In a forum about the philosophy of collapse, a colleague asked this question:
“Why do humans treat the living earth as a mere storehouse and sewer? Because humans see themselves as separate and apart from nature. How did that happen?”
It is inherent in human nature. The very existence of “consciousness” implies a journey into “separateness.” Continue reading “The Return to Paradise”
In one of the collapse groups this morning, someone was lamenting the loss of human culture. They speculated that literature, music, painting, and architecture would all be lost in the climate apocalypse. They recommended appreciating our “creative endeavor” as long as we are still here.
But it’s worse than that, if you accept the premise. Not only high-level cultural expressions will be lost, but fundamental aspects of human existence in the Universe, like speech, language, and art. The concept of love. Cognition, ideas – the very concept of “ideas.” “Thinking” as a phenomenon or process. All the products of the human mind will vanish with the ending of the biological and physical systems that support them.
Continue reading “In the Beginning Was The Word”
As I went to the market tonight, my paranoia blossomed.
It’s chilly in the evenings now, and it was raining, so I thought of my homeless buddies who, if they were caught without shelter, would be uncomfortable and at risk. It will only get worse as the season goes on.
Driving into the parking lot, I felt that my car was much too big. How could such a gigantic machine – so heavy, so well engineered, and consuming so much fuel – be needed to move one person around?
Then, when I approached the soup bar, I found myself in a confrontation with a stranger (a young woman) about who was going to ladle soup first, from the cauldron into a cardboard cup. I put my hand on the ladle, so I went first. I reassured her: “It looks like there’s plenty for both of us,” and there was.
But I found myself wondering: “Would I share soup with a stranger, if there was not enough for both of us? How would I decide who to share with and who not to? How would I act if I were not surrounded by incredible plenty, the luxury of empire, constantly replenished by the work of others whom I never see?”
And I don’t know. ⭐️
One image stays with me from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm.
Thay, as the Buddhist monk is known, likens a person who is experiencing fear to a tree in a strong wind. The upper branches blow around wildly; we feel the tree must be destroyed by the violent agitation. If we look further down, however, we see that the trunk of the tree is solidly rooted in the ground, unmoving and secure. Continue reading “Thich Nhat Hanh – Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm”
I recently had a couple of encounters at the interface between the normal world and the “doomer” world. It made me feel the separation between people who think about the apocalypse all the time, and people who don’t. Continue reading “Normal People”