2016-12-31

Define distraction


With all the debates about “fake news” going on, I think it is important to realize the attempt to blinding out information which one kind of people don't like to see, though it really matters to the lives of other people and the more-than-human world. Freedom of speech and choice must remain as first steps to a deeper kind of Freedom.

Yes, the obituary for the Great Barrier Reef, as an example, was a straight hoax, yet it served as a means to shake people out of their dream state; the reef's advancement in bleaching is being covered more closely by the press now. Though not as closely as it deserves, which is also true for the hundreds of animal mass deaths each year which rarely make it to the front page and never produce the kind of questions they should invoke:

What the hell is going on here? Would we still think that money, economic growth, and jobs are more important than lives if those dolphins washed ashore were ourselves and our beloved ones?

Many serious events never make it to the front, if they make it at all. Instead, what we are confronted with are truly fake news: world championships in sports, allegations of espionage, yet another bird flu, threats of one president against another, stock market developments, or the isolated acts of terrorists(?) overshadowing mass death and mass destruction resulting from the war on terror, from alcohol abuse, from motorized traffic, from air pollution etc pp.

All of which are fake news by themselves because nothing about any of the above-mentioned subjects, fake or true, is new(s) at all, but rather long-standing predicaments. Nor do we ever see the full story. What's really real is hard to tell. So neither politicians nor economists nor religious leaders have an answer to the pressing – no, killing – issues of our time. We are just hanging on hanging on, patching patch on patch, because nobody dares to look at the most obvious of facts: That this whole civilization is a fake paradise based upon the most ridiculous of post-truths – separation. 

"Don’t worry about fake news. The whole scare is, itself, fake news. Don’t believe a word of it.
Could it be that the news media is still trying to distract us from their own poor performance? After all, if inaccuracy makes a thing “fake,” then all the pundits’ and pollsters’ pre-election day predictions were pretty bad offenders." --Jordan Shapiro in: Forbes, 26.12.2016

If life seems often so surreal, it is because, as a society, we have turned our backs on reality like 10,000 years ago. Comparison with any of the other, indigenous cultures we have gathered information about (and for most part driven into extinction) leaves no doubt in me.

You may agree with me so far or not, yet the discussion around “fake news” is a distraction from that which is not televised and that you are not supposed to see. Run a Gogle search on Facebook & Fake news & funding to see the hand of the 1%, and don't miss out on the billion-Dollar trace leading to climate change denial.

Exclusive broadcasting of certified information, more commonly called censorship, is based on the the post-factual assumption that Uncle Sam knows better what is true and good for you. To keep people from making their own choices, even if those choices are “wrong”, means that most people may never learn to distinguish truth from illusion, and that those who do are being showered in government and corporate propaganda with very little sanity to hold on to, apart from their own internal Selves.
Though... who knows... this might help with focussing on a Truth that is deeper than words.

2016-12-28

This eerie silence

Extreme events bring our true values to display. Sometimes, when we talk about it to our friends and family, we are in for a surprise. And often times, that is not convenient. How often do I see decision-making being reduced to the question of financial feasability; money and jobs "trump" literally every other value I might want to put forward, which only goes to show how fear and greed are governing the minds of almost all the inmates of industrial civilization. Humanity and human rights are clearly not our foremost concern, as opposed to what many constitutions and soap-box oratories pretend to hold. By observing reactions to an urgent piece of communication we are getting an insight into people's true values, some sincerity seeping through involuntarily. 

In a way that is much better than the eerie silence most people react with when it comes to inconvenient news and that subsequently covers such news in a thick layer of unexpressed negativity. What is this silence about? Is it shock? Is it irritation? Dismissiveness? Moral illiteracy? Satiation? Numbness?
Which truth does silence in the face of horror express ... with you?

I think that, as things are getting more dire by the day, as natural and social systems are falling apart, and as the breaking point is nearing, the World as represented by activists and activist writers deserves being joined by a larger audience -- the choir of voices not yet heard, the silent listeners and mute readers and quiet observers. Speak up in favour of those writing and acting on behalf of life, by giving comments and likes, by reacting and sharing, and by contributing your own voice and hand to what is unfolding around you. But first and foremost, act as you feel you should have been all along.

In the face of hate, greed and fear, 
spread the the message of love, of care, and of reason
and be the first to heed it.

2016-12-27

Civilization – a glossary


Or: The lives of the primitive are nasty, brutish and short.

The following is a translation of a German article I didin 2011 featuring words, phrases and terms that name destructive forces and their consequences to everyday life in industrial civilization. 

abuse of office, administration, advertising, agritourism, air pollution, animal abuse, anthropogenic climate change, anthropogenic mass extinction, antibiotics resistance, apocalypse, arms exports, asylum seeker, assassination, average citizen
bankruptcy, battery farm, blasphemy, booking fee, bra burner, bubble economy, bureaucracy, burn-out syndrome, butter mountain
calendar reform, cap & trade, carbon storage, cartel, casino capitalism, certificate, cheap labour, christianization, chemical spill, child abuse, clearcutting, clone, commodification, computer virus, consumerism, control, copyright, coral bleaching, corruption, crop failure, crown of creation, curriculum, customs duty, cyber attack
debt, depression, development aid, dictatorship, dioxin, discrimination against...., disease of civilization, distortion of history, divorce judge, draft, dragnet investigation, drawdown, drill sergeant, drug abuse, dying forest syndrome
economic crisis, egoism, electric chair, elite school, emulsifier, endlösung, energy slave, espionage ring, exceptionalism, exploitation, explosives
fad, fake democracy, falsification of documents, fangirl, fastfood, fetishism, financial crisis, firing squad, flavour enhancers, food dye, food riot, forced labour, foreclosure, forest of traffic signs, Fortress Europe, fracking, fraudulent labelling
gate keeper, genealogy, genetic engineering, genocide, getto, gift shop, glacier melt, globalization, gold rush, government, grass mower, green revolution, Grim Reaper, guardians of the status quo, guerilla tactics
heavy metal poisoning, hell, heretic, highrise, holocaust, homeless, homophobia, hooligan, hospital bug, housing shortage, human resources, human superiority, hunger catastrophe
ideology, illegality, illiteracy, imperialism, indefinite detention, industrial farming, infallability, inflation, inquisition, interest rates, invasion, iron curtain
jihad, juuggernaut, junkyard
killer game, Ku Klux Klan
labour division, landmine, land use plan, large hadron collider, lawyer, legislation, life insurance, long-distance relationship, loss of the sense of reality
machine gun, manager salary, maneuver training, market analysis, mass grave, mass hysteria, mass migration, mass murder, mass unemployment, mass poverty, mass production, mass uprising, materialism, McJob, medical-psychological assessment, milk pool, mining disaster, misanthropy, money laundering, monocrop, monopoly, moralism, mortgage, mountain top removal
nanny state, nationalism, nation state, neo-liberalism, nervous breakdown, nihilism, noise pollution, no-man's-land, nuclear bomb, numerology, numerus clausus
occultism, ocean acidification, oil spill, original sin, otherness, overkill, overpopulation, overview of grades, ozone hole
palace, pandemic, panic buying, pay freeze, peak-oil, penal system, pension fund, permanent nuclear repository, pesticide, pillager, pipeline, plane crash, plastic bag, plattenbau, politics, police, pornography, precariat, presidential election, price war, prison population, privatization, proletariat, property, psychotherapy, public utility, punctuality
quality management, quantum theory, quarry, quisling
radioactive waste, racism, railway mission, reactor accident, rebel movement, recreation, reform deadlock, refugee crisis, regulation mania, religion, revolution, rip-off, risk group, river control, robbery, Russian roulette
sanitarium, school massacre, secret diplomacy, secret service, secret societies, serial killer, sewage treatment plant, sexual offence, shareholder value, shortages of..., shylock, slaughterhouse, smuggler, soil erosion, social insurance, solar radiation management, spending spree, spiritual bypassing, squatter scene, stalker, standard period of study, standardization, state of emergency, stock market crash, street-walker, strike breaker, structural violence, subsidy, supertanker
tar sands extraction, tax increase, tax injustice, tax payer, terminator seed, technical failure, terminator technology, terrorism, therapy, think tank, thrashmower, time constraint, time keeping, toilet attendant, torture camp, tourist trap, toxic waste, traffic offense, traffic rush, trash trade, trash vortex
ubermensch, underdeveloped country, uniform, urban sprawl, usury, utilitarianism, Utopia
vacccine, vacuum cleaner, vandalism, vermin, virtual reality, vivisection
wage slavery, war crimes, war on..., waste of energy, weapons of mass destruction, weeds, welfare scrounger, workaholic, World Bank, world war
xenophobia, x rating, XTC
y2K bug, Yakuza, Yankee, yeoman, youthism, yuppie
zealot, zero-dimensional space, zoo animal

