Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Gordon Winrod (born December 30, 1926), son of Gerald B. Winrod, is a Lutheran minister 30 years prison term

The Final Empire
The Collapse of Civilization and the Seed of the Future

William H. Koetke

(from Koetke's book of the same title: pp. 9­14)

Our generation is on the verge of the most profound catastrophe the human species has ever faced. Death threats to the living earth are coming from all sides. Water, sunlight, air and soil are all threatened. When Eskimos of the far north begin to experience leukemia from atomic radiation and Eskimo mothers' milk contains crisis levels of PCBs, we must recognize that every organism on the planet is threatened.

Compounding this crisis is the fact that the prime force in this affair, the civilized humans, are unable to completely understand the problem. The problem is beneath the threshold of consciousness because humans within civilization (civilization comes from the Latin, civis, referring to those who live in cities, towns and villages) no longer have relationship with the living earth. Civilized people's lives are focused within the social system itself. They do not perceive the eroding soils and the vanishing forests. These matters do not have the immediate interest of paychecks. The impulse of civilization in crisis is to do what it has been doing, but do it more energetically in order to extricate itself. If soaring population and starvation threaten, often the impulse is to put more pressure on the agricultural soils and cut the forests faster.

We face planetary disaster. The destruction of the planetary life system has been ongoing for thousands of years and is now approaching the final apocalypse which some of us will see in our own lifetimes. Far from being a difficult and complex situation it is actually very simple, if one can understand and accept a few simple and fundamental propositions.

The planetary disaster is traced to one simple fact. Civilization is out of balance with the flow of planetary energy. The consensus assumption of civilization is that an exponentially expanding human population with exponentially expanding consumption of material resources can continue, based on dwindling resources and a dying ecosystem. This is simply absurd. Nonetheless, civilization continues on with no memory of its history and no vision of its future.

Possibly the most important source of life on this planet is the thin film of topsoil. The life of the planet is essentially a closed, balanced system with the elements of sun, water, soil and air as the basic elements. These elements work in concert to produce life and they function according to patterns that are based in the laws of physics, which we refer to as Natural Law.

The soil depth and its richness is a basic standard of health of the living planet. As a general statement we may say that when soil is lost, imbalance and injury to the planet's life occurs. In the geologic time-span of the planet's life, this is a swift progression toward death. Even if only one per cent of the soil is lost per thousand years, eventually the planet dies. If one per cent is gained, then the living wealth, the richness, of the planet increases. The central fact must be held in mind of how slowly soil builds up. Soil scientists estimate that three hundred to one thousand years are required for the buildup of each inch of topsoil.

The nourishment of the soil depends upon the photosynthetic production of the vegetative cover that it carries. There are wide differences in the Net Photosynthetic Production of many possible vegetative covers. As a rule it is the climax ecosystem of any particular region of the earth that is the most productive in translating the energy of the sun into the growth of plants and in turn into organic debris which revitalizes the soil.

A climax ecosystem is the equilibrium state of the "flesh" of the earth. After a severe forest fire, or to recover from the injury of clearcut logging, the forest organism slowly heals the wound by inhabiting the area with a succession of plant communities. Each succeeding community prepares the area for the next community. In general terms, an evergreen forest wound will be covered by tough small plants, popularly called "weeds" and the grasses which hold down the topsoil and prepare the way for other grasses and woody shrubs to grow up on the wound. ("Weeds" are the "first aid crew" on open ground.) As a general rule, the "first aid crew" - the first community of plants to get in and cover the bare soil and hold it down - is the more simple plant community with the smallest number of species of plants, animals, insects, micro-organisms and so forth. As the succession proceeds, the diversity, the number of species, increases as does the NPP, until the climax system is reached again, and equilibrium is established. The system drives toward complexity of form, maximum ability to translate incoming energy (NPP) and diversity of energy pathways (food chains and other services that plants and animals perform for one another). The plants will hold the soil so that it may be built back up. They will shade the soil to prevent its oxidation (the heating and drying of soil promotes chemical changes that cause sterility) and conserve moisture. Each plant takes up different combinations of nutrients from the soil so that specific succession communities prepare specific soil nutrients for specific plant communities that will succeed them. Following the preparation of the site by these plants, larger plants, alders and other broadleaf trees will come in and their lives and deaths will further prepare the micro-climate and soil for the evergreens. These trees function as "nurse" trees for the final climax community, which will be conifers. Seedling Douglas Fir, for example, cannot grow in sunlight and must have shade provided by these forerunner communities.

