What do we call this time? It’s not the information age: the collapse of popular education movements left a void filled by marketing and conspiracy theories. Like the stone age, iron age and space age, the digital age says plenty about our artefacts but little about society. The anthropocene, in which humans exert a major impact on the biosphere, fails to distinguish this century from the previous 20. What clear social change marks out our time from those that precede it? To me it’s obvious. This is the Age of Loneliness.
. . . → Read More: The Age Of Loneliness Is Killing Us, By George Monbiot
“Many indigenous peoples have a pact with mother Earth that said we would hold on to the principles of thriving life, and that one day the world would turn back and come to us again,” she says. “To be ready for that, we must also go through our grief in order to truly be able to come back into alignment of our mind, body and spirit.”
. . . → Read More: Grieving Could Offer A Pathway Out Of A Destructive Economic System, By Joe Confino
So I am starting to accept that I can’t get there (to being-something-else) from here, and that we can’t get there (to a world not plunged headlong into the sixth great extinction of life) from here. To accept it, and to appreciate it. To stop fighting it. To just be who I inevitably am, in this world that is as it inevitably is, here, now.
. . . → Read More: Accepting That We Can’t Get There From Here: A Meditation, By Dave Pollard
A number of other environmental scientists such as Dr Stephan Harding, a deep ecologist like myself, see the value in needing to restore our lost connection with Earth and understand that we are all part of one greater consciousness. Deep Ecologists will tell you that there is something wrong with you if you are not profoundly saddened or depressed by the state of things at the moment. We are living in the sixth greatest mass extinction, we are killing off the last of the dolphins, whales, tigers, great apes, elephants, rhinos, insects, bees, amphibians, destroying the oceans, ripping apart the last of the Rainforests and indigenous people, we are seeing the largest scale ecocides and genocides. The amount of torture and abuse that our fellow creatures suffer at our hands is just overwhelming, let alone the killing, torturing, abusing and trafficking of women and children en mass worldwide, innocent victims of insane wars, exploitation and slavery.
. . . → Read More: Depression Is Not A Disease But An Indication That Consciousness Needs To Change
The idea of outrageous courage touched me. I could feel this was the invitation that was nested inside of this despair. I/we are being asked to cultivate outrageous courage in the face of outrageous loss. What I came to realize was that nothing had changed; the outer conditions of death and potential collapse are all very present, but something in me had shifted ever so slightly, allowing a new bottom to begin to take shape. I had been deepened by this descent. Despair was my human response to too much death, too many losses—of friends, forests, cultures. My heart, in all its beauty and fragility, was overwhelmed and couldn’t find bottom. Now, the barest inklings were setting in.
. . . → Read More: Finding A New Bottom, By Francis Weller
But alas, as her book approaches its end, Ehrenreich departs from rational ways of understanding her own experiences, and begins to sketch a view to the effect that there is indeed Something — she calls it the Other. She says that this is what she had encountered in her dissociative experiences. Ehrenreich disavows thinking of it as a personal deity or as anything monotheistic. Instead, she describes it in pantheistic or animistic terms, like a Life Force or something such. She is retrospectively even inclined to attribute anomalous results in the experiments she performed for her undergraduate science thesis to the presence of “something else” in her lab.
. . . → Read More: Barbara Ehrenreich on Why We Die And The Purpose Of Life,
Your grief is your love, turned inside-out. That is why it is so deep. That is why it is so consuming. When your sadness seems bottomless, it is because your love knows no bounds.
. . . → Read More: Lies You Were Told About Grief, By Alison Nappi
Macy believes that those who “are still on the path and not in one of the ditches” are seeing with clarity that it is “curtains for our way of life” because the prices being paid, or extorted, from the planet are too high.
. . . → Read More: Staying Sane In A Suicidal Culture: Spotlight On Joanna Macy, By Dahr Jamail
In some sense it is much easier to be kind to other species because they are the innocent ones. They have not left the planet in shambles. It is much more challenging to be kind to humans—the perpetrators, the plunderers we may despise but which some part of us has the capacity to become. The human species is far more connected than it is divided. I speak not in platitudes but rather in terms of the hard science of quantum physics, and I heartily recommend Paul Levy’s recent article “Quantum Physics: The Physics Of Dreaming, Part 1.” (http://www NULL.awakeninthedream NULL.com/wordpress/quantum-physics-the-physics-of-dreaming/) John Archibald Wheeler, theoretical physicist and colleague of Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr stated that, “Nothing is more important about quantum physics than this: it has destroyed the concept of the world as ‘sitting out there’.” In fact, there is no “you” and “me.” Yes, you have a body separate from mine, and you live in another place on the planet, but we are interdependently connected.
. . . → Read More: Mad Hominem: Why Hatred Of The Human Species Is Not Helpful, By Carolyn Baker
Why do grief work? So that we can register the sorrows of the planet and we do whatever we can, whatever we are obligated to do morally and spiritually, to try to prepare whatever is coming, so that they have a better chance to survive and continue. They have a right to that.
. . . → Read More: In Praise Of Manners, By Francis Weller