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February 5th, 2020
We come equipped with bodies that are better adapted to prehistoric times. We are generally good runners. Though we aren’t fast, we can outlast almost any creature on the planet that is bound by legs and gravity to the ground. We have hands with a dexterousness that puts all other all other combination of limbs that Mother Nature has assembled to complete shame. Iphones and Swiss watches aside, we were able to fashion spears and hunt creatures that outweighed us by the tons.
While our minds are totally lacking in the knowledge of that old wilderness, we are still physically primed to travel the distance of the nomad and risk our life in the pursuit of the hunt.
It’s fun to imagine: leaving the tribe with a small group of hunters who are your brothers, cousins and second cousins. Together the band of you try to learn, outsmart and take down an enormous beast that you know will feed the tribe for months to come. It’s incredibly dangerous and maybe you lose a family member in the process, but the reward is immeasurable, not just in terms of the feasting and what that means for survival, but imagine the gratitude and adoration of the rest of the tribe. In this wilderness, the ability to feel life down to the marrow by risking it with literal skin in the game and as a result feel incredibly valuable – all of this was a complete straightforward package. And of course for those who did not go on the hunt there were other things of vital importance that functioned in much the same way.
But what about today? Where the modern world has fenced us into a cement and asphalt jungle of incredible predictability. Where does the modern person extract their sense of worth? Where does this person play with skin in the game? How does this person come across that vital experience of putting it all on the line in order to flourish tomorrow?
The New Wilderness is an invisible one. It is not straightforward, and it’s for this reason that so many spiral into poverty and from there further down as we see with the opiate crisis. Depression, anxiety, and an entire lexicon of neurological disorders have sprung into existence in an attempt to explain the total dearth of life well lived.
So where is this New Wilderness that can be mined for risk, a sense of adventure, and glory?
Whereas in days long bygone, our body was a reaction to that wilderness, today’s world is a result of our own minds.
The New Wilderness is the same place where all these modern comforts came from. It is the chaotic and uncertain world of the imagination.
Think about it.
The heroes of today are those who dared to think different and try out ideas that other people thought were crazy. The heroes of today face the fear of uncertainty and abandon the predictable humdrum of our everyday 9-5 life and venture off with chance in search of fortune.
These people start companies with innovative visions for the future, and just about always, these people are underdogs trying to rise up against the tide of entrenched habit among their common people. And when they succeed and return from the world of imagination and strenuously haul their beast of an idea into reality where we can benefit from it, these people are rewarded handsomely.
In today’s age it’s almost impossible to create something useful and not get rewarded for it, just as the hunter who brought back the kill to sustain the tribe would be rewarded.
The New Wilderness is the place of the mind, one of uncertainty and creativity - those twin forces that pull taught the tightrope of chance, with treasure, glory and satisfaction waiting for us on the other side.
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