Primitivist Theology

February 18, 2008

In my last post I wondered at the lengths Ran went to in his recent essay to deal with issues of ideology and today he posted a comment which answers the question much better than my speculation did.

… the main reason I wrote the essay was to go into theoryland and get primitivists out. If you really feel like going into the woods and living on roots and berries and deer that you kill with a handmade bow, go for it! But that’s not what I see. I see people who feel that this society is deeply wrong, and on top of those valid feelings, they build what I believe is a faulty intellectual framework: that we should go primitive. Then they feel guilty that they don’t really like practicing primitive skills, and that they’d rather eat pizza and go on the internet. I’m not trying to stop anyone from going primitive. I’m trying to stop anyone from forcing anyone else to do it…

Perhaps then, it’s an invitation to come and live in the grey areas between the extremes of modern civilisation and pure primitivism. As I said in my last post if we learn to listen to our inner voice (but not to blindly obey it, of course) then we will hopefully lose the need to rely on pre-conceived ideology to guide our lives and will also feel quite comfortable with imperfectly worked-out grey areas.


One comment

  1. Hi Aaron,

    Staying in civilisation or embarking on a passage toward primitivism requires and action based on an amount of certainty, or trust, in the chosen path. Up has become down so much in modern times that the daily bullshit we are surrounded with obstructs any clearing, and it will take a monumental effort to drag ourselves clear. Some will succeed, some will only half get out, but if it’s enough to enjoy life, pass on principles, and still salvage the core of what’s dear, then that may be enough.

    Last December, I posted that I’d resigned from a high-stress job, and began a journey into being directionless. At the start of February, I began working again in a job I’d previously left to ‘advance’ myself, but can easily do. I could say that I have failed to extricate myself from servitude, but I’d be doing myself and my family a massive disservice. It was the best thing I could’ve done. I became who I once was; happy and liveable again. Importantly, I found a middle-ground – for now – and gained a new perspective. I saw what I needed to see, and felt what I needed to fell – as opposed to seeing and feeling nothing.

    Our familial triumvirate has returned to a routine of work, part-time work, and school, respectively. The plus is that my cynical, misanthropic nature has been tempered by irreverence and semi-ignorance, while retaining a small sense of clarity. Allowing oneself to not know all the right moves and to not place unknowable timeframes on everything is important. There is no need to place pressure on yourself if pressure is what you seek to escape from.

    What you do once you escape is a different story.



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