I recently finished reading the Jonathan Franzen novel Purity. It was a commendable book, but has little to do with what I am about to write other than I was struck by the name, and spent some time ruminating upon it, and upon the rare people I've met who displayed this quality in some aspect of their life. This is what I strive for, I thought, purity.

The word has an air of cleanliness, angelicness, and innocence to it. I want my life to be pristine. I want it to be filled with boyscout-ish words like integrity, honor, truth, discernment, and humility. To me the word "purity" captures the elusive intersection between rewilding and soul hacking and supersensitivity.  When I speak of rewilding it includes clean, holistic, natural living: clean waters to drink and bathe in, healthy fresh wild foods that are unadulterated from start to finish, a low level of electromagnetic pollution, natural movement, attention to natural light cycles, etc.

This is not a lifestyle choice for the supersensitive. This is mandatory. I kinda suppose it is mandatory for everyone, but they don't really know it. I mean who do you know who lacks depression, anxiety, fatigue, heart disease, weight problems, skin problems, bowel problems, or chronic pain of some sort that couldn't almost certainly be helped by a change in diet and lifestyle? I don't know anyone. They might not recognize it, but I recognize it having developed an acute awareness for medical symptoms. No one is helped by the fact that almost 100% of restaurant food is cooked in cheap vegetable oils. No one is helped by breathing scented laundry detergents. No one is helped by consistently undersleeping. As far as I am concerned no one can live according to the status quo and get away scot-free.

The only difference between me and the average "healthy" person is that I succumbed to these poisons sooner and now get acute and obvious symptoms that make it so extremely uncomfortable to breathe laundry detergent or eat canola oil that I have to change my lifestyle to avoid it. 

Now a lot of rewilding types, not the gen2 Paleo ones, but many of the ones I used to know, are perhaps far from this image of purity:  hailing from more of the hobo/punk/metal/dumpster diver/travelerkid lineage when it comes to their style, means of earning money, diet, and their use of drugs and booze, or they are physically covered in dirt, or both. They are more like impoverished reservation Indians than strong, healthy, indigenous peoples. Pip, the main character in Purity, who lives in an Oakland squat, would probably know a few of these people.  

But I would say they still have a purity of intent in their desire for a world better than the one that disappointed them so much that they turned against it, a world that supports things like health, and justice, and freedom. Business and politics at present are bastions of impurity. The lack of transparency and integrity in those arenas makes me sick to my stomach. Idealism has a purity to it. It's also unfortunately so often mired in judgement, anger, and magical thinking. Although I believe anger can have a purity to it too, if it is raw, honest, warranted and real. Ironically, so can being covered in dirt, as too much cleanliness is toxic. There is a fine line here, folks. 

 Then you have soul hacking. I've said before, if rewilding has to do with how humans as a biological species are designed to live for maximum well-being, soul hacking has to do with how humans as "spiritual beings having a human experience" are designed. Either way understanding the rules and conditions, the blueprint,  is critical to health and happiness.

Rewilding and soul hacking are not mutually exclusive, but should be used in conjunction, I believe. For example humans are tribal, social creatures. It's good and all to pay lip service to community,  but in this day and age you can't and wouldn't want to be in a tribe with just anyone. How do you pick and choose your friends, lovers, and family? People can wear you down just like carcinogenic chemicals.  Soul hacking can help one make these types of decisions, or any types, via studying energy and synchronicity. 

Soul hacking involves raising the vibration and getting in greater and greater alignment, over one lifetime, or many, possibly into infinity. One does this through the never ending game of self-perfection a.k.a. purification:

Greater "purity" may be achieved by: 
a) Lifestyle choices. No longer interacting with people, places, and substances that drag an individual down and drain their energy. Choosing higher vibrational things to interact with. 
b) Enlightening the psyche. Psychological work such as healing old traumas and learning to control the shadow or the ego. Bringing bad habits into awareness and disciplining one's self against them.
c) Self-actualization. Living one's purpose, becoming more true to one's self. Learning and creating and growing, offering one's skills and talents to the whole in the service of self-expansion.


When I write something, and someone says that it is good, vulnerable, authentic, heartbreaking, etc. I think that is partly because it is pure. It is thoughtful, but not filtered, or contrived. Writing comes to me naturally. I don't much consider how to write better, or how to impress my audience. It is just me, the way I am, the way I talk in my head (way more articulate than the way I talk aloud) and I am not a good liar or a good actor. Or a good singer, but that isn't relevant. 

I like the idea of being very pure. It makes me feel better about being highly vulnerable to things. For instance, when my friend walks into the room smelling like cigarette smoke not because they smoke but because they walked by someone smoking during the day at some point many hours before I saw them and were in the cloud for a few seconds, instead of feeling like a hypersensitive freakaziod I can feel like an oracle, so acutely clean in my daily life that anything the least bit unpure sticks out to me like a sore thumb. Note to men: never try to cheat on an oracle. 

A filter paper has to be crisp and white and clean before you use it. Otherwise it is not accurate or useful for doing its job in the laboratory. Purity is a vulnerability because the purer you are the more dirtiness you can detect and the more it stains you. But would you have it any other way when purity is your true nature? Would you rather be too dumbed and numbed to detect things?

At one time I may have though this idea sounded stodgy and boring. I didn't want a life of purity. Ewww. I wanted a life of adventure and bad-assery, but now it seems like the only thing that matters. The fact that no one thinks this way, and that no one is striving for it, save some misguided religious or dietary zealots, makes it all the more unique, like being straightedge without the pretension...or the veganism, which I don't think is pure because it isn't an authentic and healthy human diet. There is that fine line again. I don't think most people's idea of what is moral is in any way related to the actual Truth with a capital T. Am I the arbiter of all things pure and good? No, but my supersensitivity gives me a highly refined bullshit detector.

The concept of purity gives me hope and makes me fall in love again with myself and the world, for there are good and pure things in it. Many, many things. 

-xoxo, Emily, the Super Sensitive Human