Change“Gary, your website is so dark…do you ever publish positive news?” Well, I’m positive that environmental, energy, and economic systems are collapsing…not just some systems, but virtually all systems are crashing. You’d have to be in total denial not to recognize that everything’s not only about to change, but that it already is changing.

There’s a plethora of beliefs around what’s going to happen; from near-term human extinction, to some technological breakthrough saving us, to some people thinking we’re going to ascend, that we’ll be raptured, that we don’t have to die, or that aliens will rescue us…okay, why haven’t we, why don’t we, and where are they? We’re already dying down here…but not as fast as we’re replacing ourselves…so far. But for many people, that doesn’t really matter, because those who are already dying aren’t the chosen ones…in our narcissistic egos, they didn’t deserve to be rescued: but those of us who are still living think we do.

But what’s going on isn’t just an environmental, energy, and economic collapse. It’s all of those things, but it’s also an emotional and a spiritual collapse, and it may very well also be a Spiritual Rebirth. Collapse is very real at what some call the 3D – or 3rd dimensional – level, the physical level where we exist in the everyday relative/manifest world. Conditions that we have created here are going to cause what will probably be the biggest collapse of all time, beginning when the economic bill comes due and we can no longer hold the wolves at the door. It’s a spiritual collapse because we forgot that we’re all one: that we can’t shit where we eat, that once you take down the last tree, once you’ve eaten the last fish, once you’ve sipped the last of the clean water, you’re done.

But while an economic collapse will likely be the triggering event, it’s just a prelim bout in the Wide World of Collapse Championships about to begin it’s final season, and here’s where I have to admit that I don’t really know how it’s going to turn out.

As described above, everyone’s got their pet theory about what’s going to happen and why. To everyone who says they know what’s coming, I say “bullshit.” No one knows what’s coming. People who are vigorously defending one position or another are saying more about their own shadow than about what’s coming. Never before in humanity’s history has anyone been able to predict what a major paradigm shift was going to look like or how it was going to happen, and one way or another, this is definitely going to be a major paradigm shift, whether it means our extinction, or not, because this will be a huge paradigm shift, and all bets are off.

People who are interpreting the collapse – it’s going to be this, it’s going to be that, and myself included – are all operating under the belief systems of the current paradigm while we’re still  in that paradigm, and there’s no way we can fully understand a new paradigm until we’ve moved into it, and even then, it will probably take some time for it to truly reveal itself…and who we’ll be. 300 years later, we barely understand The Enlightenment, and there have been two major paradigm shifts since then (oh, you didn’t know about those?).

If you’re paying attention to what’s happening in the U.S. with the enormous expansion of police and military powers, search and seizure laws, and the loss of privacy and rights, we’re pretty much a totalitarian state right now, but the majority of us are still trapped in the illusion of freedom. But that’s what governments – even so-called democracies – do when they feel threatened. They become more concerned with consolidating their power to protect the status quo than the rights of people and begins – with good reason – not to trust the people even to the point of enslaving the ones it was supposed to protect. Nothing new there. It always happens with empire. Even governments have shadows.

All of this is happening in a limited egoic-based system of reality, where we believe we’re separate beings, not fully knowing that we’re trapped within The Matrix.* And even if we don’t believe it, we still act like we do. All while our egos are telling us everything is fine – don’t pay attention to that knot in your stomach – in spite of both our subconscious and our supra-conscious minds telling us we’re trapped. Come on, you know that deep down, don’t you?

You say you haven’t thought about this possibility before? Then you’re not going deep enough.

But even if part of what some of the great minds of Collapse are telling us is right, and we’ve condemned ourselves and maybe every living thing on the planet to a 6th extinction event – Near-Term Extinction, or NTE – what if that is the paradigm shift, what might the impact of 7 billion human souls – to say nothing of unknown quantities of sparks of consciousness from all of the planetary species on earth – have if they were all dumped into a conscious universe at the same time? Uncharted territory.

Whether one accepts the concept of NTE or not, our actions must come down to this: What we need to do in the face of NTE, is the same thing we need to do to save the planet. As Jeffrey Strahl writes on Nature Bats Last, even in the face of NTE, “resistance is the only ethical response.” And, as Guy McPherson states, “resistance is fertile, and it’s a moral imperative.” I take off my hat and honor all of you who embody the Warrior of Sacred Activism and refuse to quit.

But let’s assume for the sake of this essay, that the human race is somehow going to survive what’s coming. Oh, I still believe – there’s that pesky belief thingy again from my egoic-based perspective – that  there’s going to be a major die-off of our species – with over 56 million already dying each year according to the CIA World Factbook and with all of the positive feedback loops we’ve created in every collapsing system, including environment, we’ve pretty much assured our destruction, but maybe there will be pockets of humanity that somehow manage to survive. What will they do?

Unless we get that huge paradigm shift in consciousness, they’ll probably be hunters and gatherers of what’s left, and will eventually discover agriculture, and stop moving around, creating the first new communities and it will start all over again.

I’m still going to plant a tree…and a garden.


*Neo:I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid… you’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.”

Update May 20th:

Barbara Hand Clow has a book called “Catastrophobia: The Truth Behind Earth Changes in the Coming Age of Light,” and says previous cataclysms have instilled a collective fear in us around things like NTE, and insists that we’re on the verge of incredible creative growth.


“The recent discovery of the remains of ancient villages buried beneath the Black Sea is the latest instance of mounting evidence that many of the “mythic” catastrophes of history–the fall of Atlantis, the Biblical Flood–were actual events. In Catastrophobia Barbara Hand Clow shows that a series of cataclysmic disasters, caused by a massive disturbance in the Earth’s crust 11,500 years ago, rocked the world and left humanity’s collective psyche permanently scarred. We are a wounded species, and this unprocessed fear, passed from generation to generation, is responsible for our constant expectations of apocalypse, from Y2K to the famed end of the Mayan calendar in 2012.”

I’ve stayed away from most cataclysmic thinking , especially when based on what I perceive to be magical thinking, but the scientific evidence is pretty overwhelming (unlike Y2K and 2012), and the proclivity of the human mind to grasp onto collective fears is the same proclivity that exists toward denial. They are two sides of the same coin.

I’ll be blogging about it at The Age of Limits Conference this weekend and the reactions I’m expecting around NTE based on my own experiences about denial around collapse….if you think that was bad, hold on to your hat for this firestorm.


Gary Stamper, Ph.D., is the founder of, and the author of Awakening the New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior