It’s funny how we know things.
A few people have remarked how Lynne and I have been comparatively unfazed by the discovery, just one month ago, that I have bone marrow cancer. Well, both of us indeed were fazed and deeply shocked – this was not on our roadmap – but, in another way, neither was it a total surprise.
The first concrete symptoms came up in late August when I cracked my back while gardening. I went to an osteopath and this helped, but soon I deteriorated. A soul-sister, Miriam, a psychic surgeon, successfully sorted me out, and this lasted some days and then I got even worse. Then Simon, a cranial osteopath, helped a lot, but there came a point where, perceptively, he said that something more was wrong than he could fix. I went to hospital for tests and that’s when the diagnosis eventually came.
But we knew. The first signs were back in January 2019. I was labouring, struggling, melancholic and lost. Nothing specific was wrong except my money situation, but my spirits and inner resilience were losing ground. With an ominous feeling of dread, I felt unable to lift myself out of a mud-bound feeling of stuckness – sandbanked though not quite on the rocks. I was going nowhere except down.
By May 2019 things got worse: I had an increasingly sinking feeling – one of those where, the more you try to raise yourself up, the more you seem to sink back into a hole. I live on hope and have considerable resilience, but this was getting at me in a deep place.
There’s more. With my prehistoric research, I knew I had to assemble more evidence. This detailed, meticulous work just had to be done before I could progress with drawing conclusions from the research. From May to August I slogged away on mapping the ancient sites of West Cornwall. I was driven, doing long hours. I did get it finished – just one week before I damaged my back. Something in me had known that, if I didn’t get the work done, it wouldn’t get done. I didn’t know why – I just knew. It was a relief to complete it.
When the cancer diagnosis eventually came in November, I was deeply shocked and yet, in another way, relieved. Relieved because, suddenly, I knew at last what the problem was. The cancer had been developing for some time, unbeknownst to me – and yet somehow I knew this.
There’s a lesson to draw from this. We modern, socialised, educated Westerners have had the knowingness drilled out of us. We override our instincts and intuitions with reasons, rationales, analyses, plans, excuses and science. We do what we’re told, for the reasons we’re given, even when we know it’s better to do otherwise. We do this even when giving birth to our chidren, even when it hurts, even when it harms others or ruins our world. The over-consumptive institution of Christmas provides a very good example of this kind of willful self-destruction.
It took until I was 42 to give myself permission to open up to the knowingness within me. That’s a long time: over-educated, it took twenty years of painful experiences, crises and inner work before I got it. I can’t call myself proficient even now but, since then, I have followed a simple rule, and I commend it to you for your consideration. Here it comes. It’s dead simple.
If it lifts you up, do it. If it weighs you down, reconsider. Reconsider really seriously. This is no joke. It’s not a spare-time activity. It isn’t actually even an option. It concerns our life-purpose and whether or how much we will fulfil it. It concerns our and others’ happiness and the success of any venture we undertake. It’s a methodology, not an ideal.
We do know things. Events or the words or actions of people put it in front of us, full square – but we often know the truth before this happens. So it’s helpful to pay attention, because it helps us get the message life is telling us. I knew I was going downhill nearly a year ago. And the bizarre thing is, when I was given the truth, the diagnosis, it was a relief.
Which goes to show that, for growing souls like you and me, with a glimmer of awareness, the buildup to a crisis is bigger, worse and more threatening than the crisis itself. When crisis really comes, we can pull out the stops and go for broke – 100% commitment to facing the facts.
This gives hope for the future. Because we humans, here on Earth, have a big one coming. When crisis really hits us, miracles become possible. We can break the rules and change the game. Live or die, this is what I am now setting out to do. Somehow I knew I was approaching point like this. And now the chips are down.
Your friend, Palden.
Pills. I’ve been taken over by an incessant stream of pills. Not just cancer drugs but painkillers, semi-psychedelic steroids, vitamins and homoeopathics, with squirts of CBD and colloidal silver, all meticulously ticked off on the list by Lynne, Virgo that she be.
Today we’ve been to hospital for a bone survey, a blood test and a chemo jab – and we managed to get a cuppa and some glutton-free cake… and the hospital cafe was free of sickeningly culturally-insensitive Christmas music too!
