Jake Yarwood is a freelance photographer based in Perth, Australia. The following is a project statement for his photo essay, “No More Monkey Mind.” To see more photos from the project, visit jakeyarwood.com.
A life that matters, this is something we all strive for.
Does it occur to you as it does to me that many of the things that truly matter in life are hidden away from us? It is only with true clarity that these facets of reality unveil themselves.
Once you begin to see the true nature of this modern existence for what it is, a bitter taste begins to form in your mouth.
Nearly all aspects of civilisation leave us in a perpetual and seemingly inescapable stranglehold, whilst power structures aptly ensure we cling onto notions of ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’. We are pawns of contemporary society; we are cogs in the Machine. For every new ‘innovation’ the techno-industrial complex brings about, we are fed yet another new ‘need’, and we devour these new needs relentlessly and without question.
Civilisation is fundamentally a failure, it is dysfunctional to its core, yet civilised downfalls are vastly unspoken of. Look at us now, passive like never before, witnesses and servants to cultural genocide, all of us guilty perpetrators of ecocide.
We have become so far removed from the things that actually matter. It seems unimaginable that in truth the majority of human history suggests we once held a harmonious place in the natural world. But now, alas, the divine entity that represents greed and violence, suffering and exploitation, our god; almighty Progress, says we can inconsequentially do as we please. Progress has actually proved itself to be the death of our divinity.
We live in times where the glorification of superficiality and materialism take prevalence over all, where the prioritization and absolute proliferation of the mundane comes before that of preserving richness and diversity of all kinds.
We have to reclaim ourselves, reclaim spirituality, reclaim community, reclaim culture and art, reclaim our kinship for flora and fauna alike. Only once we start on this path will we know what it means to truly be. As the influx of societal, psychological and ecological crises persists, we must instil in ourselves irrefutable respect for the web of life.
This series of photographs is an ongoing attempt in seeking out and recognising all the qualities in life that make a mindful and universally meaningful existence attainable.
For oneness, for the wild.