It is flattering when someone acknowledges something you have created and affirms it as something that they personally value. Compliments can be wonderful and revolting, as much as insults, but both compliments and insults are usually best treated as nothing. When someone you love and is dying affirms your creativity and advises that you take it further, a desire to honour what they have said fills you.
This has been the case for me.
I have a dislike for designs for futures, cartographies for ideal societies and choreographies for radicals. This is the main reason why I have never written out any attempts for structural practice – just made suggestions that any individual could take and make their own.
What I am going to attempt to lay out here is an attempt at a (non-)practice for eco-anarchists, for psychic, rebellion and ecological rewilding. It is a practice, in that it is a map for eco-anarchy, but it is a map with no roads, paths or signs to point someone in the “right” direction, with the geography constantly changing. It is not a practice because we are alive now, there are no first attempts, and I am not a guru offering a road to salvation.
This is not a fixing of a machine or machines, but an attempt to heal ourselves, and the earth that we are Extensions of. It is an attempt to unleash our animality, to destroy cages and dehumanise this world, starting with unhumanising our minds, our means of rebellion and ecological restoration attempts. It can be done with people who are part of your tribe, or as a solitary process.
This is self help – self help as an individual singularity, who is an Extension of the multiplicity of Being that is ecological, as alive.
While this is not a linear process, the medium of text requires a starting place, so here we will start.
Grounding begins by finding yourself in the world, immersed in the world. You find yourself as a tiny creature, whose life is finite, pointless and largely tragic. In a deep ecological and existential sense, our individual lives are utterly meaningless – in the same way that it doesn’t really matter if one badger, one giant red wood, one bumblebee, one koala, one otter, or one Chilean crocus dies.
This nihilism can be thought of as rock bottom. Not rock bottom as being beneath anyone or anything on a social hierarchy. Rock bottom as being able to feel the hard stone Real of existence/life, as an immediate personally subjective experience, that is individual to who you/I are/am.
Sensuality then moves into the sensation of what eco-phenomenologist David Abram’s has described as the gravitational Earthly eros, where we experience a strange love for the world we are Extensions of. This is a part of the experience of paneroticism(, which I will go into in more detail in another section of this book). There is a strange, uncanny, tug that doesn’t fit any rationality, but is authentically your own sense of desiring Being-in-the-world – will-to-life/will-to-power. An absurd refusal to give in to the despair that would fit a humanistic logic courses through your body and you go on.
Hiking, meditation, gardening, swimming, nudism, cooking, learning wild-craft skills and sex, are all activities that can be part of the process of grounding – of course it is not a process that is limited to these.
This is where the grounding you have done enables and empowers you to honestly face the wounds that you have experienced, which scar your body, as scars cover the body of the world Earth we are immersed within. You find how you’ve been castrated, caged, conditioned, placed into slavery to work machines that abuse other animals (human and non-human) and violate earth.
There is a fury that comes with encountering primal trauma, born from an energetic will to life. It is the anger of revolt, the sensation of revulsion. This is a personal encounter – as suffering is a personal sensual experience – that we share with others who have experienced abuse and violation. While it often becomes rationalised into ideologies and theories, when we honestly face it Uniquely, there is a quality to it that cannot be spoken about as a Real phenomenon – but, of course, we cannot be silent. An eruption will be needed, as a primal, anarchist, animal scream
Primal trauma is a space for consciousness raising, research and personal meditation and reflection. Conversations with those who are part of our personal tribes – family, lovers, friends, co-conspirators and so on – are ways of exploring and being supported through our individual sensations of primal trauma.
The aspect of primal trauma that is most paradoxical and difficult to reconcile is that this is a process that is personal and earthly, singularly monist and entirely plural, individual and collective.
Deconstructing machines is neither work or play, but entirely both. It is most of what I wrote about in my first book and is the space of feral consciousness.
