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Page added on May 9, 2017

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Is There Life Before Death?

Is There Life Before Death? thumbnail

As the conversation about Near-Term Human Extinction (NTHE) grows increasingly deafening, I notice many people behaving as if they are already dead—and in fact they may be. Do we have 15 years, 20 years, 50 years? Should I move to another location? What’s the point of doing the job I now have? Why even have health insurance if I’m not going to be here anyway? And on it goes…

I have no problem with preparing for the future. I’ve been writing books on that topic for about six years. The future has come to meet us and smack us upside the head on just about every level imaginable. And…living primarily in the future takes a terrible toll on us in current time. In fact, it strip-mines our lives in the here and now and guarantees that we become “extinct” long before NTHE does its dirty deed.

Recently, I was watching an interview with mindfulness teacher, Jon Kabat-Zinn. When asked what he believes about life after death, Kabat-Zinn responded by saying that he doesn’t think about it much because he’s much more intrigued with whether or not there is life before death. If there isn’t life before death, he said, then we are already dead.

So how do we reconcile living life fully in current time with NTHE? The simplest response I have is: Give them equal time. Read the science, keep current with the news, talk about it with people with whom it is safe to do so, but give the present moment as much time as you give NTHE.

Giving the present equal time means committing to several necessary practices.

  1. Get away from the computer and the stack of books and get yourself OUT into raw nature. I never cease to be amazed at individuals who “fight for” the environment but don’t know how to spend quality time in it. This means not doing anything in nature but simply being in it. That sounds like a big waste of time? Good. That anxiety you’re feeling when you think about this is a tip-off that that is exactly what you need to do. When immersing yourself in nature, don’t “go for a hike” or “exercise” or “garden.” Just simply be mindfully present in nature. That means listening to every sound intently, really noticing everything you see, smelling the fragrances (unpleasant as well as pleasant), perhaps even tasting grass or leaves or plants that you know are safe to eat. Sit or lie on the earth. Honor your sensuality, and bring your body into contact with nature. Lose yourself in Earth eroticism.
  2. Practice appreciating beauty at least once a day. It could be taking a moment to look at, smell, or touch the flowers growing wild or in your backyard. It could be painting or drawing something beautiful. It could be listening to an extraordinary piece of music that moves you to your depths. It could be cooking an exquisite meal for your loved ones.
  3. Practice creativity every day. Creativity can be expressed in myriad forms—writing, drawing, cooking, playing music, helping your child with homework, planting a garden. Make something new every day even if that only means cleaning, de-cluttering, re-purposing an object. Learn and tell stories—especially to children and to each other. Tell stories of heroes and “sheroes” of integrity and passion for the earth. Immerse yourself in mythology and allow it to reveal to you the story you came here to live.
  4. Live passionately. “Suck the marrow out of life,” as Professor Keating might have said in “Dead Poet’s Society.” And speaking of poetry, delight in reading and writing poetry and memorize it by heart, from the heart.
  5. Move/exercise/stretch the body every day. Recently, when leaving the gym where I work out several times a week, I heard wonderfully wild music coming from a Zumba class and stopped to watch. I found myself welling up with tears of joy as I focused on every individual in the class dancing their passion. Indeed, many individuals are ill or suffering from chronic pain or severe disabilities and cannot take Zumba classes, but every one of us can do something for the body every day.
  6. Express love to another being every day. Beyond someone in your family, make a conscious effort to be kind to someone or something. It may be easy to express love to family members or pets, but it’s often more challenging to extend kindness to the grocery clerk, the bank teller, or the customer service person on the phone whom you will never see and whom you can’t wait to stop dealing with.
  7. “Inflict” humor and joy on others when least expected. This does not mean being disrespectful or insensitive. Be discerning and considerate, but lighten up as you carry the heavy load of Anthropocene awareness.
  8. Breathe, breathe, breathe. Check in with yourself regularly to see if you are breathing. The second you feel stressed, breathe. Taking long, slow, deep belly breaths is the best medicine for body and mind in any situation, even when you’re not feeling stressed.
  9. Practice acceptance. Acceptance does not mean being resigned. It means recognizing the actuality of things without your particular story of how bad the situation is or your story of how the future will play out. It means taking a situation into your awareness and working with it in order to help it find its own place in your heart and mind rather than being the dominating force in your life.
  10. Commit to a stillness/mindfulness practice. You can be well aware of NTHE and the probability of a bleak future for humanity and at the same time be passionately alive. One of the most effective ways of facilitating this is learning and practicing mindfulness. It is one of the oldest survival techniques known to our species. Hunter-gatherers knew that if they didn’t practice mindfulness, they would be eaten.As a result of our awareness of NTHE, we can easily get caught in depressive rumination, that is, a thought pattern that keeps bringing us down. If you find yourself ruminating, ask: Who is ruminating right now? Just keep asking the question. You are not your thoughts but the awareness of your thoughts. Ruminations come and go, but you don’t. Wherever you go, there you are, so it’s more than important to know who’s ruminating.

