Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More from the Continuum Concept Community

I joined up with The Continuum Concept message board recently, as this idea on the surface seemed to be a good way to consider raising a child (we're expecting in Aug09). Essentially, the idea is to not tie them down with Mommy & Daddy's schedule or strict rules, but let them spend their time how they wish. I like to at least further that idea by stating it's still the parents' job to infuse some sense of cultural values & organic culture into the mind of the child. Try to avoid watching TV excessively, etc. Whether you do this with roundabout methods - focusing on the positive, like, "hey, let's turn the TV off and start preparing a nice healthy meal for dinner!", or setting soft rules in place regarding how much time is okay to sit in front of the idiot box - I don't think this matters as much as the idea that you don't want your child to resent you but you need to start early in terms of gearing them toward a "good" lifestyle.

The unfortunate part of all this is that we've lost the sense of community present in the Yequana tribe, on which the entire concept is based per the author's experience in the novel which set this concept in motion. So on the Continuum Concept forums, you end up with people thinking that community isn't necessary; it was a byproduct of the Yequana tribe living within this Continuum. How they could ever believe that cultural values & strong community has little or nothing to do with the Continuum Concept is beyond me. I feel the inverse is true: without the sense of community & values that are more in accordance with nature than anything we see in industrialized societies today, there would be no Continuum Concept.

This post in particular caught my attention:

I also feel that we are lucky to have "continuum+", ie we have the ability to choose to be connected and we have other freedoms that are to do with our modern world that the Yequana and other tribal people might not have (yet) - although it is interesting to me to see how these people will incorporate the modern stuff into their systems.

Continuum-plus? Because the Yequana didn't have microwaves & TV but we do? I think this idea is ludicrous, and here's my response:

How are we more free than a tribal people in the modern world?

My brother in law is with WorldTeach for a year in Costa Rica. While many of the people in the tiny village he's in love his presence and he's picking up that dialect of Spanish quite well, I envy the idea of unplugging from modern conveniences and living more in accordance with nature. He has changed drastically since going down there; I can hear it in his voice & feel it in the blog he keeps for us family members. You mention the economic crisis to these people and they'd laugh at you - what economic crisis? I feel the people in Costa Rica, living in small houses & sharing food & working together during times of real crisis are a lot more free than people who can jump on a plane for business travel and are always tied to blackberries. The more you centralize government for the sake of "modern society", the less free you really are, because you're relying on leaders that could be thousands of miles away from you to make decisions on your daily life.

I don't think we should eliminate all technology, but if you're talking about true freedom, we pay it lip service in the media but what does freedom mean? Freedom from the evil terrorists in the middle east? Freedom from your government telling you what to do, what to watch, or worse, watching you? Freedom from your neighbor robbing from you, freedom to arm yourself? Many of these are imaginary rights & freedoms to a tribe that simply lives off the land with a group of people, most of whom they get along with simply because they have to, and can choose to swim, go for a hike, or relax and look up at the sky during their free time. I like that idea of freedom better than going to a voting booth while my government (in the US, at least) continues to waste the money we allow them to have on wars in far-off countries for the sake of nonrenewable resources that will dry up in 100 years anyway.

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