Discovering the Primal Path

We have noticed an ever-increasing interest in people to return to a more primal, basic lifestyle, necessitated, no doubt, by living in an over-complicated modern society. People are fed up with struggle, debt management, over-taxation, competition, inflation and the uncertainty of rising unemployment and dwindling natural resources. Whatever the reason, we hope our 2 acre EarthStar Primal Habitat project will serve as a living demonstration, a lifestyle reflective of the conclusions we have reached about a modest, humane way to live in harmony with the earth and ourselves.

Several years ago we were looking for a cheaper way to live to minimize the high cost of utilities, food and the other basics of life. That pursuit inevitably led us to an interest in the Essene writings, translated by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely and his idea of a simple dwelling known as the "B.E.L.L." (Biogenic Ecodesic Living Lighthouse  simple because of its circular design and 22 windows which provide natural ventilation and lighting. The word biogenic means "life generating", and the B.E.L.L. is a self sustaining living unit that takes advantage of natural air, heat and light to help facilitate optimal human health. One can actually live in this particular dwelling with little or no electricity, relying on the windows, a small fan and wood stove in winter.

Eventually, we realized that such a humble dwelling would be almost impossible to live in without a radical shift in diet. That led us to the discovery of sprouting and indoor gardening as a realistic and practical approach to reducing the high cost of food by learning how to grow our own salad greens in jars, small buckets and trays. As can be expected, our level of health and vitality soared to the point that we’ve never felt better in our lives.

Our interest in simple living is an example only. We feel it is but one possibility, a way to walk a middle path between over-consumptive affluence and devastating poverty. It is how one can experience voluntary creative simplicity, while still going to work, paying for taxes, insurance, transportation, medical expenses despite the entrapments of present day society. We can’t go back to living in primitive villages, but we can learn to adapt and navigate through these obstacles without having to compromise the innate longing for a humble life, which is often regarded as rich living from a perspective of higher attunement with the earth.

As a species, humans seem to have lost the fundamental sense of what a natural life consists of. The frenzied, materialistic, consumer oriented mass consciousness in our culture, has left many of us feeling unfulfilled, stressed out, unhealthy and trapped in a society that no longer makes any sense. This is how we were feeling when we met in 1992. Since then, we have been exploring the idea of conscious living, chosen from the heart of our true values.

We have learned that in order to successfully live in a small dwelling, in a natural setting; a strong foundation of health and energy is of paramount importance to do the kind of physical work required for building and gardening. In our opinion, diet is the most important key to living the highest level of simplicity possible. A simple, plant-based diet is the secret skill to realizing profound freedom and superior health from the entanglement of rising food, shelter and medical expenses.

Through our simple diet of sprouted greens, raw fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, as well as simply prepared cooked meals of whole grains or soups, we’ve been able to experience a valuable financial rippling effect. We are finally to the point now where we can grow a large portion of our food indoors on the windowsills of the B.E.L.L., catch rainwater exclusively, and seldom pay more than $10.00 per month for electricity! And this is all due to the fact that we have decided to move toward a basic, "primal" lifestyle, one that is more earth-conscious and respectful of the environment.

We no longer have "esoterically useless" philosophies, which contribute nothing to living a life of integrity and inner peace. To quote a Native American elder named Sun Bear, "If your philosophy doesn’t grow corn, I don’t want to hear it". We agree. The life skills that we are learning have become our true wealth, the ability to require very little cash in order to live, a conservation of financial and environmental resources. The more primal we can become, acquiring only the basics of life such as shelter, food, clothing, good friends and artistic expression, the more satisfying the whole of life becomes. It has been our experience that the ingredients to satiating our basic longings in life are to downsize, modify and create space. This has reconnected us with the essential, primal consciousness and facilitated a state of being where we have found everything we truly value, such as peace, an open heart, joy and appreciation of the simple things.

We realize now the importance of developing life-skills that are conducive to a life of self-reliance and inner peace. But unless there is a willingness within each one of us to change our hearts and minds about the planet and the environment, regarding her as a living being rather than a piece of real estate, there is little hope in our achieving the kind of transformative connection with nature that brings fulfillment to the human heart. Man’s place is here on planet earth, not out in space, floating in billion dollar metal contraptions. We exist because we have come out of the earth. Our bodies were made from the elements in the soil and our greatest insights and discoveries about ourselves come from an intimate connection with the earth. We call it "primal conscious living" because the natural world holds everything we could possibly need and want.

L. Kevin Johnson
Donna E. Philippe
January 1999

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