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ACCEPTING THE COMING COLLAPSE  View comments on this item Add your comment on this item1


Laurence J. Victor  




            Many of us are not doing what our gut (intuition) calls us to do because of our (naive) wish that there will not be a "real" collapse. There are many factors behind this thinking and behavior. One factor is the identification of "collapse" with the final end of all that is good. Apocalypse, in its origin, involved both death and rebirth; but most people get stuck on the death side. Death of what? Sick societal systems and human behavior patterns that support them will end. Various patterns of positive activity occurring even under a shroud of oppression will continue within many, through a collapse, and can organize to emerge at the other side of the collapse: a rebirth of a NU Humanity. Add your comment on this item2


            Imagine our tribal ancestors, when the population density was low and most tribes were indigenous to themselves - they only knew of a few other tribes, some with blood relatives and similar cultures and a few different, but still living in the same environment and thus having "much in common".  What would they do in face of a really major disaster in their area - those who survive often have to leave, travel, migrate and emigrate. Most, if they traveled far enough would encounter landscapes, resources & dangers, and other people RADICALLY DIFFERENT from themselves.  Our ancestors were often forced to pull up stakes and travel (often through difficult situations) to a new home. In analogy, those who survive the coming collapse will be challenged to travel-in-time to create/develop a nu humankind - that may (and probably should) be radically different from what we had known. We cannot wait to start our journey until we have agreed upon the design of our nu world.  Who “we are” will be changed by the journey; we will learn to be more creative and more competent in all that we think and do -- which will be forced upon us so as to survive: living through collapse AND constructively organizing and learning even while we are surviving.View comments on this item Add your comment on this item3


            We cannot accurately forecast which scenario of collapse will manifest, whether it will be gradual or sharp, or when and how it will happen. We, who plan to survive/thrive, must be prepared for most, if not all, scenarios. We can influence somewhat the damage done. The more we are "prepared" before the collapse, the better our future will be. But, so long as we believe (sufficient to influence behavior) that somehow the collapse will be avoided, we will avoid dedicating our lives to creating our future. Add your comment on this item4


There are many types of collapse, and it is not relevant to differentiate them here. Different societal subsystem may collapse concurrently, causally cascade, some collapse to different degrees. Collapse may have onsets at different times in different regions. Today we face two inter-related collapses: economic (itself a complex mix) and political (the demise of democratic freedoms in the USA). Add your comment on this item5


            Today, there are a great many human persons needlessly suffering and dying, and being stunted for the rest of their lives. Percentage wise, the numbers are actually decreasing (which is good - what it is due to is an open query), but the total numbers are increasing as the population increases. Forecasts indicate that collapse will probably occur long before this slow "progress" achieves the state of no poverty, no needless suffering or death. This suffering and death is going on today, yesterday and tomorrow, last year and next year. I can only let myself feel this once in a while - but it is necessary. Most of the time it is only an abstract concept. There are many today dedicated in hard work to relieve the suffering, and a few probe after the causes of the suffering.  But their efforts may never be sufficient to cancel the collapse. After a "brief" increase of suffering and death of the planet's poor after the collapse, many may be able to return to their previous modes of survival once the yoke of global corporatism is removed.  We really don't know the full consequences of collapse, but since we are not causing it, we should be able to face these forecasted realities and plan/act accordingly. Add your comment on this item6


            Stafford Beer, in his writings and public presentations, presented the concept of SYSTEMS with the model of an ocean wave crashing on the beach, with its "Happy White Crest".  The surf represents collapse of long standing systems - the ocean waves. There are gutsy humans who surf these waves - I have done a little body surfing. One metaphor for our futures is Surfing the Collapse to a nu world.  During Y2K I offered on “Outrageous Proposal”, the metaphor of expeditions: Wagons West across the snowy divide in winter, an arduous trip, but which could be enjoyable and relatively safe with proper planning and technology.  For Y2K I also created a model of planning Exodus from Earth, focusing not on the physical and biological factors, but on the human and social factors. Adding that we are not planning to land on another planet - but to live in systems of space spaces for many, many generations - we were dedicated to designing the best human-social relationship/organization systems.  To do this we started simulating our space cultures while still on Earth. Although we didn't attempt to seriously reform Earth (which is one reason we were leaving), our success in living our experimental model attracted others -- until the project attempted the Exodus of all humans from the OLD Earth.  The twist in the model is that we don't have to actually leave, Earth is the best new planet to colonize, even an Earth in the turbulence of major climate and biospheric change. An added benefit -- the simulated systems we developed while living on Earth, but planning to live in space, may be well suited for our continued living within GAIA with minimal ecological impact.View comments on this item Add your comment on this item7


            Now comes the challenging part. Is there a best scenario of collapse for "our" objectives and goals? Might it be to "our" advantage if the collapse comes sooner than later? Not that "we" could influence the coming of collapse (to many it is already in progress); nor should we. But, GIVEN that collapse will eventually be with us, our minds can relax from FEARING collapse (will I die?) to looking forward to the great HUMAN ADVENTURE where we will be challenged, but also have awesome opportunities to live greatly and create/produce. Add your comment on this item8

            Caterpillars, even if they had self awareness, would unlikely be able to imagine life as a free flying butterfly. If they did, it might have the vagueness of Heaven. Yet, they prepare themselves for the final acts of metamorphosis (which were emerging in the imaginal buds long before the caterpillar wove its cocoon) and leap into their next future form - but NOT by transFORMation of Caterpillar FORM morphing into BUTTERFLY form. But, by butterfly forms emerging (from no similar prior forms) within the decaying (but nutritive) matrix of the caterpillar form. Add your comment on this item9

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            Although I first created this model in 1975 and have been improving it since (with a burst of activity for Y2K) I have never experienced - as I did tonight - a strong relief that COLLAPSE IS COMING - HURRAY. I am not celebrating the increased suffering and death it will bring – the suffering and death will be because of the collapse and not because I envision positive change emerging from collapse, and collapse is not my doing {living an American lifestyle was a factor contributing to collapse}. Even though I am not adequately prepared for personal survival for myself and family, I am somewhat prepared. I have learned, and need to accept, that most people (even those in my family) are not yet ready to change as they will need to change to survive/thrive collapse. Add your comment on this item11


            What I do desire is to be a member of a small band of potential Explorers-in-Time, the nu ETs, nuets, who explore this vision, begin experimentally living it, and learning/organizing to catalyze the model as an attractive scaffolding template for others -- either accepting the reality of the coming collapse, or when actually experiencing the effect of collapse on their lives and the lives of those they love. Add your comment on this item12