If you want to understand what Deep Adaptation means, listen to people describe how it has affected their lives.
Deep Adaptation is a personal process that changes how people see themselves and their relationships with other people and the world. This shift in perspective is the ultimate purpose of Deep Adaptation (according to me, anyway!)
I asked ten people who have been involved for a while: “What has Deep Adaptation been for you?” Their answers describe a warm and loving community where people come together to face their fears about collapse, and to find new purpose and joy in everyday life.
Here is a first batch of three interviews, plus a short compilation of excerpts. This is a playlist on the Come Together YouTube channel, to which I will continue adding interviews as I edit them into shape.
Jonathan Wood Logan (or “J-Lo,” to his friends) has devoted himself to Extinction Rebellion America full time for the past 20 months.
He presents the group’s signature “Heading for Extinction” briefing, which introduces prospective members to the dire situation of the world. That’s the beginning of a process of “education, inspiration, and organization” which J-Lo hopes will mobilize masses of people to fight for the transformation of our politics and culture.
“We need to use the existing systems to transfer into a better kind of culture,” he says. “Capitalism is designed to chew up everything in its path. … The problem with that is you can’t have infinite growth in a closed system.”
For capitalism to work, J-Lo says, we must “put a saddle on its back, a bridle in its mouth, a carrot in front of it, and a whip behind it to force that engine of creativity and productivity into making the world we want, not the world we ended up with.”
J-Lo sees Extinction Rebellion (“XR”) as a channel for the energy of people who have lost “a predictable world.”
“The event horizon of predictability has collapsed to right now,” he says. “And now it’s behind us! … We can’t see the future coming.” The “mythologies of our culture” that provided identity, security, and morality have been “blown out in a confetti gun. … We’re past the end of history … and it’s disorienting.”
Only by mobilizing millions of people in non-violent civil disobedience can we muster the power to transform our current system.
“Small things done by mass people is the answer” J-Lo says. “Small things done by mass people, and having a commitment.”
Visit XR America at https://xramerica.org/
Igor Polskiy is the new Facilitation Coordinator for the Deep Adaptation Forum. He sees opportunity in crisis. The collapse of the “machine” that is our industrial civilization may create open spaces in which we can find better ways to live.
Igor spent several years in eco-villages before coming to Deep Adaptation. He saw people living together in peace with each other and with the natural world. Now, his mission is to bring together the “inner work” of processing emotions with the outer work of “compassionate action.” He has written in depth about inner and external work as “Two Wheels of a Chariot,” on the Deep Adaptation Forum blog.
Igor wants to integrate the “symbolic work” that we do together on the Internet with work at the biological and physical level. To that end, he and others are organizing the “Deep Live Gathering.” In October, 2021, people will gather physically in various regions of the world, and the regional gatherings will be connected, intermittently, over the Internet.
Igor says: “We should find a way to build a bridge to connect people together, because we need each other, and we need to support each other. But we need to change our mindset. It’s like two steps every time: inner work, external work; calm ourselves, process emotions…and compassionate action. They should go in circles.”
See more of Igor’s work at his website On The Edge, including an elucidation of “post-crisis hope,” the idea that, like certain seeds in the forest, we must pass through fire in order to become fertile. He joins us from his family’s home, near Moscow, Russia.
When Melissa Allison heard about collapse, she changed her life. She went looking for love and joy, and found them!
She gave up her job, her marriage, and her hometown of Seattle. She moved to Canada, then to Hawaii. It was hard in the beginning, she says, but it got easier, as every decision led to greater freedom and happiness. Today, she is with the love of her life, expanding her heart and soul in ever-increasing peace and joy.
I met Melissa in Seattle when we both were getting involved with Deep Adaptation. For Melissa, Deep Adaptation has been a doorway to other destinations, rather than a destination in itself. Nevertheless, she credits Jem Bendell with inspiring the “freakout breakdown” that led her to make profound changes.
“It took more courage than I realized it was going to take,” she says. “Without the awareness of collapse, and what that means to me, I wouldn’t have tried.”