This cultural sensitivity thing is an issue that has been coming up today. As a pedigree aged hippy and an Aspergery type (with ‘wrong planet syndrome’), believe me, I’ve had sixty years of prejudice, projection and, worst, actions taken and decisions made, that have been outrightly discriminatory and definitely a multiple breach of human rights. The pain of this is the current phase of my clearance and reconciliation process.
I’m glad to say it’s working through alright. It’s the past, and the past concerns memory and ingrained patterns. Here I have a message for friends in their 20s, 30s and 40s. It’s this. Whatever psycho-spiritual path you follow (this will change and develop over time), do follow your path and keep on following it. Why? Because I can report that I’m really benefiting from having 50ish years of shit-shifting, magical and transformative experience. It works and it’s worth it.
If, when you’re younger, you build a default pattern of inner growth, it will serve you well when you come to the tests of late life. I started on psychedelics, nature and prehistoric sites at age 16, meditation at 25, therapy at 30 and all sorts more after that, and these act as a spiritual bedrock on which I now stand. I’m really glad that this is so. I’m struggling with my situation so much less than otherwise would be the case.
In particular this concerns death. Life is precarious and a preparation for dying. When your time comes, you need to be reasonably at peace with yourself, with people and with life. This makes dying a very different thing, in comparison to people who pass on with lots of unfinished business. I could die in a month or in 15 years’ time, but I’m doing the business of it now, releasing, re-examining, forgiving, asking forgiveness, and incrementally laying the past behind me. This frees things up and opens doors. It also makes me a better and more interesting person for Lynne to look after. She actually enjoys witnessing my process.
It helps in her own process. This cancer issue has been a rocking side-swipe from life for both of us. She is dedicatedly setting aside much of her life for me. This is enormous and not easy. To add to it, benefits agencies are really mean (they should at least throw £150 per week her way for three months, to help with real financial needs now). Our country is so heartless in this regard.
But it’s not just this. It’s a big psycho-emotional challenge, bringing up deep stuff for her. I really admire her for that and am so blessed by being looked after by Lynne. Tulki, my son, has also helped enormously – not just ‘call of duty’ but in a heartfelt act of solidarity with his dad, even though he lives some way away.
I’m not exactly getting better, but I am in process. In this three-ish month period we’ll discover whether or not this bone marrow cancer is going to subside and what my future life-chances are. Myeloma cannot be got rid of, but it can be managed. My intention is to shift toward increasingly holistic treatments after this deep-shit phase is done – immunity-building.
In the end it all hangs around matters of spirit. Happy spirits mean happy cells and bones. Life is an act of will, and spirit drives our will – and it’s blocked by our won’t. Inner conflict leads to inevitable, inescapable challenges from which no one is exempt. However, relative inner peace leads to challenges too: our soul, given space and attention, has ways of stretching us and moving us forward into new initiations, and this does not stop in late life. At times this stretching can feel to be too much, but it isn’t – you’re simply being taken further.
This is what we came into life for, to learn and to make a contribution. Planet Earth and its people need a lot of contributing right now. Even as an older person, if I am to stick around some years more, I seek still to be a net contributor. There is no such thing as retirement: the work is not done. Earth is not safe, neither is it a secure home for all of its beings. Too many people, animals and environments are having a hard time and are under threat. I don’t like the idea of passing on from a world where this is so. But it’s going to happen anyway.
This is one of life’s final secrets. We think we are so significant but, actually, we get munched up by the passage of history and, in time, we are totally forgotten. Even those who are remembered are not necessarily remembered for reasons they’d prefer. We are important only in the small domain and timeframe we have existed in, and then we evaporate and are gone.
One day you’ll become a memory, and then even this will disappear. So, get a life while you’re here. Try not to hang on too much to things and situations that have a beginning and an end: there’s something more in the silence within your soul – an alignment to the unborn and the undying. The rest is a kind of multidimensional movie. And for me, right now, the current episode involves guzzling a load of pills!
Bless us all. Your friend, Paldywan Kenobi.
