The Jump #12 – Freedom and Time

Once you have made the Jump AND made the adjustments to how you live post-jump, you will start to experience freedom. You will increasingly have more and more control over your time.

In this episode, I will explain what I mean by this statement about time.

We know that there is no such thing as an instant garden. We accept that great gardens take time. Anything in the natural world takes time. We as individuals need time. But our current world does not allow for this essential ingredient for quality.

The Post-Jump life gives us time. For it makes status no longer dependent on things, which can never be satisfied but instead on our contribution to our families and our communities. Such a contribution is real and is in our control. This takes most of the financial pressure off us and so provides us with time.

Let’s see how this works with food.

Food and eating has become a solitary transaction that we either squeeze into a hectic day or use as a cure for loneliness. How we buy food and how we eat now is driven mainly by our time deficit. Food is merely another item on a long list of impersonal transactions.

Traditionally food is not a transaction but is the main process for binding a community together. It is the human equivalent of primate “Social Grooming”.

Our ancestors, and many Italians today, seek out food that is good. They seek food that is itself not rushed. They prepare it in community as a sacred act. Once cooked, they share it as a celebration of that community.

This issue of time, cultivation and community, is traditionally the same for how our ancestors raised their children and how they worked.

Like plants, our children need to be cultivated by people that they know and love. Raising children is a community exercise.

It is the same for our work. Good ideas, good things the time to be cultivated. So do our clients. Our client relationships need cultivation. Not marketing, love.

Quality in all things demands time. A well-structured post-jump life gives us this time back.

One of the ways that we short-circuit time, is credit. But while credit enables us to grow faster, it can also bring chains that bind us and force us to make decisions about our business and our lives that are bad for us.

In the next episode, we will talk about banks and credit and I will show you how it can be our relationships with our customers that will bring us credit when we need it and so give us an escape from banks and other transactional lenders.

For, just as our children can learn without the institution of a school, just as we can be healthy without the institution of medicine, so we can obtain credit without the institution of banking.

We will look back at how communities supported each other so that its members could grow but at a sustainable and healthy rate.

The Jump # 10 – Your Environment and Your Health

All disease, both infectious and chronic, is driven by factors in our environment. As we have seen with infection, changes to water systems, brought a vast reduction in waterborne diseases such as cholera. So, changes in how we live as individuals can help us avoid, or even cure, chronic illness. All who keep fish know this as a truth.

A healthy animal, or human, lives, by definition, as close as possible to its evolutionary ideal environment. We eat the foods that we have evolved to do well on. We have the right amount of sleep. We have an optimal social environment.

Any animal that satisfies these evolved conditions is generally healthy. Good health is the natural state for most of the population.

In the last 50 years an epidemic of chronic illness has swept the world. It began in Europe and the US, but now affects the entire world and it affects those populations that have been least exposed to the “modern diet” (as defined by agriculture) even worse than those that have farmed for millenia.

In less than a century, our bodies have changed. This process accelerated in the late 1970’s when the official view of what is a healthy diet changed and we adopted highly processed food. The institution of healthcare has been unable to make any progress here.

Concurrently in this period the internet as a force has grown from nothing to being pervasive. This has increased the tempo of life and has put us on high alert to social pressures. A result is that social stress has increased dramatically.

Never have we as a species moved so far away from our evolved ideal lifestyle.

In this podcast, I will go deeper and show how, by understanding these issues, we can take action and so prevent, or even cure, these chronic illnesses.

This image tells the story of the power of our social environment.

This slide is based on a study of the British Civil Service by Sir Michael Marmot. The Whitehall Study shows the rates of mortality of Heart Disease in the civil service by rank in the hierarchy. The “Administrative” group are the few at the top. The Other are the many at the bottom. You are 4 times more likely to die of CHD at the bottom of the hierarchy than at the top.

Your position in the social hierarchy and how much control you think you have is a critical aspect of your health.

I will talk more about the social environment and its effect on our health in the next episode.

The Jump #9 – The Myth of Medicine

There is no institution that we have greater faith in today than the medical establishment. As with the institution of school and the education of our children, we have given up all our power and responsibility to this institution for our health.

Does Healthcare, as an institution, deserve this faith? How did it get our faith?

Are we helpless and do we need to put our total faith and some much of our money into this institution?

This is the first of a series of talks that will explore these questions and then go onto the bigger question of under what circumstances can we safely take charge of our own health.

For the essence of the post-jump life is a life where each of us takes full responsibility for all parts of our lives.

Jump #8 – Death and Religion – How Humanity is evolving

Our greatest gift as humans is our consciousness. Our greatest burden is to know that we will all die.

In this episode, I will explore the nature of “consolation” religions and show how they emerged from the then new world of agriculture. We will see that the “Patriarchy” is real and was based on solving the problems of this shift in human culture.

We will see how different was the world-view of the networks of wandering tribal people who hunted and gathered for millions of years before agriculture. They inhabited an animated universe where everything was connected to everything. Where the cycles of life affected everyone as well as the rest of nature. The irony is this idea of an energetic and networked universe is now how science sees the universe as well.

I will explain how we might be going back to such a world-view and what that means in practice. For I believe that, just as each of us has an individual track for development, so we also have one as a species. And that, just as an old person re-develops early values such as wonder and play, so as we mature as a species, we seek many of the old values from humanity’s childhood as a species.

I lay out some of these old values in the hope that we can console ourselves by using them to guide us in having a good life and so a good death.

I close by illustrating how our lack of confidence in the old consolation is driving a new religion. That is the hope that medicine can conquer death.

In the next episode we talk about the institution of medicine.

Jump #7 – Stories & the Meaning of Life

Here we begin an exploration of death and so the meaning of life.

Even if you have not made the Jump, you may question if the accumulation of stuff is the measure and meaning of life. But as I look about me I see many people act as if having the best things is the justification.

In this episode, I will end with a definition for the meaning of life, but to get there, I will explain how the story of who we are drives much of our behaviour. I will outline how it is in our families that we first develop a personal story, a story that is uniquely our own and so different from our siblings. I will show you why it is critical to explore this story and then accept it or reject it. For only then can we be an independent self-initiating adult.

It is our family story combined with the story from school that keeps us from taking charge of our lives and so making the all important shift from child to full adult. Being an adult or not has nothing to do with our body and everything to do with whether stand on our own feet or depend on a story.

Cutting to the chase, my view of the meaning of life is that we can die knowing that we have reached our full potential as a human being. This means by default not getting stuck at one of the development points along the way. The most critical being the Jump between teenager and adult – between being driven by them versus being governed by us.

In the next episode, I will talk about religion itself – how most of us cope with the terrible curse of being human, the knowledge of our own inevitable death.