I was the Dickens who got into the arm-wrestling about this topic 9 years ago, in 2007, at the age of 18. I admit to the mistakes of my past, and the errors of my adolescent ways. I was just a teenager trying to figure out how the world worked, and not knowing really what was going on. A person also with autism, not understanding things the way that I should.
I have worked hard to attempt to re-read many of these past dialogues, so I can understand rather than Fight them. I still pains me to realize how harsh I was towards many here and my disagreements and struggles, but I am now trying to understand what the meant. And our final dialogue (when I was Dickens), I can re-read now and try to understand, even if I don’t agree with everything.
I realize now that it was the fact that my identity is tied to the written word that was causing me to have an emotional response, which Blinded me to actually read and understand what you were talking about. I realize now that I do acknowledge that perception-based understanding. I do agree about the illusions of “to be.” But I still identify with writing nonetheless. I thank you for helping me understand that other perspective.
In addition, I come from a single-parent household whose income is tied to the written word. My mother is an author and book editor, and my family wanted me to become an author when I grew up. Animals fight for their survival, and do often act irrationally when they perceive their survival as being threatened. That’s why I wrestled and challenge Jason, who argued the unsustainability and “deadening of senses” with writing, since I felt as if my survival was threatened.
I know I have said this before, but Jason, I deeply apologize for how I treated you and bombarded your blogs and forums on Anthropik 9-10 years ago. I am a different person now, and I thank the Rewilding forum for acknowledging and allowing me to move on from the mistakes of my past. It’s a shame that some of your best work, which you published on Toby’s People, was eventually removed from the Internet, especially your piece “my walk spot,” about tracking the groundhog. That work resonated with why I developed an interest in Rewilding in the first place–to reconnect with the Living Earth any way I was able to.
Back then, I was a kid with autism, dependent on my parents, who do believe and enjoy and worship Civilization for my continued survival. Now I am 27 and things haven’t changed much. I’m still very much dependent on them, and have little opportunities to spend money to learn any Rewilding skills or attend any Rewilding camps. My parents and I live in the heart of Civilization, in the large Midwestern metro area of Chicago, and they refuse to move anywhere else.
But accepting this reality has set me free and enabled me to mature from the “sock puppetry” and horrible behavior I displayed as a teenager. Now that I realize that I must die in this culture, I can spend the rest of my life learning the philosophy of Rewilding before our culture collapses.
I fought so hard because I thought I was fighting for survival. My “liking” civilization and challenging others was based on knowing that I could never survive outside civilization. I thought I was fighting for my life–that’s why I went mad, since I realized that I could not survive due to lack of abilities my autism had brought me. I could not accept that at this time. But now I am older, and I can. I have also concluded something that I have not seen directly addressed on these forums–that if the collapse inevitably requires the deaths of billions of individuals, then the choice of death should not be frowned on. Just as many here are working to survive, I myself can now agree and support many of the ideas on the website (though not 100% of them), yet choose to die with the awareness of the Rewilding future, and not have the ignorance that many others will have during the collapse. A lot more people, after all, have to die than can survive and Rewild due to the carrying capacity of the Environment.
One thing I have been able to do is become active in a Native American community in the nearby state of Wisconsin (where many Natives were sent to from Illinois due to past treaties). I have cultivated relationships with this group for the past 9 years as an extension of my autism work, where I have indeed seen that much of the philosophy of this group is shared by their cultural values. I admire the established cultures that they have, that bridges the gap between the conjecture of “rewilding” and the possible values that they bring.
I thank you and others for working hard to Rewild and create a viable future. But now that I am no longer fighting to survive, I have spent 2015, and now, the year 2016, trying to learn the truth of what I fought. So I can at least die knowing that I had some level of understanding rewilding and the future of humans, even though I will never be able to live to see that future. Not fighting to survive and accepting my death has cleared my mind, and enabled me to resolve the breakdown. Now I can learn without any biases of needing to survive, and be willing to respect others here. Thank you.