What 'The Jungle' Really Means

"A bird born in a cage thinks that flying is an illness.”

Some of you might have noticed that I’ve been taking time off my Jungle Pants project in recent weeks. About a week every five weeks or so.

It’s probably not something that most small business owners would do, but I feel I really had no choice. My body and my soul needed this “jungle time”, and I’d rather decrease my needs than be a slave of them.

After all, how much do we really need? And what is it that truly fulfills us?

I know many people who put comfort first, and are willing to compromise their freedom, their integrity, even their physical and mental health just to keep a certain level of comfort. In a way, it seems our entire civilization is built upon this attitude. 

For me, this never worked. Just the opposite. I feel most alive when I give up the comforts of our society and go into the wild. Sure, there are challenges. And there can be a feeling of lack. But at the end of the day, it’s being in nature that makes me feel rejuvenated, invigorated with life, fully human.

And it makes me think about our dominant culture. Are the sci-fi images of humans merging with machines and leaving this planet really the future we want? I mean, where are we headed? And what does it actually mean to be a human? What do we want it to mean?

As a species, we’ve gone so far from our source, thinking that we’re somehow above nature, and that we can dominate and exploit it in any way necessary to fulfill our desires. We’ve lost the connection, forgotten that our very bodies are made out of the same stuff, from the same Earth, our true mother that we are looking down upon so arrogantly.

Coming back to the city.

Bangkok, a modern megalopolis of almost 10 million people. Every time I come here, it looks more and more like a weird mixture of Blade Runner, Elysium, and Mad Max. With it’s huge and ever more frequent video billboards, its super luxurious shopping malls, and its canals filled with toxic water.

A culmination of ego, ingrained with ignorance and selfishness. The values being pushed here are personal achievement, ‘success’, survival of the fittest. Actually, the cruelest. 

Some people literally live in the air, moving between buildings in helicopters, seldom even going down to the ground. As the air down below becomes less and less breathable.

No, I see where this is going… If this is success, you can have it. 

And in a way, I’m grateful to the city. Grateful for showing me this contrast, for making it so very clear how special and beautiful the jungle really is. 

Thank you, city. And goodbye.