Today I was with old friends Catherine and George Cisneros of Urban15 in San Antonio, discussing the changing environment and the future of man. It was an important conversation, and I want to memorialize it here in my journal.

Earth is at a critical turning point, and therefore so are we. To be specific, we are reaching the climax of a very complex extinction event, the end of what I think could safely be called the Anthropic Interglacial. We spoke about Ferdinand Braudel’s epic masterpiece, the Mediterranean in the Age of Philip II, which chronicles the way changing weather affected human affairs in the region. We also discussed the climax of the Roman Empire, and how it was that a volcano that erupted in Nicaragua in 536AD led to the final collapse of the pagan religion and the disintegration of the Roman state in the western Mediterranean, and how all of this relates to what is happening now.

For the previous 300 years, the Romans had endured a series of plagues and barbarian invasions that the empire could not control. The pagan gods were seen as powerful protectors. After all, the empire had come about through their worship. Those gods were real to those people, and their power was unquestioned. Until the state built a series of roads, people began to travel as never before, and disease to spread in ways that had previously been unknown.

Man, interacting with his environment in ways that he didn’t fully understand, was bringing a catastrophe on himself.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

The last straw came when the volcanic eruption led to famine. The next thing that happened was that the old Roman religion collapsed. It was replaced by Christianity, which in those days was functioning much like militant Islam does now. The old culture was destroyed and along with it centuries of human learning.

We must not let this happen again. But we are in a very similar situation, with one difference. In our secular world, there is no new religion to replace the old. Instead, when things like famine strike the developed countries, there is going to be rage and with it chaos. When people who have never known hunger begin to starve, they get mad. Furious.

An example is France in the 1780s. It was the most developed and most prosperous country in the world. There hadn’t been a famine in France in generations. The economy was managed by a prosperous and educated middle class. But then a persistent period of drought came along and people to whom starvation was inconceivable began to starve. The French Revolution was the result.

We are in a climate crisis, and it is just a question of time before it disrupts our economic life in some fundamental way. It could be drought, earthquakes, volcanic activity, fires, storms, floods–the list of dangers is long.

The question of the day was, ‘what is to be done when the crisis comes?’

It wasn’t a discussion about survivalism or other relatively useless practices, but rather about how to approach it as a community rather than as a series of warring tribes, in this case desperate ones. In other words how do we face the crisis co-operatively rather than competitively?
Historically, we have had little success with co-operative life. When we are asked to live this way, tend to lose our motivation. “To each according to his need, from each according to his ability” is a beautiful idea.

If only it worked. But there is a missing component that has made all the difference: it is love. Without love of the other as the self, community can never reach the level we need it to reach if we are going to surive. Instead, you get the grim reality of things like the brutal attempts of the communist states of the 20th century to force people to work without invidual incentive.

Real community does not suppress the individual, it celebrates the individual and the place of the individual in the whole.

We are entering a time in which individual welfare is going to be absolutely dependent on community welfare. If we don’t live co-operatively, in the end we are not going to survive.

Some people will continue on for a while. Some are already planning their retreats. This is why wealthy Americans own property in places like the high plains of central South America. Places like Paraguay are going to be sheltered from much of the chaos, at least for a time. It is also why so many people have been buying property in New Zealand that the government has put serious restrictions on foreign ownership.

But climate change is going to be a worldwide affair. There won’t be any real hiding places. For example, the last time there was a sudden temperature spike such as could be on the point of happening now, it was caused by the release of huge quantities of methane gas that are stored in hydrates along the continental shelves. The hydrates melt when the water temperature around then exceeds 47 degrees Fahrenheit. As the oceans continue to warm, this will inevitably happen. When it does, the centers of most continental land masses will become too dry to support farming, and many areas will be too hot for human beings to survive.

Under such circumstances, people are going to be literally beside themselves. Frantic. Clawing for safety wherever they can find it. Eating whatever they can get.

Or maybe not. Maybe there is another way. And this is where the great message of the visitors comes it—always remembering that we are all “them” and they are all “us.” Talk about communities: the community of consciousness is universal, and intelligent life is its leading and guiding edge, and we are all part of that.

Their message is that human beings have souls and physical life is about making them strong. And how do we do that? We follow the ancient and universal dictum that lies beneath the trappings of all the major religions with their rituals and their politics: to live by love, compassion and humility, but without the power games that characterize organized religion.

