A world. A pristine vision of a world. A world free of most of this technology. People live in climates/zones where no air conditioning or heating are needed. People wear handmade robes, cloaks, tunics. There is no economy. No one owns anything. Privacy is a thing of the past. Governments are, too. No nations, no militaries, nothing. People read, write, eat, drink, play. The materials for food and clothing and shelter come from the land or are scavenged from the previous, failed civilization. They are shared and only used as needed.
Some would want to add that there is no more religion, know belief in an afterlife or a God. They claim that this would be the single variable that prevents the people from becoming like every other civilization in the past. Others would want to stress the lack of ownership of things, or the sense of there being ownership or privacy for an individual or family. A few would claim that a divine King now rules over these people, and they are simply not programmed to make any choices that would cause a disruption to their peace.
Perhaps they live within a gated community, and outside total war prevails. They are protected from this total war by an unseen force.
The truth is that it’s many of these things but not quite any of them. It is a privileged place for people who have defeated their egos in this world. There is no sense of privacy or ownership among these people because they have conquered their individual wills to lord themselves over others. In embracing a complete and utter acceptance of having no particular self will…of anything at all that is their own, they have defeated themselves and become members of a kingdom in which all are kings and none are kings, all are servants and none are servants.
There is no self will toward servanthood, or there was no self will toward servanthood that propelled these people into this world, because among those who compete for being the most humble there is still pride; among those who still exercise self wills there is still ego. Service of others comes just as naturally as being served. The key is to do and be what is demanded by the moment presented.
There is an acute sense of how the physical self in this temporal place is utterly mortal and can’t own anything for any extended period of time that could be described as meaningful. All selves are forgotten in this time and place. Some names may be remembered, but the souls who bore those names are not known by anyone after a generation has passed.
Most technology that was supposed to benefit humanity was found to be more destructive than beneficial. Once a few basic core things were known about health and prolonging the quality of life, most of the medical apparatus of drugs and hospitals was found to be unnecessary. Once it was discovered that all souls ultimately had endless opportunities to try being human again, and persisted in a realm beyond this one, the need to save all lives at any cost was no longer felt. What’s more, after all of the unnecessary technology was abandoned, very few births of unhealthy or atypical humans occurred.
Most of the technology was actually destroying the very environment that was created to sustain humanity. Once humanity stopped feeling the need to kill and eat animals, subsequent generations of organisms stopped being competitive with humans and eventually stopped competing with each other. In short, all of the violent activities of both the human and natural worlds were reduced to those which were simply part of the circle of life and death. Most virulent organisms like various viruses and bacteria that had killed or severely sickened humans in the past ceased to exist, because their very existence was predicated upon the unnatural competition between humans and the natural world.
There was no division between the individual and the group, between the human and the natural world, between the human and the divine, between the self and the other, between the living and the dead. The world that had always existed apart from this one became intrinsically a part of it. This world wasn’t beyond this one at the far ends of outer space or merely a product of the mind, or hidden within a higher dimension outside of our apprehension–it was located in all and none of these places–to say it was located at all was indeed a misnomer.
Did the old earth persist? Of course. The old earth did and does persist. For those in the better world who forget who they are or aren’t, they are sent to this world, this earth, to live out the life that is most fitting to help them remember what it is they need to remember. For many, this world is a good enough world. Some people are continually reborn into the same human form, and experience the same time and place–like Groundhog Day with Bill Murray–but are given the opportunity to tweak who they are or were. Eventually they grow unhappy with that and insist on being someone or something else–the rich want to try being poor, males want to be females, whites blacks, etc. Eventually everyone comes to realize that there is no “someone” who isn’t especially worth being or not being than another “someone.” All someones are equally valid in their states of being, and all of them are limited and still learning and becoming someone or something else. Finally, they come to realize there is no “finally” in the way they would have hoped there would be. There isn’t anything or anyone ultimate to be, because you already are everything you need to be–if you can remember that. But, if you can’t remember it, that’s okay, too.
So what is the point of being or doing anything? Learning something? Becoming more than you were? But if you already are everything you need to be, and you can know everything there is to know in the world outside of this one, then what is the point of learning or becoming? There is no point. Just be who you were made to be in the environment that houses you without trying to be anything at all or know anything at all. There is nothing to do or be.
It starts to sound like the Wu Wei of Lao Tzu — maybe it is.
Those who would seek inordinate amounts of happiness and pleasure are inevitably disappointed. They either find what they are looking for but are unable to ever locate it again and create vast spaces of darkness in the wake of their searching, or they never find what they are looking for, and this too creates vast spaces of darkness–all of those around them are made unhappy by their unhappiness and unreal expectations for happiness that doesn’t exist.
One who would seek the perfect sort of life has already failed, because this person has made a small idol of that life, labeled it to be perfect, and then carefully designed the kind of life that ensures the idol is always just out of sight. There is no perfect life, no perfect way of being, because such perfection is impossible to achieve in an imperfect form ensconced in an imperfect environment. “But, I mean a life that is most perfect for me–one that was meant for me!” someone cries. There is no such thing. Or, to be more precise, each human lives out such a thing no matter what he or she decides to do or not do. You can’t not live a perfect life in the sense of living the most perfect life for you, but you can never live a perfect life in the sense of the idealized notion of what your perfect life should be. If you die without having children, and you were certain that a perfect life included having children, then you were mistaken about what a perfect life was supposed to be.
Do you have control over anything in this life? Yes and no. You have control over everything–you could cause anything at all that you want to see happen to happen, but you may no longer be among the living in this world in order to see such a thing happen. But, there is no control over anything in the sense that you altered this world irrevocably in such a way that your stamp or mark will be forever upon it. In fact, you are entirely at the mercy of something greater than you, because the you that is separate, objective and constantly able to create or destroy something or some other is non-existent. These very words do not belong to you.