(Endlessly expandable)

What's wrong with “recreation”? Are our lives not better than that of primitive man? – Go and find out.

2016-12-22

Jacke und Hose rücken enger zusammen


Ich denke, wir sollten uns mit dem Gedanken vertraut machen, dass wir es hinsichtlich sogenannter Terroristen nicht lediglich mit Leuten mit einer politischen Agenda zu tun haben, sondern mit Überzeugungstätern, d.h. Leuten, die weder gekauft noch überredet werden können. Die Hauptantriebsfeder könnte in den weitaus meisten Fällen – und das trifft sicherlich auf Selbstmordattentäter zu – ein tief sitzender Schmerz über die Zustände um sie herum sein. Dass sich ihr Hass ausgerechnet gegen uns Deutsche richtet und an Privatpersonen austobt, wundert mich nicht weiter. In dem Maße, wie wir „unseren Wohlstand am Hindukusch verteidigen“ (Merkel) und wie das Töten dort eine Zivilbevölkerung trifft, die sich grundlos und wahllos angegriffen fühlt, werden wir mit einer entsprechenden Reaktion leben müssen. Im Grunde setzt sich an Orten wie dem Breitscheidplatz in kleinem Maßstab fort, was als staatlich organisierter Massenmord in Bagdad, Kundus oder Aleppo begonnen hat. Der Versuch, solchen Vorkommnissen mit staatlicher oder militärischer Gewalt zu Leibe zu rücken, führt daher unausweichlich zu einer Eskalation der Lage. Ich würde nicht darauf wetten, dass Terrorismus gezwungenermaßen oder von sich aus endet, also nur ein vorübergehendes Phänomen ist. Dafür ist er schon ein paar Jahrzehnte zu lang Teil des Zeitgeistes. Ich möchte mit Daniel Quinn sogar behaupten, dass Terrorismus zu jenen Plagen gehört, deren Anzahl und Intensität mit fortschreitender Zivilisierung des Planeten zunimmt.

Vorausgesetzt, es liegt nicht im besten Interesse der Mächtigen, dass diese Bluttaten stattfinden, was es ihnen erlaubt, Feindbilder zu definieren und ihre Bevölkerung noch enger in den Würgegriff zu nehmen. Es ist nicht abzuleugnen, dass solche Vorkommnisse zumindest zu diesem Zweck ausgeschlachtet werden, wie unmittelbare Reaktionen der Politik auf den LKW-Angriff und die Geschichte seit 9/11 gezeigt haben.
William Perry, ex-US-Verteidigungsminister, erläutert in seinen unlängst erschienenen Memoiren, „My Journey at the nuclear brink“, dass technische Innovationen, Privatprofite und Steuergelder, zivilies Technikspielzeug und Massenvernichtungswaffen, Satellitentechnik, Computer und die sich ständig ausweitende Überwachung sehr viel miteinander zu tun haben.

Das Sprichwort, dass uns die (europäische) Jacke näher wäre als die (arabische) Hose, ist am Breitscheidplatz auf Kosten von Menschenleben einmal mehr falsifiziert worden.

Manch einer mag denken, ich wolle hier terroristische Gewalt rechtfertigen oder Partei für einen der Kontrahenten im Kampf der Kulturen ergreifen.
Mitnichten.
Ich weise ausdrücklich darauf hin, dass Gewaltanwendung, auch wenn sie einen evolutionären Zweck erfüllen mag, nicht dazu geeignet ist, anderer Gewalt zu trotzen, die in großem Maßstab begangen wird. Die Mehrheit der Menschen ist allerdings nicht bereit, auch nur ansatzweise über Alternativen nachzudenken. Jene, die ihre innere Blockade diesbezüglich durchbrochen haben, kennen die Antwort bereits und praktizieren sie. Andere mögen folgen, wenn die durch das Gewaltparadigma verursachte Totalzerstörung ein Umdenken erzwingt – falls dann noch jemand lebt.

2016-12-21

Who cares


I have been a 'die-hard metal fan', as they call the kind of folks that bang their heads at the thrashing beat of drums and screeching sounds of guitars, a guy who, like all the other die-hard metal fans, used to say, “I don't give a shit what people think. I really couldn't care less.”

Well, I was lying.
Of course I cared! That's the whole point of being a die-hard metal fan. You yearn to be other than the others, you want to show off your freedom to all those sheeple out there who don't dare to bleat. You want to be seen.
So I was lying; I did care, and I was wrong about my perceived liberty, too, as I know now. Being different, as well, is not the desirable thing I thought it was. There are no sheeple. Or rather, all of us are sheeple, the lifestock of the 1%, and each living being deserves getting cared about in kinder ways than rejection as an 'other'.

