A couple of years ago, there was a popular meme making the rounds on Facebook showing a picture of people walking while looking down at their phones. It read, Here’s Your Zombie Apocalypse. Activist and poet John Trudell referred to those of us who live in this culture as the already dead, the spiritually disconnected. What is the current culture? It’s simply one that identifies with things instead of the natural world that creates the very things we identify with.
Today we are shells of human beings. Being human, of course, requires being. Many of us have become human doings.
We live without intent and instead follow the marching orders of our cultural narrative.
We go to work for the majority of our lives so we can play the credit score and debt game. We have children because that’s what we’re supposed to do and then we put them through the same meat grinder that desensitizes us all. We are too busy making a living which isn’t living at all.
When tragic events like mass shootings, hate crimes and terrorist attacks take place, we are at a loss for an explanation. We can’t explain depression, diseases, or bigotry. Our mind-numbing culture prevents us from seeing what has always been right in front of us the whole time. When you can only see the weekend, the next vacation or your retirement, there isn’t much room for foresight. When you believe the answer to all problems simply includes a solid work ethic and your right to bear arms then connecting the dots between particular actions and events is nearly impossible. When you believe happiness is found in things like home ownership or monetary wealth then looking beyond the dominant cultural narrative will most likely require some serious introspection to clear the slate for renewal of the inquisitive and imaginative nature you once had before the unrelenting programming devoured you.
We, naturally, are not fans of these types of conversations because they don’t provide clear-cut answers or solutions. The belief and consequent attitude of, “If you don’t have a solution then shut up!” is something that does not ultimately help us. If we are to find liberation, peace and understanding, then collectively, we must consider the idea that not every difficult conversation can be neatly tidied up with a bow at the end of it. Entering into these dialogues is part of being human. Abandon the narrative and reconnect with life. How can one do this?
We can start by walking outside and leaving our self-imposed prison cell of a house.
We can become aware of not only the narrative running between our ears, but the larger destructive fairy tale being ignorantly acted out by our fellow zombies. Then we can begin walking towards the exit of a culture that has been dictating to us since the day we were born.
These are the first steps to reclaim our humanity from our zombie-like existence.
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