NTE: Two Lives Prevented

by E. Farber

Let me start by saying that I’m not writing this essay for the purpose of publicly flagellating myself, nor am I appealing for sympathy. My purpose is to communicate the degree to which I have internalized the seriousness of Near Term Extinction and to reignite conversations about personal sacrifice in the face of a future that we know is doomed. So what if it doesn’t matter in the end? Having an open forum for discussion makes some of us feel less alone. This is a world where people judge those who make decisions based on a future that no powerful entities (governments, corporations, academic institutions, the media etc.) will acknowledge or speak about. By interacting with like-minded individuals, it can be easier to make sane choices in the face of insanity.

I have been following NBL since 2012. I can’t remember exactly how I came across it, but I did and the information blew me away. It made sense. Not wanting to blindly adapt my belief system based on the research of one person, I investigated further. I read books and articles, watched interviews, and spent a good deal of time reading online comments. Most of the latter is garbage, but sometimes there are a few gems hidden amongst the waste. I also took a good, hard look at the state of the world around me. I couldn’t help it — everything I saw screamed UNSUSTAINABLE. And that’s when I decided, for better or worse, that I would pitch my tent in the doomer camp.

From that point on my approach to daily living shifted. As someone who has had it rough in many areas of life, I was already familiar with trying to find comfort whenever and wherever I could find it. But realizing the futility of trying to carve out a more traditional, more socially-approved existence kicked my hedonistic tendencies into high gear. I engaged in many questionable activities, but I was content. I believed that my attitude towards life was fairly balanced. After all, I cared too much about the wellbeing of others to indulge in behaviors that were totally reckless. Or so I thought.

I’ll cut to the chase — this past summer I got knocked up. I’m 27, single, and in my final year of graduate school. My student loan debt is out of control and the father is broke. I don’t consider myself to be the “mothering type.” Those things aside, after I got over the initial shock of finding out that I was pregnant my feelings changed. Hormones flooded my body. I was struck with a sense of peace that I had never experienced before. Even as I battled queasiness and crushing fatigue, I felt a bizarre sense of care for the unplanned life inside me. But even with cozy feelings radiating from within, I couldn’t ignore the conclusions I had drawn. Could I really bring a child into the world when there was overwhelming evidence that she/he would not have the opportunity to live a full life? Or much of a life at all? I agonized. I engaged in mental gymnastics — maybe I am nuts and the evidence is wrong. Maybe technology really will come through. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, I’m not sure), I have never been able to buy into delusional thinking for very long. I knew what I had to do.

Fifteen minutes before I began the process of halting the pregnancy I had my first and only sonogram. I looked blankly at the tiles on the ceiling as the doctor informed me that I was carrying twins. That information generated two opposing feelings simultaneously: that I was a monster for destroying something so special and that I was absolutely doing the right thing. When the time came, I was ushered into a room and offered a pill that would stop the production of progesterone — a key pregnancy hormone — in my body. I did not hesitate. With a sip from a Dixie cup of water I swallowed it immediately and sealed our fates. The second set of pills taken the next day brought an unspeakable physical pain that I will never forget and that I fully deserved. A week later I had an IUD inserted into my still-bleeding uterus.

I have reflected on the pregnancy and termination daily in the months since. I feel deep sorrow and extreme regret for being so careless as to get pregnant in the first place. I feel a deep ache in my heart knowing that I turned down the one unexpected opportunity I had to be a mom. But after the first twenty minutes of lying in bed each night feeling self-hatred and despair, a light is switched. I remember what the world is like and where it is headed. Knowing that I prevented two lives from entering such a fucked-up place, I am finally able to sleep.


E. Farber is an artist and designer living in the Midwest. She’s currently in her third and final year of graduate school. While others might not consider it a prudent idea to pursue an advanced degree in painting, she figures that she might as well do what she loves because she’ll be dead long before her student loans can be fully paid back anyway. Although she has been forced to hide it from faculty members and peers for numerous reasons (disinterest and disbelief chief among them) her work explores the myriad feelings and experiences that come from being one of the few people who understand that the world as we know it will end in the not so distant future.

Comments 134

  • Your essay was an unexpected thanksgiving gift. Thank you for sharing your experience E.Farber. Post a link to your art sometime…

    El Sea

  • Happy Thanksgiving E. Farber.

    You are a very honest person.

  • King tides this week are a sneak peak of the near future (The King of King Tides Approaches).

  • I’m so extremely sad for your personal loss and also for the collective loss of our beautiful world…

  • Please accept my profound respect, Ms. Farber. You are a beacon of courage and compassion. You took my breath away.

  • Abortion is a sign of the times. You can blame yourself (unprotected sex) and you can blame “civilization” (capitalism, ecocide).

  • E. Farber: Your essay is beautiful. Thank you. It makes me smile to know that two fewer children will suffer through NTHE thanks to your difficult, wise, selfless, choice. I learned the truth too late to alter my path to childbearing. I carry and manage daily grief and guilt, anxiety, depression (all the usual suspects) for the three beautiful children I bore who likely will suffer through it, if they live long enough. So I do all I can to flood their lives with love and joy and silliness while I still can. It’s the least I can do, and it’s fun, for now, and for as long as this kind of “now” hangs on. I applaud your strength, compassion and wisdom in choosing to resist the selfish primal urge to procreate, and all the warm fuzzies our culture associates with children and mothering. I wish you well in your life and your art, EF. May they be one and the same.

  • Tough call. I never had children because I was a fucked up drunk and junkie until my 30’s and after that I simply did not want to risk passing on the “family disease”. Abortion has always disturbed me to some degree on a purely emotional level that is difficult to explain. Maybe because there is no accurate measure of when a fetus becomes a person? I have never partaken in that debate with anyone because I know that there is a difference between feeling and knowing – all the difference. I’ve grown accustomed to admitting that I simply do not have answers for many things. If you were to leave the decision up to me, I would have told you to do the same. I read many comments from aware young people (teen/twenties) on reddit everyday and they express a great deal of despair, fear and anger towards my generation (GenXers) and boomers. Yes, a number of them, knowing what’s coming, have stated that they wish they had not been born. What you did was a mercy. I appreciate your honesty

  • Potent, E. Farber! Making it all that much more real for me and I thank you for that as the surreality of our present situation is one of the harder parts of it to navigate. Your story captures not just the environmental mess, but the social and financial ones we are in, as well. Such difficulties are and will become only more legion and are just as much if not perhaps even more rationale for your most difficult decision. Your bravery is exceptional. That you made the decision while under the influence of mothering hormones and instincts speaks more than volumes, as it was, I believe, quite in keeping with those. May you not suffer regret.

  • As a habitual aborter (miscarriages), I have always believed that pregnancy is the possibility of life. The knowledge of NTHE makes that possibility more poignant. Your decision was most rational and I applaud your strength. Glad you are finding peace.

  • I am answering Paul’s personal plan in the preceding threat for abandoning the concept of human agency to achieve a measure of peace on the way out.

    But, Ms Farber has answered any questions about human agency much better.

    With a conditioned Cathlick excuse of Mea Culpa.

    Paul, both of us want to be “liberated,” as do other bewildered pilgrims.

    None of us want to be displaced, bashed in the head, roasted, or drowned to death.

    We are both trying to answer the big… the biggest… the final… & the only question;

    “Is it true that our species has evolved for millions of years in order to watch ourselves go extinct?”

    Yes, is the gruesome answer forced on us by the avalanche of confirming empirical evidence.

    Paul, you & I both accept that human agency is causing (caused?) global heating & upcoming NTE.

    Including our OWN petty but very destructive agency.

    This is an inescapable fact & premise for all further analysis.

    Euclid, Galileo, Newton, Beethoven, Bach, Catherine-the-Great, Faraday, Maxwell, Pasteur, Queen Victoria, Prokofiev, Planck, Hitler, Einstein … were active agents, too.

    But all chronicled “true” history of human agency is leading to ultimate extinction.

    I am an agent, who is responsible for putting 3000 tons of CO2 into the atmospheric commons.

    My feeble excuse that I didn’t know what I was doing, although I could argue that I was hoodwinked, doesn’t change my causal damage as a CO2 spewing agent.

    You say; “In fact it’s about liberation, about casting off the shackles that keep us bound to a Western-traditional egoic view of the world as a “place” that is separate from us.”

    None of us has EVER been separate from the material nourishing earth, although we behaved as though we were separate.

    The empirical fact that we are not separate is in our faces with a fatal vengeance.

    What we are casting off is the intellectual & inner verbal “EXCUSE,” that any living thing could be separate, ourselves included.

    Claiming that we can live outside of nature & living like it – can only lead to extinction – the ubiquitous 2nd law again.

    Real human agents consuming resources to live is murdering the real nourishing planetary home of the real human agents.

    So, I see your way of abandoning agency as a cop out, easy escapism, ostrichism, & over intellectualizing.

    John Weir seminal piece prescribes facing up to inescapable human agency about ALL brain bending agonies, conflicts, & problems.

    And in so facing up to objective truth in ALL history, we can liberate ourselves from debilitating fear, engineered falsehood, lying to deceive others, & manipulation by others who would distort our judgement for THEIR perverse ends.

    It could even make our upcoming inevitable bouts with agency, suicide, & black timeless night a bit easier

    Retreating into fluffy states of consciousness won’t fill our bellies or any shrunken bellies of hungry children as we descend not no consciousness.

    It will take plenty of agency to live intelligently from now on, fill your belly, mange bene, & answer the question of “what’s to do?”

    Some of us may be lucky enough to have the choice of committing suicide on our own terms.

    And will THAT take agency!

    Aren’t the big questions … reproducing/not reproducing, abortion, infanticide, suicide, or homicide … the ultimate acts of agency?

    Ms Farber’s answer is surely agency in agonizing action.

    Is it all encompassing prologue?

  • “This is an inescapable fact & premise for all further analysis.

    Euclid, Galileo, Newton, Beethoven, Bach, Catherine-the-Great, Faraday, Maxwell, Pasteur, Queen Victoria, Prokofiev, Planck, Hitler, Einstein … were active agents, too.

    But all chronicled “true” history of human agency is leading to ultimate extinction”

    Christopher (on )says:

    November 25, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    “Yes, something happened when fossile fuels entered the stage. The more fossile fuels we used the uglier buildings, lesser truths and imbeciller art we got.

    A very interesting and well written book is “Decline of the west” by Oswald Spengler. The book describes what happened and many other tings. I recommend everyone to read at least a compilation of the best parts.

    As a teaser I found some good Spengler quotes:

    ‘Optimism is cowardice.’

    ‘Through money, democracy becomes its own destroyer, after money has destroyed intellect.’

    ‘What is truth? For the multitude, that which it continually reads and hears.’

    ‘One day the last portrait of Rembrandt and the last bar of Mozart will have ceased to be — though possibly a colored canvas and a sheet of notes will remain — because the last eye and the last ear (of those who can decipher them will be gone).'”

  • Greetings Mrs. Faber,

    Are we dead before we were born ?

    And if we are, us being alive would just be disruption in the natural state of all matter in the known and unknown uni- or omniverse.

    The matter, from which a child or an ofspring of any living being on this planet will be formed, is already here.

    It just didn’t manifest yet in its future form.

    We are made of stardust and the Atoms which form our curent bodies will one day roam the cosmos once again as they did before.


  • “That Ahhtleads” is real smahht too, maybe?

  • When I found out about how fucked things were – 1999 – I went out and had a vasectomy, having unprotected sex is just asking for misery, be it having a child or aborting a fetus
    I hope you have got that sorted now. A tubal ligation, vasectomy or a bloody condom, will prevent murder.

  • That is a truly sad story. I really am sorry. I feel that a parent, parent(s) should teach the male members of the family at a very young age that it is also their responsibility for contributing to a pregnancy and what some of the possible outcomes of sex are, in addition to pleasure. I am also wondering if you are considering a tubal ligation or is it not allowed before 30? or if you are planning a hysterectomy? because IUD’s are still not a fully reliable method of contraception. The thought of getting an IUD inserted into a bleeding uterus sounds barbaric and tragic right after going through such emotional and physical pain.