Caring is the point of being an activist. Because, if you didn't give a damn you wouldn't be out there risking your reputation, your job, or, for some of you, even your life. Yes, you want to make a difference, physically. And then you want for that difference to take roots in the collective consciousness, you want for it to persist and have a lasting impact; you wish for people to finally wake up to what you can see so clearly.

Yet, to get to the point where you can see so clearly what most others don't, you must have significantly reduced caring about mainstream opinions, and that means, you let go of wanting to be an acknowledged, highly valued member of society. Because the very moment you start to deviate from their kind of truth you are on your way out.

From this perspective, a quote from one of Richard Bach's novels makes a lot of sense:

"Well, what's wrong with losing ninety percent of my audience? What's wrong with losing ALL my audience? I know what I know and I talk what I talk! And if that's wrong then that's just too bad." --Richard Bach

In the end, as an author, you are writing for the sake of truth as such. You are writing in support of those who already understand the truth you tell, the ones who need support with staying strong and sane in an ocean of falsehood. You are writing for the ones you care about. You are writing for whom and what you love. Hell, does it make a difference! It makes an infinitely greater difference than voting for the right guy or buying from a green shop.

So let's care. Let's care a lot! Let's care about our friends and neighbours, about the toads, the grass, the cockroaches, the sky, and the creek. Let's care about truth.

Truth is not depending on a democratic majority, or anybody else but its speaker at all. Let truth be told, no matter what. You don't know what else to say. A certain way along the path, you cannot stand anything but the truth; no matter how small the deviation, you cringe under the slightest of falsehoods, and you would rather be dead than contributing to the big lie that is our culture. This is how much you care.
You'd rather be dead.

2016-12-17

Muscat intermission

[A note taken during a four-hour wait in transit]
Every time I traverse a city I wonder why anyone would live amidst all this clutter, garbage, noise, stench, crowdedness, and hectic activity. To call it an eyesore was an understatement. To me, it seems like ugliness manifest, an attack against all of my senses. Well, you can hardly avoid those endless sprawls of buildings, adverts, vehicles and their unpleasant byproducts when you travel afar. Large airports don't grow in the middle of untouched wilderness...

Ok, I'm a misfit.
You know you are a misfit when, after three hours of flight, you are greeting the hardy grasses and shrubs at Muscat airport as your fellow beings while your plane passes them by on taxiing to a terminal. I wanted to pull the emergency break - where is it??? - smash a window and jump out of the cabin right there to go touch some of those islands of life inhabiting this desert of silicates and asphalt.
Everything about air travels is, of course, artificial, and it painfully feels like this to me. Worst of it all are the terminals with their a/c air, their weird lighting and their shiny surfaces, all glass, steel, aluminum and plastic; I always imagine being an insect on a life-repellent surface, not welcome, every move eyed suspiciously. I should have counted the checkpoints; probably a two-digit figure already, and I still have to absolve the second leg of my journey.

Yes, I went by my own choice. I chose to apply all those tech resources that I so fiercely reject. Such are the lives of hypocrites - and each and everyone of those who have been born into this bloody hell so proudly calling itself a civilization and who hate the guts of it. In having been born to this time and age of all-encompassing madness we, the misfits, had no choice; we only have the freedom to reduce mother culture's grip on us a weeny bit, and to tear its phoney, fraudulent myths to shreds with every word we speak:

the goverment fraud, the military fraud, the science fraud, the technology fraud, the God fraud, the money fraud, the human-superiority fraud, the separation fraud, the control fraud.

Just watch the December 2016 CNN presentation on the sixth mass extinction to see a few things that are wrong with our culture - at least this much has been acknowledged by mainstream culture, as it is impossible to hide it any longer from public awareness - only to take the heat out of it by pretending our predicament was still manageable without having to change our lifestyle:
 "experts say we have the solutions we need."
 Hilariously stumbling closer to truth, the author added,
"What we don't have is time."
That's right. Time has been running out decades ago. Which is not to say we shouldn't do all the things the CNN presentation proposes; only that the situation is far beyond technological fixes. Action has to be part of our living for what we love, a pursuit of excellence without attachment to a specific outcome. Letting go of control over a situation opens the gateway for "miracles", which are, rationally spoken, unexpected solutions, unaffected of improvement for the worse. Short of a miracle, as I see things, we are in for the eradication of life on Earth by the hands of civilization. Not fighting it will make a difference, but whether we care.

2016-12-10

The iceberg is sinking fast


I am currently translating a book on climate change, its consequences, and how do deal with it. One of the sources mentioned in there is a Report of The Environmental Pollution Panel by the President's Science Advisor Committee, issued in November 1965 to advise US President Lyndon B. Johnson on the effects of pollution on the nation's health and economy. The report's title is, “Restoring the Quality of Our Environment, which implies that said environment had already decreased to a significant amount in quality, and that this was acknowledged. In fact, the table of contents reads like from an eco warrior's bible.

I would like to quote a few passages from it, to illuminate the extent to which the US government knew fifty (!) years ago where the train of industrial civilization is headed.

On “possible effects of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide on climate”

“We may compute from his data [F. Möller, On the influences of changes in the CO2 concentration in air on the radiation balance of earth's surface and on the climate; in Journal of Geophysical Research, 1963] that with a 25% increase in the atmospheric CO2, the average temperature near the Earth's surface could increase between 0.6C and 4C” (p121)

and they go on to describe how water vapor plays a role in increasing the effect of atmospheric CO2, through a self-reinforcing feedback loop.

They also mention C. G. Callendar's groundbreaking work in the late 30s and the 40s regarding temperature increase through carbon increase. (p122)

Atmospheric warming due to an increase in the CO2 content of the atmosphere may result in a catastrophically rapid melting of the Antarctic ice cap, with an accompanying rise in sea level. [The authors think, though, that] such melting must occur relatively slowly on a human scale.” (p123)

Well, we know about self-reinforcing feedback loops and we can witness first-hand how both Arctic and Antarctic ice caps are melting like snow in the sun, with record losses on both poles at the same time in October and November 2016, which is a first in human history. Imagine it's winter on the North pole, it's pitch dark and it's supposed to be below -20C, but sea ice is melting.

Pronounced effect on the distribution of some fisheries through warming of the oceans' surface water counts among further ramifications of increased CO2 levels. The authors note that “the amelioration of oceanic climate also resulted in a marked retreat of sea ice around the edges of the Arctic Ocean.”
The authors furthermore note that the burning of limestone for cement and other construction purposes contributes a significant amount of CO2 to the atmosphere, that the growth of agricultural area has reduced forests and grass lands and has triggered the oxidisation of ocean-based and soil-based carbon into CO2, which means they identified another self-reinforcing feedback loop (p123f)

The authors then conclude:
“Through his worldwide industrial civilization, Man is unwittingly conducting a vast geophysical experiment. Within a few generations he is burning fossil fuels that slowly accumulated in the earth over the past 500 million years. The CO2 produced by this combustion is injected into the atmosphere; about half of it remains there. The estimated recoverable reserves of fossil fuels are sufficient to produce nearly a 200% increase in the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere.

By the year 2000 the increase in atmospheric CO2 will be close to 25% [accurate!]. This may be sufficient to produce measurable and perhaps marked changes in climate, and will almost certainly cause significant changes in the temperature and other properties of the stratosphere” (p126)

It's 1965 and they are accurate again!

“The climatic changes that may be produced by the increased CO2 content could be deleterious from the point of view of human beings.” (p127)

Ha! And not to mention from the point of view of failing ecosystems. The authors then go on to describe fantasy technology needed to remove the CO2 from the atmosphere. This must be one of the first mentionings of geo-engineering.

“We can conclude that, at least during the recent past, fossil fuel combustion has been the only significant source of CO2 added to the ocean-atmosphere-biosphere system.” (p131)

So much for solar activity, cosmic rays, or natural climate cycles being responsible for Earth's predicament.

Subsequent reports, like the research done by Exxon (temperatures are likely to rise by a catastrophic 5 degrees Celsius, with rises of 6, 7 or even more quite possible”), the briefing of the Alliance of Small Island States to the Copenhagen Climate Summit (“350ppm is a death sentence”), and a scenario created for the Pentagon, all underline the reality of the climatic threat and the necessity for action. The Pentagon report (An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for US National Security, by Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall, October 2003) is “imagining the unthinkable”. It states:

"There is substantial evidence to indicate that significant global warming will occur during the 21st century. […] gradual global warming could lead to a relatively abrupt slowing of the ocean’s thermohaline conveyor, which could lead to harsher winter weather conditions, sharply reduced soil moisture, and more intense winds in certain regions that currently provide a significant fraction of the world’s food production. With inadequate preparation, the result could be a significant drop in the human carrying capacity of the Earth’s environment"
“These [changes] could occur in several food producing regions around the world at the same time within the next 15-30 years, challenging the notion that society’s ability to adapt will make climate change manageable.”

I think we have read enough to understand that the governments of the world are well informed on what is really going on with the climate, but they don't tell.
I also think we all have seen enough in our own environment or on the news to come to the conclusion that climate change is neither a hoax nor a pony farm experience we could wiggle our way out of easily.

Throughout all those years since 1965, something could have been done to stop, curb, or mitigate the development. Our boat didn't have to hit the iceberg, yet it did so at full speed, and catastrophic damage is irreversibly done – only this time, the berg is sinking... first.

I therefore think that in today's situation don't ask, don't tell is a non-appropriate policy – more than ever, for it never was. We should not only ask ourselves, but our governments, economic leaders and media enterprises why none of this makes the headlines of every single news show, similar to the financial crisis of 2008 when all frequencies bothered us with banks' death screams for months on end. Why have they driven us into this – in broad daylight, in full sight, and the headlights on?

When you hear your government – be it the German, the Indian, the Chinese, the Russian, or the You-name-it government – when you hear your government claim that they are doing something about climate change, be aware that, in fifty years, they have done exactly nothing to curb the effects of industrial activities and the corresponding lifestyle; they have hidden the facts, as described above, from you and deliberately downplayed the ramifications of industrial pollution while economic growth has been maintained as the primary objective in decision-making. How likely is it that anything has changed in the meantime, given that major experts warn of near-term human extinction due to temperature increases way beyond 4C while your favorite politician, whoever it is, holds we could stop at the 2C we have already (!) reached? Think about it.
 
Dance of death to the music of the abrupt heating of the Earth has started. We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, and anyone who thinks you can drive 200 species a day into the abyss and have a planet that is empty except for eight billion humans is dreaming. At one point, it's going to be us – not because we run out of ideas, but because our ability to grow food will have been destroyed utterly.

Maybe it's time for you to take some time and think about how you would live if your time was short. What is truly, deepy important to you? What would you like to pursue?
Why are you not doing it right now?

2016-12-07

On the arts


Art thrives on misery and suffering. Tough times produce great writers, painters, musicians etc. Art is a means of self-fulfillment.

But: true Creativity comes from the connection with our joyful center, when you act from what you intuitively know to be right and true and good. Art is a means of service.

I found both to be accurate. I had my most creative writing bouts when I was totally miserable, and once again after I had woken up to the fact that the misery, including the reasons for it, were an illusion and fully committed myself to reconnecting to the Sacred. During the intermittent period I shut down writing activities almost completely for several years. I knew nothing then, I was totally disoriented, and I saw no meaning in anything.
Writing does have to make sense, not only to the reader, but to the writer as well. If this is missing from your life, forget about being creative. Don't even try.

2016-11-30

To nobody in particular

"I've thought hard on what was emotionally so different about McPherson's short timeframe versus my unquestioning belief in a much longer one. Obviously, the longer timeframe means I'd get to live out my natural life.

I had never, for one second, consciously entertained the idea that human extinction was conceivable in the near term.

In other words, I'm basically okay with the sadness and anxiety about some far-off future generation seeing the collapse of humanity. Just not this one. My one." --Rachel Stewart: What to do when your days are numbered. We carry on, as humans are no good at facing up to possible extinction. New Zealand Herald, 30.11.2016

A great introspective piece by a journalist, mentioning a few thoughts I had as well in that first moment of dawning, showing that, even as we are expected to stay professionally distanced and objective, we are still human beings wanting to live, wanting to thrive and be happy.

I recently cought a few questionable remarks from the Aurobindan community which really make me think that the stage of ossification into a religion has been reached. Something along the lines of, "XY foresaw another future, so it cannot be true", or, "If you do this kind of yoga you cannot believe this pessimistic stuff", or even, "You are doubting The Master. What are you doing here?"

Well, I'm not a pessimist; I don't live in the physical world alone. I don't "believe" in that stuff because believing is really a bad idea when it makes you stop looking for yourself. Read your master's works; s/he will tell you a word or two on "a life divine, but no religion."
Scientific data, as well, can only take you so far before you are on your own. Words, figures, opinions, predictions, holy scriptures -- none of those is truth as such, At best they can point at the truth. Every time we try to limit reality to a guru's, a teacher's, a politician's, a philosopher's, or anybody else's words we step off the path of truth.

I see what is going on around, and inside of me - not just since this morning; I do that because I have a rotten gut feeling about people's ways as far back as I can remember. I look at the world, I look at the data, and I think to myself, "Hm, that McPherson fellow got a point. Thanks for offering this perspective" -- which means I go about finding out what it means in relation to my life.

Does it mean I cannot enjoy a joke? Does it mean I despise people with a different opinion? Does rejecting "The Master" as my supreme master mean I am off the Path? -- No, no, and again no, quite the opposite in each case. I am still among those of goodwill; more than ever, I'd say, because this thing literally shook me up.