If action is the antidote to despair, then stillness is the antidote to hysteria and rumination about the future. A short exercise by Kabat-Zinn offers a taste of mindfulness practice. Kabat-Zinn founded the renowned Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts, and his video presentation on Mindfulness, Stress Reduction and Healing is a remarkable integration of science and mindfulness.

Lest we assume that practicing mindfulness is just one more form of sitting meditation, it’s important to understand that it can be practiced anywhere—while walking or doing almost any activity because it simply involves paying full attention to whatever we are doing or experiencing in the moment.

So there is life before death, and as the African proverb says, “When death comes, may it find you fully alive.

carolynbaker.net



21 Comments on "Is There Life Before Death?"

  1. CIA-MOLE on Tue, 9th May 2017 2:03 pm 

    Thanks Mrs. Baker. I’m sure you’re a fair person so I feel warm and fuzzy knowing and assuming you love a CIA mole like me too.

    As for death, don’t fear it. It’s the journey that matters rightfully because it occupies the distance time line from the beginning of our lives to the end. The ends are very quick so don’t be too concerned about it.

    God bless

  2. Dredd on Tue, 9th May 2017 2:39 pm 

    You Are Here

  3. CIA-MOLE on Tue, 9th May 2017 3:18 pm 

    @Dredd, thanks for the link but not going to read someone who thinks a Russian general who thinks US nuking Russia is a good thing.

    Then Russian general gonna tell dictator Putin to nuke US pre-emptively.

    As if I enjoy Russian fire over my head.

  4. onlooker on Tue, 9th May 2017 3:22 pm 

    Actually CIA, that really makes sense what you just said

  5. CIA-MOLE on Tue, 9th May 2017 3:25 pm 

    Maybe trumptard said something crazy like that but every other day I hear either NK, China, or Russian general threatening to nuke the US.

    And your comrade Cloggie going to say burn burn burn “Zio” bastards!

    Even trumtard ever tweeted threats to other people, that still doesn’t significantly increase the amount of threats to noticeable level.

    And like I never seen a military parade in America, I wonder why that is.

    I see military parades in China, Russia, and NK. I guess they’re peace parades.

    It must be true that Hilter panzers were for “agricultural research”

  6. CIA-MOLE on Tue, 9th May 2017 3:28 pm 

    Thanks for making me feel like a freak because you think America is a freak show. Even the Canadians are directing their propaganda at us now. They used to hate us because they had an inferior complex.

    Now they just tell us what to do.

  7. bobinget on Tue, 9th May 2017 5:02 pm 

    WaterGate 2.0
    President Trump fired FBI director James Comey ..

    It seems Director Comey was getting too close.

    If the Trumpster believes this will stop his impeachment he’s mistaken.

  8. makati1 on Tue, 9th May 2017 6:30 pm 

    CIA, the U$ is, and has been, the only war monger in the world for the last 70+ years. It was born by killing innocents and has not stopped in over 240 years. A parade of weapons by a foreign country is a means of telling the U$ to keep hands off.

    I fully expect Russia to fire the first shot when it is pushed too far by the U$. The U$ ‘missile shield’ will NOT keep the nukes from their American and European targets. That ‘shield’ is over 30 years old and, if the recent 59 U$ cruse missiles in Syria are any proof, less than 1/2 of the Russian Nukes will be intercepted. That still leaves about 2,000+ to hit U$ cities. Glad I do not live there. No one wins if there is another world war. No one.

