I’m not talking about the hypothetical or metaphorical “end of the world”.
I’m not talking about my three desert island books.
I’m talking about the three books that helped me understand how worlds come to an end. (Spoiler alert: our world will one day come to an end.)
The Long Descent: A User’s Guide To The End Of The Industrial Age
John Michael Greer
This book is the essential primer for understanding the complexities of the converging industrial and environmental emergencies we face in the world today.
Since he is also a polymath and a practicing druid, Greer covers pretty much every angle of coping with collapse. It’s a compelling and harrowing journey through the declines of ancient civilizations, the evidence of our own empire crumbling, recommended approaches to managing the decline as communities, and thoughts on how to make sense of it all spiritually speaking.
Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times
Carolyn Baker, PhD.
Taking a spiritual approach to economic, environmental and industrial decline, Baker has composed a small book of essays that provide insight and guidance on a more relational level. This book includes meditations and wisdom for dealing with the grief, rage, confusion, despair, and anxiety we all feel when faced with intractable predicaments and crises.
A beautiful scan of the landscape and its inhabitants and a call to action to re-wild the world, The Once and Future World is the most lyrically written of these three selections. MacKinnon’s writing reminds me of the Romantic era of literature when so many of the world’s greatest minds commonly looked to nature not only for inspiration but also truth and self-understanding. The book provides insight into the historical changes (notably the losses) that have shifted our perception of “the wild” and left us with what McKinnon calls “a 10 percent world”.