The Last Stage: Acceptance

by Jonathan DeJong

I have been a pretty aware collapsitarian most of my life. I’m 51 and can remember watching films about jungles and oceans and all manner of eco-system topics in elementary school wondering why every film we watched had to end with a warning that if we didn’t watch our step humanity was going to destroy too much habitat for these natural beings to survive. It made me sad. Also, at that time, the population had hit 4 billion. Projected on the news and in school was that by the year 2000 we would hit close to 6 billion. As a child, I always found that mind boggling and never really thought I’d live to see the day. Of course, at the same time, I’m still pissed I didn’t get to live like the Jetsons when we hit the year 2000. We had to fight them terrorists instead, cuz they was cummin’ fer us. Meanwhile we heard nothing about a concept called blowback.

Anyone remember the commercial about pollution where the Native American in a canoe was paddling down the river past factories belching out smoke, the river itself clogged with trash and pollution? In the last scene there was a close up of him with a tear in his eye? That has always stuck with me. I think then it was called Project SOAR (Save Our American Resources).

My dream as a kid was to be a marine biologist. I always had aquariums growing up. I did fresh water, pond water set ups, marine and reef. I loved that like I can’t describe. It sounds funny but as a middle school and high school student I learned about environmental poisoning from those aquariums. An imbalance, particularly in population, unless the outside god-force (the aquarium keeper) kept the toxins at bay, the system would quickly acidify and crash the tank. I remember thinking that with all of our cars (I grew up in the Detroit area), and all of these people, weren’t we doing the same thing? After all, for all intents and purposes the earth is a closed system. The toxins are building, and there is no aquarium keeper removing the poison. In fact, the self-appointed, superior being in the aquarium, was going out of its way to create the poisons!

I have always loathed cities. To me they are the keeper of the sheep. As I tend to be kind of a bull in a china shop, I discovered first hand, through an encounter with a girlfriend’s father, just how vociferously citiots will defend the purity and sanctity of cities. On a ride he gave me back from their house one evening just before going off to college, I made one comment too many about how cities don’t feed people and that they were responsible for most of our ills (I was 17). Completely clueless as to what that meant he went off on me like a mad patriarch. Good thing I was raised by one, so I didn’t hesitate to stand my ground. He was red in the face pissed just like a Tea Partier screaming “don’t you love your country? What you do you mean cities don’t feed people!? Why don’t you just SHUT UP!”

I’ve lived on and worked by, the Great Lakes, lived on the high plains, the desert and in the high back country of the Rocky Mountains, and I have watched all of it over the course of my life, decline. Global Climate change came as no surprise to me. I have since given up trying to preach about the issue. No one who doesn’t want to hear will hear. Some may wake up, but watch the brouhaha that will happen when the mass of urban humanity wakes up violently when it is even more too late than today.

I have this image of myself in my dreams, sitting up high on a mesa on the western slope of Colorado filming the mass migration coming from California after the last denier uses the last drop of fresh water to irrigate his or her front lawn; Millions of people leaving their dead “paradise” thinking that anyone else could possibly want them in their backyard. Because of growing up in abuse, I’ve learned to simply walk away if the voice inside of me says, “Get the hell away.” I listen to the voice that says, “Danger, danger, Will Robinson”. People entrenched in their deluded mentally constructed worlds are very dangerous.

I became involved in the homesteading movement when I learned more about our food system. Having roots in Iowa, and “vacationing” there growing up, I watched our farms that had kitchen gardens, pigs, chickens, cows, and usually several different kinds of grains, turn into fields of mono-crops. Again, the aquarium hobby related. Spraying and pumping out diesel exhaust producing more and more toxins, farmers going broke and being kicked off the land, no family farms, nothing but fields of feed corn.

I received a Master’s Degree in a seminary during the peak of the farm crisis. I also worked with ranchers in the high country at the same time. That changed me. I went from being involved in the “what” of the issues, to the suffering being caused “by” the issues. I watched, like many of you, as thousands of farmers were forced off the land by the green revolution. I presided over a funeral where the deceased, having lost precious ranch land due to a bankruptcy, and who lost his wife at the same time through a divorce, drove down a canyon, tried to persuade her to come back, when rejected stopped at a liquor store and on the way home, unloaded a shotgun into his face. This was during a time when Colorado was seeing huge increases in the development of feedlots and plummeting beef prices.

Our capitalist system of greed has completely run over and destroyed the humanity of being human. Industrial civilization has put in place the proper infrastructure — essentially since WWII — necessary to keep us in our places, to commodify everything, including the people whom the system is supposed to serve, and built the most horrific monolithic consumption machine our Patriarchal masters could envision. The colossus has taken a life of its own. It is too big to control, and any glitch in the machine will mean its catastrophic collapse and with it, the demise of us all. Even in the best scenario, even if the system didn’t collapse, we will slowly and painfully die off because our habitat — the aquarium — will be rendered all used up and not fit for life.

I wanted to say at this point that I don’t think that humanity is good at heart. But pondering that more I think that is wrong. I think that un-awakened people are not good at heart. I think that portions of our society (namely the patriarchs that built the industrial civilization colossus and convinced us of its virtues) are seriously, mentally ill. But because of the power they derived from their sociopathy, we have come to admire and emulate them as it being a virtue. I don’t think life among humans is exceptionally beautiful, however. I think too many put on a face or an act — be it the positive psychology movement, spirituality, fundamentalism and being saved — and try to convince themselves that it is. In my world, that is simply delusional. Nature is beautiful, humanity destroyed it. It’s too late, it’s too far gone. The time to resist was yesterday. The filters on the aquarium can’t keep up and there is no one to change them out and keep the system clean and inhabitable. After all, the temperature rises and the chaos in the weather patterns we see today, are happening because of emissions put into the atmosphere 40 YEARS AGO!! Imagine 40 years hence! In practically every human encounter in my life with people in supposed positions of power (parents, employers, religious leaders, etc.), I have always met with abuse coming from a patriarchal mindset seeking to control others so the ego can retain its existence. That is the poison that eats us as a species daily. That is why this will not and cannot change.

As a result of all of this, the fish are swimming upside down, and quite literally, the sea stars are melting. Now it is the time to simply live, or not live. Death is death no matter when or how. Can you not justify suicide today? Why would ethics today forbid it? Why would we even care? There is no purpose on this planet save to have lived. Our insanity destroyed the playground. 51 years of hell. Kurt Cobain sang to the effect: “All we are is all alone” …. He wasn’t wrong. Abuse of me, abuse of the poor, abuse of women, genocide, the abuse of the land base, abuse of diversity… A total culture and societal structure based on fear and abuse has led us to the brink. “What a long strange trip it’s been.” This is not the mark of a sane and intelligent species. It is more akin to a bacterium in a petri dish on the verge of catastrophic collapse. Blindly consuming its food source (or in our case, energy source), with no thought to its ultimate consequence it will unconsciously run right off a cliff. One big difference though, is that we created religion and a manifest destiny to help lock us into this death spiral in the name of our vast delusional superiority.

The last stage of grief is acceptance. I lived through all of the different stages of the grief process from about the age of 10. In fact, so much of my life could simply be a long drawn out sense of realizing that, as the song from YES goes, “This life’s not for living, it’s for fighting and for wars. No matter what the truth is, hold on to what is yours…” When one tries to live a life of altruism and compassion, and the whole of your species spits back into your face, you stand on the outside looking in, seeing the ridiculousness for what it is. Eventually, you become a different person. The rage (which I have been full of most of my life) subsides, you detach, and you become quiet. You see it all as a mirage. As it has become worse and the futility realized… I have become… quiet.

I got into the homestead movement, because I still thought that living as an example would help to save the world. I worked brutal hours; first turning a suburban home into a Dervaes style urban farm, and then building our JAZ Farm. I was hoping, like Dr. McPherson, that if I really showed the world how one could live with comfort, dignity, and harmony with nature, that everyone would enthusiastically follow me down the yellow brick road, dancing to the tune of the Pied Piper (to mix my story lines a tad).

Most of the response has been incredulous. Of course, my friends and family think it is great, but for acquaintances that are not as close, most of it was, like the sound-bites in the media, a flash in the pan. “Oh that is so cool, I really wish I could do something like that”, they’d say, and then it would fade. Invitations to come and help are met with excuses. Now I hope it is simply my hobby farm with my few enthusiastic friends who do get it. Seeing it for the life line it can be for us, if we simply do the work.

So while I have never really had to get to the point of acceptance over the finitude of the human dilemma (we are all going to die it’s simply a matter of when and how), I had to grieve over the futility of my efforts to really make a difference. Somehow, like I am sure with Guy, and my permaculture friends, and my doomer friends, and those who simply want to scream from the rooftops, we wanted to do something to make a difference. Chris Hedges commented about his activism that he wasn’t necessarily protesting against and calling out fascists thinking he was going to defeat them, but simply because they are fascists. A greater description of acceptance is hard to find. As Richard the Lionheart said to his brother Jeffery in The Lion in Winter, “When the fall is all there is… how you fall matters.” Acceptance. Personal meaning in the face of futility. “All alone, is all we are.”