  • I had an abortion in 1979 at the age of 21. I never regretted it but do have times where I think what could have or would have been. There is a certain sadness from time to time. I never had children after that experience and I never could convince myself that having a child was going to be a positive for the child. I guess even at that young age back in the late 70’s I sensed that we were on a one way ticket to some kind of planetary destruction because the 60’s taught us that consumption, pollution and wars were going to take us down an abyss. Now 37 years later I can see the world truly is screwed up and I grieve for all the losses that scream out to us each day (just by reading the newspapers blogs, etc..). Mostly I grieve for Mother Nature who provides our planet with so much beauty and life.

  • E, I want to include myself with those who offer you profound respect for your choice and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

    Sadly, most of us got here by mistake and look what we have to look forward to! My birthday is on September 28th. It doesn’t take long to figure out that I was conceived during or after a Christmas or New Years party!

    If there is any advice I can pass on to you here and now, seeing that I have your attention…it’s this: By the power invested in me as a human bean, I hearby excuse you of any and all future student loan payments! If life’s going to be short anyway, keep the money and make the world a better place with your art. Soon, you’ll be joined by all the other graduates who stop paying. After all, what can the banks do, garner your Social Security? LOL?

    Stay Happy!

  • E. Farber: Let there be peace. Breath is the first moment of independence into this world. It was the action of Love that brought us here. We are mammals growing with hormones to produce. And, the Woman has an inborn trait called intuition. How often does Man question his responsibility on this topic?

    Who expected some humans would turn to Greed and Inflated Combativeness? Now, “it was made our responsibility” to show how over-population has over-contributed to the ill-health of Mother Earth. It is our duty to speak the truth, to even those that pretend they don’t hear. It’s a big job, but I see each of us playing our important role to educate this truth.

  • I’m 27, single, and in my final year of graduate school. My student loan debt is out of control and the father is broke.

    I wonder if this would have changed the calculation for the art student:

    I’m 27, single, and in my final year of graduate school. I have no debt and the father is the only child of a terminally ill multi millionaire who owns several art galleries and a big farm with lakes and oil wells in Canada to escape to if the worst happens.

  • Gerald,

    You find Ms. Farber’s descriptions more compelling than mine. That’s cool, why on earth would I object? I already said that I part company with most other people on these issues. I don’t suggest that my beliefs are some touchstone of Universal Truth. They work for me, that’s all. I present them for consideration, not to convince anyone else of anything.

    You see Ms. Farber’s actions as an example of agency, as I suspect do most people here. I publicly applaud her immense courage, thoughtfulness and selflessness in a very difficult and tragic situation, while keeping my opinions about the agency involved to myself. It wasn’t my situation, after all.

  • E. Farber, thank you for your honesty and raw description of your experiences.
    Seems to me there is an entire wave of new babies around this town – and super moms jogging behind very expensive baby carriages. Babies, dogs and cats seem have to become the final statement in yuppie fashion…
    A week or so ago I saw a photo essay online about the struggles African women in extreme poverty face when having children – the exhibition held the women up as examples of triumph over adversity (I found the irony chilling). Sorry, I can’t find the link.
    There is a British tv series entitled Utopia – here is a scene from season 2. Also, chilling.
    Ms. Farber, this won’t be you.

  • I’m sorry for your loss but have to add that any chance at a moment of life in time is winning the lottery.The distance of time is unimaginable and we are only alive for a mere spec of it anyway.Would I trade nothingness for a spec of it.I think I would.WOW I love being alive.

  • Wester:

    You do not like CounterPunch for some reason. How about this:

    “In debunking Donald Trump’s big lie about Jersey City Muslims celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center, the corporate media have told an even bigger lie of omission. There was, indeed, shameless cheering on the banks of the Hudson River on 9/11. But it was by young Israelis, as was widely reported at the time. Fourteen years later, corporate media are covering up for Israel – which makes them even bigger liars than Trump.”


  • shep, your post is pure Orwell & very semantic.

    GlouconX, you appear to be very smahht too, like “that” ahhtleads.

    You sound like a vulgar materialist & a very clear-headed not-at-all-crazy doomer.

    Material conditions influence & ultimately determine both behavior & thoughts.

    “People do not behave in order to conform to rules.”

    “People select or create rules appropriate for their behavior.”


    Paul, the disappearing material conditions of our earthly habitat will ultimately determine and/or thwart all human agency is as true & predictive a statement as a human agent can make.

    Until all human agency, consciousness, & choices are extinguished, it would be wise to make the most of what agency & limited choices remain.

    Where, how, & with whom we will die is a choice remaining to us.

    A terse axiom from Karl Marx’s “A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy,” 1859;

    “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but on the contrary, their social existence determines their consciousness.”

    But a critical addendum to Marx’s axiomatic observation is necessary;

    It is the nourishing material ecosystem, also known as habitat, that ultimately determines both political economy & social existence, including human thoughts about both.

    Robinson Jeffers has stipulated an identical axiomatic “all-is-grounded-in-the-ecosystem in a tight poetic nutshell.

    Jeffers advice is the very best for our coming confrontations with abrupt methane release & NTE.

    I don’t know of any better advice for the doomed as our days darken.

    Many have given similar wise advice on these NBL pages.

    “Love That (Not Man Apart From That)”

    “Then what is the answer?- Not to be deluded by dreams.
    To know that great civilizations have broken down into violence,
    and their tyrants come, many times before.

    When open violence appears, to avoid it with honor or choose
    the least ugly faction; these evils are essential.
    To keep one’s own integrity, be merciful and uncorrupted
    and not wish for evil; and not be duped

    By dreams of universal justice or happiness.
    These dreams will not be fulfilled.

    To know this, and know that however ugly the parts appear
    the whole remains beautiful. A severed hand
    Is an ugly thing and man dissevered from the earth and stars
    and his history… for contemplation or in fact…
    Often appears atrociously ugly.

    Integrity is wholeness, the greatest beauty is
    Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things,
    the divine beauty of the universe.

    Love that, not man apart from that,
    or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions,
    or drown in despair when his days darken.”

  • Wow, E. Farber
    That was truly powerful. I pray that you will find peace and happiness. I pray also for the 150,000 other kids born today that will experience the hell here on Earth that we , the living adults, have brought upon ourselves.
    I don’t know you , but I do love you. Not only you but all of here who have been able to recognize the situation we are in. I pray that “God” or “The Supreme Force” or whatever name he goes by will have mercy on us and fix this.

  • I also want to add that I think its a tragedy because I feel extremely sad that two little lives didn’t get to have a taste life on this planet. It’s a beautiful Earth. For it to get to such a pitiful state to have women fear for yet unborn children is heartbreaking. Life has always been tough. There has always been things to fear. Entire households of children have met death through virus’s, infection and disease but that never stopped people from having children and that is why we are now experiencing life. I don’t judge you for your decision because we all have to live with decisions that we have made. But I feel your pain because a person shouldn’t have to make those types of decisions based on a a dying ecosystem. There should have never been a dying eco system driven by humans.

  • This surely sounds like an example of the exercise of free will.

  • Robert Callaghan — Thank you for Joni “For Free” back on the last thread. She was my tripping muse when I was 19, with songs like that I’d lie with my head between the speakers and her words, notes, and vocal tones became a 3-dimensioned forest or garden I walked through, with chills shaking me. And now, tears flowing.

    E. Farber — Thank you for sharing your courage with us.

    The carrying of conception to a birth (or two) may be an agreement between souls for a future together, regardless of outcome.

    I have a friend who lost her baby at the age of several months. She left it on the changing table for a short while, and it rolled off into a hamper and smothered to death. Several short years later, her next baby came.

    She will tell you that he is the same soul who was lost from the first body, and that they had karmas together to discharge from that tragedy. In other words, any soul that you are supposed to encounter in this lifetime, you probably will. If not, then not. Free will matters, not spermic destiny (ooooh, the spell-checker don’t like me making up my own words.)

    A body is a body is a small animal with possibilities but is not yet a human life until TWO (or in your case 3) souls agree to carry onward with it.

    Doesn’t really seem fair or equal that ONLY women have to agonize so much over this choice, does it? Abortion is the Equalizer. It is one option that makes us apply some INTELLIGENCE to our animal existence, which we avoid even acknowledging having most of the time. (That’s what IndCiv is all about — pretending we’re not Animals!)

    So when you step out and think on your own, when you rise above blind, rutting stupidity, society doesn’t like it. It has gone to such lengths to dumb us all down.

    (And Hey, condoms are also The Equalizer. Man don’t have quite as much fun, wants to upgrade his 85-90% pleasure to 100%, which she pays for by going from 2% to 100% of the risk. And guilt. Don’t seem fair, does it? Hey, equalize THIS, mofos! All over the world, millions of people every day fuck complete strangers and walk away without the complications that are constantly in debate by their more “civilized” co-humans who like to blab about “morality” and “responsibility”. Until you’ve got a co-parenting commitment from a REAL Man, one who knows he wants to be a Father, that’s what you do. Which unfortunately, rarely happens before 30 or 35, at a minimum. If ever. Again, WOMAN bears the burden of clashing goals and instincts.)

    I really hate those that exploit the emotional vulnerability of women who have to consider an abortion decision. These jackals operate on the lowest level of vulgarity. And guess what? They’re almost always MEN! Operating to subjugate women. Crass exploiters, who’ve likely caused such misery to at least one woman or girl, and attempt expiation of their guilt by spreading even more misery.

    And yes, some of us have been on both sides of that birth decision — one a Yes, with a following 19 unsuccessful YEARS of attempts at real bonding and long-distance visitation and constant doubts (and a flip-flop of lies), the other a NO, with a short memory of a waiting room in a clinic I drive past several times a year. And remember, with gratitude. Oh, yeah — and both were accidents getting past the responsible protections of that time. Men roll the dice, too, but our bets are so much smaller.

    Forget NTE — you were up against some heavily loaded dice to begin with. Your decision will always be YOURS, if and when it comes around again. And I don’t think that we, here, intend to prejudice the outcome. Happiness can come in many forms, and the Intellect and Emotions, hormonal or otherwise, can combine to enhance what remains of our beautiful Animal Existence.

    In West Africa, in a city where people were driven by losing their herds to drought, and the dead lay just beyond the drainage culverts, I gave money to a blind mother holding twin babies to her breasts. She sat on the steps of the grocery, and I realized I had to give her the smallest 1000 CFA notes, rather than the 5000s I originally did, because the storekeeper would cheat her if she could not feel the difference on the paper.

    This might have become the fate of the family you would have ended up alone trying to sustain. Or maybe not. It certainly was the outcome for this family 35 years ago. And millions upon millions more, since then and today. I couldn’t do much for her then, and I’d probably be even less helpful for you today.

    You have retained the power of your own options over time, which usually turns out to be longer than you, as, yes, a young person, tend to think possible. I applaud you. Tell your hormones thanks for being around, but you’ll get back to them later.

  • Thanks for your essay, E. I hope you will not think you “deserved” the pain of the abortion, any more than you would have “deserved” the pain of childbirth, or you “deserve” the pain of menstruation.

    When I had an abortion (condoms were used, but perhaps not as carefully as they should have been?), I knew I was saving a life: mine.

    I think the doc was a creep for having told you about the twin thing—like if you couldn’t handle one kid, you’d change your mind.. somehow two would be ok?

    Much love and hugs. You did the right and responsible thing and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

  • To bring a child into existence now… with the trajectory we’re on… is unfathomable. Yet a lot of really smart people are doing it. Even Naomi Campbell for fuck’s sake.

    What a lot of people don’t realize, or don’t want to acknowledge, is that infanticide was fairly common in hunter-gather societies. Not because H-Gs were callous. Rather, so children could be provided for and to give the tribe the best shot at surviving in difficult conditions. Thankfully birth control and abortion have made infanticide less common. However, it’s the time to revive the hunter-gathers’ notion that it’s morally wrong, and selfish, to bring children into untenable situations.

    Right now I’m reading Sarah Perry’s book Every Cradle is a Grave: the Ethics of Birth and Suicide. In it Perry questions the ethics of having children, when so much suffering is guaranteed, and advocates for greater societal acceptance and facilitation of suicide, i.e., changing the laws to allow people to end their own lives in a dignified and efficient manner.

    “Millions of years ago, humans just happened. Accidents of environment and genetics contributed to the emergence of sentient beings like us. Today, however, people no longer ‘just happen’; they are created by the voluntary acts of other people.

