“The deeper the sorrow, the greater the joy,” wrote William Blake. In fact, grief is a doorway—a corridor to unknown, disowned, or dormant parts of the psyche that may incite, even inflame our creativity and most precious human gifts. And finally, grief and love are interdependent. When one is enhanced, the other is enlivened.
. . . → Read More: The Gifts Of Grief In A Time Of Endings, A Workshop With Carolyn Baker
What matters in the story of our human relationships is not whether they lead to “happily ever after” but who and what they make of us. All relationships are our teachers, and this is especially so in a time of societal unraveling.
. . . → Read More: Loving, Living, And Preparing With A Reluctant Partner, By Carolyn Baker
Editor’s Note: What this means is that a 4 degrees C rise in temperature is baked into Arctic drilling in the short term. In the long term, the rise will be 6 degrees C. 6 degrees C is unequivocally not survivable by any life form on this planet. Can we please stop using the words . . . → Read More: Stop Calling It Climate “Change”: This Is Climate Catastrophe: Royal Dutch Shell Drives Earth Over The Edge
Contact with the pain of the world, however, does not only bring grief but can also open the heart to reach out to all things still living. It holds the potential to break open the psychic numbing. Maybe there is also community to be found among like-hearted people, among those who also can admit they’ve been touched by this “Great Grief,” feeling the Earth’s sorrow, each in their own way. Not just individual mourning is needed, but a shared process that leads onwards to public re-engagement in cultural solutions. Working out our own answers as honestly as we can, as individuals and as communities, is rapidly becoming a requirement for psychological health. To cope with losing our world requires us to descend through the anger into mourning and sadness, not speedily bypass them to jump onto the optimism bandwagon or escape into indifference. And with this deepening, an extended caring and gratitude may open us to what is still here, and finally, to acting accordingly.
. . . → Read More: The Great Grief: How To Cope With Losing Our World, By Per Espen Stoknes
It is hard for us to take in the reality that Earth is an extinction machine, and it has been here before. It doesn’t need us, and we cannot control it. The ‘ecological crisis’ we hear so much about, and which I have written so much about and worked to stave off – well, who says it is a ‘crisis’? Humans do – and educated, socially-concerned humans at that. For the Earth itself, the Holocene Extinction is not a ‘crisis’ – it is just another shift. Who determined that the planet should remain in the state in which humans find it conducive? Is this not a form of clinging to mutable things, and one that is destined to make us unhappy? When we campaign to ‘save the Earth’ what are we really trying to save? And which Earth?
. . . → Read More: The Witness, By Paul Kingsnorth
As the conversation about Near-Term Human Extinction (NTHE) grows increasingly deafening, I notice many people behaving as if they are already dead—and in fact they may be. Do we have 15 years, 20 years, 50 years? Should I move to another location? What’s the point of doing the job I now have? Why even have health insurance if I’m not going to be here anyway? And on it goes…I have no problem with preparing for the future. I’ve been writing books on that topic for about six years. The future has come to meet us and smack us upside the head on just about every level imaginable. And…living primarily in the future takes a terrible toll on us in current time. In fact, it strip-mines our lives in the here and now and guarantees that we become “extinct” long before NTHE does its dirty deed.
. . . → Read More: Is There Life Before Death? By Carolyn Baker
The ancients took a different line on happiness. As Oliver Burkeman observed in his excellent book The Antidote, the Stoics were particularly keen on being mindful about all the disastrous things that might happen to you – if only to understand that they probably wouldn’t be as bad as you thought. Now instead of Seneca, we have new age gurus who tell us if we think positive thoughts we will float around on a pink cloud and get what we always wanted. I would not go so far as Slavoj Žižek who, asked what he found most depressing, answered “the happiness of stupid people”. But I know what he meant. Anyone intelligent and sensitive and thoughtful cannot look at the world and themselves without some inkling that everything, although strange and remarkable, is not always awesome. Anyway, the light relies on the dark to exist. If we could acknowledge it, the weight of denial could be lifted. And you know what? We’d all be a lot happier for it.
. . . → Read More: The Secret Of Happiness? Stop Feeling Bad About Being Unhappy, By Tim Lott
Carolyn was recently interviewed on Extinction Radio, and says it was the best interview in which she’s ever participated. Click “Read More” to hear the interview.
. . . → Read More: Carolyn Interviewed on Extinction Radio
An approach of reverence establishes a foundation ripe for amazement. We are readied for surprise and awe by a posture of reverence. It is a stance of humility, recognizing that the otherness that surround us—that infuses the world—is vast and powerful and yet curiously open for connection. An approach of reverence invites the mystery of encounter where two solitudes meet and become entangled, creating a Third Body, an intimacy born of affection. All true intimacy requires an approach of reverence, a deep regard, an unknowing of who or what we are meeting. It is our bow honoring the exchange.
. . . → Read More: The Reverence Of Approach, By Francis Weller
Beyond offering blueprints and practical examples for crafting and strengthening relationships, every page carries the author’s belief in what Abraham Lincoln referred to as “the better angels of our nature.” Perhaps we would not be in such a dismal state of planetary destabilization if we had figured out how to stop influential cynics from infecting collective consciousness with their pathological lack of faith in human nature. For centuries views of people as inherently greedy, stupid, passive, or warlike have proved most convenient to bullies and racketeers who pass themselves off as world leaders. A more realistic appraisal of human possibilities calls for new kinds of mentoring and leadership charged with creating community at the edge, wherever possible.
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