Friday, June 21, 2024

Transformations: The Finish of the U.S. and the World as We Know It and The Reality About Our Collective Future


Half 1

            It isn’t straightforward to simply accept, however it’s turning into increasingly more apparent that our nation and our world aren’t doing nicely. Some consider the U.S. is falling aside and the people have made such a large number of the atmosphere that we must always name it quits, exit in a blaze of destruction, and go away planet Earth within the fingers of species who’re higher in a position to be good companions locally of life on Earth. Others consider that human ingenuity and modern applied sciences will make things better and we’ve got a brilliant future forward. I’ve a distinct imaginative and prescient that was given to me in a sweat lodge in 1993 at a males’s gathering in Indianapolis, Indiana:

We’re all on an enormous ocean liner. It’s the Ship of Civilization. Every little thing that we all know and have ever recognized is on the ship. Individuals are born and die. Items and companies are created, wars are fought, and elections are held.  Species come into being and face extinction. The Ship steams on and on and there’s no doubt that it’ll proceed on its current course endlessly.

There are a lot of decks on the ship beginning approach down within the boiler room the place the poorest and grimiest toil to maintain the ship going. As you ascend the decks, issues get lighter and simpler. The individuals who run the ship have suites on the very prime deck. Their job, as they see it, is to maintain the ship going and hold these on the decrease decks of their correct locations. Since they’re on the prime they’re positive that they should have the most effective that the ship has to supply.  

Everybody on the decrease decks aspires to rise up to the subsequent deck and hungers to get to the very prime. That’s the way in which it’s. That’s the way in which it has all the time been. That’s the way in which it’ll all the time be. Nevertheless, there are just a few individuals who understand that one thing very unusual is going on. What they arrive to know is that the Ship of Civilization is sinking. At first, like everybody else, they will’t consider it. The Ship has been afloat since time earlier than time. It’s the better of the most effective. That it may sink is unthinkable. 

Nonetheless, they’re positive the Ship is sinking. They attempt to warn the individuals, however few consider them. The Ship can’t be sinking and anybody who thinks so have to be out of their thoughts. Once they persist in making an attempt to warn the individuals of what they’re going through, these accountable for the Ship silence them and lock them up. The Ship’s media hold grinding out information tales describing how fantastic the long run might be and expertise will resolve all our issues.

The Captains of the Ship smile and wave and promise prosperity for all. However water is starting to seep in from under. The upper the water rises, the extra frightened the individuals turn out to be and the extra frantic they scramble to get to the higher decks. Some consider it’s the finish of the world and really welcome the prospect of the destruction of life as we all know it. They consider it’s the success of spiritual prophecy. Others turn out to be increasingly more irritable, offended, and depressed and use alcohol, medicine, and different types of self-medication to flee the ache. 

However because the water rises, those that have been issuing the warnings can now not be silenced. Increasingly more escape confinement and lead the individuals in the direction of the lifeboats. Although there are boats sufficient for all, many individuals are reluctant to go away the Ship of Civilization. “Issues might look unhealthy now, however certainly they’ll get higher quickly,” they are saying to one another. 

However, the Ship is sinking. Many individuals go over the facet to the boats. As they accomplish that, they’re puzzled to see lettering on the facet of the ship, T-I-T-A-N-I-C.  Once they attain the lifeboats, many are frightened and search for somebody who seems like they know what to do. They’d prefer to experience with these individuals.  

Nevertheless, they discover that every individual should get in their very own boat and row away from the Ship in their very own path. In the event that they don’t get away from the Ship as quickly as attainable they are going to be pulled beneath with it. Although every individual should row their very own boat, they have to keep related to others. As individuals row away from the Ship, they join with one another in a brand new, but historical, community. A brand new lifestyle is created that’s significantly better than the Ship of Civilization which continues to sink. 

Right here are some things I’ve considered over time that offers me hope for the long run:

  1. “Civilization” is a misnomer. Its correct title is the “Dominator tradition.” 

So long as we purchase the parable that “civilization” is the most effective people can aspire to realize, we’re doomed to go down with the ship. In The Chalice & the Blade: Our Historical past Our Future first revealed in 1987, internationally acclaimed scholar and futurist, Riane Eisler first launched us to our lengthy, historical heritage as a Partnership Tradition and our more moderen Dominator Tradition, which has come to be known as “Civilization.” In her current ebook, Nurturing Our Humanity: How Domination and Partnership Form Our Brains, Lives, and Future, written with peace activist Douglas P. Fry, they provide actual steerage for making a world based mostly on partnership.

Historian of religions, Thomas Berry, spoke eloquently to our should be trustworthy about our current scenario.

“We by no means knew sufficient. Nor had been we sufficiently intimate with all our cousins within the nice household of the earth. Nor may we take heed to the assorted creatures of the earth, every telling its personal story. The time has now come, nevertheless, once we will hear or we’ll die.” 

2. There’s a higher world, past civilization.

After I was given the ebook Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn, I acquired a transparent sense of the 2 worlds which are competing for our consideration: A world the place hierarchy and dominance rule (Quinn calls it the world of the Takers) and a world the place equality and connection rule (Quinn calls it the world of the Leavers). In his many books Quinn affords a transparent distinction in worldviews.

