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Soon after my wife unexpectedly died before me on October 30th, 2019, I knew intuitively that everything had changed. Some part of me died with her and I was faced with the greatest mystery of my life. “Why did she die? I don’t understand”. (a metaphysical/spiritual question. I was not looking for a medical explanation). This terrible absence, this bone shattering “without”, pulsated through my body. A couple months later , early in therapy, the bottom dropped out and I broke down sobbing. My therapist said, “Your heart has broken open”. This became my journey through tears, days of crying, sometimes more, sometimes less. During the most intense episodes, one day I found myself patting my heart and saying to myself, “You poor little lost boy”. And through these intense outpourings of sorrow, after the havoc and the fury, something happened. In the shadow of my grief I discovered a deep beauty in the world all around me. While streaming tears and extending my arms straight above into the clear blue sky, I thought that I could almost push through the filament separating me from the eternal. And I knew everything would be OK.

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Thank you! Thirteen months after grieving my wife’s death I woke up one morning and realized that I was still alive and moved forward from that moment.

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Beautiful. To let grief do its work...

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Thank you Mark! I was profoundly moved by your words! To know grief is to know Life!

Godspeed 🙏🏽

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Thank you, Antonio. To put it another way, grief is love. The more loss and grief one experiences can lead the heart to be both vast and expansive. To hold such compassion to be able to heal oneself and also help others to heal.

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yes, grief is love.....just as fear is courage, blessings to you

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Thank you so much for sharing this.

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You are very brave Mark for telling us this story. I wish you happiness.

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Thank you, Sabrina. To hide and deny the true depth of my grief is to make my heart less then and small. It dishonors the breadth and beauty of the 3rd embodiment created between Barbara and myself.

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In case not everyone reads to the end, here's your brilliant punch line: "We have wandered far, far, far into the territory of separation. We must admit that we are lost. We dissolve in tears. We turn then and see on the horizon the golden land. Only teary eyes can see the path back." The key phrase here is: "We must admit that we are lost." Those who barked back about safety during the Covid era were lost in the grip of propaganda. But they didn't know it.

Do I know that I am lost? Yes. All that means is that I know I must find my way, I don't arrogantly assume that I know the way and that others should think like me or do like me. We could, though, help each other find our way. But that would require personal humility and, another great phrase of yours in here: "Only teary eyes can see the path back." Happy to wander in the free land of giving and receiving with all of you!

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Ram Das: We are here to walk each other home.

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I love this! Humility wins the day!!!

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Very good. Safety first has always rubbed me the wrong way - it seems cowardly, a great no to life. Individually, we're all doomed. Death is inevitable. The point of life is not mere maximization of years and minimization of injury - it is experience, adventure, connection and relationship ... it is a full life. A life spent running from every risk is not a full life. It is no life at all.

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Yes. So ironic that in fleeing from death we also flee from life.

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Is it irony, or inevitability? One cannot reject the part without also losing the whole....

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It is definitely both. Come to think of it, a lot of irony is the result of unforeseen inevitabilities.

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"Now, I do not think masking, lockdowns, and the vaccines actually saved lives, but what if they did?"

Dare I publicly admit that I remain entirely uncertain about this question, whether or not these three measures saved lives? Dare I admit that I found these questions a bit overwhelming during the time in which any position, for, against or open and questioning, would result in bitter acrimony and hateful contempt?

Initially, I tended to believe some portion of the story from those who advocated for masks, "social distancing" (though physical distancing was my preferred phrasing) were reasonable responses to a crisis, as the crisis was generally presented and interpreted to most of us. Vaccines? I've never had one. I'm not likely to. I may or may not have had a very mild case of Covid once or twice. I've never been tested for it. I tend not to trust big, powerful institutions. I've had plenty of reasons not to.

I wonder if it is now emotionally safe enough to re-engage with the questions posed in Charles' statement above. Never have a felt such contempt and rage directed at me for keeping an open mind on the questions as I did on this set of questions. And I lost interest in searching for answers when everyone--nearly--had closed the questions and insisted they had certainty, just as I should have had.