The grief came from having to accept the fact that my dream of bringing the world around is dead. When you come from a helping profession, awakening to the fact that you can’t do anything of substance to turn the Titanic and knowing it is going to sink no matter what you do, is the experiencing of a death. It is the death of a purpose. It is the death of who you thought you were. It is the acceptance of knowing you were right all along and not being able to take egoic pride in being so prescient. It is a loss of life; YOUR life. All that you ascribed meaning to, like a soap bubble…. Pop! Gone.

I went through this sense of futility and grief at the same time that I was building out the farm’s infrastructure. I found my sense of enthusiasm beginning to wane mostly out of a sense of futility. Physically, I am a pretty strong male (think big ass defensive lineman).

I also was able to summon up a tremendous amount of drive, mentally, to get me past the physical pain involved in getting things done. My self-imposed timelines were met and we are now on the verge of planting out over half an acre of organic vegetables. JAZ Farm lives.

Here is what happened to me during the acceptance phase. I lost the drive. I lost the mental toughness that drove me to work to exhaustion. Every time I told myself that I had to get my ass in gear to get this or that done, a little voice in the back of my head said, “Why?” “None of what you are doing matters.” “Who cares if the pig pen doesn’t get built?” That little voice rendered me — to what I would have considered in my life about others — a sniveling, weak minded, wimp. I spent days staring at my navel, not caring what happened. I spent weeks in depression thinking that I so eagerly went about this quest and it now being for nothing. My inner voice said, “The world is ending, humanity is mentally ill, and you my friend, just broke your body and turned your hips to dust, because you thought you were going to be the climate change messiah who led everyone to the promise land.” Grief: that person died. I have been holding vigil for him during the Polar Vortex winter of our discontent.

So from this depression came my previous two essays on NBL: Life is Different and What Is Your Calligraphy? Not because I wanted to continue my pontification, but like The President of the Galaxy in “A Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” when looking for the answer to the great question and didn’t get it, said, “I think I did kind of a lot to get here…now I’m going to have to go figure out something else for my whole life to be about”. My life lost its meaning. I had to figure it out. I think maybe I have. Short answer: There doesn’t have to be any meaning. In fact, searching for meaning may be synonymous with pain.

Ponder on this statement: “Nothing really matters, and then again, so what if it did?”

What really matters? If you sit down right now and ask yourself that, you may come up with something that your whole life can be about after you have come to see that what you thought you were going to be has died. Resurrect yourself like the Phoenix. How does one answer the question, “Who Am I?”

I found that the answer to that question was quite simple: No one. The world is too big and the damage so deep that I realized that I am no one. I am not the climate change, pure living, watch me and emulate me and change the world with me messiah. Maybe I am still Morpheus, getting people to take the red pill and then not getting invited to parties anymore. Fine. But if not…. fine! You are not your life. You are the eyes that the earth sprouted to look around with for awhile. The end. As I once heard a fellow astronomer say, “If you just leave Hydrogen and a little Lithium alone for long enough, it will eventually sing opera.”

The farm is still mine and the love of growing and harmony with nature is still in my blood and bones. It simply doesn’t have to be the bright light shining on a hill any longer. In fact, given the impending mass migration from the desert southwest, perhaps some anonymity isn’t a bad thing.

A wonderful friend uses the phrase: Ima grow food ‘til I can’t. To which I morphed that into “I’m going to plant ‘til I can’t”. It is a theme that awaits you on the other side of grief: That all there is in life, really, is just you being conscious. The only thing you can say about this existence is “I am”. That’s it. There is nothing else. So what do you do? I can say that for me, it is going through a conscious walking away from my species. While I share the same physical shape and needs, I don’t identify with the un-awakened creatures that have infested this place, largely only using their lizard brain. It is a mental evolution, a passing through the thin membrane between living in industrial civilization and trying to shake that sticky filth off. It is the final scene in a movie when the main character looks back on his home, his city, his country — in this case — his species, then rights himself in the saddle and slowly rides into the gray mist, never looking back, knowing that leaving is a death, and continuing to ride away, is rebirth.

In the past year, I mentally sat myself into the saddle. I am riding into the mist. I have left a life behind that says, “You need to be an activist. You MUST be involved! If you aren’t part of the solution you are part of the problem, and all that tripe.” I have watched that part of me die. I have grieved that I couldn’t have helped more. But it is dead. I am not looking back over my shoulder thinking that maybe I could just go back. Go do a little bit more. Others may take that path because of course, fascists are fascist, and maybe some find them a fun prey to hunt. Whatever works for them. Acceptance is an understanding and internalizing of the futility of it all; that you are only really doing it … for yourself.

“I’m going to plant ‘til I can’t” If people want to be involved, ok. If not, ok too. My species is beyond help because of the power elite. All I can do is do something I love; that feels spiritual and meaningful – even if it isn’t. For me, it means loving the metamorphosis of seeds and the peace of farm animals. It won’t save the world, but it will keep me from committing suicide. The illness of humanity is too great for me to do anything about. It is simply too big. Others will say, “That if we all work together then….”, “There is a great awakening coming and we’ll all ascend together” and of course, “People like you are the problem,” “Oh you’ve just given up so I guess the oppressors win,” etc, etc,etc. The mysterious rider slowly rides into the sunset. He fades into the Nexus, awakens from the Matrix and goes on to do….? Nothing in particular. I’ll probably just keep chopping wood and carrying water, collecting eggs, and Plant ‘til I Can’t.
__________

The following poem comes from Paul Barrera, a writer and editor based in Oakland, California. He studied composition at UC Riverside and is currently working on his first collection of prose.

Mère

it started when i left a half-eaten
strawberry on my desk
during my writing hours.
little fuckers materialized out of nowhere.
thought they were specks on the berry at first.
so i ignored ‘em, went and sat on the windowsill.
it was a beautiful day.
came back and the fuckers had gobbled up
the poem i was working on. it was a good one, too.

now there’s ants all over my fucking room
my fucking body.
tickling, pinching.
walking.
i could smash them all,
infinite,
with a series of well-placed knuckles.
or a quick, hot shower.
call in a couple favors
from Longlegs & Aardvark, LLC.

but the little pricks have been noodling about
in every crevice of my bedroom.
hosting all-night porn shows in my pillowcase.
fucking around with my alarm clock.
darning my socks so they don’t fit me anymore.
the tiny bastards are trying to live my life.

no, i think i’ll kill them slow.
all of them.
i deserve the satisfaction.

__________

Friday, 7 March 2014, Antigone Books, 411 North 4th Avenue, Tucson, Arizona, reading excerpts and signing Going Dark

The Next Step: Living Courageously in a World of Transition, a 7-day seminar, 24-31 May 2014, Moho Creek, Belize, Central America.

The Next Step: Living Courageously in a World of Transition, a 14-day seminar, 12-25 June 2014, Izabal, Guatemala, Central America.

__________

Going Dark is available from the publisher here, from Amazon here, from Amazon on Kindle here, from Barnes & Noble on Nook here, and as a Google e-book here. Going Dark was reviewed by Carolyn Baker at Speaking Truth to Power and by more than 20 readers at Amazon.

Comments 61

  • http://arctic-news.blogspot.in/2014/02/mantle-methane.html

    What is happening in the Arctic now is far, far beyond our control. Time to let go. . .

  • In the previous thread, Tom says: “See if you can do something with hunger and rioting as a subject.”

    Ukraine

    They’re rioting in the Ukraine,
    But we’re all going to go down the drain;
    If there’s nuclear war,
    We can get dead before
    We suffer a whole lot more pain.

  • Great essay, exactly how I feel except I’m still stuck in Babylon, the desert southwest, fool’s paradise.

    My idealism and enthusiasm began with the discovery that eliminating money would solve all the world’s problems (with abundance, modern machinery, barter and money is unnecessary) and I discovered I was not the first person to believe in abolishing money, many famous people had the same idea: Jesus told his disciples to go forth without money, the Essenes did not carry any money, the Guardians in Plato’s Republic did touch gold or silver, Karl Marx, Muammar Gadaffi etc. I thought everyone would want to know the Good Word.

    Then I discovered the CIA killed JFK, the 9-11 fraud, Tonkin Gulf lies, USS Liberty false flag, etc. and my heart sank.

    The only way I see hope for the future is if a few smart, influential people get together like Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Yoko Ono, Oliver Stone, Bill Gates, etc. and realize the truth . . . maybe make a movie about a Messiah who will rebuke all the irrational religious hypocrites, tell the truth and advocate respect for the uniqueness of Earth.

