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Sacred Demise: Walking the Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization's Collapse Paperback – February 19, 2009

24 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (February 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440119724
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440119729
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,365,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carolyn Baker, Ph.D. was an adjunct professor of history and psychology for more than 10 years and manages the Speaking Truth to Power website at She was a psychotherapist in private practice for 17 years and is a student of ritual and mythology and has continued her personal mediation practice for more than 30 years. Carolyn offers life coaching both locally and internationally. Her next book is Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths For Turbulent Times which is preceded by Navigating The Coming Chaos: A Handbook For Inner Transition (2011) and Sacred Demise: Walking The Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization's Collapse (2009). She lives in Boulder,Colorado. Her other books include: U.S. History Uncensored: What Your High School Textbook Didn't Tell You (2006); Coming Out Of Fundamentalist Christianity: An Autobiography Affirming Sensuality, Social Justice, and the Sacred (2007); The Journey of Forgiveness: Fulfilling The Healing Process (2000); Reclaiming The Dark Feminine: The Price of Desire (1996).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Miller on April 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
Sacred Demise is a powerful, fascinating, and very important book that provides a deep, holistic analysis of the present situation. Carolyn Baker surveys the ecological and economic disasters in the making, and concludes that, without any doubt, modern civilization is coming down. There is no longer anything we can do to prevent this; our choice at this point is either to deny the inevitable and try (futilely) to prop up the existing system, or to fully accept the enormity of this historical shift with all the uncertainty, stress, and even horror that it will entail.
Baker's central point is that the death of our cultural identity can be a spiritual opening for us, an opportunity to cast off our egocentric way of living (we are a "culture of two-year-olds," she says) and reclaim the ecocentric awareness of our indigenous heritage--a life in harmony with the pulsating vitality of the earth. This is the only way of living that has intrinsic meaning and purpose, that is spiritually and existentially nourishing, and the time has come to reconnect with it.
As with all major transitions in life, this "quantum shift" in consciousness will be psychologically difficult; the loss of "much of what we have held dear in civilization" will engender disorientation, distress, and deep grief. Sacred Demise is essentially an invitation to surrender to this emotional upheaval, to learn from it and allow it to deepen and mature us. Baker describes personal and communal practices we can use to turn cultural disintegration into a collective rite of passage, through which the limitations and mistakes of our immature worldview may be purged and transformed.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Michael C. Ruppert on May 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
In the rare instances where I come across a book that is a feast for the mind and soul I wrestle with it as with a lover. Pages get dog-eared, the pen comes out and notes appear all over. Great passages are underlined. There are coffee and wine stains. This marks my affair with a great book. "Sacred Demise" is the first such book I have read in many years. In spite of the profoundly disturbing topic: the collapse of industrial civilization and possible extinction of the human race; it is a book which has left me feeling joyful, hopeful, humorous and deeply comforted. It has made me love more completely and - in that process - has allowed me to be more alive in this present moment.

This isn't a mass-consumption book nor should it be. My life and experience have taught me that few humans have evolved or are aware enough to even grasp its significance. The book is like a great sacred text from antiquity that makes us love our forbears and take comfort in our connectedness to them. If intelligent life is able to find "Sacred Demise" in two or three millennia I can see it being revered as a great testament to what our potential as a species might have been... or might yet become.

"Sacred Demise" is an incredible how-to, first-aid, healing map and manual of how one can navigate an aware psyche through the emotional and spiritual challenges of collapse - to find and to give love, comfort and even great joy in the midst of pain, despair and death. It teaches and reminds us that death is not a bad word but a "parenthesis in eternity" as Joel Goldsmith wrote. I know of no one who has had the courage to address these crying needs in detail and Baker is uniquely qualified to do it.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By L. Buzzell-saltzman on May 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is probably the most honest assessment yet in print of our collective situation and the psychological and spiritual issues involved in facing up to and dealing with the multiple challenges of energy descent, climate disruption and economic meltdown. Carolyn Baker shows us how to face up to these tough realities while still enjoying life to the full. Especially helpful is her advice to parents on how to raise healthy kids in a collapsing world.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Gabor Lukacs on October 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is not the first book I have read on the subject of changing environment, economy and our life-circumstances in general - not by a long shot. However it is the first book that discusses the internal aspects of our preparation, the emotional and the spiritual sides, and does it with impeccable research, empathy and smooth eloquence.

I have been paying special attention to the emotional preparation aspect for a few years. I am part of a men's group that believes, that the next twenty years will be completely different in our lives than the previous twenty years, and focuses on all aspect of preparation for this change. I chose emotional preparation as my focus, because I feel it connects with the quality of my life in general, not only in our particular circumstances. Carolyn Baker's book addresses this topic in a way that fills me with gratitude. Reading it, I found myself repeating "wow!" and "This is really good!" a whole lot.

Some of the main strengths of her writing are: 1) Her unlimited openness about looking at all aspect of the game without limitation; an atmosphere of sincerity exudes from this. 2) Her vulnerability; being the reader, I feel, that she is not the "expert above it all", but a fellow seeker just like me. 3) All the references; not only they are listed, but also talked about, showing the massive research the author conducted.
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