    “This book examines several questions about the ethics of human existence. Is it a good thing, for humans, that humans “happened”? Is it ethical to keep making new humans, now that reproduction is under our control? And given that a person exists (through no fault or choice of his own), is it immoral or irrational for him to refuse to live out his natural lifespan? Sarah Perry answers these questions in the negative–not out of misanthropy, but out of empathy for human suffering and respect for human autonomy.”

    I can’t think of a more appropriate book for these times.

  • Oops… the wrong Naomi. I meant Naomi Klein the eco-warrior. Not the former super-model. Although apparently Campbell’s eager to breed too. http://www.eonline.com/news/520172/naomi-campbell-i-do-want-to-have-children-whether-i-have-a-man-or-not

  • “Euclid, Galileo, Newton, Beethoven, Bach, Catherine-the-Great, Faraday, Maxwell, Pasteur, Queen Victoria, Prokofiev, Planck, Hitler, Einstein … were active agents, too.”
    E. Farber: every being has its own karma.

    There is the story of a group of eight celestial beings who planned a prank on a realised human sage: when he discovered that they had kidnapped his cow, he cursed them with birth in a human form. They apologised, and he reneged. But since the word of a realised person is irrevocable, he added that they would die very shortly after birth and return to their celestial abode, all except the one who had done the actual kidnapping. So the eight of them were born sequentially to a queen, who drowned each one after they were born in a nearby river, but allowed tne eigtht one to live. He became Bhishma, the grandsire of the Kauravas and Pandavas in the Mahabharata.

    So if someone dies in infancy or before terrm, it may well be a result of their GOOD or LESS BAD karma.

    Their body-mind comploxes, insentient automatons, indeed were.

    ” Ātmā is Ever Pure and Possesses Knowership, Doership and Enjoyership”

    from http://www.jiva.org/the-self-and-free-will-in-the-caitanya-sampradaya-part-3/
    The Self and Free Will in the Caitanya Sampradāya – Part 3

    The starement is quite misleading, even for the Chaitanya tradition.

    Jivatma (individual atma, self) is paramatma (supreme self, Self of all selves). Atma has neither kartritva (agency – doership) nor bhoktritva (enjoyership), which are both associated with the antakarana (internal instrument, the mind, which is jardha – insentient). Atma is shaksni chaitanya (witness – consciousness).

    The apparent distinction between jivatma & paramatman is the chidabhasa (reflected consciousness, also known as pratibimba chaitanya, and as chitchaya). Reflection of the all – pervading Consciousness requires a suitable reflecting medium; in this case it is the molecular biological machinery including their electrochemical phenomena in a configuration called the “mind”.

    The realised person is aware of this, and not just intellectually:
    “One who is a knower of the truth, although he is engaged in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, talking, evacuating, accepting objects and blinking the eyes, realizes that all his sense-functions are interacting with the respective sense-objects. Therefore, he thinks, “I am not doing anything.””

    In other words, such a one realises that one is merely witnessing from witnin the goings – on and doings of a meat – robot that is following its programming.

    Atma swarupa is satchitananda (existence – consciousness – unconstrained unelated contentment). Oneness and duality are both part of pragmatic reality, vyavharika satta. Absolute reality, paramarthika satta, is neither one nor dual, but is described as non-dual (advaita).

    “‘One day the last portrait of Rembrandt and the last bar of Mozart will have ceased to be — though possibly a colored canvas and a sheet of notes will remain — because the last eye and the last ear (of those who can decipher them will be gone).'”

    The meat-robot, the body-mind complex is insentient, has no awareness, acts as an automaton:

    Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 3:7:23
    “He is never seen, but is the Witness; He is never heard, but is the Hearer; He is never thought, but is the Thinker; He is never known, but is the Knower. There is no other witness but Him, no other hearer but Him, no other thinker but Him, no other knower but Him. He is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self. Everything else but Him is mortal.”

    3.8.11 It is never heard, but is the Hearer; It is never thought, but is the Thinker; It is never known, but is the Knower. There is no other witness but This, no other hearer but This, no other thinker but This, no other knower but This.

    “Oops… the wrong Naomi. I meant Naomi Klein the eco-warrior”

    A Yid! Sic Gerald on ’em!

  • @ E. Farber

    You state:

    “My purpose is to communicate the degree to which I have internalized the seriousness of Near Term Extinction and to reignite conversations about personal sacrifice in the face of a future that we know is doomed.”

    Very well said, and I believe you fulfilled that purpose.

    Where abortion, suicide and acceptance of NTE cross paths is the stuff of life these days. No need for guilt, human life simply isn’t that sacred. You made an extremely thoughtful and wise decision, sleep well.

  • E. Farber — Thinking about you over coffee this A.M., as I sit watching the lovely fauna in the human zoo walk past the Starby’s here in paradise, and brought to mind that I’ve just been through an intense year with a family containing twin baby boys. They are almost two now, and I was there for several months in total out of that year.

    Tati, same age as you, had to leave her modeling career (I’m quoting her, leaving out my own guesses) in Panama City and return home to her mother’s apartment, shared with brother and niece, with sister, cousin and another niece nearby as frequent baby care helpers. No thoughts of abortion allowed in Catholic countries. Your fate is sealed. Women canonize motherhood, offer time and energy, but wonder why there’s no money, or men, around.

    When I met them, the 5-month-old boys were handed around, crying or rocked into sleep, from woman to woman, then placed on the couch between pillows to sleep. These young women, and her mother, looked exhausted to me. What, no rocking cradle or seat for them? No money. That was our first purchase, a matching pair. One hand could rock a baby to sleep, while the other was free to do other things. Or rock them both, side-by-side. Next time I visited, they all seemed less frantic and more rested.

    This fate awaited you, perhaps?

    Visits to hospitals (fortunately living close to the Childrens Hospital), two babies held in taxis. Going to the warehouse for a carton of infant formula (one had kidney problem) and diapers. Paying the two-months-late insurance plan (cheap enough) so they could go.

    When things got more desperate, a later visit revealed the empty refrigerator and pantry. They were feeding them dried milk, not formula. No money.

    Finally, as I heard second-hand, the father showed up, either to care for them, or take them all back to his country. She doesn’t call me anymore, didn’t answer my call. Haven’t heard from them in six months, and no one else answered my texts, so I choose to believe that may be true. I won’t intrude further.

    Yes, I miss them and the intense experience together. Those boys will grow up somehow, maybe join the neighborhood gangs that I always had to leave by dark to avoid meeting. Just another variation of the human experience of the urban poor. (Hey, wasn’t “civilization” — CITIES — supposed to be a step UP from the primordial ooze?)

    What you, at 27, (art student, eh?) may not realize is that single motherhood is an extinction event of its own. And twins? That’s very near-term extinction. No money.

    All over the world, as Americans have managed to delude themselves into ignoring as their own reality, young single women go from the marriage market, to the meat market, with their first, and certainly, with their second babies.

    Your marketability — yes, MARKETABILITY (Men won’t say the words “excess baggage” to you, but most think so — to have a successful family experience drops drastically, and you may enjoy your romantic delusions to the contrary for as long as your brain can spin them, while you work two jobs and hardly ever see your kids. (While feeling guilty for enjoying the relief of the time away from them at work. Oh, that’s IF you can earn more than the person who stays with them. Big IF. No money.)

    I watched it happen to female friends in our 20s, and now I watch it again where there is no safety net, no checks or SNAP cards coming in.

    Forget NTE. You have avoided your own life extinction event, and did not need to go through with it to confirm what I have described above.

    One further thought. As you mature, you will be surprised, perhaps amazed, to look back and see in how many forms and for how many decades “young and stupid” can persist in our lives, even into older ages. But at least I get to choose some of my favorite forms of stupidity, and not have them regularly forced upon me.

  • Boin baby boin:

  • But didn’t Guy say in more or less words that life is precious. And we live because we will die. Therefore those children should have lived even if their lives were shortened by climate change, environmental collapse and economic collapse.Therefore Miss Farber you with great love could have assisted them to a young death along with yourself. Abortion has prevented all that suffering but on the other scale they have never lived and felt joy and the sweetness of life and the wind in their hair.

  • E. Farber, please remember to be kind to yourself. Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us. Much love and a big hug from me to you.

    Your voice has summoned the women of the tribe. Thanks for that.

    Also, don’t pay any of those student loans back. Use the Armageddon payment option: don’t pay now … don’t pay ever !

    Hugs for you. You are a good person, don’t forget that.

  • E. Faber,

    I very much hope the above comments buoyed you up as much as they did me. Any nagging doubt I had that someone in your position was correct in the action taken has lifted.


    The irresponsibility you point to in men brings back a rush of sad and shameful memories. I feel as though you’ve lifted a part of the thick veil over the female (male involved) condition, and that’s heavy work.


    Yes. I’m sure H-Gs had just as much compassion as anyone else. But maybe the compassion wasn’t centered on individuals in quite our way; it could have been centered on the pack. The strong sense of tribe identity–the pack as a “person” whose survival was paramount–was probably reinforced by stories and myths and conditions for survival?

    Such comments help me to empathize more strongly with Ms. Faber. I feel that her stand should be (is) my own. We are all in this together. But for me, that doesn’t have much to do with NTE. This is a death culture, with or without NTE.

  • Ms Farber, Thanks for sharing this-a mighty sobering read- but you have my respect & admiration.

    Would give you a monster-hug if possible. Lots of pain in this world-need others to get thru & keep goin. Often seems the right person ain’t around, when that’s really needed.

    I hope you have the support you need.

  • Admire him or loathe him, he went where others feared to tread:

  • No, jay, absolutely not. And there is no should.

  • @Robin Datta

    Jivatma (individual atma, self) is paramatma (supreme self, Self of all selves). Atma has neither kartritva (agency – doership) nor bhoktritva (enjoyership)…”

    Atma is shaksni chaitanya (witness – consciousness)…

    The meat-robot, the body-mind complex is insentient, has no awareness, acts as an automaton…

    This is selfcontradiction^^

    How can there be consciousness without awareness? There is no consciousness without awareness. How can there be a witness without awareness, without consciousness? There is no witness without awareness, without consciousness.

    How can there be any Karma without any witness of Karma? How can there be any witness without Karma? How can there be any consciousness, any awareness without an Agent? How can there be Karma without any Agent?

    The Dalai Lama explains the relation between dependent origination and karma as follows:

    “ Karma is one particular instance of the natural causal laws that operate throughout the universe where, according to Buddhism, things and events come into being purely as a result of the combination of causes and conditions.
    Karma, then, is an instance of the general law of causality. What makes karma unique is that it involves intentional action, and therefore an agent. The natural causal processes operating in the world cannot be termed karmic where there is no agent involved. In order for a causal process to be a karmic one, it must involve an individual whose intention would lead to a particular action. It is this specific type of causal mechanism which is known as karma.


    Who else is the Agent, if not the Self? Who else is the Self, if not the Agent?

    The Infinite indeed is below, above, behind, before, right and left- it is indeed all this.

    Now follows the explanation of the Infinite as the I: I am below, I am above, I am behind, before, right and left- I am all this.

    Next follows the explanation of the Infinite as the Self: Self is below, above, behind, before, right and left- Self is all this.

    He who sees, perceives, and understands this, loves the Self, delights in the Self, revels in the Self, rejoices in the Self-he becomes a Svarag, (an autocrat or self-ruler); he is lord and master in all the worlds.

    But those who think differently from this, live in perishable worlds, and have other beings for their rulers.

    Chandogya Upanishad

  • Did somebody mention Naomi Klein? I was going to skip this post, but nothing pisses me off more than the mention of mother-earth superior NK. Her delusions of grandeur and selfishness that brought her child into this world are unjustifiable. She is held as a role model modal for Daddy’s Lil’ Princess’ all over the world. Yes, little girls, you too can have babies if you’re rich, famous and intellectually dishonest. I do not blame people for having babies, but when they spout magical thinking to justify it, I get pissed. If you want to understand American Exceptionalism just look to Klein. She’s so gawdamn exceptional, she can pop babies and fly around the world telling us how green energy will produce more jobs than we have now, and that everything is gonna be just A-Okay.

    My first child was aborted without my knowledge.
    My second child was adopted, died in a car accident at 16.
    My third child is an angry alcoholic, although I still have hope.

    If you are a young woman, you are a fool to have babies now, although I do not blame you for doing so, it is after all, our biological imperative. But when wealthy woman tell us its all okay while poor women in the world have no reproductive rights, I lose it. Abortion makes us feel bad, who cares?, better that you feel bad now, than how any child brought into this world will truly feel when facing the largest crisis in the history of humanity.

