One of the hardest parts of finding your feral, animal, living self is navigating the world of the walking dead. The civilised walk this culture of death with no issue; why would they? They’re dead! They seek out the life of the living dead, through film, TV, video games; varying means of technological mediation, distancing them from the horrors of their existence.
“When you look into an abyss, the abyss looks into you” Nietzsche
Reading philosophers like Nietzsche, Heidegger, Diogenes, Stirner, Armand and Novatore was a means of forging a new relationship with civilisation and the activity of living. Active individual reclamation and self-actualising were a means of rewilding my civilised being, so that my life could become an act of revolt against the techno-ideological prison that has encaged us all. Deconstructing the iconography and dogmatism of this culture has led me to find my true self in wildness, or nature if you prefer the term.
“Only one who knows and practices the iconoclastic fury of destruction can possess the joy born of freedom, of that unique freedom fertilised by sorrow” Novatore
It is a sorrowful and joyful freedom found in finding yourself outside this culture and losing the sense of identification with the herdist walking dead. It is joyful the feeling of being a perfect animal being, not trapped by the moral prisons of this culture. It is joyful finding yourself in a community of living being, far more vibrant and diverse than those of domestic humans. It is sorrowful losing the romantic phantasmic aspects of consciousness that distance your perception from the real nightmare of the real world that the civilised have destroyed. It is sorrowful seeing study after study, statistic after statistic all confirming the obvious truth – obvious for the feral and the wild – that we are undergoing an ecological crisis, a collapse, and witness the members of this culture be entirely indifferent; caring more for phoney elections, legislative bullshit, techno-utopian fantasies, sports competitions, celebrity scandals, economic social constructs and many other aspects of this culture that simply won’t last, should the biosphere be destroyed.
“Liberation: liberation from wearing clothes, or really of the constraint of wearing a costume that has always been, and can never be anything but, a hypocritical disguise insofar as it increases the importance of what covers the body — of the accessory — and not the body itself, whose cultivation, however, is the essential thing.” Armand
In my personal “return to the body” (in Nietzsche’s sense”), learning to break from my social conditioning regarding my own flesh has been a major feature of my rewilding. I’ve not gotten to the point that many nudists have (health issues making the process harder for me), but I’ve found joy in my naturist reclamation of my body as my living being immersed in the world. Part of this is simply embracing my health actively, but I’ve had some more naturalist successes, one of them being spending some time in woodlands naked, listening to the sound of birds, river flow and wind. Escaping the conformity I’ve been socialised into through domestication in my naked animal being is a joyful experience.
“Once you learn to discern the voice of Mother Culture humming in the background, telling her story over and over again to the people of your culture, you’ll never stop being conscious of it. Wherever you go for the rest of your life, you’ll be tempted to say to the people around you, “how can you listen to this stuff and not recognize it for what it is?” Quinn
There’s an attractiveness in embracing my inner Diogenes, Thoreau or even Buck and just follow the call of the wild, physically leaving this culture as best I can, finding some space still wild and abandoning the walking dead to this death. I was talking about this with my partner earlier today and she phrased it as us “going out into the woods”. There are many impracticalities to this, given my own domestication (and impossibilities given that this culture now basically spans the entire fucking globe). But more importantly, this wouldn’t be the freedom I desire, as my being is tied to the rest of the world and this would fall into the illusions of the atomised individual; my individuality being part of a living community of egoistic individuals, communistically supporting each other through our self-actualising. Or rather it would be this nature biospheric egalitarian state if civilisation hadn’t alienated my being, as it alienates all beings, in a violent violation of my/their free state into the technologically induced nightmarish monoculture. So despite my hatred of much of the left and my agreement with many nihilists, regarding the pointlessness of activism and utter failure of all attempts to stop the leviathan that looks to consume all life on earth, I cannot bring myself to not fight/struggle to resist the culture of the walking dead and fight for life as I can. I’m aware that despite any effort I make, the leviathan still consumes ignoring me, but to not do so feels like a suicidal embrace of death, which doesn’t feel natural to do.
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” Muir
I’m writing this as I move from place to place in the town I live near. Pokemon Go kids are wandering with their heads fixated on their phones, not noticing the seagulls shitting right next to them. My romantic fantasy is that the seagull is the reincarnation of Diogenes, reenacting out his famed approach to dealing with the domesticated. A part of me feels to embrace my ape heritage and fling shit at them, though I don’t think practically it’d do much good (seagulls shitting on humans largely goes overlooked as an act of defiance and protest). A few days ago me and my partner were enjoying local woodland and some children ran past us. I hope those children forge selfish relationships with the trees, where they value the trees more than they value games on smartphones (I hope they smash the smart phones if I’m honest). I hope those children embrace the living world and reject the walking dead. The pessimist within me doubts they will, but there is the potential with all of us for a feral being to arrive, as our life energy is wild and animal. This wildness is connected to the air, soil and water, as well as all of the living world.
“Humanity considers itself noble. It speaks of heroism, of progress and is not aware of its infection. The abyss has opened up and humanity falls into it singing, howling, quarreling, with its god, its fatherland, its murderous civilization, its elegant degeneration.” Filippi
This culture has traded the safety and beauty of the forest and the grassland, for the brutality and savagery of civilisation and the technosphere. It seems appropriate to say that the world has ended and that we are going through the aftermath of the impact. Pinpointing an exact moment seems unnecessary; ask any of the living communities this culture has destroyed when the world ended and they’ll give different answers but all will be true. We feral and wild ones must seize any opportunity for living and for the renewal of life, so as not to let the walking dead consume all.