The Burden of Knowing

64 posts / 0 new
Last post
Morpheus's picture
Morpheus
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 27 2008
Posts: 1200
The Burden of Knowing

I read this piece from Charles Hugh Smith and wondered aloud how many others carry "the burden of knowing" what 95% of the general population does not know. 

How does it affect your day to day life? In any event, read this piece. It is SO Three E's. 

The Burden of Knowing

Knowing what lies ahead is a great emotional burden.

The knowledge that the present is unsustainable is, for many of us, a great emotional burden. It troubles our sleep, our minds, and our basic emotional well-being. Knowledge, like memory, cannot be erased at will, and thus it runs in the background of our lives, unseen by others but deeply troubling to the knower.

I am not alone in feeling this weight; correspondents and readers write me that they feel it, too.

Yet it is not just the knowledge that all this is based on cheap, abundant oil and a rapidly imploding financial system based on fraud and lies that burdens us; it is the mirror image of reality pressed upon us by the status quo: the Mainstream Media, the corrupt Savior State beholden to Power Elites and crony-capitalist, predatory monopoly-capital cartels and Global Corporate America (which conveniently enough owns the mainstream media).

One of the most chilling stories to emerge from China's Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s and early 60s--in which peasants were instructed to "make steel" by melting down their metal farming and cooking tools, leaving them to starve in countless millions--involves the artifices presented to Mao to cover up the grotesque consequences of his policies.

Communist party officials fearful of Mao's ire and losing their own perquisites arranged to have a specific route through the countryside planted thickly with rice. Five meters deep on each side of this road, rice was planted so closely that it appeared to be the very acme of abundance; the road was seemingly a thin ribbon of pavement cut through endless green abundance.

It was all artifice and lies. While the officials pointed out the phony bounty to Mao, tens of millions of peasants were starving to death. Behind the five meters of contrived abundance lay a barren landscape.

The American media and Savior State are busy planting their own five meters of apparent abundance and "growth" along every highway in the land. The vast majority of people--even people who should know better but who prefer not to know, and thus they studioudsly avoid peeking through the curtain of sham prosperity--accept that GDP growth means something positive is happening in their own lives, even as the visible evidence points to a mirror-image of this "growth" propaganda.

We know that all the contrivances of "modern life" are ultimately the result of one single condition: cheap, abundant oil. Everything--the plays on Broadway, the film industry, the iPods made in China for cheap, the endless Mcmansions in gated exurbs, the grain-fattened, fat-marbled beef, the "cheap" fast-food meals, the Savior State and its Global Empire--is all based on cheap, abundant oil. There is no substitute in the near term.

Every "solution" fails to hold up beyond the most cursory examination. Natural gas? Well, yes, but then all those "fracc'ed" wells the industry extols as the "solution" have a nasty habit of depleting rather quickly. There are an an estimated 254.4 million vehicles in the U.S.; would you care to guess the cost of converting them to natural gas?

Will "entrepreneurship" re-make the distribution system to enable fueling those tens of millions of vehicles with natural gas? At what cost, and to whom?

How about that "new discovery" of a 1 billion-barrel oil field in deep water? Does the MSM or Savior State propaganda ministry mention that 1 billion barrels is less than two months of U.S. consumption, or that it may take 5 years to extract the first drop, or that the costs of such deepwater drilling are so prohibitive that oil extracted will not be cheap?

How about that "endless" shale oil? How many MSM stories note that production tops out at 2 million barrels a day, a mere 10% of U.S. consumption--and the Canadians and Chinese have claims on much of that production?

Even a cursory read of this site, or others which peek through the thick green screen of State/corporate propaganda, reveals the multiple frauds at the very heart of American finance, governance, real estate and the stock market.

------------------------------

Read the rest here

http://www.oftwominds.com/blogmay10/burden-of-knowing05-10.html

goes211's picture
goes211
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 1114
Re: The Burden of Knowing

Morpheus,

Thanks for this post.  I finished reading Survival+ a couple of months ago and thought it was a fantastic book but I have not been keeping up with Charles Hugh Smith's blog.   This reminds me that I really need to make more of an effort to keep up.

MarkM's picture
MarkM
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 22 2008
Posts: 855
Re: The Burden of Knowing

...and CHS has another good one today regarding exponential growth.

Most days I don't enjoy the burden of knowing.  I have lived my life "assuming" that the future, while not predictable, would be somewhat easy to prepare for if one was paying attention. I no longer feel that way.  That, coupled with the general populace seeming to be less prepared than ever, keeps me awake some nights.

 

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 1443
Re: The Burden of Knowing

Thanks for this post.  I finished reading Survival+ a couple of months ago...

Such a great book.

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2259
Re: The Burden of Knowing

Thanks for the Charles Hugh Smith post, Morpheous.  The title nails it!

I really like how he talks about the big problem not (just) being the actual unsustainable situation we are in, but having to live with the lie in our face every day, and with almost all others around us believing that lie.  It has been a source of stress for me personally, a source of conflict in my marriage, and an isolating factor in almost all of my close relations.  Charles is right; you can't push this on people who don't want to know it.  And not being able to share a major aspect of what is currently defining your world can be very isolating!  Guess that explains why I spend as much time as I do here. 

Thanks for reminding me about Charles Hugh Smith's site as well!

ashvinp's picture
ashvinp
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 20 2010
Posts: 412
Re: The Burden of Knowing

Great post and very true!

This reminds me of a good friend of mine who, whenever I bring up the rapid economic and environmental changes that will hit us soon, says that he doesn't think things will get too bad, but "things will just be different". I try to press him to explain what he means by "just different" and how these "differences" won't have negative impacts, but he can't really articulate the thought process. Although he is a pretty intelligent person, the thought that he has been following a false paradigm for his entire life, and now a radical shift in thinking will be necessary, is just too overwheling to accept. This is also true of my father who cannot get over the mass psychosis we have all suffered in this country, even though he is originally from a much poorer culture and is a psychiatrist!

James Wandler's picture
James Wandler
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 11 2008
Posts: 219
Re: The Burden of Knowing

All,

Yes at times my emotions cycle from denial to fear to acceptance.  However, I wish now that I hadn't spent a year and a half exploring the Cultural Creative solutions to the problems and jumped directly to investigating Spiritual Creative solutions (these groups identified in the book "Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People are Changing the World" and David Korten's book "The Great Turning"). 

So far the books I've worked through is "The Power of Now" and "A New Earth" both by Eckhart Tolle and "Why is God Laughing: The Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism" by Deepak Chopra.  The trouble is that we are viewing the world from a Scientific Materialism point of view which has its own belief system.  Altering the lens provides a new platform of solutions. 

I believe that we need to sort ourselves out on the inside and then we can turn our focus on the world around us.  Starting just to look at solutions in the material world doesn't do anything to deal with our egos, our accumulated lifetime of unresolved issues, and worry and anxiety about a crazy world over which we have little control.  Since I've just started down this road I can only say that it is helping me - it will take time to continue the healing of myself and those around me.

Cheers,

James

deggleton's picture
deggleton
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 18 2008
Posts: 250
Re: The Burden of Knowing
ashvinp wrote:

...he doesn't think things will get too bad, but "things will just be different". I try to press him to explain what he means by "just different" and how these "differences" won't have negative impacts, but he can't really articulate the thought process. Although he is a pretty intelligent person, the thought that he has been following a false paradigm for his entire life, and now a radical shift in thinking will be necessary, is just too overwheling to accept.

I wonder if your friend feels certain that he'll be following false paradigms no matter what he thinks or does in this lifetime.  It's hard to imagine going from so wrong to quite right on the first or even an early try.

ashvinp's picture
ashvinp
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 20 2010
Posts: 412
Re: The Burden of Knowing
deggleton wrote:
ashvinp wrote:

...he doesn't think things will get too bad, but "things will just be different". I try to press him to explain what he means by "just different" and how these "differences" won't have negative impacts, but he can't really articulate the thought process. Although he is a pretty intelligent person, the thought that he has been following a false paradigm for his entire life, and now a radical shift in thinking will be necessary, is just too overwheling to accept.

I wonder if your friend feels certain that he'll be following false paradigms no matter what he thinks or does in this lifetime.  It's hard to imagine going from so wrong to quite right on the first or even an early try.