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Don't know if you read the Cochrane Review on mask efficacy published a few months ago; which is supposedly the gold standard of medical reviews of the published literature. It caused quite a stir on both sides. Basically the authors found no clear evidence that masks work. However they also found no clear evidence that they did not work. Both sides used the findings to promote their own agendas. It seems pretty clear that when the viruses are aerosolized in the breath they do pass rather easily through all masks, even the vaunted N95. However infection really is about viral load. ie the numbers of viral molecules that one breathes in, as well of course about immune strength. So theoretically masks do not prevent viral transmission, but they may well reduce viral load (via spittle etc) to the surrounding air. However, one may actually make oneself sicker by wearing a mask as you are then concentrating the viral load in front of your face and then re-breathing it. And when you add in that almost no one outside of an operating room can possibly wear a mask correctly for days/weeks at a time, well then you get a sort of chicken and egg question imo. Realistically mask wearing should have been purely personal choice since the science seems pretty murky at best on both sides of the question.

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And then there is compelling evidence that there is no 'virus'. Search 'terrain theory'. It presents an entirely new way of looking at human biology and illness.

Here's a recommended book: https://www.scribd.com/audiobook/505809369/Virus-Mania-Corona-COVID-19-Measles-Swine-Flu-Cervical-Cancer-Avian-Flu-SARS-BSE-Hepatitis-C-AIDS-Polio-Spanish-Flu-How-the-Medical-Indust

Read it free for 60 days with this link: https://www.scribd.com/g/6fks6s

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Indeed, there is the Foegen Effect, in which masks backfire by increasing viral load via re-breathing the same air.

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And if they got the vax plus boosters, plus wearing masks continually; they are bound to reinfect themselves over and over. One woman I know who did every single thing the CDC told her to do and then some; seemed so shocked and frantic when she got covid anyway. I had to bite my tongue...........

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Thanks Rainbow. I didn't read that particular study, but I'm not at all surprised by its conclusions. "Murky" on all sides seemed to be my own conclusion, for the very reasons you provided.

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PS- During the early days of much uncertainty, I only wore masks at the grocery store, while shopping, and only for brief periods. I could not imagine wearing them for long durations! Yikes!

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Yikes indeed! Some folks around here are still wearing two masks even tho the mandates have been lifted in most places. And then they get sick anyway. So it seems silly to me; but if they want to I won't stop them. Just please don't make me wear one!

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I am curious in this “any position, for, against or open and questioning, would result in bitter acrimony and hateful contempt”. Did you suffer equal contempt from both sides? I have been on the side against for a long time and I have found it shocking that close friends and family, church and community showed great contempt for me with this stance. I did not think the side “for it” saw anywhere close to the same. But it could be my perspective, which is why I ask.

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I suspect that folks like me may have gotten "flack" from "both sides". I argued, in the early days, that those who said masks were utterly useless and pointless were using faulty reasoning, in that they tended to assume that since the 'pores' in masks were enormous in comparison to the width of the virus that the masks can--in principle--only be useless. I said "Yeah, but the virus tends to be carried in spittle and droplets (suspended in body fluids)." Those who clung to a certain kind of certainty denied that my point had any virtue, and pointed to "studies" which they took to be conclusive. I mentioned that the studies seem to confirm both contrary positions, depending upon which studies you read. They called me a fool, as it was "obvious" that the whole thing was a conspiracy to turn us all into compliant dupes of a vast conspiracy of mass fascism....

I figured that the conspiracy of mass fascism (or corporatism) was already rather obvious in the myriad ways it was already obvious, and that Covid presented us with no special case of an extreme shift in the dynamic. The evidence for government conspiracies against reality and truth are abundant, after all, and were plenty abundant prior to Covid. This example has struck me as archetypal.: https://rword.substack.com/p/the-energy-transition-narrative

But there are hundreds of other examples one can readily discover, in which science and governments are revealed as corrupted and deceptive. Whose data can we rely upon? Whose "scientific" studies? Your guess is as good as mine.

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Yes, I agree that it seemed reasonable that masks would prevent some transmission (though admittedly one day when I saw too much virtue signal investment and harm to kids in them I decided I didn’t care to participate any longer) and I was surprised to read the Cochrane study and then see Rochelle Walkensky continue to be not a trustworthy nor reliable individual in her position. Ps: Great article - thank you!

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I thought something similar when things were believed to transmit through droplets. Then I started wearing them, and my body rebelled against the constant suffocation, the alienation from others. Once my soul started aching I threw them away. Something that induces such suffering cannot be good, because whatever benefit is countermanded by the stress caused immunodeficiency.

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I only used masks while at the grocery store -- generally for no more than 20 minutes or so. So it wasn't a huge loss for me.

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I was required to have it on almost constantly for school, and then my place of employment. I used to be at school for up to 12 hours a day. I started finding any sort of loophole to avoid wearing a mask. Distance, verbal consent, loopholes in the written text. The suffocation killed my love of learning in a school environment. At work I became an office shut in. I worked at a community based charity and didn't want to be around anyone anymore because of how much I grew to hate restricting my breathing.

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Yeah, had I been required to wear masks that long I would certainly have rebelled!

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Me too, but only because I couldn't go in one without it in 2020. Grocery shopping used to be one of my fav things to do because I'd always go to the huge ones that had so many things to look at. So many colors, textures, scents. But the love of the grocery store is something else the COVID hysteria took from me and it has just never been the same.

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The logical problem with this, of course, is that we don't know the counterfactual. The question is not whether any of these saved lives, the question is whether they were optimal policies that balanced risks and benefits. I think it is clear that these were not optimal policies. We literally ignored - gave absolutely zero weight to - preventive and therapeutic measures, economic costs, impact on economically marginalized populations both domestically and globally, massive wealth transfers from the taxpayer to big pharma shareholders and from small business owners to large multinationals. We did nothing to take into account the differing risk profiles based on age and morbidity. We cared nothing about the precedent value of overriding constitutionally assured rights. Many were prepared to force this intervention on people against their will, long after we knew that it had negligible impact on transmission and that the risks were asymmetric and much greater than for any product ever licensed in the past, never mind required. It is still probable that we weakened the financial system to the point of near-systemic collapse. Need I go on?

The question of whether in isolation vaccines reduced deaths relative to a policy of refusing to take into account any of these other variables is extraordinarily irrelevant even if (which I doubt) it could be answered in the affirmative.

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Very, very helpful. Thanks.

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Posted on our fridge, oft referenced for our kids to learn, is Helen Keller’s quote: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.” But I’m going to start using Safety Third now too and really make us all think about what is First and Second - thank you for this!!

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That's a great quote. I'd have worked it in if I'd been aware of it. What a luminous being was Hellen Keller

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Apr 21, 2023·edited Apr 23, 2023

It's especially disturbing that these people were/are forcing others to comply even though they, themselves, presumably were 'protected' by masks, social distancing and vaccines. Why would they not feel safe even though they'd taken any precaution and demand others do the same? Why didn't they just stay home completely? There's no excuse to demand others obey in order for these people to feel 'safe'. Make it make sense.

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That simple paradox has still perplexed me...as I continually see this odd upside down thinking perpetrated in the public ...I’m grateful many of us have stayed in our center of be-ing, able to discern.

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As a long time Burner, yes, "Safety Third" has been a part of my vocabulary for about two decades. With many different understandings of what first and second would be. One of the Burning Man principles is "Radical self-reliance." We are responsible for ourselves. While gifting and charity are a part of the community, it cannot be relied upon.

Burning Man has volunteers who help in the community known as "Rangers." Rangers are not police or even authority figures. But they are distinguishable by wearing bland khaki in a visual sea of color. And have two-way radios on channels that are connected to help that can get medical or other authorities to a situation quickly. Rangers are trained to be nonconfrontational, conflict management and deescalation, to be a helpful resource for the community some even trained to deal with mental health crises. The model has even been observed by professional LEO from cities across the nation and world, used in their training.

