Michael Reynolds the Garbage Warrior
You can watch this interview at www.YouTbe.LotusGuide.com
If you haven’t had the opportunity to run into Michael Reynolds, the Garbage Warrior, this is an excellent introduction. We wanted to interview Michael as he really is, a visionary looking toward an uncertain future but tuning into what we need to do in the present moment.
Lotus Guide: I would like to start this interview out with something that I heard from a friend of mine, Bruce Lipton, who is a pioneering microbiologist. We were talking one time and he reminded me of the caterpillar/butterfly analogy and told me something pretty interesting. He said that even though most people are familiar with this analogy, most people aren’t so familiar with what happens in the cocoon stage, which is where the mystery unfolds. When the caterpillar is basically finished almost destroying its environment by eating hundreds of times its own weight, for a reason unknown to the caterpillar it finds a place to hang upside down, spin a cocoon, and basically break down into a chaotic molecular soup. If a person were to open this cocoon, he would see nothing but chaos, but within the chaos there something called imaginative cells. It’s the job of these imaginative cells to tune in to the higher creative frequencies that are responsible for creating the butterfly. In our world we would call these creative cells visionaries and this is where I see the importance of people like yourself. You are looking around our world that seems chaotic but you have a vision of something that most of us see as the garbage created from our past.
So with that I would like to open up the conversation and ask you about what are you doing today at this point in your journey and your vision?
Michael Reynolds: Well, it’s sort of a crescendo type of situation, we started our Academy and it’s actually gone beyond our wildest dreams. Whenever you get people that are eager to evolve and wanting a better world all in one place the energy can really build. It’s almost like having a tiger by the tail. We’re just trying to keep up with everything that’s going on, which is all good. It’s actually an amazing time for this idea because it’s needed so much. And this is a learning process and we’re constantly learning from our mistakes, and part of what you said reminds me of the fact that this technology is actually part of us. We deal with electrical systems, water systems, heating and air-conditioning, which are all at a very precarious point in our civilization right now, but the real problem is in us. I always try to point out to everybody that the real problem is in our mind and in our hearts. We need to learn to live simple and realize that for all of us to live on this planet we need to start doing and living with less. We have a growing population and dwindling resources and so many of our systems are out of control that creating a more simple life is the first step to creating a world that we can all simply live in.
LG: I heard you state in an interview once that “we need to live more simply so others can simply live.”
MR: Actually, it was an economist who originally said that, but it applies to almost everything. When you’re trying to make your own power, collect your own water, and grow your own food, it’s a lot easier if you don’t need as much energy in the first place. Because when you’re making your own power you start thinking about things like: “Do I need to keep these lights on when I’m not using them?” or, “Do I need to water my lawn all night long?” Basically, when you start taking responsibility for your own energy-consumption needs you start using less and this is what it will take to allow everyone on the planet to live.
LG: I remember when my wife, Dhara, came here from Brazil one of the first things she noticed was everyone had a big green lawn that took enormous amounts of water and chemicals to stay green, especially in an area like San Diego. This is why it’s important to get a different perspective on life because now we live out on 10 acres with wind turbines and solar panels and we have a garden out back.
But I’d like to get really real here for a moment, and I realize that you may have more faith in human nature than I do, but the beauty of what you’re talking about is the fact that it’s good for the individual if no one else does it and it’s good for society if we can just get a substantial number of people to start being more sustainable. The problem I see in the United States is the fact that people are so comfortable. One of the things that I’m sure you’ve noticed in other countries is the fact that they’re more open to new ideas like this. I’m curious to hear what your response is to this.
MR: Well, you can go either way. You can say that the world is not going to make it or you can say that we may make it in time, but for me this is all in the future and we’re here, right now, in the present moment. I’m really not looking too far down the line. I’m looking at what I need to do right now and hopefully what we do now will have a positive effect on our future and the future of our children. Basically, we’ve learned a lot about how to survive and make the world a better place, and we just want to share that with as many people as possible.
For instance, when we went to Haiti and we helped the people there after the tsunami, we came back and realized that we had learned more from them; we learned that we can live very simple and still have a great quality of life. The bottom line for me is you never know what the future holds; you just do what you can in the present moment and that’s what we’re doing.
LG: Well, I have to admit that you have a point, because I’m 64 now and experience has shown me repeatedly that most of the things that I’ve ever worried about never happened. And I also know what you mean about people in other countries living simply. I really like how you’ve taken the problem, garbage, and turned it into a solution. This is what we need to do with so many aspects in our civilization, not only housing.
MR: Almost everything in life can be seen as either a solution or a problem. When I see a problem, I work around it until I find a solution. It all has to do with your ability to maneuver, either emotionally, spiritually, or physically. Maneuvering your thinking and your belief systems—when I see a giant tire pile I see a city. I don’t even have a definition in my mind anymore for garbage because I see it as a resource.
LG: Exactly. We live in a small community and I know when I go to the dump about every two months I can see that it’s filling up quickly. I also find it amazing that there’s nothing there allowing you to separate your bottles and cans, but that’s another topic. It’s amazing that we live a life dependent on so many centralized systems and not only are we dependent on the systems, we’re also dependent on a very precarious financial system on top of it.
MR: Well, it’s true that they are breaking down. At the bottom line is what you need right now—you need food, you need water, you need a certain amount of energy. All of this is doable and this is where we live, in the here and the now. And I can’t say this enough: The more simply you learn how to live the happier you’re going to be and the less stress you’ll have. A good example is if you go hiking in the Himalayas and take a heavy pack, you only do this one time because you learned real quick that you’ll have a much better time taking just what you need. We’ve taken a heavy pack out into the world and we’re learning that if you take a lighter pack you have a better life. It doesn’t matter if you’re wealthy or poor. We can all learn something from each other and this is about all of us, not just the 17 percent in the developed world that can afford a mortgage. We’re looking for a method of living on this planet than involves 100 percent of the people. By traveling all over the planet and visiting other countries, we are learning what it’s going to take to do this and it’s been an amazing adventure so far. I remember 25 years ago writing in the book that there are clouds on the horizon, so take shelter.
You can watch this interview and many others at www.YouTube.LotusGuide.com, where you will hear much more about this system of building homes that everyone can afford to live in. Be sure to watch the documentary, Garbage Warrior. Along with this online interview, we will post some very interesting videos about Michael Reynolds and his vision.