crazy days

These are crazy days and if you don’t see this then you are very much in denial.  I am spending more time than I like explaining this ominous shift in life.  I am doing this because of how quick and dramatic this change is.   In just the last three years normality is no more.  What I have been studying and planning for is now reality.  The forces of chaos are now loose.  Break out of denial and embrace acceptance.  This chaos is what happens when a complex system breaks down. 

I have been on a journey of discovery for 20 years now.  20 years ago, I saw how the foundation of civilization did not make sense scientifically.  I started a journey exploring the absurdities of a life with no future that I was living in.  I was honest about the science and questioned the myth of progress.  It didn’t add up. 

This journey has been both spiritual and scientific.  I am an academic doomer so in this aspect of my REAL Green I am a scientist.  This is also spiritual journey because it is about life and meaning.  This is where I admire shamanism.  Combine the two poles of human duality.  Science and the spiritual if properly combined allows for a powerful life system to navigate this systematic breakdown.

Things didn’t make sense 20 years ago but there was hope.  I don’t have hope anymore in the sense of there being a macro solution.  These are times when reality is breaking down the wall of denial.  There is no refuge from what is ahead.  Instead, I focus on a life boat and hospice mentality.  This is grounded in the humility of acceptance.

I have been doing what I call green prepping now for 10 years of my 20-year journey of discovery.  This is basically embracing permaculture farming scientifically and spiritually.  The first 10 years were a researching of the why and how.  I educated myself on homesteading and living a permaculture life.  The last 10 years has been the application of what I learned.

The permaculture I am living is mainly an attempt to simplify to a rural agricultural life to better fit the reality of net energy decline.  We are a late-stage civilization where affluence has hit a brick wall this requires different strategies.  Yet, this is a modern global society I am required to live in so what must be done is a hybridization.  This hybridization is physically and spiritually which makes it more complex.  You just don’ buy this way of life it must also be spiritually embraced.

I am struggling to remain middle class and be a permacultures farmer attempting green prepping.  I want my labor and imputes to produce value but they also have to show a small profit.  I am trying to be good to the land and animals in a green spirituality.  I am doing this relatively and realistically because I have family and friends to consider many of whom are very much part of the myth of progress in this age of affluence.

My green prepping produces lots of indirect value but little profit to live on.  The value produced is a strategy to adapt to decline and decay with the goal of relative resilience and sustainability.  This effort is a mixed bag of results because society is built upon a foundation that seeks more affluence.  I have been in the purgatory between these worlds for much of these 20 years of discovery.

I preach embracing less because this is the force now in control but civilization is doing the opposite.  I am using this decaying affluence to leave it.  I accept the reasons civilization continues in denial and have humility because everyone is trapped in its consequences including myself.  It is those who embrace the reality of this complex system breaking down who have the best chance to navigate its consequences.

A compression of affordability is now upon the world.  Essentials are increasing in price at the same time economic conditions are contracting.  This twin force of decline means mitigation is the only solution.  This is systematic and not cyclical meaning there will be no return to peak affluence.  2019 was the peak and its downhill from here on out. This is a gradual process but increasingly it will be sudden slaps in the face as thresholds of stability are breached.

That was a macro view.  The micro view is one of difficult choices.   Catch 22 of choices is the best term for it.   Significant sacrifices are at hand.  I am living on investments to pay for my middle-class life.  My farm roughly pays for itself but does not pay my labor.  Do you see the conflict here?  The proper future for the average man is small farming yet this is not affordable.  The solution is hybridization.

You can’t very well be a middle-class farmer and properly sustainable and resilient.  The baggage of affluence is too heavy a load.  Farming properly does not support middle class lifestyles.  The proper way of living considering systematic breakdown is moving towards the turn of the 20th century in the rural areas.  There was no electricity in rural areas and horses dominated the farm.  The cities had electricity and there were trains but rural people did most of their work the traditional way pre-industrial revolution.  The benefits of the cities trickling down with useful products.

I am trapped in carbon and path dependencies.  I am trapped in an economy and social system.  I have no option but to use fossil fuels and electricity.  I rely on consumerism, financialization, and the car culture.  I can’t very well leave this completely but I can reduce it.  Real Green is about being relative and realistic in the attempt to be less trapped.  I am still trapped so this is the reason for an equally important spirituality of humility and acceptance.

