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Technology is an illusion




   Some lifestyles are healthy.  Others are not.  Technology is a 
   driving force that has created and shaped our modern western 
   world.  Technology is a package.  It comes with a lot attached.  
   It has its pluses; it has given much to man.  But it also has 
   its negatives.  There is a lot that is not so good in the 
   technology package.  In fact, with all its pluses, I would have 
   to call it another of the big illusions of life.  Why?  Because 
   of the kind of world and lifestyle that come part and parcel 
   with it.  The problem with technology is that it creates a 
   world that is emotionally and spiritually unfit for human 
   habitation (it brings along with it an environment and 
   lifestyle that is harmful, poisonous and destructive to man -- 
   emotionally, spiritually and physically).  What do I mean?  I 
   have been reading a book, "Amazon Stranger" by Mike Tidwell.  
   It is about Randy Borman, the son of missionaries to the 
   primitive Cofan Indians in the jungles of eastern Ecuador.  He 
   was born and raised among these Indians and finally, after 
   finishing three years of college at Michigan State, decided he 
   was more at home with the lifestyle of the Cofans than with the
   lifestyle up here in the States and went back down to live with 
   them, to live the Cofan life.  He married one of their girls, 
   is now in his late thirties and is apparently quite happy down 
   there.  I have read other books about the lives of the Auca and 
   other Indians of Ecuador.  I present the lifestyle of these 
   primitive Indians, a simple life of hunting and fishing, as an 
   example of a healthy lifestyle and contrast it with the type of 
   lifestyle found in the U.S., a highly industrialized country.  
   These primitive Indians live together in clustered settlements 
   of perhaps 15 or 20 families.  They have all known each other 
   from childhood and there is a great deal of cooperation among 
   them in their various activities (they go on hunting trips 
   together, etc.).  Compare this with the isolation of the 
   individual in the big cities of modern America where few know 
   their next door neighbor nor care to know them.  One is healthy 
   and the other is unhealthy.  Man is naturally a social 
   creature.  He needs healthy social relationships for proper 
   mental and emotional development.  The Indians are all of the 
   same religious and philosophical outlook.  Compare this with 
   the situation in an American city with all of its myriads of 
   religious, philosophical and political outlooks, where everyone 
   around you probably has a different outlook than you (thus 
   creating walls).  The Indians are all about equal in terms of 
   wealth and social class.  Compare this with the situation in an 
   American city with all its diversity in regard to wealth and 
   social class.  If one of the Indians does something he 
   shouldn't he has the peer pressure of the group to contend 
   with.  Compare this with the situation of the isolated 
   individual in a modern American city who is surrounded by 
   strangers, or near strangers.  The Indians live directly off 
   the land.  There are no bosses.  They lead independent, self-
   reliant lives.  Compare this with life in America with all its 
   interdependence, its multilayered organizations, every worker 
   some little cog in some big wheel with layers of bosses above 
   him, each person just a number and subject to dismissal at the 
   drop of a hat.  Life moves slow in the jungles of the Amazon.  
   Sometimes the Indians have to go into conference to figure out 
   what day it is.  Compare that with the rat race in America.  
   The Indians spend a great deal of time outdoors.  They get lots 
   of exercise trekking through the jungle hunting.  Compare that 
   with the sedentary life typical of so much work in America.  If 
   the Indians don't work they don't eat.  There is no welfare.  
   This creates responsibility and character.  From an early age 
   they learn to work, to help.  Compare this with modern America, 
   its welfare system, its multitudes of spoiled children, etc..  
   With the Indians there is no government, only the rule of the 
   group.  Compare that with America with its big government that 
   sticks its nose into everything.  With the Indians there are no 
   newspapers, no television, no telephones, no automobiles, no 
   skyscrapers, no junk food, no McDonalds, no shopping centers, 
   no ghettos, no concrete jungles, no race problems.  They have 
   only the sights and sounds of the rain forest.  Compare that 
   with America. 

   The ingredients of the Amazon Indian lifestyle are healthy 
   ingredients.  The ingredients of the lifestyle of modern, 
   technological America are unhealthy and becoming more and more 
   unhealthy as technology progresses.  The truth is we all have 
   only one life to live.  Lifestyle is of critical importance to 
   health and happiness.  If modern man pursues a poisonous 
   illusion that robs him of health and happiness has he not been 
   cheated of his life?  But what can be done about it?  Can the 
   forward rush of technology be stopped?  Could man go back if he 
   wished to?  In spite of all its negatives it is a fact that the 
   complex system created by technology can feed many times as 
   many people as the old system where man lived directly off the 
   land.  If man were to go back multitudes would perish by 
   starvation.  Is man caught in a trap created by his own doings?  
   At one time man could work and sell what he had made.  Now 
   machines can make it more efficiently and better than he and he 
   finds he can't compete with the machines. 

   Will machines take over the world?  Will man become a slave and 
   victim of the machine? 



   Nov 1996


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