Loss in Post Collapse America

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Aaron M's picture
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Loss in Post Collapse America

Almost everyone here realizes that troubles are in the immediate future.

That said, some of us are feeling the heat, some are seeing the flames, and some are entirely detached from the whole nightmare.
At some point, this will end.
All of us will be effected by the collapsing system we live under.

The fissures in families, the loss of material wealth, inevitable deaths due to dependancy on medications that may or may not be available, or deaths; all loom over us.

So, my question is this: 
How do we deal with it? 
No one is immune to the psychological trauma of losing someone they love dearly.
Or to violations, or visions of catastrophe.

As these things build up, and the pressure brings this situation to an explosive level, how do you keep focus amidst the loss? 
What gives solace and strength in times of desperation and sadness?

Inquiring minds, and all...

Cheers,

Aaron

(sorry to deviate from optimism and facts for such a bitter topic, I assume it'll be short lived)

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

Aaron,

I believe that the realizations of folks who "get it" to the truths in your above post are a significant portion of the jumpiness and weird behaviors by those of us who post here lately. We are all under stress.

Tonight I am going to a Cardinals baseball game. My boys are really looking forward to it, and my wife is a bigger fan than I. All I can offer is to prepare as best as you can but live your life and love those in it to the best of your ability now. Whether it be because of an economic crash or for other reasons, we will all feel the pain of separation in our lives. Inevitable.

Go see a game (or insert your fun activity of choice) and bring the people you care about, live a little for today while we still can. This helps to have a clear head and a happy heart so that you may make the right decisions for yourself.

Best Regards,

Rog

 

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

Timely post for me, Aaron, as I've been particularly doomerish the past couple of weeks.

The Max Keiser on Goldman video made me even more so this morning. I felt overwhelmed and rudderless because it seems that the corruption is so deep, inbred, and systemic that justice will never be served in a civic sense -- via the court system. Though perhaps in a karmic sense someday it will be -- but then that sentiment even brings me down because there's a fine line between justice and revenge fantasies, and I begin to wonder about the true impetus for my own feelings. 

I get through it by trying to remain thankful for what I do have and have experienced -- something made a bit easier to actually live out because I have a six year old daughter who -- being a kid -- is also in need of this simple lesson.

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

 

Plenty of Xanax and vodka

 

Drink Up!!!

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

Aaron,

I believe you hit the nail squarely on the head with your questions---and I agree with Rog that this perception of imminent collapse is what so many people are responding to with the accelerating jumpiness, anxieties, squirrelly behavior, etc. Think about the way animals behave before an earthquake? We are facing an economic earthquake with an unknown timeline for the shakedown.

Suggestions are for you (but that can be the rhetorical you, if you want!) These seem like small responses, but I suspect many/most people on this site are already taking on the big ones, from what I have read over the last umpteen months.

Breathe! Breathe deeply. Walk outside somewhere green---it has a calming effect on the human nervous system. Get some daylight. Recognize/acknowledge out loud (verbalize this) that you contribute fully to the extent that you are capable and let go of what you cannot control. No one is responsible for more than they are--and we are all responsible to the nth degree for every iota of what we can and do control (namely ourselves and our own behavior).

Learn something new--something outside your normal comfort zone, preferably. Widens the spirit.

Practice compassion. I remember reading a quote from Outlaws on the Design Frontier by a Buddhist woman who said, "In this world, how can we be anything but heartbroken and very, very kind?"

Play with children. Blow bubbles (remember what I said about learning something outside your comfort zone?)

Write a haiku. Read it to your significant other (or to your dog, if you prefer---or cat, or hamster). We get patterned into left-brained behavior, don't we? Give your left brain a break.

Bake some bread. Share it. Eat it slowly. Connect.

The world will go where the world is going -- we can prepare, we can change our circumstances to some degree or not, but our strategic response is based on our attitude and that demands replenishment of your heart and spirit on a regular basis, just like we water our garden when it doesn't rain.

Who was the tactical trainer who said something like, "Two people are lost in the woods. One of them has no skills or survival training, but has a strong, positive attitude. The other one has been fully trained in survival but has a bad, fearful attitude. I guarantee the person with the positive attitude is the one who is going to walk out of there."