One of the things Rangers might do when they see someone doing something unsafe is engage in friendly conversation with them. Ask them if they need any help that would make it a safer endeavor. But sometimes people just want to do it their own way, minimize the risk, "safety third." In those situations a Ranger might say, "well, I'm not going to stop you, but I'll stick around here to help you if something happens." Like when someone is climbing on top of a metal dome in the middle of a thunder storm trying to hurry up and build an art camp. Just saying that you'll be there to help pick up the pieces is often enough to get a person who's minimized the risk they are taking on when they hear it and think about it. It's not bossy, it's not authoritarian, it acknowledges that people are radically self-reliant. Responsible for their own outcomes.

Which, sadly, was lost on the Burning Man community during the height of the pandemic. The same people who would kiss 100 people in a night, eat food that's been out of refrigeration for hours, use dirty plates and utensils, even go to the orgy dome wouldn't hug, go to gatherings of more than six people in their community pod, wore gloves and facemasks while jogging in the park and driving in their car alone. For them their inner risk tolerance pendulum swung to the extreme opposite, even became the worst scolds and enforcers I knew.

Thing is, risk is a part of life. And a known feature for public policymakers. Deciding on speed limit, food service safety protocols, controlled substances, mandatory insurance requirements, local zoning, noise limits, auto safety design and features, you name it. Public policy is the process of weighing the costs and benefits of establishing laws and ordinances. Sure, they could set speed limits at 30mph everywhere for safety. But at the cost of transportation and shippping delays. Steaks and burgers can be ordered to be cooked to well-done so there is no bacteria left in the meat per official CDC guidance. But at the cost of a delicious, moist rare to medium-rare steak that a diner may prefer. Mowing lawns on the weekend can be prohibited to preserve peace in a community during restful days off for most. At the cost of making homeowners contract for services during the week or take time off work. Cars can be designed with beautiful shapes and lines, but if the design makes it more likely to explode in a collision its looks might not be as important as its survivability.

So compromises are made, costs weighed, benefits weighed, leaders taking input from the community enact public policies that try to strike a balance. When public emergencies were declared that sort of cost-benefit analysis was discarded in most every community. No risk of exposure to infection could be allowed. Some workers deemed, "essential" while others "nonessential." Dehumanizing and denegrating the inherent value in everyone's contribution to society. "You're a nonessential human" told to most everyone in the people industry, those who bring people together to share connection and community, entertainers, meeting planners, local watering holes, "third places" called nonessential, even dangerous. And selfish for questioning. "Safety first." Even though the science disproved the risk assessment authorities asserted. Even though any minor perceived benefit of safety mitigation came at excessive cost borne by those who policymakers had little care or concern about. A myopic focus on safety, real and imagined has wrought destruction onto millions of lives.

Burners had it right pre-2020. They and most officials and authorities got it wrong after 2020 To their forever shame

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Yeah, that was one of the most disheartening things about the pandemic, the people who I thought would have known better falling into lockstep with The Narrative. It happened in the Burner community, psychedelic community, yoga community, NVC community, acupuncture community, left intellectuals... people siding with the very institutions that had persecuted them. i think part of the reason was that semi-marginal people tend to crave legitimacy, and Covid orthodoxy was a way to demonstrate belonging.

Reading your description of the Rangers, I thought, in a more beautiful future, that would be basically what the police do. At least 95% of the time.

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Right!?!? And to see Chomsky, an iconic figure to many generations of hippie type and left intellectuals I've heard quoted and a group dynamic form around his name in social settings, Chomsky going full totalitarian wishing death on disobedient nonmaskers and nonjabbers. And his multiple generations of question the corporate narrative, the power structure between business-politicians-media, going "Sieg Heil" goosestep along with him blew up any illusions I had about them. It comes down to my expectation of them. I thought them to be more free-thinking, open to challenge the system, choose the underdog over the powerful, cheer Robin Hood knocking off the King's tax collectors to help out the less fortunate who suffered under excessive taxation. They chose to cheer the King's henchmen bringing that thief to justice. The thief only guilty of stealing fresh air without obstruction or protecting their bodily autonomy to not be forcibly injected with experimental biotech aggressively pushed by the power structure between business-politicians-media.

