The Whispering Trio—Rockwell Falls (above 2 Medicine), Glacier National Park . . .
On the road in the American Northwest. [click photo for next . . . ]
The Liberty Triangle—a little meditation on
cultural change . . .
I've always felt that the simplest and most powerful of all possible
tests is the test of doing without. It is simple, because there is
nothing to buy, no new set of skills one must master, no lessons
to attend. One simply stops doing something that one is used to doing.
And it is powerful because we quickly become aware of how habit
shapes perception. After all, it is possible that what we once thought
was absolutely necessary and essential may turn out to be largely
arbitrary and, in a deeply insidious and unconscious way, destructive.
So, here are three key do's of present Western culture I've turned into
There are other sets of three, of course. Perhaps some readers
might come up with better collections themselves. It must be said that
they are simple only in principle. To actually live them would be difficult.
But also, I think, revealing. That is why I call the set of three The Liberty
or Liberation Triangle. By just doing one of the three, we step outside
of the dominant stream of everyday behavior. This is rather like venturing
up to clearer, higher ground and looking down on the whole of a culture's
activity in certain areas and directions. From the new perspective, suddenly
we see pattern, we see motivations, and we see consequences and
interrelationships. And, we are surprised because the new vantage point
makes these seem so obvious.
The Triangle can also be reversed. Interestingly, if we introduce just one
of its three sides into a culture which hitherto has remained unexposed,
we might conjecture that the integrity of that culture will quickly fall apart.
This, it seems to me, suggests that the petrochemical cult of cars, the
mesmerizing propaganda blitz of TV, together with the highly addictive
nature of industrial agriculture's junk food make for a kind of mutually
reinforcing illusion. A kind of perceptual prison. Hence, the idea of liberation,
of freeing oneself, by not doing three key things. Simple indeed!