I’ve just had an MRI scan at Torbay hospital. The two guys doing it were great. One of them knew of me. The scan involved lying down flat on a wheeled thing that was moved to the scanner, and I was mechanically drawn into a tube-like chamber.
The scan involved lying there dead still while the machine made all sorts of loud mechanical noises, vibrationally penetrating me. I could feel it slowly going up and down my body. Heat built up underneath.
Inside the tube I felt entirely enclosed. I went inside myself and stayed there while the process went on, for a long 20-30 minutes. When I was ejected I was cemented to my position and spaced out. The two men had to pull me up to sitting position and I sat there like a blinking owl before detachedly swivelling into my wheelchair, to be propelled along the corridors by Tulki.
On the journey home I felt once-removed. Tulki and Lynne were chatting and I felt far away. At home I settled into an armchair for my weekly meditation (7pm GMT on Sundays for 30 mins, every week). My aura was shattered, gone, yet I felt deeply interiorised in a void space.
I could feel my friends upstairs looking intently at, or through, me, as if analysing my state and seeking to understand what had happened and the technology that had been used. They’re strangers to this Earth, and they watch me closely – when I let them in. Yet I was protected, held and safe, enclosed in a calm cocoon of energy.
I had a strong feeling of empathy for people experiencing illness, injury and incapacity in places like Kiva, Congo, Yemen, Gaza, Afghanistan and Syria. I thought also of friends in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Palestine – all fine people doing their best with what they have, yet they don’t have what we have.
The great paradox is that they hold the keys of the future in their hands: we Westerners have created an enormous planetary problem and they are the the ones who will eventually fix it. Their way.
I’m so fortunate to have the medical facilities, knowledge and technology of modern medicine – invasive and violent as it is – and the complementary care and knowhow available here in Britain. No wonder people from benighted and crisis-ridden countries want to live here. There’s little or no sane reason for them to stay where they grew up when we have all this. And our health service depends on them as staff.
People in tough, insecure countries just have to suffer the pain, feel the illness or injury and slowly die. Cancer? Just die. Unless you’re very lucky. I’m so medically privileged. I sobbed deeply over this. It’s not right.
I thought of my Tuareg friends in Tinzibitane, Mali. They are holding together, rebuilding the integrity and heart of their village after a crisis of war and drought in 2012. They now have a new school so that their children can stay in the village and receive an education that both strengthens Tuareg culture and enables them to face the encroaching 21st Century world. It’s so heartening to see them rebuilding their lives, and to be of help in doing so. Together they stand, and they will survive.
I must pull back my aura and re-centre it. It has been exploded, dissipated, shattered. Yet it allows the doctors to see inside me. This is amazing. And I am still here. All will be well. This feels like the beginning of the serious phase of my cancer treatment.
Isn’t it so strange – the life-experiences we manifest in our lives on Earth?
One of the bizarre aspects of modern life is that, even for one blighted with cancer, it’s necessary to spend lots of time online and on the phone! Not least because of NHS complexities. But also, I went public on this, so I asked for it!
As before, please understand that I cannot answer all messages, though thank you for them. Also, having been an internet nerd since 1994 and having spent bazillions of hours writing books and websites in the last thirty years, it’s good for me to be offline, living in real time.
I’m still alive, and things are progressing. In the last few days I’ve had a meeting with the specialist doctor in Torbay hospital, planning out my treatment. Had a session with a homoeopath who himself has myeloma (bone marrow cancer), and with a cranial osteopath who has worked on my spine and ribs. Myeloma eats away at my bones, making me susceptible to skeletal issues, and this is critical.
I’ve had a scoping talk with someone who does energy treatments using a radionics-related E-Libra machine, and the prospects arising from this bring me great hope. This will go alongside the chemo treatment I shall start this coming week, bolstering my underlying condition and working on the deeper causes of the cancer.
I like this integrated approach, using conventional and complementary therapies in parallel. This should be practiced generally, making use of the virtues of each – though there are big political and business issues around this. The suppression of traditional and complementary medicine is one of the big crimes of our time.
It is also one of the ways in which the rich West, with its vested interests, is driving itself into a backwater – though mercifully the developing world is correcting this, especially in India, China and Africa. Integrated medicine is the way of the future, and watch for enormous developments on this front in the 2020s, mainly in the developing world, driven by necessity.
