Anyone looking to successfully navigate our turbulent times is welcome as we weave a passage of recognition, restoration, resilience, and radical joy.
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?
Before It’s News Interviews me regarding Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths For Turbulent Times
What Collapse Feels Like, Part 3 of 5: Resilience Begins With The Heart: All Roads Lead To Grief, By Carolyn Baker
We say that we want to become resilient, but we continue to shut off the heart as if resilience is something that gets engineered in the head. In fact, if resilience doesn’t begin with the heart, we can never become authentically resilient.
Animals can be superb teachers for humans preparing for the future. Carefully observing their capacity for being present in their bodies and therefore living in the moment is critical. Studying an animal’s instinct for survival and self-protection can enhance our own resilience. What is more, I have experienced that animals are extraordinary teachers, not only in life, but in death as well. Every animal with whom I have had to part has profoundly opened my heart and impacted me in ways I could not have imagined. Allow yourself to give your heart to an animal companion, and when you must part with it, allow yourself to grieve your loss thoroughly. You may be surprised at the parts of yourself that will be revealed.
Mutually Assured Well Being: The Continuity Of Community And Individual Resilience, By Carolyn Baker
I invite the reader to review the features of community resilience and personal resilience several times. In doing so, I believe it is impossible to miss their inextricable connection and how the two types of resilience impact the other given the reality that individuals and communities foster both.
You see, resilience comes out of a struggle. That’s it, there’s no other way to get it. Take the wrong bus and end up at the wrong stop will build you resilience but only if you aren’t able to place a rescue call for someone to pick you up. Failing math and having to try harder: There’s a good one. Having to go to another soccer game and try again because the last time you mucked up and everyone is mad at you. Realizing that a course or activity you thought you’d enjoy is just terrible but sticking with it anyway, even though you’re sometimes miserable.
Once we start down the path of building resilience, the positive effects become synergetic. For example, by reprocessing recycled materials locally rather than sending them to far-off countries for reprocessing, and by composting local food waste and sewage, communities can conserve energy while creating jobs, building topsoil, and reducing dependence on increasingly unreliable distant sources of food and materials. Again: resilience helps us adapt to inevitable shocks and changes, while also aiding proactive efforts to reduce energy consumption and thus avert future global warming. Building resilience helps us address a range of problems with just a few basic strategies.
Evolution can be ruthless at eliminating the unfit. “Red in tooth and claw,” as Tennyson memorably described it, Nature routinely sacrifices billions of individual organisms and sometimes entire species in the course of its adaptive progression.
We humans have been able to blunt Nature’s fangs. We take care of individuals who would not be able to survive on their own—the elderly, the sick, the wounded—and we’ve been doing so for a long time, perhaps tens of thousands of years. In recent decades more and more of us have leapt aboard the raft of societally ensured survival—though in ways that often have little to do with compassion: today even most hale and hearty individuals would be hard pressed to stay alive for more than a few days or weeks if cut adrift from supermarkets, ATMs, and the rest of the infrastructure of modern industrialism.