I went to Tillerson’s ranch in Bartonville [Texas]. I pulled up in front of his ranch, a big, big horse ranch. In front of the gate to his ranch, there was this big sculpted metal globe. It looked like someone took a carving knife to it and the whole upper part of the globe, along these uneven serrated edges, opened up into this gaping void, and I thought, Wow, that is symbolic. Here is Tillerson’s globe and it’s a world whose apex has been systematically shredded. It was quite a metaphor.
We have become Death, destroyer of worlds. We are driven by our insane—and insatiable because impossible—quest for validation of our self-perceived superiority. We are driven to destroy all that is alive and free and beautiful and wondrous and meaningful and is not made by or dependent upon us, not under our control.
Our time is one of apocalypse, an archetype found in the lore and myth of many times and peoples. As we face crises of ecology, economy, religion, politics, finance, education, agriculture, housing, water, air, and soil, as Earth overheats, species go extinct, and the air-giving oceans die on every side, we wonder how to make sense of it all, or indeed whether it’s even possible to. “It’s all a question of story,” wrote “geologian” Thomas Berry, priest and environmentalist, as things began to slide downhill. “We are in trouble just because we do not have a good story. We are between stories. The old story, the account of how we fit into it, is no longer effective. Yet we have not learned the new story.”
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.
APOCALYPTICISM is an actual word. According to Wikipedia, it is “the religious belief that there will be an apocalypse, a term which originally referred to a revelation of God’s will, but now usually refers to belief that the world will come to an end time very soon, even within one’s own lifetime.” The idea that “the world will end” is not limited to fire and brimstone. Various New Agers believe that 2012 will result in an alignment of the galactic something or other, fulfilling the Hopi prophecy of the Blue Kachina and the reversal of the Earth’s magnetic poles…and stuff…then we will enter a golden age. Sound familiar?