Do I fail sometimes? -- Yes, absolutely. Quite often.
Can my assessments be inaccurate, or otherwise wrong? -- Absolutely. It wouldn't be the first time, either.
Yet it is I who has to find my way, like you have to find yours, and no one else can walk the walk for any of us.

2016-11-26

Good grief!

Tamil Nadu stares at water crisis as rain fails

“Tamil Nadu is staring at one of its worst water crises. Going by data put out by the public works department, the major irrigation reservoirs in the state have a combined storage of only 15% of its total capacity, which continues to dwindle. The northeast monsoon has been deficient in most districts with the meteorological department recording a 66% deficiency. The state had [already] suffered a deficit rainfall during the southwest monsoon between June and September this year. 'Both agriculture and water supply will be adversely affected given the present scenario,' said a senior government official, seeking anonymity.” --Times of India, 16 Nov 2016

India has severe problems with a Monsoon that has become increasingly erratic over the last two decades. Two months after the Winter Monsoon's regular starting date, 1st October, the local plateau here has seen but a handful of rainy days, only one of which resembled somehow seasonally normal conditions.
Yesterday we had a full-day powercut which low pressure in the hydroelectric powerplants may have contributed to. As the farm is allowed to pump water from the well only every other day, and as – thanks to a biased arbitration decision – we have lost all storage capacity to neighbours who are making no proper use of those, nor of the land we had to hand over to them, this poses a threat to the existence of the place. And it is just the beginning of what seems to be part of a steep decline into global destruction. Forget about food security in a town where the little farming we have receives an abundance of contempt from a society in which a sizeable fraction of the population believes tourists' money and government grants equal sustainable living.
I know that the Californian drought is going on for more than five years already, causing almonds and nuts shortages and price spikes in farwaway Germany. I know that places on the American plains and elsewhere in the World have been hit much earlier and much harder already than Southeast India, but that newspaper article, which I read only yesterday in the evening drove it home; drove it home to the deeper place where it belongs, beyond the mind.

I read it, and I cried.
I remembered having looked at sea ice graphs and global temperature figures and jetstream projections and polar weather maps just a few hours before, and I cried.
I looked up at the starlit raintree canope in front of my hut, and I cried.
I am not afraid of dying, and I know that all things shall pass; yet I cried for the untimely demise of all that beauty, considering how each of us has contributed – and is perpetually contributing – to its impending extinction. The cows, the crickets; the goats, the grass; the hares, the humans; the paddy birds and the palmyra; this beautiful, garbage-strewn, sun-baked land of India which in the not-so-distant future might face civil war over precious water crossing hate-based state borders.

I can feel how quite a few believe that I'm nuts (likely not those who made it this far into the text; thanks for still being with me). I am very aware of the fact that I am standing in a millennia-old tradition of doomsayers, all of which have been graced with being spared the real thing; 2012, after all, has come and passed not that long ago. And this as well is part of why I am crying: because the writing's on the wall, in capital letters, everywhere around us, still everyone carries on as if those were just minor glitches on a TV screen. Seen it before; won't happen to me. It's a conversation you can't have unless you seek to run into a wall of escapism, denial, and unfounded hopes.

I have been grieving before and I have been crying before. Understanding the inescapability and necessity of it all leaves no other choice, apart from closing my eyes. I do close my eyes sometimes, though not for a childlike kind of hiding; it is to connect to the joy of being alive, to focus on the love from which right action will come, and to be present for what needs to be witnessed.

2016-11-24

Talking about aliens



"Donald Trump says he believes there is ‘some connectivity’ between humans and climate change in major U-turn”, the Independent reported yesterday.

Have you seen the SciFi film “Independence Day”? Do you remember the scene when... you know, the moment when the US president is being confronted with the truth about Area 51 and the existence of alien invaders?
I think with Trump, it must have gone like this:
Trump (on being briefed on evidence for abrupt global warming): Since when do we know about this?
Staff: Since the 1970s; Big Oil did some pretty thorough research on the effects of burning fossil fuels. The UN also figured it out, in the late 80s.
Trump: And this is definitely going to kill us?
Staff: Yes, we did some research of our own. The Pentagon, in 2003, got a report saying, climate change was not going to be a walk in the park, and in 2009, the Alliance of Small Island States briefed the UN that, at the current atmospheric concentration of CO2, we are already locked into a 6°C temperature increase, and sea levels are bound to rise by 23 meters. And that's just for starters.
Trump (baffled): And why did nobody ever tell me???
Staff: Five words – one hundred percent credible deniability.
Trump: !!!

2016-11-23

Fermi paradox resoloved


"I have enough trouble predicting the plans and reactions of people closest to me. I am usually baffled by the thoughts and accomplishments of humans in different cultures. I’ll be damned if I can state with certainty what some extraterrestrial source of intelligence might do."
--Stephen Jay Gould
Our culture is just one out of innumerable cultures, past and present, here on Earth. Its existence is based on some peculiar premises it shares with no other culture that ever existed. (see The story of B, by Daniel Quinn) Therefore it is quite unlikely that there ever were many similar, or any, societies like ours anywhere in the universe.

The rule regarding civilizations – and I am tempted to say, Q.E.D., as (to be) seen by example – might be,
All cultures sufficiently advanced to develop interstellar travel inevitably destroy their habitat.

Cultures wise enough to foresee this do not engage in space flight, or long distance communication. The reason we cannot make contact is, they are not ready yet, they were ready but now dead, or they are not interested. This means, nobody will be coming to save us. They just can't.
"Perhaps we can hope intelligent species develop to the stage where they have no urge to own every star, inhabit every planet, and populate the Galaxy with beings just like themselves."
--Stephen Webb: If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... Where Is Everybody? Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life, p. 83
Such intelligent beings do exist – here on Earth; we call them Primitives, or plants, and animals. They are as intelligent as the people of our civilization but they managed to avoid some of our worst mistakes; foremost the urge to spend energy on expansionist ideas.

2016-11-18

Why the planet goes to waste (Not a poem)


We defend what we love.
We love what we relate to.
We relate to what we know.
We know what we experience.

We fight what we hate.
We hate what we can't relate to.
We can't relate to what we don't know.
We don't know what we don't experience.

Living isolated from each other,
In human terrariums overlooking the park.
Working the office, digital illusions,
No tangible connection to what is real.

Our stories, values, thoughts, opinions
Are pulled from papers, TV, books, and web.
Useless information, mediated truth.
War on everyone and everything, that's why.

2016-11-14

Do it yourself


Some of my friends, and many folks out there in the world, dream of better conditions to live in; some of them could be called activists, though that doesn't necessarily include active work towards the realization of specific goals. I noticed that often times people believe their situation to be too constrained, too complicated to allow for actual and rapid achievements, or there is a doubt that things can function totally different from what they are used to, or that this was even worth wanting. 