  9. onlooker on Tue, 9th May 2017 6:39 pm 

    Nice you are back Mak, check this out the dirty tactics in the War on Terror by the US. Looks like they are the real terrorist
    https://www.thenation.com/article/americas-secret-war-134-countries/
    America’s Secret War in 134 Countries

    The deployment of US Special Operations forces is a growing form of overseas power projection.

  10. Davy on Tue, 9th May 2017 6:48 pm 

    “If the Trumpster believes this will stop his impeachment he’s mistaken.”
    Obama may face criminal charges when all this is over too, right bob? Only fair a lying liberal gets equal justice.

  11. Go Speed Racer on Tue, 9th May 2017 7:24 pm 

    There has been no life before death,
    not since Bush Jr and his republican
    swindlers purchased the government.

    Now it’s just hang onto the railing of the
    sinking ship, until you are drowned.

  12. Apneaman on Tue, 9th May 2017 9:51 pm 

    Early humans ‘could have driven #HomoNaledi to extinction’

    http://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/early-humans-could-have-driven-homonaledi-to-extinction-9027083

    Model suggests Neanderthal extinction occurred due to human cultural superiority

    https://phys.org/news/2016-02-neanderthal-extinction-due-human-cultural.html

    World’s Richest Countries Are Letting Animals Go Extinct

    http://observer.com/2017/05/megafauna-large-animals-extinction-rich-countries-animal-conservation/

  13. Apneaman on Tue, 9th May 2017 9:54 pm 

    We Are The Asteroid

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPq9YAg9mfc

  14. green_achers on Tue, 9th May 2017 9:59 pm 

    Such a nice article, and you bozos argue about what’s-his-name.

  15. GregT on Wed, 10th May 2017 12:08 am 

    “Thanks for making me feel like a freak because you think America is a freak show. Even the Canadians are directing their propaganda at us now.”

    So first ‘A Davy Fan’, then ‘A Former Davy Fan’, followed by ‘AFDF’, and now CIA-MOLE? A shining beacon of stability you are not.

    Totally effing nutters.

  16. Davy on Wed, 10th May 2017 6:04 am 

    This is a nice article and dove tails with my message of doom. If you are one of the lucky ones who enjoys life now it resonates. If you are one of those people you have a responsibility to others because of that resonance. A significant amount of rich and poor are not in a good place for a variety of reasons. Many rich are in a false good which is very scary when that facade of denial is shattered.

    Downsize with dignity by collapsing in place in a place of relative sustainability and resilience. No place is safe in this world by that is where it ends because some places are a death trap. You can increase your safety level allowing you more time in a serious collapse to maintain order in your life. If this collapse process unfolds over years you can be ahead of the curve of decline by getting with decline. Practice relative sacrifice instead of extreme changes. You are stuck in the status quo and will have to use the status quo to leave it. Very few can go offline completely and the reality is no one is completely off line because anyone can be found in this day and age.

    Dooming and prepping is really a poor description of what I do. Most people when I tell them that the reaction is negative so I tell few people what I am doing. The idea behind it is embracing the real part of life and acknowledging the status quo is the human part. The real part follows nature’s patterns and cycles. The human part talks about techno optimistic exceptionalism. The human maps out a manifest destiny of progress and increasing power and knowledge of our species. This is clearly false hence planetary decline. Our trajectory is civilizational collapse that has initiated a planetary collapse.

    The status quo is self-organizing and adapts according to growth based needs. The status quo cannot degrowth so it cannot embrace decline as an individual can. It must follow its path to destruction. This is a fate and necessary. Necessary as in natural. If you get off this treadmill you can live the real life. This is not transcendence. This is about leaving human denial at the foundation of our core meaning. It is about rejecting this social narrative but living it because the status quo is what provides. If this sounds strange it is. It is surreal and the reason many are neurotic. Their inner nature realizes this but their beliefs go against it. You eliminate the neurosis by yielding to the status quo. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s but add to this give to nature what is natures. Your essence as life is nature’s so in a sense your deepest meaning.

