(digital art courtesy of http://www.scottgbrooks.com)
These days I begin my morning with a bowel movement, a smoothie, and short self-reminding acknowledgment that I am living in a post-historic world.
What that means for me transcends what I have normally understood when the Buddhists and other spiritual traditions talk about non-permanence.
It means that in addition to understanding that I, a single organism, or you, another single organism, will eventually pass, I am also understanding that we as a collective of life forms on this planet are passing through a transition in which many of us will perish together in a very short amount of time. This has already started happening, but mostly with lifeforms who live in the water, and will eventually and soon happen to us as well. Systems that we rely on will crumble. That the future, however it comes, will look nothing like the past.
3 years ago, the reality of global nuclear holocaust was still hypothetical. Most of us thought it would come from war, but what is really killing this planet is not war, it's industry. It's business as usual.
Fukushima has managed to kill a large swath of the ocean, is causing cancer rates on the western coast of America to soar, and is only getting started. Even TEPCO admitted that the catastophee was 'man-made': that hierarchy, greed, and poor planning were the real culprits.
There are some who will read this blog and will think I am nuts. Talking crazy talk. People who do not think that a systemic collapse is inevitable. People who are not hungry for having their cafe latte's at corporate coffee shops and their access to things like shopping on the internet come to an end. They will hear my words as alarmist or fatalist.
Is there something more alarming than the horrors wrought by our greed and wanton theft of the biosphere?
I know many people who are waiting for the empires to fall.
Who are waiting for life to change before they change their lives. I think this is certainly one option, but only one in a field of many. There is often a reasoning that we are at least doing okay in this game – even if it is almost over. That there is no other game to play at the moment.
Collectively I think many of us are hoping beyond hope that Fukushima will not end in a complete global nuclear holocaust, and that the systems in place currently will pull us through. But the systems in place are what got us into this mess in the first place. If we pull through, we are going to need people willing to dream bigger than the systems we have.
We have to think bigger than just me, or just our group.
Today also happens to be the end of the 60 day grace period I have before my student loan defaults.
I have been consuming all the literature and blogs on the matter, and have come to a decision. I read all the horror stories about how they will garnish my wages and take money from my bank account for the rest of my life. That my credit will be a thing of the past for as long as there are banks. But I also know that industry to be corrupt. Hidden and hushed policies and laws passed since I signed on the dotted line that have changed the load that I took on initially into a very different beast.
Instead of just paying up to avoid default, today I am realizing that if banks can change the terms of a loan after the deal has been sealed and without my explicit consent or knowledge, surely I must have the same power. Today, instead of trying to figure out how to make more money or save money, I am focusing all the energy I have on being truly in service of the people I interact with. Today I live as if good karma is worth more that the money.
We live in a world that is unprecedented. A world on the brink. We want the change, but we'd like to avoid the crash. These capitalistic addictions we've been nurturing: entertainment, shopping, politics, alcohol, drugs, carry a hefty and sometimes fatal withdrawal.
Whatever it is for you, will you be ready when it comes? Will you have the tools you need to transition into whatever is coming? Why wait in your efforts at beginning to assemble them? Spiritual tools, emotional tools, tools that will help you take care of your basic needs, tools that will enable you to filter water.
Today I woke up with the understanding that all that matters is what we behave decently towards what we know in our hearts is righteous. With the awareness that nothing else truly serves me save for service of what in my heart I know is pure goodness for everyone. It does not serve me to work a job for a corporation that I know in my heart is part of the problem.
It does not serve humanity if I purchase Coca-cola or Guy Fawkes masks at a Disney retail store. It serves humanity if I summon the bravery and correctness of spirit to rethink even the little decisions I make. Everyday decisions. Like do I go to work today for a corporation that I know buys it's products in China for 1 cent on the dollar? Do I purchase another pack of cigarettes from an industry that has committed billions of dollars to selling lies and then covering their asses?
Conscious folk in a post-historic world understand that we are completely responsible for co-creating the world we live in.
Shit is going to rain down on our heads either way, and we are eager to turn that shit into beauty and goodness and kindness.
We are not willing to postpone it for another few years of cheap gas and internet. We realize that freedom is freedom, and cages are cages, and that if our fossil fuels embroil us in a system of banking and politics that imprison us, what good are they really?
Conscious lifeforms in a post-historic world want to create. Why wait to assert the majesty of our own abilities?
The 100,000 mile journey starts with the fist step. Here's mine:
Today I am creating the world I want to live in by only exchanging money with people, and not with representatives of corporations or corporations.
Today I am understanding that soon there will be another form of exchange entirely and I will work to forge as many non-monetary transactions as I can.
I am rewriting my assumption that people have to earn the right to live peacefully on this planet.
I am understanding any riches I might have to be a product of luck and not hard work (although I work hard), and as such are to be shared.
Most importantly, today I willing to sound crazy if there is a chance it will serve the interests of love and truth.