  • I met my wife when I was homeless, she was a street nurse. We’ve been together for 20 years. So, naturally, we watch teevee shows like The Knick, or Call The Midwife, both which deal with reproductive rights from 50 and 100 years ago. We are facing the end of life on earth, and still we don’t have the gawdamned sense to make abortions and birth control free around the world. That’s how I know for sure how fucked we are, there are millions of refugees clamouring to live in North America or Northern Europe and still we won’t help the poor to stop reproducing. Good fucking plan, I hope it works out for us.

  • GS – I have continued our dialogue on the previous thread to avoid sullying this one.


    And you reckon there are some nutters on NBL? Cult leaders beware!


    Cult leader tells of ‘warfare machine called Jackie’

    26 November 2015

    A communist accused of presiding over a cult in London has told a court he can “initiate” an “electronic satellite warfare machine” called Jackie.

    Aravindan Balakrishnan, 75, denies charges including rape, indecent assault, false imprisonment and child cruelty.

    He told Southwark Crown Court “Jackie” was invisible, but had been built by the Communist Party of China.

    He blamed the machine for prompting his daughter to run away in May 2005.

    “May Day is Jackie’s birthday,” he said.

    “He did something to her obviously. He put some idea in her head.”

    ‘Made up fantasy’

    Giving evidence at his trial for the first time, Mr Balakrishnan told Southwark Crown Court Jackie was an acronym for Jehova, Allah, Christ, Krishna, Immortal, Easwaran.

    “It can pull your head out from your body,” he said.

    Mr Balakrishnan denied ever beating his daughter. The prosecution alleges he kept her hidden for 30 years.

    “Most of what she says is made up fantasy,” he said. “For her to say these things is really very brave. Well, it’s not brave. It’s very stupid.”

    He told the court he did not initially tell his daughter who her parents were as he thought she would “understand better” at a later age.

    ‘No force involved’

    Mr Balakrishnan earlier told the court he was the “focus of competition” between his female followers, saying a woman he is alleged to have sexually assaulted competed for his attention with the mother of his daughter.

    He insisted that two women in the commune had “pushed” him to have sex, and strenuously objected to claims he had raped and beaten women living in his collective in Brixton.

    He said they would compete for his attentions and that when one of the women performed oral sex on him “there was no force involved”.

    Mr Balakrishnan said he would occasionally “tap” her or shake her to keep her awake for political discussions, which would continue late into the night.

    He said his views were grounded in the teachings of the Chinese revolutionary leader Chairman Mao which “meant almost everything to him”.

    Mr Balakrishnan, of Enfield, north London, denies seven counts of indecent assault and four counts of rape against two women during the 1970s and 1980s.

    He also denies three counts of actual bodily harm, cruelty to a child under 16 and false imprisonment.

    The trial continues.


    @E.Farber – Please don’t ever adopt the guilt that others may try to impinge on you; I am confident that you won’t though, you have the rare combination of intelligence and compassion. I too prevented two births in similar fashion many years ago. The first was with my first wife in 1977, the second with my third (of six) co-habiting partner in 1987. Both terminations were by mutual consent and there were no regrets on either sides – bringing children into the world in our various circumstances at the time would have been irresponsible and inexcusable. Both of my partners involved had had previous terminations with other men and I was fully aware of this and saw it as an indication of personal responsibility. I have never really wanted children for a number of reasons, but mainly on ecological grounds, and increasingly more-so as our predicament became progressively more-obvious. After becoming sexually active at age fourteen and having around eighty five serial partnerships of varying length between two hours and thirteen years, I have successfully managed to escape fatherhood. By the laws of probability, accidents do indeed happen though and you just have to deal with them – my Father referred to it as ‘graveyard luck’ – as it was then known in the backwoods of Canada circa the 1920’s of his youth. I was inspired to have a vasectomy after the first abortion but was put off by the very unfortunate experience of a friend of mine who had to endue a pair of bollocks the size of grapefruits for several excruciating months in hospital when something had obviously gone horribly wrong with the procedure! These days, despite some attractive offers, I have spent the last five years in blissful celibacy and can speak for it most highly. I do miss having breakfast brought to me in bed occasionally though, but it is a small sacrifice. I couldn’t realistically consider sex without love.

    @Lidia – E.Farber’s doctor had no option but to mention the results of the sonogram – eg that of twins being carried. It would have been unethical not to have done so as any information that can have a bearing on such an important decision must never be withheld. There would have been legal and ethical grounds for professional misconduct otherwise.


    I hope to find time to discuss the thorny subject of euthanasia. Both of my parents were long-time members of ‘Exit’, the voluntary euthanasia society, and publicly espoused their enshrined beliefs and principles. In 1985, my father kept his terminal diagnosis of cancer from my Mother and I to prevent us possibly pressuring him to prolong his life with invasive treatment (which I doubt we would have done anyway?). He also did so to save us from facing the dilemma of having even to consider it. He then allowed his cancer to progress secretly until it was completely untreatable and he became a virtual skeleton. He only lasted a few days when it became finally obvious to us but, before then, he had lived with that knowledge for almost a year, agreeing with his doctor that that was what he wanted. I expected him to take his own life at that point, but he didn’t, which left me with mixed feelings including harbouring a strange lack of respect for him after his being such a strong character throughout my life; I felt like he let the side down and that I would be left with explaining his uncharacteristic rationale to all and sundry. Twelve years later, my Mother was also diagnosed with cancer but it took her seven revolting years for her to die. She pleaded with me to help her end her suffering during her final year during which she was bedridden, blind and in constant pain. She realised at that point that she was by then unable to take her own life and requested my assistance to help her do so; there were certainly enough drugs in the cupboard to do the job. At the time, I was in a serious relationship with a woman who was a Quaker/Christian and I stupidly discussed the matter with her. She forbade me to even consider the issue on purely ethical grounds and she threatened to inform the police if I were to actively involve myself. It was an awful dilemma. To maintain the relationship, and my liberty, I therefore elected to endure watching my Mother die in slow motion. I was her full-time live-in carer 24/7 with little outside respite. 2006/7 was the most harrowing year of my life and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy; I still haven’t ever really recovered. After my Mother had finally died, I was informed that the real reason for my partner not wanting me to help end my Mother’s life was to protect my inheritance which I would have been denied as being an accessory to murder it would have been forfeited by the state. Needless to say, the relationship did not last very long after that! Despite both of my parents banging the drum for euthanasia for umpteen years, they never actually have the guts to take their own lives when the opportunity presented itself, and like most people, simply displaced the messy business of their dying onto others. This is the prime reason why I do not want to devolve myself of what I consider to be a fundamental responsibility, and I hope and look forward to being able to demonstrate this shortly.


    Guy tells us to pursue a life of excellence – whatever that is given to mean for each of us. As well as playing music, for many years I have loved bird photography as another one of my hobbies. I caught sight of this amazing photograph recently and would like to share it with you. It represents a pursuit of excellence I could only have ever dreamed of: http://www.boredpanda.com/perfect-kingfisher-dive-photo-wildlife-photography-alan-mcfadyen/

  • Violent mood swing gives Robby a sad

    Collapse: Only 3 Things You Need To Know!!! from collapse

  • Zarquon,

    I would be interested in this but alas cannot find it. Wud u pls help?

    GS – I have continued our dialogue on the previous thread to avoid sullying this one.

  • I still have a nagging feeling of sadness at this story. It to me is not just about a young girl feeling the responsibility to appease the world because of possible NTE. I say possible because yes, it is very possible, however, none of us can know with definite sureness exactly when this will take place. A comet could destroy the Earth or it’s inhabitants, or some other catastrophe which is certainly possible given nuclear arms. The rape and pillaging of the Earth and it’s resources are in full force. But why is everyone complacent? To me it almost becomes cultish when people in a group start to feel like something will save them. Maybe a few on this site will think NTE will save them the pain of furthering continuing on with this charade that has become life in North America and now spreading out like a virus into the world. I don’t really see any people from other continent’s commenting on this thread, it seems to be the same people over and over and it doesn’t seem to welcome comments that go against the set in stone outcomes. Now this thread with fuck it comes up and it shows how dissatisfied people are and how complacent one gets in the face of such an enormous crisis we have to face. And it’s not just NTE is everything that is happening in the world between all humans. But I don’t see anyone voluntarily giving up their own lives so as to let someone else live. Meaning everyone is complaining about life but everyone still is hanging onto it and no one really wants to die. Why do you yourselves want to live and keep using the resources? I am not promoting suicide but just asking the question of why you think your life is more important. We here with medical technology to prolong life are using it and then we seem to be judging others for wanting life as well. I think when a person gets to the stage of fuck it they have lost the will to find meaning in this life or the will to try to make any small difference to anyone or anything. This can lead to recklessness as we have seen in above article. Maybe the recklessness was a final confirmation to hopelessness that this young woman was feeling as she says she was looking for comfort anywhere. She states that she deserved that pain from the abortion which means she was punishing herself for what she did, very unsettling to me and heart wrenching. However, she finally forgave herself which is what one has to do to keep on living sanely. You can say that mothering is only a bunch of hormones, but it’s not. People adopt children without giving birth, and there are lots of single father’s who have a great interest in caring for their children and do so. Other species adopt different species young and care for them as well. It goes far beyond just giving birth and it extends across the species. I am not promoting unsustainable unlimited population. Is it unsustainable because we all want the same lifestyle and a long life no matter what, or is it because we don’t have enough resources, or is it because we don’t treat the worlds resources properly? Also, in the past like fire, humans died because of many different things where as now different types of technology are keeping many alive. People are living but are not healthy. Plus the cult of being young, rather, looking young, has become normal. Plastic surgery and enhancements of every kind are being done to look younger because apparently getting older and dying are no longer acceptable.

  • Like fire, meaning fire is good for the ecosystem because it gives new birth and is a natural outcome for regeneration.

  • ms. farber,
    i was well aware of potential NTE in the late 70s and early 1980s and had a tubal ligation at the age of 21 in 1983. planned parenthood did it for $10.00. there was a few hours of counseling and a 30-day waiting period. i am now 53 and have no regrets. sending you much love…xoxoxo

  • E Farber – thanks for your heartfelt, honest and profound essay. Tough decision either way.

    i listened to an NPR program involving an Australian naturalist who is (rightfully) afraid of geo-engineering and is touting a 3rd Way (title of his book?): suggesting gigantic sea-weed farms and other “renewable” sources for power while drawing down emissions and hopefully CO2 from the atmosphere (in the next 20 to 30 years). If i hadn’t been driving, i would have called in and informed them that, at the rate we’re seeing big changes NOW (at just about 1 degree C over baseline), we don’t have those decades and that, besides that, we’re losing habitat for all the other species we rely on. The oceans are dying NOW, the trees are dying NOW – and people are still going on with the “by the end of the century” canard. i had to turn it off, though it was interesting, because (as is always the case with the msm) they don’t get it.

  • Thank you for sharing your experience. I have the greatest respect for your maternal instinct. Words are shallow at this time; your actions speak with the harmony of what is.

  • The Irreconcilable Acceptance of Near-Term Extinction, Part 2.
    Very powerful. Much introspection in my household last night after reading your essay aloud. Thanks you.

  • E. Farber, thank you.

  • Children at school directly across from Vermont Nuclear site:

    Activists who live near Vermont Yankee have urged the plant to move the spent fuel more quickly from the pools, which they fear could catch fire if an earthquake or other natural disaster caused a leak or cut power to the plant. They have also raised concerns about storing the casks closely together out in the open, rather than below ground or in a hardened building.

    “Should someone be interested in shooting them up, they’re sitting ducks,” said Nancy Braus of the Safe and Green Campaign in Brattleboro. “They’re easy targets, very visible.”

    Vermont Yankee officials dismiss the activists’ concerns and say the decommissioning is following the strict requirements of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees 67 sites around the country where nuclear waste is stored in casks.

    “There are security features in place that should allay any concerns by the public,” said Marty Cohn, a spokesman for Vermont Yankee. “Any concerns about hostile actions have not only been contemplated but also drilled. Security measures are in place to handle those contingencies.”

    He added: “Our plan has always been to move the spent fuel to dry casks as quickly and safely as we can.”

    Activists who live near Pilgrim say they’re especially concerned about Entergy’s oversight of the money-losing plant in the coming years. The regulatory commission downgraded its safety ranking in September, designating the 43-year-old plant as having one of the nation’s three least-safe reactors.