We have met the woods. Now we walk.

best,

juli

 

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

Hi Aaron,

Great and timely thread.

I think what your inquiring about can be summed up by the first tenant of buddhism, "Life is suffering". From my own experience, the only way I have found to deal with the suffering inherent to life is to face it head on, experience it, and then let it go. In my opinion however, there could be no more difficult of a task. My only suggestion in tackling such a task is to try to avoid using the mind to try to control the mind. A more concrete and effective way is to use the body to control the mind, a somato-psycho approach you might say. By the nature of your posts, I think this concept is probably nothing new to you, but I'll elaborate anyways.

While I don't think you can do anything about the suffering of life, I think the real objective in dealing with it is to not let become a physical part of you. As self-image and its emotional ramifications are echoed in one's posture, you can use this relationship to your advantage. You can purge the effects of suffering from your posture, and affect a parallel release or "letting go" of the suffering from your mind as well. Pay particular attention to your kinesthetic senses during times of great suffering. Focus your attention on the muscular tensions that result from emotional stresses and use physical techniques to address them. 

Now its time for me to practice what I preach, as an old friend of mine and his family are dealing with unbelievable suffering right now. Life can be a real nightmare at times.

Thanks.

 

 

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

Live in the moment.

It's is all we have, and all we've ever had. We spend too much time thinking about what was, or what will be that we miss all that there is.

Open your eyes with childlike joy at the miracles that surround you, the beauty of the sunset, the industry of a bee, the wonder of a spider spinning it's web, the grace of the eagle, and the power of the buffalo, the strength of an old Oak tree, they were here before you and will be around long after you've passed, and few take time to actually see them. They don't worry about what will be, we can learn from that, We do not know what we do not know, so why worry about it?

Life is a journey, not a destination, we all know where that destination lies. Enjoy the journey, plan your waypoints, but the destination was set at your birth.

Now I'll admit that I struggle to live by these ideas, but they are great rules to live by, if you can achieve it.

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

For some reason, I'm not terribly anxious. I'm frustrated and angry about a number of things, and certainly have taken steps to prepare for what may happen, but I just don't find myself worried too often. I do find this a remarkably interesting time in which to be living, so perhaps my curiosity simply outweighs my anxiety. I guess I'm just a bit odd...

 

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

Aaron,

You are right.  Collapse is upon us.
Most of us here are trying  desparately to use our brains to survive.  Human nature.
We read, listen, study, ponder and then worry until we become despondent.
Okay, maybe not everyone, but many, self included.  In the last two years,
I have read every doomerish book anyone recommended and have gained many
perspectives on collapse, peak oil, sustainability, defense, transitions, permaculture,
evolution, economy, environment, etc., etc.!
Why?  As a retired librarian, I know bibliotherapy works for some....for me.
Amanda ask a good question a few days ago about what 3 books would you
want to have through hard times...can't remember the exact wording.  I should have
added the book ,   Sacred Demise:  Walking the spiritual path; of Industrial Civilation's Collapse
by Carolyn Baker.  This calming book helped me gain footing after One Second After

Somewhere I read..... "some people read too many books and too few people".

I have read and admired so many high volume posters here on Dr. Martenson's site.
What you are doing by your thoughtful dialogs is connecting with each other....reading people.
 

Juli said it very well.  Practice compassion and connect....with others, with nature, and with yourself.
Enjoy and be present in every waking moment.

cowgap

 

 

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

If you view personal growth as the purpose of conscious life, then adversity becomes the greatest gift of all.  

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filled with excitement and exhilaration

When I think about collapse I seem to go through different emotions depending on what filter I'm using and where I feel I am within the 6 stages of awareness. Lately I'm feeling pretty comfortable in the Acceptance stage and most of the time I'm feeling rather prepared for anything. I'm extremely lucky to live far from where I think the real S will HTF and I have means to escape need be.

Where I find myself getting worried or stressed is trying to get family and friends to see what is going on and getting them to make adjustments in their lives.

In a way I have to admit I somewhat look forward to collapse as my old signature used to read "Things need to get worse before they get better." Yes there will be loss and suffering but I try to look at this with a wider lens. Truth is population is out of control and modern life has become environmentally/economically/morally unsustainable and unfortunately nothing will change until we hit rock bottom.

