New Zealand, like the rest of the Western world, suffers from a distinct lack of holistic and organic living. Here, in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, in a land that could afford its founders the opportunity to subsist in a traditional and spiritual manner, the populace is burdened by incessant consumerist living. This represents a life that dwells in the material realm. This realm, for many of our people, lacks any semblance of life as our ancestors knew it; any step away from this spiritual wasteland is vital to alter the future’s course for our betterment. We must assess and redress the modern mentality which plagues the minds of our contemporaries.
In order to survive in the present era, one must work in a post-agricultural and post-industrial society–such as New Zealand’s– which fails to meet the spiritual needs of our people. By means of what can be understood as economic rationalism, every aspect of our lives is subject to a rationalisation that factors in the monetary worth of each and everything in order to place it on a neoliberal, capitalist hierarchy. This is not to deny the importance of food, shelter, and warmth in our continued existence, but one must take into consideration the void that is opened up when one’s existence is determined by the monetary value multinational corporations and manipulated markets place on seemingly arbitrary resources and products. This phenomenon exhumes deeper levels of our being and places to the wayside the arguably trivial realities such as immigration, austerity, crime rates, and foreign policy. This is not to negate these often-vital issues, but it is to elucidate our hierarchy of needs. For, to be able to sustain one’s people in this diseased, deracinated, and globalised world, one must be able to cultivate oneself beyond the material realm in which these issues exist in.
As Jacques Ellul discusses in The Technological Society, this rationalisation of all elements of society into deliberate action in order to foster economic prosperity converts spontaneous action by individuals into deliberate action. Each deliberate action, now understood in economic terms, represents the practice of a technique that has transmuted a person’s individual spirit into an economic unit. This now-contrived action epitomises economic rationalism, which, as Ellul wrote, places all those who follow the same technique into a tacit fraternity with a collective attitude towards a reality that revolves around this economic technique. As such, it is vital that every individual extricates themselves from this economic rationalisation of life in order to move towards a greater understanding of themselves.
One’s mind must be set towards overcoming one’s material wants in an effort to perturb the further destruction of one’s spiritual potential. Contemporarily, society’s inability to foster transcendental thinking within its populace represents a significant threat to our overall health. Because, as we know, the spiritual is essential to one’s mental and overall well-being. Without our striving for the transcendental elements of ourselves, the material world in which we presently exist whereby our people anaesthetise themselves with trivial entertainment as well as through substance abuse will lead us deeper into the spiritless void.
If this dispirited existence, which is dominated by a culture that views life through a material lens, continues to remain prevalent, there is little need to concern oneself with immigration and foreign policy. These issues will always be essential, but, without our spirit, we are nothing; we are akin to the atomized individuals of the multicultural streets we are forced to share with outsiders. We must regain and retain our once-great spirit to bring ourselves out of this tumultuous, degenerate, and spiritless void of modernity. Each and every one of us must strive to reach our highest potential in the ethereal, spiritual realm.