When it comes to our unfolding understanding of the wide range of global crisis, each of us seems to fit somewhere along a continuum of awareness that can be roughly divided into five stages:
At this stage there seem to be no fundamental problems, just some shortcomings in human organization, behaviour and morality that can be fixed with the proper attention to rule-making. People at this stage tend to live their lives happily, with occasional outbursts of annoyance around election times or the quarterly corporate earnings seasons.
AWARENESS OF ONE FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM
Whether it’s Climate Change, overpopulation, Peak Oil, chemical pollution, oceanic over-fishing, biodiversity loss, corporatism, economic instability or sociopolitical injustice, one problem seems to engage the attention completely. People at this stage tend to become ardent activists for their chosen cause. They tend to be very vocal about their personal issue, and blind to any others.
AWARENESS OF MANY PROBLEMS
As people let in more evidence from different domains, the awareness of complexity begins to grow. At this point a person worries about the prioritization of problems in terms of their immediacy and degree of impact. People at this stage may become reluctant to acknowledge new problems – for example, someone who is committed to fighting for social justice and against climate change may not recognize the problem of resource depletion. They may feel that the problem space is already complex enough, and the addition of any new concerns will only dilute the effort that needs to be focused on solving the “highest priority” problem.
AWARENESS OF THE INTERCONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE MANY PROBLEMS
The realization that a solution in one domain may worsen a problem in another marks the beginning of large-scale system-level thinking. It also marks the transition from thinking of the situation in terms of a set of problems to thinking of it in terms of a predicament. At this point the possibility that there may not be a solution begins to raise its head. People who arrive at this stage tend to withdraw into tight circles of like-minded individuals in order to trade insights and deepen their understanding of what’s going on. These circles are necessarily small, both because personal dialogue is essential for this depth of exploration, and because there just aren’t very many people who have arrived at this level of understanding.
AWARENESS THAT THE PREDICAMENT ENCOMPASSES ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE
This includes everything we do, how we do it, our relationships with each other, as well as our treatment of the rest of the biosphere and the physical planet. With this realization, the floodgates open, and no problem is exempt from consideration or acceptance. The very concept of a 'Solution' is seen through, and cast aside as a waste of effort.
...5 Stages Continued
For those who arrive at Stage 5 there is a real risk that depression will set in. After all, we’ve learned throughout our lives that our hope for tomorrow lies in our ability to solve problems today. When no amount of human cleverness appears able to solve our predicament the possibility of hope can vanish like a the light of a candle flame, to be replaced by the suffocating darkness of despair.
How people cope with despair is of course deeply personal, but it seems to me there are two general routes people take to reconcile themselves with the situation. These are not mutually exclusive, and most of us will operate out of some mix of the two. I identify them here as general tendencies, because people seem to be drawn more to one or the other. I call them the outer path and the inner path.
If one is inclined to choose the outer path, concerns about adaptation and local resilience move into the foreground, as exemplified by the Transition Network and Permaculture Movement. To those on the outer path, community-building and local sustainability initiatives will have great appeal. Organized party politics seems to be less attractive to people at this stage, however. Perhaps politics is seen as part of the problem, or perhaps it’s just seen as a waste of effort when the real action will take place at the local level.
If one is disinclined to choose the outer path either because of temperament or circumstance, the inner path offers its own set of attractions.
Choosing the inner path involves re-framing the whole thing in terms of consciousness, self-awareness and/or some form of transcendent perception. For someone on this path it is seen as an attempt to manifest Gandhi’s message, “Become the change you wish to see in the world,” on the most profoundly personal level. This message is similarly expressed in the ancient Hermetic saying, “As above, so below.” Or in plain language, “In order to heal the world, first begin by healing yourself.”
However, the inner path does not imply a “retreat into religion”. Most of the people I’ve met who have chosen an inner path have as little use for traditional religion as their counterparts on the outer path have for traditional politics. Organized religion is usually seen as part of the predicament rather than a valid response to it. Those who have arrived at this point have no interest in hiding from or easing the painful truth, rather they wish to create a coherent personal context for it. Personal spirituality of one sort or another often works for this, but organized religion rarely does.