I think the coming collapse is needed for us as a species and we can and will learn a lot from it. Most of us here are already aware of the problems and perils with homo-economicus but the vast majority won't see it until TS that HTF hits them in the face.

I still have a long life ahead of me (31 yrs old) and I don't look forward to living it the way we do now in this doggamn rat race. What I do look forward to is a different kind of society where we can live in closer harmony with nature and still benefit from the advances, benefits and pleasures technology has given us. When I was a kid I used to think the only thing that could ever save this planet was First Contact. Now I think it's collapse.

As long as I can get through the tough times ahead (hopefully in relative comfort) I'm filled with excitement and exhilaration to be here to witness what I hope can be an incredible global transformation.

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America
anarkst wrote:

If you view personal growth as the purpose of conscious life, then adversity becomes the greatest gift of all.

Thanks anarkst. I like this.

We're getting a bit off topic here but I see the purpose of concious life is to witness. Consiousness is inevitable. The universe must be witnessed in order for it to exist. (my personal quote and philosophy, use it as you wish)

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

Excellent post Aaron.  You seem to have a knack of asking a question or making a statement in a way that brings about a good discussion of a subject many of us have thought about.  Thanks friend.

My plan to get through the future is to do what I can to prepare physically as well as mentally.  As most others have, we've been stockpiling food, bought gold, honed skills with firearms, planted gardens, visited the gym 4 days a week and preached to others to do likewise with mixed success.  There is still much to do, but I think the storm is almost upon us.  One area of focus now is mental preparation.  I've always been fascinated by the concept of Zen and am trying to get closer in that regard to where I want to be.  I don't know how those around me will react, but I think I can control how I will react.  One thing I've been practicing with some success is the ability to shut the mind off.  Sometimes I need to stop thinking, stop planning and stop worrying and just experience the current moment.

Several years back, when my father died, I saw first hand how stress affected all of us in the family differently.  Petty issues turned into big arguments over simple things like where to eat dinner.  At the time, I kept telling everyone that was complaining about others that they are just seeing that person's reaction to stress and not to take it personally.  Hopefully, that lesson will help us get through the next couple of years.

I know it may sound wrong, but I'm hoping to find some enjoyment in the coming storm.  If it can be avoided, then I pray we avoid it, but if it cannot, I intend to make the best of the situation.  If we get to the point where having a turkey at Thanksgiving means learning to hunt and spending a couple of days in the field, then it will be enjoyed for the experience it is.  I know there will be situations that I'd not wish on anyone, least of all my own family, but I do think there may be something to be gained in other areas.

Put simply, my plan is to prepare for the worst without ruining our outlook on life, while trying to find and focus on any positive elements of the time we are starting to experience.

Thanks,

Tim

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

JAG,

Quote:

Now its time for me to practice what I preach, as an old friend of mine and his family are dealing with unbelievable suffering right now. Life can be a real nightmare at times.

As well, I've similar situations on several fronts. Today, I'm feeling a bit beset. I've noticed the physiological effects you mentioned, and it can be tough to stay motivated.

I really appreciated your feedback and comments, Juli B.
What a great time to start learning something fresh.
I picked up a guitar, perhaps it's time to explore the options there.

Gungnir,
Thanks for your advice as well.
Generally the natural world is a great way to humble your problems! I'll circulate your suggestion, and see if it can bring calm to some lives.

Cheers and best wishes to all. May we continue to bond under mutual hardship.

Aaron

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

thanks for this thread Aaron

I've found that keeping busy is the best way to avoid thinking too much and getting depressed.  Having two active, healthy, happy teens helps.  My daughter's grad party is tomorrow.  My son is into his 3rd of 4 straight days of baseball and 7th game since last Sat.  Plus, we're helping out with a couple tournaments friends' kids are playing in.  I took my daughter to the new Harry Potter flick last night.  I'm a sucker for the books and movies.  We're cutting and splitting firewood when we have time, I have to install a new gas tank and a safe in the next couple days and we're supposed to be on vacation this coming week.  So, I'm not sitting and contemplating much.  I'm living in separate realities, one the regular flow of life, the other preparing for whatever is coming.  They seem to balance out and keep me focused.  Even though I can trot out the possible parade of horribles, I can't and don't want to escape the present.  Life is pretty good, all things considered.  Enjoy it while we can.

