Hope, Despair, Coping... tell us about your way!
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23-09-2011, 09:47 AM
Hope, Despair, Coping... tell us about your way!
It may be obvious by now that I am not very optimistic about the future. Someone once wanted to know how I can live without hope. This thread is an attempt to answer that question and also to invite others to tell what gives them hope and how they cope with discouragement.

What do I actually mean by hope? Hope for whom? Hope for me personally? Hope for the human species? Hope for the Planet? Are these hopes actually compatible with each other? The concept of hope is heavily dependent on the concept of goal. What are my goals? I tried to answer that question in the “Needs versus Wants” thread.

What I left out of my list (big oversight!) is my desire to be part of something larger than myself. I so much would love to be part of something healthy, noble, live and vibrant. All my life I have been looking for this larger than me something I could be part of. Not being religious, the only entity that could serve this purpose seemed to be humanity. And that is where my unhappiness originates from.

However, a recent conversation with an extremely intelligent and perceptive individual suggested that I could be part of something even bigger than humanity, something that could actually prove to be all I have been looking for: “healthy, noble, live and vibrant”. This something is “life” as opposed to “non-life”. The biosphere of Earth, the teaming billions of life forms from micro-organisms to the gorillas, quite up to humanity. Life that is ***NOT*** self-destructive, that is clean, healthy, innocent.

If I wanted to, I could consider myself be a part of this (I may even call it Gaia if I wanted to) without feeling ashamed, cynical or suicidal.

Once I started thinking in this direction, there was no turning back. Suddenly I saw myself in a visual image, holding a pair of binoculars to my eyes and focusing them on the Bushes and Blairs and other low-lives. No wonder I saw them larger than life, filling my entire field of vision, not leaving much space for anything else.

When this thought hit me, I mentally reversed the binoculars in my hands and started looking at the same specimens of human evil from the other side of the lenses. Guess what happened? I was amazed how tiny they suddenly became!!! I was gasping at the sudden change in perspective. I did not need to hold the binoculars in the reversed position too long in front of my eyes. Once I neutralized the bad effect, I could discard them altogether.

Ever since that critical moment of awakening I have been going around my garden in a state of near-intoxication, hugging trees , lying down on the grass and embracing the Earth, talking to birds and insects, being one with “LIFE” in all its glory and beauty and innocence. The Bushes and the Blairs were still on the periphery of my vision, but they seemed so insignificant all of a sudden, so accidental, in view of all this glory around me.

Even if they cause a catastrophe and humanity will be wiped off the face of Earth, taking billions of life forms with them, probably the Earth and life will survive and continue without us.

And guess what guys: no matter what happens, I have been part of it all, and nobody can take that away from me. And what I have been part of is something I don’t have to be ashamed of, I will never have to regret, because I have been alive and it has been wonderful!!!

So, on second thought, I don’t need hope after all, I have everything I ever wanted.
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23-09-2011, 07:42 PM (This post was last modified: 23-09-2011 07:55 PM by Peterkin.)
RE: Hope, Despair, Coping... tell us about your way!
I suppose i've always lived in two camps at once - the human and the other.

In youth, i believed that humanity would improve, that life everywhere on earth would improve, steadily, inevitably, throughout my life, and far beyond. There was so much potential, so much opportunity, so much invention!

Then i began to doubt, and in 1976, i finally understood that humanity is unsalvageable: we are never going to smarten up and make the right decisions in time.
Not because we are incapable of solving the problems we had created - indeed, solutions have been offered all along, with embarrassing generosity, by the best and brightest among us - but because power doesn't like to be crossed and power leads the overwhelming majority by the nose.
At that time, we could still have reversed climate change and curbed the population explosion, prevented the extirpation of the rainforests and the loss of so much biodiversity; we could have found cheap, clean energy and avoided poisoning the water. The technology was available - it didn't even require a sacrifice to implement; all we had to do was refrain from stifling it.
Instead, we came this way. I could see then that we would come this way, though i didn't expect to get here so fast.

For most of my adult life, i've known that we are doomed, and that we're taking down most, if not all, life on the planet. When it was coming clear... well, that was a difficult decade.
And yet i've been happy, in the main.
There is some relief in knowing i don't control this situation, that nothing i could possibly do would make an appreciable difference. Not even suicide, which, believe it or not, has been recommended to my generation as penance for being such destructive pigs... as if previous and subsequent generations had been any different! I recycle, pick up highway litter, volunteer, live simply; have created no little privileged western consumers; have done some protesting, petitioning, campaigning, writing... I know it's futile, but it salves my conscience for having been among the very lucky.

Beyond that... fuck 'em!
I have as much right as anybody, and more than some, to enjoy life: to love family and good friends, to breathe poplar-scent in July and watch mauve-and-green sunsets in April, to have a chuckle at the Google doodle, make bad wild grape wine, walk on the beach, read popular crime fiction, talk to strangers, listen to birdsong and own seventeen jackets (fashion, shmashion - i never throw one away).
That's how i cope.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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25-09-2011, 05:56 AM
RE: Hope, Despair, Coping... tell us about your way!
On the topic of coping, here is an attempt:


Locked into a mind, a thought,
hostage to a self,
blind to objective truth:
a product, a summary, a result.

I can’t deny who I am...
...would be futile to try,
might as well accept the facts
and see what I can do
with the given.

What do I want?
that should be my concern:
go from the ‘A’ to the ‘B’
if it can be done.

Whether it means anything
beyond existence, survival:
there’s no way to tell.

But, in this life,
we create our heaven
and our very own hell.
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29-09-2011, 08:46 PM
RE: Hope, Despair, Coping... tell us about your way!
(25-09-2011 05:56 AM)Zatamon Wrote:  On the topic of coping, here is an attempt:


But, in this life,
we create our heaven
and our very own hell.

That's got it.

There is but one truly serious philosophical problem. - Camus
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