I first stumbled upon the concept of self-reliance when I have heard Eliot Hulse talking about it on YT. He was inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson, a poet and apart of the transcendentalist movement during the times of the founders of America if I am correct. Both men, and those in touch with that certain transcendentalist experience of life apparently knew something powerful I wanted to learn. In this blog I want to give you my own experience and observations of what self-reliance really means for me. Hopefully it inspires you the same as these two men have done to me.
We live in a funny world you know. The Netherlands for example is very individualistic as a nation, and the traditional Chinese community is very family like and caring for one another. Besides that cultural polarity, we also have the industrial and technological evolution that tends to make people more depended on external resources instead of their own inner resources. Now in 2022 while I am reviewing this post, I must say that the developments of the cyberpunk reality narrative are more dominant then the organic timeline/solarpunk narrative. The question remains what Anthropos is becoming in this post-modern era of wicked challenges? The argument can be made that for millions of year humankind has managed to survive and somewhat thrive by the use of manipulating the environment and by making tools. However, in contemporary society, there is now a scarcity of wisdom and resources rather then a scarcity of technology. Will it be homo techno that will reign the future, or shall Gaia put this trans-humanistic ideal back in its tracks by literally causing major negative environmental feedback loops due to dominant collective behaviour? The notion that humanity is now the stewards of the planet could not be more true in today’s age of technocracy in which there exists the potential for cyberpunk narratives to unfold.
That being said, I still think that the technological development has outgrown our cultural and spiritual development. You grab yourself a quick junk-food meal instead of being your own chef and you call the electronic guy or the IT expert to repair your precious smart phone or laptop. The strength of self-reliance is therefore partly determined by the culture one grew up in. Too much comfort and outsourcing will create physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual dependency. To rely on your own efforts and abilities is a powerful place to come from in a society that seems to make you weak and dependent on technological shortcuts in fulfilling basic and even higher human needs. Even the idea that the experience of transcendence could perhaps be simulated in some sort of augmented reality in which there occurs a double trick basically. A big notion in spirituality is that life as Maya is part of the play and dance of illusion, therefore, creating an extra dimension by which consciousness could experience even more versions of itself through merging with some form of biotechnology is valid in that it creates even more options and challenges to choose from or to experience. Self-reliance is especially powerful in a culture where most people delegate their health, electronics and intellect to authority figures like doctors, teachers, IT-experts and coaches.
A self-reliant person is his or hers own star, and his own doctor for example. Realising that you are responsible for your life conditions is the very first step to be more self-reliant with your health and in many cases the first step to true healing is to be willing to take response-ability towards ones own bodies (physical, mental, emotional, energetic). Playing the victim will never evoke the desired result of self-reliance. Yes, it may take some time, effort and patience to learn how to take care for yourself, your possessions or your community, but it is all worth it. You will grow, make mistakes, learn, experiment and laugh it all of. It is the same with politics and philosophy. Why should we elect a politician, when we can learn to think for ourselves? Why should we rely on a famous philosopher when we can seek our own truth and ideology?
I am not trying to convince anyone of my personal viewpoint here. Just take what think you need and use it in your benefit. Asking for help also has its strengths and being fanatic about anything including self-reliance is not something I want to promote. In these blogs I seek balance and society as it as today can use a bit more self-reliance. (in retrospect, this is very evident now that so called modern Western life is still mostly reliant and typified by the Carbocene, without fossils and combustion, many so called advanced societies are thrown back into pre-industrial times. So it is interesting to contemplate about the likelihood of the 4th industrial revolution if the fundamental questions of energy and electricity are not fully understood, but merely temporarily addressed in short fixes, therefore never being able to propel the 4th industrial revolution of VR and augmented reality.
So based upon our current state of cultural development, I think it is a good idea to be more self-reliant and ponder about the fundamentals of life, what energy really is? It will probably destroy most traditional earning models and, therefore, will create a lot of resistance and friction. It will truly be something revolutionary when more people take responsibility for their life conditions. Many institutions will lose power and control and the status quo does not like that.
It is an interesting dialogue though, and I hope that by these short blogs I can give you some overview of how all these ideas and concepts of complex systems work together in our day to day reality. In this way you can reap the benefit of my research and experience and use that to catapult yourself and others towards more growth and understanding.
But be aware, don’t grow attached to what I say or think, just use what you need and think for yourself.
Heck, maybe you can even add your own perspective in the comment section below so that we can grow together 😉