I mean to encourage you to question your premises, especially when that which holds you back from acting fills you with a slightly bad gut feeling, or even anxiety. Despite numerous (including serious) obstacles that naturally accompany every period of transition I can clearly see how stepping out of the old setup into something different has turned an existence that felt caged and pointless into a life that is meaningful both to me and to my environment. This wasn't at all about courage, or sacrifice. It was about understanding what was important to me and then, consistently, systematically, steering the ship into a new direction. When one acts from a deep understanding, there are no feelings of fear or loss involved. You just do what has to be done.

Life, of course, is not a pony farm. If I emphasize here on the improvements made I neither intend to convince you of joining me in this place nor do I recommend its way of functioning being taken over; in my life, and in my town, there are too many unresolved problems as to serve as a model for others. I also believe in the power of diversity, in the feasability and beneficial effects of a multitude of paths. So just let yourself get inspired by what is possible when people dare to dream actively. No one knows better than you what you love.

2016-11-09

Twenty-three billion banknotes invalid


Google News Germany - Nine headlines on the US election, none on India. India's PM Modi has declared last night at 10pm that all of the 23 billion Rs500 and Rs1000 notes are demonetized as of midnight. Banks and ATMs stay closed for today, some places also tomorrow. This is supposed to have happened as a blow at forged and black money which have been used for terrorist activities and corruption, all of which are blamed on activities “across the border”, meaning Pakistan. One trillion two hundred fifty billion Rupees of black money have supposedly been found recently.

Gives me the creeps, because this is not only risking to destabilize the financial sector and the economy, but threatens social peace as well and fires yet another affront towards the fragile relationship with Pakistan, a country in possession of nuclear weaponry.
In the evening, people have stormed ATMs, and today nobody is accepting 500s and 1000s any longer. Transactions in cash, even big ones like for cars or shop equipment, are way more common in India than in Europe or America. Many people don't have bank accounts, just cash money. They pay hospital stays and medicine, for enstance, in cash, and are now facing treatment being denied to them. Farmers delivering to markets cannot get paid for their food – which will spoil now while people all over the place cannot afford a meal. Many shops won't make any money within the next few days because they cannot refill their stocks, or their customers have no valid money to spend – like me. I actually wanted to spend ten thousand Rupees today on printing my book and getting a water pump for the farm. It has to wait another week – provided the situation is not escalating. I doubt that there are enough Rs50 notes in circulation for bridging the immediate need, e.g. for paying wages. Civil unrest or an economic crisis in India may well destabilize the global system – which sure has to happen, and cannot be avoided anyway, in the not-so-distant future. It would be a witty end, though, coming from an unexpected angle, provided that there are at least a dozen or so elements that are more likely to break civilization's back. “It will cause some hardship to you….Let us ignore these hardships”, the PM said regarding his decision.

2016-11-05

Distributed denial of servitude


Browsing through the web, following links where they will take me, I notice quite a few people speaking up about abandoning the old system in favour of something more worthwhile, amiable, life-centered.

I’m not promising anything we do will save us from climate disasters ahead. But becoming more authentic, sustainable, correcting the process of decision making, flattening the power structures, moving from corporations to worker owned cooperatives, and ending this multi-millennia rule by elites who live by might-makes-right is worth doing at any stage.”, says, for enstance, Jason Holland, self-described anarchist and blogger.

Maybe it is just that I happen to stir up more of that stuff because I am looking for it, but I do have the impression that it has become increasingly easy finding it, and that the time is right for a major shift. We still are a tiny minority heavily constricted by mainstream culture, yet the seed of change has taken root in the fertile soil of the human mind.

How can we bring about the manifestation of that which the mind still has to grasp and what our hearts know already since birth?
Small numbers call for guerilla tactics. We do not want to repeat the same mistakes previous revolutionaries have fallen for, though. Violence is not an option. Hollowing out the system from within is not an option. 'Green' consumption is not an option. Large organizations are not an option. Each of us stands profoundly alone in the face of an all-overwhelming machine, and the probability of a near-term failure of the Earth's biosphere.

It is from this standpoint of powerlessness that we can give up false hopes for change on a large scale, chuck out the notion of educating the masses, abandon the idea of pushing the right buttons to rectify what's 'wrong'. What we think, what we say, what we do, and how we relate to other beings cannot immediately trigger the drastic changes on a macro level most activists seem to be calling for; the real effect plays out in how it changes ourselves, and how it changes those immediately affected by our actions: our friends, family, pets, gardens, work results etc. The life in the immediate Now, the life in dignity, the life in servitude to Life – this is what the Real Revolution is about. It may make a difference in the long run, on an accumulated macro level, but I have the gut feeling we ought not even think about it this way.

It is a dire situation we are in –

If we don’t stand soon not only is the climate a done deal but as we slide into the gravity of collapse as a disparate group at each other’s throats we’ll become ever more barbarous if we don’t fight to end this culture of ego now.” (Jason Holland again.)

Like Jason, I don't want to make alarmism my standard notion, but that doesn't mean that the description of the situation as I perceive it has to sound like a preacher's vision of paradise. On a certain level, there are real threats some of which require instant action, probably even violence. I am not about discouraging anybody from doing whatever they feel is necessary.

Having said as much, I would go into a different direction: Let's ask the question whether we are acting from fear of what might happen if we didn't act. Are we seeking company in order to extinguish that feeling of being alone? Why not live up to the deepest understanding we can grasp, and implement that in every minute, every move? What about standing for what we aspire, rather than against what we despise?
We could stop selling our labour for money and instead be dedicating our time for free to our neighbours;
we could start educating our children ourselves, teaching them subjects and skills the schools keep under wraps: how to relate sincerely, how to find out things, how to sustain oneself, how to recognize truth;
we could start exploring our environment at walking distance, taking in smells and sights we never notice from within our cars;
we could give up listening to the telly and start telling our own stories; in doing so, we could give preference to listening to the person in front of us over the person calling in on mobile;
we could stop buying and start creating things ourselves, like food, music, jewellery, and housing;
we could begin gathering in small tribes of neighbourhoods and friends, exchanging goods and services for free, like caring for minors; we could value family bonds; we could value the land and bond ourselves with our blood to it. The land is us, and we are the land. This is how we can stand strong in the face of the violence this culture is engulfing us in.