I hope that my case and recovery by taking this approach will give doctors something to think about. The specialist at Torbay, Deborah, is interested to see what happens. I like her as a person and as a doctor, and clearly she sees me as an interesting case where normal medical rules and expectations might not fully apply.
I am still mostly confined to bed, owing to wedge fractures in the base of my spine (very painful). This arose because, before my back problems emerged in late August, my lower vertebrae were being eroded by the myeloma. These fractures can hopefully be corrected by getting the myeloma under control and by osteopathically rebuilding my lower spine. We shall see.
Thank you so much to all who have sent healing vibes and also much needed financial support. Not least to Tomten the ageing three-legged cat, who lies beside me as I write, healing me in his own way.
And to Lynne, who has done such a valiant job looking after me – she’s the greatest healer of all. She has set aside her own priorities, acting with astounding love and care. What’s most special is that she is not making the kind of age-old sacrifices that many modern women rightly wish to free themselves of – she has done this entirely consciously and willingly and I respect her greatly for this. From the bottom of my heart, thank you and bless you, Lynne.
Also to my son Tulki, who has given generously of his time, intelligence and dedication – you’re a star, Tulki, an outstanding man, and I am proud of you. Yes.
Who are you, Palden, what are you doing here and what is yet to come? These questions have percolated through my tears, fears, pain and also the joy of being alive and receiving so much help and support. I’ve gone through a tremendous insight and forgiveness process and am newly grateful for the way that my life has gone. It’s like a re-commitment process, born in a time of extreme weakness and dependency. Answers are emerging slowly.
A book about my understanding of the deeper meaning of the ancient sites of West Cornwall is likely to result from this, but that’s just one thing. There’s something more awaiting attention. I’ve worked for world change, for peace and love, for fifty years since the revolution of the late Sixties, and the task is incomplete. It will remain incomplete in my lifetime, but I’m still dedicated to making a difference, and this life-and-death experience is sharpening my focus and resolve. We shall see how this pans out. There’s more to come.
Meanwhile, the next few months are critical. I’m only now beginning the healing process. Now comes the crunch. I am at peace with this, and with my friends Upstairs who sent me here and exert their influence from where they sit. Now comes the spadework – chemo, healing and repair.
And a change of fortunes: I’ve soldiered on, repeatedly proving how much can be achieved on minimal resources, but it’s going to be different from now on. Thus shall it be. But now, it’s time for a cup of tea, a stroke of the cat and a rest.
All will be well. Thank you for being with me – it means more to me than I can express.
Your friend, Paldywan Kenobi.
Dear friends. If you’re one of those who have messaged me, my apologies… I cannot keep up with them! This is why. I have been in Torbay hospital for a week (back at Lynne’s now in Buckfastleigh) and I have emerged with a diagnosis of bone marrow cancer (myeloma). This is a cancer of the blood – life-blood. The specialist informed me that its cause is radiation exposure. As an electrosensitive, this makes sense.
This has been a deep shock, and also a relief to know. There’s nothing like a full-on dose of heavyweight Truth. It makes me (and others) aware of what’s important and what is not.
So I have joined the Honourable Company of Cancerous Humanoids. I’m in the hands of the Management, to some degree helpless, and to some extent deeply in my power. I have had three NDEs, so I’m not inexperienced, and I have trodden The Edge so much – in a way it is home territory.
This crisis has taken me deep into my soul. I’ve been down to the Deep Dark, and now I am back, charged with light.
There is now a mountain to climb. It includes chemo and a bone marrow transplant, followed by a complementary healing period of reconstruction.
If I survive. If I die, it will not be a failure – it is simply that I am needed elsewhere. Get straight on this please.
Yet I have a will to live, and I feel there is more trouble to make, more to do, more life to be lived. This is in The Management’s hands.
Don’t pray for me to get well. Pray for me to get through well. Leave my future open. Please do not impose your hopes, fears, judgements or stuff. I don’t want your sorrow. I have my angels. Many people love and support me, and I really appreciate that. I have good doctors, amazing healers and advisers. I am much blessed.
