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Returning to nature

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mattias
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Returning to nature
PostPosted: Tue 02 Aug, 2011  Reply with quote

To make a long story... not so long, I've been realizing that a great majority of my personal issues are closely related with growing up and living in this chaotic modern day society (oh, really?). But that a key point is that how far away from nature I am. I've found some sources on how being disconnected from nature can cause stress and anxiety and depression, and it just feels very true to me. I mean, real nature, not just a tree on a sidewalk, of course. Getting lost while listening to the wind in the trees and the birds singing.

Some time ago I learned about WWOOF and it seems like a pretty cool idea (if it were that easy for me ). And when I think of it now, I really think I'd really like to just live on a little organic farm with a small group of interesting people, living of and with nature, without tall buildings, traffic, homework, loud parties, money, and all those things. You know, feel like your work and life has meaning, actually have fun while socializing with people, and just play guitar, read or watch the stars for fun. Kinda sounds like an impossible dream, I guess, specially considering I have absolutely no connections to this sort of life.

I was searching around for links and videos about, well, any of this. And then I thought Ld4all might be a good place to look! grin So, anyone have any comments? Anyone feel the same way? have any experiences with this way of life (or even with "switching over" to such a way of life), or links, videos, articles, forums, you name it?


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Hyzoran
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug, 2011  Reply with quote

This is why I go camping, camping in the middle of the mountains is absolutely the best way to get away from it all. I only wish I had a group of people to camp with and I wish I could do it all the time, maybe have a high tech house with alot of solar panels and some computers because I still love technology. Loving technology and nature at the same times sounds like a contradiction though lol.

All I really want in life is to live in a large tower near a lake ontop of a mountain.

Why is that so hard sadblauw

That sounds like an excellent dream Mattias smile



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Quiesco
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug, 2011  Reply with quote

I do think it's a great idea, especially for someone who lives in the more modern day society, but I unfortunately can't really relate. I live on a mountain, in a forest, and I do a lot of the work you'd do on a small farm. The only thing I think wouldn't happen to me is being around all the different people. I think it'd be a great thing for someone who grew up or lives in a modern type city to do, though.


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StarryGwee
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug, 2011  Reply with quote

I've been pretty overwhelmed with stress and pressure this year basically. You know what I do? I close off any electronics, either go outside and take a walk, or sit by my backyard. I love nature, it's very comforting. Especially at night. I like the cool breeze and the sound of the crickets relaxes me. Star-gazing helps clear my mind. I love nature, heh, but then I don't think I could give up my laptop.
I suggest taking trips out to the country sometimes, or going camping like hyzoran said. ^^ We've all become too dependent on technology.



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Bejezt
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug, 2011  Reply with quote

Mattias... you have nooo idea. I completely agree. To get away from it all somewhere a bit less hectic. I'm also very interested, but unfortunately I have no idea of how to find such a place. Right now, I suppose, since I'm still young, I'm most interested in just finding a nice place to escape to when I want to relax, especially at night (oh, hey! There's always LD's! ^^ ). Parks are nice, but they just don't quite seem to cut it sometimes. Like you said,
mattias wrote:
Getting lost while listening to the wind in the trees and the birds singing.


I guess, while it may not be much, maybe something you'd like to consider is running. Its what I like to do to sort of "escape". But more than running, really, its exploring for me. Always going somewhere new to find someplace nice and calm. Easier said than done, but its a nice change of pace when you have the time for it. And definitely don't be afraid to get lost. smile


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Mecha
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug, 2011  Reply with quote

I hate to be the lone dissenter here so far, but that sounds about as close to a personal hell to me as I can imagine. I'm going to remain civil here out of respect for the absolutely stunning and polite atmosphere here on these boards, (I must say, it's one of the best I've come across in that regard) but normally I start seeing red whenever I hear people advocating neo-luddism or a return to some illusory 'golden age' in the past.