Yes. Many of these people, friends, dear friends, had been marginalized and found community in it. I found it for my reasons. But, God bless their vulnerable, sweet hearts, they trusted the wrong people at the wrong time. Some found purpose in it, they had been wandering and it gave them a place to land. Some did tons and tons of research and found the safety first narrative compelling. But I saw the quality of their research. And knew the sources to be the suggested and authorized ones that didn't get censored or banned in media and social media, "approved" science. But they believed it. They trusted the wrong people at the wrong time. And getting them to admit it now isn't quite impossible, but nearly. Breaks my heart. Because I know most of them would (will) do it again for the next manufactured crisis. But you touch many minds as you do to try to change that future, we all try to do the same in our own way.

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I suspect what may have happened with the Left intelligentsia is that they kind of got bribed with academic positions and respectability. They were subtly coopted. How radical can you be when you are drawing salary and prestige from one of the institutions (academia) that is core to the establishment?

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Eisenhower's warning of a scientific-technological elite appies:

https://www.acsh.org/news/2017/12/26/eisenhowers-less-famous-warning-government-controlled-science-12219

"President Eisenhower surrounded himself with brilliant academics, he knew that science ended World War II without costing another million American lives, but by 1961 he also knew "we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

He worried about that government control over funding would change the nature of the “free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery.” And it has. If you want to find happiness in academia, find a humanities professor at a small college. If you want to find pressure, go to a biology lab at Johns Hopkins, which needs $300 million a year from the NIH if it's going to put up new buildings and recruit key names who can then raise more money from NIH."

And when the leftist radicals of the 1960's-1970's were welcomed into academia, leading the revolution they had started with bombs and bullets into the idea factories of higher education they recruited a whole army of revolutionaries. Steeped in the language of the radical leftism, Marxism. Which is an ideology steeped in conformity, totalitarianism and intolerance, but in pretty wrapping paper language of inclusiveness, diversity and equity with a pretty bow of redemption on top.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/07/the-revolution-is-winning/

https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-1960s-radicals-ended-up-teaching-your-kids

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-james-kilgore-hired-met-20141204-story.html

https://usefulstooges.com/2017/05/11/the-weathermen-from-terrorists-to-professors/

Side note:

I studied mass media and communications, persuasive speaking under Kathleen Hall Jamieson in the 1980's before she became a co-founder of FactCheck.org - itself a propaganda information tool. She taught us the science that goes into a newscast, from the set design, color, background, camera angles, positioning on screen, facial expressions, intonations, chyrons, fonts, every single detail of a broadcast calculated for effect. Especially scripts, linguistics. The Magician's Tricks as they were in that technology era. Even more sophisticated and finely calibrated today.

I was always aware of the saying, "Those who can, Do. Those who can't, Teach." With respect to Jamieson, she could Do. And there's a whole lot more money in Doing than Teaching. It's not a bad gig when you can both Do media propaganda and Teach media propaganda at the same time.

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Apr 22, 2023·edited Apr 22, 2023

And I think Chomsky just went ga-ga with age.

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Yes, LEO does come to the event to study how a city of 80,000 people freely, very freely interacting, can be managed with as relatively little crime as it does. It does happen there, 80,000 people freely, very freely interacting will have its percentage of crime. But it's a ridiculously low percentage for any comparably sized city, or even big party events like Coachella and Ultra. The ethos is a big reason, but another is deescalation from the beginning of any conflict, LEO can be way too agro way too quickly, adversarial, escalate, not deescalate. LEO that has come have taken a better approach to community policing. But they aren't as keen on just telling someone they won't stop them from doing something dangerous, but they'll stick around to pick up the pieces. They'll get agro and try to stop it. Conflict. For their own good. Departments get sued for that these days. That beautiful future would have to address that sticky financial liability issue.

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Very well-said. Why did Burners, and the left more generally, including even some hippies and anarchists, fall for the "safety first" propaganda during the pandemic? Perhaps because political polarities were arbitrarily reversed by the powers that be, and also because the propaganda was so sophisticated and carefully crafted to appeal to the mainstream and alternative left's typically greater sense of social conscience, social responsibility and "common good", however nebulously (and as we know now incorrectly) it was defined. Of course, it also became a convenient excuse for plain old cowardice disguised as virtue.

Seriously, NEVER AGAIN. Pre-2020 is the way to go. And may political polarities never reverse again.

