You might think you have problems now...
...but you ain't seen nuthin' yet.
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I could provide numerous suggestions for Edgework Experiments but the limitless variety of possibilities begs to be narrowed. Therefore I will focus in one area – technopenuriaphobia. I have taken the liberty of naming the fear of the lack of technology ”technopenuriaphobia” or “TPP.” The word “penuria” comes from the Latin and means scarcity, or deficiency. It is interesting to note that the word “technophobia,” which is “the fear of technology and its effects,” first appeared around 1964. Here it is four decades later and we now have “technopenuriaphobia,” the fear that our technology will leave us. We have grown so dependent on modern technology in this past generation that we can no longer live on our own planet without it. An ideal environment for beginning Edgework Experiments is in the arena of healing yourself, your relationship, and your family of this disease of contemporary life.
In our modern culture we are born high up on a technological ladder. Hanging out before us in the sky, bright as a Las Vegas casino sign, is the vision of the fabled good life that we are encouraged to strive for. We think we can achieve the good life only if we surround ourselves with enough labor saving, comfort providing, or entertainment devices. Even without trying to we are completely buffered from life on planet earth with scores of modern conveniences.
We learned that if you want food, all you have to do is go to the cupboard, the refrigerator or the freezer and open up boxes, cans, plastic bags, or cartons and there is an abundance of food. If the food starts to get low at home, go to the supermarket and there you will find food in such quantity and variety as to shame any king, all ready for the taking. Load up your basket and haul it home to eat. Food comes from the grocery store.
If you need money, for example, to buy the food, just give the people a little plastic card and type in a code number or write your name and the food is instantly paid for. If you want cash, use the same card and go to a cash machine or a bank teller. The money comes pouring out by the handfuls.
You want light? Flip a switch. Water? Turn a handle. New clothes? Use that plastic card again. Want to talk to somebody? Autodial their number wherever you are from your cell phone. Need to go somewhere? Don’t walk; use a machine: bicycle, car, bus, train, boat or plane. Machines take you rapidly and comfortably anywhere in the world.
We forget how absolutely astonishing the modern world is. We live in a culture and a time where wonder-filled technological conveniences rule our lives. In this “heaven” we can’t imagine that there could be a problem. But there is. The problem is that we are born high up on a technological ladder. We are skilled at living a modern life within technology. The technology is not the problem. The problem is the gap between us and planet earth.
We subconsciously sense that the rungs below us on the ladder of technology are missing. If we dare to look down we realize deep in our guts that those rungs are no longer in place. If we were to take one step down or somehow slip we would instantly be in danger. A hidden ceaseless fear rumbles silently deep in our belly.
The rungs disappear the moment we forget that we and planet earth are one. In our headlong rush toward the tantalizing modern comforts of tomorrow-land we have forgotten how to live without technology. We have high-tech but we are missing low-tech. We cannot sleep without a bed, eat without a supermarket, see without a streetlight, move without a car, or be with ourselves without distractive media.
We have screwed ourselves. We have lost the original technology that created civilization: fire starting, food finding, clothes making, shaping shelter and tools out of whatever comes to hand. The loss of low-tech knowledge creates a lethal gap between us and our planet, and that gap is now filled with unconscious fear: technopenuriaphobia.
There is already a significant body of research proving that harm is done to motor skills and hand-eye coordination by placing children in front of computer and television screens in the years when they need to be developing three-dimensional perceptions and physical dexterity. This psycho-emotional damage may be irreversible. Technopenuriaphobia is an additional damage caused by long-term exposure to a profound fear that we are not aware of and have no culturally embraced cure for.
TPP is a particularly Western affliction because you must first live with advanced technologies for a generation before the next generation forgets that you ever did not have them. One-hundred-thousand years of hard-earned life-knowledge vanishes from our common inheritance during one generation of being a city dweller. Considering the virulent Westernization of the rest of the world, technopenuriaphobia will quite likely infect millions if not billions more in the near future.
Getting dropped into the gap between planet and technology can happen in an instant when the elevator stops between floors, the batteries go dead, or the store is closed. A million different accidents can puncture the illusion of our comfortable little techno-world. We know bodily that if we were to somehow be separated from our conveniences – even just a few of them – we would be on very shaky ground.
Unless we have made special efforts to train ourselves in outdoor living skills, we all have technopenuriaphobia bothering us deep in our soul. TPP decreases the number of options from which we can choose and thereby forces certain lifestyles upon us that we assume are without alternatives – “What do you mean I could wear out my old shoes before ordering new ones on the Internet?” “What do you mean unplug the TV?” If a high level of technology must be supported, we become like goldfish living precariously in a glass bowl in the desert.
So what can we do? How can we heal ourselves from TPP? How can we get free of this insidious fear?
Assuredly it takes work to heal oneself of TPP. Work and time. You can approach the work as fun work, but time to do that work will not come without you making it. Listed below are ideas for Edgework Experiments to heal yourself of this modern day affliction.
By the way, TPP Edgework Experiments are excellent activities to share with children. Anti-technopenuriaphobia measures are a powerful intervention that safeguards the basic sanity and self-esteem of your children for their whole lives. Your efforts may last for generations because your children could well pass the benefit on to their own children, and their children’s children after that.