It’s worth mentioning that there is also the possibility of a serious personal difficulty at this point. If someone cannot choose an outer path for whatever reasons, and is also resistant to the idea of inner growth or spirituality as a response the the crisis of an entire planet, then they are truly in a bind. There are few other doorways out of this depth of despair. If one remains stuck here for an extended period of time, life can begin to seem awfully bleak, and violence against either the world or oneself may begin to seem like a reasonable option. Please keep a watchful eye on your own progress, and if you encounter someone else who may be in this state, please offer them a supportive ear.
From my observations, each successive stage contains roughly a tenth of the number people as the one before it. So while perhaps 90% of humanity is in Stage 1, less than one person in ten thousand will be at Stage 5 (and none of them are likely to be politicians). The number of those who have chosen the inner path in Stage 5 also seems to be an order of magnitude smaller than the number who are on the outer path.
I happen to have chosen an inner path as my response to a Stage 5 awareness. It works well for me, but navigating this imminent (transition, shift, metamorphosis – call it what you will), will require all of us – no matter what our chosen paths – to cooperate on making wise decisions in difficult times.
Best wishes for a long, exciting and fulfilling journey.
We strongly recommend to read every article & website and watch every video in What Now.
Each and everyone of them build the matrix in you to take your next steps accurately.
The books referenced are equally important.
We have submitted ourselves.
Derrick Jensen, fromLiving Resilience, says: "THE MOST COMMON WORDS I hear spoken by any environmentalists anywhere are, We’re fucked. Most of these environmentalists are fighting desperately, using whatever tools they have — or rather whatever legal tools they have, which means whatever tools those in power grant them the right to use, which means whatever tools will be ultimately ineffective — to try to protect some piece of ground, to try to stop the manufacture or release of poisons, to try to stop civilized humans from tormenting some group of plants or animals. Sometimes they’re reduced to trying to protect just one tree."
"If coordinated international actions are not immediately implemented to end fossil fuel burning, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and sequester present atmospheric carbon and methane, new evidence suggests that even if we could create a post-carbon society, there won’t be humans alive to live in it."
The consensus findings among authoritative scientific institutions (NASA, NOAA, NSIDC, Hadley-Met, Tyndale, Potsdam, CSIRO, BOM, the world’s academies of science, IPCC and so on) indicate beyond reasonable doubt that continuing open-ended emissions of greenhouse gases incontestably leads to the demise of humans as well as most of life on Earth in a frighteningly near term (by ~2050).
Therefore, any governing body that tolerates or promotes further greenhouse gas emissions through burning fossil fuels or burning forests or fracking, etc., contravenes international laws, violates human and animal rights and national sovereignty, and commits a monstrous crime against humanity and nature. (Reference: private communication of a work in progress by Andrew Glikson, The Legal Dimension Of Overwhelming The Atmosphere With CO2http://cci.anu.edu.au/researchers/view/andrew_glikson).
If the United Nations will do no more than offer mild suggestions to member states, and continues to refrain from enforcing stringent restrictions, then humanity is wasting its time trying to reverse climate change under the auspices of the United Nations. The UN should be immediately disbanded and an action-oriented global survival agency should be activated, more appropriately named United Peoples."
http://paulchefurka.ca/ - read the entire website, every word of every damn article Paul wrote. It helps to gain a clear picture of what now.
Population growth, climate change, global corporatism, chemical pollution, resource depletion, species extinctions, ocean overfishing and acidification, global financial instability, mounting social disparities and injustices are all merely symptoms of a system that has been out of control for centuries (despite our earnest attempts to convince ourselves otherwise.) We have no choice left - or perhaps we never really had any other choice - but to ride the dragon until the human overshoot corrects itself, as overshoots always do.
The silver lining I see is that all the pressures coming from this process of correction can be useful goads toward personal self-development. "In all matters, strive to do the right thing." What does this mean to each of us? What does mindful living in the midst of the whirlwind entail? What does it require of us in terms of personal growth, in the development of wisdom and self-awareness? How might each of us resolve our alienation - from each other, from our societies, from nature, from our own place in the universe? How may we find the re-connections that are essential if we are to emerge from this tumultuous, careless human adolescence into individual and collective adulthood? These are deep questions for dark times.
I no longer see any point in singling out individual aspects of the human experience for special attention or criticism. This website documents the evolution of my point of view on the largely unrecognized, widely misunderstood and potentially tragic predicament facing humanity as a result of our refusal to accept limits on our activities or aspirations.
