Have you ever given much thought to how humans lived millions of years ago?
Rudá Iandê has. He’s a world-renowned shaman and shares the powerful insight that we are nomadic by nature in the video below.
It’s a short video (less than 5 mins) and really got me thinking about our perceived need to control the world around us.
Before mortgages, cars, office jobs, and any of the modern luxuries we have now, what were we actually like?
We didn’t always live such sedentary lives as we do now. We were, much like wild animals, tethered to nature’s moods and whims. As nomads, we didn’t make the world adjust to us – we adjusted for the world.
We foraged what we could see, followed flocks to hunt meat, and moved wherever necessary when the climate didn’t cooperate.
For the majority of human beings’ 2.5 million years in existence, we lived as nomads. It wasn’t until about 10,000 years ago that we had the means to settle down in one permanent place.
And if most of our species’ existence were spent living in nomadic ways, it isn’t unreasonable to think that we may well be going against our nature to live in such a sedentary state.
It isn’t going too far to say that maybe we would be happier if we go back a little to our nomadic ways.
We are not meant to sit around
New York Times wellness writer, Gretchen Reynolds inspired many people with her article, “Born to Move.” She asks a bold question:
“Are we fighting thousands of years of evolutionary history and the best interests of our bodies when we sit all day?”
She highlighted a fascinating recent study of the Hadza people, a tribe of hunter-gatherers living in Tanzania.
The Hadza people, set in their nomadic ways, show excellent cardiovascular health. These people, regardless of their age, engage in moderate to vigorous physical activities daily.
Right now, very few people living in modern societies meet the same level of activity. And scientists in this study aim to prove that we are not meant to sit around all day.
“Researchers have long suggested that human physiological requirements for aerobic exercise reflect an evolutionary shift to a hunting and gathering foraging strategy, and a recent transition to more sedentary lifestyles likely represents a mismatch with our past in terms of physical activity.”
The truth is, our human bodies are not programmed to such sedentary ways. We have legs that are built to move, traverse. We have hands that are meant to find food under the sea and on land. Our limbs are meant to be lithe, fast.
We are, in a nutshell, made like our universe. Our world is moving. Our universe is in constant movement around time and space and dimensions. This is the very nature of life. Thus, it is our very nature, too.
But even more so, our nomadic ways help us tap into our real nature, giving us real meaning.
As nomads, humans went by with the bare minimum, traveling light, acquiring only what is needed. But we have lost our ability to be satisfied like this.
Humans crave security, that is true. We don’t like not knowing where our next meal comes from or when. We like to be in control of our survival.
But in the occurrence of such security, we lose sight of our ability to survive even in not-so-perfect conditions. In truth, we are capable of so much more.
And this false sense of security is so fragile that instinctively it scares us. We kid ourselves into thinking we are in complete control when in truth, we are not meant to be in control.
We are born from the elements of the earth, the universe. At the end of it all, we are merely matter. And when our identities vanish, we go back into the earth. We will have no idea what our energy is going to become next, nor what form we will take. That is our nature.
There is this attachment. Like we are fighting the very nature of us by settling, by attaching to so many material things. And we are not only looking for safety but we can’t avoid accumulating things – power, money, success, knowledge.
In truth, this is not about our craving for security. We are merely craving for movement. And somehow, our desire for movement has become greed for these material and deeply unimportant things.
We can change this.
“The dynamic of life is pushing us to move, to work, to evolve. And when we start realizing that, we can start shifting our minds to see our goals, the places where you want to go, and what we want to achieve.”
Instead of seeing “purpose” as a thing we can grasp, we can look at as a vehicle instead, which allows our dynamic nature to express itself.
We can start teaching our minds to pay attention to the true dynamic of movement, to the fire within us which pushes us in life.
And once we are connected to this mentality, only then can we truly feel and find fulfillment.