Tuesday, March 24, 2015
The title of this interesting documentary is perhaps not the best. It's not so much about getting "off the grid". I would have called it Downsizing. The idea of downsizing your life on a personal, individual level, has always seemed like a good one to me. But not only getting rid of stuff, most especially consumer debt (credit card debt) but of getting rid of the desire for consumption, curbing the appetite for Things.
I've seen so many people try to climb up into that strange model of living that involves huge ownership of material things in opposition to huge commitment to people, to truth or knowledge or spiritual benefit. And I think a lot of people are quietly starting to understand that these things are not only largely out of reach (mainly by design) but unworthy of our commitment and personal resources. We have been sold a mess of pottage in the form of the lies of people who want to sell us a lot of useless things, and a great many people are starting to give it a serious re-think.
The hippies had a pretty good idea at the foundation of their "drop out" doctrine, but they ended up getting distracted with the urge to indulge other appetites. In many ways they made an accurate critique of Modernity and their exhortation not to participate in it was much in line with some home truths that can be found in the Bible and in a lot of other religions.
Things are not what life is supposed to be for. We all know it. It's hard to live this truth, but we do all know it.
This is Passion Week, and I've resolved to consider doing things a bit differently, perhaps radically differently (though perhaps not). I realise that despite having been a moderately serious Christian for a while, I've really never approached the Bible in any systematic way. While I was doing the housework this morning, I ran another interesting documentary about a group of Amish teenagers being taken to Britain to experience the outside world. I was impressed with the sincerity and seriousness of mind these young people displayed, even though none of them were over 17. They were, as the Proddie saying has it, "Bible believing Christians" but the first thing they were, clearly, was Bible-knowing Christians. I could do with a bit of knowing what they know.
How about some Passion Week homework: what one thing do you all think you would do well to add or subtract from your life?
I think I might try reading the Bible.