The ecosystems of this earth receive injury from tornado, fire, or other events and then cycle back to the balanced state, the climax system. This is similar to the wound on a human arm that first bleeds, scabs over and then begins to build new replacement skin to reach its equilibrium state. The climax system then is a basic standard of health of the living earth, its dynamic equilibrium state. The climax system is the system that produces the greatest photosynthetic production. Anything that detracts from this detracts from the health of the ecosystem.
Climax ecosystems are the most productive because they are the most diverse. Each organism feeds back some portion of energy to producers of energy that supports it (as well as providing energy to other pathways) and as these support systems grow, the mass and variety of green plants and animals increases, taking advantage of every possible niche. What might be looked at as a whole, unitary organ of the planet's living body, a forest or grassland, experiences increased health because of its diversity within.

On a large scale, the bioregions and continental soils, substantially support sea life by the wash-off (natural and unnatural) of organic fertility into aquatic and ocean environments. This is a further service that these whole ecosystems perform for other whole ecosystems.

A few basic principles of the earth's life in the cosmos have now been established. Balance is cosmic law. The earth revolves around the sun in a finely tuned balance. The heat budget of the planet is a finely tuned balance. If the incoming heat declined, we would freeze or if the planet did not dissipate heat properly we would burn up. The climax ecosystem maintains a balance and stability century after century as the diverse flows of energies constantly move and cycle within it. In the same manner the human body maintains balance (homeostasis) while motion of blood, digestion and cell creation, flow within it.

The life of the earth is fundamentally predicated upon the soil. If there is no soil, there is no life as we know it. (Some micro-organisms and some other forms might still exist). The soil is maintained by its vegetative cover and in optimal, balanced health, this cover is the natural climax ecosystem.

If one can accept these few simple principles then we have established a basis of communication upon which we may proceed. Anyone who cannot accept these principles must demonstrate that the world works in some other way. This must be done quickly because the life of the planet earth hangs in the balance.

We speak to our basic condition of life on earth. We have heard of many roads to salvation. We have heard that economic development will save us, solar heating will save us, technology, the return of Jesus Christ who will restore the heaven and the earth, the promulgation of land reform, the recycling of materials, the establishment of capitalism, communism, socialism, fascism, Muslimism, vegetarianism, trilateralism, and even the birth of new Aquarian Age, we have been told, will save us. But the principle of soil says that if the humans cannot maintain the soil of the planet, they cannot live here. In 1988, the annual soil loss due to erosion was twenty-five billion tons and rising rapidly. Erosion means that soil moves off the land. An equally serious injury is that the soil's fertility is exhausted in place. Soil exhaustion is happening in almost all places where civilization has spread. This is a literal killing of the planet by exhausting its fund of organic fertility that supports other biological life. Fact: since civilization invaded the Great Plains of North America one-half of the topsoil of that area has disappeared.
The Record of Empire

The eight thousand year record of crimes against nature committed by civilization include assaults on the topsoils of all continents.

Forests, the greatest generators of topsoil, covered roughly one-third of the earth prior to civilization. By 1975 the forest cover was one-fourth and by 1980 the forest had shrunk to one-fifth and the rapidity of forest elimination continues to increase. If the present trends continue without interruption eighty percent of the vegetation of the planet will be gone by 2040.

The simple fact is that civilization cannot maintain the soil. Eight thousand years of its history demonstrate this. Civilization is murdering the earth. The topsoil is the energy bank that has been laboriously accumulated over millennia. Much of it is gone and the remainder is going rapidly.

When civilized "development" of land occurs the climax system is stripped, vegetation is greatly simplified or cleared completely, and the net photosynthetic production plummets. In the tropics, when pasture land is created by clearing forest, two-thirds of the original net photosynthetic production is eliminated. In the mid-latitudes one-half the net photosynthetic production is lost when cropland is created from previously forested land. The next step is that humans take much of even that impaired production off the land in the form of agricultural products so that not even the full amount of that impaired production returns to feed the soil.

This points out a simple principle: Human society must have as its central value, a responsibility to maintain the soil. If we can create culture that can maintain the soil then there is the possibility of human culture regaining balance with the life of the earth.

The central problem is that civilization is out of balance with the life of the earth.

The solution to that problem is for human society to regain balance with the earth.

