I went camping last Thursday. December 21st. While many were preparing for the end of the world, I was preparing for the beginning of the world. Yah, I’m part of that camp. That believe-in-the-power-of-the-universe-and-live-in-harmony-with-all-and-eventually-we-will-evolve-into-higher-beings camp. I believe that December 21st was really just a one-day symbol of representation for a period of time that we have already been moving through and will continue to move through until eventually we are not only an evolved species, but a higher level species that is able to promote its own existence in harmony with every other element of existence. I do believe that darkness cannot survive in the presence of light. And I do believe that in order to recognize light we must experience dark. I believe in humans, and I believe in the strength of our innate sense of survival. And I also believe we are undoubtedly able to intellectualize the very threat of our own survival, and I think we are now starting to see that our greatest enemy is our very own self. Therefore, as animals naturally striving to survive, we are realizing that it is no longer an individual game of survival for you or for me, where we must compete in order to eat, but of harmonizing ourselves with our environments in order to survive as a greater collective unit.
Poor Jon. Jon was my camping mate who agreed to go with me to welcome in the day that would be marking the start of the new age. Fortunately, he is just as curious and theorizing and deep-thinking and open to every idea out there as I am, and we instantly began our three hour road trip to the Olympic National Park with heated discussion about prostitution, sex slavery, guns, mental health and anything else that begs to be analyzed.
We arrived at Elwha Campground after dark to find we were the only ones in the small campground. The reason probably had something to do with it being mid-to-late December, as well as rainy and cold. A storm had dumped snow in the higher elevations of the Olympic Mountains only the day before, and our destination was just shy of the snow line, but we decided to go anyway. I noted my double-fortune as I realized Jon is just as adventurous as I am.
My usual fears of encountering scary animals in the wilderness came alive the instant I stepped out of Jon’s truck and into the blackness of night. I hate being scared of bears or cougars or wolves or possums or raccoons or rats or dragons or whatever else lives in dark forests. As we set up our tent and found a cooking shelter with firewood, I tried to push those thoughts out of my head. It did not ease my fears when Jon snuck away and hid from me. I felt a twinge of panic standing there alone and vulnerable in the dark knowing some thing (even if that thing was just Jon) was watching me from somewhere I couldn’t see. That panic climaxed and then erupted in the form of a long shriek when he jumped out and scared me. What points he had earned for being an adventurous deep-thinker he lost in two seconds flat. With the warmth of the fire (that Jon made every attempt he could to let me know he had made), we discussed more topics at dizzying depths while the stars poked out of the sky above. For a portion of the night, the half-moon illuminated the wet campground until it slipped behind some clouds over the mountains around us, and we decided it was time for us, too, to turn in.
I’ve mentioned before how much I love the sound of raindrops on my jacket hood, but the sound of raindrops might even be better when falling on the hood of my tent. I realize I need to give a name to my tent, for she has now spent her fourth night providing shelter, and I think I want to start tracking the places she’s been. She, who is the REI Passage-2, held up well in the rainy weather, and didn’t leak or condensate over the course of the drizzly night.
I never believed any sort of apocalyptic event was really going to happen on the 21st, but I had wanted to go the woods on that day as a way to honor my belief in the universe and align myself with the natural world, something that I feel inevitably happens anytime I am in the wilderness. If some major apocalyptic event had happened and all of the lights went out, small groups of people would form, perhaps friends and/or family, and they would try to survive together, sharing food, implementing a system for decision making on behalf of the group and developing some sort of protection from outsiders. Many doomsday peeps include protection in their preparations, usually guns, just as a government would implement a military. The weapons act as a way to protect the people, their food and their way of living. This is essentially a very small government, even at the family level. It could be a dictatorship with the mother or the father telling the kids exactly what to do and how. It might be a democracy and everyone in the group votes. Whatever. Humans clearly, for the most part, like being in groups and through some system of communication and decision-making they function as a survival unit. Some survival units function more efficiently, while others are not so well-off. One group might live in a very fertile area where they can grow lots of food, so food is not an issue. Or another group’s leader might not be the right kind of leader for that group. Maybe another unit isn’t very intelligent or knowledgeable, while another is made up of natural geniuses. This is how government started – in small groups like this. And over time the small units came together and then came together more, whether by force or choice, until there were so many people in one unit that it became difficult to manage.
When we awoke on Friday morning, I suppose Jon and I went through motions similar to what we would do if an apocalypse had occurred. We immediately made fire to warm ourselves. We then went on a beautiful hike through the forest to the top of Cascade Rock. The sun came out and it almost felt like late spring or early summer. Camping and hiking brings you back to your own personal root of survival. Your day is no longer about completing some task in order to make money so that you have means to feed and shelter yourself. Your day is about directly and personally finding means to feed and shelter yourself, without any middle component like money. Sure our 4.5 mile roundtrip hike was purely for fun, but in another era we would probably have been doing the same thing, walking all day through the woods. The only difference is we would most likely have been in search of food or supplies or shelter. Self-sufficiency at the most localized level. Self-preservation.