Maybe, but I'm convinced that sometimes you just have to make an informed leap of faith in these situations. Fear of getting stuck in another inaccurate paradigm should not paralyze you from abandoning the current one that is clearly wrong. Of course this is a lot easier said than done, and thats why we end up feeling like we are burdened to know the truth, since everyone around us seems convinced of the opposite.

strabes's picture
strabes
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 7 2009
Posts: 1032
Re: The Burden of Knowing

we're in good company...we're getting just a little glimpse of what native americans must have thought, felt, and suffered with their whole lives watching a bunch of clueless robots racing around like ants without a clue of the damage they were doing.  and nobody would listen to them.  I can't imagine their pain and isolation.

I get pissed, then sad, just writing that sentence.  then I get pissed and sad that nobody listened to MLK, Oscar Romero, etc.  and now nobody is listening to all of you.  everybody just keeps playing the game.  I don't know how some on CM are sticking with their regular jobs while prepping.  I personally can't stomach being part of it at all.  any part you play in the corporate system feeds the problem and feeds the banking system at the top.  I refuse.

perhaps some of you may want to commit to a new life speaking truth to power and representing the oppressed?  kind of a wild idea, but it's been helpful for me.  or reading some of their stuff...they dealt with this spiritual struggle long before.  James, instead of reading a rich pop doctor in the corporate media (the idea that God wants us to be optimistic all the time sounds like cheap americana to me, but I haven't read it), you may want to read people who aren't afraid of grief and who understand the harm, even evil, done by our system, like indigenous literature, or somebody like Wendell Berry who explains the harm better than anyone else and calls us to local life, or Henri Nouwen who understands existential struggle and the need to turn away from the quest for power (really all the corporate race is) and enter the woundedness of love, relationship, community. 

James Wandler's picture
James Wandler
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 11 2008
Posts: 219
Re: The Burden of Knowing

strabes,

I hear your anger and disillusionment.  I'll start by replying with Victor Hugo's quote:

 "There's nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." 

I think the day of reckoning for the debt based monetary system will come one day and there will be a sudden worldwide shift that everyone will be swept into a new direction.  Since we have kicked the can of every social problem down the road and down the road so that we now have a massive pile of cans then when the music stops playing in this game of musical chairs everyone will start scurrying in a new direction.  I'm taking about an evolutionary leap here. 

Erik's recent post about not having $500/barrel oil in 2010 dollars might likely be a corresponding evolutionary leap.  Erik also uses the George Soros' word "reflexivity" which Soros means the herd behavior of social change. 

In other words you have the right idea but its time has not yet come.  I've followed in Chris' footsteps by leaving the corporate world.  I did this initially out of fear of collapse but now I feel that I'm in a stronger leadership role for the transformation to come.  It truly is a world of abundance, not a world of scarcity, so once we start moving in the right direction we can turn this ship around.

As for the books, I don't have any knowledge of how either author lives their lives - I can only recommend based on their content and their impact on my life.  They are sound and I invite you to consider them.

Cheers,

James

Subprime JD's picture
Subprime JD
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 17 2009
Posts: 562
Re: The Burden of Knowing

I personally dont really care about the fact that the majority of people are so hideously clueless as to what is really going on. It gives me power over them when I start talking about EROEI, federal reserve balance sheet explosion, money supply charts, etc. Its actually not in my interest for the sheeple to figure out that gold is money because im too broke to buy enough PM's myself.

Wise as a serpent, gentle as a dove, thats what i live my life by. I dont go around screaming at people that dont have a clue whats going on. But i do find it comical that after all the global markets have been through that they still havent taken a few hours out of their dull boring lives to learn some very important facts that the blogosphere is CONSTANTLY screaming day and night. When people say "9.7% unemployment isnt as bad as the 70's and 80's i dont bother correcting them with "the U6 measure is actually at 17% with other estimates showing higher than 20%". And why dont I correct them? Because even the MSM has reffered to U6 underemployment on many occasions. Plus the comments sections under many news articles are filled with pro blog pro truth posters. Thats how i found PeakProsperity.com, on the google finance boards. Once the markets started to tank in 08 i was on those boards until i graduated to CM, ZH, Market ticker, et al. Im not much smarter than the average person so if i can learn about all this stuff many others can as well.

