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Concerning Passing Shadows

There was a trinity of rare natural occurrences yesterday, March 20th 2015—solar eclipse, supermoon and spring equinox.

solar eclipse 2015 march 1The shadow thrown on the earth by the moon in a total eclipse of the sun is only 100 kilometers (62 miles) wide. It falls in the same place only about once every 300 years.

You had to travel close to the Arctic Circle to see a total eclipse this year. However people in Europe, northern Africa and northern Asia witnessed a stunning partial eclipse, with Scotland experiencing over 90%. A vernal equinox on the same day as a total eclipse won’t occur again until 2034.

The sun was eclipsed this year by a supermoon, which is when the moon is at its closest, or perigee, to the earth. Since it requires a new moon to obscure the sun, the moon wasn’t visible except as a black disc moving across the sun.

Speaking of black discs blocking out the light, Dr. Guy McPherson, professor emeritus of natural resources, ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona, was in town recently, preaching to the converted that humankind is doomed.

Afterward, he captured the essence of his talk with the catchy slogan, “Edge of Extinction: Good!” Someone ought to tell this guy that misanthropy is hardly radical, and has long since gone mainstream.

Humorlessly and incongruously describing a supposed “laughfest” with local emergency room nurses, McPherson said, “If you want to have a decent, humorous conversation about near-term human extinction, or grief, or death, or any of those topics taboo in this culture, the place to go is your local emergency room.”

At the local E-R (which also refers locally to the Enterprise-Record newspaper, another source of amusement without laughter), McPherson said the conversation was “nothing but non-stop hilarity.” I guess you had to be there.

McPherson maintains that the scientific community, as well as the usual suspects of media and politicians, are guilty of the equivalent of medical malpractice.

He rhetorically asks, “If a doctor examines you and determines you have six months to live, you would want to know, wouldn’t you?” His diagnosis is that humankind will inevitably go extinct in this century, with his estimate of 2060 ushering in the zero hour.

Citing data indicating the consensus of climate change predictions are way behind the curve, as well as disastrous feedback loops that have already been initiated, his presentation is so convincing that the second day is devoted to a six-hour grief counseling session. Now that’s funny.

The question is: Why is McPherson even giving these presentations? His flat, deadpan answer? “At the edge of extinction, only love remains.” Yuck.

Though the prescription of the good doctor is insipid, his dire diagnosis is wrong because it is premature. As such, he drains urgency, rather than intensifies it. Is that the real intention of this Guy and whatever things are pulling his strings?

The fate of the earth and humanity has not been decided. So McPherson and his ilk are contributing to the hopelessness and despair so many people already feel.

What can one individual do? McPherson, wrong again, quotes Edward Abbey. “Action is the antidote to despair.” Action from the unintelligence of the human mind is precisely the source of the ecological, social and spiritual crisis that man has made.

Therefore this prescription is much more apropos: “Don’t just do something; stand there.”Dr. Guy McPherson

In that vein, I’ve come to feel that ending psychological time is the most important thing a body can do each day.

Few people even know it is possible to spontaneously leave the field of time, even temporarily (though that sounds like a contradiction in terms). So what does ending time mean, and why is it essential to growing as human being and meeting the human crisis?

The essential cause of the crisis is not economic, political, technological or cultural. It is human consciousness itself.

Consciousness, as we know it, is the continuity of psychological time. And time is the past eclipsing the present and enshadowing the future.

The essence of primordial humans is the original and ongoing sin of carrying over the evolutionary gift for conscious separation into the psychological realm. In short, time is the continuity of thought that emanates from separation and accumulation.

Ending time means that the watcher that judges and evaluates, the self that chooses and makes effort, yields to awareness. Intensely but passively watching the movement of thought and emotion in the mirror of nature allows awareness to quicken, and catch thought in the act of separating itself from itself as the watcher. Attention then gathers, and effortlessly ends psychological thought and time.

The brain is cleansed of the past and renewed and expanded in the present. One grows as a human being and is able to meet the crisis of man within oneself.

The microcosm of the individual clearly enfolds the macrocosm of the world now. That means the shift in consciousness, once it begins (and it hasn’t, as many wishfully believe on the other side of the McPherson coin) could happen quickly.

Martin LeFevre

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