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

Cut military spending to 450 billion, savings of 450 billion a year

Cut social security benefits by 200 billion, medicare by 150 billion, savings of 350 billion a year.

Just by cutting these three programs the US can save 800 billion. Considering the deficit will NOT be 2 trillion next year or the year after, it is possible that we can avoid a monetary catastrophe. Also, consider the asian exporters are too scared to alter the status quo too abruptly.

Not all is lost. Have to think somewhat positive

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

I'm more worried about what would happen if we didn't collapse, personally.

But this thread is about dealing with stress and hardship in times of tribulation; be they during a collapse or otherwise...
If it's all the same, I'd prefer the dialogue was kept on that topic, as many of us are experiencing hardship, and the comraderie is a good way to ease the tension, share ideas and keep in contact with friends.

Cheers,

Aaron

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America
Aaron Moyer wrote:

As well, I've similar situations on several fronts. Today, I'm feeling a bit beset. I've noticed the physiological effects you mentioned, and it can be tough to stay motivated.

if I may recommend a book by Jon Kabat-Zinn called "Full Catastrophe Living", recommended to me by a psychologist when I began somaticizing symptoms due to excessive stress over too long a period. These symptoms were varied, I went through a lot of testing and wound up being the healthiest and sick person my Doctor knew. In laymans terms my brain was (is) throwing phantom "pain" alarms and my conscious mind was scanning for the source of the pain, focusing on my three "scare" areas, Pulmonary (Heart and lungs), Intestinal, and Lymphatic systems, invariably I found a pain in those regions not too surprising, which added to my stress, which increased the symptoms, meet Mr. Positive Feedback Loop, in the past year I've had 4 complete blood and metabolic panels, upper and lower GI endoscopies, Abdominal CT scan (with and without contrast), 2 Chest X-Rays, 2 Stress Echocardiograms, and an Electron Beam Tomography of my Coronary arteries, not to mention general examinations, poking and prodding as generally happens when you visit your Docs. All is well in the Gungnir systems (except a sub 5% Mitral valve regurgitation, that normally would not have normally been detected), but I still get weird aches pains and issues cropping up in all these areas again and again, although improving.

Aaron Moyer wrote:

I picked up a guitar, perhaps it's time to explore the options there.

Sure is brother, you'll have fun learning and there's nothing better to do that pull out a guitar when sitting around a campfire and rattling off a few old favorites.

Aaron Moyer wrote:

Generally the natural world is a great way to humble your problems!

Indeed, but that's how I put things into perspective so I can experience the moment. Others have other mechanisms, I also try to do 20 minutes meditation daily. 

Anyway back to packing...

 

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

"So, my question is this: 
How do we deal with it? 
No one is immune to the psychological trauma of losing someone they love dearly.
Or to violations, or visions of catastrophe.

As these things build up, and the pressure brings this situation to an explosive level, how do you keep focus amidst the loss? 
What gives solace and strength in times of desperation and sadness?"

Hi Aaron,

Good questions! I too have noticed how things seem to be "speeding up" of late as CM says.  I'm not a particularly spititual or philosophical fellow having pretty much been raised on the value of hard work and getting things done and then followed by a good nights sleep.

But after having gone through a bit of a learning experience the past few years due to my gut feeling that all was not well and then doing the CC last fall I basically had a major "oh s*!$" experience. I can best describe it as realizing that my worst fears were not wild speculation but rather the simple hard facts. These things test one's strength for sure.

Then I began spending time on this site reading your and others posts and that has been invaluable to me. I have been able to take action and piece together a plan of sorts to deal with things.

Interestingly, some of your posts on the Definitive Firearms Thread have helped me answer the questions you have asked today!

How do we deal with it? 
No one is immune to the psychological trauma of losing someone they love dearly.
Or to violations, or visions of catastrophe.