I am prepped better than most people.  I am even better prepped than many of the rich who have lots of money to get sophisticated with their efforts.   What I have found is the more money you have the more baggage dragging you down.  You need enough money.  Enough is about balance and balance is about scale.  What I mean by enough is an art of living.  These days enough is almost always less than we are currently living.

A conclusion on being prepped is sadly you need to be middle class to afford the investments to build a permaculture homestead.   Yet, a permaculture homestead will not support your middle-class life.  This homestead project I am living is a must for resilience and sustainability.  To make faming profitable you have to go big but then you are just back to where you started with being unprepped and not green.  This is where a hybridization is required. 

My definition of green is being connected to nature which only a rural life can attain.  Urban areas are poisonous to life.  Modern affluence is a waste stream of consequences with no future.  Technology is destroying humans and there is no wisdom to stop it.  Urban areas are attempting more of this by growing.  They are doubling down on centralization and technology and thereby digging the hole deeper.  What is worse is the globalist are pushing more of this from the top.

This is a time of crisis so you are already late to the game.  I started 10 years ago with a clear vision.  It takes several years to properly prepare.  You can get started on the basics immediately.  Stop digging your hole deeper is the most important step and much of this is just getting out of denial.

Prepping is a straight forward program although my way of prepping is not the popular way.  Mine is about sustainability and resilience in a crisis situation.   A Mad Max fortification mentality is not going to save you for long and can be an impediment to community.  Security is necessary but community is the most important.  Migrate physically and mentally to strong communities.  The smaller the better.

Stocking up on essentials is a basic of prepping but this also means managing an inventory which is not easy.  You can buy stuff and store it but it degrades with time.  The equipment you buy wears out.  Your knowledge degrades too.  I still think a basic prep plan is essential but I will caution those who want to do more.  It is a tough and expensive with time and money.

The green part is spiritual.  This spirtuality is about finding meaning in less.  Simplification must be done if you are going to negotiate this breakdown of a complex system.  Simplification means a lowering of affluence.  Getting closer spiritually to the land, the seasons, and localism is essential.  This green angle is essential to combining the spiritual with the scientific. 

If these two human poles are to be properly balanced, scaling is required.  This scale is smaller, simpler, and rural.  Get out of urban areas now while you can.  Orbiting an urban area is a solution because that is where the resources are but further away is better.  Two hour drive from a major urban area is a good start.

Offloading baggage that society loads on your back is very difficult.  You will find the baggage you load on yourself is just as problematic.  Comforts are hard to do without because they are part of human nature.  Your social settings where you live and interact likewise makes this change difficult.  Family dynamics tend to focus on more affluence because most people have not been awakened to the paradigm of decline the entire planet is in on every level. 

This is where the spiritual part comes into play.  If you can discover meaning with a life of less, then you can maintain morale in a time of crisis.  Getting your family and immediate community on board means demonstrating this meaning in your daily life.  Be able to explain your actions but be careful and don’t sound too radical. Green prepping is a radical departure from growth to decline but you will find your significant others can only handle so much.  Remember this is about enough and enough is an art.

Our myths don’t work anymore because a systematic shift has occurred.  This is why everywhere the irrational is popping up.  This is leading to abandonment and dysfunction.  These are the classic signs of the breakdown of a complex system with chaos. 

An interesting aspect to a complex system breaking down in succession is the opportunities for niche growth.  Yet, this is another difficult path because of the corruption of status-quo growth.  A significant amount of Growth these days is really just malinvestment is lifestyles and things with no future.  Worse decline is the reality of this growth.  These niches of growth have to focus on how you can use existing complexity to find microclimes of security that involve less but still enough.

Your efforts at growth must be made to leave growth.  This means very targeted investments in a rapidly declining ability to grow.  A powerful wisdom must be applied to guide this effort or it just becomes more corrupted growth.  You will need consumerism, car culture, and money but this will be used to leave it.

It is here where raw spirituality is essential.  I am not speaking of reinventing your spirituality but instead modifying it.  Modify it back to earlier times when life was simpler with less affluence.  I talk about green mainly because so many urbanites will have to return to the land from the urban wastelands.  These wastelands includes the delocalized world of the car and digital culture that affect the rural areas too.

