Another End of the World is Possible
by John Halstead
- The scientific reason why there is no Planet BWe don’t just need a planet roughly the same size and temperature as Earth; we need a planet that spent billions of years evolving with us.
- The Original Heresy: Homesickness, Civilization, and Transcendental Religion (part 2)To be pagan is nothing more and nothing less than to be fully human, fully human in a more-than-human world. The alienating forces of civilization—including Christianity, yes, but also capitalism, industrialism, the Enlightenment, and patriarchy—have divided us from ourselves, from each other, and from the more-than-human world. The work of being pagan today, then, is to reclaim our humanity.
- The Original Heresy: Homesickness, Civilization, and Transcendental Religion (part 1)The original heresy is the belief that the earth is not our home, that our real life is somewhere else—whether in heaven or a future technotopia. We embrace this heresy to make sense of that nagging feeling that something is wrong with the world itself. But the real reason we feel this way is because civilization alienates us from everything that makes us human.
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“What will it take for human beings to change? I think, maybe, it would take dying. Maybe the only way we could experience a conversion to a biocentric way of life is if we believed—if we really knew—that we were going to die. ‘We will not save what we do not love,’ wrote the ecotheologian, Thomas Berry. Maybe radical love is only possible when we give up hope for ourselves.”
From the Back Cover
In these essays, author and activist, John Halstead, takes us from a 2016 environmental protest at a Midwestern tar sands refinery to a mid-20th century Mexican cornfield stricken with blight to a bloody sacrifice to the Mother Goddess in ancient Rome, and from ancient pagan myths to the latest superhero movies to speculative fiction about a biocentric community of the future. In so doing, he explores the intersection of climate change and capitalism, hope and despair, death and denial, hubris and hero myths, love and limitations, popular culture and storytelling, and what it would really mean for our relationship with the natural world if we were to admit that we are doomed.
What If It’s Already Too Late
I had a terrible thought recently … “What if it’s already too late?”
Die Early and Often
We are doomed to walk the path of the Dying God.
The Yoga of Despair
What will it take for human beings to change? I think, maybe, it would take dying.
John Halstead is the author of Another End of the World is Possible (2019), in which he explores what it would really mean for our relationship with the natural world if we were to admit that we are doomed. John is a native of the southern Laurentian bioregion and lives in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago. He is a co-founder of 350 Indiana-Calumet, which worked to organize resistance to the fossil fuel industry in the Region. John was the principal facilitator of “A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment.” He strives to live up to the challenge posed by the Statement through his writing and activism. John has written for numerous online platforms, including Patheos, Huffington Post, PrayWithYourFeet.org, and Gods & Radicals. He also facilitates a climate grief support group affiliated with the Good Grief Network.
You can read more about John’s story here.
Questions for the End of the World
I want to know if you belong or feel abandoned.
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know if you are prepared to live in the world with its harsh need to change you.
If you can look back with firm eyes saying this is where I stand.
I want to know if you know how to melt into that fierce heat of living, falling toward the center of your longing.
I want to know if you are willing to live, day by day, with the consequence of love and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat.— excerpt from David Whyte’s “Self Portrait”
John’s Interview on Last Born in the Wilderness
“There is no reason for amazement: surely one always knew that cultures decay, and life’s end is death.”Robinson Jeffers
“When our day is come for the victory of death, death closes in; there is nothing we can do, except be crucified–and resurrected; dismembered totally, and then reborn.”Joseph Campbell
“The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.”Emerson
“It’s only in recognizing the fact that our lives are limited, complicit, imperfect, and interdependent that we begin to understand what it means to live together in this world.”Roy Scranton
The Newsroom Episode
A Farewell Note
from Professor Brendan Mackey
Director Of Griffith Climate Change Response Program