The science is clear: Homo sapiens teeters on the brink of extinction. Industrial civilization is an omnicidal heat engine, yet terminating civilization heats the planet even faster in an outcome termed the McPherson Paradox. Only Love Remains: Dancing on the Edge of Extinction describes a way forward in light of our terminal diagnosis. In this book, professor emeritus of conservation biology Guy McPherson describes how we can proceed with urgency in the face of habitat loss for our species. While describing the evidence underlying human extinction within a few years, McPherson also provides an urgent and reasoned response to this prognosis.
Exceptional insights from the former vice-president of the World Bank. It presents a succinct and thoughtful perspective on the challenges we are facing...and...how we can solve them. ..and along the way highlights the need for different thinking and a different education for youth if we are to create a different future. A must-read for every 21st Century educator.
Seriously: Get with your friends. Start your grieving process now.
It is not too early...
Scientist and author David Spratt sensibly explains our current climate reality,
in stark contrast to the politicized Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports.
Can professionals in sustainability management, policy and research – myself included - continue to work with the assumption or hope that we can slow down climate change, or respond to it sufficiently to sustain our civilisation? As disturbing information on climate change passed across my screen, this was the question I could no longer ignore, and therefore decided to take a couple of months to analyse the latest climate science. As I began to conclude that we can no longer work with that assumption or hope, I asked a second question. Have professionals in the sustainability field discussed the possibility that it is too late to avert an environmental catastrophe and the implications for their work? A quick literature review revealed that my fellow professionals have not been publishing work that explores, or starts from, that perspective. That led to a third question, on why sustainability professionals are not exploring this fundamentally important issue to our whole field as well as our personal lives. To explore that, I drew on psychological analyses, conversations with colleagues, reviews of debates amongst environmentalists in social media and selfreflection on my own reticence. Concluding that there is a need to promote discussion about the implications of a social collapse triggered by an environmental catastrophe, I asked my fourth question on what are the ways that people are talking about collapse on social media. I identified a variety of conceptualisations and from that asked myself what could provide a map for people to navigate this extremely difficult issue. For that, I drew on a range of reading and experiences over my 25 years in the sustainability field to outline an agenda for what I have termed “deep adaptation” to climate change.
A vision of next cultures, the cultures of archearchy... the cultures that naturally emerge after matriarchy and patriarchy have run their course. These projects are already underway... therefore, they are possible...
How to come together with others and face into collapse. Total collapse. How to feel it. How to acknowledge the chaos and confusion and still connect and communicate in ways that you feel seen, respected, and heard in the utter shambles of what you thought your future might have been.
Why not now? Are you angry and scared enough to take direct action?
The less CO2 and Methane (CH4) we humans throw into Earth's atmosphere, the greater chance that more species and ecosystems can survive, even if humanity has already erased itself for eternity.
Intelligent, coordinated action on the front lines...
There are Teams out there who would heartfully welcome your help, right now. Find out how.
PART 3: What Now?
What stands in the way of what is possible for you?
How can you get that out of the way?
Who would you be then?
Would you be okay being that?
What stands in the way of you being okay with who you would become if you got things out of the way that are blocking you from being what you came here to be?
Thriving In A Collapsed Ecosystem
For our western mind, the most common answer to a threat on our ability to have access to food, water and shelter is .... "let's pack up as much food, water, and money that we can".
How much food and water can you store for the years- decades - to come?
When economic system go down, money (USD, Euros and Rupies), will become as useful as cowry shell are today. You might want to put them in a frame in memory of 'the good old days' but it won't show more use than any art piece on your wall when it comes to surviving - maybe thrive! - in a collapsed ecosystem.
And this is if you still have a wall to frame it on... billions of people will be immigrants and not just the poorer countries, the Sahara is already knocking on the door or Southern Spain, Italy and Greece.
What do we need to thrive in a post-carbon/post-methane world? Three things:
Community with its own sovereign authority, currency, context and rules of engagement.
Emergence of Next Culture - Start By Building Your Community
Change Your Allegiance
EXPERIMENT WHATNOWx.01: Change Your Allegiance
Seriously, right NOW write down 2 pages of your own personal answers to this question: What is stopping me right now from switching my allegiance from supporting the patriarchal-capitalistic-military-industrial-empire to a new allegiance to supporting the archearchal-Gaia-centered-regenerative-global-collaboration-of-mutually-supportive-nanonations?
Post your answers on your refrigerator so you can study your reasons for committing suicide.
