The Book of Ecclesiastes, as so it has been said, is one of those really odd parts of the Bible. A bit self contradictory in places, but in general it gives some good guidelines to live by, like the Dhammapada.
Why bring this up?
A recent visit to help someone downsize a house had us going through old papers, books, records, and equipment of someone far closer to the end of life than the start. It was a sobering experience. Yes, we all know about “peak everything”, climate change, and the craziness of our financial system. But that visit, plus JMG’s recent post on the the timescales of the Earth was another nail in the coffin (no pun intended) of the reality of of our short personal time here, and the short time of our civilization.
“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
- Why is it so hard for people in the Western world to accept the reality of their own demise, and the demise of civilization?
- After the next few downturns, is it possible that we might be more cognizant of these things, and incorporate them into whatever society forms?
- What concrete events have woken you up to these realities?
- What have you read that has opened your eyes to the fragility and transience of life and civilization?