    “Public confidence has eroded,” said Arlene Williamson, vice president of Cape Downwinders, one of several groups that protested at the State House in October to demand Pilgrim close immediately.

    Regulatory commission officials don’t require plants to move their spent fuel to casks in any specific time frame. They do, however, require the waste to cool in the pools for at least five years.

    “The NRC considers both methods of spent fuel storage to be safe,” said Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the regulatory commission.

    He also called the casks “an extremely robust design,” noting that they are made of steel-reinforced concrete outer shells that cover sealed metal cylinders. He said they have been designed to prevent the release of dangerous radiation in the event of being hit by anything from a tornado to an aircraft. The commission has done “vulnerability assessments” and found that the casks “would be able to withstand these attacks,” Sheehan said.

    Activists near both plants have also raised concerns about Entergy’s ability to cover the costs to decommission them.

    Vermont Yankee estimates it will cost more than $1.2 billion and take until 2075 to decommission the plant, but the company now has only about $600 million to pay for the decommissioning and has been criticized for depleting that fund to pay for operating expenses and taxes. As of Sept. 30, Pilgrim had approximately $870 million in its decommissioning fund — $240 million more than the company was legally required to have. Entergy officials said they weren’t sure how much it will cost to decommission Pilgrim.

    Meters used to monitor the turbine generator were labeled “abandoned” in the control room.

    Activists in Vermont worry the firm is trying to cut costs at the expense of the region’s safety. For example, they cite Entergy’s plans next year to halt $4.5 million in annual emergency planning payments to benefit some 30 communities within 10 miles of the plant.

    Company officials insist the plant no longer poses a threat to those communities, which include some in Massachusetts.

    Regulatory commission officials have authorized Entergy to stop emergency preparation payments, saying it would take 10 hours before a loss of cooling in the spent fuel pool ignited a fire. That “would allow ample time for mitigating actions,” Sheehan said.

    On a recent tour of Vermont Yankee, company officials highlighted the plant’s ample security and safety measures. There were the large concrete barricades around the plant, multiple steel-bar doors leading to the entrance, razor wire-topped fences, rusty spikes, and motion detectors between them. There were also guards carrying automatic weapons and checking identification, scores of cameras, and bomb detectors, among other security measures.

    Vermont Yankee will continue to reduce staff in the coming years as buildings are razed, utility lines disconnected, and drainage pipes removed. The company has been encouraging employees to turn off the lights and lower the heat. “When we’re not operating, we have to justify all of our expenses,” Cohn said.

    Across the street, at Vernon Elementary School, parents and administrators said they had few concerns about the decommissioning.

    In a safety study Mark Austin recommended that a portion of the decommissioning funds should be delegated to setting up a temporary school campus miles away from the dry cask containers. After review, the school district decided that moving to portable classrooms for several years was too disruptive.

    As students boarded a line of buses to go home, principal Dana Gordon-Macey said “few in this town of 2,200 people lose sleep over the potential danger” Although the casks are close enough to the school to cast shadows over the play ground the principal added: “I have to assume that they’re keeping our community safe.”

  • @Theresa, “recklessness” = not RECKoning. I think E. was very mindful and the opposite of reckless in her choice.

  • Oops, sorry Theresa.. I misread you.. the recklessness was elsewhere.

    Never mind [Emily Litella voice]!

  • At first I was rather shocked by the topic of this thread and most of the comments. I felt it as coldblooded. But then I thought “Mh, I am a man, not a woman, so how could I really judge this topic at all?” So, I can’t say ultimately, if it’s right or wrong to prevent life this way. After all, I decided not to procreate a long time ago and I never had to make such a tough decision. I decided not to procreate, because I did not want to see my children grow up in Empire, no way, I would run AMOC, if I had children today. The more time goes on, the more I am glad that I have no children.

    MOTHERS (like Mother Earth) are the ones who give life, who bear human beings for 9 months and go through all the ups and downs of this process. Men do rather little to that process, close to nothing (well, they go hunting for food ect, mostly). To me, a woman (in her material form) represents Mother Earth. And Mother Earth is the giver and taker of life within space and time. The cosmic principle of the Mother is to give to that what is beyond time and space a material form in time and space (the latin root of “Matter” is “Mater” = Mother). And she is also the one who takes it away. When a life ceases or is prevented, it goes back to the realm beyond time and space, it is not lost and if it wants to be born within time and space, it will always find a way. This is the wisdom of the indigenous tribe. They know, that beyond the material, visible world of time and space is the unvisible realm of those who ceased or who are not yet born. LIFE never get’s lost, it only transforms infinitely…

    Some minutes ago I watched “Apocalypse, Man” with Michael Rupert again. I can feel all his anger, all his rage, his grief, his desperation like my very own. And I thought: This guy is a victim of Empire. But then I thought again and came to the conclusion: No, this man is in no way a victim, this guy is a fallen Hero in the battle against Empire. And he is somewhere, out there in the wilderness…

    Clouds and Waves

    Mother, the folk who live up in the clouds call out to me-
    “We play from the time we wake till the day ends.
    We play with the golden dawn, we play with the silver moon.”
    I ask, “But how am I to get up to you ?”
    They answer, “Come to the edge of the earth, lift up your
    hands to the sky, and you will be taken up into the clouds.”
    “My mother is waiting for me at home, “I say, “How can I leave
    her and come?”
    Then they smile and float away.
    But I know a nicer game than that, mother.
    I shall be the cloud and you the moon.
    I shall cover you with both my hands, and our house-top will
    be the blue sky.
    The folk who live in the waves call out to me-
    “We sing from morning till night; on and on we travel and know
    not where we pass.”
    I ask, “But how am I to join you?”
    They tell me, “Come to the edge of the shore and stand with
    your eyes tight shut, and you will be carried out upon the waves.”
    I say, “My mother always wants me at home in the everything-
    how can I leave her and go?”
    They smile, dance and pass by.
    But I know a better game than that.
    I will be the waves and you will be a strange shore.
    I shall roll on and on and on, and break upon your lap with
    And no one in the world will know where we both are.

    Rabindranath Tagore

  • @Mark Austin

    “I have to assume that they’re keeping our community safe.”

    Isn’t that the sheeple national anthem?

    My mother used to say similar things.

    Oh, the government wouldn’t do that …


    Nuclear waste casting shadows on a playground? But, you know, they wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t safe, says the principal.

    Baaa, baaa black sheep, have you any wool?

    Your comments are always a good read Mark. You’re like the 6:00 news we never get. Thanks.

  • E. Farber said:

    “That information generated two opposing feelings simultaneously: that I was a monster for destroying something so special and that I was absolutely doing the right thing.”

    I think it’s possible to feel pretty much the same way about the biosphere.

    Paul Chefurka said:

    “I already said that I part company with most other people on these issues. I don’t suggest that my beliefs are some touchstone of Universal Truth. They work for me, that’s all. I present them for consideration, not to convince anyone else of anything.”

    I’d wish for my ruminations to be taken in the same spirit.


    Manifestation, especially procreation, is a vulgar business and a heavy responsibility, and perhaps consequently, predictably, and paradoxically, attractive only to those with a minimally developed sense of responsibility. Unborn children could’ve been/done anything you can imagine.

    Conversely, the destiny of those that do get born is to shuffle between a series of vaguely six-faceted receptacles, performing ‘displacement activities’, from one end of life to the other… or did I miss something?

    I leave the reader to judge whether or not coitus qualifies as a displacement activity, and perhaps to ponder on their good fortune in not being involved in either an emotional or professional relationship with 18000days…



    Not to ignore the rest of your long post, or anyone else’s for that matter, it sounds like you might have been able to profit from a photo-opportunity I passed up yesterday- a Crow, perched in an almost bare Birch tree, with the end of a rainbow right behind.. That trinity must symbolise something…. ?

  • I wanted to comment on Zarquon’s comment, having had a similar experience this year. I thought E. Faber’s essay was excellent.

    I used to be strongly opposed to suicide, for the usual reasons. I have modified my views and now view it as acceptable or even an ethical requirement in some circumstances. One such circumstance is a reliable diagnosis of a difficult terminal illness, cancer being a good example, in which case the best course seems to me to start planning your exit, for a time when you are still able to do so but have also been able to spend some more time here and say your good-byes properly.

    This change of attitude has been made necessary due to our experiencing the curse of Tithonus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tithonus), the late twentieth century success in prolonging the lives of adults to the point where it is common to spend your last year’s suffering from dementia, cancer, and other indignities of extreme old age. Earlier attitudes towards euthanasia are a product of times where people tended to die earlier and more quickly. If you follow some Catholic teachings, you will see there has been some adjustments due to recent changes in medical technology.

    Dr. McPherson has essentially diagnosed the human race with a terminal illness, with a projected date of death in 2030 or a few years earlier. If this was a diagnosis of a personal terminal illness, I would need more confirmation (other medical opinions), a better idea of the course of the illness, more certitude about the date, etc. But in the back of my mind there would be the idea that I may well have to off myself in the 2020s. This is how NTHE changes considerations on things like abortion and suicide.

    I used to be somewhat opposed to abortion, but am realizing that this viewpoint is not tenable given overpopulation (of humans)!

  • The exquisite pleasure derived from human sexual intercourse, coupled with the more or less year round, decades long fertility of the human female, combine to be the greatest curse in the history of the planet.
    I’m not sure when the first human male realised that having more of everything got you more of “everything”; but it hasn’t stopped since,and has brought us to this sad state of affairs.
    I’m also not sure how long you have to be alive, or what you have to experience to make being born worthwhile. Do you need to have an orgasm, or two,or ten thousand, or will eating a sun ripened kiwifruit straight from the vine suffice?
    Maybe no experience is worth a hellish ending,but the pain,problems and heartache associated with trying to have a fulfilling intimate relationship with another human being still seem worth it to many.
    Did this young woman make the best of a bad situation? Almost certainly. Was it avoidable? Was the circumstance that brought that situation about avoidable? Well that is up for debate here regularly. 2LOT and all that. Or the human sex drive.
    So we stumble on,living with our mistakes and poor choices.
    I’ve gently suggested to both my girls they don’t reproduce, but the chances are they will. If they do I hope the kiwifruit are productive by then.

  • Teresa, interesting question – why do you think your life is more important, presumably, as ‘you’ continue to live and use up resources? I suppose simply failing to commit suicide does not implicate a person of guilt in thinking they are “more important” per se, as it is only posed that way by a rather convoluted argument as opposed to life itself, but nonetheless, I have thought about what you are getting at. Sometimes I hear a news story, so heartbreaking, about someone young and full of hope, potential, love, ambition, etc, who has died in some sudden and tragic way and I wonder to the “God” of my upbringing (whom I have no real current belief in), “hey, why didn’t you take me?” I don’t have any of that good stuff going and I’m negative about it all and “ready as i will likely ever be”, besides! I even suggest, next time, that he do so, take me, not them, but the days pass, no doubt filled with such opportunities for such a “God” and I’m still here! More’s the pity, I often think, but alas I am not suicidal! There is still a lot of pleasure left in living my life!

  • “How can there be consciousness without awareness?”

    In the same way that sunlight streams past the earth on all sides at night, yet it is dark. The sunlight has no object to illumitate. Without an object of consciousness, consciousness does not illuminate. Without an “of”, there is no awareness of, and consciousness exists in itself.

    “How can there be Karma without any Agent?”

    There cannot. That is haw the realised person is free of the karmic consequences of the actions of the body-mind complex. In the absence of Kartritva (agency) tnere is no Karta (doer or agent of action; actions can still take place as the meat robot continues to act, but no Karmaphala (fruits of action) are generated. The realised person is Sakshi Chaitanya (witness consciousness), and is not a participant in the actions of the body-mind comrlex, and accrues no new karmaphala.

    “One who is a knower of the truth, although he is engaged in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, talking, evacuating, accepting objects and blinking the eyes, realizes that all his sense-functions are interacting with the respective sense-objects. Therefore, he thinks, “I am not doing anything.””
    Bhagavad Gita 5:8-9

    “Who else is the Agent, if not the Self? Who else is the Self, if not the Agent?”

    There is no agent in the order of reality of the Self (paramarthika satta), just as there is no snake even though so misperceived in a dimly lit rope. The agent has an order of reality less than that of the Self. Dream persons have no reality in the waking state. The relation of Self to lower orders of reality involves the concept of Maya.

