Mirror of Zen Blog

Concrete Hells of Asia

This soul-blighting Chinese urban-scape might seem too unbelievable, but there is also such a quality to the urban landscape of Korea (albeit scaled proportionally). I found living in such an environment to be inhumane and murderous to the human spirit: surrounded only by miles and miles of concrete with blinking lights and glass and neon, and the kingdom of the automobile eviscerating anything that is human in our soul, what is the human point of living in such a world as that?

When people ask if I would go back to live in Asia, I literally have images like this video in my head. Of course, China does it on such extraordinarily epic scale. But it is a feature of societies which rapidly “developed” without regard for anything of the human in that march forward towards some sort of economic power. When commentators in Korea worry aloud or write about that beautiful peoples’ extraordinarily high suicide rates – – nearly always the highest suicide rate in the OECD, for the last 20 years running – – it is images like this that come to mind, the utter soullessness of it all. What sense of flourishing and self-fulfillment could ever be experienced in such an insane hellscape as this? It is housing for worker bees, and nothing less. (And yet even real worker bees live with greater care for the holistic good of the entire colony.) My heart breaks continually for this being inflicted on the innumerable beautiful new minds brought forth into such malignant social wombs as this.

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