Sunday, July 29, 2018

Converging Toward Catastrophe



In view of present circumstances, talk of “doomsday” and “apocalypse” is cropping up with increasing regularity, even in progressive media not prone to hyperbole. The destruction of world civilization and of life itself are not only thinkable today, but thanks to certain global trends gaining momentum, in the minds of many informed persons, it is starting to appear probable.

A triangle of converging trends--toward climate catastrophe, toward nuclear war, and toward mass social upheaval--is gaining momentum. There is, moreover, no credible idea or plan of how to stop this runaway train. 

The human story may not have a happy ending, at least if the crystal ball you are looking into is made of logic and matters of fact.  An impartial survey of the facts clearly points to steadily increasing global crisis, not least in light of the enormous numbers of uprooted refugees and immigrants and their destabilizing effects. 

One chief agent of this acceleration toward disaster is the United States whose president is a sociopath that would destroy every department of American government except the executive and the military. A psychological portrait of Donald Trump may be found in Books 8&9 of Plato’s Republic, which describe the genesis and self-destruction of the tyrant.  However, impeaching him raises the more horrifying prospect of the fanatic theocrat, Mike Pence, landing in the presidency. (See D’Antonio’s & Eisner’s latest book, The Shadow President for the depressing news.)

It begins to feel as if there is a growing likelihood of a grand climax, a terrible convergence of climate, nuclear, and human misdeeds. A crash of civilization and return to barbarism, mixed with the prospect of nuclear winter: all this puts the survival of the species in question.  The prospect of a rational solution to problems driven by irrational forces is not encouraging. Needless to say, I prefer the rational, fair-minded, humanly and environmentally sensitive approach.  Unfortunately, what we see is a minority disposed in that direction, so I find myself thinking about super-rational solutions.

One possibility may sound far-fetched, but at least it is grounded in evidence.  It is a matter of extensive record: people in extreme states of fear, peril, dislocation, sudden emergency, or, especially, near-death, often seem to make contact with a transcendent dimension that transforms them.

The near-death experience, and other indicators, suggest that we as a species may all possess a complement of extraordinary potentials.   It is conceivable that as breakdowns of civilized life proliferate and become more threatening, our much needed higher latent powers of consciousness will more likely manifest, and probably in ways we do not expect or can imagine.       

I admit what may seem an idealistic strain in underscoring this possibility.  The outlook is no doubt grim, with dark clouds steadily massing; but at the same time there is also a big idea afloat that the forces of radical transformation are poised to explode into a sweeping revolution--once the tipping point is reached. 

We don’t know what that tipping point is, when or how it will come upon us.  Another possibility is that we are already past the point of no return, and the awakening has already begun. There are in fact signs and symptoms that the collective consciousness is reorienting itself around a coming crisis of transformation.

For more on this, see my book, The Final Choice: Death or Transcendence?  (Available on Amazon)


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