Life as Plunder

La vida como saqueo. Life as plunder. This is the powerful title that Rafael Argullol, one of Spain’s most respected thinkers, uses as the title to his column in today’s (Tuesday, July 2, 2014) edition of El País.

One of the most striking declarations in the article is “La perpetua invitación a la codicia y al fast food vital significan un continuo sabotaje al ejercicio de la libertad.” The perpetual invitation to greed and a fast food lifestyle signify a continual sabotaging of the expression of freedom. Not the freedom of expression, but our actual state of being free, in the most humanistic understanding of what freedom is. This sentence essentially wraps up the overall thrust of the article–that in exchange for our material “liberties” (in every sense, the actual freedom we may have, and the liberties we take regardless of the moral or environmental consequences), we are losing and losing sight of our existential freedom–our moral vision, our pact with life itself and with the world we live in. As Argullol states: “Más importante que el contrato social es el contrato existencial.” More important than the social contract is our existential contract.

This is why I am grateful to be working with films such as The Wisdom to Survive and Awake: The Yogananda Movie. Each in its own way, these films remind us of our spiritual and moral pact with life, remind me (and hopefully others as well), of what our freedom truly is–the freedom to be ourselves, but not in the sense of how we take from the world or how we judge it or others, but to understand who we are, why we exist, and to live in appreciation for the fact of our existence, in harmony with our true nature and the natural world.