Animals follow an age-old formula for survival, and it includes sometimes killing off other animals, even their own kind. Humans were once those types of animals and thus we have a survival mechanism inside of us that says to fight back or stand up if our survival is threatened. Yet the other animals have not evolved in the same way that humans have. We are on a different level, and therefore our survival mechanisms need to change. It is in our genes to protect and defend and survive. But our history does not necessarily need to shape our future. Things can always change, and one of the main aspects of evolution is to do away with things that are unnecessary or harmful to our own preservation. Our very sense of self preservation in its modern form has actually become the very thing that will destroy us, as well as result in the death of other life and our earth.
Our self preservation techniques have gone off the charts. You can keep yourself healthy, you can keep yourself safe, warm, comfortable and alive. You can even make yourself more physically desirable in order to promote your own sexuality and get your genes to pass on and stay in the gene pool. We have perfected our self-preservation to the point of overkill. We cannot maintain this new method of self preservation and still be acting within the old means of survival that includes taking on others in order to further enhance our individual ability to survive. We don’t need to. We don’t need guns to protect our food when we can develop the means to all come together, work together and share our food.
If humans want to live peacefully, then we need to stop incorporating unpeaceful things into our living. The idea that one must have a gun to protect one’s self keeps us in that pocket of thought that the world is not peaceful, and we have ourselves a self-fulfilling prophecy. I understand that right now the world really isn’t peaceful, and I’m by no means saying we need to ditch our military, but perhaps in collectively believing that the world is peaceful and then acting on that belief, we could bring about change. It’s like cognitive behavioral therapy, but applied on a large scale to the therapy of the human race and the earth which houses that human race. If we as humans remain unpeaceful as we have been, killing each other off for power or belief or survival, or because our minds are clouded with hatred, illness or darkness in general, our species will flounder.
Maybe the earth is questioning its existence just as we humans questions ours, and really earth is just living earth life, doing what earths do, and going through periods of geological change, just as a pubescent boy would find three hairs sprouting from the skin above his penis while the skin on his forehead is erupting in volcanic pimples. Perhaps every human on earth is really just a short-lived cell within the earth’s life. Every animal. Every plant. Every life. Every story. All just small components that make up the overall existence of earth, when perhaps earth, too, will eventually just pass away.
It is time for us humans and animals to come together and live in agreement with one another in order to promote the life of our own planet. Our host. If I have a god, it is most surely the Earth on which I am able to live. If it dies, we die. But if we die, it doesn’t die. Therefore we must protect it. We need to make sure that earth survives in order for our own selves to survive. And earth’s survival with humans living on it, I believe, depends on us humans evolving into the higher forms of ourselves. Otherwise, either we will be our own demise, or Earth will remove us from itself in order to promote its own survival. I do not believe that if we continue killing each other in wars, and on streets, and in our very classrooms, or if we continue killing ourselves via our health or our refusal to see the light, we will survive. But since we have seen the darkness, we are now able to recognize the light. And since darkness cannot survive in the presence of light, the light will start to take over the darkness like white ivy on a brick wall covered in black ash. And I believe that this is exactly what we are beginning to experience now. The light is beginning to take over the darkness.
So many of us are more aware of our impact on our earth. We are conscious of how we could potentially destroy our world, and we are all wanting something better. We are waking up. Once, humans were living in harmony with the earth, but they were not always in harmony with one another. Competing for food resources or shelters, humans developed a need for power in order to promote their own livelihood. That need for power then exploded into our decreasing ability to live completely in harmony with the earth. It got out of hand. Now we are starting to see more of a movement returning towards that original harmonic life with earth, as well as a new movement towards peace within ourselves and our own species. There is no longer a need for power in order to survive. I want to wipe that from our genes until one day the need for power in order to survive will be as useless as our appendix.
People will have differences of opinion and people will have different beliefs and some people may not want to live the same way as others. That’s fine. That’s normal. But once we get rid of this “gene” of self-entitlement inside of us that says my way is best, and once we get rid of this “gene” of self preservation at the cost of another, then we can live in congruence with one another and communicate with each other to negotiate fairness. There would be no self-entitlement to power or any feelings of superiority because our survival would not be threatened amongst each other. And those mean, angry people that take advantage of others and want to steal their food or take over their land will slowly be weeded out of society and subsequently those genes would be weeded out of the human race. Not because those people die off, but instead because they will be transformed by the light of everyone else. The light that takes over the darkness. The evolved human won’t expect the worst from people, but will give the best of him or her self. The evolved species of humans will live in harmony with earth and all of its creatures. I want to be Miss America and that is my dream for the future. No just kidding, but really, should I stop eating meat?
So I realize there are many holes in my theory, and that it contradicts several other theories I have, but it’s just one of many theories anyway. And does it even matter? Plus I have a headache from thinking too much. So I’ll leave you with this: Many people were expecting something terrible and extreme to happen on December 21st, and were preparing for the worst, but nothing out of the ordinary came. Some people questioned the sanity of Jon and me for going camping where a snow storm had just hit and non-stop rain was expected to fall while we were there, but we went anyway, and though there was rain, we also saw a starry sky and the sun ended up shining throughout our hike. Even though I was terrified that I would encounter some bear that decided to come out of hibernation to get in on some of our instant mashed potatoes and beef jerky dinner, nothing of the sort happened. My point is we should live it up and not wait for bad things to happen or be afraid that they will, and we should not make decisions about whether or not we are going to do something we want to do based on something so inconsistent and fluid as weather or theories or fears. So just live and let live, man! Yahhhhh.