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June 1, 2010

I don’t want to be sustainable. ~ Joshua Scott Onysko

Joshua Onysko, Pangea Organics founder:

Are we truly evolving, or are we just surviving?

It’s interesting to think back over the evolution of man. Reality is, at a basic level, not much has changed.

I remember learning about evolution in school right before I dropped out, how we humans are considered to be the most evolved species. We have a highly developed brain, are capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection and problem solving.

But what problems have we truly solved? It seems that in the quest to be all knowing, we have forgotten so much.

Take reasoning, for example. Technically, reasoning is the cognitive process of looking for reasons, beliefs, conclusions, actions or feelings. What have we created in our culture that inhibits us from truly processing any of these actions?

All of them are constantly being challenged by the collective self righteousness of our culture. We have become so comfortable with our way of life that the basic processes that separate us from the life that surrounds us, have been threatened.

Why isn’t the earth itself regarded as the highest form of life?

Doesn’t it need us to thrive? Or is that too hippie for you? How about a weed that grows up through a crack in the sidewalk, constantly stepped on, with almost no oxygen for the roots, no water…yet it thrives?

What do we perceive that we need? Big houses, cars better than your friends, clothes that you pay six times what they are actually worth from a designer label, even though that designer’s been dead for 30 years?

It seems as though every concept or idea that is populated from this culture is challenged by one question:

“How will this effect “my” (seldom “our” and almost never “his,” or “her”) way of life?”

We want change, so we try and elect it; we want a more ecologically sound life…so we try and buy it; we want freedom so we fight for it.

When will this process end? If you follow this social algorithm, it ends in one place: extinction. It’s simple.

“There is no difference between us and that which we create…or destroy”

We feel all powerful, at the top of the food chain, but what good is being at the top of chemically laced pile of garbage with no nutritional value, that was created from our lack of care or interest for the lives that were sacrificed in vain, from an earth that was raped to feed our wants…not our needs? This is a throne I don’t wish to sit in.

So my question is: are we really just creating solutions for problems that we are perpetuating? If so, are we truly evolving, or are we just surviving?

Which brings me to the title of this article: that word, sustainable.

I’m not quite sure how we adopted this word to describe what it is this movement is trying to accomplish…I’m not interested in simply sustaining, I want to thrive. I don’t want to use this word lightly, when I say thrive I mean to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances. I want to wake up in the morning and feel that the world in which I live is on our own path towards common goal…to thrive, not at the expense of another or themselves or the future but as an asset to all three, my success should add to your quest to thrive, your path should be aiding to the ability for future generations to thrive and so on.

So what is the action plan? What are the tools we need thrive? Let’s look at the current social climate: everything in media, politics and in the corporate sector is about community. We are wanting to get back to our roots…we just forgot we had them. If you look at the path and growth of social media and how the construct is forming, it’s fascinating…we have created a platform to reconnect—not just when we need something, which is the old way of doing things, phone, fax, email etc. etc.—but when we want to truly share our life experiences.

It’s almost like we have created a virtual Senoi Tribe, which was a Malaysian hunting and gathering tribe that had used lucid dreaming to ensure the overall happiness of their tribe. They would all gather in the morning to discuss and process their dreams, simply amazing.

It’s all starting to happen on social media sites like Facebook, twitter and Elephant Journal. As a culture that wishes to thrive we must learn to use these new tools to share what is truly meaningful to us as well as engage in our new found tribe.

Of course this is just one of many action plans to thriving, I also believe in the Buddhist teachings of the eight fold path, Right: view, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness and concentration.

More to come on these in the next article.

In the meantime, tell us what you do…to thrive.


Joshua Onysko
is the founder and CEO of Pangea Organics.

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