We are now back to everyone's personal answer concerning how to respond to the planetary crisis. Most proposals for salvation have little to do with maintaining the soil. All of these seek to alleviate the situation without making any uncomfortable change in the core values or structure of existing society. They only try to "fix" the symptoms. If we had a society whose core values were to preserve and aid the earth, then all of the other values of society would flow consistently from that.

In many important ways civilization functions in an addictive fashion. The culture of civilization functions so that it is self-destructive, suicidal; as if it were a person addicted to alcohol, white sugar, drugs or tobacco. The addict denies that there is a problem. The addict engages in the denial of reality. Civilization is addicted in the same way.

The civilized people believe they have an obligation to bring primitive and underdeveloped people up to their level. Civilization, which is about to self-destruct, thinks of itself as the superior culture that has answers for all the world's people.

An addict, truly, is a person who is emotionally dependent on things: television, substances, personality routines, other people, mental ideologies, total immersion in some cause or work. If the object of dependency is removed, addicts will experience insecurity, discomfort, distress, the symptoms of withdrawal.

Civilization is a cultural/mental view that believes security is based in instruments of coercion. The size of this delusion is such that the combined military expenditures of all the world's governments in 1987 were so large that all of the social programs of the United Nations could be financed for three hundred years by this expenditure.

Looking back at the simple principle which says that humans cannot live on this planet unless they can maintain the topsoil, demonstrates the delusion. The civilized denial of the imperative of maintaining topsoil, demonstrates the delusion. The delusion of military power does not lead to security, it leads to death. The civilized denial of the imperative of maintaining topsoil, and the addictive grasping to the delusion that security can be provided by weapons of death, is akin to the hallucination of an alcoholic suffering delirium tremens!

The first step in the recovery of any addict is the recognition that what they have believed is a delusion. The alcoholic must come to see that "just one more drink" is not the answer, the workaholic must come to see that "just a little more effort" will not provide feelings of self-worth and a rounded life. The bulimic must come to see that "just one more plate of food" will not provide emotional wholeness. Civilization must come to see that its picture of reality is leading it to suicide.

Here we have the whole of it. The problem is imbalance and the solution is to regain balance. Here we have the simple principle: if human actions help to regain balance as judged by the condition of the soil, then we are on the path of healing the earth. If the theory, plan, project, or whatever, cannot be justified by this standard, then we are back in the delusional system.

All of us are addicts. We of civilization have lost our way. We are now functioning in a world of confusion and chaos. We must recognize that the delusional system of civilization, the mass institutions and our personal lives, function on a self-destructive basis. We live in a culture that is bleeding the earth to death, and we have been making long-range personal plans and developing careers within it. We strive toward something that is not to be.

We must try to wake up and regain a vision of reality. We must begin taking responsibility for our lives and for the soil. This is a tall order. This will require study and forethought. Humans have never dealt with anything like this before. This generation is presented with a challenge that in its dimensions is cosmic. A cosmic question: will tens of millions of years of the proliferation of life on earth die back to the microbes? This challenge presents us with the possibility of supreme tragedy or the supreme success.

Creating a utopian paradise, a new Garden of Eden is our only hope. Nothing less will extricate us. We must create the positive, cooperative culture dedicated to life restoration and then accomplish that in perpetuity, or we as a species cannot be on earth.
Gordon Winrod (born December 30, 1926), son of Gerald B. Winrod, is a Christian Identity minister who is serving 30 years prison term for abducting six of his grandchildren in 1994 and 1995.[1][2] Winrod was also ordered to pay up $26 million, after two of his grandchildren brought suit against him.[3]

Winrod attended Lutheran Christian Day School, grades 1 through 8, finished high school at Hesston College, Hesston, Kansas,[citation needed] and attended St. John's Lutheran College in Winfield, Kansas.

Winrod served in the U.S. Maritime Service and the U.S. Navy from January, 1945 until August, 1948. Winrod married Genevieve Ann Dicke in Topeka, Kansas in 1948. They have eleven children.

Winrod graduated from Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in 1955; and he served as pastor of Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod congregations in San Antonio, Texas, and in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Winrod began publishing The Winrod Letter in April, 1960.

He moved to Gainesville, Missouri in 1965 and established Our Savior's Independent Christian congregation.

The Anti-Defamation League says that Winrod is an anti-Jewish propagandist. Winrod openly attacks Jews and Judaism in his writings. Winrod describes Jews as child-molesting perverts who hate God, practice the religion of Satan, run a "Secret Jewish World Government of anti-Christ", and says that the Jews have butchered, burned and bled Christians (drinking warm Christian blood) down through the centuries.[4]

My intention in reviewing this stunning book is to share how it has illumined my understanding that collapse and vision are not separate, but that in fact, they travel together and need each other. That is to say that collapse makes vision possible, and vision makes collapse the most desirable option of all as we confront the earth community's current dilemma.