Please remember that I am not proposing a back-to-nature anti-technology movement. I am not promoting medieval or tribal lifestyles. The point is to fill a gap where we are noncommittal, hollow, and inauthentic due to a deep abiding terror. I am encouraging us to reclaim non-technical options in our everyday actions and thoughts. Installing low-tech rungs in the ladder of technology fills the gap between you and planet earth and builds a stable foundation onto which you can relax.
While reading through this sample list, mark which Edgework Experiments are attractive to you, and note others that you may think of. This does not mean that you promise to do these Edgework Experiments, or even that you know how to do these Edgework Experiments. You are simply marking or creating Edgework Experiments that might turn you on.
Photos & videos from our travels.
Outer Low-Tech Skills
You can connect to immensely intelligent and abundant outer resources that modern culture knows nothing about.
Collect and dry your own Squash Seeds
You can eat the seeds later, or plant them to grow your own squash!
Change 4 square meters of land into a Vegetable Garden
Inner Permaculture begins with Outer Permaculture
Even if it is only potted tomatoes on your balcony, those tomatoes will taste different from store-bought. Vegetables grow in the dirt. There are bugs. There are gophers. The sun matters. The rain matters. Vegetables eat cow manure and rotting dead stuff. Then you eat the vegetables. This is Edgework.
Make your own Shoes out of Recycled Car Tires
After walking in them for 50,000 miles you can get them retreaded!
Connect to Gaia
Connect to your Bright Principles
Connect to the Void
Make Your Grounding Cord
Make Your Bubble
Connect to Your Archetypal Lineage
Taking your shoes off and exposing the sensitive soles of your feet to the textures and temperatures of the surface of planet earth adds dimensions to your experience. Walk barefoot, even in the rain. (Leaving bare footprints in the snow really makes your neighbors wonder about you.) Take your shoes and socks off at the office. Whose office is it anyway? Make your house a shoes-off house.
Try fasting for a day or three. Just drink water, tea or juice. Walk instead of using any machines to get you places all week. Walk through stores and do not buy anything. Put away the TV. Turn off your phone. Have radio-free days. Clean out your garage and attic. Enter your weekend without a plan. Be silent for three days. Do without speaking. Do without sugar or meat or coffee for three days.
Just get outside into nature for an hour, a day, a week, a month. Step away from the containment of civilization and live on a wide open sandy beach, in the middle of a forest, in the rocky desert, on top of a mountain, beside a freshwater lake. As you become adjusted to camping, practice taking less and less civilization with you. Start with leaving behind the CD player, the bicycle, the camera. The lighter your backpack, the more the TPP gap is filled in.
Sit In The Mud
Mud has strong cleansing and healing properties. Mud is the earth. You are made of mud. You do not have to sit in it, but stop considering mud as dirt. Our mothers trained us to be so clean, to keep our clothes clean, to keep our face clean. Heal yourself and get dirty! Hold mud. Get in contact with mud. Paint yourself with mud. The kids can show you how.
Yes. There are 1,462 recorded species of edible insects. Get fried grasshoppers with chili, salt and lemon in Mexico; fried cicadas and silk moth pupae in Japan; roasted termites and crickets in Nigeria; snails are a delicacy in France; and you can get canned baby bees, chocolate covered ants, and stir-fried meal worms in the U.S. Suck the back ends of water bugs at vegetable markets in Thailand, and eat witchetty grubs and Bogong moths in Australia. And don’t forget Gnat Soufflé! The menu is wide and varied, and rich in protein and vitamins. For recipes check out The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook by David George Gordon.
Take Things Apart and Fix Them
We are so accustomed to giving things to repair people or throwing things away that we do not have a relationship to fixing things anymore. Instead, try to fix things yourself. Simple little things, big complex things, simply give it a try. Even if you have absolutely no idea how, grab your screwdriver, take the broken thing apart and follow your intuitive wisdom. Fiddle around. Just make sure it is unplugged first and then you will not blow yourself up. Even when professional repair people say it cannot be done or cannot be fixed, try your best guess yourself. Be bold and trust yourself. Your successes will serve as reference points for creating possibility in seemingly impossible relationship situations.
Walk Twenty Miles
We know how to pilot a one-ton internal-combustion ground-machine at speeds of seventy-five miles per hour, but can we walk twenty miles when our car breaks down? Six leagues is not so far. The old California missions were built about twenty miles apart because the monks could walk from one mission to the next in about a day. Knowing that you can walk twenty miles whenever you want to makes the whole planet your home again.
Others anti-TPP Edgework Experiments...
... might include learning to use ancient hunting tools such as a boomerang, blow gun, sling, and bow and arrow; identifying and using wild edible plants; visiting Third-World cultures; eating only whole and raw foods for a time; weaving cloth; making your own soap, candles, pottery, baskets, paper, and shoes; writing with feathers; flaking stone implements; starting a fire without matches, and milking a cow . . . all are excellent to do with your children.
Inner Low-Tech Skills
No one can connect you to your own inner resources.
No one can stop you from connecting to those inner resources yourself.
Find Your Energetic Center
Tap Into Your Vision
Use Your Gremlin
Use Your Feelings and Emotions
Ignite Your Energetic Tools
Enter Not Knowing
Open Your Pearl
Connect to Your Imagination
Stand in the Values of Your Gameworld
Use Your Voice
Further Experiments List