This isn’t going to be your ordinary apocalyptic guide about preparing oneself for the collapse of civilized living. Instead it’s about something beyond guns, food, water and a bug out bunker in the middle of nowhere. It’s an analysis about how to react to an event no one has any experience dealing with. To be clear, the world isn’t going anywhere; we are.
Chaos Theory is something that the general public is mostly unaware of and a topic that is rarely discussed with concern when it comes to the fate of humanity. The theory addresses complex systems and how they are highly sensitive to slight changes in conditions. These changes often give rise to severe consequences. The Butterfly Effect (in reference to Chaos Theory) is when a minute localized change in a complex system creates extraordinary repercussions. The narrative attached to the Butterfly Effect tells of the flapping of the wings of a butterfly in the east causing a hurricane in the west.
We live on a planet full of complex systems. There is a balance between water, land and air. Oceans, forests, prairies, plains and rivers and countless other biological communities not only impact one another but are also greatly impacted by our own set of human made complex communities. So much so that if we introduce an invasive species that kills off native species, and the consequences felt by that particular ecosystem can be devastating to every species connected to it. Human and non-human migrations have happened partly because of massive changes from seemingly minute factors throughout history.
Currently, we are witnessing consequences that are causing environmental and social upheaval and they’re connected. People leaving their homes because of drought and famine from land that has been exhausted from agriculture and impacted by human caused climate change is quickly becoming the norm in certain parts of the world. Over fished, acidifying oceans where the fish are poisoned by runoff is a combination of consequences where a complex system is hanging on for dear life. Consumption and convenience are wreaking havoc and its a ticking time bomb as far as Chaos Theory is concerned. Our little Jenga game of civilization on needs one little piece removed before it all comes tumbling down. Think in terms of something like the fragile Middle East and grain prices going up dramatically because of climate change. Think about the region becoming chaotic and our non-domestic oil supply being disrupted. Then think about trucks who rely on fuel availability and affordability to deliver food to the stores. These stores keep us alive. That’s just one possible outcome from countless others; most of which we’ve never considered.
Our way of life depends highly upon hidden relationships. In other words, it relies upon things we don’t see or hear about to keep us fed, hydrated and housed. Anything at anytime could disrupt these relationships and we depend upon institutions, systems and political leaders to maintain them. The only major problem with that as I see it is the math. Infinite growth on a finite planet is generally agreed upon as being good math. It’s not. The results are in. The shitstorm is upon us and we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
So what to do? If you’re a prepper or a Mormon then food collection and storage may be your motivation. Maybe throw in some guns, seeds and potable water for good measure. Most folks who contemplate the fragile moving parts of this on going catastrophe try and search for ways to survive it. It seems our natural instinct is to survive at all costs. Or is it?
At all costs seems to be a wasted opportunity. Survival is one thing but at all costs is quite another. Living a life where habitat is next to nothing because of anthropomorphic climate chance and a massive resource grab doesn’t exactly sound like something I want to sign up for. I’m into quality over quantity. Living longer for the sake of living longer hasn’t exactly been beneficial for any species. Think overpopulation and our current consequences. Trying to survive after population collapse where the resources are limited or contaminated seems like wasted energy. Instead of fighting for our last breath what if we instead used that energy to gain insight? Maybe dying has a lesson that outweighs the frantic struggle to survive? Maybe it’s better to Die Wise then to die filled with stress and anxiety?
What could a good death accomplish? Even if you don’t believe in an afterlife (I don’t) what’s the point of dying with peace in your heart and serenity in your bones? I don’t know. What I do know is the alternative never ends well. I only bring up this end of the world scenario (not the actual world but our civilized version of it) in order to point out something more common. We will all die someday and maybe not from the collapse of civilization. Our deaths could be long drawn out affairs or instantaneous. If we begin to let go of our delusional sense of control we will quickly discover that our struggle to keep afloat becomes easier. We no longer will give value to credit scores, debt, status, job security, 401Ks, health insurance and a multitude of other mechanisms that give us a false sense of control. Once we let go and these things fall to the wayside, then and only then can we give ample time to our actual lives and our inevitable death. Dying with wisdom in our hearts maybe the best legacy we can leave behind for a planet that has given us everything.
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