As The Who (not to be confused with the WHO!) famously sang, "we won't get fooled again!"

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Apr 21, 2023·edited Apr 21, 2023Liked by Charles Eisenstein

I've pondered that a lot. I believe the appeal to imagined collective virtue resonated for most. I believe another element was gaining "status" when they felt as though they lacked it in normal times. A lifetime of being told they were the dangerous, reckless ones, menaces to society they could gain standing by the creation of a new, lower status group they were above by exhibiting "upstanding" behavior. All slaves on a plantation weren't equal. The house slaves were a higher status than field slaves. And would often be worse than the slaveowners to the uppity, disobedient ones. Something of that sort by the best of my reckoning.

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This is what i think too (see above comment I just made). In school, the unpopular kid can bolster his status by beating up an even more unpopular kid.

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What a solid and heartfelt account of what happened in that last paragraph particularly. I stood in a school hall with a bunch of lovely people this morning, practising Tai Chi and it suddenly hit me that the 'playground' outside is basically a massive synthetic rubber mat. It looked hideous and somehow made me feel unsteady on my feet. It is the furthest terrain from 'natural' as could be. The idea that swaddling our precious children in dead, inorganic, toxic products of petroleum in order to keep them SAFE is insane!

At school we used to play 'kiss-chase' or form a crazy whiling dervish as we charged around in a circle, linked arms in a line, anchoring one delirious child spinning in the centre. One by one the outer children started to peel away as it became too fast for them to keep up. At any point, you could rejoin the circle, you just had to run fast enough and grab that outstretched arm. We relied on each other to keep safe, it was a selfless endeavour, a group harmony practise. It was challenging, dangerous and SO MUCH FUN :-). I am guilty of not doing ENOUGH to preserve that for my children. I succumbed to the herding tactics, now evolved into the current model of their functional success, as I tried to be a mother in the world. I bought the dream of mortgaged homes, 'work-life balance', and just got sucked in to the institutionalisation of children. Now I see people 'un-schooling' and making 'free range children' in groups of like minded people and I am so happy about that. I silently judge myself, sad that I didn't wake up more fully sooner. Now, my eldest child texts me from the other side of the world, literally calling it 'strange' that he's constantly beset by sniffles and coughs of some kind, staying silent but thinking that two years ago, he admonished me for not getting the jab. He spurned my pleas for him to not take it. I don't like being right in this instance, it is awful.

How was ANY of the last 4 years keeping anybody safe, when soils, water and air carried on being polluted and we continue to poison each other in a myriad of ways with the stuff that is called food or culture, work, play? I reject it. I don't want this way of life anymore. It is time for those of us who care about these things to pushback. To explode into a trillion shiny pieces and infuse the air around us, where we live. With people we can see and hug. With people we can debate and discuss. With rightful tasks we can share. It's so hard when everything is going so fast and the person/s in the middle of the whirling dervish are laughing at us, not with us. But sooner or later.....

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Don't get me started on those synthetic fields. Installed under the pretense they require less watering, less maintenance, safer for kids. All of which are lies. They must be watered down, since there is very little microbial organic life on it to degrade and decompose other organic droppings. Like food that drops, liquids, sweat, snot, hair, skin, wild animal droppings, etc. All of which decompose on grass and dirt teeming with helpful microbiology, organics that feed on and break down other substances in the environment. All interconnected, cycle of life stuff. So the synthetic fields need both regular watering and chemical treatments to kill any microbial organic life that is on it. Chemicals that aren't safe to be in contact with. Yet kids will slide, fall, scrape, rub, touch it without thinking anything of it. Synthetic fields are a false sense of safety and security, an imaginary protective barrier between man and a microbial organic world. Man, once again, arrogantly believing we can improve the natural world from God's design. Sterilizing it, for our protection. When that sterilization process actually makes it less safe.

Natural Fox:

https://i.redd.it/ffyycikc73n01.jpg

Man-improved Fox:

https://clipground.com/images/taxidermy-fox-png-1.jpg

Sames.

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Well said, thanks for expanding on why they are so toxic to everything natural. It makes me so sad.