A couple of months ago, after passing out over 100 CC dvds and talking to anyone who would listen, I realized that very little change was actually happening as regards general awareness etc. So I drew a line in the sand and said "That's it. Next week I am going to start delivering the CC on Thursday nights and I am going to continue do so until no one is any longer interested".  The experience and results of doing this I had no idea would be profound for me but it has been!  It has really helped answer the last two questions you asked.

how do you keep focus amidst the loss? -- Activity that builds community and helps others and keeps the focus on positive actions.

What gives solace and strength in times of desperation and sadness?"  --Knowing that one's efforts have helped a few others be better prepared and having made new friends and acquaintences seems to work pretty well.

Hope this helps!  If you have occasion to travel south to bankrupt California let me know. I know of one of the best and most remote fishing holes in the central Sierra.  All native trout!

Coop

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

Great thread Aaron! 

A reminder to myself to do some of these things that I know make me feel better, happier, and less stressed:

Gardening, Baseball (watching/radio listening -- wonderful to do while gardening), photography, reading (currently reading the John Adams biography), listening to music, hanging out with friends - both human and animal. 

Happy Weekend to all of you,

becky

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

Aaron and Others,

I'd like to add another perspective.  My biggest fear is that we will stand down and allow ourselves and families to become victoms of something far worse than a financial crisis.  

Many pundits seem to agree that come this fall, we are going to see another shoe drop.  Though it may be abrupt, the slide will not end there, it will only be one more step in aquescing to long term poverty and tyranny. 

Does anyone still think this is just an accident or the result of negligent incompetence?  We are seeing a plan unfold, yes a conspiracy, to consolidate power and wealth into the hands of an elite few.  If we simply allow this to happen then we are betraying everything that is sacred in life and we will regret that dearly.

Hopefully people will come to realize that we still hold the power of self determination - we can only lose if we give up. I posted some monetary solutions that could help end the fincnaical crisis in another post.  If you doubt that there are viable solutions, please stop by and read Our financial solutions are right in front of us if we take the time to look...   

In the end, it is up to us...will we make a stand?

Larry

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America
Ready wrote:

Go see a game (or insert your fun activity of choice) and bring the people you care about, live a little for today while we still can. This helps to have a clear head and a happy heart so that you may make the right decisions for yourself.

So many times of late, I'll be in some sort of situation and suddenly my perspective shifts and I take a good long look around me --

-- Last fall at a NY Giants / Philadelphia Eagles game (while tailgating pre-game)

-- When I'm in a nice restaurant w/my wife (for instance, sushi about 3 weeks ago)

-- At our monthly informal "come one come all bring friends" gathering w/our core friends/community

...and so forth.

And I'll try and see every detail, savor it, note the nuances, carve it into my memory.  Because I'm living with the knowledge that it all is going away -- one way or another -- and each instance of a given thing may be the last time I see it.  

It makes for rich experiences, and bittersweet.  Now I know (in a small, slightly different way) how someone with a terminal illness might feel.  Except it's my society/culture that's terminal.

Life and (impending) loss here on Planet Now.

Viva -- Sager

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America
Juli B wrote:

We have met the woods. Now we walk. 

Beautiful.

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America
ccpetersmd wrote:

For some reason, I'm not terribly anxious. I'm frustrated and angry about a number of things, and certainly have taken steps to prepare for what may happen, but I just don't find myself worried too often. I do find this a remarkably interesting time in which to be living, so perhaps my curiosity simply outweighs my anxiety. I guess I'm just a bit odd...

Doc -

I'm with you, odd or otherwise.

It is going to be interesting to watch whatever is coming unfold.  The crisis is looming and we will come out the other side and be better for it.  Straight out of "The Fourth Turning".  Time to put theory to practice.

Getcha popcorn ready.

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America
SagerXX wrote:

And I'll try and see every detail, savor it, note the nuances, carve it into my memory.  Because I'm living with the knowledge that it all is going away -- one way or another -- and each instance of a given thing may be the last time I see it. 

Sager,

I do the same thing.  It's especially hard when it's something like visiting family. 

becky

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

Aaron writes:

What gives solace and strength in times of desperation and sadness?