Im married also and i barely talk about this stuff with her. Whats the point? Its not like shes going to want to learn more or engage in some serious conversation. Ive tried on many occasions and decided to just let it go. I have strong control over finances and to date will not let her get a credit card (i know i sound draconian but a 24 yr old hot italian girl with a CC in socal spells disaster). Perhaps deep down inside she knows that things are going to get all messed up but she doesnt want to admit it. Who knows.

With regards to my friends i keep this topic on the low. Most of them are broke anyways (upper 20's making crap money, mostly college educated, very sad). When i start talking doom they tell me "bear, theres nothing i can do about it anyways, i have $500 in my bank account". So we talk about other stuff. Im not as close with them as i used to be because im making new friends left and right, people that are in tune with the 3 E'S. You would be very surprised how quickly the doomer club is willing to take people in. There arent very many of us out there.

So in conclusion instead of feeling anxiety that everyone else is in denial and loves the lies and fabrications of the corporate media we should rightfully feel powerful, smart, FREE! We have power, the power of knowledge. Its like the few people that got on the Ark with Noah. Its going to be too late for many when things do change but thats their loss. The facts have been blaringly obvious for some time. $147 crude was a huge warning bell for the entire educated world. If you didnt know about peak oil pre price explosion you were excused. After that insane summer of 08 there really is no excuse. People who refuse to believe dont deserve to believe.

Morpheus's picture
Morpheus
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 27 2008
Posts: 1200
Re: The Burden of Knowing

I hit a nerve with this topic. 

I knew I would. It's a raw nerve with me. 

Some days I wonder if I am just crazy as a loon. Afterall, how can 300 million people be wrong? Then I remember who owns the airwaves and who broadcasts on them. 

I remember the axiom, to the victor goes the writing of history. 

Mostly though, I feel LESS MAD (mad as in crazy) when I realize that my evolving worldview, based wholly on observation, better fits the news of the day than the illusion that was fed to me. No more cognitive dissonance. 

I guess that I can live with that. 

crash_watcher's picture
crash_watcher
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 12 2008
Posts: 146
Re: The Burden of Knowing

Morpheus, the burden is sometimes heavy, but perhaps it can lighten by reading the stories of others having the same experience:

 http://www.peakoilblues.org/blog/?page_id=979 

JAG's picture
JAG
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 26 2008
Posts: 2492
I hate it.

Re: the burden of knowing (the concept, not the article)

I absolutely hate it.

I can't look at my daughter without thinking about the suffering that my country will impose upon her.  I so wish I would have never walked down this path. This "knowledge" has alienated me from every person in my life, even including myself.

Its always there in the back of my mind, no matter what I am doing. Its a curse, and the only way it becomes a blessing is if the world goes to sh*t around me. How ironic is that?

And worst of all, this knowledge makes me feel superior to my fellow man. As if I had any more divinity on the future than anyone else. 

And yet, I'll be back here tomorrow for more. Pathetic.

Subprime JD's picture
Subprime JD
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 17 2009
Posts: 562
Re: The Burden of Knowing

Jag,

 

Better to suffer a bit now and be prepared for later as opposed to living in lala land, splurging your money and depending on SS or pension for the future.

deggleton's picture
deggleton
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 18 2008
Posts: 250
Re: The Burden of Knowing
strabes wrote:

...enter the woundedness of love, relationship, community. 

Our common challenge is that, precisely.  Among people reduced to things, as we, too, have been, we could without qualms pick and choose among them, as we did products, based on criteria we were given and trained to use.

Knowing, we must go local so thoroughly as to finally discover, enjoy and celebrate the validity and uniqueness of each human being -- and many other beings, too -- immediately around us.  Then knowing how bad things got will cease to be burdensome.

At first, it is like getting into very cold water; woundedness alludes to that.  The welcome isn't there.  You're not sure of yourself.  You'd prefer to stay in your comfort zone, even if it's becoming a dead end.