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Safety third has been a saying of my friends and I for years

Dimples first :)

Seems both giving and receiving can cause a smile

Or

Smiling, I give and receive

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Loved this!

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Apr 20, 2023Liked by Charles Eisenstein

Beautiful and Wise. Yesterday with family and friends, I was watching Robert F. Kennedy Jr’s Announcement Speech when in words that were truly luminous with poetry he talked about a few of the splendors of nature that his children would never see. A friend observed ‘Didn’t Trump say that? Or was it Biden? Brought down the house. It did highlight the incandescence of that speech. But maybe on a much deeper level we all laughed instead of cried. We laughed to interdict the tears that were welling up, leaving several of us all wiping our eyes -- from laughter or grief? More grief I think -- more grief, more heart-felt deep down sadness about all that we of my Hey Boomer Generation have not just squandered, which makes us all into victims, but have knowingly wasted and wrecked. As Dylan says: “Everything is broken”. But, as you say with such ‘sweet thunder’ (a phrase lifted from Duke Ellington) grief can heal. Like your dive into cold waters into be a sort of baptism, a frisson of refreshment and renewal that paradoxically brings closer -- closer into the heart’s affections -- the very things we have lost and in making them present re-orders priorities while providing a map for going forward. I found that map in Kennedy’s speech. Others may find it elsewhere. But Grief limns a path for going forward. Again, thank you.

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If those fish weren't brave enough to put safety third and jump out of the ocean, we wouldn't have frogs or other wonderful life! Love the mindset.

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20 years ago my family lived a summer in the Netherlands. We had four young children and while my husband worked during the I would take the kids to various play grounds. I had not realized how dumbed down the US playgrounds had become. My grown kids still speak of the wonders of the Dutch playgrounds- little zip lines, merry go rounds, see saws, big bird nest swings, spinning disks, 25 feet high monkey bars... I hope the Dutch still have them. And we wonder why the kids don’t want to play outside. Safety 3rd, hear hear!

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In Amerika, healthcare is expensive. So when kids get hurt, they sue for the medical bills. If we only had this thing called national healthcare like Europe does, there wouldn't need to be most of the lawsuits.

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I figure they’d act the way my health insurance and car insurance do and try not to pay for any claims 🤪

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Well, yes, grief. I have been grieving for a long time, for varios reasons, on and off for years now. But isn´t grief, just as death, more or less suppressed in large parts of society as well? To grief for everything that´s lost in nature, for example, there has to be at least some kind of connection to it. When I see how much forest, of the already scarce forest stand over here, is being cut down recently and hardly anyone really seems to care, I grieve - deeply. Nowadays, if you grieve for more than a specific time for the loss of a loved one, it´s defined as a disorder ( prolonged grief disorder)). Every normal reaction to distressing situations is getting more and more pathologized which will only further more suppression of difficult emotions in the general public.

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Absolutely. Suppression of grief goes hand in hand with denial of death. One is not possible without the other.

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Yes, Michelle, so true. We live in a grief phobic culture. So many of the mental health issues, the violence and the rage, depression and isolation, is about trauma and unexpressed grief. And we have so many losses to grieve over as result of our consumption driven Western world mind set and addiction.

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Thank you, Mark. That´s exactly what I wanted to express, I just didn´t want to make it a long post about trauma.

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"What starts as caution becomes comfort, then habit, then a prison. The prisoner carries the key in his back pocket, taking comfort in his pretend helplessness." For me as a trauma therapist, this is so worthy of quoting.

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"Comfort comes as a guest, lingers to become a host and stays to enslave us."

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On the mark as usual

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100% agree and, as always, beautifully stated.

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So beautifully said 🙏🏻

Life first, with all its dangers, marvels and learnings. Isn’t it why we are here for?

How do they say “safety” in indigenous or ancient languages? This is one of those words (like “urgent”) that did not seem to exist. A recently invented concept, it seems.

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I love the clarity with which you present things Charles. I also have been considering how we have been trained to be easily distracted from human rights violations and violations to nature because there is just a constant stream of happenings. So a slow withdrawal of our freedom to live fully becomes harder to detect. And then what ? Your first 2 criteria become imperatives or counteracting energy for what increasingly seems a distinct strategy of control.

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