Alternate Lifestyles: Living our Ideals
It goes without saying that there is something “different” about us. Nearly every article on this site refers to us as people ” wanting more”, be it happiness, experiences, you name it. It also goes without saying that not all of us or identical in our goals…
Regardless. There is “something” there that set us apart. Be it our path of self-development, our ideologies, our tendencies, our way of thinking, or just what we happen to spend our time on. We spend a lot an awful lot poking holes into the society’s and cultures around us, the lives that “normal” people tend to live.
My question to you is, How do we survive in a world that is arguably against the majority of our ideals. We can scoff at the student who graduates from a college with severe debt, who swiftly enters into cubicle work to pay off said debt ( his career I assume), but what can we do to avoid this fate?
What sort of lives can we live so that we can ACTUALLY live?
We can’t all fit into the aesthetic life style.
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I live my life by striving to follow what I believe in. I’m not religious, or very spiritual, but I do have core values that I maintain through my everyday actions. I am in university, but I have chosen a program that reflects these values. (Social Justice and Peace Studies). I fund this school with low-skilled, minimum wage jobs so I do not have to take out loans, therefore not incurring debt and becoming a pawn in our system. This is building my knowledge, and self, so that I will be able to choose a rewarding life dedicated to social movements and the protection of the environment.
Future plans: travel for a couple years after university. Teach English in Quebec, France, South Korea. Intern on an organic farm for 1+ years. Get Masters in Environmental Sustainability. Work for NGO or other non-system related employment, contributing to the overall satisfaction of my life and the improvement of our Earth and socio-economic system. Buy land. Build Earthship (http://earthship.com/). Eat local. Practice yoga, holistic medicine. Fall in love a lot. Meet new people. Appreciate everyday.
I find that making yourself happy as an individual is the first step to changing a society and a culture. If you live the life you want other’s to follow, they will see the joy it brings to you and the benefits of the work you do. Live in a community that shares your goals, it is easier to organize with like-minded people. Share your beliefs with other non-like-minded people. Expand your consciousness by engaging with as many different people as possible. Minimize your stress by following your heart. I also understand that this is coming from a privileged perspective, as I am able to enjoy all the opportunities that I have listed above. I recognize this is unjust, so a lot of my life’s work will be focused on empowering humyns that surround me with the same driving force I feel, and working collaboratively to allow all these opportunities to be available to all.
Praxis: Yoga, Vegetarian/Vegan, Activist, Organizer, Carer, Meditate, Sleep 8 hours a night, Travel, Buy local, organic, sustainable, Plant Trees, Garden, Buy secondhand, Love your body, Love yourself, Take care of animals, Bike, Walk, Run, Skip, Eliminate things that bring you unhappiness, stress, Love, Understand other perspectives- even if you do not agree, Use natural products, Make new friends, Read the news, Read non-fiction, Read fiction, Knit, Stitch, Paint, Dance, Cook good food, Drink good wine. Opt to stay engaged, Say hello to your neighbour, Smell the flowers. Watch the sunrise, see the sunset. Look at the stars and moon. Enjoy your life (in my opinion you only have one, we might as well enjoy it to the fullest extent).
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
― Richard Buckminster Fuller
It’s up to us to construct a new model of society that strives for self-realization.
We strive for enlightenment.
@bellissimo247 hit the nail on the head. The Occupy movement was a great start, something that showed how many of us are discontent. But we won’t achieve anything with resisting what is. Radical change can only be made through being FOR something that is far greater than what you are working against.
@lytning91, I’m putting the finishing touches on a post that I consider to be the most powerful thing I have written for HE. When I publish it this week, you will know what is coming in great detail. It is the beginning of a call to a single plight. One common mission that will have amazing implications on every front of society. I’m very excited for this as you can probably tell :) I’d explain now but it will be so much more eloquently in this upcoming post.
I’m one of those people who left the cubicles to live simpler life. When you quit your day job, you will then realize that the pay cheque every month was the primary reason for living where you are now. At least quitting made me think more clearly and made me wonder why I was living in a very expensive city. It just didn’t make sense anymore. After a couple of years of contemplation (I shouldn’t have waited for so long), I decided to leave the country for a little while.
So I moved to South America for 6 months. And man, it was liberating! The simpler way of living made so much sense to me. I was simply happy, so happy that I am going back soon hopefully permanently.
Some of you might be thinking, “well I don’t have that kind of money!”. Neither do I. But I’m just going there just to see how things go. If it works out, great, if not, I tried it at least. Lots of people come to North America, work illegally and pay no taxes and they survive.. They are the smart ones. I’m not advocating working under the table publicly, but all I’m saying is, there’s always many alternative ways to survive. And the important thing is to execute your ideals and make them your reality.
If you feel that the world is against your ideals, then just get out and realize that the world is bigger than you think. There’s always a spot for you. You just gotta find it. Once you found it, there’s no need to fight the system.
@falsecandles, Hm, so going against the norm then? Perhaps by having been a “teen mom” and completing college that would be one thing. Maybe by educating myself about the government at such a young age is another. But there will always be someone else in the world who is on the same page as you, there are seven billion people after all. The way I keep individual is just by listening to the voice… “in my heart” I guess. Maybe this voice is a little influenced by media, it is certainly influenced by my “upbringing”. As for comparing it to my ideals, being 21 years old my ideals are still a little ways away and I have a lot of time to get to them. I would like to become an advocate for children’s and family rights. However I feel I need further post secondary education.
I think everyone will always be chasing some sort of dream, even if that dream is just to get a doughnut.
Yet have you not seen that we are generally addressed as such by the major blog posts on this site?
Even the message on the banner reads
“HighExistence is a community of conscious INDIVIDUALS centered around pondering, exploring & expanding this wondrous experience called life.”
Do you think that self-development, lucid dreaming, psychedelic use for consciousness expansion, and ten-day Vipassana courses are things that society in general are interested in?
I honestly think it was more presumptuous of me to lump everyone who reads this site as being similar.
@falsecandles, Great post. This is the major question that has been on my mind in recent months. How do I turn HE into a community of action, instead of only of thought and discussion? I’m very excited to say the answers have come, and will be shared soon :) There’s some seriously cool shit coming your way, HEthens!
We could all go hide away somewhere and live an awesome life, but what would that do to the world as a whole? Nothing. We need to help wake the public up. Talk to strangers. Inform people about the duality of our existence and that they are not alone. Inform them of the terror money creates, the corruption of the governments, and how we CAN change that seeing as we are the people.
one of my favorite quotes:
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself… All progress depends on the unreasonable man.” -George Bernard Shaw
This community is full of unrealistic, game changers, who are most certainly going to play integral roles in the development of future society. Not to say that we are “special” for being here, but rather that we are seeking information and discussing things like this while those still running in the rat race watch Jersey Shore and spend all their money on absurdly expensive toys.
As long as we are not afraid to venture off the beaten path, we can do anything.
@jordan I’m happy to see that your still fulfilling your purpose in allowing this community to blossom into what it was meant to be. I remember the 1,000 member days. Now you,re talking about activism.
Live the lifestyle you want, if you don’t want to work in a cubical don’t choose a job that will put you in one. Life is about the choices you make and the path they take you on.
For too long people have stood by and let others make decisions for them. It’s easy to break out of that though just don’t be afraid and do what you want. Don’t say education isn’t worth anything though because it is and not every post secondary course will end with you working in a cubical. That’s just what the radical uneducated anarchist wants you to think and the are just as bad as the big pig corporations.
Life needs balance, seek it and you will find it. There is your answer.
@falsecandles, Fair enough! I suppose I took the beginning of your post the wrong way for some reason.
As for your original question: I have no idea. I think that for me it might start with studying societal failures (you mentioned student debt as an example) as well as keeping track of my own moods based on my actions. It seems like a short-sighted and overly simplistic answer, but I feel that if I develop some type of awareness around what genuinely makes me feel like I’m getting something accomplished versus what I over time feel is sucking the life out of me, then I might be able to avoid making life decisions that aren’t in line with what I feel is my purpose.
Well for about 7 years now I’ve been working on an “event of emergency” plan with about 12 friends of mine. We’ve gone over what it would take to live in a self contained community and the different parts. Here’s my break down:
Security: Above all else you need to be able to protect yourself and the community you are with. This comes from both the physical and mental range. Over time groups of people evolve and change, and mentally a self contained community WILL have a strain on a persons’ mind. Being able to keep open and fluid in communication will help alleviate this. Physical security comes from not only a fit mind and body, but if you were to set up shop somewhere and make a farm, there will be those who will try to take it from you. Not all people have awoken and know their true potential, so until they do Security is a must.
Food: Farming and gathering are two areas that not only take time but are essential to life. Being able to produce your own food connects us to the earth in which we take from.
Energy Source: Something along the lines of building a generator either from a waterfall, geothermal heat, etc. to maintain our power needs. Easier said than done.
Shelter: Who wants to sleep on the floor?
Personal Growth Tools: Albeit a campfire, garden, or a sort of social activity, these tools are necessary to help us grow, learn, and share with those around us.
Now this emergency plan has always been my ideal plan on how I would love to live my life anyway, so it’s not a far stretch for me. In my own life today I am finishing up 5 weeks more of horrible corporate life here in Seattle, then I will be moving down to Southern California to start a business with my best friend spreading love and good things across the country. We are working on products, website, and whole marketing campaign for people to show where they spread love and good things. Once our company is up and running with money coming in, we will be traveling around the world spreading our message and maybe… just maybe, start that new place.
But I am not talking about government.
I’m not sure about all you, but I have for the longest time felt my individualism as being a key proponent to my thoughts.
Thus, a singular person’s life.
Perhaps, to be more specific, I am looking for ways of bucking this system. Your ways of bucking this system.
Do you try to live your ideals? Do you find difficulty in separating the logistics of a modern life with what you would consider the life you want to live?
The people who fuel our change, the writers and the idea smiths, the Timothy Leary’s, the Alan Watts’s, the Jiddu Krishnamurt’s, even the Alejandro Jodorowky’s, and perhaps even the Dalai Llami..
They didn’t, or don’t, live “normal” lives by any degree.
How do you as an individual live your life in a way that compares to your ideals.
Are you celibate? Do you teach english in foreign countries? Do you apprentice yourself to a ayahausca shaman?
I’m curious to know.