Disaster is not approaching, It has arrived. It is happening now.

Blessings and Grace are not approaching
They have arrived.
They are here now

I say I believe in Grace
But I think, feel and move as though
Only Damnation is real.
Or if Grace does exist,
It is for someone else.

I close my heart to pain
But it doesn't help,
I cannot circumvent disaster.
But in closing my heart to disaster
perhaps I can circumvent Grace.

Can I bear the burden
Of knowing disaster and Grace,
Each in its own awful fullness?

James Hillman says our problem
Comes down to a failure of imagination.
I need an image, a picture...
Who would I be
If I were willing to risk believing
That Grace is real?
~By Paul Tierney~

It has repeatedly been my experience that when a book is supposed to enter my life, it does. Often it falls off the shelf into my lap, and at other times a friend suggests it, or the author him/herself sends me a copy for review. William Kotke has written articles for this website, and his Final Empire has been reviewed elsewhere, most notably by Dan Armstrong. However, the timing of my requesting a review copy of the book from him could not have been more momentous. As a result, I am not only reviewing the book, but using the review as an opportunity for sharing a recent shift in my perspective that may make this the most important article I've ever written in my life. It is written in two parts: The first contains Kotke's extraordinary analysis of why civilization is collapsing and must collapse, and the second offers his vision of what is possible when empire has been eliminated.

My intention in reviewing this stunning book is to share how it has illumined my understanding that collapse and vision are not separate, but that in fact, they travel together and need each other. That is to say that collapse makes vision possible, and vision makes collapse the most desirable option of all as we confront the earth community's current dilemma.

For at least the past two years I have been writing and speaking about the collapse of empire/ civilization, along with a chorus of other voices such as Matt Savinar, Mike Ruppert, Dmitry Orlov, Catherine Austin Fitts, Richard Heinberg, James Howard Kunstler, and Tim Bennett and Sally Erickson. I name only a few of us, mindful that ours are not the only voices speaking from the depths of exhaustive research and personal experience. And now in the first month of 2008, the world is beginning to witness a dramatic unraveling of civilization. The spectacle has begun with the convergence of what I have been naming for years as the "Terminal Triangle": Peak Oil, climate change, and global economic meltdown. A number of related issues such as population overshoot, species extinction, and global pandemics, abide in the mix, but the "Big Three" are now juxtaposed in what appears to be the beginning of the end of life as we have known it on planet earth.

William Kotke has brilliantly articulated what I would not only describe as an "encyclopedia of collapse" but has skillfully depicted a vision of possibility imbedded within the core of apocalypse. The introduction and first chapter of this masterpiece can be read online, but they do not include what I believe are the book's fundamental underpinnings consisting of Chapter 9, "The Cultural Dynamics Of Empire" and Chapter 10, "The Psychology Of Empire", nor do they contain Kotke's elaboration of the exquisite vision he holds for the earth community.

The author painstakingly describes the history of the disintegration and the collapse of the ecosystems in such a manner that the reader cannot escape the reality that all of this is inherent in the very nature of civilization itself. In fact, he thoroughly convinces us that no project in the history of the human race has been so unequivocally doomed from its inception as civilization, its ultimate destiny being its demise and the obliteration of everyone and everything in its wake. Had I had the slightest doubt that civilization must and will collapse in order to spare what it has not yet annihilated on this planet, my uncertainty would have been expunged by Kotke long before arriving at Chapters 9 and 10.

The Cultural Dynamics of Empire

Kotke takes on the linear concept of cultural evolution which assumes that natural cultures of ancient times were "in much worse condition than we are today" and that "we are at the forefront of social evolution." Contained within this notion is the delusion that humans invented agriculture as an escape from unsatisfactory conditions. (197) This myth presumes that "there has been a qualitative advancement with the change from forager/hunter culture to civilization." On the contrary, Kotke notes, compared with natural culture, civilization has brought forth a lowering of living standards and a world in which starvation is increasing--where "progress" is defined primarily by the technological objects that we have invented.

