How do we make that switch from light to darkness? How can we maintain our spiritual asset of meaning that is so critical when facing decline? I have been blessed because many things have come together for me over the last few years. My instinct was to go for this while I could becuase I saw the darkness approaching. I succeeded beyond my expectations but now the darkness approaches. Soon I will have to turn off the buildout and shift to maintenance as decline sets in. This decline is across the board with living standards but also the environment. I am just about to the point where I will turn off the spigot of growth as a winter of discontent approaches. It is a depressing feeling as I am about to close the door on a summer of growth.
I see the country breaking down across the board. The lying, cheating, and stealing is now legitimatized and being encoded into a new type of law of making things up as we go or in other words a Ponzi Scheme. The economics of money printing as if that creates something is another activity. The reality of inflation of everything within the stalling of stagflation is the new reality few are ready to embrace. Some will never embrace it and others will take it unjustly from what little others have. Even maintenance is going to be tough. It will increasingly be about downsizing and lowered expectations. This is entropic decay. I am very happy I got done what I did. Now the hard part that I have been talking about must be realized. Tough decisions of triage and salvage are near.
How do I hold on to the spiritual asset of meaning when the darkness is descending? I often talk about acceptance as the critical element behind the spiritual asset of meaning. The acceptance of darkness and the engagement with darkness in one’s life. The toil and discomfort of less with expectations of less is what is ahead. This is why I recommend toil and discomfort because it is training. How do you keep the focus of acceptance when in discomfort? Humility is the critical next step of the acceptance process. The humility of the greater power behind the darkness. Here there is light because the simple step of acceptance with the resulting humility means anger, anxiety, and the resulting depression of spirit can be mitigated. This is meaning and the truth.
I preach decline not collapse. Collapse is the destination both with our mortality but also civilization. Our planet has ecosystems declining including human civilization. Civilization is just another ecosystem. If you fixate on the destination there is no hope. Having false hope and ignoring reality will only make this process worse so somewhere in between is the journey. This journey of decline is going to be most evident with our civilization that has grown rich with years of advances from extraction without proper investment. Wisdom should have stopped our growth years ago but my feelings are this is beyond human agency. We were in overshoot long before we understood we entered this trap. It is the nature of intelligence to overshoot. This is likely the evolutionary dead end for humans but again that is the destination and I am concerned with the journey.
Still people refuse to accept there is a trap and this is why the darkness will be darker yet. Even the poor 6BIL have expectations to drive them on with their daily toil. Now the great turning is in full swing there will be much anger because many only had expectations and hope. Take that away and their world becomes meaningless in despair. Some will cling to their false promises of build back better and it will all be OK if you just trust technology. The pandemic demonstrated just how delusional and unreal human agency has become. To be fair it has always been delusional it was just we could extract our way out of these delusions for a time. Those days are over.
Spiritual meaning is now more important than ever. It will be those who maintain it and accept physical decline that will thread the needle of a life worth living. Tough decisions of loss and less if properly engaged can offer hope. This hope is that these decisions where right and proper and ones’ life better than it could have been. Now is the time I recommend one embrace decline. Start the process now in hopes that when that darkness descends the journey is less traumatic. Species survival is based upon two things one is the degree of shock they encounter and the duration of that shock. It is not enough that in the onset they survive but also the survival of the duration of the attrition.
I have spent the last year building something that will be a final monument to something I believe in and that is REAL Green. The shop I just finished incorporates many important conservation ideas as well as beauty of form and function in relation to low carbon capture. Barns have always been vital to farming. This barn that serves as a shop is built to last multiple generations with plenty of second life in it. I am in those years of decline but I have two sons who now have a life to start. This shop is going to be a place for them if they chose. I am not going to force my REAL Green life on them but I will offer it as an option. I will do my best to train them and get them to learn a trade related to permaculture. This will involve many skills and some specialization. These kids have come at great cost to me mentally and financially but maybe they will take care of their dad as he winds down his life.
The young are the future and a spiritual asset. You understand this as you age. They may not find interest in what I do and might move to the city for the false hope of opportunities but there is this option I have created for them. I feel it is a worthy occupation. Maybe some of the results of the coming decline will vindicate the ideas behind REAL Green. REAL Green is low carbon capture in localism with the underlying spiritual meaning of acceptance. Maybe decline is what is needed to finally give wings to REAL Green. Currently few people have any interest in what I am discussing and living. Hope for a better life is always what people embrace. What I preach is something else. This is our human nature and I accept that but it is also our nature to survive and I feel green prepping in localism is the future of human survival. I realize not everyone can do this and few are blessed as I am with the money, time, and the morale. I leave you with the darkness because it is our teacher. The education darkness gives should lead to the acceptance and humility that gives the meaning that gives one the motivation to live to die another day.