Ah, but where to start explaining this point of view to someone on the other side? The list of reasons is long, so very long. Should I point out the health and death statistics for the pre-industrial age world? (hint: it wasn't a nice place to live. You'd be lucky to make it past 35 or 40) Or maybe point out that the so-called Easterlin paradox simply doesn't exist, and that there is a clear connection between happiness and increasing means? Should I list the ways modern technology has drastically improved our health and well-being, or better fed the world? (just because hunger and starvation still exist on a frankly appalling scale today does not mean that the situation was better in the past- far from it) Maybe it wold help to point out that in every time period, in every region of the world, as soon as an alternative to 'life on the farm' presented itself, people flocked to it in droves and never looked back.

*ahem* I'm starting to get worked-up here even when I said I'd try not to. The bottom line is that while stress management is crucial, (and here I'd like to point out that life for a subsistence farmer is far from stress-free) and that it probably would be wise to stay away from certain artifacts of modern living that are genuinely harmful, I don't think the solution is to throw the baby out with the bathwater so to speak, and turn your back on all of the progress the human race has accomplished in the last few centuries. (more than in the past 100,000 years combined)


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avalinah
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug, 2011  Reply with quote

i have to disagree with this farm idea too. surely it might be good for some people, but i've always lived in a city and been happy with it. if someone would put me on a farm, i'd go nuts sadblauw i would really, really suffer. i do enjoy the way things are with technology, i love being able to talk to people from far away lands with a few pushes of my mobile phone buttons.. if anyone would put me on a farm, i'd be utterly depressed. being in nature makes me feel like i'm always dirty, always cold, and things are just so inconvenient..

although i shall still say that i live in a smaller city than most of you, probably. i live in the capital city of my country, but it's a small country, so even the capital city is quite green, it's not a concrete jungle. so maybe it's that i get a balance between the two and that's why it's good.

i agree with both of the points of view, but not completely with each one. i say that there should be a balance about it. for example, living on a farm would be totally out of the question for me, but.. but then again, i also like buying organic vegetables in the market and things like that.

i do agree that people often think too great of the past and romanticize it. it really was no better back then. the population was small, and many died even as children. how many classmates of yours have died? childhood friends? nearly none. if you were living in the "golden age of nature", probably at least a quarter or third of your friends would have passed away till you reached age 10. so is this modern world really so bad..?



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Bejezt
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug, 2011  Reply with quote

First off, thanks for both of your guy's opinions, and for keeping your cool, Mecha. xD

I do realize, however, that this "envisioned" way of life is not as great as it may seem to some. Personally, I don't want to be living on an organic farm or anything like that, because I can already see it as a life I would not enjoy as much, not to mention my lack of knowledge when it comes to surviving in such an environment. I'm too accustomed to life in the city.

But when I was agreeing with mattias, I was mostly agreeing with our disconnection with nature. Of course, everyone is different, and some people really enjoy the city life, and even despise being out in nature. But personally, I feel a longing for the peace of mind it brings to me. Of course technology has advanced a lot, and I, in no way, shun these advancements. I truly appreciate what we've come to be able to enjoy because of it. But still, the city life seems a bit hectic at times.

I suppose, as avalinah put it, a good balance of both is good.


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Ghosteh
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011  Reply with quote

I love both nature and technology, but I am more outdoors enjoying by the nature than having technical stuff one reason can depend that the nature is very close to where I live (one or two minutes mind you tounge1 ), so when I need to get rid of stress I go out for some minutes and then I have new energy lachgroen


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mattias
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011  Reply with quote

Thanks for all the replies grin and Mecha, no worries, no fun if everyone agrees. wink But I think you missunderstood me and/or I didn't express myself that well. I was in no way talking about going back to living like people did back then. In fact I love technology and probably wouldn't be able to live without a computer and internet. I need to cut down, actually. My idea was more of a "modern" farm... like a farm with knowledge and awareness. Solar power, a computer and stuff like that would be great. Like hyzoran said, it sounds like a contradiction butwhy should it? Maybe we could look at it as "balance". It's like my life is 99% "big city" and 1% "nature", and to me a good number might be around 20%/80%. I'm sure many people would be happy with 99%/1%. I don't see anyone else complaining around me lol Mecha and Avalinah would probably go crazy on a farm as I am going crazy now lach2

Bejezt's last post said it a lot better than I can lach1

Bejezt wrote:
But when I was agreeing with mattias, I was mostly agreeing with our disconnection with nature.


but anyway, yeah, there are too many things on my mind atm, but this was supposed to be my central point. tounge2 The whole farm thing was just an idea, I might not enjoy it at all either. I guess it just hit me REAL hard the other day, when I posted this. I asked myself "when was the last time I touched a tree?". I honestly can't remember. Months. Last time I walked barefoot on dirt or grass? Years, no doubt. I just felt so disconnected from the natural world, and not even connected to this other world I live in. Disconnected to the metaphorical "Mother Nature", you know?

@StarryGwee: I've been doing something like that these last days, it sure does help! Just sitting and breathing fresh air. I think now I truely understand all that buddhist/yoga stuff about the importance of breathing xD I agree we have become a bit too dependant on technology too. That was another thing that made me think about the farms. A sudden fear of the economy collapsing or whatever and I don't have even a clue about growing food or any other knoledge like building. Something that seems so natural and necessary.

anyway nuu


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Mecha
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011  Reply with quote

No worries mate, everything's cool wink (even if I disagree with the premise that we're too dependent on technology)

I agree with Avalinah's post for the most part and would just like to add that I mostly just think it's a case of 'the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence', which is somewhat ironic because I can apply the exact same statement to myself, only reversed. (my family lives in a rural suburban area not far from a city. We have a dog, three cats, and nearly forty chickens, and there's a field belonging to our neighbor that borders our property. It's actually a step up from our last house, which was in a tiny rural town with a population of ~700-1,000 and nothing but fields and pasture as far as the eye could see. At least here you're only a few minutes drive from civilization. kiekeboe)


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jburrowes
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011  Reply with quote

@Mecha,

I can't of course say for sure but I think the lower average lifespan of the pre-industrial age had to do with very bad hygiene/sanitation. ie: crowded living conditions with open sewage running in the streets; lack of any awareness about germs. I could be wrong about that but it makes sense to me. I mean, physiologically humans haven't really changed in just several hundred years.

@Mattias,

While I can certainly see the appeal of country living, and am thankful for the family farmers that enjoy that lifestyle and supply some of our food, I am not sure I could handle a full-time life in the country. I have bookmarked the WWOOF site though and am considering trying it.

Recently I have been enjoying the benefits of meditation - and it only took me until age 51 to do it!

In years past I've tried the stereotypical mediation of sitting cross-legged, upturned hands on knees et cetera but couldn't get into it. I still can't.

I'm talking about learning to quiet one's thoughts, as much as one can, throughout the day. Whether it be walking somewhere, standing in line, eating, working, even chatting - in a gentle but persistent manner learn to reject any attitudes/thoughts that do nothing to diminish stress.

Unless one looks into it, they might never realize that most, really nearly all, of the stress we feel is needless. External events don't cause stress so much as one's reaction to them does. I mean, it isn't hard to notice that people can react very differently to the exact same situation. While some get stressed about it others take it in stride.

Do you know what I mean?

I'm not saying this is an easy change to make but it is worth it. Either one goes through life feeling somewhat like a cork tossed about on the ocean; a leaf tumbled about by the wind, or bit by bit, one assumes responsibility for one's mood, and finds greater peace.

Think of it this way: what does everyone want? To be happy right? Or, as I prefer to think of it, to have that 'peaceful, easy feeling,'

What stands in the way of that goal for a lot of people? A lifetime's accumulation of knee jerk reactions to the behavior of others. Nearly everyone, by the time they're adults, develops an almost totally constant, highly repetitious, internal dialogue - that nearly always works counter to the above stated desire.

You can learn to simply a lot of it. (I'm still working on dropping the dialogue that seems to have deep emotional underpinnings).

When you do, you'll find that you can be more at ease practically anywhere - and still decide, with a much clearer mind, that you'd rather live in the country.

