– can’t see the wood for the trees


In town there is a shop which sells virtually everything, including tickets for the state lottery.  I’ve never bought one of these, but watching those who do has become a fascinating insight into the current psyche of the populous today.

It seems to have gripped everyone, including the long-term unemployed (who here don’t have the benefit of a welfare state) and the super rich (of which Almonaster numbers more than average).  Which on one hand is crazy, because statistically we all know no-one actually wins (at least more than they spend), but it is also easy to see why.  Ask anyone, they will say without hesitation, it is because they feel they neither have sufficient money or happiness.

They are also obsessed about illness.  The local surgery here even beats the bar as the place to hang out, so much so the council has had to install free wi-fi.

This however is not a city/ suburb/ or a blighted area.  We live among 182,000 hectares of incredibly unspoilt countryside, where the pigs outnumber people.  Almonaster is the friendliest town I’ve ever come across.  And where else is it possible to live well on virtually no income.  So what is creating all this discord?

As it happens I am reading an excellent book at the moment, A PLACE OF REFUGE – An experiment in communal living – the story of Windsor Hill Wood by Tobias Jones.  One of the answers he proposes is that we are currently in denial about our rural past, we don’t want to go back to what we consider were the bad old days, working with our hands and living off the land.  Here that is certainly the case, hand-in-hand with wanting to forget all about the Franco era, which only finished in 1975 and then took another 20 years for them to begin to catch up with the rest of Europe.  Behind it all I would claim social media and advertising as the major cause.  That holy triumvirate of royalty/ state/ & business, who are the real ones behind how we are allowed to live/ think/ and feel.  Not in a scary dictatorial way this time, but subtly/ unconsciously, by polarizing us into becoming ever more selfish and less communal/ less physically connected to nature/ and more focussed instead on their proscribed narrow and infinitely controllable virtual reality.  Which they use to induce I us fear/ anxiety/ and unrest, as a means of compliance, and then offer their products/ services to assuage it.  Hence the beauty of the lottery, which incidentally makes them an obscene amount of profit EACH and EVERY DAY, where for as little as a euro you can feel normal again for a few hours while deciding how to spend those winnings (even if 50% will be taken back in tax).

We are being controlled like lab rats.  The lottery is a scam.  As is the illness thing.  Or at least what they are selling us (the current trend is we are dying younger).  Products which calm and reassure, allow us to continue our toxic lifestyle unfettered, and of course live healthily and happily forever.  All total crap of course, but for most people now that’s all they have left to believe in, they no longer want to take back the responsibility for their own life.

These are the hard facts.  There is no diet which will counteract an unhealthy lifestyle.  Supplements have no benefits whatsoever (even if a quarter of the UK believes they do), possibly the opposite.  And most certain of all, organic now means nothing.

Because everything you buy is a con.  The only reason ANY product (or service) exists is because someone somewhere came up with an idea to make money.  Nothing else.  And to do this they will use the cheapest materials, cut corners, poison the planet, fatally harm those who produce and labour for them, and of course downright lie/ cheat wherever necessary.  Including labelling ingredients as organic when in virtually all cases they will have been grown/ sourced using conventional/ chemical/genetically modified/ non-organic methods.  Wake up.  This is the real world.  Just follow the path of anything if you don’t believe me and discover for yourself.

Nothing we buy or eat (even grown ourselves), or the way we live, is actually healthy or good for us, or any of the other species.  We simply wish it was.  We were never designed or evolved to be like this.  Ask your parents/ grandparents, read about what life was like just two hundred years ago.  We have to wake up and see what we are doing to ourselves and the planet.  Stop this crazy addiction now, before it is too late not just for us but the rest of the planet.

1 comment
  1. Roger Vaughan said:

    Phil, interesting thoughts and a good explanation of a couple of aspects of the current dilemma.

    In the case of our mutual small towns the reasons are certainly similar. Costa Ricans quit picking their own coffee about 35 years ago. No on wants to return to working with their hands. In our case we import Nicaraguans and Indigenous folk to do the job. Even though an efficient picker can earn about $80.00 a day during the season there are still few if any takers from our local families.

    “One of the answers he proposes is that we are currently in denial about our rural past, we don’t want to go back to what we consider were the bad old days, working with our hands and living off the land.”

    Actually we’ve reached the point where few even remember what it was like living off the land. Our history is quickly vanishing along with the skills, and personal resilience. I really can’t define exactly why this might be. Yes, clearly buying into the myth of consumerism is a contributor, as is the Media and a serious lack of analytical skills. Probably the single largest contributor to the problem is the concept of easy credit. Once invested in the myth of better living through Credit is also to say goodbye to one’s personal freedom.



    San Marcos de Tarrazu

    Costa Rica

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