It must be noted, however, that when Zweig and Abrams edited their magnificent collection of articles by masters of Jungian psychology in the early 1990s, the global crisis had not reached its current magnitude of severity. At that point in human history, almost no one was discussing the possibility of near-term human extinction or the termination of life on Earth. While the anthology contains a number of articles addressing the collective shadow, that is, the shadow carried by the community at large, what was not yet glaringly obvious was the extent to which humans were annihilating the planet. Thus one gift that may be added to Zweig and Abram’s list is the potential offered by doing shadow work for healing significant aspects of the Earth community. Since the collective shadow is comprised of the projections of individuals, even minimal reclamation of our own projections facilitates harmonious communication and interaction within the human community.
Institutional racism is the elephant in the room that has never been sufficiently addressed by white America. While talking heads on cable news channels debate the use of body cameras by local police officers as the magic bullet (no pun intended) that will alleviate police brutality, and as white Americans attempt to convince themselves that yet again, technology is our savior, no one is seriously discussing institutional racism—the shadow of all make-nice appearances of racial harmony and healing since the glory days of the Civil Rights Movement.
Beyond offering blueprints and practical examples for crafting and strengthening relationships, every page carries the author’s belief in what Abraham Lincoln referred to as “the better angels of our nature.” Perhaps we would not be in such a dismal state of planetary destabilization if we had figured out how to stop influential cynics from infecting collective consciousness with their pathological lack of faith in human nature. For centuries views of people as inherently greedy, stupid, passive, or warlike have proved most convenient to bullies and racketeers who pass themselves off as world leaders. A more realistic appraisal of human possibilities calls for new kinds of mentoring and leadership charged with creating community at the edge, wherever possible.
Extinction Dialogs, How To Live With Death In Mind, By Carolyn Baker And Guy McPherson, Pre-Order Now
Extinction Dialogs is a candid conversation between Guy McPherson and Carolyn Baker. The text addresses the scientific research regarding abrupt climate change as well as how humans who grasp the likelihood of near-term human extinction can prepare emotionally and spiritually for the demise of many species on Earth, including ours. Synthesizing scientific and psycho-spiritual perspectives, McPherson and Baker provide a manual for understanding our terminal status and therefore allow this knowledge to shape every aspect of our relationships and behavior in humanity’s last hours.
This is a 6 star book (my top 10% across the 98 categories in which I read), and I consider it a book to be stunningly effective. At the age of 61 with no pensions on top of a rich life, I have found myself in unemployment over several years, and as this book so powerfully suggests, this may have been the best possible state for me at this point in time. I specifically recommend the book as a gift for any unemployed person, but I also consider it essential reading for any entering class of college students.
Carolyn Baker is such an Edge-Dweller. She writes “with unrestrained passion and urgency” about navigating the collapse of culture. According to Carolyn, it is no longer a debatable issue that our culture is, indeed, collapsing. The signs are everywhere, for those with open eyes. Our ecology, politics, economy, personal and social conditions have all deteriorated. Our politicians no longer are in hiding regarding who actually supports them. It is those large-scale corporations, who are nothing less than sociopathic entities that politicians such as Romney, and his counterpart, Obama and the Supreme Court justices, proclaim as “people.”
In her book titles Carolyn Baker features such scary words as “demise,” “chaos” and “collapsing,” but her goal is mainly soul building. The stressful outer reality is a provocation. In Baker’s daily digest of challenging news (“Speaking Truth to Power”), she welcomes a whole range of “collapse-aware” writers, including those who predict “near-term extinction.” However, her main vision is that, in the course of growing up, humans will construct, sooner or later, a better society, and in any case will live intensely in the present. She is like the stern teacher with a heart of gold.