  • Thanks Jonathan,

    I love your image of the rider riding away into the mist to go on to do …. nothing.
    It’s a lovely metaphor and sums up what I’ve done too.
    Plant until I can’t, and do all other things most people call chores. I’ve also learned to do them quietly and with much love for what is left to love. It preserves my balance and my sanity and gives me strength. In the end, most sensitive people come to realize this, no matter how our personal histories have got us here. All of us highly individual but here we are, arrived at the same point.

    Take good care of yourself and all you love until you can’t plant anymore!

  • Thanks for the essay. Reading this and “Going Dark,” I can only say that most of us humans (me included) value comfort too much to sustain the species for the long haul. What is happening had to be.

  • I think acceptance has been my only stage. Twice in my life I’ve been nose to nose with the Grim Reaper & the big baby backed down.

    I’ve knock down my mortality & I’ve got it in a choke hold but it won’t answer my question, “So you think you want some of this?” lol

    Every day we get a new “present”.

  • Acceptance: the medicine to help calm the mind and enjoy the moment.
    Another great essay Jonathan. Thanks

  • “that you are only really doing it … for yourself.”
    So well said Jonathan.
    Activist’s dogmatism is merely the other side of the same coin. When you really understand this, you can finally, truly, detach and find peace.

  • I think this essay touched me more than anything I’ve read on NBL. Once we have accepted it all, then what? Once we have awakened, then what? Thank you, Jonathan – I’m off to chop some water and carry some wood.

  • @ “Oh that is so cool, I really wish I could do something like that”, they’d say, and then it would fade.

    Similarly, a long-time friend who for years admired how hubbby and I grow much of our own food and raise goats, told me several times, “ilinda, I want to do what you do…”
    Then she finally had the opportunity to start a garden, perhaps 1 or 2 tomato plants, and in short order announced, “I can’t do this.”

    Everyone is so immersed in the total comfort of Industrial Civilization that the slightest speck of dirt under the fingernails, however short lived, and/or the tiniest droplet of perspiration on the face is absolutely not allowed, even if for 5 minutes. Nope. We cannot have a little soil or sweat on our bodies, even in the pursuit of growing 100% pure foods. Not allowed. Total Comfort!

    So, thanks for a wonderful article and what a great aquarium analogy. And now I must get back to digging up my spring parsnip bed.

  • Thank you Jonathan! I identified with this essay in many places. Starting with my actually hearing the warnings coming from nature documentaries as a kid, to the agony of the rebirth that is acceptance, I understand what you’ve been through.

    It’s great to know I’m not alone. That’s the real treasure of NBL.
    Anyway, well done! Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading more from you and plan on going back and rereading your previous essays.

  • @Jonathan, this is one of the best essays I’ve read here, although I may be biased in that acceptance came quickly for me once I was led to examine the evidence.

    Psychologically, the hard part isn’t only living in an environment we’ve degraded, ending in the death of everything, including that which supports us. The hard part is having to interact with other people for whom this is a vile fiction.

    For a majority in this country, anyway, detachment from natural processes is an ongoing, positive, religious doctrine: the further away the better… like that girlfriend’s father demonstrated.

    My brother-in-law, asked to help my sister move a few patio stones outside their house, announced: “I don’t touch dirt”.

  • This essay is full of so much clarity and feeling, Jonathan. Half way through I had to let the tears that were building go. I share most of your beliefs and most certainly that of letting go. I’m 61 and became an environmental activist in my 20’s. It wasn’t until about 3 years ago that I realized the futility of my trying to “spread the good word” and I went inside to go through the grieving process I needed to do. That process will probably continue until the day I die, but knowing that there are people like you out there is going to keep me hoping; for you, for us, for all life. The hope isn’t that things will turn but that we will find a completion in our short lives. Stay strong, my friend.

  • So many rats
    So little cheese
    Chasing pink tales
    Chasing a tease

  • Wow, I had forgotten about that commercial with the native American. Here it is:

  • Thanks for the great essay Jonathan, and for revealing your feelings. I am 8 years older than you, but can relate on many levels to your experiences and current mindset. Oh, and I likewise first came to understand the delicate balance of the earth’s biota via a past obsession with aquarium systems – in this case, live marine tanks with minimal filtration. I would also say that one of the main things which gets me up in the mornings is tending to my 1-3/4 acres of fruit trees and other edible gardening.

    These days, my goals are of very short time frame, and I live my life as a rock that skips off the water’s surface – never sinking to any depth (and especially not in society). I barely have the emotional energy to write more than a couple of paragraphs these days – and that is a big change for me.

  • Thanks for the words of wisdom, Jonathan. I too came to the realization quite a while ago that the way we were living was complete insanity and a guaranteed route to extinction. Aging, I went through the grief in many stages, through loss of beauty, loss of quiet, loss of meaning, and now i’m going through loss of self. It’s not what I imagined.

    Just bearing witness is about all i’m doing now. I don’t preach to anybody, barely work, enjoy my days, do what I can, read a lot, and i’m giving it all up, little by little each day.

    Nice to have the camaraderie of this site and all you people in the process.

  • Lol, I think NBL and many similar sites has become like a floor of deflated, sunken balloons. I can just hear the air rushing out! Oh well, at least I know longer have any hope to try and maintain – and keeping my balloon pumped up and afloat was WAY to hard.

  • I was chopping down a palm tree
    when a friend dropped by to ask
    if I would feel less lonely
    if he helped me swing the axe.
    I said, “No, it’s not a case of loneliness we have here,
    I’ve been working on this palm tree for eighty-seven years.”

    He said, “Go get lost,” and walked toward his Cadillac,
    I chopped down that palm tree and it landed on his back.

    Neil Young — Last Trip to Tulsa.

  • Well spoke and good advice, as my conscience tries to tear my sanity to pieces.

    I am trying to do what I love and I am having some small success.

    Unfortunately for me, I am a child of technology and not of nature. When I was young, people were a constant headache for me, so I retreated into the world of computers and that has been my living an main interest for 32 years now.

    I love machines. Good ones are elegant, rational and predictable; all of the traits that I admire but cannot find in people.

    I must admit though, that tinkering with my machines while the world dies feels like a perversion. After all, it is the machines that helped us kill it.

    Would I be better off walking away from the machines I love and spend the rest of my life raising Chickens and Tomatoes?

  • Thanks for the thought provoking essay.I remember both seeing the crying Indian commercial and being affected by it’s message and then much later learning that the “Indian” was an Italian actor and the primary goal of the commercial was to keep the growing highway systems in the country from being completely surrounded by peoples litter. To keep the interstates attractive for the motorists.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Eyes_Cody

  • Comments to the prior essay:

    ‘Tony Abbott denies climate change and advocates carbon tax in the same breath’

    Not in the same passage of gas?

    We’ve fucked it up major.

    And Oberstleutnant, Oberst, Generalmajor, Generalleutnant, General, Generaloberst, and Generalfeldmarschall.

    If enough Americans could get away from one god

    If “one” be recognised as one too many, the remaining alternatives are “no” and “only”. Both often amounting to the same: most fish can function perfectly well with no knowledge or concept of water. Flying fish and salmon jumping upstream excepted. However in that case, there is not “only” water: there is water and air.

    Geoffrey’s essay is too one-sided.

    Actually one can function perfectly well in this universe without recognising the “water” and without recognising that one is a transient wave in this water: that is because there is no way that one can jump out of this “water”.

    Thank you, Mr. DeJong for a great essay.

    People entrenched in their deluded mentally constructed worlds are very dangerous.

    The entire world is a construct from sensory inputs collated with patterns and templates from a database called memory. The danger is in not recognising that in every instance it is a construct.

    I watched our farms that had kitchen gardens, pigs, chickens, cows, and usually several different kinds of grains, turn into fields of mono-crops.

    Efficiency is diametrically opposed to resiliency. Monocrops are efficient in squeezing yet another penny out of the system. Hierarchical systems work to maximise efficiency, at the cost of resiliency, which becomes a problem when it comes time to pay the piper.

    I received a Master’s Degree in a seminary

    Excellent. But such degrees are more like a degree in cooking without ever having to touch a utensil or taste an item. The actual purpose of the teachings that are incorporated into the syllabus of seminary is not to “commit and vomit” but rather to guide a transformation that creates conditions in which realisation might take place.

    commodify everything, including the people whom the system is supposed to serve,

    A hierarchy can control only what it valorises. So it progressively brings everything under control by attaching a handle of numerical value everywhere.

    (… the patriarchs that built the industrial civilization colossus and convinced us of its virtues) are seriously, mentally ill.

    Actually the illness lies in the universe itself, in the flow of energy from concentrations to diffusions, and of matter organising itself piggyback on those flows into greater complexity: at a certain level of complexity it passes its patterns (such as DNA) on to subsequent generations, and at still further complexity, it defeats the mechanisms that limit such growth. Until some physical limits cause a crash. Where balance is attained without a crash, some mechanism(s) limiting growth remain(s) operative.

    so the ego can retain its existence.

    This clinging to individuality is described as one of the obstructions to realisation. It is manifest in the ideas about an “immortal” soul. But the two main Eastern non-theistic non-dual traditions (Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism) describe personal individuality to be transient like a wave on the surface of the ocean.

    Can you not justify suicide today?

    Tradition has it that a person who in a later embodiment was known as the Siddhartha Gautama, came upon a tigress and her cubs starving at the bottom when he peered over the edge of a cliff at a time of drought and famine. To help those animals, he leapt to his death, landing close to where they were.

    The last stage of grief is acceptance.

    And the first step to realisation is also acceptance.

    A greater description of acceptance is hard to find.

    How about “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do”.

    It is the death of a purpose.

    More correctly, what’s important is the death of expectations. Rational anticipation is an appropriate precursor of action.

    “Why?” “None of what you are doing matters.”

    Given a sufficiently long timeline, that is invariably true. Hence the First of the Three Features of Existence (in Buddhism): “All composite things are transient”. There is not a single point of stability in all of the Universe of space-time-causation.

    My life lost its meaning.

    A reference to “losing meaning” suggests that an idea of purpose is still retained. When the “I” is recognised for a mirage, a phantasm, an apparition, its concomitant is the awareness that there never was anything owned, and so there was nothing to be lost, not even meaning.

    There doesn’t have to be any meaning.

    However, this has to be grokked at the most fundamental level. Mere assertion will not do.

    How does one answer the question, “Who Am I?”

    By starting with how one defines “I”. There is a plethora of labels: human, gender, race, age, height, weight, culture, education, family, occupation, etc. Each of these has to be recognised as a label, or perhaps a coat of paint. The same goes for ideas of “soul”/”subtle body” (sukshma sarira, in the Vedantic tradition). This process of peeling/stripping has to be continued until the last label is removed.

    I found that the answer to that question was quite simple: No one.

    If you have truly grokked this at the most fundamental level, then you are worthy of worship by me and all those others who recognise your greatness.

    The only thing you can say about this existence is “I am”.

    Actually, the “I” has to be dropped. Something “is”, and for convenience (of others!), in conformity to custom it is referred to as “I”.

    If you aren’t part of the solution you are part of the problem

    Beyond each solution is another problem.

    Acceptance is an understanding and internalizing of the futility of it all;

    But without the despair that is the handmaiden of thwarted expectations.

    that you are only really doing it … for yourself.

    There is no your”self”: you are doing it because it appears to be the appropriate action in this neck of the time-space-causation woods.

    My species is beyond help because of the power elite.

    The power elite is as much a part of the species as the scent glands of a skunk are a part of the skunk, or a sting of a scorpion is a part of the scorpion.

    goes on to do….? Nothing in particular.

    To actually perceive that one is doing nothing, and that that all that seem to be done is the operation of the laws of nature, is another concomitant of realisation. But this too has to be grokked at the most fundamental level; merely making such a claim is deluding oneself.

  • There’s a stone in my shoe, I said, when I was talking to you. It hurt with every step, it did, yes… it hurt because I knew, indeed because I knew. Why don’t you take it out? you said, as though I simply could. But how could I explain that something that seemed so plain and simple, was simply beyond reach – or I would.

    So I practiced the art of acceptance, to accept the stone in my shoe. But with every step, with every step… I knew, I knew. I tried to practice to forget, but with every step, it reminded me, with every step, I knew.

    Some day your shoe will wear thin, you said, and your stone will drop through. Oh yes, Yes, I said, when I’m dead, I said, my stone will most surely be through.

  • “All alone, is all we are.”

    ‘Acceptance is an understanding and internalizing of the futility of it all’

    rough raw prose, j.d. loved it.

  • Comments to the prior essay:

    ‘Tony Abbott denies climate change and advocates carbon tax in the same breath’

    Not in the same passage of gas?

    We’ve fucked it up major.

    And Oberstleutnant, Oberst, Generalmajor, Generalleutnant, General, Generaloberst, and Generalfeldmarschall.

    If enough Americans could get away from one god

    If “one” be recognised as one too many, the remaining alternatives are “no” and “only”. Both often amounting to the same: most fish can function perfectly well with no knowledge or concept of water. Flying fish and salmon jumping upstream excepted. However in that case, there is not “only” water: there is water and air.

    Geoffrey’s essay is too one-sided.

    Actually one can function perfectly well in this universe without recognising the “water” and without recognising that one is a transient wave in this water: that is because there is no way that one can jump out of this “water”.

    Thank you, Mr. DeJong for a great essay.

    People entrenched in their deluded mentally constructed worlds are very dangerous.

    The entire world is a construct from sensory inputs collated with patterns and templates from a database called memory. The danger is in not recognising that in every instance it is a construct.

    I watched our farms that had kitchen gardens, pigs, chickens, cows, and usually several different kinds of grains, turn into fields of mono-crops.

    Efficiency is diametrically opposed to resiliency. Monocrops are efficient in squeezing yet another penny out of the system. Hierarchical systems work to maximise efficiency, at the cost of resiliency, which becomes a problem when it comes time to pay the piper.

    I received a Master’s Degree in a seminary

    Excellent. But such degrees are more like a degree in cooking without ever having to touch a utensil or taste an item. The actual purpose of the teachings that are incorporated into the syllabus of seminary is not to “commit and vomit” but rather to guide a transformation that creates conditions in which realisation might take place.

    commodify everything, including the people whom the system is supposed to serve,

    A hierarchy can control only what it valorises. So it progressively brings everything under control by attaching a handle of numerical value everywhere.

    (… the patriarchs that built the industrial civilization colossus and convinced us of its virtues) are seriously, mentally ill.

    Actually the illness lies in the universe itself, in the flow of energy from concentrations to diffusions, and of matter organising itself piggyback on those flows into greater complexity: at a certain level of complexity it passes its patterns (such as DNA) on to subsequent generations, and at still further complexity, it defeats the mechanisms that limit such growth. Until some physical limits cause a crash. Where balance is attained without a crash, some mechanism(s) limiting growth remain(s) operative.

    so the ego can retain its existence.

    This clinging to individuality is described as one of the obstructions to realisation. It is manifest in the ideas about an “immortal” soul. But the two main Eastern non-theistic non-dual traditions (Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism) describe personal individuality to be transient like a wave on the surface of the ocean.

    Can you not justify suicide today?

    Tradition has it that a person who in a later embodiment was known as the Siddhartha Gautama, came upon a tigress and her cubs starving at the bottom when he peered over the edge of a cliff at a time of drought and famine. To help those animals, he leapt to his death, landing close to where they were.

    The last stage of grief is acceptance.

    And the first step to realisation is also acceptance.

    A greater description of acceptance is hard to find.

    How about “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do”.

    It is the death of a purpose.

    More correctly, what’s important is the death of expectations. Rational anticipation is an appropriate precursor of action.

    “Why?” “None of what you are doing matters.”

    Given a sufficiently long timeline, that is invariably true. Hence the First of the Three Features of Existence (in Buddhism): “All composite things are transient”. There is not a single point of stability in all of the Universe of space-time-causation.

    My life lost its meaning.

    A reference to “losing meaning” suggests that an idea of purpose is still retained. When the “I” is recognised for a mirage, a phantasm, an apparition, its concomitant is the awareness that there never was anything owned, and so there was nothing to be lost, not even meaning.

    There doesn’t have to be any meaning.

    However, this has to be grokked at the most fundamental level. Mere assertion will not do.

    How does one answer the question, “Who Am I?”

    By starting with how one defines “I”. There is a plethora of labels: human, gender, race, age, height, weight, culture, education, family, occupation, etc. Each of these has to be recognised as a label, or perhaps a coat of paint. The same goes for ideas of “soul”/”subtle body”. This process of peeling/stripping has to be continued until the last label is removed.

    I found that the answer to that question was quite simple: No one.

    If you have truly grokked this at the most fundamental level, then you are worthy of worship by me and all those others who recognise your greatness.

    The only thing you can say about this existence is “I am”.

    Actually, the “I” has to be dropped. Something “is”, and for convenience (of others!), in conformity to custom it is referred to as “I”.

    If you aren’t part of the solution you are part of the problem

    Beyond each solution is another problem.

    Acceptance is an understanding and internalizing of the futility of it all;

    But without the despair that is the handmaiden of thwarted expectations.

    that you are only really doing it … for yourself.

    There is no your”self”: you are doing it because it appears to be the appropriate action in this neck of the time-space-causation woods.

    My species is beyond help because of the power elite.

    The power elite is as much a part of the species as the scent glands of a skunk are a part of the skunk, or a sting of a scorpion is a part of the scorpion.

    goes on to do….? Nothing in particular.

    To actually perceive that one is doing nothing, and that that all that seem to be done is the operation of the laws of nature, is another concomitant of realisation. But this too has to be grokked at the most fundamental level; merely making such a claim is deluding oneself.

  • 4 Wheeled Blues
    (by the way, I don’t own a car)

    I bought a new car the other day
    I popped the hood to take a peek
    4 wheeler
    4 doors
    There was a sign on the carburetor
    Hands off
    Sit tight
    You touch these parts
    the sign said
    Warranty canceled
    Computer fed
    Now I don’t know
    But I think I thought
    I paid a price
    The car I bought
    I turned to tell the salesman sellin’
    The guy I saw was Bob Dylan
    Far away
    Pretty scary
    You ask me how we can push the pedal
    If Obama gave Bob Dylan a medal
    I think he did
    Oh shit

  • Hello!

    The Conscience has left this drifting planet and is out there in the Universe searching for a New Being.

    The human animals failed, there are just to many undoable’s.

  • Signs Of Change The Past Week Or So 2014 (2) – February
    HawkkeyDavisChannel

    and

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/03/u-s-nuclear-plants.html

    Nuclear Expert: “Half of the Reactors Operating Today In The United States Do Not Meet The NRC’s Fire Protection Regulations … a Third Of The Reactors In The United States Aren’t Protected Against Flooding If An Upstream Dam Were To Fail … Another 27 Reactors Are Not Protected Against Earthquake Hazards”

    Posted on March 1, 2014 by WashingtonsBlog

    American Nuclear Plants Are In Danger of Melting Down

    The risk of a nuclear meltdown in the United States is even greater than it was at Fukushima.

    Yet the U.S. Nuclear regulatory Commission (NRC) has weakened safety standards for U.S. nuclear reactors after the Fukushima disaster.

    David Lochbaum – Director of the Nuclear Safety Project for the Union of Concerned Scientists, who worked as a nuclear engineer for nearly two decades, and has written numerous articles and reports on various aspects of nuclear safety and published two books – explained today:

    There are a lot of safety regulation shortcomings that we think need to be rectified to provide a solid foundation for the existing nuclear power plants and any new nuclear power plants we build in the United States. For example, half of the reactors operating today in the United States do not meet the NRC’s fire protection regulations, even though the fire hazard represents the same threat of reactor core meltdown as all other threats combined. And that’s when you meet the regulations. In addition, about a third of the reactors in the United States aren’t protected against flooding if an upstream dam were to fail. So another 25, 27 reactors are not protected against earthquake hazards. And we’ve known this for years, and we’ve tolerated that rather than fixing it.

    The proper foundation for nuclear power new and existing would be a nuclear regulator that enforces federal safety regulations, rather than in just setting them and watching plants live well beneath them year after year.

    [contains 8 min. video of on-going problems at Fukushima]

  • (I’m hearing things, Bob thing)

    Come gather ‘round people
    wherever you surf
    Admit that the ice melting
    has exposed the turf
    Accepted that soon
    you’ll be drenched and de-birthed
    If your time to you is
    important
    Then you better start
    crying cause you’ll really be
    hurt
    For the times they are a-
    Ending

    (sing along as you hug your mate or your dog)
    For the times they are a-
    Ending

    Aggg-ii-ri-culture
    And industry, too
    Modern life
    Has poisoned the stew
    It’s just too damn late
    There’s nothing’ to do
    Permaculture sadly is failing
    What was all white
    Will soon be all blue
    For the times they are a-
    Ending
    For the times they are a-
    Ending

    Come brothers and sisters
    Behind those all those screens
    Don’t romanticize
    What awaits to be seen
    Devastation deals with the heroes
    The critiques, deniers
    the kings and the queens
    & it deals with you & me, also
    If your status makes you feel special
    Your hands are dirty
    They are unclean
    For the times they are a-
    Ending
    For the times they are a-
    Ending
    For the times they are a-
    ending

  • Here is a clip by Katie Goodman,s you guys would like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrCAOXF8hCA

  • Dennis says: Here is a clip by Katie Goodman,s you guys would like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrCAOXF8hCA
    Nice!

    mt, great stuff!
    ==

    Things Have Changed

    That we all sell out, I’m agreed to:
    To survive, we’ve had to proceed to;
    But we don’t do that deed
    Any more than we need,
    And Dylan, he didn’t need to.

    Five more limericks about the Superbowl disaster here:
    http://benjaminthedonkey-limericksofdoom.blogspot.com/2014/02/bob-dylan-at-super-bowl.html

  • Our on-going Xdimensioanal magic mystery show celebrates, strives for Mu, nothingness. The obverse, of course, is everythingness. Neat coin! Some of us, still, try to ride the thin edge between them. I’m an artist, whatever that may mean. I make stuff to look at and sometimes try to link an abstraction to it in the form of a word (all abstractions of…??). Mostly I also work in the common use sense of ‘abstract art’, but often celebrate the way things look and feel by drawing or making (and enhancing, maybe) a photograph of what presents itself ‘out there’. There is an economic-ego based model of all this: the “Art World”. It includes historians, critics painters, architects, musicians and collectors, institutions and even those who at some level actually experience a work of art as something akin to or even a human part of that larger realm we call world or nature. Charles Ornstein (The Ascent of Humanity) and others have tagged our little, universal problem as stemming from the original sin of abstraction as separation from ‘nature’, an all-inclusive realm. We are not getting away with it….
    But, back to the chase, a concern in Jonathan’s essay is raised: ‘meaning’. Nothingness…but then, following ‘acceptance’ and meaninglessness comes ‘realization’. And are not all but steps on our individual journey ’round the wheel of dust to dust?

  • @mt! Wow, what hoot!

    I enjoyed this video. I don’t know why but I search out anything I can watch about ancient civilizations and dinosaurs, I’m a nut for dinosaurs. Anyway, the idea of great civilizations that predate ancient Egypt by thousands of years, well, that really tickles my fancy.

    I was wondering if anyone here can tell me something about a book I heard Mike Rupert talk about on, The Lifeboat Hour, The Chalice and the Blade, by Riane Eisler. I bet my left pinkie that uvlfugl knows something about it.

  • Kirk Hamilton
    Thanks for the follow up on the rocket stove experiment.
    I’m still not sure what Perlite is.
    However, I might try styrofoam beads!!(reused)

    Here is a consequence of the recent heat waves in Jan 2014 in Afraidia.

    ‘Heatwave causes potato shortage’

    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/heatwave-causes-potato-shortage/27024

    Also where we are headed perhaps:

    ‘Trailer for “Colossus: The Forbin Project” ‘

    Hope not.

  • I’m still not sure what Perlite is.
    However, I might try styrofoam beads!!(reused)

    Larry Page, Sergei Brin, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger and their teams existed for a reason.

    And styrofoam instead of Perlite is a good way to make it FUBAR.

  • Thanks Jonathan. Acceptance is usually the last card in the deck because ego knows it is kryptonite to it. I suspect it is a superpower, perhaps the only one available to us.

    The line “My species is beyond help because of the power elite.” sounds off to me, those elites are just more driven versions of the same pathology that is all around and within us… should i blame the tip of the wave for being dumped in the surf?

  • If my words offend some people, please be cool. I am trying to be objective about the reality we face today. There is nothing personal in my words.
    I do not pretend to be the truth carrier, because our current situation is very complex, with many components. These words are my two cents, aimed to open discussion on one of the many issues that are really wrong about us, this one being to me the most important.
    We have to forget about living only for ourselves. We have to stop being so selfish.
    I guess we should start to think in how to leave the lessons we have learned for posterity. I guess it is all we can do today about this. But is much better than doing “something” or enjoying IC “while we can” or only waiting for death.

    Jonathan

    I would say that your essay points to what to me is our biggest problem, wrongly understood selfishness and meaning.
    I once wrote here that selfishness is “green”, is a basic survival attitude. Or instinct.
    As the system (nature and/or biosphere) needs all the creatures to properly run, and provide support to all of them in the end, that selfishness is good to all. Every creature tries everyday to live one more day. They are very selfish in that regard. But anyway, some die, some survive. That process keeps the system running. The system is the reason. No creature, or specie, is above the system. They all have a role, that does not have a scale of more or less important. All are required.
    But what I see is that civilization and religion, have turned human selfishness into “the individuals (humans) above the system”. And with that, our natural selfishness it is not green anymore.
    In our human system, we are everything, we live (as individuals) for ourselves. My life, my things, my rights, it is all about me (I am proud). With this view of life comes infinite growth, and destruction of nature. And in the end, when there is not enough planet, to keep this scheme of living, life has no reason. When we understand that the system is wrong, and that our life and efforts are not enough to correct the system, that we are a tiny component, comes the perception that life does not make sense. And some, like you (in this case), decide to keep on doing some things just because they make “ME” feel good, only waiting for death. One kind of acceptance state. What I call, a life with no purpose, because only serves to myself, and for extension today, to a system that is unsustainable.
    By doing so, you are (unaware I would say) acting selfish, because you are seeing the world only from your interest, you try to find a sense tuned with your “hardware” life. As today, you do not see something that makes sense to you, something whose result is to be seen in your life, it seems that there is almost no reason to live.
    I once also said about Carolyn Baker that all she was doing was about being selfish. To give comfort, to teach to peacefully accept demise, seen from the individual point of view, is only helping to keep on being selfish. In some way, is learning to keep on living with our “standard” selfishness. Certainly she does a good and valuable job, because she helps people to face the acceptance of no meaning and no purpose of modern life in the beach of doom. But certainly that is only a temporary remedy. It does not give a light about the solution to the problem that has driven us to this point.

    Well, I believe that our life has a long term purpose, if we think in the system. We have to live, learn along the way, and teach our lessons to our descendants. Our lessons will be useful, maybe years after our death. We may not see the results. We do not have to. They could, altogether with somebody else´s lessons, become the basis for something much bigger. We will never know. But we should try.
    With our children, we have some 15 or maybe 20 years to sow the basis for the changes required to build/make, our life totally in community with nature, better. Something that may become even better with every generation. If the cycle keeps on running.
    Life is not about us, is about our descendants. It is about keeping the system working.
    Pride has no sense if we live for the future.
    I will recall again some wise words, that, from my point of view, resume the purpose of life:
    -Have children: The only way to really change the world.
    -Write a book: The way to leave a record of our lessons for posterity, it does not matter if they are useful today. They will be someday, as long as they exist after our death.
    -Plant a tree: The way to leave something on earth that will keep on doing good things for others after our death.
    Our life is doing things to be useful after our death. That gives a durable meaning. A meaning that will last all life.
    If we add to the equation, a life in balance with nature, things may become really durable.

    If we keep on living a life for ourselves, to us see the result (during our life), measured in our scale, valued in our units, once we get to the beach of doom, we will see that everything we have lived for, was for nothing. Our generation will certainly be the first generation to see the beach of doom.

    We have to change our mind setting, and start thinking into the future, living for the future, using our knowledge of the delicate equilibrium that keeps the biosphere running, to devise a new way of living. We have to break the circle, at a mind setting level.

    I am at the beach of Doom today, but that is not a reason to stop doing things that may only be useful in the future. I have to do them, and keep on working with younger generations. Specially with my children and their children. They will possibly live longer than me, and maybe from them, may come the basis for a new society, in peace and equilibrium with nature. Only a few are needed to start all over again. I do not know. The doubt will not stop me.
    We (mine and older generations) are so tightly bonded to IC, that none of us can lead the required changes. Our minds are set to IC. We cannot break the circle in a practical way. Our descendants can. They need our guidance, knowledge and experience.

    Let´s turn acceptance into the basis for the changes required. Whose results we will not see.

  • NTE vs Surviving the BottleNeck

    Procreation makes sense only if the bottle is uncapped, or if one prefers to play “Last Person Standing”.

    Writing a book requires an adequate knowledge base, combined with the necessary writing skills. There are a hell of a lot of books around compared to the ones that actually get read.

    Planting trees is definitely a good idea, but regrettably all too many of them are dying.

    The meaning to the universe of space-time-causation is increasing entropy. If one heeds the Three Characteristics of Existence (All composites are transient, All entities have no abstractable individuality = have no soul, All composites are sources of sorrow), there is no basis for meaning rooted in expectations.

    The quest for meaning in a universe that lacks even a single point of stability in the entirety of space-time-causation is a fool’s errand. Yet actions must be performed, in accordance with rational anticipations.

  • “I am at the beach of Doom today, but that is not a reason to stop doing things that may only be useful in the future. I have to do them, and keep on working with younger generations. Specially with my children and their children. They will possibly live longer than me, and maybe from them, may come the basis for a new society, in peace and equilibrium with nature”

    The temps we have now are the effect of things done 40 YEARS AGO. We haven’t even begun to see the real climate shift. Nothing is going to stop this juggernaut. There won’t be any new society.

  • @Godofredo Aravena:

    “We (mine and older generations) are so tightly bonded to IC, that none of us can lead the required changes. Our minds are set to IC. We cannot break the circle in a practical way. Our descendants can. They need our guidance, knowledge and experience”

    I think there may be a fundamental dissonance in this attitude, which possibly represents another collective ego-trip for our generation- The idea that any of our guidance, knowledge or experience could be of any use at all to the next generation? It could be argued that a few generations have ‘allowed’ the world to become so fucked up and inhospitable, and it’s human inhabitants so compromised and delusional, that the viability of another generation of humans is actually best served by orphaning them at birth, leaving them in whatever wilderness can still be found, and hope that some other species of animal adopts them, our generation having nothing more to do with them? The only thing they need from us is quarantining. The fact that such an idea can be entertained, and seems sensible, lets you know just how corrupt civilisation has become, or always was… but then what do I know? I’m a member of a compromised and delusional generation, so I’ve probably got it all hopelessly, dangerously wrong..

  • Thanks, Benjamin, I was hoping you’d like. You have a humour.

  • @mt
    “For the times, they are a-Ending …”
    Thanks, I like it too.

    Might try singing it later with my husband while hugging my cat.

  • Well done Jonathan
    Elegant is used by the geeks to describe a cool bit of code, I reserve it for mostly the poet that can, with words, portray a picture, or startle the emotive side. Your post was elegant.

    Niebuhr was it? Accept the things I cannot change.

    Yeah acceptance keeps getting redefined though, and not in any pleasant way.

    After a rigorous look at the written evidence, being mindful of not just seeking evidence to boost my theory of we are well and truly screwed, blued, and tattooed. All sapiens with a number on their arm.
    Regardless of allegory, standing on the beach of doom, trading deck chairs on the Titanic, looking out the window of a speeding train to hell, waiting in line for the oven doors, sorry shower doors, to open and get in.

    The few that try crawling or jumping out of a warming pot of water even if to turn down the damn stove, are dragged back, the Soma has worked it’s magic, the pots not hot, so shut up already.

    So yeah it seems no sooner did I find some solace in acceptance that we are killing the biosphere, primarily through overshoot, I now grapple with Natures answer.

    Nuclear Nightmares

    Suspect those mainlining the blue pill, don’t see what’s coming in a rain cloud soon, or if you’re Pacific beach side located, the time is now.

    Guy’s quote of Lily Tomlin couldn’t be more apt.

    Fuke is completely BEYOND control, WIPP, the jury is still out, but one can guess the verdict, San Onfore, St Lucie, shut down, after burning billions in FUBAR upgrades, to dangerous to turn on.
    Hanford is OUT of control, downwinders dying and having kids with hideous defects, the NPP in Armenia suffered massive damage after earthquake, BUT, it provides Country with 40% of energy needs, so patch it with some quick set concrete, and turn the damn thing on, oh, it doesn’t have a containment vessel what so ever. oops.

    A few of the lucky ones, that first got to live, and in the end got to forgive.

    bkpr

  • Has to be a classic essay, one of the finest posted here. I’ll read the comments above later.

    Went through most of what’s described above in the 70s, seeing the destructive chaos, attempting to “lead” the world by a good example, our bare feet in the dirt, picking corn, planting potatoes, suckering the tomatoes. (Is that an “e”, Mr Quayle?)

    Good luck to all you trying to form such collectives at this late hour. I’m more inclined toward my early anthro interests, and using them to pursue affiliation with remaining “traditional” cultures, where I feel less alienated. Under the right influences, I can still do a pretty good “walkabout” and observe the shamanic spark to be a universal human trait, under that thin veneer of you-know-what.

    With our own small efforts fallen apart, decades ago, I’ve been in various stages of “fight” or “flight” ever since, pretty much on my own, yet surviving, and living well. I am going to offer that the correct acceptance of “doom” does not preclude a continuing life with integrity. The obsession passes, although the shadow remains.

    (Oh, and the nuclear terror — which began at age 9, if not earlier. A well-practiced Doomer, couldn’t be helped much, could it, with the training begun so early?)

    Human cultures/societies can and do go through mass psychoses. In fact, it seems to be a regular feature, just on smaller scales than at present.

    Realizing that the world is the madhouse from “King of Hearts”, and we are so few keepers left to tend the insane, (here, where we huddle in refuge in the “Employee Lounge” for a break from such impossible jobs, described vividly to me by friends who worked in those institutions) we are being driven semi-mad by our human impulse to “join in or die.” A lonely life, indeed, with the occasional “equal” soul met, and, hopefully, recognized.

    If the metaphysical theory is true in some respect, then there may be some other “ending” or meaning to this, for some/all, but the science of physical extinction is something that is not just going to get wished away with metaphysics. Free will is just that powerful, and if the “students” want to burn down the schoolhouse, then they will. “School’s out forever!”.

    We will spend the rest of our days balancing — trying to — on the knife edge of doubt. Of many doubts.

    I am grateful for the good company gathered here, and I intend to go out surrounded by same, if possible. But as Guy often reminds, we are the ones who get to see how the movie ends. So I’ll stay through the full credits roll.

    (Puts on best Churchillian voice:) Let this be our finest hour.

  • Perlite can be bought by the bag at any good plant nursery, much as you would buy vermiculite. They are both used to make soil lighter, and improve drainage and moisture retention. I don’t do this because I am a purist and regard the addition of either of these items as pollution. In this, of course, I am completely mistaken. 🙂

    I use perlite in a ‘gunshot’ grow box for mushroom cultivation. It is excellent for maintaining high humidity and can be kept sterile with the addition of a very small quantity of 3% hydrogen peroxide.

  • Ozman

    Robin Datta said “And styrofoam instead of Perlite is a good way to make it FUBAR.”

    I think you were being facetious when you said you might try stryrofoam, but just in case you weren’t…it’s a very bad idea, and Robin is very correct.

    If you’re still interested in learning about rocket stoves, you might want to read this. It’s a source list for rocket heater information I gathered for my own use.

    http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php/topic,1702.msg45357/topicseen.html#msg45357

  • As long as we are nature we get to bat bat. we need just to switch hit.
    CO-CREATING FOOD SECURITY
    As stewards of the Garden we need to learn the language of our garden that we might co-create a different future than the obvious path to Armageddon we have bulldozed thus far.
    The dominant patriarchal driven creation story with Adam and Eve has been the catalyst for the ever present food crisis. They just didn’t ask and weren’t very reverent or thankful for the singularly limited gifts from their abundant garden. They made up a wild story to cover guilt for taking part in that one gift, just like people do today. Before this, there was no concept of stealing. There is really no such thing as sin, only consequences for choices. Consequences for this sin, exclusion, “time out” if found out and now you must learn to toil, pay, and just be quiet and thankful for what you are allowed.
    The curse that went with that exclusion was enmity and sweat. We against the world and the world against us [enmity]. The difference between nurturing (Eve’s propensity) and the fight against nature [sweat] (Adam’s Agriculture) was as stark then as it is now.
    The children of Adam and Eve took their place in this story as well. Cain, the farmers’ food offering was not accepted by the creator, but Abel’s food offering was accepted. Why might that of been? We blindly follow Cain’s agricultural path and all its trappings to this day. We impart on conquests (imperialism) to take others resources as Cain killed Abel in an ego driven envious rage for his, and we’ve added all the industry to support that agricultural, still trying to gain the creators favor.
    This has led us to this unspoken “Prime Directive” of “Grow more food to feed more people to sell more stuff to, to enslave more souls, at all costs”, devastating ever growing tracts of land and water to get the energy to farm and move product. All this, while exhaling into our biosphere massive amounts of previously sequestered and newly extracted earth elements and newly invented toxicants.
    Agriculture is the most destructive human activity we engage in; sunset after sunrise, year after year nearly the world over we use machines and chemicals designed in war and on farms for destroying soil and essential biodiversity.
    Agriculture has become an authoritative point of view, a dogma, without adequate proof or grounds. It has become an institutionalized system of attitudes, beliefs, and practices. Never once succeeding to attain its stated purpose adequately, which is “Feed the World”.
    Every other living thing on the planet makes its livelihood cradle to grave without money or fossil fuel, all within the web of life filling each other’s needs.
    An apocalypse, translated literally from Greek, is a disclosure of knowledge i.e. lifting of the veil or revelation. Who’s behind that curtain? Is this happening to you?
    As we move to the historical New Testament of the dominating culture’s story we have a metaphorical Triune God that hides in plain sight the true meaning of that which matters and controls life on this planet. The Father, the firm foundation is the earth itself, firmament and all its seen and unseen properties such as minerals, gravity and magnetism. The Son, redeeming the barren souls of earth, the giver of life, represents water. The Holy Spirit unseen, always with us wherever you go is the air. All these things are what creates, enables life as we know it. Yet none works alone or all together without the light of the world, the sun. Four basic elements; earth, air, water, fire, sound familiar? How is it we treat our own maker again?
    Primarily our belief thus our thinking and actions have allowed us to create this fine mess. But now upon this Apocalypse we must forgive ourselves and imagine how to create a regenerative civilization.
    Let me end here with you hopefully being more eager to choose a path of a more balanced nurturing and collaborative kind of reverence, embracing our true nature of empathy, not enmity. We have a choice between our future and our past. So we need to realize that what nature is telling us, as it does not negotiate. Let this new story begin by us putting the largest positive footprint on this planet we can imagine with the resurrected language of our garden.
    Submitted by
    John Victor Anderson

  • And still, the end of the human race keeps coming up with FUN things to think about: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/03/03-4

  • This has potential:

    http://news.yahoo.com/giant-virus-resurrected-permafrost-30-000-years-202120390.html

    Giant Virus Resurrected from Permafrost After 30,000 Years

    The virus only infects single-celled organisms and doesn’t closely resemble any known pathogens that harm humans.

    Even so, the new discovery raises the possibility that as the climate warms and exploration expands in long-untouched regions of Siberia, humans could release ancient or eradicated viruses. These could include Neanderthal viruses or even smallpox that have lain dormant in the ice for thousands of years.

    “There is now a non-zero probability that the pathogenic microbes that bothered [ancient human populations] could be revived, and most likely infect us as well,” study co-author Jean-Michel Claverie, a bioinformatics researcher at Aix-Marseille University in France, wrote in an email. “Those pathogens could be banal bacteria (curable with antibiotics) or resistant bacteria or nasty viruses. If they have been extinct for a long time, then our immune system is no longer prepared to respond to them.”

    (A “non-zero” probability just means the chances of the event happening are not “impossible.”)

    Giant viruses

    In recent years, Claverie and his colleagues have discovered a host of giant viruses, which are as big as bacteria but lack characteristic cellular machinery and metabolism of those microorganisms. At least one family of these viruses likely evolved from single-celled parasites after losing essential genes, although the origins of other giant viruses remain a mystery, Claverie said. [Tiny Grandeur: Stunning Images of the Very Small]

    In the researchers’ hunt for more unknown pathogens, they took a second look at permafrost samples collected from Kolyma in the Russian Far East in 2000. Because the permafrost was layered along steep cliffs, drillers could extract samples from 30,000 years ago by drilling horizontally into the ice, thereby avoiding contamination from newer samples.

    The team then took samples of this permafrost and put them in contact with amoebas (blob-like single-celled organisms) in Petri dishes. The researchers then waited to see what happened.

    Some of the amoebas burst open and died. When the scientists investigated further, they found a virus had killed the amoebas.

    The ancient virus infects only amoebas, not humans or other animals. This pathogen belongs to a previously unknown family of viruses, now dubbed Pithovirus, which shares only a third of its genes with any known organisms and only 11 percent of its genes with other viruses. Though the new virus resembles the largest viruses ever found, Pandoraviruses, in shape, it is more closely related to classical viruses, which have an isocahedral shape (with 20 triangular-shaped faces), Claverie said.

    Pathogens reawakened?

    The findings raise the possibility that other long-dormant or eradicated viruses could be resurrected from the Arctic. As the climate warms and sea ice and permafrost melt, oil and mining companies are drilling many formerly off-limit areas in Russia, raising the possibility that ancient human viruses could be released.

    For instance, Neanderthals and humans both lived in Siberia as recently as 28,000 years ago, and some of the diseases that plagued both species may still be around.

    “If viable virions are still there, this is a good recipe for disaster,” Claverie said. “Virions” is the term used for the virus particles when they are in their inert or dormant form.

    But not everyone thinks these viruses spell potential doom.

    “We are inundated by millions of viruses as we move through our everyday life,” said Curtis Suttle, a marine virologist at the University of British Columbia in Canada, who was not involved in the study. “Every time we swim in the sea, we swallow about a billion viruses and inhale many thousands every day. It is true that viruses will be archived in permafrost and glacial ice, but the probability that viral pathogens of humans are abundant enough, and would circulate extensively enough to affect human health, stretches scientific rationality to the breaking point.”

    “I would be much more concerned about the hundreds of millions of people that will be displaced by rising sea levels than the risk of being exposed to pathogens from melting permafrost.”

    The findings were published today (March 3) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • Eddie,
    thanks a heap for the heads up.
    I have seen bits of the book: “Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build” on the internet, probably sections others had copied.
    I was only partly pulling the chain on the styrofoam additive. I thought I might try it in a small sample and see if it is useful. Probably not get to it at the moment though.

    Perlite – right – I got it now,;) thanks to all who helped.

  • To the rare sisters and brothers who frequent here, who suffer from the combined terrors of knowledge and sanity while surrounded by the multitude abysmally short on both… its good that we can share our condolences with each other at this time. Most of us here also realize that this communication won’t last through the demise. That as the horrors advance, when we’ll want the solace of those who understand what is happening and why, the most… most of us will be increasingly isolated, with only ‘normals’ for company. Sometimes I wonder if we should, if we can, raise and cache courage for the encroaching darkness.

    Experiencing the stress of homelessness, a taste of the things to come for all of us, has not produced any perceivable increase in fitness for winning the coming ordeal. It seems to have instead aged me faster, reduced my capacity to endure stress in general. Perhaps this is the way of nature. That as we are reduced, weakened, and rendered we more readily surrender to overwhelming forces. Played with like a mouse by a cat, we are forced into compliance, morphed, readied to -accept- the end.

    Losing is a self reinforcing downward sickening spiral, while it lasts. Winning is a self reinforcing upward giddy twist, while it lasts.

    Since apparently human annihilation is now foretold and irreversible, that a winning twist is impossible, then we should expect to be pummeled, softened, tenderized and numbed… prepared for the maw of extinction. Systematically schooled for the void. Mice don’t seem to fret over it, so maybe courage is superfluous.

  • Doom All Around You.

    Latest Rant on a Cornucopia of Doom Topics!

    RE

  • Hey Grant – great minds think alike, eh? You beat me to it and I didn’t read your link until after I finished my post, doh!

    https://robertscribbler.com/2014/03/03/a-tale-of-two-ice-caps-new-study-shows-human-warming-takes-out-56-of-antarctic-sea-ice-by-2050/

    A Tale of Two Ice Caps: As Arctic Ocean Heads Toward Ice-Free Summers, New Study Shows Human Warming Takes Out 56% of Antarctic Sea Ice by 2050

    Thus far, the Arctic has been ground zero for human-caused climate change. A combination of sea ice melt, albedo loss, a warming ocean that transports heat beneath a melting ice cap, regions of Jet Stream retreat into the far north, and an overburden of greenhouse gasses near the pole, among other factors, have all resulted in a very rapid pace of local warming.

    [further down the article]

    Antarctic — Vast Continental Ice Sheets Surrounded By Oceans

    Moving southward into the still frozen austral regions, we find a geography and related pace of climate change that is markedly different. Here the vast glaciers pile atop a Continent that has now been buried and frozen for millions and millions of years. The cold is locked into ice sheets that reach thousands of feet in height, cover an area of nearly 14 million square kilometers, and plunge deep into the long-frozen Earth. If the ice in the Arctic is merely a thin facade covering warmer oceans, the Antarctic ice is a thick fortress atop adamant and frozen earth.

    The degree of inertia this represents for human-caused climate change is, therefore, much greater than what we see up north. And though the Antarctic fortress is far from impenetrable to the radically strong assaults of human warming, it will resist their insults for longer, giving way its great piles of ice in a more ablative fashion with, likely, even more stark and shocking results.

    This densely frozen geography coming into conflict with human-caused warming has resulted in far-reaching, though visible, impacts. Overall, largely due to the heat-insulation effect of Antarctica, southern hemisphere warming has progressed far more slowly than warming in the north. Here the battle is one of inches in which regions closer to the equator, such as Australia and the equatorial oceans, show the highest rates of warming. Meanwhile, Antarctica has remained, for the most part, a bastion of cold with increasingly intense wind fields isolating it from the more rapidly warming regions. In this case, and in contrast to the Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream, the upper level winds surrounding the South Pole have strengthened even as they have slowly receded.

    [and]

    Warmth About to Crash Through Antarctica’s Gates

    The various fragile conditions that have conspired to expand Ross Sea ice are now about to collapse under an onrush of increasing temperatures. For according to a new study entitled The Effects of Changing Winds and Temperatures on the Oceanography of the Ross Sea During the 21rst Century high resolution climate models show both increasing temperatures and rapidly melting ice in this critical and climatologically sensitive region under a regime of business as usual fossil fuel emissions.

    According to the study’s authors:

    We examined the effects of projected changes in atmospheric temperatures and winds on aspects of the ocean circulation likely important to primary production using a high-resolution sea ice–ocean–ice shelf model of the Ross Sea. The modeled summer sea ice concentrations decreased by 56% by 2050 and 78% by 2100.

    In short, the bounding Jet Stream, the insulating continental Antarctic ice, and the cold surface waters surrounding the continent can’t keep out an ever increasing level of human-caused warming indefinitely. Over the coming decades this warmth will pulse higher in the region surrounding Antarctica with profound impacts to sea ice, resulting in a more than 50% reduction by 2050 and a 78% reduction by 2100.

  • http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2014/03/media-censorship.html

    There is no more “News” media: 100,000 people protested on Saturday, and we never heard about it.

    That is a picture of around one hundred-thousand people marching through Raleigh this past Saturday, protesting a whole raft of screw-everybody-but-rich-white-male-Repub laws that are being foisted upon the populace by North Carolina’s 100% Teapublican government. Andhere is a link to more such pictures. Oh, and here is another link to a local report.

    And did you hear about this on the national “news” programs, Gentle Reader? No, you did not. You heard about the Olympics, various celebrity peccadillos, a politician’s 1990′s sex life, and lots of finger-pointing tripe from Congress.

    It is apparently too much to expect our Infotainment industry to cover a huge grass-roots march by ordinary people, asking for ordinary things, in an ordinary way. You see, the “news” media is no longer about news, and hasn’t been since the 1970′s. The Reaganistas deregulated the media , making truth play second fiddle to profits. Second fiddle, Hell, they made truth a friggin’ understudy. Ratings and ad revenue determine what gets played on TeeVee “news” programs these days.

    The only way for a citizen’s protest to get shown on national media would be to add a professional celebrity: have a Kardashian get a divorce during the march, or perhaps have Miley Cyrus twerking on a wrecking ball at the head of the march. Something shallow and meaningless to attract the “journalists”, and once they have taken the bait, the marchers force them to listen to, and then report on, something substantial, something that people actually need to know.

    Because as of now, the lives and concerns of ordinary Americans are guaranteed not to be broadcast on the “news”.

  • I’ve posted anew, based on my recent trip. Including video, the post is here.

  • Great posts from everyone – thank you.

    The time for honoring ourselves will soon be at an end.

  • Another gut wrenching, excellent piece Jonathon. Much love to you, my brother.

  • To Logsprit

    I agree with you about the feeling of loosing the battle.
    But, as I have insisted, this battle has to be fought by the next generation. We already have done an important part of the battle, we have become aware in advance, so we can transmit this awareness to our children, and in general to younger people. A bit or a lot less contaminated.
    By doing so, we at least may feel that not everything is lost (for future generations). To us, according to our IC standarda, most of our plans from youth are destroyed.
    Let´s make new plans. Let´s teach a new scheme for living. Even though we cannot fully practice it.
    Regards to all, NBL is a place for alikes that provides at least company, as we are rare people.

  • @ Godofredo:

    Let’s make new plans? I don’t think any “plan” is worth pursuing. We have been “planning” for too long because, really, there is nothing to “plan.”

    Until you have cast off all the trappings of IC, you are part of the problem. Are you using electricity? Do you drive a car? Do you have a job and pay taxes?

    Let us at least tell it like it is – we are all driving ourselves to extinction. Some more than others, yes, but the only truly innocent human beings are the starving children in Haiti, India, China, North Korea, etc… The rest of us are the ones killing ourselves and everyone else. Do you think they have a “plan?” No, they don’t.

    Your “plan” is to keep your washing machine running for one more day… but nothing can wash the dirt from your soul….

  • @ Godofredo Aravena
    “the next generation” ???
    Wasn’t that some sort of sci-fi TV show? Anyway, the notion seems a bit presumptuous in the light of everything our esteemed Professor McPherson is teaching us here. Have you been attending class and doing the homework?

    Meanwhile, I do agree that we ‘might as well’ do everything we possibly can to stop the madness. To me that includes going 100% vegan, growing food locally and organically, building and using humanure toilet systems, cutting material and energy use to the minimum, collecting as much renewable energy as possible using common low emergy> materials, living and working in smaller and better built structures, using energy as efficiently as possible, walking or riding bicycles as much as possible, teaching others as much as possible, etc… and getting ready, as much as possible, for human extinction… anyway.

    The problems are bigger than any of us. In many ways they are bigger than all of us put together – due to the multiplier effect. Sure most of them are political, driven by greed and concentrated power… but human beings, with all their ‘revolutions’ and ‘revelations’, have never been able to fix that ‘trivial’ problem, have they? And, of course, we’re also hugely overpopulated, deep into overshoot. Overshoot won’t be solved by eating organic carrots and composting our poop and happy community sing-alongs and other incantations. Only nature has the solution for massive overshoot… a mass die off… death… and it appears to be coming up on her agenda, real soon pilgrim, real soon.

    I kindly, respectfully, suggest it is much more polite to do your homework first, then ask your questions. It saves everyone lots of time… which is a rapidly depleting resource.

  • @ Godofredo

    I was going to reply to you earlier but Logspirit and Melissa have said it all.
    Please take Logspirit’s advice and do your homework. And keep up, please, with developments, geo-political ones too, and please join the dots. It’s nice to have you here but we can’t discuss future generations, as there is no future. Do as much as you can, like Logspirit, like Ulfvugl, little me and many others here. It’s about living to the best of you ability in the present. There’s nothing else.

    I’m sorry Godofredo, just carry on what you’re doing, taking good care of your loved ones, your environment and yourself. I wish you well.