In his ebook, Past Civilization: Humanity’s Subsequent Nice Journey, Quinn says,

“I can confidently predict that if the world is saved, it is not going to be as a result of some outdated minds got here up with some new packages. Applications by no means cease the issues they’re launched to cease. No program has ever stopped poverty, drug abuse, or crime, and no program ever will cease them. And no program will ever cease us from devastating the world.”

Quinn goes on to cite Buckminster Fuller who stated,

“You by no means change issues by preventing the prevailing actuality. To vary one thing, construct a brand new mannequin that makes the prevailing mannequin out of date.”

3. All Civilizations Come to an Finish, Most Inside Ten Generations (250 years).

            In her highly effective and essential ebook, Who Do We Select to Be? Going through Actuality, Claiming Management, Restoring Sanity, social scientist Margaret J. Wheatley shares the findings of historian Sir John Glubb.

“Glubb studied 13 empires within the Center East, Asia, and Europe, from Assyria in 859 BCE to fashionable Britain in 1950,”

says Wheatley.

“The sample of the decline and fall of those superpowers was startingly clear. It didn’t matter the place they had been or what expertise they’d or how they exercised energy. All of them declined in the identical levels and it all the time took ten generations, about 250 years.”

            Wheatley concludes,

“The deceit we’re engaged in is that we predict we’re particular, that we will transcend historical past, alter the seasons, and step off the Arrow of Time. Surrounded by expertise that dazzles us with its capabilities and techno-optimists who confidently promise ever extra wonders, we consider that whilst different civilizations failed, ours is not going to.”

4. Understanding the Actuality of Collapse.

            The considered our nation collapsing or humanity turning into one other species that turns into extinct is terrifying to most. One response is to disclaim the fact of our scenario, to lose ourselves within the newest escape or dependancy. One other is to falsely consider that some technological repair will magically save us from ourselves.

            After I hear the phrase “collapse,” I can’t assist turning into terrified and eager to run away from the reality. I image a freeway collapsing and crushing automobiles with individuals inside or the dual towers collapsing flooring by flooring and killing a whole bunch.

            The reality is that even throughout these disasters, not everybody died. Many extra individuals walked out of the dual towers than died inside. When civilizations collapse, it doesn’t imply that everybody dies. When the British empire collapsed, it didn’t imply all Brits misplaced their lives. Some did, certainly, die. Demise is one thing all of us should settle for, however collapse can sign a change.

            In describing the fact of collapse, Margaret Wheatley attracts on the work of Joseph Tainter, as nicely John Glubb. Tainter’s ebook, The Collapse of Advanced Societies, revealed in 1987, is acknowledged to be the seminal work in establishing the sample of collapse that’s the destiny of all complicated societies.

“He’s an excellent and devoted scholar,”

says Wheatley,

“each humble and clear. Over a number of years he studied in depth many various societies; as he did so, the sample grew to become so clear that he felt no have to proceed to check others intimately.”

            Tainter’s description provides a extra correct, and fewer terrifying, description of the fact we live by means of. Tainter defines “collapse,” as primarily a political phenomenon with penalties in all different spheres comparable to economics, artwork, and tradition.

“A society has collapsed when it shows a speedy, vital lack of a longtime stage of sociopolitical complexity.”

            This matches nicely with the descriptions I’ve provided by sociobiologist and futurist Rebecca Costa. In her ebook, The Watchman’s Rattle: A Radical New Idea of Collapse, Costa examines the rise and fall of a number of civilizations together with Mayan, Khymer, and Roman empires. She discovered that the underlying reason behind collapse had not been totally understood or addressed. What she found was {that a} societies incapability to take care of complexity was the basis reason behind collapse.

As Costa’s mentor, the world-renowned sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson stated within the books foreword:

“The conflict of religions, and civilizations, Costa argues, is just not the reason for our difficulties however a consequence of them. The identical is true of the worldwide water scarcity, local weather change, the decline of carbon-based vitality, our cheerful destruction of the remaining pure atmosphere, and all the opposite calamities near or upon us. The first reason behind all threatening traits is the complexity of civilization itself, which can’t be understood and managed by the cognitive instruments we’ve got to this point chosen to make use of.”  

            However transformation is inevitable and we’ve got a chance to create a distinct method to reside, one that’s extra sustainable and supportive of life. Our ancestors return thousands and thousands of years and people have lived sustainably on the planet for a lot of that point. However getting from right here to there is a protracted journey requiring a brand new type of chief, which Margaret Wheatly describes as a “warrior for the human spirit.” I’ll describe her concepts extra totally partly 2 of this sequence.

            As Wheatly reminds us, “The Warriors come up when the individuals want safety. The human spirit wants safety. Might the Warriors come up.” As I’m studying, getting older and coping with incapacity and demise, have some similarities with the transformations happening within the bigger world. It takes the most effective of our warrior spirit to fulfill the challenges of life within the 4th quarter of life.

            I admire your feedback and help. If you happen to like articles like these, please contemplate subscribing to my weekly e-newsletter right here. I’ll put up half two in an upcoming article.


Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles