i feel the stress more acutely, which comes in waves these days. I'm sensitive, and I don't ignore or deny what I feel. I see signs that people all around are stressed, in how they drive, in how they walk on the streets, in how some of them bicycle. You are probably seeing people at work and family showing signs of stress.
How many are getting better? I don't see much of that.
I believe that a big part of the problem is that the post-WW-2 global economy is terminally ill, due to massive untreated parasitism and a bad diet. The good food got eaten long ago. here is the GDP graph from Shadowstats, which uses the "old" measure of GDP, instead of the revision (which looks much better).
How does one person adapt to this, whether only feeling it, or feeling and seeing it, as we do?
The most common form of adaptation to stress in mammals is to work harder and faster at the same things as before, until exhaustion.
I think we are seeing that in the strident polarized politics, with so many positions being intellectually dishonest in one way or another, but "rallying the troops to the call".
Social Justice Warriors vs Climate Denying Racists...
Everybody has to eat, and that's where I see problems arising.
In America, people need to drive places, because that's what has been built for 75 years, roadways. People need a safe place to live, electricity, clean water, working sewers and some gas for the stove and water heater.
Rents and taxes are high, so people camp under overpasses and pan-handle.
Bonded debt, voted for and spent for our lifetimes presents cities and states with high and growing fixed costs, which raise rents on everybody except the urban-hunter-gatherers, who also have a hard and stressful life. Rapes, beatings and robberies make it hard to sleep, say my patients.
Everything we were promised, and borrowed from, for so long, was predicated upon perpetual growth on what seemed like a really huge world in the 1960s.
We are approaching the limits, which shows as real economy stagnating (GDP graph above), air and water pollution, necessities of life more expensive, good coal being gone, fracking losing money, and polluting wildly...
There is the feeling of wanting to push it away, to erect some defenses, to rise above the suffering, because WE deserve better.
WE are not the culprits.
I and you still have to adapt ahead of the crunch. WE who have studied this a bit will be called upon to serve those who have not.
I get to try to serve people daily. Some people fall through all of the cracks, as medical and social welfare bureaucracies put up walls against them. This sounds harsh, and it is. Bureaucracies get squeezed tighter and tighter, but they cannot shrink with shrinking resources, because compliance demands need to be met. Services must be cut. Bureaucrats cannot really attempt much in the way of actual solutions, because experiments draw responsibility and risk. That's how to lose your job. Nobody can risk that these days.
Some of us are old enough to remember work teams and personal responsibility and the satisfaction of success being a reward.
Failed attempts were less threatening, too.
Currently, i am spending many hours each day in meditation, compassion meditation, with, not "for" one of my patients, who is a massive fountain of anguish, for so many reasons. She is panicked, needs oxygen constantly due to years of smoking, has PTSD and probably bipolar disorder, lives alone and cannot keep care attendants, who don't get much pay, and have their own problems and disabilities, personality disorders and criminality. EMS and the police usually want to help, but some are bullies, and she is a harsh and personally threatened judge. Meals on Wheels volunteers can't handle her, so that stopped, but she can't drive anywhere, has very little money, and no family...
You may have skipped down a little in self-defense, and that is my point.
Each of us, and our systems, churches and bureaucracies want to "solve problems". We feel the resources shrinking and the wolf at the door, even if we don't see it in our country yet. We don't have to worry about Iraq, Venezuela, Iran, Greece, Turkey, Ukraine, etc. Right?
It isn't going to happen here.
Except, it is so far along here, already, that denial is really hard to sustain any more.
It's not America at work, or middle-class-America under threat. There is no "America" as we grew up knowing.
The middle class was defined by job security and open participation, even more than income level. there was a comfort to the roles.
That's gone, even for the folks between 85% and 95% of income, who are living the externalities of what was "middle class".
I'm there. I feel the stress before the snap. When will it snap?
If everybody reflexively pushes away from the zombie approaching, isn't the path to a solution embracing the zombie?
Well, it is hard, thankless and feels endless.
Also, nobody else even wants to try to understand, so it is lonely and merely tolerated if you do all your other work and stay late, and so on.
I'm fortunate, and this starts to be whining (How I detest that!).
We are now used to having information and guidance from the internet. We can look things up, but we can't look up the solution to going forward with less, in a system predicated on exponential growth forever, which has long ago failed.
The solution that I see is the same as in a dream, where something inescapable is about to kill you, like hitting the ground after a long fall.
I wake up, then. Can we wake up together?
Is "Universal Mind" a spiritual internet to provide us with the answers we need, without parasitic-selfish-interest pop-up ads?