Each moment lived in the spirit of not being afraid is a denial of servitude to the – whatever your preferred choice of words is – materialistic, utilitarian, short-sighted, imperialistic, exploitative, capitalistic, omnicidal, psychopathic civilization. Each individual following his or her heart contributes to the resilience of the 'attack' on the system by distributing the denial of servitude.
Keep in mind that our actions are not to be directed against dominant culture; they are primarily expressions of the different visions and worldviews we are beginning to manifest today. Then each of them is sending ripples through a culture that, though it has managed to overwhelm the whole planet, is built on false assumptions and ready to fall apart at any moment now, collapsing under its own weight. By refusing to act from fear we become like sand between the system's cogwheels.
But once again, don't think about it in these terms. Don't antagonize, don't anticipate. By being a builder of community, rather than a destroyer of civlization, life becomes worth living again. Let the 'problem' with the dominant culture take care of itself. It already does.

2016-10-28

Mullai Yelle

Diejenigen, die mich persönlich kennen, dürfen sich über eine kleine Dankesgabe für ihre Inspirationen bzw. unsere gemeinsam verbrachte Zeit freuen. Ich habe den August und September über an einem Buch geschrieben, das einen Eindruck von meinem Leben auf einem Bauernhof hier in Auroville, Tamil Nadu, Indien vermitteln soll. Was mich vor ein paar Jahren dazu veranlasst hat auszuwandern, was mich heutzutage motiviert und wie das alles mit dem Universum und dem ganzen Rest zusammenhängt, füllt über einhundert Seiten eines A5-formatigen Bändchens, das ich im Laufe des Novembers drucken lasse. Bis auf eine Episode, die auch hier auf dem Blog nachzulesen ist, handelt es sich um bisher unveröffentlichtes Material. Über biologischen Landbau, Nahrungsmittel und Tierhaltung habe ich mich sowieso noch nie ausführlicher geäußert. Das Buch wird den Blog also ganz gut ergänzen - und genau wie der Blog ist es kostenlos.

“Mullai Yelle: ein Landleben in Tamil Nadu” ist ein Geschenk an Familienangehörige, Freunde, Kollegen und Bekannte und auf Anfrage bei mir erhältlich (nicht über den Buchhandel). Der Kreis schließt ausdrücklich auch diejenigen Personen ein, die sich von mir vergessen oder abgelehnt glauben oder denen ich einstmals auf die Zehen getreten bin. Mir liegt daran, das Verhältnis wieder gerade zu rücken, wenn ich darf.

Sonstige Interessenten sind mir ebenfalls willkommen, aber ich mag nicht verkaufen. Einfach mal Kontakt mit mir aufnehmen, dann unterhalten wir uns darüber, wie wir das irgendwie ohne Geld regeln, ok?

Mir kommen da beispielsweise Buchgeschenke für Aurovilles öffentliche Bücherei, Spenden an gemeinnützige Organisationen, tatkräftige Unterstützung der Flüchtlingshilfe und ähnliche Akte der Fürsorge in den Sinn.

Ich suche außerdem noch einen Übersetzer ins Englische. Kann jemand helfen oder vermitteln?

2016-10-22

Breathmatch


With fracking, mountain-top removal, the Athabasca tar sands, millions of acres of burning forests, hundreds of species disappearing each day, oceanic trash vortices, nuclear desasters, the sputtering Gulf stream, both polar ice caps melting at the same time, and sky-rocketing greenhouse gas emissions, what more does it take people not only to see, but to... act? And then again, with so many inescapable avalanches like the clathrate gun triggered, what's the point of activism, other than making a point of one's will to change the world? What would be the right way to act, anyway, when it has been for the idea that human activity could improve on creation that everything became so ugly? And if you knew how to act appropriately, how would you stand up to an omnicidal system that - until now, though not for much longer - provides you with everything you need for survival (and therefore makes you complicit in the destruction)?

So many questions with nobody to answer them on TV. We're not exactly lied to when the talk is about probable human extinction until 2100 in case we don't curb emissions, are we? Five to ten years from now, no matter what we do, matches quite well with it. The someone who came up with postponing all issues to the next turn of the century was a genius. 2100 is far off into the future. In 2100 none of us will be around anyway. 2100 sounds so much more comfortable than 2030, doesn't it? 
But it is not like we are going to leave our children and grandchildren a mess which they would bitterly complain about. They'll be extinguished, too. No one there to complain, no one there to take the blame either.

Grief is now with me all the time. Accepting one's own mortality is quite a different thing from being faced with the probable near-term eradication of all life. Yet as both human society and the community of life are unraveling, each day a little further, a little faster, I function well thanks to having switched to a saner lifestyle some years ago. I can take my time to look at this feeling more closely: This grief is not of the depressing kind. It rather feels like a looking glass with regards to everything I do or think about. I take joy in simple tasks like cleaning the floor. I find meaning in suffering, direction within chaos. All relationships have greatly intensified in the face of impending collapse.

I breathe in. I breathe out. I am alive right now, along with most of the species supposedly dying out somewhen today. I do not deserve another day; yet I receive this gift and I am grateful for having been given premonition; the chance to witness, to understand... this – neither in panic, nor in denial, but consciously.

2016-10-17

Nevermind


So the obituary for the Great Barrier Reef was premature, a failed attempt at alarmist satire. I find this rather distasteful with noteworthy real tragedy happening all over the planet. But this is almost beside the point. The reefs are treminal; the acidification of the oceans cannot be undone, the melting of ice caps, clathrates, and permafrost which heat up oceans and atmosphere ever further cannot be stopped and there is no sign that civilization is about to terminate its damaging activities anytime soon - not before global depletion brings it to a sudden halt.
I ask myself every day if there is still anything to be done, but no, it's simply time to stop extraction, production, consumption, manipulation, safeguarding, attempts at global control; not because that's somehow 'moral' but because there is no use in them any longer, at least not without a different perspective on life.

Let me repeat what I replied to someone's comment to the previous posting:
What I didn't emphasize here is the notion of acting without attachment, and acting from feeling connected to somebody or something, rather than acting from the standpoint of “we got to do something”, or “getting it under control” both of which are coming from fear, like the whole idea of civilization is. Even from a manipulative point of view, non-action sometimes is the right thing to do, like when you are caught in a patch of quicksand where each movement only makes you sink faster. This is of course counterintuitive to humans, but that's exactly what's required of us at this moment, I believe.
In a way I do recommend letting go of activism for a moment, before continuing from an aspiration that runs deeper than the desire to maintain the status quo. Maybe that takes rejection of 'doing' altogether, for a short period, - for me it did - though 'doing' is not a bad thing as such. It has no value in and of itself. Motivation counts, I guess is what I am trying to say.

2016-10-14

Permaculture and the Megamachine

The other day I gave a comment, saying that, with so many tipping points crossed and so many self-reinforcing feedback loops already triggered, there is not much hope mankind would survive the oncoming steep temperature increase. The reply was that the gloom-and-doom preachers just don't know how much CO2 permaculture techniques were able to sequester. There are two points I wish to address.