Periodically I shall update you with progress, but I am not going to be at my computer much, so pls think twice before sending messages or videos to watch, and forgive me if I do not reply quickly or at all. Live your life! Get up off your ass and change the world!
Some of you will have well-meaning suggestions. I might or might not take heed of them. I shall follow my path and get the consequences. Bless you for your positive thoughts though. I love and appreciate you all – close friends, distant friends, soul friends and circles of acquaintances. Remember, blessings are created by us, particularly through actions of kindness and, dare I say it, self-sacrifice. Yes.
Even the greatest of ‘problems’ is a gift. We came here to learn as souls and to make a contribution. Do it.
The next part of my journey will be hard. My chances of survival might be around 80%, and nothing is certain. Death is okay too – I shall go back home for a bit of R&R before coming back. If my angels agree, that is.
I want to come back for the great global party – the time when we all come to know that we have rendered Earth safe, at peace and transformed. May this take place in the 21st century. It involves changing the patterns of millennia of history. It’s on you and me to do this.
Please give a hug to the people around you. Bring peace. Whatever lifts you up, do it. Whatever weighs you down, think again. All is well. I love you all, even those who have brought me hard lessons. All is forgiven, alhamdulillah.
Your friend, Paldywan Kenobi.
Health update on the fullmoon! Hm, I’m getting less pain than before but I cannot stand up and have been completely bedridden for five days. I’ve been having cranial osteopathic treatment that’s working well thus far. Was visited by a really good doctor last week who got things dead right and prescribed good meds – a good painkiller and a muscle relaxant (muscles around my hips were seizing up and in spasm – very painful). Been having very good flower remedy and homoeopathic treatment too – thank you so much, Evie and Helen..
But there’s a problem: I cannot stand. This means either that the healing process will be long and slow (or miraculous) or that something else is wrong (such as a slipped disc or a spondy-something). This has led to another issue: the functionality of ‘our NHS’. I’m trying to get a diagnostic x-ray or MRI scan so that my osteopath and GP can diagnose the problem. The system is not at all geared to actually working.
We’re having multiple visits from physiotherapists, another GP, district nurse, and it’s all tests, bureaucracy, phonecalls and sidetracks and, after a week, no progress has been made. Now they want me to see a back specailist (three week wait). All I need is a scan, thank you. Oh no, not possible. No wonder NHS health costs are escalating – all these visits and discussions and blind-alleys must already be costing far more than a scan, and they’re proliferating endlessly.
So there we go. This is ‘our NHS’. The quantity of opiates I’ve been overprescribed is staggering, even criminal (wish I could send some of it to Gaza for their use). The notion of integrated medicine (conventional and complementary) is entirely foreign to this system. There’s no consistency and very poor communication between branches of the service, and always it’s different people. Many are nice, but I’ve met only one that I’d truly call a healer (the young locum doctor of last week).
I wish they’d just give my osteopath the information he needs so that he can continue working on me – he’s doing well and a good man.
Inside myself I’m in good enough spirits, and Lynne is taking such good care of me. This back problem is a matter of patience. And rebirth, and crossing a threshold, and manifesting concrete support so that I can progress in my life’s work, and uncovering a new guiding vision for the next stage in life.
That’s where things stand. Thanks to all well-wishers. Thanks to Saturn and Pluto for providing unplanned yet valuable life experiences and deep choices. And if ‘our NHS’ genuinely wishes to reform itself *and* cut costs at the same time, my consultancy charge is only £100,000 but I’ll save you a few billion!
For those of you who read my posting over a month ago about my health (a serious lower-back injury)…. well, I’m not as ‘better’ as many might wish – though thanks anyway for all your good wishes and healing. Yet, all things being well, I am on a path of gradual improvement. Instead of excruciating pain I now have continual aching, and things are slowly improving thanks to the cranial osteopathic treatment of Simon Perks, in Totnes, Devon, and the amazing care and support of Lynne, soul-partner with whom I am staying, who is great at caring not too much and not too little, and who truly has a heart of gold.
It has been a remarkable initiation, a time of enforced stillness and interiority. I’ve been ‘back home’ with my star-nation people and have travelled the worlds in ways that ordinary life does not usually permit. I’ve stood with people around the world who experience deep suffering, supporting them with gifts of spirit I’m blessed with, and I’ve dwelt on my life and what left there is to do with it. In body I am 69 but recently I’ve felt like 97. On good days I get to about 85, though today I’m 92!
