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.
Carolyn Baker’s new book Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times is a breath of sanity in a world gone mad. Her contemplations are like a much needed multi-vitamin for the psyche that the deeper field of consciousness has secreted so as to compensate our madness. The fact that a book like Collapsing Consciously has arrived in our midst at this time of multiple world crises is evidence that our species is beginning to awaken from our self-created nightmare.
Carolyn Baker’s CollapsingConsciously: Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times is perhaps the most approachable book on collapse you are likely to find. Compared to Jarred Diamond’s Collapse, which weighs in at just over 600 pages, Baker’s is well under 200. And yet in these few pages Baker manages to tackle a topic which Diamond studiously avoids: Whatever shall we do about the fact that collapse is happening all around us right now?
The book takes the reader on an emotional and psychological journey. As a result, the journey will be uncomfortable for most Americans. After spending our early years in K-12 indoctrination facilities, we graduate into the incarceration camp known as industrial civilization. Few spend any time or effort contemplating their own roles in the universe. For the most part, teaching and learning focus on skills that further the ongoing omnicide, not intrapersonal intelligence that might lead to personal contentment or a decent sense of community. As a result, one of the two primary audiences for this book is the individual unfamiliar with the concept of intrapersonal intelligence.
Before It’s News Interviews me regarding Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths For Turbulent Times
A Guide For The Journey, By John Michael Greer–Foreword For Carolyn Baker's Next Book "Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths For Turbulent Times"
That sense of a journey—waiting for us, forced upon us, or both at once—runs all through Carolyn’s writing, but Collapsing Consciously seems to me to embody it even more clearly than most. Her introduction sets the tone with a discussion of her own journey out of the familiar belief systems of modern American culture, and what follows develops the same wayfaring spirit in a variety of ways. The resulting book once again takes the collective conversation about the deindustrial future further than it has previously gone, pushing past the increasingly sterile debates around peak oil as an abstraction to come to terms with the human realities of loss, awakening, and renewal that accompany every great historical change.
Welcome to our second annual list of the top ten peak oil books. Most of them are explicitly about peak oil, while others deal with energy depletion as a significant factor in the economy or the environment. A couple titles focus on responses to the myriad conundrums that Richard Heinberg has dubbed “peak everything” and that are now converging to create a perfect storm for global industrial civilization.
To get the most out of the book, readers should prepare to take as long as it takes, even setting up an intentionally defined period of time to really leave space to answer its questions. I could see reading just one chapter a month, and dedicating a night or weekend each month to shut everything out simply to explore the questions. Or working with a partner or in groups to get feedback and share ideas.