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Navigating the Collapse of Civilization

by Carolyn Baker, Ph.D

…collapse strips us of who we think we are so that who we really are may be revealed. Civilization’s toxicity has fostered the illusion that one is, for example, a professional person with money in the bank, a secure mortgage, a good credit rating, a healthy body and mind, raising healthy children who will grow up to become successful like oneself, and that when one retires, one will be well-taken-care of. If that has become your identity, and if you don’t look deeper, you won’t discover who you really are; and when collapse happens, you will be shattered because you have failed to notice the strengths, resources, and gifts that abide in your essence which transcend and supersede your ego-identity. In a post-collapse world, academic degrees and stock portfolios matter little. The real question, as Richard Heinberg so succinctly puts it is: Do you know how to make shoes?

..collapse will decimate our anti-tribal, individualistic, Anglo-American programming by forcing us to join with others for survival. You may own a home outright with ample acreage on which you have produced a stunning organic garden, have a ten-year cache of food and water, drive a hybrid car, and live a completely solarized life, but if you think you will survive in isolation, you are tragically deluded. Collapse dictates that we will depend on each other, or we will die.

For millennia, many indigenous people have described the demise of civilization we are now witnessing as a purification process: a time of rebirth and transformation. Their ancient wisdom challenges us to face with equanimity the collapse that is in process; that is, to hold as much as humanly possible in our hearts and minds, the reality of the pain the collapse will entail, alongside the unimaginable opportunities it offers.

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