papaver somniferum
Erythroxylum coca
Solanaceae
Sassafras albidum
Coffea arabica
Theobroma cacao
Saccharum
Cannabis
Mentha longifolia

Out of these 9 plants, the mere possession of two of them, even in their completely natural unprocessed state will result in trouble. You need special permission in order to consume some of them. Others, you have to pay a special price to a governing group of people that tell you what you can and cannot do, in order to consume them. And yet others, are consumed daily, with no permission needed, and no special tax to pay. It is rather strange, considering that they are all just plants. The names of these plants might not mean anything to you, so let's briefly go over them.

1.Papaver somniferum. This plant has been used throughout history has one of nature's best known painkillers. The poppy plant is also a very popular ornamental decorative that many of you may possess in your gardens right now. If you have special permission from a person, you may consume this plant. Commonly referenced as “heroin”.
2.Erythroxylum coca. This plant's leaves have been chewed by thousands of generations of people, typically in South America. This is now illegal to do so. If you have special permission from a person, they may apply parts of this plant to your body, but you are never allowed to consume this plant. Commonly referenced as “cocaine”.
3.Solanaceae. This plant's leaves have been chewed, smoked and snorted all throughout history, and is still done so to this day. This plant's leaves contain a highly toxic, extremely addictive substance (the most addictive substance known to man) known as nicotine. You may purchase this plant only from special places that have permission to exchange this plant's processed leaves for tender. It is commonly sold in the form of cigarettes, cigars, loose tobacco, or in a powder form for insufflation.
4.Sassafras albidum. This plant has multiple uses. It's primary ingredient has been used throughout history to make a tasty beverage known as 'root beer'. It's leaves and stems, when ground up, are also used as a common food spice/herb, in order to provide additional flavor for consumption. When used in these 2 forms, this plant is legal for consumption, and no special permission is required. This plant is also used to produce the illegal street drug ecstasy. You may not ingest the plant in this form. It is illegal to do so. You can not currently get special permission to eat this plant for this purpose. Commonly referenced as “sassafras”.
5.Coffea arabica. This plant produces a bean that, when prepared, millions of people consume. This plant contains an highly addictive stimulant that a significant portion of the human population require in order to function on a daily basis. This plant is legal for consumption. Commonly referenced as “coffee”.
6.Theobroma cacao. This plant produces a bean that, when prepared, millions of people eat. This plant also contains an addictive substance (although not as addictive as the coffea arabica plant); however, unlike the coffea arabica, this addictive substance is a toxic poison when consumed in excessive amounts. It will kill several species of animals. Humans are highly addicted to this plant. It is legal for consumption. Commonly referenced as “chocolate”.
7.Saccharum. This plant produces an incredibly addictive substance. Affects the dopamine-producing pleasure centers of the brain, in the same ways that the illegal street drugs cocaine and heroin do so. Legal for consumption. Many people can not go one single day without consuming saccharum. Commonly referenced as “sugar”.
8.Cannabis. This plant has been used throughout history for spiritual, medicinal, and recreational purposes. In some areas, you have to get special permission in order to consume this plant. In others, you will be punished for the mere possession of this plant. Commonly referenced as ”marijuana”.
9.Mentha longifolia. This plant produces an herb that many humans use to alter the taste of their foods. It is legal for consumption. Commonly referenced as 'mint'.

Us humans are a rather fascinating species in our genus. I wish that I could observe them as an outsider; much the same way that we observe other species.

What makes one species better than another? Why have we ultimately decided that we are the only species that truly matters? There are over 1.7 million different species alone on earth currently. We are just one of those species. That means that there are at least 1,699,999 other species on earth. And yet, we have decided that we are the best. The huge ball that we reside within is just one of many in our galaxy. And we are the best. Undefeated. Undeterred. And nobody cares to question why. We are too concerned with having better metal boxes that have better aesthetic effects and have greater trajectory velocities, to take us to other big boxes in a more adequate efficient manner. We have not yet solved the problem of the millions of other people trying to get to other locales in their metal boxes at well, at the exact same moment in space/time that you are, thus slowing down the entire process. This process is not enjoyable, and most people dread it. They have to do it approximately 4 times a day. After the 4th time, some humans like to consume the fermented offspring of various plants. This is legal to do so, as long as a special group of humans have determined that you have matured an appropriate amount of time. If you have not, then the mere possession of these fermented offspring can result in legal trouble.

Fascinating, isn't it? It can drive one literally crazy to think about all of this. To truly grasp it, is almost impossible, I think.

Another interesting facet of our civilization is the inability for humans to truly think for ourselves. Instead, we follow a strict set of rules that were written a few thousand years ago, by a chosen entity that supposedly created us. Nobody has ever seen this entity. There is no scientific proof to his existence. Yet, a significant portion of the human population firmly believes in the existence of this entity. They worship it. They kill for it. They give their lives to it. They cannot solve problems on their own; they “give” their problems away to this entity.

And the rules that this entity requires that we live by; apparently they are impenetrable. There is a very harsh form of retribution for doing so. One extreme form of this is an eternal captivity in an extremely tumultuous environment, supposedly filled with fire and brimstone, and we will feel excruciating burning pain forever. It will not stop. There will never be relief. Humans actually believe this. In past times, humans would take the lives of other humans for not believing this as well. While this practice does still happen today, it is not a noticeable as in the past. Perhaps we have matured and evolved.