    The Self is not perceptible; it is the ultimate perceiver of ALL perception. Anything perceiven is not-Self.

    Commentary on Panchadasi

  • Lidia I was referring to the recklessness in unprotected sex and all the other stuff she was alluding to because of the possible NTE. In reiterating the “why do you think YOUR life is so much more important” point, it’s something to ask yourselves. It also crosses over into the different species. What makes you more important than the millions upon millions of captive beings used for “food”. What makes you more important than people from other countries who feel that large families are important. What makes you more important than a person that can’t afford medicine. What makes you more important than a fetus. Etc. There must be something that one feels as to why they feel that they are more important then other beings. Because the truth is we are a selfish self gratifying species who are afraid to die. There’s a suicide video as soon as you open this page just in case some one might be thinking about suicide but I don’t see a counselling page for someone who might be thinking about having an abortion which entails a lot of emotional pain. Please don’t kill yourself because you are depressed at NTE because you, my friend are important, is the message I get. Not that I am advocating suicide at all, that’s not my point. The woman in the above article felt she didn’t have any other choice. She got pregnant by “mistake” being reckless, which I am sure all of us have done one or more reckless things. She got pregnant with someone who apparently didn’t give her any support and was broke as stated. She felt peaceful and happy though until she thought about the world, which when you look at it, it does tend to make one depressed. She found out it was twins and had a moment of indecision but made the choice because she would rather see them die now instead of in the future at some point. Now she’s happily back at art school and we don’t know if she has taken precautions besides the IUD which seems funny because if she is that set on never having children then a tubal ligation or hysterectomy would be the best option, no? I say this because of the story and how this young woman was seemingly by the writing, extremely distraught. She even went so far as to let us know that the IUD was inserted into a bleeding uterus. I wonder also if she had gotten counselling of any sort before and after to help her with what she went through. She writes that she will be long dead before her student loans will be paid off which means she believes without a doubt that the end of the world is coming soon. You know, I don’t care who you are but no one can predict with absolute certainty when exactly the end of the world is, or NTE and she is apparently finding some joy in life despite the NTE, because she is pursuing something that she loves. I wonder if more people can pursue things they love even with NTE. I wonder if this is a real person writing this article or if it’s some kind of koan written for an audience. If you are real, Ms. Faber I apologize.

  • Chinese Factory Worker Can’t Believe The Shit He Makes For Americans
    June 15, 2005
    Vol 41 Issue 24 Products · Poor · China

    FENGHUA, CHINA—Chen Hsien, an employee of Fenghua Ningbo Plastic Works Ltd., a plastics factory that manufactures lightweight household items for Western markets, expressed his disbelief Monday over the “sheer amount of shit Americans will buy.”
    Chen makes yet more stupid crap for consumers overseas.

    “Often, when we’re assigned a new order for, say, ‘salad shooters,’ I will say to myself, ‘There’s no way that anyone will ever buy these,'” Chen said during his lunch break in an open-air courtyard. “One month later, we will receive an order for the same product, but three times the quantity. How can anyone have a need for such useless shit?”

    Chen, 23, who has worked as an injection-mold operator at the factory since it opened in 1996, said he frequently asks himself these questions during his workweek, which exceeds 60 hours and earns him the equivalent of $21.

    “I hear that Americans can buy anything they want, and I believe it, judging from the things I’ve made for them,” Chen said. “And I also hear that, when they no longer want an item, they simply throw it away. So wasteful and contemptible.”

    Among the items that Chen has helped create are plastic-bag dispensers, microwave omelet cookers, glow-in-the-dark page magnifiers, Christmas-themed file baskets, animal-shaped contact-lens cases, and adhesive-backed wall hooks.

    “Sometimes, an item the factory produces resembles nothing I’ve ever seen,” Chen said. “One time, we made something that looked like a ladle, but it had holes in its cup and a handle that bent down 90 degrees. The foreman told us that it was a soda-can holder for an automobile. If you are lucky enough to own a car, sit back and enjoy the journey. Save the soda beverage for later.”

    Chen added: “A cup holder is not a necessary thing to own.”

    Chen expressed similar confusion over the tens of thousands of pineapple corers, plastic eyeshades, toothpick dispensers, and dog pull-toys that he has helped manufacture.

    “Why the demand for so many kitchen gadgets?” Chen said. “I can understand having a good wok, a rice cooker, a tea kettle, a hot plate, some utensils, good china, a teapot with a strainer, and maybe a thermos. But all these extra things—where do the Americans put them? How many times will you use a taco-shell holder? ‘Oh, I really need this silverware-drawer sorter or I will have fits.’ Shut up, stupid American.”

    Chen added that many of the items break after only a few uses.

    “None are built to last very long,” Chen said. “That is probably so the Americans can return to buy more. Not even the badly translated assembly instructions deter them. If I bought a kitchen item that came with such poor Mandarin instructions, I would return the item immediately.”

    May Gao of the Hong Kong-based labor-advocacy group China Labour Bulletin said complaints like Chen’s are common among workers in China’s bustling industrial cities.

    “Last week, I took testimony from several young female workers from Shenzhen who said they were locked in a work room for 18 straight hours making inflatable Frisbees,” Gao said. “Finally, the girls joined hands on the factory floor and began to chant, ‘No more insane flying toys for Western pigs!’ They quickly lost their jobs and were ostracized by their families, but the incident was a testament to China’s growing disillusionment with producing needless crap for fat-ass foreigners.”

    Continued Gao: “As Chinese manufacturing and foreign investment continue to grow, and more silly novelty products are invented, we can expect to see more of these protests.”

    In the meantime, Chen continues to stew in bitterness. Though he dislikes his work, competition for manufacturing jobs in Fenghua is stiff and he must support his wife, mother, and 2-year-old son.

    “My cousin Yuen is self-employed,” Chen said. “He disassembles old computers that are acquired from overseas and extracts the traces of valuable gold and silver from the circuit boards. He asked me to join him. The work is very toxic, but at least I would not be looking at suction-cup razor holders and jumbo-dice keychains all day.”

    Chen added: “For now, I must refuse the job. Somehow, the only thing more depressing than making plastic shit for Americans is destroying the plastic shit they send back.”

  • Hi, thank you for sharing this. I am sorry for your grieve… I have been through the same experience… it takes courage to make such a decision. I hope your art can bridge the gap in understanding between those who do not get it and the other side of that…

  • E. Faber,

    Having been an MFA student in painting myself, I’d welcome knowing more about your student work, especially as it applied to NTE. Any chance you can share your ideas and experiences on the forum? That would also make it possible to communicate with you offline.

    Somebody mentioned celibacy. That may be quite a good idea. I think the sex urge is somewhat amenable to a turn off switch. One can just put that energy elsewhere. To some degree, I believe.

    For men, sex with post menstrual women could be encouraged, taking pressure off the younger women.

    Encouraging same sex unions could help.

    And abortion must be safe and available.

    A combination of the above could prevent unwanted pregnancies.

  • @Henry, thanks for that slice of a life most of us here haven’t known.

    @LWA, have you seen this.. final exam for Business 101? or maybe it’s for extra credit…

    @Zarquon (btw thanks for the doc thing.. my feeling remains that it is irrelevant/manipulative), @Ed + Theresa on life and life extension: I just started the new book, “Die Wise”, by Stephen Jenkinson. It’s very wordy and I’m only on the first chapter, but I think he describes the sort of limbo some of you were talking about: dying, but not being allowed to die. I hear a lot of this between the lines, too, on the cancer boards, although the majority who write there are committed to the path of life extension. Very few say “my number’s up, oh well”. A goodly number spend their lives dying, and dying, and dying and on and on between scans and appointments several states away and chemo and bowel resections and meds and fistulas and more chemo and baldness and colostomies. Dying for them is more than a full-time job. It lasts for years, and they cheer each other on in this pursuit.

    Anyway Jenkinson writes (bold emph. mine), talking about this new generation of terminal patients under heroic long-term care:

    The Dying are obliged to live in a way they have never done before, and no life skill or old competence can be brought to bear. They are asked to live dying, when nothing about how they’ve lived looks as it once did. They are delivered to a place no longer among the living, only one foot uncertainly planted in a vestige of a life they once knew, the other angling off like a broken limb in an unknown, unbidden direction. They have only qualified, temporary citizenship in the Land of the Living. Their prognosis is their one-way ticket out of that country. By being given More Time, they have been given more death. … When all around you do their mad cheerleading and think good thoughts and refuse to let this be a big part of their lives, they will ask you to do the same, for the sake of getting by. You are now of The Dying, It isn’t what you imagined. It isn’t what you rolled the knucklebones of fate to win. But these are your winnings.

    I see a lot of similarities to our situation here as “knowers”, knowing of the Earth’s dying, and our own dying.. of which the larger claque of creatures are unconscious or uncaring.

    @Theresa, wow.. I understand some of what you are saying. I have no reason to think E. isn’t real. Recklessness is only understood in hindsight, if at all. Personally, I don’t feel that “I” am more important in a Political sense, but (like all “I”s), “I” tend to be important in a survival sense.

    “…the millions upon millions of captive beings used for ‘food’.” I happen to be captive to millions of bacteria who process my food. In turn I procure theirs for them. They are captive in my body (for the most part) and neither of us could live without the other. You talk about the sadness of lost pre-born lives: Corn, Holsteins and Chihuahuas would not be alive if we did not command their existence into being. The transaction of life for life is not as clear cut as some might like (I’m looking at you, monocrop-eating, plastic-wearing vegans..).

    “a selfish, self-gratifying species”.. Are there any other kinds?

    You’re right that people might want to seek use counseling other than just that to do with suicide, but your comment about abortion bringing emotional pain… I think you might be projecting that, because it’s just not something I experienced, and I have talked to others for whom that is the case. I think the pro-life camp has done a good deal to overstate that situation. Many social and mediatical outlets emphasize grieving and drama that is, to a large extent, false. Witness the cultures who hire mourners at funerals to weep and wail.

    I experienced emotions, but not strictly painful ones: they were the same kind of emotions I had when my dad died, my dog died (we put him down), and my mom died with me her caretaker only steps away. It was a sort of sadness, but not Pain. I don’t know how better to tell you about it. It wasn’t even regret, because in each relationship case (even the fetal relationship) I had done all I felt I owed that relationship. Maybe Pain comes from the sense of being Bereft of something? that you are Lacking something? That the situation was Unjust? None of that is how I felt in any of those cases. Fodder for another thread, perhaps.

    I spoke on a thread months ago about a biography of a Kung! woman. Exposure (leaving a newborn out in the bush to be eaten by wild animals) was a pretty normal thing, although they loved and cared for the children they did decide to keep. It didn’t require “counseling” for the Kung! mother to go from leaving her baby under a tree one day, to accepting it back into the family once it had been rescued by its insistent older sister, Nisa (the protagonist of the book), if Nisa’s story is to be believed. It’s not every culture that has the extent of narcissism and exaltation-of/investment-in the individual that the modern Western culture does.

    I agree, the IUD sounds gruesome, and I would have chosen otherwise, but I’ve read that -just like it’s harder and harder to find abortion clinics- in certain areas of the US it’s really not possible to find medical personnel who will surgically sterilize a young woman who’s unmarried without kids. It’s very different now from the 1970s or ’80s.

    I think pursuing something you personally enjoy is of a different level of moral import than bringing innocent kids into the mix. I think Guy is doing what he loves: he’s still teaching: through this site, his radio show, and appearances.. not really the same thing as projecting yourself vicariously through children.

    T, paragraph breaks would make it easier to read your comments!

  • Lidia thanks for talking for everyone telling us how THEY feel and making your abortion experience the norm for everyone. And as if you know what the Kungi woman feels inside because you read a book. I am not projecting anything re abortion because I never had one. I am dying, yes, just like everyone else but just from living not because I have a threatening disease. I forget the rest of what you said because I just don’t want to go back and read it. Matter of fact, I am done with posting here not just on this thread but at this site. One of the last couple of posts I read was from ugotstowonder, glad to see you are enjoying life! and from dave thompson which made me laugh re the Chinese factory workers. Congrats to the girls that lost their jobs. This should have been front page news in North America. Too bad more N Americans weren’t less complacent.

