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
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
If I can share some humor, or discuss news and current events, if a person needs to hear me read psalms, or have me sit quietly, then that’s what I do. Hospice care is not there to judge or give one-stop care; each patient is unique in their history, their needs and the way we care for them. I love that challenge. There are patients I’ve only known for hours, and those I will always remember — people who have touched my life, and allowed me to share a sacred time in theirs. Each week I look death in the eye and I’m reminded just how fragile life is and how my actions can help make the final transition a little bit better — I am reminded, how to live.
. . . → Read More: Four Things I Learned Comforting Dying People, By Dawn Q. Landau
I have been researching and writing about anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) for Truthout for the past year, because I have long been deeply troubled by how fast the planet has been emitting its obvious distress signals. On a nearly daily basis, I’ve sought out the most recent scientific studies, interviewed the top researchers and scientists penning those studies, and connected the dots to give readers as clear a picture as possible about the magnitude of the emergency we are in. This work has emotional consequences: I’ve struggled with depression, anger, and fear. I’ve watched myself shift through some of the five stages of grief proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance I’ve grieved for the planet and all the species who live here, and continue to do so as I work today. I have been vacillating between depression and acceptance of where we are, both as victims – fragile human beings – and as perpetrators: We are the species responsible for altering the climate system of the planet we inhabit to the point of possibly driving ourselves extinct, in addition to the 150-200 species we are already driving extinct. Can you relate to this grieving process?
. . . → Read More: Mourning Our Planet: Climate Scientists Share Their Grieving Process, By Dahr Jamail
Meaning comes from the pursuit of more complex things than happiness
. . . → Read More: There’s More To Life Than Being Happy, By Emily Esfahani Smith
Depression, anxiety, and fatigue are an essential part of a process of metamorphosis that is unfolding on the planet today, and highly significant for the light they shed on the transition from an old world to a new. When a growing fatigue or depression becomes serious, and we get a diagnosis of Epstein-Barr or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or hypothyroid or low serotonin, we typically feel relief and alarm. Alarm: something is wrong with me. Relief: at least I know I’m not imagining things; now that I have a diagnosis, I can be cured, and life can go back to normal. But of course, a cure for these conditions is elusive.
. . . → Read More: Mutiny Of The Soul, By Charles Eisenstein
As the holidays approach, many of us will find ourselves with family and good friends. What holds the promise for good times, however, often turns sour when our buttons get pushed. So, in the spirit of making the most of the holidays, keeping the energy flowing (if only with ourselves), and giving ourselves the greatest gift, let’s consider our options for how to work with the upsetting moments when someone else seems spoils the fun.
. . . → Read More: Holiday Emotions: 11 Tips For Dealing With Family Triggers, By Jack Adam Weber
The degree to which we love is the degree to which we break open when we lose what we love. Grief is the central emotion associated with heartbreak. It´s there under the we might feel. But, in order to get to grief we must eventually allow ourselves to let go, even temporarily, of anger and feelings of vengeance. This is difficult for some because anger gives us the illusion that we are in control and powerful. Yet, to reclaim deep power we must let ourselves grieve.
. . . → Read More: Heartbreak: Loving Ourselves Through Difficult Times, By Jack Adam Weber
As with the social changes that were necessary to end the African slave trade, a transformation of modern capitalism requires that we step outside of ourselves and examine our own roles within the system objectively. It’s easy to see capitalism as a system external to ourselves, but it’s much harder to acknowledge the stories we carry inside of ourselves that create and reinforce the values that sustain it.
. . . → Read More: Facing Up To The Capitalist Within, By Georgie Wingfield-Hayes