In this essay, which will appear in five installments, I hope to explore some of the social implications of simplification and decentralization. Will wars and revolutions break out with ever-greater frequency? Will democracy thrive, or will traumatized masses find themselves at the mercy of tyrants? Will nation states survive, or will they break apart? Will regional warlords rule over impoverished and enslaved survivors? Or will local food networks and Occupy groups positively transform society from the ground up?
When it comes to our understanding of the unfolding global crisis, each of us seems to fit somewhere along a continuum of awareness that can be roughly divided into five stages:
In fact, as we face individual and national bankruptcy, the malls have become for many Americans more a place to merely wander and lust than to actually buy. Large segments of the population have lost their jobs, health insurance and homes, and are so deeply in debt that when they surrender to the advertising-bred consumerist urge, they can only window shop, their credit cards rejected if they attempt to buy much of the stuff on display.
It could happen. Michele Bachmann has found the flaw in the American Death Star. She is a television camera’s dream, a threat to do or say something insane at any time, the ultimate reality-show protagonist. She has brilliantly piloted a media system that is incapable of averting its eyes from a story, riding that attention to an easy conquest of an overeducated cultural elite from both parties that is far too full of itself to understand the price of its contemptuous laughter. All of those people out there aren’t voting for Michele Bachmann. They’re voting against us. And to them, it turns out, we suck enough to make anyone a contender.
Introduction Excerpt From Navigating The Coming Chaos: A Handbook For Inner Transition, By Carolyn Baker
In the deepest sense Navigating The Coming Chaos is a handbook for midwifing the birth that is struggling to be embodied through the great death that is erupting, and like any authentic handbook of sacred midwifery, it is at once stringently unsentimental in its facing of the gritty and grueling process of birth, and loving and joyful in its depiction of what could be possible.
Foreword By Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide To Sacred