These last three months I’ve basically been in limbo, keeping myself occupied with lots of little things here and there until my next adventure as an apprentice at the Possibility Alliance in Missouri begins.
I’ve been questioning and changing many of my deeply held ideologies and beliefs over the past several years and several big things are in the process of changing in my mind as I write this. I feel like I’ve been on a path over the last 3 years to find a more natural way of living and that quest has led to many changes in how I interact with the world. Most of these changes have not conflicted much with my morals, they have just led to a different way of thinking and a different way of being in my daily life. Many of the things that I’ve encountered in the last several years have led me to believe that the hunter gatherer lifestyle is the best way for humans to live. There are a lot of things that appeal to me about that lifestyle that make a lot of sense and at the same time don’t cause conflict with my morals. There is, however, at least one issue that I’ve come across that has conflicted with my morals and I’ll get to that later. Anyway, in a hunter gatherer lifestyle, everyone gathers and then they all bring everything together and then share everything so that one day when one person gathers a lot they have some extra to make up for the one day when some other person couldn’t find much and then the next day it might flip around the other way. In this type of system, it is very much looked down upon for anyone to keep anything that they gathered for themselves. In this way, everyones contribution is valued and required. Not required by law or anything like that, but required to make the lifestyle work. If they didn’t share everything, the tribe would fall apart and it wouldn’t work. This is how humans operated for hundreds of thousands of years and it seems to have worked very well. There are still tribal cultures in certain parts of the world that maintain this hunter gatherer lifestyle and they are our most reliable source of information about how humans have been living since the dawn of humanity. In this type of life, where everything is shared, nobody owns anything, it is just there and they use it for a while before it returns to the earth to be used by some other living thing and the cycle continues. This sharing of everything and not owning things applies to much more than just food. It applies to relationships, to raising children, to daily chores. It really is true that it takes a village to raise of child, but in the hunter gatherer lifestyle, every adult is the mother and father of every child. Of course, there is a specific mother that had the child, but it is not often known and they don’t even care who is the specific father. It is almost universally believed in hunter gatherer tribes in the amazon that semen is what the baby is made from. So, a pregnant female will continue to have sex with many males in the tribe throughout the pregnancy. They believe that the baby will then take on the good characteristics of each man that “contributes” to the growth of the child. In our modern world where science knows that only one sperm fertilizes one egg and then the child grows inside the mother from what the child gets from the mother through the umbilical cord, this idea that semen helps the child grow is obsurd. But, in a tribal hunter gatherer culture, their belief leads to many fathers having very good relationships with many mothers and with all of the children in the tribe. There is no, this is my child, I’ll take care of it. There is no thats your child, you need to deal with it. There is just these are our children and we will take care of them together.
This leads into the big thing that I am struggling with right now. Given this knowledge of a more natural way of living in terms of men and women having multiple sexual/emotional relationships in a completely non monogamous way, I have a fundamental disagreement with the moral belief that I’ve had for most of my life. I’ve believed for basically my whole life that it is good and right to not have sex until marriage and that it is good and right to marry one person of the opposite sex and stay with that person for the rest of my life. Now, I’m not saying here that the hunter gatherers had everything right, but from what I’ve read and heard and learned about their lifestyle, it seems to me that it works a lot better than our modern lifestyle in terms of the general quality of life of the people and the environments in which they live. There is basically no degenerative desease in hunter gatherer cultures, there is little to no violence and war. Of the people that make it past infancy, the average lifespan is still about the same as that of the average american and that lifespan is filled with better general health and well being. The hunter gatherer lifestyle was also able to continue in harmony with the rest of the natural world for hundreds of thousands of years. So, back to the main issue that I’m confused about right now. Relationships and sex with people of the opposite sex. In my mind, I usually process things in terms of extremes. So, one extreme is no sex until marriage and then there is sex with only that person and a deep committed emotional relationship with only that person. The other extreme, in my mind, is sex and committed emotional relationships with many different people. One extreme seems to fit better with one lifestyle, while the other extreme seems to fit better with another lifestyle. The monogamy extreme seems to fit better with the agricultural lifestyle that humans have been operating with for 10,000 years. The polyamory extreme seems to fit better with the hunter gatherer lifestyle that humans have been operating with for hundreds of thousands of years. So, my lifestyle right now is an agricultural lifestyle, so do I go with the monogamy because it seems to fit better with that lifestyle? I see my lifestyle changing over time to become a balance between agricultural and hunter gatherer, so with that do I try to strike some balance between monogamy and polyamory? Or since I’m basically convinced that polyamory is how I as a human am evolved to operate, do I do that? Or, since I live in an agricultural society, do I just operate how I’ve been told that I’m supposed to operate even though it doesn’t make sense to me?
This whole thing is obviously more complex than what I’ve written here, but I feel like I’d be writing for a ridiculously long time if I tried to put everything down. I just wanted to put down the basics of what I’m thinking about right now.
So, other things that have been going on in my limbo time have been really fun. I’ve had the opportunity to spend more time with a lot of my really good friends than I’ve had in many years. I also got a chance to develop new friendships with a lot of awesome people that have challenged me to think about things in different ways. So, I’ll give a special thanks to those good friends that I got a chance to reconnect with and/or spend a decent amount of time with: Thanks Ishan, Tom, Pat, Gideon, Brian, Jeff, Jordan, Bethany, Megan, Mike, Claire. I also want to give a special thanks to the new friends that I’ve made as I’ve appreciated getting to know you and having fun hanging out with you and some of you I’ve had really good conversations with that have helped to shape my life in some way: Thanks Tim, Aleza, Christie, Dan, Di, Chris, Kristina, James, Kamal, Georgia, Hannah, Cara, Aurora, and Rachel. I feel that it is very important to tell people that you appreciate them and I’ve told most of you recently that I appreciate you and to the others that I haven’t told, here it is: I appreciate you. Hopefully they actually read this, or else they may never know, oh well, shit happens, life goes on.
I’ve also been indulging over the last three months in a lot of things that I will likely not have access to regularly over the next 8 months and to any of you that have spent any time with me recently, you probably know what those things are, haha. Well, to name a few, here they are: electricity, cars, computers, the internet, dota (if you don’t know what this is, don’t worry about it, its really not important, but it will be pretty hilarious for those that do know what it is), cell phones, refrigerators, flush toilets (although I really won’t miss these at all, I actually would be very very happy to never use a flush toilet again), laundry washing machines, really comfortable beds, central air, and alcohol. It will be difficult to get ahold of me in the next 8 months, but I will have access to a land line phone (that I’ll be sharing with 10 people), snail mail, and the internet about once a week or every other week depending on how often I go into town to the local library. If you want the phone number and/or address, let me know and I’ll hook you up. Don’t try to call my cell phone after March 30th; at first I just won’t answer because I won’t be using it, and then it will be disconnected because I won’t be paying for it anymore.
I’ve had a lot of fun in this time of limbo and I’ve learned a lot. It is finally time for the next adventure. Bring on the fun, the learning, the hard work, the responsibility, the new relationships, and much more unexpected awesomeness.