Coping with grand scale issues is a daunting task for anybody. Our world, and even ourselves are so complex and the suffering in our world so pervasive it’s just too much for any person to accept – and yet we must try to accept as much of it as we can for the survival advantages our knowledge affords. We evolved to attempt to understand and to accept more. The organization of our brains bears out this notion. It is our species distinguishing attribute. Cognition served our survival and proliferation in ways that permitted us to become the most invasive predatory species on the planet.
It’s not crazy that our climate crisis is bearing down on us and threatening the existence of our civilization, nor is it crazy that the end result of this process leads to our extinction – what is crazy is us, people, telling ourselves that our acceptance of these facts is optional. All of the intolerable feelings we induce at thoughts of these issues are choices we make to hold ourselves hostage to our own emotionalism so that we don’t recognize our emotional addictions for what they are. The conflicts we create in ourselves based on our false beliefs and expectations are how we facilitate this ongoing auto-intoxication.
The word “dishonesty” is a functional euphemism. The word and its definition fail to convey the gravity and scope of the concept described. Dishonesty starts with the self. I know of no way it is possible to be outwardly dishonest without first being self dishonest on related and enabling scales. We abuse emotionalism to facilitate dishonesty with ourselves and what we’re really doing is selectively dissociating from real things. We’re not shy about considering this a clinical condition when we express it in ways that interfere with things like our employment but we generally refuse to consider that the same principle is just as mentally ill when we apply it on other scales that bear less dramatic and more normalized outcomes.
I found it easier to accept the circumstantial aspects of collapse and extinction as I chose to more appropriately accept the chemical nature of my emotionalism and my responsibility in managing it. I still had great difficulty accepting the suffering extant in our world. To some extent I still do have difficulty with it, at least intermittently. Gradually I accepted that it is completely beyond my control and that the most effective mitigation I can engage in is to actively mitigate my own suffering so as to minimize my own emotionalism and to lessen the impacts of my poor choices. I won’t ever be comfortable with the unfathomable suffering pervading life on this world. I won’t torture myself with emotions in avoidance of it any longer, either, because this only adds to it.
I think it is very important to accept that the denial we abuse to torment ourselves in avoidance of accepting and dealing with our climate crisis is the same denial we abused to cause our climate crisis. This holds true of other grand scale problems we have caused, like our failed pandemic responses. Our failures can be measured by our dishonesty with ourselves as can the scope of our unnecessary suffering.