The globally dominant culture is suffering from an economic, ecological and social crisis that has deeper roots than failing budgets and environmental degradation. Do we have a role to play if our culture is headed towards its eventual death? Though our economic system has trained us to be needy, can we approach these challenges as if we were needed?
In Extraenvironmentalist #51 we speak with Stephen Jenkinson about our cultural difficulty with death. Stephen draws on lessons learned from decades of working with death to describe how we can frame our civilization's trajectory. We ask how to find sanity in a time of alienation and if we can be a human in difficult circumstances. Stephen describes the distinct jobs given to us as our family members die. Also, John Michael Greer joins us briefly to talk about the death of Western culture.
David Huang wrote:Mathew my response to your post feels very weak and inadequate. My mental space, and available time just aren't in a spot for significant writing. However, I wanted to share a link to an old ExtraEnvironmentalist podcast from many years ago. It's a shame the two guys behind the podcast basically moved on in life and quit doing them. I feel like this was one of their most powerful ones. In it they were interviewing Stephen Jenkinson about death and dying. He worked for many years in hospice guiding people through the death process and has many thoughtful observations to make on it. I thought about it in particular after reading your post because it's not just about the death of individuals. They also address the death of our culture, a process I feel has been underway for some time now, and something I suspect you are wrestling with. These issues seem very heightened at the moment. Here's their blurb about the podcast, "Culture of Dying"...
I doubt anyone will actually read all of this.
Andrew Sackville-West wrote:, a reaction to incoming energy from the sun.
mathematical formula that he believes explains this capacity. The formula, based on established physics, indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life.
You and Jeremy England must be smoking the same stuff 😁