Enlightenment is transformation.
This month we hear from guest blogger Justin Dent as he points to the need for enlightenment around the future we are facing.
Large scale transformation is underway. Each day mighty storms batter one or more of our major cities. Fires have devastated the entire nation. The new forms of pathogens that would always evolve and flourish in such times begin to emerge across the planet.
Humanity has had to endure violent weather, droughts, floods, pestilence—all manner of things because this is all part of living within a changing environment governed by physical laws & natural laws.
To be in an environment like this requires constant adaptation and constant problem solving. It is not easy.
—from Nature and Natural Disasters, a teaching received by Marshall Vian Summers
Old ways of thinking, the old categorical forms of polarized thinking, will completely fail to come to grips with this transformation. This is not an either/or predicament of individual preparation versus collective political action. It is a both/and situation.
Individual preparation is essential. Collective political action is equally essential. The latter will occur because it must. The only question is whether or not it will be too late to save and preserve enough of our core industrial civilization to have the opportunity for an entirely new society to slowly arise in the future. Many are already shocked at how very, very late the hour really is in this time of transformation.
If you destroy nature, it will destroy everything you have. You cannot defeat it. It will give you everything you need, but if you violate it too much, it will take everything away.
—from an as yet unpublished Summers’ teaching, The Retribution
These are the very earliest days of the great transformation of our environment that is occurring, a transformation entirely caused by our species, principally through one mechanism—global warming—influenced by a vast array of diverse practices that share one common feature: the production of gases that cause our atmosphere to retain higher and higher amounts of heat and energy, heat and energy that move and cause an escalating chaos to unfold.
A great mobilization will occur that will dwarf anything which can even be imagined today. There has been a complete failure by most, even those who should know better, to understand what this means—the scope and scale of it. They complain about protestors on the streets who warn of these things because they are inconvenienced for 20 minutes.
What is coming and what is already here will permanently inconvenience all our lives until the day we die, and far worse than that.
If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible.
—opening sentence of David Wallace-Wells’ The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming
At first I thought it was only myself who was having trouble sleeping these past six months. But more and more people I speak to and with are also having trouble sleeping, particularly in Australia. As a people we are being stirred deeply within by the mighty forces of Nature that we can sense long before they arrive.
This is meant to mobilize us. Meant to warn us. Meant to deeply unsettle us from our daily normative prescriptions, those of the old world that have already passed away.
I recommend once again newmessage.org for those beginning to feel these things and beginning to feel the reality of how lost they are within this great transition as it begins to unfold.
I also personally strongly endorse the boldest and most comprehensive political action we can accomplish—beginning today. We do not need at this point to have all the answers. We need only to have a clear direction. And we do. We must divest from our dependency upon fossil fuels at all costs as swiftly as possible. Their price is far too high. The destruction of the living natural resources we require to exist, which results from all this burning of coal and oil, has the capacity to fly completely out of our control. And this can happen very swiftly and very soon.
A threat from beyond…here. Now
As our species begins to face the reality that we are not alone in this universe, that we are already being visited, that this is a natural phenomenon occurring throughout the universe with powerful forces seeking to dominate the more primitive, we will appreciate our vulnerability in entirely new ways. We will realize the wanton and wasteful squandering of our mineral resources—that cause an obscene destruction of our natural living resources—is the highest form of insanity. And all because we wish to keep ridiculous old ideas of exorbitant wealth, impossible growth and economic forms which strangle the very life out of us.
It is very tragic that people are so unaware of what is happening around them, so preoccupied they are with their own thoughts, problems and concerns. It is a remarkable thing that the most intelligent creature should be functioning in such an unintelligent manner. For the animals in the field and the birds in the air are always watching their environment, always checking to see where things stand. Of course, they must do this to survive. But for humanity, so long sheltered in the wealthy nations from the vicissitudes of life and so reliant upon authority figures to define reality and to provide insulation, much of this natural ability and acuity has been lost.
—from another Summers’ teaching, The Watchtower
Not only is it not too late. In fact, it will never be too late to do all that we can. This is no longer because we will prevail; those days are far behind us. We may still prevail. But it will take everything we have. And even if we cannot prevail, it will still not to be too late. Because the actions required here will not be brought forth from us because they are bound to succeed. They will be brought forth simply because they are necessary to ease the stupendous burden of human suffering that is descending upon the world now.
For further reading, please see The Great Waves of Change (Summers).