The other meaning of the word ‘suffer’ is to allow, to permit – and this we moderns, with our money, pills, provisions and privileges, fail too often to remember, escapists and avoiders that we are. Yet being on Planet Earth is, experientially, all about predicamentality – stuck between a rock and a hard place – and undergoing the fast-track soul-education arising from that. We are here to learn and to contribute, and we Earthlings seriously need to get straight on this matter.
There is more to go, and it will probably take 2-3 months to get up’n’running fully and properly. One of my first tasks will be to do some financial correction. Paralysing lower back issues are, after all, about supportedness. This is a genuine issue for me, and not as easy to resolve in a self-seeking society and time as many people who are newer to the ‘pathless path toward the gateless gate’ might hope or believe. When you’ve taken shit and gone without (nowadays called ‘reducing your footprint’) for decades, you do get weary, even when gifted with good survival and regeneration skills.
As I stand on the shoulders of giants who have gone before me, so too have I taken on bearing that holy weight, and I now get the consequences! This is not a complaint – it is an honour and, as a strongly saturnine person, I am so glad to be blessed with a capacity to do this – alive or dead! It’s a key part of what I’m here for, and I’m so thankful for the many remarkable things and lives improved and saved that have resulted. Life definitely has its payoffs and compensations, and this pain-initiation has really clarified this for me.
I still keep on though. When I can, I beaver away at building an online archive of the first hundred editions of the Cornish archaeology and earth mysteries magazine Meyn Mamvro (‘stones of our motherland’) – which will be finished in a year or so. For the record. So that people who follow after us can draw on some of the amazing work and revelations that have unfolded over the last 50ish years, regarding ancient sites and their relevance to our future (for example, in climate, environmental and psychosocial correction). And congrats to my elder soulsister Cheryl Straffon for her valiant work in publishing it since 1986.
I’ve been really enjoying Enigma’s album A Posteriori, and reading two books, one called ‘Why nations Fail’ (Ecemoglu and Robinson) and another by Susan Abulhawa about Gaza and the Naqba, the Palestinian disaster – a truly amazing book (sorry, I forget its name – something like ‘The Blue Between Sky and Earth’).
Bless you all. Beeee Gooood. Planet Earth needs you. And those of you who have read my 1993 book ‘The Only Planet of Choice’ will understand the following too: the Universe Needs You – and everyone is waiting for us.
Love, Paldywan Kenobi.
I’m sitting here in my little house on an organic farm in Cornwall, and this is where this blog starts.
Having designed it, I sat here for a few days wondering where to start. Then tonight I suddenly started writing.
What has been hovering around in my psyche this last few days is a rather big issue. For better or for worse I’m tuned in to global-scale matters and always have been, since my teenage years and the days of Silent Spring and A Hard Day’s Night.
My friend Alan sent me a paper about ‘deep adaptation’, and it talked of things I’ve been rattling on about too. It’s all about adaptation in response to climate change, and it’s by by Prof Jim Bendell of the University of Cumbria, UK. It’s refreshing when someone comes up with similar ideas. We come from different positions but we reach similar conclusions.
The idea is this: mitigation, or seeking to prevent or reduce climate change, is not an advisable main strategy for the future. We need to invest far more attention and resources in adaptation to climate change. That’s to say, it is already too late to try to stop it – the time for that was fifty years ago, around 1970. Yes, we do need to put work and resources into mitigation, but we need to put far more into adaptation.
I agree with much of what Bendell says – though not all. But that’s fine. For him, this is an idea he’s come upon relatively recently, and he needs to think around it some more. I (and others) have been chugging away on this for years, and we’ve had a chance to ruminate on all aspects of it – long, grinding years, and we’re well accustomed to being disregarded, disbelieved, sidelined and discredited. But now things are beginning to change. All this uestion is covered in the chapter on climate change in my latest book Possibilities 2050.
