[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]
What was I thinking about? First, the joke (it’s on Youtube if you want the “live” version). An English fishing vessel is caught in a violent Channel storm. The captain sends out an SOS: Mayday, mayday, we’re sinking, we’re sinking! He gets this very hesitant response: “Zis is ze cherman coast gardt… vat are you sinkink about?”
Well, maybe I’m thinking about sinking, or at least about that sinking feeling. Are we sinking, I mean, as a society, and as a global civilization? Is it game over for us? Some will say we are, some will have noticed nothing unusual and some will admit to a rough patch and some hiccuping, and that leaves me exactly where I should be: to decide for myself what the “state of this world” is.
It’s bad, OK? No point denying the obvious, it is a seriously bad patch we’re going through.
Are we sinking, going to the bottom, then? I’d vote no. I cannot imagine, or image, an end to mankind – not in the cards, you might say. The casino will come crashing down and many a gambler will be crushed, or lose everything, but there are those left who didn’t play the game and never entered the casino. Few they may be, but they still exist, however much the pimps and slavers of the Matrix, Status quo or “the System” have scoured the earth to round these few up. Further to this, there are the gamblers who looked up in time and saw the cracks. They collected their earnings, swallowed their losses, cashed in their chips and got the hell out of Dodge.
The thing is, it’s hard to separate a terrible die-back and the collapse of civilization from a total apocalypse. To imagine, say, the extinction of some five and a half billion people over a period of a couple of hundred years. Horrible? Disastrous? Scary? Indeed, and certainly enough to believe it isn’t going to stop until all are dead and the earth lies a desert waste, it’s waters a dead stinking miasma of spreading diseases. Those who remain alive will feel the strangling effect of the “great terror” and live in dread. Some will invoke God and some will imagine alien rescues and some will just go through the motions of staying alive and if they still can bear children and have them will try to keep them alive, no matter what shape they are in.
That’s the nature of Earthian people. Those who survive are the survivors and what they will then have programmed into their immune system, and what will be on their mind, that will be what they will rebuild with. They will be your progeny. When it thinks about you it will always be as a curse. In their minds they will cast this generation to the deepest pits of the deepest hell.
There are many ways to look at man’s future: endless possibilities, endless directions it can go. I like to work on the logic of it. I look at population charts and the effects such populations have on the natural environment. I look at the accelerating demise of non-human species, whether avian, mammalian, insect, aquatic, flora, and for each extinct species I deduct from human recovery. I look at the spread of technology world-wide and attendant eco-damage, including climate change. I don’t engage the smaller effects of, say, Tesla technology and “organic” or “vertical” farming. I try to stay with the bigger picture. I don’t see these “changes” having much of any effect in a timely manner to prevent a major catastrophe. The main problem with “positive” technology is it puts people to sleep; makes them believe they can continue to increase population and consumption with decreasing environmental consequences. Deadly assumption in a finite environment.
I also look at greater social developments such as resource wars leading to destabilization of ethnic communities and destruction of older ways of life. I look at the destruction of cities and histories: the “dummying down process” and of course, the increase in dispossession and in refugees. Then I look at how wars, civil wars, revolutions and genocides are funded, by whom, and why. I watch the blood flow and those who once had hands covered in the blood of innocents now have their entire bodies awash in the stuff. Then I listen to comments by those who remain essentially affluent and recipients of those “good things” which their leaders and rulers extort from dispossession, slave labour, oppression and bloodshed.
The comments, for the most part, aren’t in the least understanding, or compassionate. There is little enough effort expended in reaching deep into the pain and suffering one lifestyle inflicts on another – and how could there be? Earth people know little or nothing of compassionate interaction since such would require living in the nightmare of empathy. If you are one of those rare ones living in it, you know what I mean by nightmare. If you are not, you can’t understand what I mean, even if you try.
As a people, as a species, Earthians will not choose to become compassionate beings. To do so would mean changing everything they believe about themselves, their species, and its interaction with the rest of their world. I said everything, and I mean everything. Nothing of the old would remain. That will not happen, not on any scale needed to prevent catastrophe.
So we’ve finally reached our physical and mental evolutionary crossroads. Yet a vast majority refuses to recognize the landmarks; others will believe they’ve never been here before and no one can know what it means. Of course. If there is one thing Earthians can be known for it’s their amazing ability to live in denial and defend the indefensible.
What we should be asking: what did we use to get here? Was it virtue, or vice? The truth now. What was the number one motivator of civilization that has brought it to this crossroad from which there is no turning back and from which any choice (but one unthinkable) can only lead to disaster?
Be certain that whatever “force” we used to get here will be the very same “force” we will rely on to push us down the path of our next choice. This means we will use more of same and experience more of same though knowing it is unsustainable. Any choice we make won’t really be a choice but a continuation of our tried and failed methods of propulsion into the future. It’s what we are and we will continue to do what we have always done, with little sparks of resistance here and there, and some lofty rhetoric over the Internet to blind us to the real facts.
We will hear of organic, sustainable cooperative communities… and there will be some, of course. We will hear of rich people donating food and housing to certain groups of victims of climate change and we will say, wow, they can do it, and not ask how these people got rich in the first place – because that would spoil the “feel good” moment. More and more people will turn vegan, and even if we still insist on eating meat or using animal products, we will still take some credit and feel good about this “movement” and absolve ourselves because our doctor said our body needs the meat. Not our fault, you see. Plus, we recycle, we do our bit. What the hell, “Not Our Fault” for any of the negative stuff. Plenty of others to blame for the really bad stuff.
The “Not Our Fault” slogan will continue to rule, past the crossroads, past the turning point. We will ride that toboggan to the bottom of the hill and then discover that those who maintained that once we got to the bottom there’d be no way back up were right. There is no way back up. What we left up there is forever gone and now we must walk away with whatever we have… into the future, into whatever it has left to offer. For most, for billions, that will be death: by disease; by famine; by war; by genocide; by drowning and by burning.
As we lay dying, we’ll remember our stand-by mantra: it wasn’t our fault. It wasn’t me. It was them. They did it. Indeed, why should one individual take responsibility for what the collective did? Yes, but isn’t a collective made up of individuals? And am I one of such individuals? If I am, how can I not be equally responsible? How can I blame “others” and absolve myself?