In our everyday lives, we are aware of the needs of others. Some of us deny those needs and others try to help. But in the time that is coming, more will be essential to our survival. We are going to have to go beyond simply accepting the needs of others. We are going to have to love the needs of others with the same fervor that we love our own.

When I am hungry, I love my hunger. I strive to satisfy it, and if I can’t, I will eventually become desperate.

In the past, that sort of desperation isolated us. In the coming time, it is going to have to bring us together as never before. We are going to have to see the needs of others as part of our own need, and learn to live in a state of general love for others that is exactly the same as our present love for ourselves.

I cherish me because I am all I have. To survive as a species and save our home—our only home, we have no other and no other will be given to us—we are going to have to expand our hearts to include everybody else and ultimately all other creatures in this equation. I cherish me because I am all I have, yes, but I also cherish us because we are all we have.

It was a beautiful conversation and, I suspect, the beginning of what is going to become a critical part our effort to save this miracle of a planet and all who live upon it.

16 Comments

  1. A couple of things:
    — I

    A couple of things:
    — I always thought that the current and upcoming climatic upheaval, in whatever form it takes, is intimately entwined with the growth of our collective consciousness. A forced evolution, which I suspect has happened before many times in our history.
    — It seems to me that the world at large is better positioned to deal with this great calamity more than ever. It’s exquisite timing. If the calamity had happened say sixty, seventy years ago when we were entrapped in total war, economic chaos, and totalitarian terror, we’d be an the edge of extinction today. But thankfully the world is much more freer today and ripe for a new paradigm shift where inclusiveness, balance, harmony and compassion are the reigning value systems.
    — I am greatly attuned to the political battles currently going on in the United States, where one side is fighting to the death to protect and embolden a few individuals who possess enormous wealth and influence and one side who is slowly coming around to the
    growing sense of this new paradigm shift described above. Who will win and what what cost?
    — So, to me, it is our collective consciousness that is seeking more and more freedom of the soul and it is organizing itself to face this great upheaval upon us. Whether or not we succeed getting past this remains to seen, but I would never bet against the human intellect and the level of consciousness it has already attained and ready to embrace the next level.
    — Always, always, I take to heart what Whitley had said once before about the condition of our species: “Not enough freedom? Extinction.”

  2. A couple of things:
    — I

    A couple of things:
    — I always thought that the current and upcoming climatic upheaval, in whatever form it takes, is intimately entwined with the growth of our collective consciousness. A forced evolution, which I suspect has happened before many times in our history.
    — It seems to me that the world at large is better positioned to deal with this great calamity more than ever. It’s exquisite timing. If the calamity had happened say sixty, seventy years ago when we were entrapped in total war, economic chaos, and totalitarian terror, we’d be an the edge of extinction today. But thankfully the world is much more freer today and ripe for a new paradigm shift where inclusiveness, balance, harmony and compassion are the reigning value systems.
    — I am greatly attuned to the political battles currently going on in the United States, where one side is fighting to the death to protect and embolden a few individuals who possess enormous wealth and influence and one side who is slowly coming around to the
    growing sense of this new paradigm shift described above. Who will win and what what cost?
    — So, to me, it is our collective consciousness that is seeking more and more freedom of the soul and it is organizing itself to face this great upheaval upon us. Whether or not we succeed getting past this remains to seen, but I would never bet against the human intellect and the level of consciousness it has already attained and ready to embrace the next level.
    — Always, always, I take to heart what Whitley had said once before about the condition of our species: “Not enough freedom? Extinction.”

  3. “We are going to have to love
    “We are going to have to love the needs of others with the same fervor that we love our own.”
    It is the only way.
    Perfectly stated.

    Caritas !!!!!! !

  4. “We are going to have to love
    “We are going to have to love the needs of others with the same fervor that we love our own.”
    It is the only way.
    Perfectly stated.

    Caritas !!!!!! !

  5. At this point climate change
    At this point climate change has been a slow moving train wreck. When the punctuated event happens, unfortunately people will not feel community as you have stated. I do feel for those trapped in large urban centers. For those in a setting with resources adopting permaculture techniques to manipulate micro-environments will be the best bet. Permaculture has proven itself in the harshest desert environments which may mimic future settings.

  6. At this point climate change
    At this point climate change has been a slow moving train wreck. When the punctuated event happens, unfortunately people will not feel community as you have stated. I do feel for those trapped in large urban centers. For those in a setting with resources adopting permaculture techniques to manipulate micro-environments will be the best bet. Permaculture has proven itself in the harshest desert environments which may mimic future settings.

