La Paz, Baja, Mexico . . . Ocean Update
December 1, 2015
The sensations and emotions and thoughts that accumulate throughout a fifteen hundred mile ocean cruise in a thirty-seven foot sailboat are a complex mix. A French chef might call them a mélange. I tax my mind to select a rational point from which to attempt a readable account of the days passed since leaving San Francisco in early January – almost a full year ago. As slowly as time seemed to pass while the trip unfolded, time now seems to have occurred in the blink of an eye. Thus, the prevailing mental mélange.
The overriding impression I feel is of distanced disengagement from what I ever considered to be a “normal” life. The perspective of this cruise, the viewpoint of being at sea rather than on land, creates a distinctly different worldview. I cannot help but now view the earth-oriented land perspective we all commonly share, with its all-encompassing digital and broadcast media format, as an utterly dubious existence. It is clear that our human-designed “virtual reality” is utterly and totally divorced from any real physical reality of the planet, with its dominating preponderance of water and its minority fragment of solid land under our feet.
What stands out visually is the massive amount of money spent by wealthy people on self-satisfying monuments to themselves in parts of the earth filled with desperately poor people – people only hanging onto existence by their fingertips throughout their entire lives. The gigantic palaces built by the wealthy as second and third vacation getaways is startling. The numbers are numbing. Billions of dollars have clearly been spent by wealthy people with no more imaginations than to spend their profits in endless symbols of luxury, while all about their castles and mansions local people struggle endlessly for less painful lives.
The coastline of the Sea of Cortez, starting from Cabo San Lucas and heading north is engorged with palace after palace, mansion after mansion, grand hotel after grand hotel, condo after condo, villa after villa – most all obviously empty. Billions of dollars have been spent on them . . . and no one is home.
All of that money, if spent persuading local governments and powers-that-be to allow and support economic initiatives to help indigenous people, could and surely would have helped build local economies bringing millions of poverty-burdened people into a more comfortable world.
The palaces and grand hotels are monuments to the fact that trickle down economics is a bitter myth. Massively wealthy people feeding their own egos do not in any but the most marginal manner financially assist local populations build sustainable lives for themselves.
It becomes clear to one from sea that the land-based life we all live with our self centered concerns for more personal comfort and ease and luxury, serves only one purpose. It feeds our need to document ourselves as “succeeding” in an allegedly civilized worldwide culture that has hypnotized itself with the concept that the only rational purpose for one’s life is to personally reward oneself with more and more things.
Part of the local culture here inside the Sea of Cortez, I am told, reports that many of the palaces and grand hotels have been built with drug money. I cannot speak to that point. I have no factual knowledge of the subject. But, it is plain and clear that the mass of luxury buildings and mega yachts are not the result of wealthy people attempting to use any of their profits to help other human beings living in houses with dirt floors achieve advancement in their personal life situations.
It is the blunt imbalance of wealth versus bare subsistence that speaks to one so forcefully.
It becomes clear to one at sea that this verifies the international source of people streaming across borders worldwide from brutal governments and brutal leaders, desperately seeking in wealthy countries some sort of safe haven where they may establish for themselves rational lives.
When wealthy “civilized” alleged leaders propose building walls to block the poor from reaching safer shores, one is not hard pressed to read the real motivation for the rich striving after more power. They lack humane vision. They bask in an intensely shallow perspective of the intensely pressing dilemma of the human race. They make a mockery of what it could mean to be a compassionate and empathetic human being. They are the antithesis of leaders.
When they call themselves spiritual and religious to boot, they embarrass enlightened people.