Doom and the Spiritual Path

Off the keyboard of William Hunter Duncan
Published originally @ Off the Grid in Minneapolis

Discuss this article in Epicurean Delights in the Forum

A reader contacted me last week, with this to say,

“By the way, You’re awfully full of doom and gloom and woe-is-me and
isn’t-my-life-hard of late. It’s not very becoming and I don’t get how
creating this narrative serves you–or the goddess for that matter. You
are so not a victim in this life. So knock this shit off. And stop
creating corners that you can then back yourself into. Infinite
possibility, compassion, love, cosmic mystery–that’s where your power

It’s a new year, a new era, and (for me, at least) a brandly [sic] new
decade. This year, I’m choosing surrender as my theme. Not raise the
white flag surrender. More like jump in the river and let it take you
surrender. We’ll see where that takes me.”

I was like, wha? Letting go of this house and dancing around the world, farm to farm, in an orange afro wig isn’t surrender enough for you? LOL. As for not being very becoming, it’s January in Minnesota, I don’t have a job, and I’ve been spending most of my time on-line or on the computer, at least since I started at big bank in late August 2012, and anyone who knows me knows I have a high tolerance for chaos in my immediate surroundings; so no, not very becoming at all. lol 🙂 But yes, goodness, kindness, compassion, love, cosmic mystery; and yes, the possibilities are indeed infinite, maybe – I’m not sure about that exact specific just yet 😉

She replied, “What was that again, about Cosmic Mystery?”


On the Doomstead Diner, there’s a Nobody in the forum who wrote about being at the cusp of leaving this plane, this dimension, Dec 21, 2012. But she stayed, and speaking of Doom and Gloom she has two teenage sons, who can’t imagine there is anything at all really wrong with the culture, blase’ even to the point that Mom being followed in a wooded park by a disturbing stranger, is merely reason that she’s just crazy basically, to want to go for a walk on a trail in the woods. She is like a lot of people who think about DOOM, or the meme basically that Industrial Civilization is coming apart around us, on it’s way to almost total dissolution, who feel trapped in current circumstances, whose families are mostly about BAU, and/or they “own” city real estate/debt they can’t discharge.

She seemed to resonate when I said this, in the Doomstead Diner Forum:

It is funny how easily the response to Ashvin* has overwhelmed any other
discussion. It is I think, in a way, a dearth of answers about how to
perceive the changing landscape. It is changing very fast; no wonder
really Ashvin has lashed onto something he has perceives [sic] as fixed. I
perceive instead, I think, that chaos is the new reality,
and that is about opening up to an irrational, right-brain way of
perceiving, learning to flow with the inherent flow of nature, which is
like what is said about the Tao, which makes the whole concept of Doom
something spiritual, a kind of search for balance between left/right
ways of perceiving. IMHO LOL.

So I encourage Diners to speak in a spiritual way about how they perceive Doom. And I hope Ashvin is over having to use us to flagellate himself.”

* Ashvin is a curious case, a former contributor to the website The Automatic Earth, whose work on economics and the abuse of power I have highlighted in this blog, who has abandoned the Doom meme entirely in favor of Christian Theology, to the point that if you do not accept the inherent logical and reasoned foundation of Christian exegesis, then you are according to Ashvin by definition incapable of reason or logic. He has been known to use the words reason and logic like incantations, like a bludgeon. He has also been accused (by me) as an exceptional, or at least profligate, name caller; Ashvin just as ready to claim he never said whatever, even at times contrary to evidence. I’m also convinced he is going to stand one day at the head of one of those televangelical mega-churches, assuming there are such things 10-15 years from now. The Doomstead Diner has been like a crucible on his path to Glory, I think. Unless he repents of course and grows himself a sense of humor. ;)LOL

I’m of the opinion, like I say, that he has lashed onto Christianity because he sees it as a thing fixed, as in, a firm foundation, lasting. Which is an understandable response, facing the dissolution of Industrial Civilization. No doubt Christianity appears a very sturdy dock. But any mariner will tell you, lashing to the dock, in rising, turbulent waters, you better hope the tethers hold; whereas it would be better generally to head for open water, seeing esp. as most of those docks extant, were not built for the reality of rising seas that is in progress.

