Just a coincidence, right, that as I opened myself to the flow of my fear a new friend happened to mention the website OrphanWisdom.com?
Stephen Jenkinson has a profound critique of our culture and a vision for some of the elements a “sane” culture needs to have. This Canadian “white guy” worked for years in “the death trade” in hospitals with repeated experiences of how crazy our culture is about dying. He has also gained much from Native American traditions. He brings these learnings into a way of teaching based on his “redemptive vision.”
I am moved, thrilled. Stephen is talking about culture, the big picture stuff. He thinks he can see where we need to go! He has focused his life on restoring “village culture,” which holds living and dying in a wholesome way, in the bosoms of all concerned.
His style is not my style. I may never learn to tan hides. Still, he refreshes my faith that we CAN find a way through our current mess, learning some crucial lessons about humanity in the process. And he inspires me with his grasp of the fundamentals of human existence. Him being right or wrong is not the point. His work is a wonderful example of looking fear in the eye, feeling the rush of adrenalin, and working toward the good of the whole as it may manifest in new times. And I know in my very soul that he is on to some really important stuff.
Naturally, I am particularly interested to hear what he has to say about The Great Disruption of Industrial Civilization. On the website I found an interview with a couple of younger guys from The “ExtraEnvironmentalist.com.” The interview is over two hours long and covers much of what Stephen is thinking about. I have excerpted his statements about our planetary situation, which he summarizes as “our culture is dying.” This first segment is 11 minutes long. The first three minutes are context, his work with the dying, his manner and his relation to the interviewers. Then,
- “If the culture is dying, then what is asked of you?
- “…your responsibility is to learn things you never wanted to know anything about.
- “…it’s not a great achievement to be fearful in fearful times.
- “…you’ve got to ask more of yourself than the circumstances would ask of you…
- “[not]…start thinking about #1…I’m not gonna do it…
- ” The sanest response is to make as much humanity as you can, while you are still able…
- “The death of the culture doesn’t coincide with your personal death…
Stephen Jenkinson Interview, excerpt 1
I recommend this segment as an adequate introduction to what I find important in Stephen’s message at this point. If you have time and interest for more, the next post has it.