The future and our souls

Two people who I enjoy reading on post-Peak matters are John Michael Greer and Stuart Staniford. They come at things from very different angles: JMG is a druid, SS is a computer engineer, and this, rather inevitably, affects how they see the future working out. SS has put up a very interesting thought experiment on his blog which gives a flavour of the scenarios.

This got me thinking. We each envision the future – in so far as that is at all possible – in ways that are conditioned by all our guiding assumptions, all the things that animate us – our souls, in short. We can’t escape this. My vision of the future involves small churches being Benedictine/Transition centres!

Yet our souls are not fixed; on the contrary, they grow and develop (they also need food, light and shelter – but that’s another blogpost). I think that there are two things that our souls need to be open to, if we are to navigate our way through the crisis with fruitful results.

The first is that sometimes our visions bump up against firm reality. There are all sorts of ways this can happen; it is when the bubble bursts and illusions break down. So our envisioning needs to pursue, or allow for, a certain amount of realism.
UPDATE: the nakedpastor has done an excellent cartoon expressing this point:

Which leads to the second: we need to assess what it is that we are valuing, what it is that our souls are set upon. Some visions of the future are not worth pursuing, because the lives envisioned do not flourish. What does it profit a man…?

This is why the crisis is unavoidably spiritual. All our guiding assumptions are being placed under the microscope, and, if we do get through it (and, being an optimistic soul, I think we will) then the choices that we make now will condition the future we receive. We shall reap what we sow.

If we get our values right, all else will follow. Or, put traditionally, ‘seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you’.