"Maybe I'll die before that happens...."

ashvinp's picture
ashvinp
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 20 2010
Posts: 412
Re: I hate it.
JAG wrote:

Its always there in the back of my mind, no matter what I am doing. Its a curse, and the only way it becomes a blessing is if the world goes to sh*t around me. How ironic is that?

I live with the exact same feeling. Sometimes I find myself rooting for everything to dissolve, because I can't stand waiting and wading through this nonsense. I know that if somehow several different miracles occurred at the same time and we averted disaster to continue our same path of existence, I would be extremely depressed and disapppointed.  Not sure if that's what you meant but that's how I feel.

Tycer's picture
Tycer
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 26 2009
Posts: 617
Re: The Burden of Knowing

I have an acquaintance who I think feels like we do. I sent him this link with the words:<br>

 

 

It sucks knowing what we know and not being able to share it with our family and friends.
We got a new car last fall, I am fixing up this house we just bought. New doors, new bathrooms, refinish the floors, new riding lawnmower............And i think it's all a big waste of resources. I have my doubts we will be in any house in five years, much less this one.
But it keeps Nancy happy. She knows what I believe our future is, but can't believe it herself. She does not want to hear about it much at all. So I indulge her desires all she wants with the admonition that I don't want to hear on peep about "why didn't you just force me".....
The peace in my family allows me to prepare without going totally insane.
Are you going totally insane Jim?
The burden of knowing is great.

Thank you all for your participation on this site.

 

Subprime JD's picture
Subprime JD
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 17 2009
Posts: 562
Re: The Burden of Knowing

If we can avert disaster thats great! If some crazy fuel cell coal fussion comes out then im all for it. If it doesnt then oh well

LogansRun's picture
LogansRun
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 18 2009
Posts: 1444
Re: The Burden of Knowing

This is exactly why I quit sitting across from these people and am now retired.  I spent too time and effort helping to establish (keep in place) the R vs L paradigm it makes me sick thinking about it now.  

One thing to note, I still sit across the table from many of the people in Congress having private lunches and dinner, and there's a bit of an awakening happening that I wouldn't have believed 3 years ago.  Many that were fighting to keep the status quo and never would have acknowledged  that there is an "Elite Establishment (ie: Rockefellers, Rothschild, etc...)" are beginning to see it for what it is.  Enslavement of the people.  A couple have actually told me "we have zero power any longer" and "we're just a farce group that they parade out to show the citizenry that their vote counts".  I would have NEVER heard that a couple years ago!  

Great article.

 

strabes wrote:

we're in good company...we're getting just a little glimpse of what native americans must have thought, felt, and suffered with their whole lives watching a bunch of clueless robots racing around like ants without a clue of the damage they were doing.  and nobody would listen to them.  I can't imagine their pain and isolation.

I get pissed, then sad, just writing that sentence.  then I get pissed and sad that nobody listened to MLK, Oscar Romero, etc.  and now nobody is listening to all of you.  everybody just keeps playing the game.  I don't know how some on CM are sticking with their regular jobs while prepping.  I personally can't stomach being part of it at all.  any part you play in the corporate system feeds the problem and feeds the banking system at the top.  I refuse.

perhaps some of you may want to commit to a new life speaking truth to power and representing the oppressed?  kind of a wild idea, but it's been helpful for me.  or reading some of their stuff...they dealt with this spiritual struggle long before.  James, instead of reading a rich pop doctor in the corporate media (the idea that God wants us to be optimistic all the time sounds like cheap americana to me, but I haven't read it), you may want to read people who aren't afraid of grief and who understand the harm, even evil, done by our system, like indigenous literature, or somebody like Wendell Berry who explains the harm better than anyone else and calls us to local life, or Henri Nouwen who understands existential struggle and the need to turn away from the quest for power (really all the corporate race is) and enter the woundedness of love, relationship, community. 

M.E.'s picture
M.E.
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 21 2009
Posts: 81
Re: The Burden of Knowing
strabes wrote:

I don't know how some on CM are sticking with their regular jobs while prepping.  I personally can't stomach being part of it at all.  any part you play in the corporate system feeds the problem and feeds the banking system at the top.  I refuse.

Tell me how.  Tell me how you are paying for the electricity that powers your computer.  Did you make all your money and then get out?  Were you born with money?  Did someone donate a solar powered generator to you that will never break?  

