Cults are usually small groups of people who have religious or other beliefs or practices that others deem strange or sinister. Civilization, on the other hand, is considered an advanced stage of human social development. What if, however, the small cultish group over time became much larger than the group that originally deemed them stranger or sinister? What if the now larger group, then, religiously deemed themselves and their way of life superior? In other words, what if the cult took over the world and became the norm?
You and I and everyone we know or have ever met are members of the largest and most sinister cult in the history of humankind. Very few members of our cult have ever had any contact with people who live outside of our strange group. In fact we have a name for those who are not in our cult. We call them Uncontacted .
The Cult of Civilization is deadly. It’s not just deadly because of the massive destruction it wields upon all life but because we live within its confines and believe so deeply in it. We literally believe it’s the best and in many cases, the only way to live. Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, we continue to perpetuate our fanatical living arrangement without hesitation despite the fact that it is sealing our own fate.
Today we have taken the simplicity out of living by manufacturing a bureaucratic nightmare made up of large institutions that collectively make up massive debilitating systems of power and oppression. It is a truly short-sighted and perverse approach to something that was once full of wonder and mystery. Don’t get me wrong, the wonder and mystery are still there but making a living has replaced actual living and the rest as they say, is history.
Those who have been consumed by our cult in the past, recognized our collective psychosis. Weitko is a type of cannibalism that devours life (human and non-human alike) to fulfill its need to conquer. It’s a psychosis we civilized don’t recognize because we deem it strange and outside the norm which we created. It is an accurate diagnosis if we look directly at our behavior.
For that past 12,000 years or so since the Agricultural Revolution we have been trying to control the natural world through a variety of conquering methods. Since we are part of the natural world, in our unrelenting conquest of it, we’ve ultimately ended up destroying what keeps us alive and in turn have unwittingly taken ourselves prisoner. We are not free nor do we have any connection to the wonder and mystery of life. Instead it’s become a chore filled with pain and misery. For those who remain oblivious to this fact let me introduce you to your privilege and the immense consequences that come from such a state of oblivion.
As we fall ever deeper into our psychosis we try harder and harder to maintain the momentum of our cult. The consequences build upon one another like a giant game of Jenga! Today our wars and environmental destruction to maintain our insatiable consumption are a modern form of conquest. It’s no longer about capturing a flag but rather the resources on the ground below the flag. We are an earthquake both figuratively and literally.
Unfortunately there is no escape from this all-encompassing cult. It has stripped us of the emotional and physical tools necessary to function outside of it. What we can do is recognize ourselves within it. Once we recognize our role (living instead of making a living) we can then act. For me the choice is and has been pretty clear. I could no longer participate fully in all cult activities. Ironically the privilege afforded me by the cult presented more options to move to the fringes of it. I had a small window of opportunity and jumped through it. I was lucky enough to have a partner to jump through with me.
Today as I move ever closer to the exit of the cult I know that I will never be fully liberated from it. My liberation increases incrementally which moves me closer to sanity. From the fringe I’ll watch it collapse and burn as I scream into the void while all that I love and cherish continue to fruitlessly negotiate with the abyss I call The Cult of Civilization.
We are madness.
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