  • @Theresa, all I can relate is what I feel and what other people tell me about themselves. I’m not pretending to speak for you, nor for everyone. I never said I was “the norm”, but I certainly have more data points than you. I think I am pretty clear about the pronouns I use.

  • Lidia — I wanted to watch those boys grow up. I was bonding with them, I guess. But if they now have a father, I can relax a bit and be happy for them. And to have a foreign “uncle” sticking his nose in would risk that fragile resolution. The story in my mind is that she was a dumped mistress, and now the man’s pride has made him step up. Hopefully, a prosperous man.

    I could not live in their world — danger after dark. But I could drop in for visits, and to share some of the ill-gotten gains from El Norte.

    And Africa! Wonderful people, but when things go wrong there, “I see dead people.”

    My stories of twins.

    Artleads — yes, one word comes to mind as I went through the day feeling the anger that E Farber’s post brought out in me. Bullying. I hate bullying and I hate bullies. And pregnant women being told what they can’t or must not do with their own bodies is bullying plain and simple.

    I didn’t get bullied much as a little boy, but what did come my way made me feel crazy, made me want to “GO BERSERK” and lash out to take down someone who seemed so much bigger than I. I can still feel that anger afresh as I write this. And so I feel it for them. I never de-sensitized, I guess.

    I know women are conditioned early to shut off that impulse, and so what forms the internalization of the experience of bullying may take is difficult for us men to imagine. I’m sure it comes out again in the conception situation. All that Sky Spook stuff heaped upon them.

    And the political-religious fascists who use anti-abortion (and soon, all birth control) as the “camel’s nose under the tent” to impose Margaret Atwood’s “Handmaid’s Tale” world upon ALL OF US. Yes, they will, if they can. Oooooh, doesn’t everyone just love little babies? So that’s how they recruit their unwitting troops.

    I suspect that women find it hard to explain to us what is happening to themselves in this situation — it all comes upon them SO FAST! 2 or 3 weeks to decide for a lifetime! –, as our writer has done so well here, in terms that we can understand in our own persons.

    But we must try to walk a mile in our sisters’ shoes (or bodies). “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” also works for me. Or “what goes around comes around.” Funny how that stuff shows up for you later. Do the right thing, whether you’re male or female, and you have MUCH less to worry about down the road.

    To answer a question above: When does a human life begin? When a mother-to-be gives her full consent to bear it. That’s all.

  • It was all a peeyar scam.

    I shoulda known.

    My whole world is shattered.

    On September 1, 1948, after a string of successful films for RKO, Mitchum and actress Lila Leeds were arrested for possession of marijuana.[6] The arrest was the result of a sting operation designed to capture other Hollywood partiers as well, but Mitchum and Leeds did not receive the tipoff.

    The arrest became the inspiration for the exploitation film She Shoulda Said No! (1949), which starred Leeds.[8]

    The conviction was later overturned by the Los Angeles court and District Attorney’s office on January 31, 1951, with the following statement, after it was exposed as a setup:

    “ After an exhaustive investigation of the evidence and testimony presented at the trial, the court orders that the verdict of guilty be set aside and that a plea of not guilty be entered and that the information or complaint be dismissed. ”

    [In a segment of TCM’s Private Screenings, Mitchum tells host Robert Osborne that his arrest in the marijuana raid “never happened,” that it was completely staged by the movie studio’s publicity department. This claim left Osborne visibly stunned.]

  • I am of Sunsara Taylor’s disposition. That women need full access to abortion on demand without apology. That’s it. That’s all. Nothing else to say. I am a guy, obviously. What happens inside another human being’s body is not my business. The recourse will be with the woman who makes the decision regarding herself. Who the hell am i to say otherwise?

    So let’s follow the environment. A young woman is ~not~ educated in sex because her parents, school, family and religion are terrified of the social embarrassment. She gets pregnant. Probably through the equivalent of rape or forced sex by way of pathological male gender roles, from whoever she thinks her boyfriend is.

    Once pregnant, the male panics and disappears. The young woman’s parents, family and religion are ashamed and endlessly criticize and traumatize her to no end. If they are fundamentalist, they force the woman to carry the pregnancy which might be a second form of mental and physical rape.

    The kid grows up surrounded by pain, pathology, lies, coercion and abuse. The kid, if female, grows up to emulate her mother. And if male, under such circumstances, grows up with a pathological male gender role and then equivalently rapes his girlfriend. And there is no end to it.

    I worked in planned parenthood. The people who protest there are sick and ultra-violent (see today’s news). The women who come there are almost universally in trauma. Sometimes severe and debilitating trauma. To pretend that it’s so awful for the aborted fetus is to completely ignore that the woman is in many ways already declared null and void by the society and environment around her.

    As Dworkin points out – women are the original slaves. Their gender designation is to be zeroed out as a human being. Sub. Subaltern. Submissive to the point of suicide by social design. See for example 1000 years of forced crippling of the entire Chinese female population. Or 9 million female witches burned alive at the stake in Europe. When “war” between nation states happens, the first victims will be the women who are raped. That’s the first war. Any equivalent “war” between countries is secondary. That’s only for starters. I think anyone who has been alive on the planet for any reasonable amount of time understands this. But it’s not much talked about.

    The female gender role is to be 1. breeding stock and/or 2. free domestic labor.

    (see most of Dworkin and Sylvia Federici’s – Revolution at Point Zero)

    This rather grotesque circumstance is fully fetishized and eroticized by the culture. Women are socialized to aspire to it. This is despicable, and as Dworkin points out – one of the primary contributors as to why homo sapiens will and probably should go extinct.

    The world may look like a paradise from where some people are sitting, but it looks like a torture chamber out here. Where domestic violence calls aren’t answered. Where women can be stalked preyed upon and stabbed to death in public places. Where 90%+ of rape goes unreported. Where most rapes are perpetrated by known friends and family. Where children are routinely brutalized in their schools. Where institutions and elders willfully ignore corruption, murder, slavery at the highest levels. Where everything is poison and poisoned and no one gives a fk in hell. Least of all the ones with privilege to do something about it. Where people have been begging for help for years from someone, anyone and all that’s returned is dreadful silence or links to Tony Cartalucci articles.

    As I reported last year. My 15 year old student had her skull crushed in a traffic accident. She bled to death in the gutter in her school uniform. People took pictures. Does anybody write lengthy blog posts or responses to that vomit inducing horror? Does anyone feel sorry for the victim? Do people stop driving, flying or burning carbon? Nope. Nada. Black hole of nothing.

    Abortion on demand and without apology. That’s it.
    Good Day.

  • E. Farber you are a wonderful writer. You have the gift of an honest engaging insightful style.
    Hopefully you will consider doing more with that. Thank you for sharing such a personal experience in a way that resonated so powerfully with so many of us.

  • .

    Thanks for the article on the con – (in)sultation. Those poor people. Even if they fix the ‘supposed’ glitch, and even if they reword the questions to be fair, they will still just label them all nimbies in the end and do whatever they want anyway. They never really care what people actually think; it’s all just an exercise to soften them up and to get them used to what’s about to happen.

    It’s never about what the results of the surveys indicate. Consultation is all just a way to soften the blow and to pave the way for the intended and predetermined outcome. Yet, you can see how those people still think they’re in some way part of a legitimate decision making process on some level. Unfortunately, they aren’t; it’s all just a psychological manipulation on a higher level. ‘Ease them into it with a survey.’

    They should really ignore the survey completely and just cut straight to the pitchforkin’ !

    Thanks again for the link. Those poor dolphins and scallops are probably doomed. :(

  • From one artist to another, paint, paint, paint, and all the best. We are the last cave painters, what an unbelievable circle/cycle aye. I can hear the most beautiful bird call right now, the Grey Warbler nz bird, he/she sounds like a magical waterfall while I write this. You will bring beautiful works of art.

  • Surprised no one here has mentioned the latest shootings at a planned parenthood. Guess it’s up to me. I blame the Republicans, for this and so much more senseless destruction. I don’t care what anyone has to say about or against that either. I’ve been watching and living this shit too long to change my POV.

  • Thank you for your essay, E. Farber! Whether you made the right choice or not, will obviously be up to you. And chances are you will re-visit all those emotions in the future. Doubting your decision, then again settling into a phase where you are confident you did the right thing. I think that’s a normal progression that hopefully you are prepared to go through. Also, the IUD is a good choice in my opinion. Personally, I am happy with mine. When I was researching birth control methods, I was surprised to discover that it is actually MORE effective than tubal ligation. I didn’t think that was possible, but apparently it is.

    More importantly, it takes a lot of courage to post your personal story on this website and to share all those intimate, intense emotional and physical pains you’ve gone through. Thanks so much for doing so. I truly commend you for being able to both make the difficult decision you made, and write a very moving essay about it to share with others.

  • I am real and I appreciate the comments—all of them. Especially the ones that are more personal in nature. I wish I could properly respond and participate in the discussion further, but I am currently in the midst of finishing many school-related projects. That being said, there are a few items I’d like to address:

    1) There were some comments that spoke of karma, or ideas related to spirits that choose if/when they will be born. I don’t know exactly how to communicate my feelings on the matter—I have always been deeply skeptical of such things. However, it is possible to doubt the existence of something and yet be nagged by conflicting thoughts about it at the same time. I didn’t want to include this information in the essay (for many reasons, but mostly because it sounds like complete garbage woo-woo), but a good friend of mine who is in the same program as me actually predicted that I would get pregnant with twins this year. She always bragged about having a knack for reading palms, so one night when we were buzzed from a night of drinking I had her read mine for fun. Her prediction was hilarious at the time. Ten months later, I didn’t find it so funny.

    This same friend approached me in October because she found herself in the same position that I was in this summer: single, pregnant, and unsure of what to do. Unlike the other half responsible in my case, the man she hooked up with is wealthy. He also has a wife and two children. I did what I could for her—I empathized, listened, tried to calm her understandably frazzled nerves, and offered to drive her to the clinic (she does not have a car) if she decided to go that route. Long story short, she decided that she wanted to keep the baby. Once she told me, I experienced a strange mix of emotions that was partly a bizarre form of jealously and partly something else that I couldn’t identify. About a week later she asked if I could pick her up from a doctor’s appointment. She sounded strange on the phone and I knew something was up. She had her first sonogram that day and looked shocked as she climbed in my car. It turns out that she’s carrying twins.

    As I’m sure you can imagine based on the glimpse I gave into my recent mental state in the essay, this turn of events has not helped to ease my mind. Although the scientist in me insists that all of this is nothing more than a series of coincidences, it’s been very hard to ignore the goosebumps that rise when I think about how uncanny the situation is.

    2) It’s true that the man I was with did not respect my request that he wear condoms. He knew that I was not on birth control (I cannot use any form that affects hormones, which is why I ended up with a copper IUD) and that I was worried about getting pregnant. So yes, the outcome was partially his fault. But like I stated previously, it was my fault for not telling him to go fuck himself. I wanted sex more than I wanted peace of mind. I knew at the time that I probably would regret my decision, but I threw caution to the wind. I’m paying for it now.

    3) At least one person mentioned wanting to see/know more about my artwork. If you are interested, you can get in touch with me via twitter (*shudder*) and from there I will direct you to my website: http://twitter.com/EFarber11

    Thank you again to all who commented and for those who shared kind words. It helps.

  • @Robin Datta

    “How can there be consciousness without awareness?”
    In the same way that sunlight streams past the earth on all sides at night, yet it is dark. The sunlight has no object to illumitate. Without an object of consciousness, consciousness does not illuminate. Without an “of”, there is no awareness of, and consciousness exists in itself.

    To me, you are talking about the deepsleep, the dreamless state (Sushupti) here. According to the Upanishads/Vedanta there are 4 states:

    Jagrat is the waking state

    Svapana is the dreaming state

    Sushupti is the deepsleep state

    Turiya or the fourth state transcends the above three states:

    Not inwardly cognitive, nor outwardly cognitive, not both-wise cognitive, not a cognition-mass, not cognitive, not non-cognitive, unseen, with which there can be no dealing, ungraspable, having no distinctive mark,
    non-thinkable, that cannot be designated, the essence of assurance, of which is the state of being one with the Self
    the cessation of development, tranquil, benign, without a second, such they think is the fourth. He is the Self (Atman). He should be discerned.

