Three years ago, in the fall 2008, I participated in a twenty-one day challenge. The object was to pretend that we had twenty-ones days to prepare for the end of the world as we know it. If any of this sounds familiar, it's because last year, I embarked on a writing project that would result in my recently published book, in which I imagined that we knew the world as we know it would end in twenty-one days, and I discussed what I thought we, suburbanites (in particular), could do to mitigate the damage that would occur to us when the economy and our way of life ceased to be.
A few days ago I met a man who has been a reader of my blog for a very long time, and he picked up a copy of my book, which he asked me to sign for him. We had the opportunity to chat for a bit before Deus Ex Machina and I had to run off to our acting class, and he said something to me that was a little disturbing.
He was trying to imagine what it must be like for me to see my predictions come true.
I'd never quite thought of things that way. In fact, I don't think I ever really make predictions. Mostly, what I've done is connect dots. I read an article here, and an article there, and watch a few news clips or video clips, read a few blogs, read lots of books, and then, I put it all together and see how it's all connected.
Some people believe in the use of divination tools, like Tarot cards. I think such things are fascinating, but what I think most people don't understand is that these tools don't predict the future. What they do is to provide a glimpse of a possible future if the person who is asking continues to make the choices that he/she has been making.
That's what, I think, I do. I just point out what I see happening based on the picture that's formed from all of the stuff I read, and then, I imagine what will happen if people keep making the same choices.
In the case of TEOTWAWKI, I think people make it too easy to make predictions, because most people simply don't wish to change - or worse, they see no reason to make any changes, because *someone* will make things better. I just like to question that supposition. Maybe someone will, but what if no one does? What are we to do, then?
This gathering, sorting and reorganizing of information is a skill I learned in college, when I had to write papers. I had to come up with a thesis, and then, I had to prove my thesis using resources that supported my ideas.
This time, though, there are too many resources and a vast sea of information in support of my thesis that our way of life is coming to a crashing halt. In fact, for many people, the world as [they knew] it has already ended, and they're living in ways they never envisioned themselves as living.
But, that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Fast forward to just recently, and Deus Ex Machina and I and our girls had the good fortune to be able to take a class taught by a native Passamaquoddy in our area. It was fascinating, and we even learned to etch designs on birch bark. This man told us that when he was in school and his guidance counselor asked him what he wanted to do, he said, "Build birch bark canoes." The counselor told him he was crazy, that his dreams were impractical, and I imagine that this thoughtful, articulate, and charismatic man was encouraged to do something that was more "culturally" responsible. I imagine that he was encouraged to do something, like, go to college and get a degree that would help him make money so that he could support himself.
I don't know what he did in those early days, but what I do know is that he is, now, a master birch bark canoe builder, and all of his canoes are hand built using the old ways.
Sometimes what we imagine is *the* best way to live is, in fact, not where we really want (or need) to be at all, but we've bought into the whole notion that we have to do A, B, and/or C.
I saw a facebook status recently in which the person said, in essence, "if the Occupy Wallstreeters had their way, we'd all be living in mud huts." I almost commented that it's not what they wish, but what they fear, if things don't change. In fact, there will be many of us who will be lucky to have the warmth and security of a mud hut. Others won't live in such luxury. Cardboard is a lot easier to come by, but not nearly as insulative or sturdy.
Gerard Celente, who is making predictions and who has a very good track record with regard to his predictions coming true, believes that the crash will happen *this month* - as in October 2011. He says we are (and have been for some time) in a Depression - the likes of which have never been seen before, and that this Depression will be far worse than anything anyone experienced in the 1930s. He says the reasons are that in the 30's the debt to income ratio was much lower, and very few people had a mortgage, and no one had credit cards. The combination of rising fuel prices (resulting in rising food prices), increased unemployment, and high debt will force us into depths we never thought possible.
If he's right, perhaps we have twenty-one days to prepare.
The question is, what will you do?