We have a mortgage on our house and pay for it by designing and building additions and such.  We have a 3 acre farm with garden, livestock, greenhouse and we pay for hay, seeds and supplies by building.  We read Wendell Berry's books, Acres USA, this site, etc.  The mortgage is only in my name.  We could take all our cash and walk.  Is that part of the solution or part of the problem?  Can we live in a tent on your land?

britinbe's picture
britinbe
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 381
Re: The Burden of Knowing
Mary Ellen wrote:
strabes wrote:

I don't know how some on CM are sticking with their regular jobs while prepping.  I personally can't stomach being part of it at all.  any part you play in the corporate system feeds the problem and feeds the banking system at the top.  I refuse.

Tell me how.  Tell me how you are paying for the electricity that powers your computer.  Did you make all your money and then get out?  Were you born with money?  Did someone donate a solar powered generator to you that will never break?  

We have a mortgage on our house and pay for it by designing and building additions and such.  We have a 3 acre farm with garden, livestock, greenhouse and we pay for hay, seeds and supplies by building.  We read Wendell Berry's books, Acres USA, this site, etc.  The mortgage is only in my name.  We could take all our cash and walk.  Is that part of the solution or part of the problem?  Can we live in a tent on your land?

I understand what you are both saying.  I took the decision to drink a brandy whilst the ship sinks and the band continues to play, but at the same time readying the family life raft as best I can

docmims's picture
docmims
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 17 2009
Posts: 644
Re: The Burden of Knowing

It's not a burden to me.  Everyone I work with knows my perspective on economic collapse within this decade.  Anybody who asks, i tell them how to prepare and I recommend some reading.  As long as I"m not keeping it secret, I don't spend my night worrying that people don't take my advice.  I am hopefull that some will.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink. 

Phil Williams's picture
Phil Williams
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 14 2009
Posts: 345
Re: The Burden of Knowing

I find myself consumed on a daily basis. I need to get off the internet. My wife and I are pretty well isolated on this topic at this point. Thankfully she is on board, or I would have lost my mind already. My family is actually in agreement, but they do absolutely nothing to prepare. I do carry some weight with them as they know I am not insane. My wife's family on the other hand thinks I am bat [email protected]## crazy. I have become fairly withdrawn around them. I just can't stand pretending that what they talk about actually matters in the grand scheme of things. Most of the time I just want to throw up when I hear them talking about: vacations, new cars, the college education to an expensive private school, how great their 401K is lately, how Obama is doing a great job under the circumstances, how it is too bad for Greece, but lucky we are in America, how times are tough for "uneducated" people-not realizing their job depends on the "uneducated" doing the dirty work, how they believe that times are tough but they do not need to worry for themselves because nothing has ever happened to them, how the debt is not that bad because a lot of countries owe us money, and worst of all this quote makes me want to projectile vomit, "They have a lot of smart people working on it."

My wife and I on the other hand have done the best we can to prepare and continue to do so, but I don't think we are above the difficulties that are coming. I am well aware that things will be difficult for us as well. I am not even sure that we will make it through what is coming. I hear a lot of people talking about how things can actually be better post peak everything, but I really find that difficult to believe. I see famine, crime, disease, and shortages of basic necessities. That doesn't sound like fun to me. The one good thing that this knowledge has done for me, is that it makes me really appreciate the basic comforts that we have now.

 

James Wandler's picture
James Wandler
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 11 2008
Posts: 219
Re: The Burden of Knowing

bearmarkettrader,

If we get a new cheap source of fuel we'll likely just continue to pave over the planet until no one can live here.  This is the upshot of peak oil - we get a chance to change our ways.  For instance, I look forward to eating food rather than "edible foodlike substances" as per Michael Pollan.

Cheers,

James

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3200
Re: The Burden of Knowing

My knowledge of what's coming, such as it is, shapes much of what I do in the real world.  I realize that my job finances, for now, my preparations and that knowledge keeps me performing my duties, if not enthusiastically, at least competently.  I speak to many people who I've known for varying lengths of time about what I have learned here, but have come to realize that few of them want to hear it, and I can accept them on that basis.  Just because I have an insight they don't, doesn't mean we can't continue our relationships.

