I have to admit I’d been praying for the Earth Goddess to bring the collapse. I always thought the sooner the better because that would mean less weapons, less pollution, and less dead bodies to clean up when the shift hit the fan. I mean, if cataclysmic earth changes and ensuing famine and pestilence would have thoroughly devastated modern society before machine guns, fossil fuels, and nukes, think of how much more elegant post-apocalyptic survival would be.
I know that sounds cynical and misanthropic, don’t get me wrong I truly love humanity, it was just patriarchal techno-industrial civilization that had to go. It had become a toxic specter looming across the globe, spanning the last 5,000 years. It had tainted the memory of millions of years of relative bliss, peace, and innocence that our tribal ancestors knew. In fact it had systematically obliterated the very memory of our tribal roots.
In my youth, when I was a strict anarcho-primitivist, I believed that the “myth of progress” was an evil lie used to euphemize the destruction wrought by demonic materialism. I fought against technology, the state, and the corporate empires built by capitalism. I have no regrets, we did fight the good fight, however ala Terence McKenna’s Novelty Theory I realized long ago that progress itself isn’t the enemy.
From the meta-physical notions of the nuosphere, the Akashic record, the collective unconscious, to the physical monuments, libraries, engravings, glyphs, and other cultural means of data storage, the evolution of consciousness is irreversible. Of course on the physical plane it will be fragmented by fire, flood, warfare, enthnocide, and simple neglect. And on the meta-physical planes, we’ll continue to lose, hide, and fight over the shamanic key-ring that unlocks the cosmic database. But no matter by what disaster or blunder our progress is set back, it cannot be undone.
Hakim Bey said it well, “We are not interested in a return to the primitive, but in a return OF the primitive”. In this reality, time is an arrow, there’s no going “back”. There’s no return to the Golden Age of Innocence. It’s ever forward. The question is: will we learn from the mistakes of the past? Will we redeem ourselves in the eyes of Gaia? Will she forgive us and offer to nest us back within her loving yet limiting ecological arms?
We are industrious and inquisitive creatures. We’re artisans, tool makers, truth-seekers, story tellers, star-gazers, time-keepers, scribes, mystics, prophets, and psychedelic shamans. We learn and create, learn and create, learn and create. As Terence McKenna put it, we’re “monkeys with a dream”. For most of our (pre)history, with the guidance of shaman, we used our super-animal abilities to deepen our connection to each other, the earth, and the cosmos. We progressed using the technologies of the body, the song, the dance, and the plants. We progressed and built vast infrastructure and communication networks in spiritual dimensions, creating little to no waste, pollution, wires, or machines.
Tragically, with the reversion to the old primate model of the fearful, controlling, territorial, dominating male-macho-monkey-mind we disgraced our most progressive adaptation: gender equality. It was the perversion of masculinity and the subversion of femininity that led to the material progress that has ruined the planet. Material, not spiritual progress has brought us all to the brink of extinction in only the last few thousand out of several million years of blossoming as a species.
So no, it’s not cynical or misanthropic to have prayed for the collapse. Chaos=opportunity. Of course I wish we had done more to prepare to seize this unprecedented moment of opportunity. Had we been better survivalists when the system was still intact we’d have worked through a lot of the trial and error when the stakes weren’t so life and death. The sharp and often lethal learning curve of basic survival post-SHTF is quite a hindrance. But the hope and dream of composting patriarchy keeps my heart beating strong.
This isn’t just a biological evolutionary bottleneck, (the reduction of the global human population to a fraction of its pre-collapse number) it’s a cultural evolutionary bottleneck. The Pentagon and Hollywood meme machines have ground to a halt. There is now an epistemological and mythological vacuum into which neo-pagan folklore must flood.
Gaia gave us a head start. She took out techno-industrial civilization, but the dominator culture still exists and is now unrefined and unrestrained. It will either subdue the feminine, animals, and the earth again, and enslave us into a new dark age, or we’ll take advantage of this opportunity to destroy it and restore balance in every sphere.
There was no hope of burying the monstrosity of patriarchy before the collapse. It sat atop a electro-petro-chemical-nuclear-muscular throne in a global fortress guarded by high tech machines, manned by millions of soldiers, and powered by billions of serfs and slaves. But now the demonic patriarchs are on horseback again and fighting with barbaric weapons. They’ll all be illiterate soon, they have no crops, their rations will run out, their micro-empires will crumble.
Now is our time to topple the zoldiers, knights, and warlords. So long as we preserve and study the great works of eco-feminist scholars, design settlements by the ethics and principles of permaculture, and seek guidance from artists, elders, and shamans not salesman, leaders, generals and priests, we may have a chance to know the joy and beauty of living in peace on Earth.
May our tribes re-learn the ancient wisdom that our ancestors passed through so many generations, and that Bonobos know by instinct: don’t let the male ego get out of control, or it will take control of everyone and everything. It will turn tools into weapons, dance into torture, fertility into fear, sacraments into drugs, sex into rape, art into propaganda, literature into scripture, food into poison, desire into addiction, resources into commodities, paradise into hell, progress into pathology.