I hope this helps,

JB



Current LD goal(s): To complete the Gates of Dreaming as described by Carlos Castaneda.
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mattias
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011  Reply with quote

I've been interested in meditation for a while. I'm thinking of joining some group or course, even if just to get myself some dicipline.

WWOOF seems like it should be a great experience, even if just once, without changing lifestyle.

Mecha, I know what you mean about the grass sadblauw I guess the more unsatisfied with your life you are the more radical change you feel like doing. tounge2


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Mecha
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011  Reply with quote

Quote:
I can't of course say for sure but I think the lower average lifespan of the pre-industrial age had to do with very bad hygiene/sanitation. ie: crowded living conditions with open sewage running in the streets; lack of any awareness about germs. I could be wrong about that but it makes sense to me.
That was one factor yes, but hardly the only or even main one. High death rates and low life expectancy were once the norm throughout history, regardless of whether they were hunter gatherers living in small tribes, rural farmers, or closely packed peasants.
Quote:
I mean, physiologically humans haven't really changed in just several hundred years.
I believe my point had been that the way we live had changed, not that we as a species had recently undergone any great physiological change that makes us more robust.
Quote:
Think of it this way: what does everyone want? To be happy right? Or, as I prefer to think of it, to have that 'peaceful, easy feeling,'

What stands in the way of that goal for a lot of people? A lifetime's accumulation of knee jerk reactions to the behavior of others. Nearly everyone, by the time they're adults, develops an almost totally constant, highly repetitious, internal dialogue - that nearly always works counter to the above stated desire.

You can learn to simply a lot of it. (I'm still working on dropping the dialogue that seems to have deep emotional underpinnings).

When you do, you'll find that you can be more at ease practically anywhere - and still decide, with a much clearer mind, that you'd rather live in the country.
I fail to see the logical connection there, and can just as easily replace 'country' in that sentence to 'city' for all it's worth. You have some good points otherwise though.

For anyone interested in further information about life and health in the ancient world, I'd highly recommend reading Matt Ridley's 'The Rational Optimist'. Now, you may disagree with his reasoning and conclusions later on in the book, but he does paint a highly compelling and accurate portrait of how things used to be, and the ways in which things have changed for the better. (again, some may take issue with some of the things he believes are better, but in large part I agree with him on that front) More so than any other book I've come across, I believe this one captures the essence of my views on the matter.

[edit:]
Quote:
Mecha, I know what you mean about the grass sadblauw I guess the more unsatisfied with your life you are the more radical change you feel like doing. tounge2
Aye, though I wouldn't classify myself as being actively dissatisfied most of the time. I would like to see a change in my life, but I see no reason to make myself unhappy or depressed while waiting and working toward it. IRL people know me as an extremely patient person, not easily fazed by anything. (although there are buttons that can be pressed- anything that smacks of neo-luddism happens to fall into that category) I try to understand and accept the world for what it is, in all of its chaotic and contradictory glory, not just the parts that are easy to like. Accept, and then see how it can be made better. Not sure if I'm quite making my point here, but hopefully you get the gist of my take on it. Trying to understand others and the world is one of the core elements of my personal philosophy, and I find that the more I understand something or someone, the closer I am to it and the more I feel for and accept it, or forgive it if it is something negative. Definitely rambling now. I think I'll just part with a quote from Ender's Game that really stuck with and resonated with me when I read it:
Quote:
“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him.”


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jburrowes
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011  Reply with quote

Mecha wrote:
I fail to see the logical connection there, and can just as easily replace 'country' in that sentence to 'city' for all it's worth. You have some good points otherwise though.


I in no way meant to imply that, with a clearer mind, a person would naturally choose to move to or remain in the country. I meant, in Mattias' case, that with a clearer mind he could come to a more certain decision about whether he should - or at least try it for a while. If he gets a good taste of what the kind of meditation I described can do for one's normal mood perhaps he'll decide he's just fine where he is.

I believe that when most - or even better - all of one's mental baggage/garbage is cleared away one can see everything more clearly, and therefore make better choices.

JB



Current LD goal(s): To complete the Gates of Dreaming as described by Carlos Castaneda.
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