“By and by your attention becomes so intensely focused that you no longer notice the raw knuckles, the cramping thighs, the strain of maintaining nonstop concentration. A trancelike state settles over your efforts; the climb becomes a clear-eyed dream. Hours slide like minutes. The accumulated clutter of day-to-day existence – the lapse of conscience, the unpaid bills, the bungled opportunities, the dust under the couch, the inescapable prison of your genes – all of it is temporarily forgotten, crowded from your thoughts by an overpowering clarity of purpose and by the seriousness of the task at hand.” ~Jon Krakauer, Into The Wild
That is exactly how it is when one removes from little boxes and into the woods. We suppose that might have been Krakauer’s point in including his tale [the above quote] in his book about Chris McCandless’ venture into the wild. That was 1992, nowadays, “The Wild” can be anywhere outside of the mainstream, without earshot of a television screen, going out without cellphone or other electronic device (we notice that nearly everyone we see has his or her ears stuffed with an mp3 player. It is strange really, this desire to disconnect from the environment whatever it may be. Anonymity translated from the screen (i.e., television, cellphone, computer, etc.) to Real Life. Everyone still pipes in their existence from afar, still inside their own world as if they were before a screen. Disconnect. Disconnect. ‘I Do Not See You, Unless You Are Words On My Screen’ is the cry of the new human, the automaton, the biological cyborg. The Hive Mind with perambulation. No Access Denied. It is frightening and existentially disturbing; for what is the evolution of this race of human? The Homo Technicus?). If one is not plugged in, one can be unseen, unnoticed, off the radar, low-tech, non-existent(?). “The World” is now anything real, for Reality TV has transformed Reality into drama. The View is chitchat, Oprah is conversation, the emoticon is feeling, and Google is thought. Google is no longer a number, but the masses’ innumerable infinite. . . stupidity. [Cipolla’s Law] What becomes the idea of The Lowest Denominator? When a system can only be as intelligent as the lowest denominator within that system? Moore’s Law is now the Ultimate God? The one true law? The Absolute?! Is it even possible anymore for an empire to fall thanks to technology? What is the probability of an empire falling that multiplies exponentially and logarithmically? What of that kind of social system? What kind of monster, that system?! Run by algorithm, controlled by data, access denied, and incompatible databases? What sort of Leviathan has been created?
It seems almost ironic, as the world wide web evolves (bringing humans ever“closer” in contact, making it even more easier and simpler to ‘reach out and touch someone,’ the farther and farther humans move away from one another (that is in time and not space)), the ever larger becomes the disconnect, the deeper the chasm. What does this do to consciousness of that race of humans? How does that alter (if at all, although we think most likely and most assuredly) the racial (residual) planetary, generational, and individual DNA of that race? What becomes of that psychic connection? Strange. Just strange, the volume of derangement we have observed in the people about here since moving ‘Into The Wild.’ The longer we are in the woods surrounded by silence in the form of birds, streams, wind, leaves, trees, branches (ah, the fractal of Earth Planet), deer, rodent, insect, arachnid; climate, rain, cold, heat; awareness of the elements, of every subtle change within that environment; constant connection to the Hum of the planet, the sky and universe, the noisier civilization becomes. The more divorced we become from society. . . and this by choice. We consider ourselves fortunate to forgetting the shackles of society; i.e., calendar, clock, alarm bell tolling, boisterous voices, car horns, traffic lights red, yellow, green, obeisance, law, drugs, the clang and clutter, clickety clackety of industry moving on 24 hours a day, florescent buzzing and morning news chatter, office gossip and political scandal, all shrugged from now relaxed, unstressed shoulders. Is this the happiness ever pursued? Is this the Nirvana monks spoke of? Perhaps. Or it is just absence from the purgatory of the civilized zoo, as if privilege were the work of divinity! We should laugh. We have witnessed divinity and it is not delightful as the tongue-twisters and deceivers whisper from their TV pulpit, professors of propriety them all. Divinity is not bestowed, not earned, not forsaken, not bought and sold, and certainly not delegated. Divinity is but the name given a motion, a slice of energy infinitely transforming, intangible, worn by consciousness and begat by awareness. There is no god, therefore any need for amen. Prayer is folly and the Pandora’s Box of the lonely and ignorant, the Homo Technicus. We stand naked before the great glowing screen, unscathed and unbowed. The carnival, though teases our names, cannot attract for we are no moth, are no more and no less; responsive only to the Hum and not drudgery. Free. Wild. We Will to step farther than Thoreau and McCandless for they knew not of lateralus. The trance be wakeful, bequeathed with awareness, this is where this state differs from Krakauer’s description, McCandless’ journey and Thoreau’s philosophy. It is closer to Alan Watts’ idea of the hermit and the nonjoiner, closer to Tyson’s breaking his chains, and Williams’ original freedom.
“But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.” ~Alan Watts