Hello. Welcome to my new blog, and website. I also blog @ http://www.offthegridmpls.blogspot.com.
The species Homo sapien sapien is in a state of profound transformation. That cannot truly be denied, though there is much dissonance, in the discussion about what that transformation is, or involves. Here in the United States, most people believe in the idea, basically, that history is a progression out of darkness, that economic growth is imperative and inevitable, that resources are essentially unlimited, and technology will prevent humanity from ever facing any truly great difficulty ever again. A very few are waking up to the reality, that the species has reached a very hard, very real, inevitable limit to growth in the traditional sense, and faces increasing resource constraints that are going to prove the death of existing Nation-States and possibly the biosphere, and a regression at least in the energy available to maintain anything like the lifestyle we have grown accustomed to. This latter is a very unsettling perspective, which is why so few will acknowledge it. Notice, how many people are ready to be engrossed in whatever conspiracy theory, and whatever notions of the evil Other, and yet are incapable of acknowledging the very real limits to fossil fuels, or the absurdity of a debt based economy, or rising global temperatures and toxicity, and thousands of off-shore oil wells, and 800+ world-wide nuclear facilities and untold nuclear warheads, and all the peril that implies.
The ultimate question seems to be, if you awaken to the reality that there are limits to economic growth, and consequently the growth of humanity and even our ability to sustain the numbers we have, what does one do about it? Once one comes to that place, it is very hard not to acknowledge that almost everything we do in this modern age is detrimental to the earth in some fundamental way that cannot be sustained, that is only perpetuating and so exacerbating the predicament we are in. It is a very real existential dilemma, which makes it no wonder that the majority of people either descend into cynicism, succumbing to that very seductive and fashionable idea that nothing really matters, or accepting whatever they are told that will allow them to continue to think that everything will continue to progress, more or less as it is, forever and always, or at least until sometime after I and everyone I care about is dead, after having lived a long and otherwise untroubled life.
I’m of the opinion that the species and the biosphere is deeply in need of healing. I’m equally convinced, there is no healing the earth, or the culture, or anyone else, if we cannot heal ourselves first.
In 2006, I was at what I now consider the nadir of my life, a point at which I could no longer conceive of any point to my existence. Outwardly, there wasn’t any reason that I should have been in such a state. Really, I was living what many consider an enviable life; I owned my own house, I drove a nice new truck, I ran my own business, I was 34 and single. But it was a life dependent on credit, growing ever more unsustainable, and it was a life I was living mostly to please someone else. I was living and working alone. I remember the day clearly, after a three or four day funk, in my bed, I wrote my name in my journal, William Hunter Duncan, and what each of those names mean: William, protector; Hunter, a hunter; Duncan, dark skinned warrior. I did not feel in any way that I filled that name, I felt that I had lost, or I had no voice, and I despaired.
I knew then, that if I did not make some fundamental change, i would either be dead sooner rather than later, or I would grow bitter and deformed, and die later, miserably. I put myself on a path of healing then, not having any idea how, and not trusting that my culture, which I have always considered to be mostly crazy, would have very many real answers for me, but more likely could only addict me to some new delusion about myself.
I found Jung, and considered the archetypes, and Joseph Campbell and Riane Eisler, and various others, exploring the concept of gods and goddesses, and then I found The Mankind Project, and men who showed me some tools to get clear about my purpose, and then I saw a picture of a painting in a book, a painting by a 19th century Japanese artist, a depiction of a goddess, and a comment by that painter that if you call out to the Goddess she will answer, and sometime shortly after that, I called out to the Goddess and offered myself up in service – not having any concept what that might mean. I was working as a copywriter for a Fortune 100 company at the time – the coziest, and weirdest job I have ever had, paying more than any job I’d ever had, for doing less work than I had ever done at any other job. Shortly thereafter, I met an extraordinary woman, fell in love, and I walked away from my house and my life in Minneapolis.
I’m back in that house now, with the help of my father, on the verge of having to sell the house, but having written two books the last four years, with two more books in progress. I’m remodeling that house, and I’ve already transformed my city lot into a permaculture garden, part veggie and flower beds, part orchard, part vineyard. I have 11 fruit trees, 16 grape vines, raspberries and black caps, asparagus, strawberries, western sand cherries. There is hardly a blade of grass in my front yard, in defiance of the tyranny of consensus; my immediate neighbors like me. I’ve been managing Monster Halloween in Minneapolis the last two years, for some old friends. I was for a time the Creative Director of HD Masks, working for those same friends. I continue to do some remodeling of other people’s houses, I do some landscaping in other people’s yards and gardens. But all my employment options have recently come to an end, I haven’t had a vehicle in four years and I don’t really want one (except maybe an old diesel), and I’m risking this house and this garden, on the dream of being a working writer, a thing I have wanted to be since I remember writing.
The mystic Terrence Mckenna once said, in reference to the question, what to do about the madness of the species heading inexorably toward economic and ecological collapse, that the only thing to do is to flood the world with Art. I take that to mean, to find whatever it is I am called to do in this life, whatever it is that resonates with the core of my being, to embrace it, nurture it, and share whatever comes of that with the world; to be, in the way I feel called to be. I’m inclined to think, it is time to embrace one’s joy. I love to garden, sing, dance, write, and build things, and I do that every day.
Just about everything that is conventional is about separation; separating us from the earth, separating us from each other, separating us from our very selves. Being truly alive is about being connected. Not in the digital sense necessarily, but with all things, everything. Quantum Physics has helped re-inject mystery into our consciousness, after a 5000 year attempt at least to control, define, and make absolute. All is energy, just as Easterners have long been saying. And this life is very real, what ever those eastern mystics and the new age types want to say about this life being an illusion. It is all divine, everything, everywhere – what can, and what cannot be seen. And we only happen to be living in a period of a cycle when illusion and disconnection reign.
Or so I have come to believe. To riff on a comment Terrence Mckenna was fond of making, this universe is vastly more mysterious than we can know, far more mysterious than anyone has led us to believe. That means, you are the only one who can truly know what is right for you. So my books, my words, are only a reflection of my own experience, my own perspective. If you read my books, my hope is, if they are of any use to you at all, they encourage you to be true to your self. Because if you are as I suspect, divine, then you are vastly more deep and profound than you have been lead to believe, and the Universe and the Goddess are calling to you now, to wake up to the whole of your being.
Joy and wonder is to be yours, if you are open to it. And that doesn’t require anything but that.