I have an island of sanity in my life that can be shared by those on either side of the knowledge divide.  I've been coaching baseball for about 10 years and I find about as much meaning there as in anything else I do.  I am part of a community of people who share a love of the sport and an appreciation of the part it can play in the growth of young people.  When I'm trying to teach a kid the elements of a great swing, that's the most important thing in my world at that moment.  And, to see a kid who I've helped teach pull off a great play or at bat at a turning point of a game gives me as much fulfillment as anything else I do in life.  Then to watch them grow into young adults with qualities I flatter myself in thinking I helped shape is the icing on the cake.

I guess my point is, don't be burdened by your knowledge, use it to prepare as best you can for our shared future.  But, keep in mind that there are many things in our current lives that will survive the transition, including, if there is a kind god, baseball.

Doug

MaxWho86's picture
MaxWho86
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: May 4 2010
Posts: 1
Re: The Burden of Knowing

Morpheus:

Your post brought me here to this site, thank you.  Below is what I posted on Charles Smith's Forum.

“We cannot convince our loved ones, friends, family and associates; in the odd moment, we can make a suggestion or leave a book for them to glance through. That is all we can do; the emotional burden we feel only gets heavier if we push too hard and create needless conflict. So all we can do is make our own preparations as responsible individuals, as autonomous beings seeking liberty, and act accordingly.”

CharlesSmith


I truly look forward to Charles daily “Good Reads” regardless of the topic, and very happy to have just found the Forums. Yes, I like others, find his view of the world reassuring to my sanity. My wife views me as being unhappy most of the time ( ironically I thought I was doing the best in years! ;-) ). She criticize(sp) me for not taking and talking my focusing on and believing in all the happy news the MSM is telling everyone. I have changed over the years, that is for sure. I was manic most of my life after returning from Vietnam (also self-medicating) and NEVER read the newspaper or watched the news. Lately ( and clean and sober) and correctly as my wife points out, I do have a more “negative pessimist view on life and lost my positive attitude” that she saw in me as my girlfriend 20 years ago. She resents that she now sees me changed, having lost my jovial hyper positive “What The Mine Of Man Can Conceive And Believe He Can Achieve” attitude cheating her now as my wife/friend/partner and mother of our 7 year old daughter of daily entertaining happiness. Her words are in heated tones, breaking my heart, and leaving me without a reply that she will accept.

--Max

'Flying the aircraft is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it.'

 

 

Morpheus wrote:

I hit a nerve with this topic. 

I knew I would. It's a raw nerve with me. 

Some days I wonder if I am just crazy as a loon. Afterall, how can 300 million people be wrong? Then I remember who owns the airwaves and who broadcasts on them. 

I remember the axiom, to the victor goes the writing of history. 

Mostly though, I feel LESS MAD (mad as in crazy) when I realize that my evolving worldview, based wholly on observation, better fits the news of the day than the illusion that was fed to me. No more cognitive dissonance. 

I guess that I can live with that. 

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5971
Re: The Burden of Knowing

I've wrestled with this 'burden' for years and now realize, as many have already indicated above, that it is not a single thing. 

There is the burden of:

