The planet Saturn, transiting through the sign of Sagittarius from 2015 through 2017, offers us a once-in-30-year opportunity to elevate the level of responsibility needed to reframe our perspective on what might be called The Big Picture. Plus, this particular Saturn transit happens to occur just as we begin to recognize that indeed, we are alive during what are possibly our final days as humans on our home planet — especially if we continue to run a capitalist economic system that automatically destroys the the very basis of Life on Earth.
Beginning now and through April of 2017, then again during August and September of 2017, stern, disciplined, focused Saturn in philosophical Sagittarius creates a harmonious triangular relationship to a strong opposition between expansive Jupiter in the sign of diplomacy and cooperation (Libra) and wild, unpredictable, utterly inventive Uranus, in the sign of initiation, new beginnings (Aries).
Given this beautiful triangle in the heavens shining down upon us, do we dare dream of better days? If so, let’s start now.
In the global context, these three posts, viewed together, pretty much sum up for me what appears to be at stake and especially the level of urgency needed to address it. I post the third one in its entirety, since, following the deep gloom of the first two, it offers both a psychosocial and spiritual understanding of the deep wounding inside the male of this species, as well as a possible large-scale vision of the way through.
First, George Monbiot:
Next, Guy McPherson:
Finally, a facebook post by Daniel Pinchbeck.
What are the true reasons for the extreme levels of toxicity on the Right Wing? Right now, we need to approach our “nemesis” with compassion and with understanding. I believe these people have been thwarted in their capacity to reach their evolutionary potential – they are deeply frustrated because they are denied access to any kind of authentic transcendence. This is a central theme explored in How Soon Is Now?, my new book. Essentially, human beings innately yearn for transpersonal experience, which liberates them from the constraints of ego-based identity. It is hard-wired into us. Traditionally, this is the function of initiation.
In a civilization that denies people positive access to transcendent inner experience, they still seek those experiences but in their dark or shadow forms, such as addiction to drugs or perverse sexuality, or through a yearning for power or cathartic violence. I think we see, in figures like Trump and Bannon, men who have been unable to find initiation, and have lost their basic “feeling function” (in his book on the Fisher King, Robert Johnson discusses the “wounded feeling function” in modern man).
Our society, as a whole, is based on indoctrination rather than initiation. The mass media acts as a mechanism for indoctrination into a particular worldview and set of values. Even something like video games based on shooting help indoctrinate kids into a world where violence is normalized and expected.
I think we will never be able to address the threat confronting us until we understand the psycho-spiritual roots of it. Many of the people who voted for Trump live in a world that is empty of transcendence and, also, increasingly, devoid of any hope for a better material world. They see that the promise of the “American Dream” has disintegrated – their lives are bleak. Therefore they voted, in great masses, to push the destruct button on the current system. I do think the liberal and neoliberal elites on the Coasts ignored the devastation happening to the middle of the country, as we enjoyed both the cultural and economic rewards of the system – and the disparity was not lost on the alienated and infuriated multitudes who have seen their situation worsen.
So the question is what do we do now? I believe we must organize a coherent movement that presents a new direction for human society. We must go beyond the lie of incremental progress on a world where the planet’s resources are increasingly depleted and degraded. We must explain to humanity the truth of our current circumstance while offering them a new mythology and a true path to a better future. What does this look like?
In my book, I propose the model of “regenerative society” to replace consumerist society. We could, within a generation, redesign our technical infrastructure so it supports and even enhances the health of the biosphere (read William McDonogue’s Cradle to Cradle for an idea of what this would mean for industry). We could engineer a massive, rapid transition to 100% renewable energy (which would, also create millions of temporary jobs). We could make a transition from elite-controlled pseudo-democracy to a participatory democracy where power is decentralized. We could also redesign our economic operating system so it does not allow for excess hoarding or absurd disparities between rich and poor. People could look forward to living in multi-generational, relatively self-sufficient communities where they have a guaranteed basic income and the opportunity to continue to learn and advance themselves throughout their lives. In fact, our technical capacities make this entirely possible – it is only the inertia of our current ideologies and the systems based on them that make it seem impossible.
In short, we must create a vision that is tangible, compelling, and desirable for our future – a future where humanity cooperates for the collective benefit of all of its members, overcoming the current miasma of greed, egotism, nihilism, corruption, and narcissism we see all around us, mirrored by our political and financial elites. In the same way a corporation envisions a new technology it wants to build and then “reverse engineers” to reach that goal, we must approach redesigning the operating system for human civilization. We must envision the world we wish to live in and then execute the strategic and tactical plan to realize it.
I believe that when a tipping point of humanity realize this as not only our best but our only option (as Buckminster Fuller put it, our choice is between “utopia or oblivion”), then we will get to work on it and make it happen. Because of the instantaneous nature of our interactive communication networks, a switchover to a new system could happen extremely quickly. Remember that Facebook and Google are barely a decade old. We have only had SmartPhones for a decade. Transformation – technically, economically, spiritually – can happen extremely quickly.
If we are going to make a Houdini-like escape from the current catastrophe, we are going to have to find not linear and incremental reforms, but exponentially scalable and replicable solutions. Many of them already exist in nascent form. This is the potential that exists for us. Now we must find the courage, intelligence, and willpower to manifest it.