But the fundamental question that must be asked is: "What is it about the culture of empire that has produced the prospect of planetary suicide for the earth community?" Most of us know the standard answers to this question: Human culture changed from cooperation to competition; from social equality to hierarchy; from matrilocal consciousness to patriarchy and an emphasis on the warrior. (199)

Yet even more specifically, natural culture understood that each living thing is a spiritually conscious entity as well as understanding that "everything in material reality was spiritually vivified." The hallmark of that culture was a "continuing and direct spiritual contact with the cosmos" and one in which decisions were made with their repercussions on subsequent generations in mind. (200-201)

The culture of empire is characterized by a rejection of adaptation and insistence on control. It may be argued that as a result of natural culture's intimacy with the cosmos, its most remarkable asset was a willingness to adapt; whereas a culture immersed in materialism can only manage, manipulate, and dominate. Natural culture is one informed and guided by something greater than itself, but the culture of empire is a culture where the ego reigns supreme. Civilization inculcates the belief that bigger is better in every realm, and especially with respect to population. Increase in numbers of citizens offers the hope of physical safety, and economic growth delivers the false promise of immunity to scarcity. In summary, "a profound change takes place in the psyche of the culture when this change from forager/hunter to civilized, imperial energy systems occurs." (203)

Imperial culture, Kotke emphasizes, in contrast to natural culture, is shortsighted and accumulative. No longer is value found in preserving soil, water, forests, or other resources. Thus he argues that:

No one in the empire advocates long-term gain in soil fertility when the short-term gain of profit margins or production quotas are the whole point of the effort. This is the reason that nothing real will be done to avoid the final collapse of civilization. The structure of empire is to enrich the emperor/elite at the expense of the earth and society, not to manage affairs for the benefit of the whole life of the earth. (205)

Therefore, the culture of empire is one in which the earth is a "resource" to be used for the benefit and gratification of empire. Another word for this is quite simply, fascism.

Kotke's brilliant analysis of the cultural dynamics of empire confirms nothing if not the desirability, indeed the absolute necessity, of the collapse of civilization.

In "The Psychology of Empire" we are offered an intimate exploration of empire's impact on our hearts, souls, and bodies with a daring statement by Kotke that "We live in a culture that conditions us toward psychological disintegration" and the admonition that "the examination of these disintegrative factors will aid us in creating a new culture that is pointed toward healing and wholeness." (216) He then presents the analogy of malignancy, stating that "empire feeds on the earth like a tumor" because humans do not depend on the life of the earth for their sustenance but on what human society produces by way of using and exploiting the earth.

When one considers the cancer epidemic of recent decades in the light of the above assertion, one can only wonder to what extent our collective "feeding on the earth like a tumor" is influencing the incidence of this fatal disease. Kotke quotes cell biologist, L. L. Larison Cudmore, who states that "Cancer cells do not respect the territorial rights of other cells and refuse to obey the two rules obeyed by all other cells: they neither stop growing nor stop moving when they encounter another cell, and they do not stick to their own kind. Quite simply, they are cells that have decided on autonomy and independent growth, rather than cooperation....Cancer will not stop its hideous course of uncontrolled growth and invasion until it or its victim is dead." (218)

In other words, the cancer dynamic is without limits, inherently colonizing, omnipotent, and anti-dependent. Can we find a more apt description of empire consciousness?

Enculturation to empire begins in the birthing process itself which is not given the proper reverence it deserves, often complicated by or intruded upon by medication, technology, or both. Equally sacred is the bonding process, so frequently minimized, thwarted, or non-existent in the culture of empire. Yet another characteristic of civilization is its stilted relationship with erotic pleasure and the "anguish, shame, guilt, and automatic negative response to sexual love." (237) Thus the "civilized" child frequently enters adulthood carrying massive anxiety and little sense of connectedness with other humans or the earth. One of the most common outcomes is addiction, which empire feeds and perpetuates endlessly with a plethora of substances, things, activities, and people. Unlike growing up in natural culture, the child of empire "Not knowing the security of life and the earth and not knowing the security of a natural clan providing the learning of human sociability, the industrial human becomes a victim of all the forces of society that tend to make the person powerless and dependent, the perfect subject of addictive dependencies." (248)

Therefore, Kotke wisely concludes: "The logical extrapolation of civilization is the mental institution." (249) Neurosis, schizophrenia, and catatonic states, politically defined as insanity, are simply "logical extensions of the already existing social isolation of the individual in the culture of empire. It is also the logical end of the culture itself in the cosmos, lost in space and surrounded by life but talking only to itself." (250)