Raw spirituality is the place where the most opportunity for growth is possible.  In a complex system in decline, meaning is of the highest value.  Meaning, which comes with the awakening to decline and collapse is essential.  This is also another weight to carry on your already mentally burdened shoulders.  You will have to live within the failed myths that drive civilization onward.  Your awakening will be cloaked in the surreal but if properly fortified with humility and acceptance you can maintain your burden.

Ride the wave of irrational and destructive change.  Live in the here and now by getting out of the myth of progress that is rooted in a future of more not less.  This myth is really just an absurd life of perpetually goal seeking.   Negotiate meaning in paradoxes, incongruous juxtapositions, and surreal flashbacks by connecting with the paradigm of decline.

Here I am 20 years later.  How time flies.  I feel like I have come a long way but really, I have not got very far.  This realization is because life is a journey.   The destination is death.  If you live for destinations, you will not live much.  It is the journey to meaning which is the real reward and that can only be in the here and now.

2 thoughts on “crazy days”

  1. As always, I appreciate your message and your work.
    We set up a solar water pump (pumping water from our ponds in 4,000 cisterns raised 2.5 m) and gravity irrigation system last year. We are in the heart of the hot season here in Cambodia and have yet to purchase a liter of fuel for irrigating our crops. Our composting toilet system is three years old and functioning well. The Greywater drainage system working as it should. The rooftop rainwater harvesting system provides enough water year-round for domestic purposes, with a biological-sand-water filter cleaning our drinking water. Solar power for fans and lights; enough. 500 square meter organic market garden producing food year-round, with over 400 fruit trees, about 20% of them producing food now (our 1-hectare homestead is in its 6th year). Ducks in the rice field do pest control and provide fertilization, and they are beneath the trees in the orchards and feeding fish from their manure in their small pond. Thousands of sugarcane plants, climbing acacia, and 100 coconut trees make up our natural fence and produce food and biological matter. Our homestead is the realization of the community development program the NGO I co-founded and ran for 12 years. We are part of a thriving community of people in rural Cambodia who know more about the land we share than I ever hope to learn. The only reason I make this list of attributes at our homestead is that, like you, I started on my journey researching how to prepare a place that would provide my family with the basics of life while also providing a place of beauty to spend one’s moments and days in. Seeing this tiny piece of earth- a rice field cultivated using green revolution methods and technologies when we bought it- come to life from our caring and work has been a blessing beyond description. I want to thank you again for keeping up with your writing and living! David


    1. Dave, REAL Green is deeply personal and local. This is the scale that allows the balance of the spiritual and science that is man’s dualism (connection & reduction). I am humbled to read your comment. You have the right stuff. You are scaled. What you just described is a high level of green prepping. I envy you because I am trapped in a world where such arrangements are difficult and rare.
      Our affluence trap here in the US is too great to allow this high level of green prepping everywhere as should be the case. Even where we have the poor who would benefit, they are trapped in a culture of affluence that does not promote community permaculture. If there is community permaculture it is with affluent people that do it for reasons of enjoyment and meaning. They do this more as a hobby than as a necessity.
      This is dearth of community permaculture is an example of the problem with affluence. I don’t have community and I don’t have the people to make this happen. I have myself and a little help from my immediate family. I must use machines that are fossil fueled and grid electricity. I do have solar and make good use of it for prepping. I heat with wood and make hay. I have multi-species grazing on polyculture pasture. Yet, without funds from investments and fossil fuels I am dead in the water. What is worse is I am getting old and wearing out.
      I am like an angel with iron wings which in my case is fossil fueled permaculture by a lone old man. This is the best I can do. This is my humility of acceptance central to REAL Green. I am being relative and realistic in my trap. What I am doing is constructing a monastery of knowledge and art to give to those who will need it someday soon. The art is the land I have transformed.
      I see the USA falling dramatically in affluence soon. This fall will be especially difficult because there are few in the urban areas ready for this. Even the rural areas have been dumbed down to what is required to live with less. We need what you have done multiplied by thousands. It will happen but not without much pain and suffering because unfortunately people around here have been divorced from the land and indoctrinated into a culture of affluence driven by globalism, financialization, and consumerism.
      I hope to be a beacon for this transformation. I take heart in knowing it can be done because you have done it. You have been a dear friend over these many months since I began posting. I know you only digitally but I know you as genuine. Keep up the good work and lets us know your achievements. This will help us here with our disadvantages of being rich yet, really poor when one considers what is coming.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s