Kyle, David T. Human Robots & Holy Mechanics: Reclaiming Our Souls in a Machine World
Oregon: 1993. ISBN 0963231006
Emerging out of our own silence and listening to the Voice, this Other, this Logos, will clearly present choices that will change our work, the pace of our lives, the way we spend our money, and where and how we live. Let me present some modest proposals that can begin to change the container of our experience in order to hear this Other more clearly:
1. Do a media fast and join in silence with friends. You can start with a media fast as a kind of purification process. Before vision quests, or significant personal efforts for change, indigenous people prepare themselves by cleansing and refocusing both their body and psyche. They will fast from food for two or three days, do a ritual purification in a sweat-lodge ceremony, or go alone into nature to be silent for a period of days. Each of these acts is a means of opening themselves to hear more clearly their own voice and the voice of the Other in nature. Make a commitment to your spouse or to a friend to not read newspapers, watch television, listen to the radio or stereo for a week or more.
Notice the compulsion and addiction you have for the media. Notice what you do with your time when you’re not being occupied with the media. Notice the pattern and level of thoughts when you are not taking in all the visual and auditory stimuli and input. During those hours when you would watch TV or read the paper, go into the yard or to a park—just sit and listen to natural sounds. Unhook from the Machine’s world for awhile and notice the wonder of being nourished by the natural world. You could also walk together with family or friends in the woods or park while remaining silent. Or sit as a group with friends or family in silence for 45 minutes to an hour, and then share together what you each “heard.”
2. Start a small community by inviting friends for dinner and simply having a self-conscious discussion about the Machine and its effects on your lives. Invite your friends to express their feelings and unspoken desires.
1. Let our individual imaginations join together in creativity. Come together with a small group of friends or work associates and talk about how to live differently. Explore how to perform our work in the Machine in a manner that takes the power back from the Machine’s dominance. Focus on ways that use the power in our local environment to create such things as co-housing, a LETSystem, or a neighborhood community.
4. Challenge each other in a spirit of inquiry. Examine each other’s beliefs and assumptions and make them a conscious part of any dialogue. Watch for and expand on the epiphanal “aha’s” that occur as you converse.
5. Sing and chant with each other. Discover together the power and healing of song in our lives. All ancient people knew this great gift of sound in their lives. Let your unique song, the one that each is asked to sing as death approaches be given to you now so that you can draw upon its power and strength for the days ahead.
6. Learn to pray and be thankful daily for your life. Whatever your conception of the Mystery of life, acknowledge your relationship to it. People that live in balance with the natural world share the value of expressing gratitude and asking for help.
7. Respect the living forms that are all around us. Make relationships to people, animals, plants and physical objects a focus of awareness and respect. This extends to inanimate objects like tools and kitchen utensils. Carl Jungdescribes how the tools we use take on a life of their own. If we mistreat them they find ways to mistreat us.
8. If you are in your fifties or older, bring together other women and men of our same age and explore with them how to be initiated into a wisdom that can bring healing and balance to your community. Take the initiative as elder-leaders to bring younger people together into communal activities described above.