Or maybe we're just too concerned with the inanimate boxes that we keep in our bigger boxes that we reside in. These inanimate boxes are used for both decor and entertainment. They typically display an array of pixelated images that move and produce various frequencies for our auditory and visual stimulation. These boxes are a rather important part of our lives now. We often use these boxes to obtain biased knowledge of what other humans are doing in other geographic coordinates. More times than not, this knowledge is useless to us, and does not affect our lives' in any foreseeable form. Yet we are enticed by them. We are addicted to them. We will gather together in groups around them, much as the way our ancestors did around a fire at night. Except our ancestors received a benefit from that fire. They received light, warmth, and heat. We receive nothing but a mindless form of entertainment.

We are products of own environments. Part of me thinks that we are not to blame for this. If one cannot change something, does inaction make you an even further part of the problem? This is the life that we know it. We can dream of a better time. But our dreams are materialistic in nature. We do not dream to become one with life. Our dreams are not spiritualistic. We dream of taking distance vacations, sitting in sand near large bodies of water, and consuming those tasty fermented plant-offspring that we love so much.

Ronald K. Siegal says that we have 4 basic undeniable desires. Food, sex, sleep, and intoxication. I understand the first 3; those are obvious. But the last one, intoxication, intrigues me. I read that it was animals that first showed us about the intoxicating effects of consuming various plants. Goats showed us coffee. Llamas showed us cocaine. Apes showed us alcohol. Bees, birds, cats, cows, elephants, monkeys, even common rodents, will all seek out intoxicating plants, for the sole purpose of having fun. Humans are no different. Yet somehow, we have taken it upon ourselves to decide that we are the ultimate species, superior to all others, and that we decide what is right, and what is wrong. We don't care if other species consume certain plants. Although we are just cousins to these species, with just a slightly different arrangement of our molecular structures, we leave them alone. We are better than them. We enslave them. We own them. We have become God (if such an entity exists, that is).

I don't understand how certain groups in our species rise to power, and are able to convince the multitude of humans to listen and obey them. That their way is the right way, above all others. Groups of these people fight the other groups all the time. Nobody wins, everybody loses. Time has proven this over and over again, and history always repeats itself, but for some reason, we fail to grasp this. One would think that we would learn from past mistakes, but we keep committing those same mistakes repeatedly, with no different end results. Why do we continue to do this? Are our egos so massive that we think that we can do a better job than previous attempts?

I am sure that these fallacies have existed since the beginning of man. At one time, we thought that the earth was flat (the horror!). People were actually shunned, ridiculed, and occasionally executed for saying otherwise. Imagine that! Living in a society where your voice cannot be heard, unless it is in agreement with the vast majority of the populace.

To me, we are supposed to have the right to life, the right to freedom, and the right to be happy. These are rights, not privileges. Rights are never earned, and they should never be able to be taken away. Unfortunately, they are taken away from us all the time, by these smaller groups of people who have decided that they are more important, and vastly more powerful, then their equally-structured molecular counterparts. Weird, isn't it? Out of the billions of humans that currently occupy Earth, such a tiny fraction of these people make up the group that tell everybody else what they can do, and when they can do it. And the rest of the billions of these people in this group simply allow it. It's as if they don't realize, or simply do not care, that this is happening. Almost as if they want it to happen. They even get together and talk to other humans, and decide upon which small group of these people are most qualified to tell them what to do. Human life is rather fascinating, I must say.

I sometimes wonder why we allow ourselves to be molded like this. While we are a product of our environments, we are still ultimately responsible for our own actions/inactions. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, remember?
 

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Where have all of the St. Augustine's, the Socrates, Platos, Aristotles, etc., of the world gone to?
I think that they think we're too old to have wisdom simply handed to us like everything else in life. Or expect us to have learned that wisdom is not something you can get from a drive-thru menu. :bored:
 

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Interesting points, and I too think about these things. I try not to get too wrapped up in it though, as it is scary, and in parts sad.
If I am in a depressed state of mind for whatever reason, I tend to become a lot more angry about things like this and my thoughts become a lot more vivid and shocking.

If you haven't already, have a look into Michel Foucault.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Interesting points, and I too think about these things. I try not to get too wrapped up in it though, as it is scary, and in parts sad.
If I am in a depressed state of mind for whatever reason, I tend to become a lot more angry about things like this and my thoughts become a lot more vivid and shocking.

If you haven't already, have a look into Michel Foucault.
Yah, I was in a depressed state. The rest of the time, I just choose to ignore such things. I haven't yet read up on Foucault. I shall do that now :)
 

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Yah, I was in a depressed state. The rest of the time, I just choose to ignore such things. I haven't yet read up on Foucault. I shall do that now :)
He's written about a lot of different things so I'm mainly referring to his insight on comparing modern society with a prison.
 

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He's written about a lot of different things so I'm mainly referring to his insight on comparing modern society with a prison.
I assume you're referring to his book "Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison"? Damn living in Costa Rica! I want to read this book today. Grrr. Oh well, it'll be here in about a week - thank god for amazon.com!

If, according to you, our only purpose on earth is to reproduce, then as someone who chooses not to reproduce, I must have a purposeless life?

I highly disagree.
From a biological standpoint, yes, that is our purpose - to ensure the survival and continuity of our species. Everything else is just busy work.
 

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I assume you're referring to his book "Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison"? Damn living in Costa Rica! I want to read this book today. Grrr. Oh well, it'll be here in about a week - thank god for amazon.com!
Thats the one, nice to see you're keen already. :laughing:
 
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