The first machine that is deconstructed is that of the technologically constructed and mediated identity of the self. Not the Unique I, the self of experience, the primal anarchist animal grounded by earthly eros, experiencing a primal trauma, of having been violated by Leviathan to be made human. Instead the conceptualised self that binds, chains and encages us to this machine. The self of the obedient wife who has to obey her husband; of national identity that ties you patriotically and demands you sacrifice yourself as a soldier; of a worker who is defined by their job; and so on. This gets dismantled piece by piece, through persistent deconstruction.
After this, political and productive machines start being deconstructed. Political parties, lobbyists, organisations, big corporate businesses, industrial machines, digital machines, media machines and agricultural machines (and more), all become targets for deconstruction. Challenging cultural and systemic narratives is central to this aspect of deconstructing machines, which is why deconstructing machines is the centre of focus for much of what activists seek to do – the difference in the case of feralculture praxis being that there would be no attempt to reconstruct the machines, unlike revolutionaries and liberal activists (why many people don’t go further than this).
The deconstruction of machines is different for different machines. Taking apart racist structures within a community is a process that involves a degree of collaborative effort and is most effective when the collaborators have the trust and friendship that comes with tribal familiarity. Dismantling a trap or cage can be done individually with little issues. Culture jamming and Operation Mind Fuck type (social) media projects can be fun ways of dismantling media and informational machines.
Deconstructing the machine of the self can be done individually with meditative exploration, artistic experiments and other means of individualisation and personal empowerment.
This all works towards individual self-empowerment, as being able to affect the world and take responsibility for yourself; as well as being means of challenging and resisting the activities that are abusing earth.
After deconstruction, there is the body – your body, my body, the earth, us and we. Somatic experience can be both traumatic and empowering, like how eco-radicalism can be traumatic and empowering. So any game is probably best done when you feel ready to do it, by being true to your needs.
The anarchist play therapy developed by Roberto Freire, Somatherapy, has lots of somatic games that nurture healing and support rebellion. Somatherapy empowers those involved in the group work, by empowering each other through providing mutual support, sharing experiences, preparing each other to fight oppressors and various immediatist exercises. There is very little material available in English about Somatherapy, as formulated by Freire – probably something we should be pleased for, as it removes pressure to conform to Freire’s design. So the challenge then becomes to create your own games, with those you are.
Exercise, self defence and combat sports are other forms of somatic play that can directly empower individuals, both psychically and in their rebellions. They both require a certain amount of co-working/co-play, particularly in learning how to train and not hurt yourself, but they can be practiced individually once an intensity of skill is attained. The strength gained through these activities can be invaluable to vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups, like women who are at risk from rapists, or ethnic minorities at risk from racially motivated violence – The Black Panther Party for Self Defence was formed for self defence and worked to empower black people, while fighting for liberation.
A somatic game that I enjoy is standing on streets with Free Hugs signs and, during the chats that always follow hugs, talking about ecological collapse, the destruction of Reality and existential crisis. There is a double impact of having a bodily affect and a psychic effect of breaking the expected thought pattern.
The mental health and bodily health benefits of somatic work/play are obvious and immediate. As well as what practical and personal growth these can bring, these types of activities can just be fun – an experience we all can probably share in a desire for more of. There is no need for any mediators within these activities, as they are best done when self-motivated and not facilitated by groups or organisations.
Civilisation is simple and an attempt to reduce and simplify the world to what is normalisable, making it manageable. Wild-life, primal anarchy and biodiversity is immeasurably complex. Agriculture simplifies to produce industrial monocultures. A scientist attempts to mathematically reduce the world to what is quantifiably knowable, within the sphere of their equipment’s ability to measure. Technology simplifies activity and life, to remove the need to actually do anything, or try to create, and to make you more dependent on, chained to and dictated by the needs of technology, as you increasingly renounce your freedom to it.
The schizoanalytic approach to discourse, action and psychotherapy seeks to nurture the growth of complexes, through heterogenetic ontological differentiation, by opening up processual flows – releasing repressed energies, such as desire. This was the approach that inspired my thoughts in the book and while exploring my concept of feral iconoclasm. What growing complexities means in the context of feralculture is limited only by the imagination and individual personal desire.
