For 99 percent of our human history, we lived in small, likely egalitarian societies—tight-knit hunter-gatherer bands of a couple dozen people deeply reliant on their community and on the surrounding environment, for their survival. So where does that leave we present-day humans, now navigating an increasingly virtualized and individualized world amidst the dizzying urban constructs (not to mention vast social inequality) we call modern civilization? In a word: searching, to return to the fold of community and nature in which our species evolved for hundreds of thousands of years.
My guests today, Chris Morasky and Rachel Natland, know that search well, and for decades pursued it on disparate paths: Chris, as a wildlife biologist who lived for more than 20 years in the wilderness and became one of the foremost Stone Age skills experts in North America; and Rachel, as a single mother who overcame her own inner-city childhood of abuse and addiction to become a spiritual mentor. Four years ago the rugged survivalist and the urban community-builder met, and the rest is history—and the future: Now a pair and living in Portland, they are restoring ancient egalitarian wisdom to the 21st century via their Wisdom Keepers school in Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest. Hear their incredible life stories that brought them to this remarkable moment in time, their poignant vision for the future, and how they're re-creating the village with their don't-miss Elements Gathering in the ancient sequoias. Hope to see you there!
Here's the run-down of our conversation:
- Planning their upcoming Elements Gathering: A week-long village experience in the ancient sequoias
- How Rachel brought herself up out of the inner city and broke the cycle of abuse and addiction
- Chris: “I believe that children choose their parents”
- The disparate paths that brought Rachel and Chris to the world of rewilding
- The epiphany moment that sent Chris on a 20+-year-long journey living in the wilderness and small communities of British Columbia, Idaho and Utah
- How Chris navigates life intuitively, and tapping into “our instinctual connection to the perfect system of nature”
- Why Chris left the wilderness for Los Angeles
- Overcoming the illness of modern society, and how to get the most out of our lives
- Rachel’s calling to the West, single motherhood, and classism
- How Chris and Rachel met
- Community, autonomy and rugged individualism
- Why they left LA for Portland, and what comes next
- Our egalitarian history, technology and exponential growth
- Wisdom Keepers
- Rewilding, space exploration, and Chris and Rachel’s thoughts on the future
You can learn more about Chris and Rachel, along with their current class and workshop offerings on the Wisdom Keepers website, as well as on Facebook. Want to go to Elements Gathering this year? Don't wait, tickets are going fast! (You can also check out the event virtually via the Elements Facebook page.)
If you enjoyed this show, subscribe on iTunes so you don’t miss the next one (and don’t forget to leave a rating and review). The theme music is by Paul Damian Hogan. Want to chime in on this episode or have an idea for a future show? Connect with me via my Instagram page, I’d love to hear your thoughts!