    — Mandukya Upanishad 7

    Those who did not realize the fourth state are bonded to Maya. But Maya is not mere illusion:

    … the term Maya [in the Upanishads] has been translated as ‘illusion,’ but then it does not concern normal illusion. Here ‘illusion’ does not mean that the world is not real and simply a figment of the human imagination. Maya means that the world is not as it seems; the world that one experiences is misleading as far as its true nature is concerned.” According to Wendy Doniger, “to say that the universe is an illusion (māyā) is not to say that it is unreal; it is to say, instead, that it is not what it seems to be, that it is something constantly being made. Māyā not only deceives people about the things they think they know; more basically, it limits their knowledge.”

    In the Upanishads, Māyā is the perceived changing reality and it co-exists with Brahman which is the hidden true reality.


    Maya seduces ordinary people to being blind to the Ultimate Reality, but that does not mean that Reality does not exist! There is that rope you mentioned. Ordinary people confuse a rope with a snake. But that does not mean that the rope doesn’t exist! The perception of ordinary people is fooled by their 6-senses based perception, they are confused by Maya, confused by a mirage. A mirage mirrors REAL objects, existing objects and ordinary people, fooled by their 6-senses based perception, confuse that mirage with the real objects, for example, they confuse a rope with a snake or they confuse their passport, the worldly “I” with their real existence, the cosmic I. They confuse Atman with Anatman, they confuse Anatman with Atman.

    The last stage of the sacred path is Turiya. This state is beyond all qualities, transcends all qualities, but includes all qualities at the same time. It is beyond deepsleep, dreaming and waking state, but includes deepsleep, dreaming and waking state at the same time. It is beyond Atman and Anatman, beyond Agent and Non-Agent, beyond Karma and Non-Karma, beyond, beyond, beyond, neti, neti- but it includes all this at the same time: Tat vam Asi. Turiya is ALL-EXCLUSIVE and ALL-INCLUSIVE at the same time, like One coin includes Oneness and Duality at the same time. It is the real, infinite Samadhi here and now…

    Those who maintain substance are like cows, those who maintain emptiness are even worse.


  • 18000days said – ‘I passed up yesterday- a Crow, perched in an almost bare Birch tree, with the end of a rainbow right behind.. That trinity must symbolise something…. ?’

    It symbolises your need to attach significance to the insignificant. As Carl Sagen said, “We’re all significance junkies”. Well some of us are it seems. Yes, it would have made a nice photo though, but that’s all.

    @Lidia – think again re the sonogram. The obstetrics doctor would not be in that profession if they had any inbuilt bias or prejudice. He/She would be long in the tooth with regard the ethics at that stage, his/her primary concern would have been none other than that of his/her patient. The reason for a sonogram is to check the viability of the fetus; whether it is indeed alive for instance. In more-advanced pregnancies, it is to check the ‘birth position’ as the skull needs to be broken and the limbs severed to be able to withdraw from the uterus safely under vacuum or forceps. E.Farber therefore doubled her good deed by learning of twins. And anyway, there’s nothing special about twins per se, (a one in thirty probability without fertility drugs and with a tendency to favour the effect running on the paternal germ line only). So, as I see it, E.Farber should feel twice the relief of having prevented double the burden on her, her partner and the world. Hoorah! X2.

    Being an abortion doctor has taught me a lot about life

    @E.Farber – Channel any negative and/or positive feelings into your art, there’s nothing quite like it to look back on and learn from.

    On the ethics of primitive peoples and contemporary hunter-gatherer tribes, you will do no better than to read Craig Dilworth’s ‘Too Smart For Our Own Good’.

    These fuckers make me sick!
    Three killed, nine injured in attack on Colorado abortion clinic


    I would also like to discuss the killing of injured, or dying, animals to put them out of their misery. I have performed this task countless times, sometimes with my bare hands, even putting my life at risk to do so. Again, it is a responsibility I do not shun.

  • Addendum to my last comment:

    It is bad to confuse a rope with a snake, but it is even worse to confuse a snake with a rope:

    “Bhikshus, a person who studies that way can be compared to a man trying to catch a poisonous snake in the wild. If he reaches out his hand, the snake may bite his hand, leg, or some other part of his body. Trying to catch a snake that way has no advantages and can only create suffering.

    “Bhikshus, an intelligent student of the Dharma is like a man who uses a forked stick to catch a snake. When he sees a poisonous snake in the wild, he places the stick right below the head of the snake and grabs the snake’s neck with his hand. Even if the snake winds itself around the man’s hand, leg, or another part of his body, it will not bite him. This is the better way to catch a snake, and it will not lead to pain or exhaustion.

    Arittha Sutra

  • The absence of vishaya makes chit seem avyakta. It is not limited to sushupti avasta; it is known as shudda chaitanya, and in other traditions as Shunyata and Ain Sof.

    Maya is mithya and Brahman is satya: they are not co-equal. The avarana shakti of maya obscures sat, and the vikshepa shakti of maya manifests jagat.

    One does not need turiya avasta or samadhi or something else for gnyana nishta, it can be realised in jagrat avastha. The requirements are chitta shuddhi and atma vichara. It is both sat and chit. That realtsation is also called sahaj samadhi, and is atma swarupa.

  • @Robin Datta

    What’s your opinion? Is Shunyata mere emptiness?

  • Look at an empty glass:

    There can be no emptiness without form, there can be no form without emptiness. Shunyata is this empty glass, Shunyata is form and emptiness, like One coin with Two sides:



  • Here we go, an AMERICAN SCIENCE MAG that doesn’t get it:

    Climate Change Will Not Be Dangerous for a Long Time

    [If you can even read this crap, the by-line at the bottom states:]

    Matt Ridley writes a weekly column in The Times of London and writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal. He was elected to the House of Lords in February 2013. He declares a relevant interest in income derived from leasing land for farming, coal mining and wind power.

    Not dangerous now? Under what rocks do these people live? This is clearly misinformation by a hack writer who knows NOTHING about biology.

  • ugotstahwonder Says: “I don’t care what anyone has to say about or against that either. I’ve been watching and living this shit too long to change my POV.”

    Really?! If you can’t change your point of view then what the hell are you doing here?


    The scene – a doctor’s surgery, Groucho Marx as the doctor…

    Doctor: “It’s bad news, you only have a week to live”.

    Patient: “I want a second opinion”.

    Doctor: “OK, you’re fine, there’s nothing wrong with you”.


    I have commented on the latest Colorado abortion killings, my post is awaiting moderation.

  • Oh, no – shades of ulvfugl, Zarquon – think you are going to tell ME why I am here or shouldn’t be here, etc., etc? I don’t fucking think so! You can stick that in your hat!

  • When Guy states NTHE by 2030, people lose their shit.

    I noticed over on the reddit “collapse” subreddit that I’m too doomy and resented for predictive timelines. I am referred to as the arrogant smugly condescending know it all lawnmower. Some of the audience have a special dislike for “certainty” and like to paint me egomaniacal prophet. Although, certainly egomaniacal, I always back my claims up with well sourced media references. Some people like to hide within the fog of uncertainty. Mostly, I just regurgitate facts with a few well placed cuss words. Sometimes I just regurgitate nothing but dry heaves when extraordinarily hungover.

    Joni Mitchell for the 21st century.

  • Robin,

    You said,

    “One does not need turiya avasta or samadhi or something else for gnyana nishta, it can be realised in jagrat avastha. The requirements are chitta shuddhi and atma vichara. It is both sat and chit. That realtsation is also called sahaj samadhi, and is atma swarupa.”

    Here is my halting attempt to translate that from Sanskrit terminology to English. The terms lose much of thewir nuance, of course, but the sense of what you’re saying comes through – to me, at least:

    One does not need to be in the transcendental state or a state of deep meditative absorption in order to discern true path of knowledge, it can be realized in the normal waking state. The requirements are purity of mind and self-enquiry. It is both consciousness and being. That realization is also called natural or spontaneous awakening, and is the true Self.

    I think this may come close to what you meant, perhaps because it describes my own experience so closely. Back when I discovered Peak Oil a decade ago, I certainly never expected that the complex journey that began there would lead in one long unbroken exploration to this strange yet completely familiar place.

    In the process I have discovered the truth of these words by Ramana Maharshi: “Wanting to reform the world without discovering one’s true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes.”

    A fine pair of shoes, indeed!

  • @Lidia – allow me a brief correction before you pick it up in my comment to you above. A predisposition for twins is not necessarily solely though the paternal germ line as I stated, although it can be recessive through the mother’s father (obvious really although it has been recently proposed that epigenetics may also be a factor). I thought there was a problem with that as I was typing it and have now double-checked.

    ugotstahwonder Says: “Oh, no – shades of ulvfugl, Zarquon – think you are going to tell ME why I am here or shouldn’t be here, etc., etc? I don’t fucking think so! You can stick that in your hat!”

    I am not telling you, I am asking you? Again, why are you here if you are determinedly unable to learn? There is no need to be offended, I am curious, that is all. Your proposition appears preposterous on the face of it.

  • Zarquon – you ignore the context of my comment in making a broad judgment of me. What I’ve watched is the persistent negation of valid observation of the senseless destruction wrought by the Republican party in particular and a nullification of any distinction to be made between the parties which is pure bullshit and I’m done listening to it. Now I’ve made my allotment of comments so just let it go, please.

  • Jay said “Abortion has prevented all that suffering but on the other scale they have never lived and felt joy and the sweetness of life and the wind in their hair.”

    I nearly fell for that line once and ran a mile. By that absurd attempt at contorted logic we should therefore be fucking ourselves senseless to create as many babies as possible in a short as possible time so they can all feel the wind in their hair before we all die? I don’t think so somehow?

  • Learning that …”that” Lila Leeds” & Robert Mitchum STORY about going to the slammer for way-out-there sinful marijiuana smoking was all a big peeyar scam was a major blow.

    And they was “represented” by expensive double-breasted double-talking lawyerfish too?

    I was stunned & then some.

    I believed it all, & my believing muthah believed it even more.

    “That” STORY is big part of my starry-eyed & blindfolded Merican childhood.

    How could the pitchas lie?

    After 65 years of unquestioned belief – the perfectly disguised whack-your-head lesson is about ubiquitous human subterfuge.

    How easy it is.

    At first I was bummed, but the deeper lesson comes with the realization that the movie worshiping proles had all been “taken.”

    In a culture where mystical priests can create money from nothing, all “creations” are possible?

    I wouldn’t call it ahht, but there are glaring similarities.

    Edward Bernays looms large.

    “The conviction was later overturned by the Los Angeles court and District Attorney’s office on January 31, 1951, with the following statement, after it was exposed as a setup:

    “ After an exhaustive investigation of the evidence and testimony presented at the trial, the court orders that the verdict of guilty be set aside and that a plea of not guilty be entered and that the information or complaint be dismissed. ”

    In a segment of TCM’s Private Screenings, Mitchum tells host Robert Osborne that his arrest in the marijuana raid “never happened,” that it was completely staged by the movie studio’s publicity department. This claim left Osborne visibly stunned.


    But there is a bigger lesson here, & the magic internet showed how easy it is to discover revelatory information – from the petty to the brain boggling.

    On the way to watching THAT Lila Leeds’ role in the subsequent low budget exploitation film after the successful scam (moist young blonde smokes wicked dope – hits bottom); I clicked on a vid of an aged Mitchum.

    He was old, haggled, & wasted; & it appeared that he couldn’t catch his breath, ahh, the subtle nuances of video.

    I just wondered if he was a smoker.

    Everybody smoked in the forties & fifties – It was so glamorous.

    I was always running to the “drug stoah” to get more Phillip Morris & Old Gold cigarettes for my muthah & fathah.

    Smoke everywhere.

    A pack of Phillip Morris cost 12 cents in 1949.

    My big sistah smoked for 62 yeeahs (17 – 79), & now she can’t walk to the mailbox.

    When I checked Mitchum out with two clicks; sure enough, he was a heavy smoker & he died from emphysema.

    “That” Lila Leed’s acting is so bad, its somewhere between low camp & moronic.

    “That” Lila Leeds never made a film called “Casting Couch;” but she coulda.

    “The movies will kill ya, they really will.”


    Get dis-illusioned & re-illusioned before you die.

    What’s your question?

  • I never said that there is any “need” for Samadhi. When Turiya is realized, then Samadhi is the natural state of mind.

    Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside.

    – Ramana Maharshi

    A really fine pair of shoes indeed.

    I just call it Music.

    Shoot me, Doctor Guy, I deserve it for overposting.

    LOVE upon the Earth!