    I want to avoid talking skydaddy stuff. This is just my experience that may or may not help you. In the end I have no idea what is going on so in a sense I am a mystic. I am not discounting skydaddy beliefs or spirituality. You can work this into your life by the yielding principal. In this case your yielding is the other way. Your spirituality must yield to nature’s reality. The key is to transform meaning away from man and to nature. This is how you become really green, embrace real social justice, and go proportional. Human proportionality is localism. This is how you find meaning to get out of bed. When you yield to nature then science and spirituality fit together. The stars are working with you instead of you against. Our nature is not confined to earth because we are part of the stars.

    I am not trying to be a nutter naturalist I am just saying in this time of unprecedented turbulence of meaning you can find meaning right bellow your feet and within yourself. It is so simple it is hard. Am I there, sometimes. I am working on it. I am scared too but I use my fear constructively. Prepping is a constructive way of life that embraces simplicity and our natural instincts of survival. Modern man has lost his survival instinct because the state now takes care of that. I doom because science and nature are telling me doom is ahead. I wish the wonderful stories society tells us were true. I want happy endings for my friends and family. What I want more is to orientate to the truth and give back wisdom I find there. Wisdom now is more important than ever. Wise choices now are a matter of life and death. Society is not wise and can’t be. It is wise in its world but it does not conform to nature. Seek natural wisdom and find the simplicity that is in the truth. The rest falls into place.

  17. Revi on Wed, 10th May 2017 12:26 pm 

    I know it’s unlikely, but we might figure something out.

    In the meantime I am living until I die, which could be any time.

    When I lived in Guatemala in the 80’s I was on my motorcycle one time and I remember thinking that around the next corner could be a bus waiting to hit me, but right at that moment the sun was out and there were amazing waterfalls coming out of the mountains and life was good.

    I want to live like that again…

  18. Jerome Purtzer on Wed, 10th May 2017 5:21 pm 

    Hey Davy, you are O.K.! I love the back to nature scenario. Probably the only valid one in my book.

  19. Davy on Wed, 10th May 2017 5:31 pm 

    Thanks

  20. CIA-MOLE on Wed, 10th May 2017 8:06 pm 

    @jerome uh huh, back to nature. Don’t do it. Ticks everywhere. As if Lyme disease isnt bad enough now we have POW.

  21. Theedrich on Thu, 11th May 2017 9:53 pm 

    Because of its apocalyptic and mutually suicidal nature, nuclear war is unlikely to occur.  Instead, of the “ABC” (Atomic-Biological-Chemical) threats, B and C are far more likely than A.  They are much cheaper than nuclear and missile technology, and far more easily concealed and smuggled across insecure borders.  In addition, even non-state players and guerilla groups such as ISIL can foreseeably acquire these means of warfare.

    There is a deadly nerve agent called “VX,” which can be produced by mixing two precursor compounds, in themselves relatively harmless.  At an airport in Kuala Lumpur, Indonesia, on 2017 Feb 13, two North Korean female agents sequentially smeared those two separate precursor chemicals on the face of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother, Kim Jong-nam.  He died about 20 minutes later en route to a hospital.

    This event reveals the fact that even the desperately poor dictatorship of North Korea has a chemical weapons program.  In addition, today, new gene editing technologies, originally developed for medical use, have turned out to be a doubled-edged sword.  For they can be used to create monster killer diseases and population-murdering plagues.  They can also be obtained easily, cheaply and clandestinely by any organization with the will, expertise and money to do so.

    Although the U.S. has signed the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention, it is of course covertly violating its agreements (just as it is covertly attempting to subvert Russia’s government), as are other major power players on the world stage.  The current hysteria about North Korea’s nuclear-and-missile programs, about supposed Trumpian “collusion” with Russian cyber activity, etc., is helpful in distracting public attention away from the real and growing threat of biological and chemical devastation.  In resonance with such distractions, the neurotic and myopic Leftist judiciary appears to have no clue as to the increasingly probable effects of their “Let-the-entire-world-enter-the-U.S.” arrogance.

    The world is not standing still.  New methods of warfare are being developed which make the Yid MSM shoot-em-up scenarios irrelevant except as entertainment value for Christians who want to feel guilty for some alleged “holocaust.”  For, in addition to nuclear and missile technology, those new methods include lasers, microwaves, cybernetics, genetics, biology and perhaps more.  Not to mention that the costs of all of these tools is dropping by the year.

    Which means that it is only a matter of time before we begin to see their use — and not only in some distant, primitive land.

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