In general, survival shouldn’t be a goal – not in our little first-world bubble at least. But it’s too tempting to get into a habit of survival thinking and living – it’s a bit delusional. In Abundance, Dimiandis does a great job of comparing our “poor” to royalty of 100 years ago; we’re in good shape with riches that couldn’t even be imagined that short while ago.
Here’s the thing, however; way too many people that I’ve witnessed or know, live subsistence lives and it’s totally unnecessary. Think back to feudal days. Farmers would work land that was owned by their “lord” (code for slave master) and would provide the allotted, annual yield. They got to the keep the leftovers. They’d eke out a crappy little living, harvesting just enough to make it through the winter so that they could repeat the process the next year. What a shit way to live. And people still live that way.
When we have a subsistence mindset and approach to life, we do just enough to get us through the winter we’re experiencing, but that’s it. Sure it might seem hard and be a lot of work, but it’s a crap result that we repeat year after year, season after season.
I’m not hacking on people: I’ve lived this myself. I’ve done it in business, with my health, in my relationships and with my finances at different times in my life. I know what winter feels like (that, and I’m Canadian, so I REALLY know what winter feels like). But I’ve also glimpsed how a transcendent mindset feels. I know what can happen when we choose to free ourselves from the slavery of subsistence. It’s hard. It’s work. It can be painful. It has nothing to do with other people. It has nothing to do with circumstances. It has to do with the decision to transform.
Change is inevitable, but transformation is a decision, a pursuit, a willingness to step into the heat and pressure that defies dissipative systems.
We’re not here to survive or subsist. We’re not even necessary to Nature. We are here to transcend, to evolve, to develop and actualize the factory-installed gifts that are in every one of us. Let’s either act like it, or stop pretending we’re alive.