Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This Industrial Heaven

There are those who say we can find perfect fulfillment by our openness to what is given in life, seeing that we ourselves are given. It's what they call the essential nature of grace, that many, going down a blind path, conceptualize and unwittingly turn away from.

All that is well and good as far as it goes, of course. But a more mature approach sees the true fulfillment in nothing so spacious, ambiguous, and undefinable. Instead, we see the real fulfillment in simply hammering away, getting in there and doing something. Working with our hands, letting our mind lead us in the experience of production. Being industrious.

Before I got into industrialism, looking back on it now, I can see I was just as unhappy as millions of others. I would try to find the elusive prize in nature, or I'd try to open myself, like I said above, to things that couldn't be adequately pinned down. And again, like many, I saw there was always more promise than delivery in that life.

But then I came to realize that the true heaven is the heaven of our own making, by building, horsetrading, selling, and the other experiences of industrialism. This industrial heaven is one that is not far off in the future never to be attained in fact, but it's right here, right now, attainable by every man.

If you've got the hunger for it, this freedom ... If you've got the desire to go beyond, to attain the promise ... then, really, I have to say, get on board. It's here for every man, every man who's willing to work for it ...

What you do is what the others of us in the Residential Industrial Movement are doing: You come up with some kind of industrial works right where you live -- whatever you choose -- and you plug yourself into it immediately, without delay. You come up with something that's either being made already or something that you've just now dreamt of. If it can be made, make it and sell it!

The outcome is a lot like the promise of art, without the great need for talent or existing museums to hang your masterpieces in. The promise of art is that you'll have fulfillment beyond measure just by daubing some paint randomly on a canvas like any monkey can do. Of course that's ridiculous. But this -- all the aspects of this industrial heaven as I've described them -- is true, 150% true! And within reach.

I know a guy -- nobody could do a thing with him. He was in his '40s and was still a juvenile delinquent. The guy was so bad you wished a terrorist would kill him. Art therapy, music therapy, religious intercession, and even the threat of prison -- tough love -- did him no good. Before long, he was getting tattoos and just generally making a nuisance of himself. It was so constant his caregivers never got breaks. He'd spit at you ... or worse. Most of them resigned or themselves had to be committed.

Then this guy -- Life itself hated his guts -- got a taste of industrialism. One of his neighbors, not really trying to spur him into action, consciously, showed him he could do things with his hands. This guy put his hand to a small task -- in this case it was cutting out pieces of wax paper to be used as the membrane in hearing aids. And just like that, he was hooked. Within a week he had a whole industry on his lot, including the smokestack (!), and he's been making "baker's dozen" egg cartons ever since, an ingenious innovation of an old standard, with a space for a 13th egg!

His story is a happy one. He loves it. And we wish him well.

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