This is a blog I wrote after a screening and discussion of Collapse with PeaceUp, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
First of all, for those who haven't seen Collapse, it's a film about the perspective of one man, Michael Ruppert, on how peak oil and a debt-based money system are going to--indeed already are --leading to the collapse of civilization as we have known it. So I understand it may be a tad ironic that I found so much fulfillment and felt so uplifted by a such a daunting, doom-ridden and even depressing documentary.
But from where I stand, I've already accepted that collapse is in progress and that American consumer culture is a thing of the past, so rather than being taken aback and shocked, my thoughts were much more along the lines of "at least someone else out there actually sees it too!"
Which brings me to my awakening. I began on my path of internalizing this impending reality in 2009, during my last semester of college, when--amidst my quest to understand the world--I happened upon The Crash Course. Similar to Collapse, The Crash Course laid out very clearly that the majority of our culture is living in a growth-based fantasy, and that our collective awareness is still far from seeing eye-to-eye with the reality and implications of living as a 7-billion-strong species on a finite planet. In contrast to Collapse, The Crash Course is highly analytical, detailed and data-driven. And it's about 3 times the length. Rather than watching one man tell his story, The Crash Course plays much more like a series of academic powerpoint presentations--less personal, more informational. I highly recommend watching this 20-chapter course. Can't recommend it enough, really.
Crash, Collapse, impending doom... why am I so into this? As with most things, there are many reasons. I suppose first of all is that, when we really get to the heart of it... this grand, highly-energized, technologically advanced civilization really isn't all that great for us as humans beings. Sure, it provides us unprecedented convenience and power to shape our world, but it utterly fails to provide for our human needs on an emotional and spiritual level. I see so many people today living in fear, isolation, and depravity -- letting their innate creativity and unique potential atrophy and wither as they work harder and faster at jobs which provide them little or no sense of purpose or meaning -- just to make enough money to get by or to fulfill the limitless desires cast by the wizards of marketing and advertising. It's really a sad state for me to observe and feel around me. So, with that established, collapse provides the opportunity for that demeaning rat race to fade away, and for our species to collectively embrace the next leap forward in human social evolution. We can learn to let go of the money and the consumerism and other bullshit and rediscover ourselves on a much deeper level, much more connected with each other and the other living miracles around us. We can learn to cooperate and empathize rather than compete and apathize. (Yes, I made that word up.)
In closing, I want to highlight one of my favorite parts of the film, where Ruppert emotes about the current state of humanity relative to its potential. I've transcribed it below, but you can also watch it here: < youtube.com/watch?v=tuoymqTkdto#t=709s >
“This is going to be the greatest age of evolution in human thinking that has ever taken place. You walk towards your fear, you embrace your fear, you don’t try to hedge it, that a part of real living as a human being , as a spiritual being is to embrace it, encompass your fear, your love, and not run away from anything, because that’s the life experience. And it’s in that richness that I think we find the most beautiful art, the most beautiful music, we find the richness of what the human soul can offer, and I see all that richness buried under such bullshit .”