One of the aspects of growing complexities that matters most to me is attempting the de-struction of the means of human authoritarian management of living beings, such as agriculture, horticulture, arboriculture, viticulture, hydroculture, floriculture, fruiticulture and also permaculture. All of these systems attempt to assert human control over the authentic flows of living beings, with the differences between them being the intensity to which they spatially attempt to dominate. This is undoubtedly an idea and activity that doesn’t follow the same ideological narratives of many radical environmentalists, primitivists and others who advocate less intense means of humanisation, like permaculture and horticulture. Many point to Historical(-captured) horticulturalists, permaculturists or even subsistence agriculturalists, as approaches to rewilding, which might in a dehumanised world, with total civilizational collapse, present potential means of living for “humans” – perhaps less intensive means of humanised machinic-control, though still retaining the logic of human authoritarian supremacism. We do not live there, in total civilizational collapse, and here is so intensely humanised and simplified that the greatest potential intensity of complexifying would be the best way to rewild – hence why I am not advocating here these less intensive means of human control. Intensifying humanity’s lack of control will be uncomfortable for many, but is part of the primal anarchy I desire – a world rewilded, full of life, free from authoritarian totalitarian domination.
Growing psychic complexities, through psychic-nomadism and guerrilla ontology, is a means of individual self-empowerment and of psychological warfare, which are immediate ways of attacking this culture. This is where reweirding, endarkening, unknowing and bewilderness become most relevant, as described in earlier meditations within this book. The Situationist prank is the most well known approach to this type of activity – so potentially not as effective as methods created individually, as means of destruction. Chaos magick is another way of creating psychic-complexities – but, like the Situationist prank, has a weakness, in that the practice is very closely tied to occult-cultures (which have always struck me as weak).
The type of creative destruction that works towards the growth of complexities, which is most familiar to eco-anarchists is property destruction. Earth First!, Earth Liberation Front, Animal Liberation Front, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, Hunt Saboteurs and similar other groups/organisations have all used property destruction as means of resisting domestication. What you or I choose to do as acts of property destruction – the destruction of technologies that construct the Reality that violates earth and dominates life – is up to us, as all our situations are different, we are all unique and we are all free to different intensities. My personal engagement in this type of activity has been focused on lone-wolf/individualist hunt saboteur and ALF type rebellion. Through destroying technologies that provide mediation, the immediate becomes perceptually more apparent, with the focus of concentration not being Historically out there, but right here, right now, in a presentist sense of Being; like in the moment after you’ve smashed a cup or a plate the movement of the world is less mechanical and weirdly here. There is no waiting for a revolution with this, or anything else. Resistance is right here, right now. Liberation requires no mediation.
Like how we needed a beginning to this, we need an ending, But we are beginning entirely at an end and ending at a beginning.
Wandering is similar to grounding, but different. You might even go back to grounding from here. It is like the eternal return of the flesh/now that Nietzsche wrote about, or the repetition of difference that Deleuze described. It is becoming-animal, as overcoming humanisation.
As a practice, I have found that wandering is most like Shinrin Yoku, non-dualist mystic forms of mediation, near death limit-experience, and the experience of making love. All mediation dissolves away and you encounter the world in a way that is totally unspeakable. You become both one with everything and collapse into the monstrous abyss of no-Thingness.
Of course, you might find it (and will find it) as you encounter it. I cannot tell you how to do it and wouldn’t want to. You will not be able to produce the experience, but will encounter it, like the calm quiet after a plate shatters, beyond being able to fix.
Wandering involves the experience of freedom and liberation in an animal sense that is ineffable and knowable only through sensation. It is voidwork.
In both Feral Consciousness and Feral Iconoclasm I failed to articulate this experience, as I will fail to do so here. It is a dark mystical experience of primal anarchy that is not rational and has no laws – so any argument regarding it is ultimately pointless, you cannot find it through dialectics and God hates it. Alejandro De Acosta described a mystic as someone who succeeds by failing, so I am pleased to continually fail in my attempt to articulate this.