Bad faith (from French, mauvaise foi) is a philosophical concept used by existentialist philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir to describe the phenomenon where a human being under pressure from societal forces adopts false values and disowns his/her innate freedom to act authentically. It is closely related to the concepts of self-deception and ressentiment.
This is how Jason Heppenstall finished up his last blog at 22billionenergyslaves. This sentiment is surprisingly synchronistic for me, which ironically is becoming no longer surprising. Why is this irony? Or perhaps a better question to ask is why is this synchronistic? It's ironic because I should not have to be reminded of this truth, but I found myself in great need of it. It's synchronistic because of the timing of the reminder. I had the need just now to be reminded of it's truth. Forgive me if I have misused the term irony. I've heard that it's a terribly misused literary term which I have hopefully bullshitted my way around misusing. Perhaps I should say the whole thing is simply serendipitous and leave it at that. Whatever the case may be, that is to say whether this whole thing is ironic, or synchronistic, or serendipitous, or the most likely combination of all three...it has sparked an unforeseen hitch in the giddyup for the story at Epiphany Now. So forgive me while I indulge in an ironic post on the matter (since this should be a continuation of the Whoville clusterfuck I find myself living...and since I now find myself trying to misuse the term). I'll return to the regularly scheduled program after this unforeseen gallivant unfolds (also one should read this blog to have a further understanding of the verbal spewage ahead).
In his last post, Jason breaks people down into four categories, which I will sum up succinctly. Those categories are the predator, the flake, the robot, and the genuine person. The predator is the guy who will bomb your ass and take your gas, or a typical American. The flake is the guy who will simply shit himself and then attach himself to the nearest predators asshole as a hopeful self preservation tactic. Or he'll just simply decompose in place and blow away. The robot is the guy who operates 100% in the American Hologram Program. He's the worshiper of the myth of progress paradigm I wrote about here. The authentic person is as rare as a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. He's the guy who is trying to, as Joseph Campell outlined, live authentically. This is the guy I've been trying my damn hardest to be my entire life. Yet I've only known this consciously for the last year or so. I knew it when I resigned from the Hologram (I think it's time to put "the Matrix" to bed here due to my overuse of the term...I'll now be referring to it as simply the hologram). I also forget from time to time and find myself a victim of bad faith. Thanks to Jason I think I will be successfully navigating around this pit fall for once. Which is a great thing seeing as how I don't exactly have a gps for my actions out here in the Wasteland I have inherited due to my resignation. Personally I think the majority of the people out there are predator flake robots which would be a fifth category. That is to say that when the chips are down they'll fuck you cause they're scared shitless robots with no operating system left since it blinked out of existence cause America ran out of juice to program the hologram. I think one would be wise to understand this so as to not be deluded about things. To be clear, I'm unfortunately an American, so I'm talking about Americans in America cause this is America...and these colors don't run. America.
The point of Jason's last blog, in my opinion, was to point out that the best strategy for living in these uncertain times is to meet authentic people and befriend them now. Surround yourself with authentic people to insulate yourself from the predator flake robots which have fruitfully multiplied thanks to all of the petroleum (these people are what I commonly refer to as zombies...or Americans). This is great advice. The only problem is the bit I outlined about the authentic person. They are rarer than a lyger unicorn. Even when people think they are being authentic they are still operating under the American Hologram Program. I know this because I actively pursue authenticity as a lifestyle, and yet still find myself occasionally being sucked back into this black hole out of a perceived need because of bad faith. It's my belief that societal pressure is mostly the hologram asserting it's dominance on people.
The truth is that we all have the freedom to act authentically. We also have the freedom to be sick poor and hungry which is what the hologram wants you to believe will happen to you if you don't tow the mark. On the outside looking in this appears to be the truth. It takes money to live. This is true regardless of your awareness of the holograms active thaumaturgy (as an aside, if you don't know, thaumaturgy is how the hologram controls your mind and John Michael Greer has written pretty extensively about it at the Arch Druid Report). Money is the vacuum that constantly tries to suck you back into the Hologram. It's been said that nature abhors a vacuum, but money is not natural, and what nature abhors are the whores of the myth of progress paradigm. The parasites on the surface of Gaia. It's sickening how we waste, and in that waste become diseased. However, as Pepper has said, it takes money just to live. I wish this were not true.
