How soon is now? From personal initiation to global transformation

Daniel Pinchbeck

Book - 2017

"Drawing on extensive research, Daniel Pinchbeck presents a compelling argument for the need for change on a global basis. The central thesis is that humanity has unconsciously self-willed ecological catastrophe to bring about a transcendence of our current condition. We are facing an initiatory ordeal on a planetary scale. We can understand that this initiation is necessary for us to evolve from one state of being - our current level of consciousness - to the next. Overcoming outmoded ideo...logies, we will realize ourselves as one unified being, a planetary super-organism in a symbiotic relationship with the Earth's ecology and the entire web of life"-- Publisher description.

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Subjects
Published
London : Watkins 2017.
Language
English
Physical Description
xiii, 274 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 264-265) and index.
ISBN
9781780289724
1780289723
Main Author
Daniel Pinchbeck (author)
Other Authors
Sting (Musician) (writer of preface), Russell Brand, 1975- (writer of introduction)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Once, in the throes of a Burning Man existential crisis, Pinchbeck, author of Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism (2002), imagined a global utopia he felt certain we could launch immediately. Suffice it to say, we did not feel the ripples of that revolution. Based on that experience, though, he advocates here for complete global awareness of what humanity has done to the planet and what we must do to fix the damage. To ignore this warning, he posits, would mean humanity's steady march toward extinction. Pinchbeck takes a self-deprecating tone throughout this cautionary yet hopeful rant. That approach, along with his obsessive focus on hallucinogenic chemicals to spur global awareness, deflects the hard facts of today's environmental emergency. Yet he does present some sound solutions, including vertical farming, reflective architecture, and a support system for renewable energy. Given a steadier hand and solid sources, these crucial subjects would get the broad attention they well deserve. Instead, Pinchbeck will likely sow revolution only among like-minded Burners. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this radical call to consciousness, Pinchbeck (2012: The Return of Quezalcoatl) claims that Western culture is rushing towards global catastrophe and human extinction because we no longer have the experience of rites of passage. He lays out in detail how our quest to continuously acquire has led to the dire realities of climate change, and asserts that rapid, fundamental change to human culture is not only possible but essential. While acknowledging the benefits of computer technology and reduction of environmental impact, he also makes reference to various futurists, philosophers, and his own experience with psychedelic drugs, arguing that we need a deeper change to our nature that honors Eastern wisdom, local production, the reality of occult forces, and radical democracy. At times, Pinchbeck's urgency devolves into rambling, and he often concludes with prophetic and universal assertions plucked from his very particular experiences. A brief conclusion suggests some concrete actions, but the whole work remains utopian and frustratingly vague on how to implement the leaps he calls for. Though the book succeeds in presenting the imperiled state of humankind, Pinchbeck's proposed future collapses to incoherence amid his alarming conviction of his own correctness. Agent: Bill Gladstone, Waterside Productions. (Feb.) Copyright 2016 Publisher Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

We are on the brink of an ecological mega-crisis threatening the future of life on earth and our actions over the next few years may well determine the destiny of our descendants. Between a manifesto and a tactical plan of action, How Soon is Now? by radical futurist and philosopher Daniel Pinchbeck outlines a vision for a mass social movement that will address this crisis.Drawing on a huge range of resources and references Daniel Pinchbeck presents a compelling argument for the need for change on a global basis – it is only when we see ourselves as one planetary tribe that this change can occur. The central thesis is that humanity has self-willed the ecological crisis in order to bring about the necessary conditions for transcendence of our current state of being, by undergoing an initiatory ordeal on a planetary scale. This collective ordeal is necessary for us to evolve from one state of being – our current level of consciousness – to the next. By passing through this initiation we realize ourselves as one unified being, a planetary super-organism in a symbiotic relationship with the Earth's ecology and the entire web of life. Covering everything from energy and agriculture, to culture, politics, media and ideology, Pinchbeck's book is ultimately about the nature of the human soul and the future of our current world. He calls for an intentional and consciously designed metamorphosis of our current systems, which transform capitalist and exclusive structures into participatory, democratic, and inclusive ones, based on an integration of Eastern metaphysics, social ecology, and radical political thought. "How Soon is Now? gives us the context we need to understand the chaos and turbulence of our times." – Sting