Prehistoric happiness

The holy grail
Is to find in the mail
The quiet contentment
That you sent away
The day you decided
To be led astray

The issue doesn’t have anything to do with the way our particular culture is run, but rather the core fundamental way all of our modern, Western societies are set-up; namely that with the advent of agriculture, away went the peaceful, easy, care-free life that our pre-historic foraging ancestors enjoyed.

“Human beings will be happier – not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again.  That’s my utopia.” – Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Many people hold the notion that for hunters and gatherers, life was dismal, unbearably hard, and not the least bit enjoyable.  In Sex at Dawn, Dr. Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha argue that this notion is entirely a myth (a myth that comes not without some emotional reassurance of how we’re living today). 

On the contrary, Ryan and Jetha go on to write about how lifestyles in the prehistoric time were largely based around socializing, sleeping, having sex, and eating the large abundance of food found in the forest.

“We used to hunt and fish all day and have sex all night, and then the white man thought that he could come in and improve upon that.” – Unnamed Native American tribesman

I believe that one of the biggest issues we’re facing as a culture that is unprecedentedly unhappy (with anti-depressant sales and loneliness figures to prove this) is how to live in more natural terms.  Live is strong communities where people care about you and hold you accountable.  Remain in touch with the energies and cycles of the earth.  Not be caught up in an ever-growing infinite number of choices of how to spend your time. 

I believe that these are a few of the huge steps back towards happiness just being a normal part of every day life.

 

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