Doom, is a spiritual exercise insofar as it is a coming to terms with the fact that almost everything we have been told about this existence, is false in some fundamental way. Doom is facing the reality that many of those stories that have held society together are shattering, in the face of sheer fundamental terrestrial realities, of 7+ billion people and climbing exponentially, about half of whom are wanting to and have been at least until lately, living like profligate consumers. It is the reality that neither Science nor Religion nor Government nor Banks nor Corporations are protecting us from disaster, they perpetuate it everywhere. Because they are sustained by ideas of control, which is about power. Seeking not to understand nature, or even the furthest implications of Science, but to control nature and people generally.

Which process began about the time we started growing food agriculturally, about 10,000 years ago. Which has come to it’s logical conclusion, which is a nearly complete surveillance state, at the cusp of radically shifting climate extremes, systemic toxicity, global financial collapse…so on and so forth.

Which, when I consider the effect all this has had on my body, after nearly 40 years immersed in American consumer culture, I recognize that the left hemisphere of my brain quite literally has been over-developed, which has resulted in the right side of my body, full of pain, tightness, restriction, to the point that it has been warped out of alignment; while the left side of my body is comparatively free of such restriction. Such misalignment is probably inevitable, to the degree I have been immersed in and accepting of Western culture, to the degree I was unaware of the effect and not striving for alignment, physically and mentally. By alignment, I don’t mean any kind of Pythagrean or Platonic ambidextrousness as ideal, but more just being aware that there are two hemispheres to your brain, which are connected to opposite (and complimentary) sides of your body, and they have different specialities, and to be radically over-reliant on either is to be out of alignment. Alignment meaning, it seems to me, as natural and easy a flow as is possible, of energy, through both sides of the brain and body? Which is to say, loosely, equal facility with order and chaos, logic and intuition, conscious and unconscious, culture and wilderness, etc.

And then add in things like quantum physics, that the ether, or empty space, is in fact denser energetically than matter by an order of magnitude running to infinity (vacuum catastrophe), making dense matter something more like an impossibly ethereal dream, compared to the energy permeating EVERYTHING; and then you begin to perceive that this universe and reality is mysterious by orders of magnitude greater than any of the various control freaks would have it; and most of the ideas extant are about keeping people ignorant, dependent and pliant, to keep them in line. Because control is about power, and power is very lucrative.

Which, for me, alignment in my mind and body is more important than power over people. Power over people akin to power over nature. Which I am more about how to let nature flow through me more freely. Which for me, is more about being friendly, kind, compassionate and loving to people and the earth generally. Which if Industrial Civilization is indeed coming apart around us, we might do well to facilitate both that collapse, and the friendly, kind, compassionate and loving inside ourselves, as opposed to cultivating various ideas about control, as example, or cultivating nothing much but fear and acquisitiveness, to be eventually overwhelmed by circumstances. Which it seems to me, the universe has a very real sense of humor, which I sense whenever I cease to take things too seriously, which is akin to the “acting with out acting”, the wei wu wei, of the Taoists. Which if the “ether” is in fact denser energetically than matter by an infinity, what in fact are humans capable of? Which question I leave mostly to your imagination, your consciousness, and what you are able to pull out of it to show us, in the very real world we inhabit, in a world that is very much in need of fresh ideas.

Which, it seems to me, those most honest about Doom, are at a kind of evolutionary advantage, compared to those who are assuming someone somewhere is assuring that some techno utopia is right around the proverbial corner, as example. Or that God will intervene as some Messiah. Or the many not thinking, and many not capable of thinking, the herd and media manipulated reactionary consumer, “driving” the economy devouring the earth.

Which, I guess all I’m really saying is, there are many ways to imagine a culture. Strong characters required. 😉


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