Let there be light!

10/05/2008 at 11:07 am (thoughts)

For a good portion of the year 2006, Noel and I lived in a slide-in cab-over camper in the back of our 1978 pickup truck.

Since we didn’t often pay for camping spots with electrical hookups, that meant we relied on flashlights and other battery-powered light sources.

And we quickly (re)learned one of the old-time rules for living … when it gets dark outside, go to bed!

We’ve often lamented since we moved back into a “normal” house that now that we have unlimited electricity being pumped to our house we don’t get enough sleep. It is simply too much a temptation to stay up past dark, you get busy reading or whatever and before you know it it is 11 o’clock at night!

During our time in the camper our bodies were in sync with the sun. We generally went to sleep about an hour after sundown (about the time it really gets dark) and we generally got up a little before sunrise.

And we felt great! I had never felt so good in my life, I am not in any way exaggerating here.

So I’ve been working myself back towards that kind of schedule again. And a couple days ago, I said what the hey and we’ve mostly quit using electric light. And my body has fallen right back into that sync. The past two days, about an hour after sunset I get unbearably sleepy and I go to bed. And I’ve gotten up about 30 minutes or so before sunrise (when it starts getting light out).

I’ve believed that our bodies tell us everything we need to know about them for a long time. But I never applied it to sleep for whatever reason. The last two days have shown me that my body tells me when it needs sleep. When I get sleepy I go to bed, when I wake up my body tells me if it has had sufficient rest.

This great modern society of ours that keeps us up way past when we should be asleep and then forces us to own noisy little machines to insure that we’re up in time for whatever is really a harmful way to live.

The other thing that has really been hitting hard on me lately is just how ignorant most folks really are. “Modern” folk seem to think that there has never been any other kind of life other than what we have now. They simply cannot — or will not — imagine life without all the techno-gadgets we have today.

And this is very evident when researching the topic of non-electric (specifically referring to off-grid) lighting. The last two days we have relied almost completely upon flashlights and our one oil lamp for lighting. I’ve read a good bit on this subject in the past, but I thought I’d do some more reading today.

The very biggest problem with non-electric lighting is that it is non-electric light. Folks today think that our grid-tied electrical lights are normal. They are not! They are completely and utterly abnormal! They fly completely in the face of the God-ordained division of day and night. It feels completely wrong walking into the store where I work after dark to find it just as bright as day.

There are alternatives to grid-tied lights that are just as bright. But to us they are prohibitively expensive and just as wasteful. And ultimately it all comes down to the fact that we need a complete and utter shift in mindset to survive the coming times.

Our high-living based on cheap energy is (sooner or later) coming to an end. We as a people really need to come to grips with this. And all these “solutions” that look and act just like what we have today simply will not work, because they are just as wasteful.

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