  7. The extrinsic pressures that
    The extrinsic pressures that will force spiritual evolution. Up or out. Beautiful but so difficult. Soon none of this will be academic and we, and our loved ones, may suffer. We’ll look back on the many heated arguments today as tragically rooted in ego, which seems to me more and more to be the preferred tool of evil.

    I feel very fortunate to have found you, Whitley, and this community. We fortunate few. Maybe it’s the child in me that still prefers the fireworks on the 4th of July to reflecting on this country’s independence but my mind always goes back to disclosure. When Whitley wrote early this year that the visitors will make their presence widely known in 2018 my heart raced. My wonder is so great. I long to see these beings with my own eyes. But maybe we all can and I just haven’t taken the inward journey to clear my vision.

    Love. Compassion. Humility. Even in the face of death. That’s good enough for me.

  8. The extrinsic pressures that
    The extrinsic pressures that will force spiritual evolution. Up or out. Beautiful but so difficult. Soon none of this will be academic and we, and our loved ones, may suffer. We’ll look back on the many heated arguments today as tragically rooted in ego, which seems to me more and more to be the preferred tool of evil.

    I feel very fortunate to have found you, Whitley, and this community. We fortunate few. Maybe it’s the child in me that still prefers the fireworks on the 4th of July to reflecting on this country’s independence but my mind always goes back to disclosure. When Whitley wrote early this year that the visitors will make their presence widely known in 2018 my heart raced. My wonder is so great. I long to see these beings with my own eyes. But maybe we all can and I just haven’t taken the inward journey to clear my vision.

    Love. Compassion. Humility. Even in the face of death. That’s good enough for me.

  9. I think it all comes down to
    I think it all comes down to how quickly things change. A smaller, sudden change can be tolerated, as can a bigger, more gradual change. It’s the sudden big change that calls up these truly dire scenarios, like mass starvation with ensuing chaos. I’m expecting big change, but my hope is that it stretches over like 50 years (maybe 100 if you count what’s already past), not a few. It’s also my intuitive sense of how it will go, unlike many here like Whitley seeming to always predict the worst. Of course I could be wrong.

    BTW, how’s that new website coming along? It’s been over 2 months since the GoFundMe campaign.

  10. I think it all comes down to
    I think it all comes down to how quickly things change. A smaller, sudden change can be tolerated, as can a bigger, more gradual change. It’s the sudden big change that calls up these truly dire scenarios, like mass starvation with ensuing chaos. I’m expecting big change, but my hope is that it stretches over like 50 years (maybe 100 if you count what’s already past), not a few. It’s also my intuitive sense of how it will go, unlike many here like Whitley seeming to always predict the worst. Of course I could be wrong.

    BTW, how’s that new website coming along? It’s been over 2 months since the GoFundMe campaign.

  11. It seems to me that we always
    It seems to me that we always have the fewest comments when climate is talked about. It seems especially ironic that this journal emphasizes community, which would hopefully inspire discussion.

  12. It seems to me that we always
    It seems to me that we always have the fewest comments when climate is talked about. It seems especially ironic that this journal emphasizes community, which would hopefully inspire discussion.

  13. Whitley Sir,
    After

    Whitley Sir,

    After spotting the cover of Communion at a bookstore, and inexplicably being drawn to purchase it, I have become a UFO, or more importantly a Whitley Strieber enthusiast. I was always mildly interested in UFO’s since I was a child. I can remember grainy b&w shots in pulp magazines of the 60’s, but my interest jumped with the release of your book. You were so brave to tell your true story; with no caveats or fear of ridicule. You honestly wrote a compelling story in your special style and added a level of credibility to the phenomena that previously hadn’t been done, but was badly needed. It was a very brave thing to do and I thank you.

    I have never seen a UFO or had any experience even close to being described as high strangeness. But, your book allowed my interest in UFO’s to soar. I have bought and read over 200 books on the subject. (good books and the purely ridiculous too) I have watched almost as many movies, tv shows, and documentaries and I still am fascinated by the subject. But in the 32 years since reading Communion, I still have never seen a UFO and I feel i never will. I can tell you that it infuriates me the way the media, etc. always discuss these events with a wink and a chuckle. The phenomena deserves so much more. The level and number of experts who have put themselves and their reputations on the line (since the 2007 US Press club Disclosure conference and the ones since,) show just how much respect and follow-up investigation is warranted

    Anyway, I just felt I wanted to thank you for all the good that your books have done, at least for me. I am a long time paid subscriber to Unknown Country. The guests you have had on, have done the world a lot of good in understanding many different phenomena and also, it is very compelling radio! I wish everyone could hear some of your best shows, and i do my best to share these shows as I come across them. There are many charlatans out there in the UFO/Anomalous community, and Unknown Country and yourself do a needed service by showing us the HUGE difference!

    Last but not least, I must thank you and the lovely Anne for the gift of The Afterlife Revolution. I am a bit of a skeptic, but I purchased a Kindle edition of the book and found myself reading it while in a waiting room for a doctor visit. I am only about 2 chapters in, but I found myself profoundly touched with the stories, and actually had a lump in my throat from trying to hold in a few tears. I am a tough old goat, with thick skin, and I found myself taken by the feeling of wonder as I read and opened my mind to the possibilities. The possibilities of being close again to some long gone and dearly missed family and friends is almost too much to hope fo . Even being a lapsed Catholic, I never really opened myself up to any type of life after death. I am not sure if I actually do so now, but the possibility is very intriguing and gets so even more as i continue your book and wonder at the special deep relationship that you and Anne shared. I truly envy that. I have never had anything close and wonder if, at 63, is it still possible. Thank you for everything my friend. My life has bettered greatly, since the name Whitley Strieber entered my life.

  14. Whitley Sir,
    After

    Whitley Sir,

    After spotting the cover of Communion at a bookstore, and inexplicably being drawn to purchase it, I have become a UFO, or more importantly a Whitley Strieber enthusiast. I was always mildly interested in UFO’s since I was a child. I can remember grainy b&w shots in pulp magazines of the 60’s, but my interest jumped with the release of your book. You were so brave to tell your true story; with no caveats or fear of ridicule. You honestly wrote a compelling story in your special style and added a level of credibility to the phenomena that previously hadn’t been done, but was badly needed. It was a very brave thing to do and I thank you.

    I have never seen a UFO or had any experience even close to being described as high strangeness. But, your book allowed my interest in UFO’s to soar. I have bought and read over 200 books on the subject. (good books and the purely ridiculous too) I have watched almost as many movies, tv shows, and documentaries and I still am fascinated by the subject. But in the 32 years since reading Communion, I still have never seen a UFO and I feel i never will. I can tell you that it infuriates me the way the media, etc. always discuss these events with a wink and a chuckle. The phenomena deserves so much more. The level and number of experts who have put themselves and their reputations on the line (since the 2007 US Press club Disclosure conference and the ones since,) show just how much respect and follow-up investigation is warranted

    Anyway, I just felt I wanted to thank you for all the good that your books have done, at least for me. I am a long time paid subscriber to Unknown Country. The guests you have had on, have done the world a lot of good in understanding many different phenomena and also, it is very compelling radio! I wish everyone could hear some of your best shows, and i do my best to share these shows as I come across them. There are many charlatans out there in the UFO/Anomalous community, and Unknown Country and yourself do a needed service by showing us the HUGE difference!

    Last but not least, I must thank you and the lovely Anne for the gift of The Afterlife Revolution. I am a bit of a skeptic, but I purchased a Kindle edition of the book and found myself reading it while in a waiting room for a doctor visit. I am only about 2 chapters in, but I found myself profoundly touched with the stories, and actually had a lump in my throat from trying to hold in a few tears. I am a tough old goat, with thick skin, and I found myself taken by the feeling of wonder as I read and opened my mind to the possibilities. The possibilities of being close again to some long gone and dearly missed family and friends is almost too much to hope fo . Even being a lapsed Catholic, I never really opened myself up to any type of life after death. I am not sure if I actually do so now, but the possibility is very intriguing and gets so even more as i continue your book and wonder at the special deep relationship that you and Anne shared. I truly envy that. I have never had anything close and wonder if, at 63, is it still possible. Thank you for everything my friend. My life has bettered greatly, since the name Whitley Strieber entered my life.

  15. Exactly Whitley! I’ve been
    Exactly Whitley! I’ve been putting similar words in posts on Twitter et.al. Obviously never eloquent as Mr. Strieber. But I would have enjoyed listening in on this conversation. We need more like that one. With a big emphasis on love, compassion and humility.

  16. Exactly Whitley! I’ve been
    Exactly Whitley! I’ve been putting similar words in posts on Twitter et.al. Obviously never eloquent as Mr. Strieber. But I would have enjoyed listening in on this conversation. We need more like that one. With a big emphasis on love, compassion and humility.

Comments are closed.