Home > Uncategorized > I ain’t no prophet and I ain’t no prophet’s son…

I ain’t no prophet and I ain’t no prophet’s son…

Being a prophet of doom is both a popular pastime and something that can make one very unpopular. It is a double-edged sword that can give one a lot of satisfaction if one is seen to be right in one’s predictions, but also give one much heartache if one has any empathy at all for those who are victims of those predictions coming true. I do not want to be a prophet of doom, even though I know a lot of doom is coming, but I do want to gain some kind of perspective on what is coming, to come to terms with it, to stare the gathering storm in the face and find myself not wanting. In the film Apocalypse Now, the character played by Marlon Brando says, if I remember right, “you must make a friend of horror, or horror will become your enemy”. That horror has now arrived. Not for me personally in a direct physical way yet, but for countless fellow human beings, and animals, around the globe it has arrived, and is arriving hour by hour. And it will come to me in a physical way in due course, but even now the horror has arrived for me psychologically. Because, if one has any degree of empathy with others, it is horrible to see suffering whenever it arises, and especially horrible to see suffering arise on a global scale with ever increasing severity and frequency as the sledgehammer of global forces unleashed by Peak Oil, Global Climate Change and Financial Armageddon smashes into pulp the myriad delicate interdependencies that sustain human life on Earth. But face the horror I must, as we all must if we are to have any kind of sanity in the years ahead. And there are ways to face it, just as there are ways to face to greatest horror of all: one’s own meeting with Death, the Grim Reaper. Indeed, this ability to face death with honesty and courage can help paradoxically to enrich life by helping one to discover, or remember, the meaning and purpose of one’s life and to throw aside all trivialities and distractions in favour of a renewed sense of mission and vision, and a renewed capacity for joy and happiness. One of the themes of the book I have started to write is that we can use the successful contemplation and meditation of our own death as a template for the successful contemplation and meditation upon the imminent mega-deaths that will happen in our lifetimes, thereby helping us to nevertheless lead productive, meaningful lives even in a world where hope has died or despair has become valid as an existential mode of being.

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