“Primal” living, Zen, Economic & Social Resilience, the Law and Antifragility
The scope of this blog is intended to start off small, but grow to encompass a large number of subjects which are currently considered by themselves, but will be shown to be related and mutually interchangeable. It will be based on the philosophies connecting the recent ideas regarding “primal” living based on health and fitness books which look towards evolutionary biology as a way of revolutionising the way people in modern societies live, the philosophies of Zen Buddhism which so often support the ideas of primal living, and movements for social and economic change, in particular when it comes to energy and food supplies, and the law which allows for this to happen.
For me, the connections and inter-relatedness of the broad ideas espoused by each area are very close, and the connections are the result of my own physical and mental meanderings of the previous 4 years. Firstly, they can be used alongside one another to add clarity to the ideas of one area and make them more accessible to a broader range of people, but also some of the goals aimed for in one specific area require reform in another, or the ideas set out in one apply analogously to another. If, for example, the ideas put forward in the books by Mark Sisson and Arthur de Vany (“The Primal Blueprint” and “The New Evolution Diet”, respectively) were to be adopted by the majority of the population, I would initially be very pleased. The health benefits in the short- and long-term seem game-changing from my perspective, based on personal experience. But there is a pretty big caveat: there is not enough whole, organic, fresh and non-factory produced food available to sustain this for everyone. For this to happen requires a full-scale shift in how we produce our food, away from the production-lines and the chemicals. Is it possible to have all our beef pasture-raised and grass-fed and still sustain a “primal” diet for everybody? The same goes for fishing, and the production of abundant, organic vegetables grown in mineral-rich soil without fiddling with genes to get a higher yield. The way the food industry works can be shocking for those used to simply seeing the packed-and-ready products on supermarket shelves, but do people ultimately prefer that, with its simplicity and speed, as compared with getting down and dirty with every meal you take?
These are some of the most fundamental issues regarding “primal” living and the food supply, but where does Zen fit in? Some of the most fundamental parts of Zen are associated with “falling back” into nature, rather than striving for the divine, to cross the metaphorical bridge to a god, or to “achieve” enlightenment: it’s already here. The notion of falling back into what is already here, and which is already perfect, chimes harmoniously with “primal” living and Mark Sisson’s encouragements in “The Primal Connection”: awareness, responsibility, not worrying. You can even add to this the philosophy that there are no rights and wrongs, but only the “blueprint” or framework.
The other main part of the discussions in these posts will be taking “primal” living, zen and “antifragility” (a new term coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb) up a level to look into the repercussions they will have from the micro level of individuals to the macro level of cities, nation states and even globally. What effect will it have on social and economic structures, and especially the legal framework which allows it to happen? The way forward for me is a resource-based, sharing economy, which is naturally antifragile, governed from the bottom up.
This blog (and hopefully forum) wants to take these issues and many others to discover new ideas, lifestyles, philosophical frameworks and broad change. The first posts will deal with the basics of the ideas it is based on (particularly “primal” living and “antifragility”) before going on to explain their application. The intention is to start a discussion and connect these different related areas.
A rough outline of the topics and chronology of the posts is as follows:
- What is primal living and what can we learn from evolutionary biology?
- What is antifragility?
- Primal living: just for the elite?
- Primal living as a blueprint and Zen “falling back”