Dec 2013 Newsletter // by Ian MacKenzie
Dear <<First Name>>,
When I was 22, I went through a kind of death. Not the recognition that I would die, but the understanding that our civilization cannot continue in the way we see today. Do not doubt the impact of this on yourself or others. Cynicism and despair are quick to fill the pain. Many do not emerge from this existential void.
To conceive that humanity has triggered the end of all life brings about deep self-loathing. There must be something wrong with humans, we say. But consider: if dolphins evolved the capacity for ego-centric consciousness, and the opposable thumbs to enact their separation, they would be in the exact same predicament.
The mindset that believes of human exceptionalism, that we are somehow different from the rest of Life, must concede upon inquiry that we are in fact, not different. Life wanted humans in the world. While this moment was inevitable, our assured survival is not.
We must go through the existential void. Each one of us must know deeply: the dominant culture is dying. We must feel the grief deeply in our souls and not try to run from it. We must sit by the bedside of our culture as if holding the hand of a loved one.
Concurrently, we must continue the tentative steps towards planting the seeds of the culture(s) that will emerge in its stead. We see shoots already poking up through the soil: the open-source movement, permaculture, non-violent communication, decentralized organization, alternative currencies.
We must love our own aliveness so deeply, that we reject any further participation in a system that does not honour the gifts with which we have been bestowed. We must love the world so deeply that we have no choice but to bow in service to the beauty that is waiting for us, patiently, to re-member.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. Please enjoy the latest edition of my newsletter Dispatches from the Future.
The day is here! My talk from this year's TedX Victoria is now available online. This talk represents my own personal synthesis from artists, activists, Occupiers, rabble rousers, revolutionaries and evolutionaries that I’ve had the privilege to meet during my short time on this planet. A sincere bow as well to my friends, supporters, and teachers – which I am forever indebted.
I had a lot of fun with this talk. Thanks to the TedX organizers and volunteers, fellow speakers, and all the lovely people of Victoria who made this an amazing event.
Please SHARE this video if you’re inspired.
» Watch the video: How to Occupy the Noosphere
» Read the full transcript
ESSAY: LEARNING HOW TO LIVE IN THE ANTHROPOCENE
My new piece is part a response to a recent piece of Iraq war veteran Roy Scanton, and part manifesto for grief and ecstasy as we move into an uncertain era. The piece has already garnered over 15,000 reads in less than 4 days - and believe it or not, offers inspiration in a time rife with despair.
"It's hard not to feel there’s a fundamental flaw in the human animal. How else to explain the destruction unleashed upon the rest of creation? Secretly, you might even feel justified in agreeing we should die. Death is punishment for the sins of our civilization."
» Read the full essay Learning How to Live in the Anthropocene
SACRED ECONOMICS [IS UPWORTHY]
My short film, in collaboration with Charles Eisenstein and his book of the same name, was recently featured in the massively popular site Upworthy. Part of their appeal is the enticing titles they use to refurbish great videos/articles they find on the web. Here's what they wrote about my film:
"Sick of the craptastic state of our economy? Perhaps some new ideas will cheer you up! (Why do I sound like an infomercial? I have no idea, but I'm goin' with it.) Author Charles Eisenstein has some (you might say) revolutionary ideas about how to turn things around.
I love how at 2:22 he flat-out says what money really is. Then, at around 3:58, I start to realize I will never look at Jennifer Aniston in the same way again. He breaks it down for us at 8:58: What will we decide?"
» Watch the short Sacred Economics
Would you like to bring Reactor to your city? Submit your screening details here and read the guide to hosting your screening here.
Not able to make it to a screening? You can now stream REACTOR online for $1.99 via Vimeo on Demand.
If you'd like to help me bring this film to further cities across the world, please consider offering a donation here.
BOOK IAN FOR YOUR EVENT
Want to bring me to your event? I'm available for speaking gigs on crowdfunding, filmmaking, and the emerging paradigm. Contact me here
If you enjoyed this newsletter, please SHARE with your friends + family.
Until next month...
p.s. Many of you know the impact Burning Man has had on my work and activism. Here's one of my favourite videos that's come out of this year's burn: We Are Only Human