Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 21 to 34 of 34

Thread: Re assimilating

  1. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    16,971

    Default

    Good stuff TW. Your passion for Nature is truly appreciated. Your pts are certainly commendable and valid.

    TW, people can embrace 'Mrs' Nature taking different approaches equally as valid as yours. I recall you nicely reminding me of the same thing. We don't all arrive at a deep love of Nature " getting it" having taken the 8 yrs squatting on land in a teepee approach although personally speaking that sounds truly awesome. Consider Native Americans had a deep respect and intimate living connection with Nature as seasonal roamers.

    TW, you asked "Why just those thirty days?" I think Gbolt and yourself answered your question when you wrote: "The crazy thing is that the treatment is only found in returning to nature for short periods of time to allow re-entry into both worlds at once!" and specifically yourself, "...you don't have to live outdoors permanently to love what's left of wilderness."


    We're getting off topic but what may help is to consider adopting a worldview that humanity is not separate and above the environment and Nature but an integrated part of it. To appreciate and experience the natural environment and Nature it does not have to be devoid of humanity. I think that's one aspect of what was being stated here:

    “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”
    Chief Seattle

    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
    John Muir

    “Conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with our Abrahamic concept of land. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

    Aldo Leopold

    “Civilization has so cluttered this elemental man-earth relationship with gadgets and middlemen that awareness of it is growing dim. We fancy that industry supports us, forgetting what supports industry.”

    Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There

    “The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: 'What good is it?”
    Aldo Leopold

    “The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”

    William Blake

  2. #22

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lonehiker View Post
    I don't get it. I can understand a soldier/airmen that has deployed for a year having issues assimilating back into our society. But, someone on vacation that has been into town probably weekly and in fact probably connected on a daily basis? Give me a break...
    What counts is not the length of time but the experience itself, and i totally get what he's talking about. Even just a few hours of a day hike in Harriman/Bear mountain state Park or the Hudson Highlands Preserve (on the east shore), are enough to put me in a deep state of melancholy when I come back to NYC, to the noise, the dirt, the pollution, the crowding, the indifference of the people, the avoidance of eye contact....

  3. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-15-2008
    Location
    Randolph, NH
    Posts
    10,065
    Images
    34

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lonehiker View Post
    I don't get it. I can understand a soldier/airmen that has deployed for a year having issues assimilating back into our society. But, someone on vacation that has been into town probably weekly and in fact probably connected on a daily basis? Give me a break...
    5-6 months on the trail might be a vacation, but it becomes a life style. For some a life style with great appeal.
    A thru hike has set many people on a different path in life then if they had not done it.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  4. #24

    Default

    Weird, I feel this way after a five-nighter.

  5. #25
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-02-2007
    Location
    Rhome, TX / Monroe, NH
    Age
    62
    Posts
    7,424
    Images
    27

    Default

    It's interesting that living in the wilderness and avoiding civilization for any length of time presented a much more difficult challenge before modern (industrialized) civilization and technology came about. Aluminum, nylon, stable packaged foods, transportation, etc. make it easier to get away for even longer periods of time to avoid and escape the very civilization that creates such stuff. Most of us want some of both, albeit in varying proportions. So did Muir, Thoreau, et al. While they definitely "got away", they were also very social people in many ways. I think the biggest challenge these days is what Muir wanted - preservation over conservation. We've conserved while still exploiting enough, perhaps too much, of the land. What's left somewhat wild is precious for being able to get far and long enough away to experience that feeling of a different natural world, and needing to assimilate upon returning because it's different enough.

  6. #26
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-21-2014
    Location
    Dayton, Ohio
    Age
    58
    Posts
    616

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    5-6 months on the trail might be a vacation, but it becomes a life style. For some a life style with great appeal.
    A thru hike has set many people on a different path in life then if they had not done it.
    Well stated... I never thought of it as a vacation but a change in lifestyle, if only for a short six months. (That’s not to say that I don’t understand that there are similarities to a vacation, as far as a lack of responsibility as part of the normal matrix). However, as Dogwood effectively illustrated, the change in lifestyle does seem to reconnect us to an existence deep within our being. Something stirring deep within our core that doesn’t seem to thrive as well in a more modern setting. I agree strongly, that experiencing nature set me and many on a different path than if we had not done it!
    "gbolt" on the Trail

    I am Third

    We are here to help one another along life's journey. Keep the Faith!

    YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCik...NPHW7vu3vhRBGA

  7. #27
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    16,971

    Default

    One of the great causes of conflict lies in who gets to and how civilization is defined, and who gets to record historical accounts.

    It's profoundly exampled in the great schism in how Native American Indians verse the Colonists, mostly Europeans, and later U.S. govt including the then President Andrew Jackson defined civilization and civilized peoples. It's been used widely as justification by those accustomed to European cultural tendencies and how adherents define civilized societies to subjugate, murder innocents, engage in massive theft, and extortion of those conveniently labeled as "savages" or uncivilized.

    I am going to venture that the man who sat on the ground in his tipi meditating on life and its meaning, accepting the kinship of all creatures, and acknowledging unity with the universe of things was infusing into his being the true essence of civilization.

    - Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Lakota Sioux (1868-1939)

  8. #28
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-23-2016
    Location
    Virginia
    Age
    25
    Posts
    112

    Default

    I hiked the Camino in 2015 and even though it's much more "civilized" than the AT, I found adjustment to transportation more jarring after those 5 weeks than over 5 months on the AT because the entire 5 weeks on the Camino, I traveled exclusively on foot. On the AT this year, I usually hitched or shuttled once a week or more.

    Having lived in a few different countries (hello from Malaysia! Just got here yesterday.) I'm familiar with assimilation in its more conventional definition, and I found the culture shock of trail life and then reverse culture shock of post-trail life were a similar experience to changing countries. There were fewer mental adjustments (no language barrier or clash of values/identity or general uncertainty-- Katahdin makes for a clear objective and the blazes make for a clear direction!) but more physical ones (the miles, obviously, but also living/sleeping outdoors in all weather, diet changes, etc).

    It was the physical part that I found especially challenging when re-assimilating. I was both fatigued and pretty seriously ill by the end of my hike, so I was unable to maintain even a semblance of the hiker activity level in my first two weeks after finishing. So instead of slowly weaning myself off constant exercise like I planned, I went from thru-hiking to completely sedentary and it was like crashing a car into a brick wall. All my exercise and fresh air endorphins were just gone, and I felt like an addict in withdrawal. Luckily, after about 10 days, my health problems were mostly resolved and I was able to start running and hiking, and I felt a lot more balanced again after another week or two.

    My last few weeks on the trail were cold and wet (except for an absolutely perfect summit day!!) and due to the aforementioned ailments, I was pretty thankful for a roof over my head and a soft bed and fresh food when I first finished. But within a month, I was missing trail life. I'm a bit of a junkie for change, and without new challenges to adapt to, I get stir-crazy, so here I am in Malaysia. Work starts Monday, but I still miss the trail.
    A.T. 2018 Thru-hike Hopeful
    Follow along at www.tefltrekker.com

  9. #29
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    16,971

    Default

    Verse the common European based versions chosen:

    Civilization - the comfort and convenience of modern life, regarded as available only in towns and cities. The stage of human social and cultural development and organization that is considered most advanced.

    We complacently adopt these cultural beliefs, rarely ever seriously questioning them.


    There's a tendency to perceive one's own human social and cultural development as most advanced and therefore the "right" way for other civilizations to "progress", to "advance" even if it means by forced subjugation,... justified by 'it is for their or overall better good.'
    That tactic has been utilized many times for justifying some of history's greatest atrocities.


    Interestingly, the same vocabulary sources also include another possible definition, the version most vanquishers choose to ignore: Civilization - the society, culture, and way of life of a particular area. - WHICH LEAVES OPEN THE POSSIBILITY THAT IT CAN BE JUST AS VAILD...BUT DIFFERENT!

    Less judgment in the last definition version. Dependent on what version is adopted has profound global and national consequences.


    OR


    Civilization -
    A civilization or civilization is any complex society characterized by urban development, social stratification imposed by a cultural elite, symbolic systems of communication, and a perceived separation from and domination over the natural environment.

    That definition is based on the Abrahamic worldview - that humanity in all its diversity is and has to be perceived and organized along the BELIEF - the worldview - that it(humanity) is separate from the Natural environment and must dominate over it...with domination also variably defined according to often self serving whims.

