Keeping It Simple

by Robert Wolfe on June 13th, 2011

As recently as 1914, the last “wild” Indian was taken into captivity, a Yana from central northern California. His parents, circa 1850, were without any general exposure to the following:

They had no refrigeration, no stoves, no matches (though they knew how to start a fire). They had no frozen, canned, packaged or “convenience” foods. No garden vegetables or orchard fruit, no livestock or poultry, no milk or dairy products, no candy, pastry or soft drinks. When available, they had fish and game (broiled, boiled, smoked or dried), herbs, tubers, nuts, seeds, berries, acorn bread, herb tea, water and sometimes salt.

They had no alcohol, no stimulants (coffee, tea, cocoa, etc.), no recreational drugs; occasionally tobacco, when bartered from the far south.

No books, magazines, newspapers, comics, novels, videos or movies; few toys, games and amusements; occasional “music”, song, dance or storytelling. Possibly a dog; no cat, canary, goldfish, etc. Little chit-chat, gossip, debate and witticism. No notepads, signs, instruction manuals or maps. No school, church, hospital, post office or bank. No stores, markets or pharmacies.

No horse, wheeled vehicle, skateboard or pavement. No tent, canteen, compass, hatchet or bear-free campsite. No metal tools, no hardware. No gun, fishhook or steel trap.

No electric light, no flashlight, no electric blanket, answer phone, clock or calendar.

No organized sciences, technologies, professions, industries, commerce, institutions, judicial system or political parties.

And with all of that which they didn’t have, these were not a restless, disturbed, aggressive, disease-ridden people.


Posted in Living Nonduality, Selections, Link    Tagged with simple, simplicity, possessions


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