Do What You Can Now
EXPERIMENT WHATNOWx.02: DO WHATEVER YOU CAN DO NEXT
The next step is truly at your doorstep, within one arm's reach, when you look with the right eyes, set aside assumptions and expectations, sense with 5 Bodies open.
Is it everything you can do? No. Is it enough? Yes. Why? Because it is what you can do now, and if you are to admit the truth, you have been dragging your feet. You have been hesitating to get your hands dirty, to invest everything. Time to get off it. Time to stop hiding behind excuses and fear. Life awaits you.
Your journey is hindered before you even begin because modern culture does not contain the thoughtware for understanding the necessity of being initiated. Therefore part of your edgework is to gain that clarity by studying reports from other edgeworkers.
For starters try reading: Robert Wolff’s Original Wisdom, William Glasser’s Choice Theory, Robert Fritz’ Creating, Joseph Chilton Pearce’s From Magical Child to Magical Teen, Malidoma Patrice Some’’s Of Water and the Spirit, Martin Prechtel’s Secrets of the Talking Jaguar and Long Life Honey In The Heart, James P. Carse’s Finite and Infinite Games, Lyall Watson’s Gifts of Unknown Things and Lightening Bird, Clinton Callahan’s Building Love That Lasts and Directing The Power Of Conscious Feelings, Brad Blanton’s Radical Honesty, and Red Hawk’s Self Observation. Put these books on your bedside table and watch the universe change before your eyes.
"Some of us need to do this work, because most will not. Refusing to feel their fear now, they will be forced to feel it upon impact, when the trauma is greatest, the losses so hard to bear. They will need our help."
What is Inner Permaculture? What is the inner work?
Find one that you have resonance with, one that attracts you, feeds your Being, makes your belly become warmer and your skin tingle. Go meet them personally, talk to them, join with them.
When joining a project, do not ask what they can do for you, figure out what you can do for them: it can be tp reinforce a project they have already started or create a new project within their organisation. Talk to them and ask: "What can I do for you?"
You will suddenly be in service.
The Universe notices your commitment to serve a conscious gameworld. Going through the first door might be the most difficult one to cross, if you keep paying attention, the Universe will keep opening doors for you. Your job is to keep being a practical-action, move-things-forward, staying-connected, High-Level-Fun, "Yes."
Caution! This does not include being naive. Saying, "Yes" means being a responsible adult as you go through the next universal door. You can only say "Yes" responsibly if you can first say "No" and "Stop" responsibly.
2. Create your own community of practice (CoP): create your own home-made Possibility Team. Your Possibility Team - or however you want to call it - is your community. The simple act of meeting every week and experimenting on what is possible makes you a bridge builder to next culture gameworlds.
3. Be part of the system of influences:
Pioneering efforts that hovered at the periphery suddenly become the norm. The practices developed by courageous communities become the accepted standard. People no longer hesitate about adopting these approaches and methods and they learn them easily. Policy and funding debates now include the perspectives and experiences of these pioneers. They become leaders in the field and are acknowledged as the wisdom keepers for their particular issue.
"A war is required now if there is to be a human presence on planet Earth in the next century: an urgent war against the status quo and all its institutions and laws, a war that causes immediately changed political and corporate behaviors, a war of action-oriented responsibility for consequences, a war of instantaneously enforceable restrictions, a war of internationally-coordinated engineering efforts to pull down atmospheric CO2 and methane (CH4) concentrations.
"The United Nations will either convert scientifically founded imperatives into immediate and enforceable actions, or become guilty by complicity of ending human civilization on Earth. Those individuals, special interests and organizations spouting adolescent non-negotiable stances need to be sent to their room without dinner by a United Peoples authority with more 'guns' than the teenagers have."
Create an in-the-flesh WECONFEST - based on not knowing. In the center is the void of nothingness.
Avoid the standard conference activities - paid guest speakers, panel discussions, entertainment, planned activities...
Instead hold the entire space for emergence, chaos, evolution, death and resurrection, transformation, initiation. Let people meet other people and spontaneously combust. Let human fusion reactions ignite.
Let the new energy combinations sparkle awareness and force something different to happen in everyone's future actions. Prepare people to depart from their previous lives and gameworlds and create Phase 3 human cultures - from matriarchy to patriarchy to archearchy! We don't know how the next thing goes, but we do know how what we're doing now can't keep going.