We did not fall to this captivity at once, after some Epic War or Burning the Sky. No, it was gradual, progressive process, step by step.
In the course of thousands of years people grew their food, created their tools and tailored their dress by themselves. But then, in the XIX century the Second estrangement from the reality suddenly happened. As a result of it, in our time approximately 5% of the entire population cultivate all the food products; our dress and furniture are created in the factories. Only some old-fashioned freaks grow their own tomato or sew their skirt. Although in the middle of the XX-th century we saw in Europe appearance of the punk-movement with their famous slogan DIY (Do It Yourself), but now all we remember about them is a colored Iroquois hairstyle.
People stopped creating products; they started to “be involved in the manufacturing process”.
In the end of the XX century the Third estrangement from the reality occurred. We stopped to cook our food; now we buy it cooked, frozen, canned. Most people don’t adjust recipes of their meal for their personal taste; - on the contrary, they adjust their taste for the food which is proposed to them by the food industry. Very few of us (rare Oracles, in fact) are able to bake cookies, prepare strawberry jam, create an apple pie.
People ceased to feed themselves; now they “participate in the consuming process”.
The Forth stage of the estrangement from the reality occurs just now. People escape from the real relationship to the “staying in contact” through the gadgets. Within our working places all types of relations are standardized and approved by The Modern Western Corporative Ethics. In our social life we are much less intimate than earlier. It’s rare thing now to have a meeting in somebody’s house; we prefer to meet each other in cafes, concerts, pubs. Inviting a friend to our home now looks like almost intimate action.
I am not trying to say that “in old kind times” everything was much better. I just want to notice what kind of skills becomes now rare and, therefore, valuable. The ability to grow flowers and bake cookies, to repair furniture and refit dress, to get a personal contact and find common interests with a casual fellow traveler, – all of this will have increasing significance in our Brave New world. Sure enough, these skills will not bring us a lot of money. But we came to this world not for making money, didn’t we?
By the way, forgetting it was the first stage of estrangement.