Letter Of A Simple Mind (Schmidt)

Dear L.

You have asked if I can lay out what it is, that underlies my argument from the other day.
I will try to do my best.

Since some years now, there is a nearly unperceived, yet almost constant dynamic of searching for a direction, for an activity, for a place.
A subtle, yet very clear and simple sensation appears from time to time.
A sensation of unrest. I am looking for a good place to set up a camp, raise a family maybe. I can be sitting in a city apartment, or take a walk in the woods, it does not matter. The sensation is there. And somehow I cannot find this place. Since years.
And oftentimes it makes me desperate and anxious.

It feels so natural to make out a convenient place, install a shelter, explore the surroundings. I look around, and the land itself has been mutilated, devastated. You still find some clearings that feel good, but it is all private property, as they say, you cannot stay there.
I cannot really believe it. It feels unjust and completely voluntary, and it feels profoundly wrong.
I think, if I talk like that, most people do not take me serious. Or they call me a dreamer.
It is such a commonly accepted concept, that the earth is private property of someone. ‘This is how things are now’, I guess, they would say. However, it is clearly just an assumption on paper, that is agreed upon, isn’t it? A frontier is obviously something imagined.
It all feels very strange. At least once you look at it from close. It took me quite some time and a lot of physical symptoms before some clarity emerged.
There is a common way of perceiving and thinking that is like a wild river, and everything is being ravaged and separated and split into pieces. True guidance and introduction into the mystery of life is hard to find. It is noisy, outside or inside or both. And so much distress.
There are wars and many, many species are dying.
And people believe in something they call progress and development.

I am aware that I write of ‘them’ and ‘me’, but this is the sensation.
I describe the colors. Surely, I know that I am in them, and that they are in me. 
But for the well-being and out of respect for other living beings, and for those seemingly not living, I do need to describe things that way, it seems.

We should not call the earth ‘our planet’. It does not help.You cannot separate things, thus you cannot own things. It is impossible.
I know that for some this is not new, and for more and more this is obvious, yet still I feel it should be stated again.
People continue to buy and sell land, they buy and sell people, they buy and sell pretty much everything, even things they only imagine.
There are some living in telephone boxes or houses of carton and paper, and others that live in enormous apartments and houses, all in the same city.
They pay incredible amounts of money to some athletes and people they call artists, while so many struggle so hard, and nearly nobody wonders.
Again, this seems normal, it is accepted. They say that those few ‘succeeded’.
However, most of them have to spend their lifetime working hard for money, because you have to pay for everything.
Then they buy things they don’t need to show that they succeeded.
It is complicated.It is too complicated for me.
I like simple things, I like quiet things. That does not mean that I am not passionate. It’s just that I want to choose what I do. I want to live freely and in a self-governed way. I refuse to let myself being pushed into exploiting myself or others, or the land.
Or to tell stories, that promote and reinforce the stories of competition and success. Enough. But you have to be careful with whom you speak, and what you say. They will expel you. They will avoid you.
Sometimes a different way of being is enough. Sometimes they even kill people just for their different ways of thinking.

I have worked many odd jobs and some very respected jobs. And I have made a lot of money working a few hours and very little money working very hard and a lot of hours.It’s complicated.
Even to shelter yourself you have to pay, even to feed yourself. They won’t allow you to grow your own food and build yourself a little hut just like that.
Everybody has to work, they say. They think that is normal.
I have tried that for some time, but I ended up miserable.

Also, I understand that there are just very few of them who get richer and richer, and most of them are working harder and harder to make ends meet, and they are feeling more and more stressed.
Many cannot afford to buy a house and shelter themselves, and they have to continue to work and look for money, and there are some who own many houses and vast areas of land, and often they get the money from the ones without a house and it makes them even richer. I am not sure why they all continue.

At least that’s how I see things. But I guess people are not really interested in looking at things. Mostly it seems they want to use them for something, or own them. Even mountains they use, often just to climb them. Or for what they call recreation. Everything has its purpose. In the end, everything shall serve them in one way or the other.
They have to conquer and transform things all the time. Even themselves. They are always busy and they are always doing things, they are even hunting experiences, and then buying and selling them.

It is complicated. And if you feel miserable, mostly you will think that it is your own fault. Because everybody else seems to be busy with succeeding, or at least with the process of transforming themselves, or others, or the world. And so they create special places for children and people who they say are not normal. And they try to make them normal again.
Maybe you think I am exaggerating, but you don’t know what I have seen!

And things seem to get worse, because they have destroyed so much of nature and they keep mistreating her, and they don’t know how to listen, only to do, and they treat her like a thing and use her.

Still they think they have to control life and make progress, and kill things, and accumulate things and transform things and make things better.
Still they do not like to see, they want to understand and ‘have’ something, so then they can do something with what they have.

It’s a strange way, and I do not understand it. Deep inside I really do not understand it. As one of ‘them’ of course I understand.

But it is cruel, frankly, it’s a horror. They are unhappy, they kill, other living things or themselves, and they keep killing. They do not know reverence. Just looking at things is not enough.

This is not my way. This I know. But I also know that I have not chosen my way, just as they have not chosen their way, and that is ok.

But if I feel I have to protect my family, and my family is of trees and animals, of the ocean and mountains and rivers, just as it is of people, than I shall do so.
And if they feel compelled to follow the way of not seeing, but of getting something for themselves, then they shall do so.
Meanwhile the earth will be crying out through me, until I return where I have come from.
To me this is normal.

May winter treat you well.
Sending my love and warm regards,

E.

(2016)