First of all, with all the criticism I use to direct towards scientism - the belief that science alone can define the nature and contents of reality - we all depend on the results of scientific research in order to evaluate what is about to happen. Apart from the rather anecdotal observations from our own environment scientific data is the foundation for climate discussions. One can interpret it in various ways but the figures as such are already awe-inspiring. With previously relatively conservative scientists like Peter Wadhams now pointing out that we are effectively effed, I think it is not adequate to dismiss the messenger as a doom-and-gloom fearmonger. That goes especially for McPherson whose intention is not spreading fear or defeatism. He expressly encourages people to actually live for the things or the people they love rather than continuing to trying to uphold the zombie obedience to the machine which created the mess in the first place.

Which brings me to my second point. Most of the permaculture scene, like all the rest of society, does not question the origin of the many crises this planet is currently going through. These people are still looking for technical solutions when it was technology - and the mindset of separation and control behind it - that has created those crises. Even if we solved the climate issue - which I doubt because we will not stop wanting to grow, and therefore wanting to produce stuff, and therefore using more energy, and therefore producing more heat - there still is mass unemployment, mass poverty, mass extinction, desertification, dying oceans, diminished forests, resources depletion, overpopulation, criminality, war, nuclear waste, plastic pollution, child labour, inflation, ... you name it. All of this is inherent to the thing that Mumford called the Megamachine, civilization. None of it will go away as long as the notion of separation from, and control over nature prevails, a notion which lies at the very heart of civilization. Civilization HAS to end, or the price we pay is our planet going Venus.
If there is any hope for survival of life on Earth it will not lie in doing, for it was doing that brought us here; hope lies in the collapse of belief in the ideology of control. Hope, though, is part of the collective illusion that prevents us from seeing reality as it is rather than the way we wish it to be. Awakening to the true nature of existence is a task that has to be picked up by each person individually, and it implies surrendering to the possibility of complete annihilation, without fear. Fear of death kills everything.

Grief, yes, we will grief for the loss of loved ones - butterflies, bluebirds, sequoias, relatives, friends, last not least ourselves. And it will be for the love of these that life may find a way. 

2016-10-03

Instrumental utilitarianism

"I’m not saying climate change isn’t a factor. But there are causes that are a lot more tangible. In many places people say, “The rains stopped coming because we cut down the forests.” I think we need to move toward making the forests sacred again, and the mangroves, and the rivers… to see them as sacred beings and not as instruments of human utility, to be protected because of their greenhouse mitigating contribution.
The attitude of instrumental utilitarianism toward nature — that is the problem. I’m talking about the idea that the world outside ourselves is basically a pile of resources whose value is defined by its utility. If that doesn’t change, nothing will change. And for that to change, for us to see nature and the material world as sacred and valuable in its own right, we must connect to the deep part of ourselves that already knows that. When we make that connection and feel the hurts of the planet, grief is unavoidable.
From this stance, we still seek to change everything that the CO2 narrative names as dangerous, but for different reasons and with different eyes."
~~Charles Eisenstein

2016-09-23

Morals taken in with mother's breast milk

Derrick Jensen interviewing Darcia Narvaez, Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame, IN, on child rearing in primitive and civilized communities, and how the differences affect the moral development of human beings. To me this is one of the Wow! sources with regard to the human condition.

2016-09-21

Sorry, there was too much to do and too little time left


If I was humanity embodied, the decent thing to do was to shut down civilization immediately. I'd stop all production except for food, clothing and electricity. Gas, coal and oil were to be delivered in quantities just enough to regulate inhouse temperatures and allow for food preparation. And I'd launch two ten-year clean-up programs.
If I was humanity embodied, first and foremost there'd be a program for getting rid of radioactive substances. All bombs capable of leaving Earth's gravity were to be shot into the Sun. The others would join all the radiocative fuel rods currently in use, and those discarded. All nuclear power plants would have to be shut down. Deep holes would have to be dug into the Earth's crust, in places where plates are slipping underneath other plates, so that, over extended periods of time, the material would end up in Earth's interior.
If I was humanity embodied, the second clean-up were of more general nature, collecting all the garbage all over the Earth's surface in order to store it underground as well. We'd deposit the raw material of diamonds, coal and crude oil of the future, and rebeautify the landscape.
If I was humanity embodied, I'd leave a message to posterity, apologizing for the mess still left.
If I was humanity embodied, the decent thing to do was to then go into retreat and think about how to continue from there on – those who'd have survived the shutdown. Though it is not unlikely that, by then, more supreme forces than ourselves would have chosen a path for us that'd look quite similar to the one we'll probably end up on through bypassing the programs anyway. Only we'd leave the world a better place.
If I was humanity embodied... for better or worse, I am not.

2016-09-19

Life at the end of empire


"Nowadays we seem to think that chaos must result where men are not hemmed in by police regulations; yet we must remember that an enormous proportion of things goes on without laws. Every day you can see how men make way for each other in the most crowded streets without our having to have a law about it. 98% of our life goes on without laws; and some day it will be possible to get on completely without law and force. But for that man must be inwardly free." --Rudolf Steiner in, Schiller and Our Times

With scientists predicting a global temperature rise of 6 to 10°C within the next ten years it is hard to imagine humanity is going to get anywhere near the actualization of those fancy dreams we once had, and still have. Yet I do observe a somehow schizophrenic split when reading paragraphs like the one quoted above. They still do speak to me, thrill me. It feels like these ideas are settled in a different universe where there is no runaway greenhouse effect and all of our silly science fiction stories still have a real chance of becoming true.

Both universes belong into the realm of imagination, though. There is this moment, now, which becomes enormously more intense with the realization that it cannot be conserved for long, that things are constantly in flux, and that it is no wise idea to postpone anything. The time to live like we always imagined to live is now.

2016-09-17

Listen to the guy

An activist, in announcing his retreat from publishing, expresses some thoughts I am pondering since quite a few years.

"(1) Remain calm: Nothing is under control;
(2) I’ve never suggested giving up — whatever that means — for many reasons; and
(3) I’ve offered several paths worthy of pursuit, all within the realm of reason [...]

In short, I’ve given it my best shot. I’ve sacrificed my way of living, my means of making a living, and — most importantly — relationships with friends, co-workers, colleagues, and family. Unless I come to the prompt attention of the well-documented liars within the culture of insanity commonly referred to as “normal,” I have nothing substantive left to give [...]
I’m left with little to say and little energy with which to say it. The evidence I present is met by cries of “impossible” and “cherry picking,” not to mention the terror of the abyss when I remove all hope.
Opinions trump evidence in a culture gone mad. The populace cannot distinguish evidence from opinion when the dumbing down has succeeded. And we’re there.
Despite the serious blow to my ego, I’m admitting the insignificance of my impact beyond a few, exceptional individuals."
[Guy McPherson, 1 Sept 16]

Farewell, Guy. Time to allow yourself a little bit of happiness .