So in this time of catastrophe,
Perhaps we should turn to these lists.
And teach our children from them.
So that we may live.
So in this time of catastrophe,
There is a vast difference between going supine before one’s oppressors and surrendering to the vast, ineffable order of the heart of creation. The task is ongoing—and arduous, even, at times, terrifying. It involves a drowning—a baptism of sorts, but of the poetic (not fundamentalist) variety— a washing away of calcified habit and a rebirth by an immersion in the embracing waters of a larger order—one that is not defined by a compulsion for domination of the things of the world one cannot control.
Was Vincent “eccentric”? Is any of us eccentric when we allow ourselves to look and to see what is occurring on our planet? What happens to us when we do so? Certainly, we are called “troubled” or “mad” by some. But isn’t madness actually quite the opposite? Are we not “mad” or “troubled” if we do not allow ourselves to see? Does seeing really make us mad, or does it do something else?
Since the Enlightenment, mystical knowledge has been minimized, even demeaned in the West as “unscientific.” Only knowledge gained intellectually through the scientific method was deemed valid by Enlightenment thinkers. However, Andrew Harvey argues that one likely outcome of the current collapse of industrial civilization and its glorification of the intellect is that yet another marriage, that of the rational with the sacred, is in process. Mystics and scientists need one another, he asserts, declaring that “It is time that Westerners realize that mystics are scientists of their domain.”
Clive Hamilton in his “Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change”describes a dark relief that comes from accepting that “catastrophic climate change is virtually certain.” This obliteration of “false hopes,” he says, requires an intellectual knowledge and an emotional knowledge. The first is attainable. The second, because it means that those we love, including our children, are almost certainly doomed to insecurity, misery and suffering within a few decades, if not a few years, is much harder to acquire. To emotionally accept impending disaster, to attain the gut-level understanding that the power elite will not respond rationally to the devastation of the ecosystem, is as difficult to accept as our own mortality. The most daunting existential struggle of our time is to ingest this awful truth—intellectually and emotionally—and continue to resist the forces that are destroying us.
“Promised Land” is the story of one man’s journey from what he believes is the epitome of decency to an inward struggle with ethical issues he had never anticipated having to confront. In an era of societal unraveling and economic decline, like Steve Butler, we must all return to those two troubling questions: Why am I doing what I’m doing? What really matters?
Economic growth is over. Emotional growth is just beginning, and you can have all the growth you want on the inside.
Finding Renewal In Times Of Loss: Carolyn Baker Reviews "Why The World Doesn't End" By Michael Meade
In a time of decline, demise, unraveling and what is very likely to be the collapse of industrial civilization and the paradigm on which it rests, it is crucial, in my opinion, to grasp and nourish the opposite of descent by attending to all that may facilitate an ascent to a rebirth of humanity. Descent, in fact, is only one half of the story of civilization that is now playing out its last act. From the ashes of that collapsed paradigm, another will emerge, and our work in current time is to forge a framework with which it can be constructed—a skeleton of sanity, sagacity, creativity, compassion, and vision to be enfleshed on the bare bones of what we modestly call “preparation,” knowing that today’s preparation is tomorrow’s next culture.