By the end of "The Psychology of Empire" it is difficult to even consider arguing for "reform" or the prevention of collapse. In fact, Kotke boldly and blatantly argues for collapse!:

We are not fighting to reform a maladaptive and dying social body. There is no conflict with civilization, it is passing away. There is no battle for civilization's power, the power to kill. There is only the open, positive and sharing sustenance of the new life. (252)

That is to say: Stop trying to fix a dying system. Rather, in Kotke's words, "As with a physical wound, the imperial tissue that has lost integration with the body, lost coherence with the complex flows of energy, falls away. One allows the diseased and injured portions to fall away, while resisting injury to that which is still healthy. One focuses on the new growth, the area of healing....In the case of civilization, it is now poised, tipping and beginning the slide into complete disintegration."

We must realize, says Kotke, that "the dear thing cannot be saved, even with major surgery."

The Ramifications Of Surrender

Some may object to the use of the word "surrender", with its spiritual undertones. However, I was greatly inspired last year by Sally Erickson's blog piece "Catastrophe As Spiritual Practice" in which she shared how surrender to collapse can be a powerful component of our personal, as well as planetary, evolution. These past two years have been for me a cellular-level experience of comprehending more deeply than ever what that actually means. The spiritual dimension for me is non-religious and non-theistic, yet informed by something greater than myself.

From the beginning of this millennium until I encountered the topic of collapse, I had been a prisoner of ego, intent on doing battle with the darkness of empire, hopeful that enough grassroots momentum could be marshaled to affect change and return the United States to the principles of a democratic republic verbalized in the Constitution, albeit not always practiced, through political and community action. What I have learned from my willingness to descend into the abyss of collapse is that there is no return to the "Common Sense" of Thomas Paine, nor is the prevention of collapse even desirable. On the contrary, the collapse of civilization is the only "hope" humanity has of restoring sanity to its own species.

Unfortunately, as I have written profusely about the desirability of collapse, some readers have argued that embracing collapse is synonymous with "giving up." For this reason, the second part of this review of Kotke's Final Empire will be devoted to exploring the other half of the book, "The Seed Of The Future," in which I will demonstrate that surrendering to collapse is anything but giving up.

What natural cultures understand that empire culture does not and cannot, is that before we can take action that makes a significant difference, we must surrender to the worst case scenario; that is, we must be willing to abandon, reject, and resist "hope" and open to abject despair. In other words, as Paul Tierney's poem reminds us, when we circumvent pain, we also circumvent grace.

Hope Vs. Vision/Mindset

As Truth To Power readers know, I have a strong reaction to the word "hope", and I take great pains to distinguish it from vision or mindset. For those who don't know, I want to explain why-again. My 2007 "The End Of The World As We Know It: Hope Vs. Mindset" addressed the issue by illuminating the word "hope" as an unfortunate casualty of the language of empire. Although not quite as cynical about it as James Howard Kunstler, I agree with him when he argues that any hope we have must come from within ourselves. Empire has inculcated in us the belief that our hope lies in something external-politicians, policies, programs, or other people, and as a result, the tendency is to embrace those as our "hope" rather than journeying into the recesses of our own psyches in order to create a vision that we can manifest in relationship with our fellow humans and the entire earth community. More often than not, our "hope" is a defense against feeling despair, but until we have visited the abyss, we are ill-equipped to affect meaningful change and are more likely to engage in activities that appear to be innovative but actually perpetuate denial-our own and that of our allies.

When I abandon the ego-driven project of preventing collapse, when I surrender to utter hopelessness, a fertile space is created in my psyche and my life for giving birth to and nurturing my vision. No longer is my vision jaded by fantasy or a compulsion to circumvent upheaval. I can stand in the tracks of the non-humans struggling to avoid extinction engendered by "superior" humans and open to the possibility of sacrificing myself and my own species so that they may live. My surrender allows me to find my proper place and purpose in the earth community-one species among countless others, willing to allow those others the last word because, of course, they will have it anyway.

Part II of this review will explore "The Seed Of The Future", creating and tending one's vision.

Wm. H. Kötke is widely traveled and published. His most recent book, prior to Planet Garden, was the underground classic, The Final Empire: The Collapse of Civilization and the Seed of the Future. He has been a journalist, a radio script writer, a pamphleteer, a novelist, an essayist, and has had many articles published in periodicals. He lives in Geyserville, California and may be contacted at wmkotke@earthlink.net This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it .

Posted by Rowan at February 7, 2008 8:46 PM Category: Authors --- Guest

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