    This worldview is intrinsic to U.S. culture...and we rarely are aware of it.

    John Muir, of European ancestry, a Caucasian, was open to adopting a different worldview too, and noting differences in worldview, and the consequences often involved in ignoring it, when he said:

    “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity”
    John Muir, Our National Parks

    “The world, we are told, was made especially for man — a presumption not supported by all the facts.”
    John Muir, A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf


    So how can all this apply to hiking in wilderness, the backcountry, less influenced by cultural norms, the way we customarily define civilization...possibly quite a bit?


    In trying to 're-assimilate' we might want to ask ourselves what specifically have we disconnected from and what we want to re-assimilate, reconnect to...? And, to what degree? When the versions are profoundly juxtaposed and for often the first time we become intimately aware of different versions...after sobering up from our own intoxicating subliminal familiar unquestioned cultural norms... is when and ...why... some... have...problems...'Culturally sobering up' can create internal conflicting mental and spiritual dialogues and societal and personal lifestyle constructs between new awarenesses and old. This can threaten the hierarchical structures to which we identify.


    U.S. military serving abroad can experience this too, possibly less so if still serving under U.S. cultural norms, albeit somewhat more loosely, established within the fabric of U.S. military operating in foreign lands. Even if in a different land the underlying worldview - the beliefs- the mindset -are most often rigidly and unquestionably still in place. That can also explain why some backpackers don't come away with a new or adjusted - worldview. There hiking experiences still revolved around a basic familiar cultural sphere of influence, albeit perhaps looser, but still close enough in character to their off trail cultural tendencies. Organizing your hike that way can make it less difficult to re-assimilate, to reintegrate IF seeking to return fully to the past.


    That can possibly be one of the greatest consequences of a LD or certainly shorter hike or time outside of cultural norms - breaking free of being a cultural robot, becoming a more critical thinker, becoming less narrow minded, one who questions the answers presumed one will adopt.

    Thats what Mark Twain was talking about when he said:
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”...

  10. #30
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-02-2007
    Location
    Rhome, TX / Monroe, NH
    Age
    62
    Posts
    7,424
    Images
    27

    Default

    We (collectively) are besieged by so many first world problems. Add "assimilating back into the modern world" after going off hiking - with our titanium and cuben fiber widgets produced in the cities by the factories of this civilization from which we simply must escape. THIS modern world is the only world that we will ever know. As were the then modern worlds of Muir, Twain, and all others before and after. And try as one might, one cannot escape it. It follows you into the woods as sure as the very pack full of widgets on your back. And it will always be waiting for you when you return.

    We tend to romanticize our heroes' lives. While Muir, Twain, and Thoreau are remembered mostly for their literary and philosophical contributions, yet they were all part of the modern worlds of their day. Muir held many jobs in his youth as a craftsman and later spent decades managing commercial orchards and also being very active politically; Twain was a river pilot and later involved (unsuccessfully) in developing typesetting machines; Thoreau modernized and engineered the production of pencils in his family's factory. And, of course, they wrote - A LOT! Yes, they all "suffered" from wanderlust. Yes, they all enjoyed escaping to a more simple existence - especially Muir. They sought then, as many of us do now, to understand the balance between civilization and wilderness, and how to live between the two. And as Thoreau figured out, the train representing the encroachment of technology and negative impact on human experience, regardless of his opinion of it, was never going to go away.

    Having some trouble re-assimilating after an experience outside "civilization" is a good sign. It means we found what we were seeking.
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 01-12-2019 at 15:21.

  11. #31
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-18-2005
    Location
    Cheyenne, WY
    Age
    55
    Posts
    1,288

    Default

    The only assimilating I've ever had to do, excluding military service, after extended long distance hikes is to look left and right at intersections...
    Lonehiker

  12. #32
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    16,971

    Default

    Ford is introducing a new high powered vehicle called Civilization. Watch for it when crossing the street.

  13. #33

    Default

    This is one of the best online discussions of long-distance hiking I've read. Thank you.

  14. #34

    Default

    After many decades of long distance hiking and endurance running events my new rule is to do nothing that lasts longer than I want it to last. I went through a lot of miserable experiences to find this simple wisdom.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •