by the virgin terry
in his autobiography, PROVIDENCE, daniel quinn wrote of a fascinating life altering experience of his. i don’t remember many of the details he wrote of. it was in his youth, at a monastery in a beautiful natural setting. i don’t recall what, if anything, brought it on. it seems it came on essentially spontaneously, ‘out of the blue’. suddenly, everything shone brightly, and… as i said, i can’t recall much else other than it made a very profound impression. perhaps it was divine revelation. he had a sense that everything, nature itself, was living. weird, huh? no doubt this experience led him to become the famous author of ISHMAEL many years later, a book well known by many nbl readers for it’s observation/critique of what i’ll moralistically term ‘human depravity’, our self-centered pillage/rape of other species and ‘mother earth’. he made this judgement with much more grace, eloquence, and articulation than my poor mind can convey. good for him. good for us.
the point i’m failing to get across is that apparently i’m not the only one with experience of an overwhelming revelation, seemingly completely spontaneous, out of the blue. if memory serves, mine was on the very last school day of my 6th grade year, placing it in june of 1970. i was 11 years old/young. on the schoolbus going home, sitting by a close(?) chum. suddenly, i felt completely alienated from the self i thought i was just a moment ago. alienated and psychologically bereft, bewildered, isolated, unable to connect with my past or present. i suddenly felt fraudulent, unable to maintain my past personality (although i vainly tried to for decades) and unable to cope with this surreally strange, disturbing, puzzling development. perhaps at the time i hoped it might just be a passing thing, but it wasn’t. it’s remained with me ever since. it dramatically changed the course of my life. (for the worse).
i’m still struggling to come to terms with it, but i think now, some 45 years later, i’ve finally found a new (if unhappy) identity that seems a good fit. i’ve become a very disenchanted, disillusioned, still alienated (with the cold comfort of at least now having a rationale for being alienated, the relief of knowing that perhaps alienation is a sign of sanity in an insane society), still isolated (again with the comfort of knowing i’m not alone in this experience, thanks to the internet and comments from others to radical blogs/sites like nbl), heartbroken ‘doomer’. perhaps i’ve been all these things deep down for all of the past 45 years, ever since my strange and terrible ‘revelation’ (i’ll use quotation marks here to allow that there may well be some rational explanation for what happened to me, well beyond my poor comprehension). perhaps it’s just taken me 45 years to gain all the knowledge and understanding required to begin to put into words, something which appears to be insane, like this world we live in/on/whatever. perhaps at the age of 11 i became a ‘doomer’, having had a revelation of doom that only decades later makes any sense at all.
i think that for the vast majority of time i’m still in deep denial or forgetfulness (of ‘doom’). i think this is probably necessary to go on living, to not become overcome by suicidal despair. but there are now times when, as much as it can, i suppose, it sort of makes sense now, my ‘revelation’.
i highly doubt that without my ‘revelation’, i’d be a ‘doomer’ today. i might be a lot happier and a whole lot more clueless. i may never have developed as an independent, critical thinker, a radical, philosophical anarchist, a ‘conspiracy nut/theorist’, and a ‘doomer’. (deep sigh) in other words, i’m a ‘doomer’ by default. i’ve had no choice in the matter. i didn’t choose to be born, nor did i choose my revelation, or this clueless, crazy, cruel, and doomed civilization.
none of us has ever had any choice, have we? can any of u imagine that by sheer willpower u can change the present, or could have changed the past? can u/we change the future? i think not. whatever’s gonna happen is going to happen, whether any one likes it or not. like divine revelation, out of the blue, steamrolling any and all illusions in it’s path, a power none can comprehend, or deter. whatever god is, it’s it’s world/universe, baby. we’re all just along for the ride, passengers, not conductors.
McPherson’s latest book is co-authored illustrated by Pauline Schneider. Ms. Ladybug and Mr. Honeybee: A Love Story at the End of Time can be ordered from the publisher here and Amazon. Trailer is embedded below.
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McPherson’s recent book is co-authored by Carolyn Baker. The Second, Revised edition of Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is available. Electronic copy is available here from Amazon.