I have had the opportunity to speak with a fair number of people who went thought the "Great Depression," and it was interesting, because the vast majority of them commented that although they didn't have much,(materially), they felt, on balance, that they had much more, especially in terms of family and community, 

I know that people are experiencing a great deal of personal anxiety, and the social angst is quite palpable, but the impending loss (if you care to refer to it as that) will be replaced by an equal gain.  Intellectually, one illusion will simply be replaced by another.

Here's a poignant story:

A man, hopelessly lost in the desert, was getting near the end.  After countless days without water, he awoke in the middle of the night, and decided that he must use whatever energy he had left to make one final attempt to save his life.  So he got up on his hands and knees and began to slowly crawl along the ground, lit only by the stars.  After twenty minutes or so, he bumped into a container which miraculously was filled with water.  Deliriously, the man raised the container to his parched lips and drank of the life extending fluid.  It was far beyond the greatest pleasure he had every experienced.  Blissfully, he lay down to rest.

The next morning, the man woke at sunrise, feeling revived and full of life when he peered over at the container to see that he had just drank out of a animal skull of decomposing brain.  Instantly, he became violently nauseated and was soon dead. 

   

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Re: Loss in Post Collapse America
Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:
ccpetersmd wrote:

For some reason, I'm not terribly anxious. I'm frustrated and angry about a number of things, and certainly have taken steps to prepare for what may happen, but I just don't find myself worried too often. I do find this a remarkably interesting time in which to be living, so perhaps my curiosity simply outweighs my anxiety. I guess I'm just a bit odd...

Doc -

I'm with you, odd or otherwise.

It is going to be interesting to watch whatever is coming unfold.  The crisis is looming and we will come out the other side and be better for it.  Straight out of "The Fourth Turning".  Time to put theory to practice.

Getcha popcorn ready.

I'm in the same boat with you guys.  I keep telling my wife that this is like watching the biggest drama of all time unfold and we're actually getting to see it.  I think the biggest issue we as humans have to deal with is fear.  Every negative emotion and every problem in the world is ultimately fear based.  How much can you be afraid if you realize that no matter what you do, some day, no matter what, you're going to die.  Big deal!  Every day I see people work themselves into a tizzy about life issues and it's their fear that affects them more than anything else.  The death that will come though is only a physical one.  The spiritual me goes on, no matter what, forever.  Pain, hunger, thirst, heat, cold, whatever, can't affect me in an eternal sense.  They can only affect my body, not my soul.  I have to say I find it amusing that the spiritual is a forbidden topic here when the entire situation is a spiritual issue at its very core.    

I've got my Gs in line (goods, garden, gold, guns, and, for me, most importantly, God) and whatever happens after that happens.  And quite frankly, I don't think there's going to be a collapse of the sort that many people here envision.  Life goes on.  Whether empires fall or plagues or famines devastate, life goes on.  Look at modern Hiroshima.  Look at the British Empire.  I do think that there is a high probability of a global conflagration within a 10 year period of the bottom of this economic crisis based on historical patterns.  But just as a forest fire burns out the dead wood and sets the stage for new healthier grow, in the same way, I look at what's coming not like an end of things as we know it but a rebirth for a world which will be better than the old one.  Cheer up, it's not that bad unless you want it to be.  

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Gungnir
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 2 2009
Posts: 643
Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

Interesting story Anarkst.

I'm going to relate an interesting set of personal observations as we have downsized, currently the last of our televisions have gone off to friends, or others interested (in our yard sale). So I'm sitting here without a TV for the first time in I don't know how long. The additional car has gone too, and to be honest there isn't a great deal of possessions here right now, beyond our survival gear, tools, stuff packed away in boxes for later use, and the two of us. I'm actually finding it quite refreshing, there are many things yet to do, but I can just sit and be. I'm not doing anything, although right now I'm writing this post.

Now there are a bunch of things running through my head right now, of things that need to be "done" I need to clean my gun from it's use at the range the other day (eek!), I have to cut down the foam inserts from our Pelican cases so we can complete our FFL transfer to AK, I need to go and do a final clear up the laundry room. However I know that I have more than enough time to finish all of these things before we move. So I'm spending a moment, listening to the warm breeze rustle through the tree's, as my wife types furiously beside me in a different conversation with someone else.

