Being human and being

Image: Diorama – DWP – Arbeit macht Frei.

There are two fundamental aspects to being human, our physical being and our psychological being. Our physical being is driven by necessity, the necessities of life, at every level. Our inner being is driven by our sense (great or small) of quality of life.

I am going to pick on and make an example of hospitals here. In hospital – there is very little for my inner being, it is a place of waiting, for treatment, to recover, to go home. There is very little to feed my soul, it’s dull, boring and usually materially and psychologically uninspiring. It’s about my physical being and very little to do with my inner being, my pondering, creative, emotional, magical, human, being.

The world in which we live is predicated on our physical being and much less on our psychological being other than being just well balanced enough to hold down a job and create profit, because the world is pretty much sewn up into profit makers and profit takers (grubbers and graspers) and how we, as profit makers (the vast majority), might feel about that is irrelevant and immaterial.

It’s easy to see how much regard our inner well being is held by the established order by how it deals with our psychological well being. CBT, cognitive behaviour therapy, is cheap and works to get us back on our feet as profit makers – and little more than that. We are forced, through socialisation, education and work, to have regard for our physical well being, and to be good consumers, and our mental well being is largely treated with chemical reactants, which do not make us well, but able to function, albeit often poorly.

At this juncture, I’d like to point out that every creature in nature has to work to provide the necessities for its existence, unless, of course, it is kept by humans as a pet, a work animal or food stock. If we do no more than every other creature in nature must do to survive, then, no matter how evolved we might think we are, we are no better or worse than any other animal, no matter how fancy our homes, our food and any other stuff of life. Yet every advancement in human life has been brought about by creative thinking people, no matter that it might be driven by necessity, it takes creative thought to achieve advances and improvements in life and living. We hail them as geniuses after the event, and yet do not encourage independent, creative thinking generally.

Thinking is channelled, trammelled, directed and infected, and seldom liberated. Human rights provides for the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, but achieving and maintaining such freedoms requires effort which is seldom encouraged, whilst conformity is thrust at us from all sides, especially in education, work, adverts and the media. America calls itself the land of the free, which would be funny were it not so tragic. In the UK, creativity is being systematically kicked out of schools [1], yet, as Ken Robinson maintained, “creativity is as important as literacy and we should afford it the same status” [2]. If we want people to achieve anything like their potential, creativity and respect for our inner being is critical and any repression of creativity and creative expression in schools is a crime against life, being committed against our children.

It was Kurt Vonnegut who said, “I am a human being, not a human doing.” And, frankly, it is time we learnt to be and not live subjugating our being by doing. Or, as Henry David Thoreau put it “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” In the UK the Tories want us to be wage slaves and nothing else, it’s 2021 and it’s time we, the people, grew up and rejected such dismal abuse, for which we need no ones permission but our own.

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-31518717

[2] https://www.thersa.org/blog/2018/04/do-schools-kill-creativity

Keith Lindsay-Cameron. 08 October 2021.

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