It is becoming increasingly clear that we are living in a society that is reaching the end of the line. We have seen crisis after crisis in the government and the economy, as the internal contradictions of modern America are finally reaching the point where they can no longer be hidden behind a veil of lies and secrecy. The chickens are coming home to roost, and the future does not look rosy.
Beyond the economic and social problems, however, the United States may be in even worse shape psychologically. While we are bombarded daily with the stunning statistics that reveal the depth and range of societal decline, here is one that is the most shocking of all: At the present time, one out of every four American adults is suffering from some kind of mental illness. Yes, that is correct – one out of four of us is dealing with some kind of mental or emotional problem such as depression, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality.
In off-the-grid living, most of the emphasis is on creating an economic and cultural alternative to a modern world order that seems to be careening toward implosion. But in addition to these critical imperatives, the off the grid lifestyle may be our only chance to do something even more important, and that is to protect and restore our collective sanity, which currently appear to be at serious risk.
Unhinged Society, Unhinged Mind
When the economy went into a near Fukushima-level meltdown in 2008, it created a psychological shock that reverberated throughout American society, as people were forced to face the fact that the societal stability most have come to take for granted has only been an illusion. In the three years since things have only gotten worse, as the American economy has fallen, and it cannot get up and has no Life Alert to use to signal for help. Quite naturally, this has left most Americans feeling unmoored and vulnerable, not certain if they will be able to find another job if they don’t have one, or keep the one they have if they do. This is the result of decades of sloth and inaction at the highest levels of power, as big government and big media have stood by silently while the corporations have exported all the good jobs overseas, and the banksters have continued to drain the resources of the economy to pay off the ever-expanding public and personal debt that has been used to cover up the Ponzi-scheme nature of our current global political economy.
For those who have moved off the grid in search of their independence, the challenge has been to learn how to survive on their own from a land that is actually rich in resources and opportunity. One of the wonderful benefits of this kind of lifestyle is that it helps people feel empowered again, as they are able to take control of their own destiny and take total responsibility for their own circumstances. For those who are still caught up in the slavery that passes for living in mainstream society, however, there is no such freedom or self-control. When your fate is not in your own hands, but is instead controlled by corporate, financial, and government masters, of course depression, anxiety, and overwhelming feelings of helplessness are inevitable. While it can certainly be a struggle at times to make it for those who have chosen to leave the matrix, off-the-gridders and survivalists have asserted their independence forcefully and without compromise; and even though they have to face many stresses, it is ultimately they who are in control of the outcomes, and when people are able to rely on their own resources to solve their problems it preserves and strengthens mental health.
Hyperactive Society, Hyperactive Mind
There have been studies done by professional psychologists and neuroscientists that have established conclusively that the learning and concentration centers of the brain are quickly overwhelmed by too much stimulation and cannot function properly when required to multitask. This has always been a problem in mainstream society, where people are intentionally overwhelmed with information and imagery in order to confuse them into becoming non-thinking passive consumers. But now, thanks to the explosion of communication technologies in the digital age, people are voluntarily inundating themselves with constant social contact and even more information. It is hardly surprising that mental confusion and hyperactivity should be running rampant in a society that never allows anyone to be alone with their thoughts in a peaceful environment for even a single moment.
The off-the-grid lifestyle is the only chance we have to get away from all of this disabling frenetic activity. Men and women were meant to live close to the land, in peaceful surroundings where time to contemplate and reason is always available. The technological obsession that drives mainstream society forward leaves people and their real psychological needs behind in the endless rush for innovation for innovation’s sake.
Living off the grid is all about slowing down, thinking things through, focusing in on the task at hand, and taking the time to do things right. When life is lived at this pace and with this kind of creative concentration, the mind is set free from the endless chaos, and mental balance and health can once again be restored.
Junk Food Diets, Junk Food Minds
The normal American diet contributes heavily to the mental and psychological problems that are plaguing modern society. Destructive dietary substances like refined sugar, trans fats, preservatives such as sodium benzoate, and many kinds of artificial colorings and flavorings are killing millions of people little by little each day. Americans have been drenched in these ingredients by the junk/processed-food-dominated American diet, and these substances have been linked to depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, and learning problems. The development of the brain is seriously stunted by the over-consumption of nutritionally empty foods, and in the United States this kind of eating has become so commonplace that anyone who tries to eat differently is considered strange.
Off-the-gridders take responsibility for their bodies by growing and raising much of their own food, and this is one of the best ways to guarantee that we are eating things that are safe and chemically uncontaminated. Good physical health is important for self-sufficient living, and the same diets that preserve physical vitality are also those that can help us preserve our psychological and emotional health.
Living as God Intended
Self-reliance sets people free from lifestyles of dependence. When you are dependent on others, they will ultimately exploit you for their own benefit. This is the important thing to remember about American society – because people have not taken responsibility for their own lives, and have not been doing so for a long time, they have set themselves up to be controlled by those who do not have their best interests at heart. Psychological breakdown is the inevitable result of this loss of self-control and independence, and only by finding a way to get off this grid of insanity can people expect to find their own inner voice again. God’s wisdom is all around us, and it can guide us home to psychological health if we begin living again in the way that God intended.