  • Feeling isolated.  This is a Cassandra-like purgatory of feeling like I've got important information about the future that people desperately need to know but they are somehow unable to listen and/or heed the warnings.  Moving to a position of acceptance has helped enormously with this burden.  Not everybody will learn in time, and it is not my burden whether they do or not.  I can only do my best.
  • Growing dread for the earth.  Exacerbated by the gulf oil spill, but constantly reinforced by the news I consume about aquifers and species and soil and pollutants....etc....I experience a pretty strong weight that is more spiritual than anything.  Let's face it, the world has shuddered through many a cataclysmic loss of life in the past and no matter how badly humans perform the world will be just fine.  It might take 1 or 20 million years but if humans were to wipe themselves out the world would return to just as rich a tapestry of life as before Homo Sapiens were a twinkle in evolution's eye.  So the weight I feel here stems from my compassion for all life, not just human forms, and from a form of disgust that my species is being stupid.  In the scheme of things it's OK for nematodes to eat up all their food and destroy their living conditions for a cycle or two, but it seems inexcusable for a self-aware life form to destroy it's own vessel.
  • Knowing that my preparations are insufficient.  I happen to be quite secure in my knowledge of what's coming next.  Which means that I also know that no matter how much personal and community preparation I do these efforts will not be sufficient to preserve all of life's current comforts and benefits.   While I am at peace with many of the 'losses' that are to come, I am discontent with more than a few.  I happen to like access to top-notch medical care.  I embrace being part of a functional economy.  I prefer my neighbors to all be relatively secure, well fed, and happy.  None of these are guaranteed components of our future.  So I consider my efforts, as diligent as they are, to be utterly insufficient in many regards.  This eats at me.  Because of this sometimes I get cranky with the idea that I am more or less surrounded by people who are literally unwilling to even discuss the possibility that the future might be different from the past let alone do anything about it.  In my darker moments I wonder just how helpful towards them I am going to be after the big changes come.  Other times I simply think to myself that "it is what it is" and that we'll just deal with whatever comes when it comes.  Perhaps some of the people who refuse to even think about the future will turn out to be great allies while others who prepared fall apart later on.  Who knows?
  • Watching the lies, spin and propaganda.  Of all the forms, this one is the most draining on me.  I really, really detest all the myriad ways at every level that my country has chosen to deceive itself.  I routinely bounce between amusement at the ham-fisted efforts and severe annoyance at the more sophisticated tactics.  It is these efforts that are particularly damaging because they prevent us from using our time and money in productive, useful ways.  Instead these lies lead us down the wrong path and I find it burdensome to watch secure in the knowledge that we could be doing all the right things, but are not.
  • Knowing that I can't 'fix it.'  I routinely receive emails and hear stories from people who understand the predicament we are in but are at a loss for how to personally respond.  While I can assist with taking the preliminary steps of preparation and can even help move people through the early emotional stages, there is no "fix" for the despair some people express and I am, at heart, a fix it kind of guy.  If I could I would.   But there isn't any fix and I often find myself really feeling the weight that others carry.  All I can do here is 'hold the space' to allow people to process their emotional stages but have at times in the past found it to be extremely difficult to do this while also being an effective information scout, a father to three young ones, head of a small business (meaning I wear every hat), while also having time to continue preparing.

Great topic, I've enjoyed reading what others have said so far, and I look forward to further conversation.  I think I'll wander over to CHS now and donate some money.  He deserves it.

 

rickets's picture
rickets
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 8 2009
Posts: 238
Re: The Burden of Knowing

Doug - well said. 

Everyone would do well to acknowledge the limitations of their knowledge and predictive abilities.  Even the most informed cannot predict the future with remote certainty.  Prepare for what you think might happen....but focus on the moment.  Focus on gratitude and happiness or the rest just doesnt matter.

Those "not in the know" just well be way more accurate than any of us are.  Just as there is a great debate on this site between deflation and hyperinflation, between pms or cash......so to is there a reasonable argument that everything will be fine.  Respect other opinions of the future.  A positive outlook has thousands of years of history supporting it.  While dramatic change is likely, why fear it?  There is no certainty that it can be bad.  Do not fear what you dont really know.

Overconfidence in anything is foolish.  Having overconfidence in predicting a future a decade(s) away and having that destroy your life with sadness/isolation is not worth it.  Dont be so arrogant in your long term predictions that it ruins your life.

CM himself often mentions he looks to the future with optimism.  Thats the main reason I joined.  We should acknowledge issues at hand, prepare and adapt for the several most likely scenarios, and stay positive. 

 

johnbryson's picture
johnbryson
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 13 2008
Posts: 54
Re: The Burden of Knowing

Hi Chris,

I don't mean to be indiscreet, but how did you convince your wife about the risks you saw - ie. the 3 E's, and how the future will be nothing like the past? The reason I ask, is that I am having challenges getting my wife on board, and would welcome some advice on how to get her to see these issues.. She relunctantly watched the crash course last year, and when she was finished, thought that it had not properly covered the alternatives. So, as with other people in this forum, I'm alone in preparing for the future.

John

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments