The Revolution Issue

People Are Waking Up

It's time to reject our culture's slide into narcissism.
People Are Waking Up
Nylon, March 2009

People are waking up. They’re saying, Not another day! This is where I mark the line.

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They’re hungry to get involved and they’re getting involved. Their desire to change the world is shifting from wishful Monday-morning thinking into tangible action. They’re beginning to see activism not as something done at nonprofit meetings and protests, but as a way of life, a personal, spiritual choice. Ultimately, it is the choice to reject our culture’s slide into narcissism. It is a view that rejects the modern consumer philosophy that true happiness comes from personal material accumulation and self-interest. It is the realization that the joy of connecting with nature blows the joy of acquiring stuff out of the water.

We are social animals; we crave connection and community; we crave a wide, encompassing identity that connects us with all of humanity – not just our friends and family, not just our city, our country, our species – but every living being on Earth: plant, animal, human.

It is a new philosophy – and perhaps a very ancient one. It leads to the most profound and meaningful kind of happiness one could possibly experience. It adopts the happiness of others as its own … and also shares in their suffering.

You can’t buy that kind of happiness at a store. You can’t get it from beating the last level of a video game. It doesn’t come out of the end of a pipe or at the bottom of a bottle. It doesn’t come from watching sports. It doesn’t come from how you dress or what kind of car you drive. It doesn’t come from getting a college degree or a fatter paycheck. It comes directly from the final and profound realization that there are no isolated islands of “self” and “other.” We are inter-woven into everything. We are all of it.

Tim Hjersted is the director and a cofounder of Films For Action.


Audio version read by George Atherton

38 comments on the article “People Are Waking Up”

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Anonymous

I think that I understand what you're trying to say, but it's just downright silly to suggest that the concepts of the self and the other do not exist. If someone is hurt, you may or may not feel empathy, but you don't actually feel their pain. Likewise, if someone eats something delicious, you don't taste it.

Anonymous

I think that I understand what you're trying to say, but it's just downright silly to suggest that the concepts of the self and the other do not exist. If someone is hurt, you may or may not feel empathy, but you don't actually feel their pain. Likewise, if someone eats something delicious, you don't taste it.

Anonymous

I feel what the author is referring to is the development of our collective ego or consciousness. What we have today is individual ego, we are aware that we human and we know that we are thinking. Collective ego as I see it, is an awareness that we are a collective and that we act accordingly.

People are waking up to this as the author comments.

Today we know we are individuals and we act as such, but our collective actions have a collective resonance. When we start to act from the consciousness of knowing we are a collective and not just individuals the radical waking up of our species will occur.

There's nothing mutually exclusive about computer games and collective consciousness, the author is just pointing out that without the collective consciousness we won't be truly happy, regardless of how many games we play.

Anonymous

I feel what the author is referring to is the development of our collective ego or consciousness. What we have today is individual ego, we are aware that we human and we know that we are thinking. Collective ego as I see it, is an awareness that we are a collective and that we act accordingly.

People are waking up to this as the author comments.

Today we know we are individuals and we act as such, but our collective actions have a collective resonance. When we start to act from the consciousness of knowing we are a collective and not just individuals the radical waking up of our species will occur.

There's nothing mutually exclusive about computer games and collective consciousness, the author is just pointing out that without the collective consciousness we won't be truly happy, regardless of how many games we play.

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