I'm breathing a sigh of relief, so often we have things that we think we have to have, and it's illusory. It's like being put into a place where you're told that you can't press that big red button, because it will have tragic consequences, day after day, you wonder about the button, what are the consequences, are they immediate, how hard do you need to push the button, and the button preys on you, until you fiinally push it, and nothing happens, the world continues, you still live, breathe, the skies don't darken, nothing happens, and you kind of understand that you're all part of a big pavlovian experiment. Well I'm discovering a lot of what I had wasn't me having it, it was it having me. There's something so liberating about it all.

On that note I'm going to go sit and meditate out by our big cottonwood, something I've never done in the 5 years I've lived here. Simply because I can and I have the time, because my stuff isn't taking up my time.

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
Re: Loss in Post Collapse America
anarkst wrote:

Aaron writes:

What gives solace and strength in times of desperation and sadness?

I have had the opportunity to speak with a fair number of people who went thought the "Great Depression," and it was interesting, because the vast majority of them commented that although they didn't have much,(materially), they felt, on balance, that they had much more, especially in terms of family and community, 

I know that people are experiencing a great deal of personal anxiety, and the social angst is quite palpable, but the impending loss (if you care to refer to it as that) will be replaced by an equal gain.  Intellectually, one illusion will simply be replaced by another.

Here's a poignant story:

A man, hopelessly lost in the desert, was getting near the end.  After countless days without water, he awoke in the middle of the night, and decided that he must use whatever energy he had left to make one final attempt to save his life.  So he got up on his hands and knees and began to slowly crawl along the ground, lit only by the stars.  After twenty minutes or so, he bumped into a container which miraculously was filled with water.  Deliriously, the man raised the container to his parched lips and drank of the life extending fluid.  It was far beyond the greatest pleasure he had every experienced.  Blissfully, he lay down to rest.

The next morning, the man woke at sunrise, feeling revived and full of life when he peered over at the container to see that he had just drank out of a animal skull of decomposing brain.  Instantly, he became violently nauseated and was soon dead. 

   

Your story makes an excellent point.  You can place someone in a hypnotic trance, place a drop of cool water on their skin, tell them it's boiling water, and their skin will raise a blister!!!  Most people don't realize that their very worst enemy (and conversely, their very best friend) is their own mind.

 

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idoctor
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Posts: 1731
Re: Loss in Post Collapse America

Nice Thread Aaron. I would put my $$ on you that if things get awful you would survive quite well. It seems like you would take it as a challenge with a leadership role.

#1 I bet it doesn't get as bad as we let our minds wander around here. I know it looks awful by the #s but things that really take us by surprise are hard to plan for anyway. As long as we have things in place for a disaster & a plan it might even be a weird form of entertainment.

Some change will be nice IMHO like when the batteries go down on those carts that those 400 plus pounders ride at the Super Centers. I will have a good chuckle watching those mass consuming slobs struggle. I know I know not politically correct.

 What is amazing is how we can see this & so powerless to stop it.

Aaron it will not be that bad....as we sit around the CM camp fire with other like minded CM..ers cooking our well stored & grown food while we watch that solar powered BIG screen & share our implosion stories. At least we will be able to do this compared to most. Top of the food chain wins.

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Tim_P
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 23 2009
Posts: 298
Re: Loss in Post Collapse America
SagerXX wrote:

And I'll try and see every detail, savor it, note the nuances, carve it into my memory.  Because I'm living with the knowledge that it all is going away -- one way or another -- and each instance of a given thing may be the last time I see it.  

It makes for rich experiences, and bittersweet.  Now I know (in a small, slightly different way) how someone with a terminal illness might feel.  Except it's my society/culture that's terminal.

Sager

I too have been doing this.  Sometimes it has a calming effect, other times it is depressing.  Either way, I try to shut the mind off and just absorb the experience.  Last month while at a race at Mid-Ohio, I took hundreds of photos, not only of cars, but of the people watching the race.  I could not help thinking that most of them have no idea how rare an event like that will be.

I think that is what depresses me at times.  The thought that there is time to prepare, but sooner or later that time will run out and for most people, it will be too late to start preparing.  It will be very difficult for many and will be for no other reason than their belief that the government will not let this happen.

Other times though, I just enjoy the experience as much as possible and try to remember as much as I can.

Tim

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