Quarantine and time

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Jason Lupus and Brendan Heard

One of the reasons people feel an anxious sense of mind-numbing tedium under conditions such as the current quarantine, is due to being denied the time to learn a craft. No true craftsmanship skills were passed down to them by their society, nor even the desire to attain them as a skill. Often people can feel so nested within the rotation of the machine they don’t understand what to do when the spin cycle stops.

It does not occur to them that they’ve been granted an opportunity, a borrowing back of time. Even just time to think. They do not have an instinct to grab a log and carve a spoon or bowl, for instance, to make paper from old rags, to build a green house, or to paint a still life. So they end up being unproductive, and frightened of a world without routine, searching needily for pseudo-entertainment fed to them by Netflix.

Dwelling in an apartment only accentuates this divorce from natural process and the value of personal time. This is also true in a slightly lesser extent to living in a sterile modern suburbia, no longer exposed to any kind of local danger or adventure. This is why suburbia does not have the capacity to cultivate folk legend or true community tradition, being a predictable cement atmosphere. This commodification degrades the human spirit.

Any kind of spirituality that tries to be cultivated in such an environment has the unsurprising inclination to be sedentary and artificial. It represents the plastic, the manufactured lifestyle, the day that is planned, and the year.

Your locality, even in a city center, should have an element of organic urbanization, including gardens, animals, (both purposeful as food and beauty) natural forms of light and darkness, and the authentic community spirituality. An atmosphere which lacks an aristocratic sense of vitality, an aspiration for high virtues, will always create spiritual traditions filled with mercantile phoniness and quackery.

Modern society does not promote the life skills of craft-production that people can do at their convenience, inside their homes and workshops. It is another fault of modern education, which is a kind of sterile hen-party. Time itself has been severely commodified, regimentally categorized as either work or socializing. Important things that we rely on for survival are provided conveniences, mysterious of origin, on a conveyor belt automated system of Chinese plastic products. Crafted objects made by local people within your community are not generally viable vocations, and will moreso cost money as a hobby, as there is no way to penetrate the cycle of the economy.

I personally know someone who makes wooden spoons. He spends a day or two creating a spoon and if he’s lucky he might sell one for $15. How was that ever viable as an occupation in the past? Because the cost of living was more commensurate with the worth of your time in labour. Cheap production has many consequences.

Self-mastery, in any field and endeavor, coincides with quality. This is the anti-thesis of economic liberalism. Being conscious of your physical well-being and health is not good for the economy, thus the advent of big pharma and fast food establishments to poison your physical health for profit.

Becoming a master craftsmen, sculptor, painter, scholar, warrior, musician etc, is not good for economic liberalism since this is based on quality, not on quantity. Follow the rules and obey the dictates of the machine and what is your reward? Consoomer products.

Why consumption, you might ask? Consumption is good for economic growth and profit. Being educated on how to think critically is not good for the economy.

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