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Sacred Demise: Walking the Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization's Collapse Paperback – February 19, 2009
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Regardless, sourcing future methods for survival from history is not a solution. We're long past our history and the romanticized notions of ancient cultures that are now popping up with greater regularity (only to be bastardized to suit our destructive western ways).
To truly become conscious in a world that is collapsing means living in a way that is not separate from the natural world, animals (including those we've been culturally conditioned to designate as "food", clothing, etc.), one another, and ourselves. This book draws solely on what we can only source from the past and not on what we can access with our deepest human potential. The author writes, to some degree, about returning to ancient ways, but why return to a patriarchal past that obviously didn't work—a past that eventually led us to where we are today? I personally believe that we're better than that (at least some of us) and that it will be those who truly live in unity with life who have the greatest potential for survival—if there is any potential at all left for survival post patriarchal cultural collapse.
I am not at all religious, however I do believe that the meek shall inherit the Earth. Whether that includes any of the conditioned, mutated versions of what we've allowed ourselves to become as a species is up in the air. Perhaps it will only be cockroaches. But if there is any hope for human survival/transformation, I believe that it will not include any hint of the patriarchal, anthropocentric, speciesist, consumptive, destructive, separation-based worldview that has gotten us into this disastrous place in the first place.
A book that speaks to our collapsing world in a truly conscious way is Carbon Dharma: The Occupation of Butterflies by Sailesh Rao. His worldview is one that comes from the heart, the true essence of humanity.
Over the past few months I've done just that: be myself, less cowtowing to expectations and conventions, with a readiness to embrace strengths that I now posses, perhaps in latent form, and reformulate myself today, for tomorrow's requirements of collapse. If Dmitri Orlov provides a mocking kick in the butt towards the cliff, Baker, perhaps in a manner that coddes excessively our spoilt sensibilities (with a consequent verbosity, in my view), sweet talks us into accepting the medicine that collapse will administer. As such, the author seems more concerned with nurturing an attitude of "yes we can," even though we cannot in the context of the present social formation.
Baker encourages us to look for or create new doorways, knowing that the new place into which we enter only has a chance to be a space of opportunity for deepening our humanity if we make it so with our labor and our love. She offers no guarantees, only opportunities to utilize our energies and insights to promote the possibility that humanity will survive and evolve in the very different world we are shaping.
If you do not espouse liberal or socialist ideals, you can still read this book, and learn from it, if you let yourself.