Time to get on with it
Much more attention needs to go into adaptation. People need to stop standing around arguing about whether or not climate change is happening and get on with dealing with the observable issues we have before us today – there’s enough in the way of climate extremes and weather events to get on with, and we can already see roughly where things are going. Stop arguing over theories – get on with the business.
We need to stop wasting time with avoidance and bargaining strategies – trying to persuade ourselves that things are going to be alright really, as long as we all buy an electric car – and we need to get on with really changing things. Otherwise there will be far more hardship and death than we are ready and willing to deal with – and it will affect you and me and our children, not just somebody else. Have you taught yourself yet how to deal with hunger, or what to do if there’s no electricity? The Tibetans used to say, “How can you call yourself civilised if you cannot sleep on a rock?“.
This is big. It concerns resilience, multilevel resilience – the practical and psychological ability to deal with whatever gets thrown at us. Yes, renewable energy and recycling are fine, but this is deeper and bigger. It involves social change. It involves serious change of our life-patterns. Socially it involves cooperating on a profound level, and consensus, and befriending strangers. It involves agreeing, supporting and behaving.
It isn’t about regulations and restrictions: it’s about changing our lives so that we do the right thing. It involves psycho-spiritual change – yes, for the last 50 years the social mainstream has believed it can avoid this, but psycho-spiritual change will not be an optional extra, more a core survival strategy. It concerns how we deal with the fact of sleeping on a rock and making the best out of a tough situation.
End of an era
That’s one reason why we’re seeing such outbursts today of Trumped-up uncooperativeness, nationalism and small-mindedness in many countries (especially declining ones) – Brexit, polarisation, building barriers, brazen competitiveness, callous social behaviours, right-wing politics, inequality, a splintering into a myriad minorities, and mutually-assured victimhood. All to justify keeping the show on the road while that show is careering drunkenly toward a cliff-edge. We’re at the end of an era, and these knotty issues are a symptom of it. A symptom of underlying fear.
These are all symptoms of something deep coming up and, for many, it’s scary. What’s coming up is a global-scale imperative to cooperate and hang together, if we wish to survive and to avoid a catastrophic carve-up of everything and everyone. It’s an imperative to get real, to get off our screens, out of our bubbles, and look after each other. It’s about faith and things much bigger than ourselves. That’s really scary.
In my 2050 report I sketch out four conceivable scenarios for the world: manageable, difficult, disastrous and transformative. The conclusion I come to is that we’re heading not for a manageable but for a difficult scenario. In the report’s conclusion, I describe a difficult scenario to be like this:
We might see more loss, deprivation, sacrifice, crisis and detriment than we prefer, and it could involve engaging in something like a ‘war effort’, with rationing, evacuations, mandatory labour and obligatory sharing. It could be an all-hands-on-deck scenario. Or it could be chaos and everyone-for-themselves.
This sounds threatening but, if faced with such a reality, humans have a tendency to get on with what they are presented with, when there is no alternative. Ahead of a crunch, anticipations wax large and things look worse than they land up being after the crunch. When reality strikes, a rapid shake-out happens and much changes. It’s not at all easy, but life goes into a different gear.
At times and in places people could be faced with extreme emergencies. There could be tragedy, horror and destitution, as some people experience today, but more so and in more places. Much could go wrong – biodiversity loss, climate change, economic stress, food and resource shortage, social disintegration, geopolitical disarray and uncomfortable levels of hardship, cruelty and death.
A difficult scenario could see the overwhelming of social and government services, uprooting of populations, social unrest, conflict, piracy, armed convoys, intense climatic extremes and weather events, currency breakdowns, dictatorships and mad regimes, terrible moral dilemmas, battles over control of weaponry and strategic assets, technology breakdowns and a host of other problems.
In such circumstances, the bit we can change is the way we deal with these issues: much depends on human responses, at street and village level, across civil society and in government.
Leaving it there
You’ll see more about this issue here in future. My book about it, Possibilities 2050, is a readable, balanced, comprehensive, non-preachy, non-thundering report on the world’s future. I believe so, at least. It’s free, with no strings – just download it.
This blog will dip into a far wider and deeper range of subjects. But this is where it looks as if it has started. And there’s some good news about the future coming too, later on. Some transformative thoughts to help you see that we are already in the future. It’s happening.