From Zen and the Beat Way (Alan Watts):
Agriculture and industrialism … have created a glut of material goods and a great poverty of time. Most people have a way of life devoid of everything except maintaining and servicing their material existence 12 to 14 hours every day. In contrast, the Aborigines [spent] 12 to 14 hours a day in cultural pursuit. (quoting Robert Lawlor‘s 1990 book on Australian Aboriginal culture, Voices of the First Day).
Imagine what your life would be like if you spent 12-14 hours a day in “cultural pursuit,” i.e. meaningful activity — the stuff you do when you consider you’re having fun. Come to think of it, rich people do have that opportunity, and on the whole they don’t seem to make much of it. Without a wide cultural context, maybe it’s impossible. But i want to give it a try.
[In] essence, mystical experience and ecological awareness [are] simply two ways of talking about the same experience.
That is a profound statement — one i find suffused with hope, in that “ecological awareness” is starting to make deep sense to people in the West.