If we’re just hoping to stop the virus so we can get back to normal, we’re missing an opportunity.

This isn’t a time to go back to how things were. This is a time to change how society works, to change what the economy is about, and to change our relationship with nature.

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Empty Supermarket Shelves vs Flourishing Food Gardens

The Opportunity

Right now we’ve got a fragile society that depends entirely on a flawed economy that grows and expands by destroying the only living biosphere in the known universe.

It’s time to find ways to make a living that aren’t directly at odds with the rest of the planet, that do not compromise the planetary life support systems that we depend on, and that no longer disregard and decimate the countless other creatures that live here. …

I experienced some depression this morning, which seemed odd given my rather delightful circumstances. After sitting in a debilitating fog for some hours I suddenly saw how to engage with it. I brought more and more awareness to the amorphous emotional vapor until I could sense its shape and form. Once I had a real ‘lock’ on it, I spoke with it.

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Photo: shot from a train in Norway by Josh Whiton

“Why are you here? What is your function?”, I asked.

“To keep you from wanting,” it replied.

Immediately I understood it as a very old defense strategy to keep me from being disappointed. If I never let myself want anything, then I’ll never feel the pain of not getting it. …

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photo by Josh Whiton

The Money god sits on its throne, bored and unhappy. It’s sulking because of its temple priests. They’re nincompoops, really. Heartless financiers, cut-throat robber barons, soul-less fund managers… people whose imaginations are limited to an elaborate shell game and whose sense of beauty stops at arbitrage.

Elsewhere the ‘good’ people of the earth are having their potlucks. They are afraid of the Money god. They curse its name. And they are broke.

These good people implore the Money god to stop being evil. To which the Money god shrugs and sighs, “It’s not me! It’s you and your friends! Just stop doing shitty things with money! …

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photo by Josh Whiton

From planetary ruin to politics, it’s easy to see that we humans have hit the limits of our current level of consciousness. How much pain and destruction lies ahead depends on how quickly we take human consciousness to the next level.

This makes it a fine time for us all to remember that…

Enlightenment is real.

Not only is it real it’s also quite natural. Enlightening is a natural process we humans undergo — at least when not inhibited.

Of course we are nearly always inhibited.

Emotional wounds, past traumas, suppressed fear and shame, misperceptions, poisonous beliefs, un-integrated egos, incongruent identities… I could go on but suffice to say they are all just various forms of untruth. …

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photo by Josh Whiton

The conversation around climate change seems to be shifting from “Is it real?” and “Is it really all that serious?” to are more earnest and urgent, “Well now what do we do?”

And the answers is?

Wide-ranging and often unclear. We have the sensible but mundane: change your lightbulbs, ride, walk or take the bus to work. Expensive solutions like buying an electric car, still out of reach for most. Intangible options like purchasing carbon offsets, which require consumers to exercise great powers of imagination to understand what they’ve bought. …

An Ecosystem

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Sea lions trusting that we humans are taking care of things. Photo by Josh Whiton

For too long our civilization has treated the planet as 100% raw material, 0% ecosystem.

It’s a severe misperception and a mistake that, multiplied by some seven billion people, can no longer be ignored.

As an entrepreneur I readily admit that business is especially culpable. There is perhaps no other force that has consumed so much of our natural environment while ignoring the real cost. But before we point the finger, it’s important to remember that business exists to serve consumers, which we all are. Who among us has never purchased a carelessly produced product? …

and why it’s making a comeback

Somewhere during human history magic lost to technology. Technology came to dominate our mindshare while magic was relegated to superstition.

I, like many, assumed magic lost because it turned out not to be real. As a young techno-capitalist I was ok with this; I was into computers and the whole world needed an upgrade.

But eventually I found challenges that technology wasn’t addressing: broken minds, violence, depression. I don’t just mean somewhere out there among the homeless or mentally ill but in my own life too, successful as I appeared.

I went looking for ways to transform myself, and found many wondrous things. I found the keys to self-actualization. I found ways of entering altered states of consciousness that conferred uncommon understanding. I found ways of uncovering painful memories, repressed but not forgotten, and ways of re-experiencing those memories differently, thereby changing the effects of the past on my present. I discovered the meaning of synchronicity and how to use them to navigate my life’s course. …

and other red pills

Money was a great invention. With it, we found a way to get people to do things for us, or give things to us, without resorting to abject slavery or direct force. In this way, for thousands of years, money has been helping contribute to a more stable society.

But along the way money has also given rise to a pervasive, indirect slavery. …

There Are No Orcs

Stories like the Lord of the Rings make me want to do something brave. When the movie ends or I set down the book, I nearly call for my sword. But I have no sword or anyone to swing one at. Then I remember: there are no Orcs.

I wish there were. I wish being good were as easy as hunting monsters with my friends. Good versus bad. A clear target to destroy.

But there are no Orcs. Just people, everywhere.

I picked up some weapons in my youth: knives, bludgeons, and other curious things that I longed to wield heroically. But I never found anyone to stick them in or swing them at. …

& brainwaves

My travel companion and I finished breakfast at the restaurant and stood up to leave. But before going there was something I wanted to say.

“I’m grateful that we found this restaurant. There was no wait and we had nice seats looking out from this big window. And the staff was friendly and took good care of us.”

“Yes, it was just right. Thank you Restaurant,” said my friend reverently.

I was struck by his wholeheartedness and felt lucky to have this friend who didn’t find my expressed gratefulness silly or weird.

“Wow, thanks for saying that. I mean, thanks for really supporting me in my expression of gratitude.” …


Josh Whiton

Founder at MakeSoil.org

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