Question

Is acknowledging and accepting the end/decay of humanity——and having no intention or goal to continue/’save’ it and its inevitable/worsening environmental destruction—— inherently pessimistic? Could it be seen as optimistic/(even beautiful?) from a larger ecological/cosmic perspective? Could it be compared to a human accepting their own death nearing the end of life?

Question

What do environmental experts intuit/feel in this moment? What do they think we can learn from global quarantine?

(My friend Chelsea had an idea I find brilliant: After COVID, we could hold an annual twoish-week global quarantine as a reminder that we’re all on this planet together, we can help/impact each other from close/far, and we can minimize our destruction of the Earth. A reminder to slow consumption, input/output, and focus locally to prioritize health and slowing down.)

Question

If psychedelics can help terminally ill people accept/face death, rather than deny/resist against it, then can’t they also help humanity accept extinction, rather than deny/persist against it—without it being seen as pessimistic? Could psychedelic states show people that there is something bigger than them, and that fighting solely for the continuation of the human race——rather than giving in to the planet’s needs and other species’ best interests——is anthropocentric/misguided? Could they inform us of the best way to preserve what’s left of our planet rather than altering it continuously for our own preservation?

🕳️

Boy writes on air the way my old neighbour Gene Crimmins says Mozart played piano, like every word was meant to arrive, parcel packed and shipped from a place beyond his own busy mind. Not on paper and writing pad or typewriter, but thin air, the invisible stuff, that great act-of-faith stuff that you might not even know existed did it not sometimes bend into wind and blow against your face. Notes, reflections, diary entries, all written on thin air, with his extended right forefinger swishing and slashing, writing letters and sentences into nothingness, as though he has to get it all out of his head but he needs the story to vanish into space as well, forever dipping his finger into his eternal glass well of invisible ink. Words don’t go so well inside. Always better out than in.”

 

-Trent Dalton
Boy Swallows Universe

There were old men climbing the rocks and lying in the sun with their hands folded. There were small boys stomping the wildflowers. And I saw the ancient days. There were bells tolling and wreaths tossed and women turning in circles and there were bees performing their life-cycle dance and there were great winds and swollen moons and pyramids crumbling and coyotes crying and the waves mounting and it all smelled like the end and the beginning of freedom. And I saw my friends who were gone and my husband and my brother. I saw those counted as true fathers ascend the distant hills and I saw my mother with the children she had lost, whole again.”

 

-Patti Smith
Year of the Monkey

in/to

Mental diagnosis felt like an act. A script I shouldn’t have played into. Some do. Some need to. Those whose function cannot find place. Like mine at the time. But I was passing through—turbulent heartbreaks, growing pains, clashes with Hims—and mistook role for reality. I overthought my relation to it, that joy and suffering, and tied it to a being beyond. I regret that now. Or at least can see it as it was: seeking, clenching, grasping. Am I nothing more than a need to reach? Maybe. I’m human. Some childlike essence that shows in contours when ignoring and blurring details of pores. Take off my glasses and focus on the obscure. The fuzz. That uncertainty between me and it. Subject in/to object. Still disoriented in space, lost along the way, I may trip a few times too many, but that’s okay. Because it’s only and not me at all. 

ma

And the question began to arise: What if I don’t have kids? Maybe this record is everything I want to say to my child whether I have them or not. And then, Who am I a parent to if I have no child? And maybe the point of what it really means — expanding, or working on yourself — is to begin with this one specific person you call “Mother.” And as you grow, you see Mother everywhere. You have a nonspecific feeling you call Mother. And it becomes very animistic — it becomes the ocean, it becomes the Sun, and it becomes other people. And for me, without a doubt literature has been a Mother, music has been a Mother. And art has been a Mother.”

-Devendra Banhart on Ma in the LA Review of Books