Today we are happy to bring you a transcription from Sam Keen's "The Future of Heroism". as he explores past visions of heroes, finding your own heroic image, and what forms of heroism the future may call for.
I've led groups into Bhutan which is high up in the Himalayas between India and China. It's the only really lively Thai Buddhist culture that's still agriculture, 96% of people still own lands and farm lands. It's a truly indigenous culture, in the way that, say, American Indians are no longer and indigenous culture. They live the way they have lived for thousands of years.
It's very interesting to watch those people and their idea of the future. Their idea of the future is essentially the same as their idea of the past. They don't want things to change because they're tilling fields in the same way they have for thousands of years, and those fields are still fertile and still produce the same way that they had. And the village structure is the same. And you don't find there the kind of restlessness that we have in Western culture, and the kind of greed.
And this year, I did something that continues really to shock me. I came out, instead of going through Bhutan, and I came out through India and I went to Calcutta. And that's an experience that will shake you philosophically more than almost anything that I can imagine.
You go into Calcutta, and Calcutta is the most polluted, hell hole of the world. It has the kind of poverty that you can't imagine, people living on the streets, not the way we live on the streets. I mean whole families living on the street, literally watching themselves in the water that comes off of toilets, and polluted in a way that would make Los Angeles seem like Montana.