Lately I have found myself seriously contemplating a job. This makes me feel hypocritical and inauthentic. It doesn't make me that, but it makes me feel that. My wife is preggers with our second child. She is the one in this union whom has shown a willful talent for collecting the money that we need. I am only good at managing the money once it arrives. I'm good at making a dollar spend like two due to an inherited financial thrift. A financial magic. However, inflation, and the lack of a job on my part, has been fucking with that inheritance of late. Hence the contemplation, by myself, on the job. My prudent alarm has been going off because my wife is pregnant. I need a way to make money during the pregnancy...or is it just the hologram working its thaumaturgy via a back door? Societal pressure attempting to strip me of authenticity. I'm feeling vulnerable, and defensive, and so I'll take this opportunity to state that I'm not lazy, and I'm not afraid to work. What I am afraid of is losing the scent on this trail that I've been following. That's what results in bad faith. In my case, good faith would be believing that I'm following the right scent. I have faith, as well as some empirical experience to back this up, that the money will present itself to us in due time. That's one of the side effects of following your bliss.
Why should it be that a job would be inauthentic for me? Is it just that I'm allergic to groveling at the boot of Corporate America? Is it that I don't want a government check to arrive in the mailbox with my name on it? Many of those checks arrive in the mail box at the house I live in...they just don't have my name on them. They arrive due to disability and a dead Master Sergeant's pension. I'm just playing the part of family benefiting from this governmental pittance. This is how I managed to resign from the program and still get what I need. Only now I need 3500 dollars to pay the midwife (since resigning from the hologram awards you with no medical insurance for you and your family here in America) so that my wife can feel comfortable birthing our child at a birthing center. Not the hospital...Gaia willing. The hospital is more dangerous than trying to give birth in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11, and it comes with antibiotic resistant staphylococcus and a $10,000 bill that you must pay so as to avoid financial ruin, all cause you wanted to procreate . This pulling in the direction of the hologram is being caused by the pregnancy. The problem is not that I'm scared to work, it's that I'm scared to lose my authenticity. They will pay me around 10 dollars an hour. That's the going rate for menial servitude to the hologram. I'm at my wits end where this whole thing is concerned. I've been seriously contemplating tending bar again because it's the only thing I can imagine doing without devolving into full blown depression about my lot in life. An unemployable nuclear engineer medic. Unemployable because I don't play well with the program. Never have. What is a father to do?
People that wake up to the mess civilization is in all want to know what to do about it? It's the first reaction one typically encounters when faced with our civilization's petroleum induced clusterfuck. Where do I go? What do I do to assure I'll be able to acquire my needs for life? Food, shelter, warmth, stability, security. After all there are Zombies in dem dare woods. Those zombies make that cabin sort of dangerous don't they. People generally don't get along intentionally which is why most intentional living situations require lots of sitting around arguing about money...essentially. It takes money to live.
I can tell you that the fuckers with all the money know that this ship is sinking. While I was learning and practicing permaculture this last spring and summer, I had the good fortune to receive proof of this. Three business men who's business it is to insure insurance hired our leaders to create a "cabin in the woods" to support three entire families off of the land (approximately 30 people). They want it to be a self sustaining mountain oasis outside of Asheville NC. They intend on flying their jets from Florida to the location when the shit hit's the fan. They think this event is a couple of years away. They insure insurance. Remember AIG? The whole order is tall and impossible, but it isn't stopping the leaders of permaculture from taking their money and doing the best job that they can designing this impossibility. The average person can't afford to delude themselves about what to do. These pricks happen to belong to that club. You know the club where your membership makes as much money as you want appear in your bank account forever. Eventually the jokes gonna be on their rich predator flake robot asses. They don't even want any grounds keepers to hold this permaculture miracle in place in the interim between now and the completely fucked global financial collapse that they have foretold. Why? Because they are afraid that if they employ any locals then the zombies will know about their mountain oasis and come take all of their elderberries, mushrooms, and chickens once the apocalypse happens.
The question remains...what are we, the awakened ones, to do about it? Am I to tend bar in this interim? I hope not. I'm going to hold my position out here in the wasteland. The price of admittance back into the hologram for money is too steep. I don't see how serving people their poison for money is going to increase my authenticity. I can't get back on the meat wagon because it's powered by governmental bureaucracy bull shit. All of the work I could go grovelling for is corporately owned and operated. So what do we do? We look for the ternary to break the holograms binary between bad credit and a job. A way to make money that does not require any loss of authenticity or service to the hologram. Here is to conjuring the Druid Permaculture Gypsy Magic Hustle. Hopefully it will pay for the next beautiful life that my wife is busy with, just now, creating. One thing I know to be true. One thing that I know is not bad but good faith. You have more to lose working a corporate job then you have to gain. I'm doing my part to turn the power off from the hologram generator. Are you?
Good Faith (as defined by me): Faith that following your bliss will result in everything you need to live a happy and fulfilling life.