No, I have long since given up on traditional ‘faith.’ I place no trust in religion, government, or society to ‘save’ us. That makes me a Transcendentalist.
No, that New Age meditation BS. The closest I come to that is listening to music while I iron or garden. The very idea of emptying my mind is an anathema to me.
By Transcendentalism, I refer to the nineteenth-century American philosophical and literary movement that centered around the writing of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, and others.
If you are truly interested in more information, Virginia Commonwealth University run the American Transcendentalism Web that has extensive essays on the movement as well as the original texts by the authors – all for FREE. Reading is a great thing to do now.
But the best summary of what Transcendentalism is, at least to me, can be found on Wikipedia:
Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in the eastern United States. A core belief is in the inherent goodness of people and nature. and while society and its institutions have corrupted the purity of the individual, people are at their best when truly “self-reliant” and independent.
These past few weeks have both confirmed several of my Transcendental beliefs and destroyed one of deepest-held – the basic goodness of people.
Don’t get me wrong – I know there are good people out there. I occasionally see their stories pop up online.
But the sad truth is that most people are clueless. And they like it that way. They would rather watch TV than read. They can’t wait to get their hair and nails done. And they drink way too much to numb the pain.
Okay, there is that bit about society and its institutions have corrupted the purity of the individual. Those institutions, by the way, are primarily religion and politics. At least it was back in the 1820s and 30s. These days I would add marketing and social media to that list.
I have not merely self-isolated in our @HomeCrazzyHome from the COVID-19 virus, but from much of the internet as well. I get online in the morning when I get up to write. I check Twitter to see what is trending, clear my email boxes, and read the latest news updates on the BBC. But I limit myself there to the first cup of coffee only. Once that is finished I move onto the work of writing. I don’t follow the rabbit down that hole. For a bit, I was getting back online in the evening before bed, but that was too much.
But in these uncertain times, I have found great solace in two other tenants of my Transcendentalist beliefs: self-reliance and the beauty of nature.
Obviously, this blog has almost exclusively been about that self-reliance from self-directed learning to staying positive to our new urban farm we are focusing on expanding our base in this arena. Because we have seen first hand that we cannot rely upon government or the business we once bought from to be there for us. (The notable exception has been Amazon – at least so far.)
We were told to self-isolate for at least 12-weeks because of Alan’s asthma. We were assured that the supply line for essentials would calm down in a couple of weeks. That provisions would be made for those who needed to isolate. We are coming to the end of the first round of lockdown and entering another…
NONE of that is true.
The only way we are getting by for the perishables is the kindness of friends and neighbors.
Despite his 12-week letter, there has been no word from local government or national on how to get essentials. And the big companies – you still cannot get a delivery slot and no provision for those needing to self-isolate who are not the most vulnerable.
Don’t get me wrong – the most vulnerable should be cared for first. We do have friends and neighbors at least. But I cannot ask them to do my regular £200+ shop for me. The government and corporates have failed us.
Self-reliance is no longer just a core belief – it is the only option available to us.
As for the beauty of nature, well, that is where I went for my solace this morning as I struggled to manage a world that is falling apart and where you can get no response from anyone.
So, I’ll share with you the beauty that does still exist in my own yard…
I hope things do get better for all of us.
May the Goddess bless you with more patience and faith than I have today,
From our @HomeCrazzyHome to yours