Hidden communion within communities – the inception of the concrete jungle
“birds alike tend to fly in the same flock”
Humans are not much different from birds in the sense that they are separate agents of a society or flock who can self-organize themselves around mutual interests and desires. This self-organizing principle is especially needed in times of political, social and economic instability. Communion is an inherent human need that seeks to be fulfilled in order for us to feel connected and intimate. Therefore, this need unfulfilled will cause great unease and unhappiness or at least a sense of lack in our quality of life. Studies show that happiness increases when individuals feel like they are apart of an intimate community that supports them from the back when needed. During my travels in Mexico and China, I was fascinated how the ‘less developed’ places are profiting from great communal warmth and intimacies, which shows to be a necessary ingredient for a happy, secure and fulfilling life as a social institution. It is especially fascinating comparing this observation with the highly individualistic societies and concrete jungles of Europe. In many ways these high-tech societies are suffering on a psychological and social basis instead of a material and financial basis, all though even this is uncertain in today’s age of robotic automation that threatens the middle class and, therefore, the economic and social fabric of a society. It is a sad phenomena that people can be poor in the midst of plenty as Alan Watts coined it beautifully in ones of his lectures. The whole purpose of technology is to remove the drudgery and to be more effective and efficient in producing products and services and allow individuals to spend more energy into more meaningful pursuits like art, family, philosophy, athletics or simple gardening. Let the machines do the jobs nobody cares for and help individuals who lose their jobs to find their intrinsic motives to contribute in order to prevent laziness, inequality and crime. True communion could be seen as a luxury in the ‘concrete jungle’ and as conventional and normal in the regular jungle. If the shit hits the fan and the middle class crumbles then there is no true community or current social security system Western society can rest their anxiety, pain and distress upon in order to re-organize itself.
So the more cracks we see in these concrete systems as I like to call them, the more light will shine upon the people within the system hopefully. Without acknowledging the challenges and shortcomings of these systems, people will remain ignorant and passive about doing anything constructive, but instead remain in the bliss of ignorance. Instability is always a blessing in disguise during the proces of change and innovation, just like dis-ease or pain serves as a teacher that wakes you up from ignorance if you acknowledge it’s existence. As long as the separate agents or individuals of a system refuse the cracks and reinforce the continuity or status quo of the system by filling the cracks with cement (Also read; temporary solutions like printing more money out of thin air to save institutions that are ‘too big too fall’), then the proces of change will go slow and more painful and is only prolonged, and not solved.
So what we see now is a loss of trust in the governing authorities of a system and an emergence of social actors and agencies that empowers the individual and like-minded to make a change and take a stand.
This is the beauty of being human, in that we have the great potential to be flexible in the midst of adversity, the potential to commune, to show empathy and warmth and to not see each other as enemies in our alienated state of competition and conflict when things get hot along the way.
The inception of the concrete jungle.
All the best,