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Is Civilization Going Under?

7 Things You Must Do to Survive

Jed Diamond, Ph.D. has been a health-care professional for the last 45 years.
He is the author of 9 books, including Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places,
Male Menopause, The Irritable Male Syndrome, and Mr. Mean: Saving Your
Relationship from the Irritable Male Syndrome . He offers counseling to men,
women, and couples in his office in California or by phone with people throughout
the U.S. and around the world. To receive a Free E-book on Men’s Health and a
free subscription to Jed’s e-newsletter go to If
you enjoy my articles, please subscribe. I write to everyone who joins my Scribd
team. My new book, my 10th, Tapping Power: A Man’s Guide to Eliminating
Pain, Stress, Anger, Depression and Other Ills Using the Revolutionary
Tools of Energy Psychology, is due for publication in the fall, 2011 or spring

The Men’s Movement Collides with the Sinking Ship of Civilization

In 1993 I attended the 4th Annual Men’s Leaders’ Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana

sponsored by Wingspan Magazine. It started off as a similar kind of gathering to many I

had attended. We shared stories, read poetry, talked about our children, our wives,

lovers, friends, and neighbors. We caught up with old friends and heard about what was

going on with men and their relationships in other parts of the country.

When it was announced that there would be a sweat lodge ceremony on Saturday

afternoon I was ambivalent about doing it. I’ve had asthma since I was a kid and the few

times I had been in a sweat lodge, I had trouble breathing. On the other hand, this is an

ancient tradition for purifying body, mind, and spirit and I definitely wanted some of that.

I decided to do it, even though it was a wet day and I wasn’t looking forward to slogging

down to the sweat-lodge site.

The Sweat Lodge was a small structure made of a frame of saplings, covered with

animal skins and blankets. A depression is dug in the center into which hot rocks are

positioned. Water is thrown on the rocks to create steam and a small flap opening is used

to regulate the temperature.

As we touched the earth and made a prayer for “all our relations,” we crawled naked

through the doorway and took our positions around the stone pit. We were told there

would be three “rounds” where we would chant and pray. In between rounds the flap

would be open to allow us to cool down. With each round the lodge became hotter as

more stones were added and the experience became more intense. As it turned out, I was

at the back of the lodge where it was the hottest. In the third round it became so hot that

many of the people crawled out. I was one of the few people left inside, but I didn’t feel

the heat. I was somehow transported to another time and another place. Here’s what I


We are all on a huge ocean liner. It is the Ship of Civilization. Everything that we

know and have ever known is on the ship. People are born and die. Goods and services

are created, wars are fought, and elections are held. Species come into being and face

extinction. The Ship steams on and on and there is no doubt that it will continue on its

present course forever.

There were many decks on the ship starting way down in the boiler room where the

poorest and grimiest toiled to keep the ship going. As you ascend the decks things get

lighter and easier. The people who run the ship have suites on the very top deck. Their

job, as they see it, is to keep the ship going and keep those on the lower decks in their

proper places. Since they are at the top they are sure that they deserve to acquire more
and more of the resources of all those below them.

Everyone on the lower decks aspires to get up to the next deck and hungers to get to

the very top. That's the way it is. That's the way it had always been. That’s the way it will

always be. However, there are a few people who realize that something very strange is

happening. What they come to know is that the Ship of Civilization is sinking. At first,

like everyone else, they can’t believe it. The Ship has been afloat since time before time.

It is the best of the best. That it could sink is unthinkable. Nonetheless, they are sure the

Ship is sinking.

They try and warn the people, but no one believes them. The ship can not be sinking

and anyone who thinks so must be out of their mind. When they persist in trying to warn

the people of what they are facing, those in charge of the Ship silence them and lock them

up. The Ship's media keeps grinding out news stories describing how wonderful the

future will be. Any problems that are occurring will surely be solved with the wonders of

our civilized life-style.

The leaders of the Ship smile and wave and promise prosperity for all. But water is

beginning to seep in from below. The higher the water rises, the more frightened the

people become and the more frantic they scramble to get to the upper decks. Some

believe it is the end and actually welcome the prospect of the destruction of life as we

know it. They believe it is the fulfillment of religious prophesy. Others become more and

more irritable, angry, and depressed.

But as the water rises, those who have been issuing the warnings can no longer be

silenced. More and more escape confinement and lead the people towards the lifeboats.

Though there are boats enough for all, many people are reluctant to leave the Ship of
Civilization. Many questions are asked. “The old stories tell us that we’ve been on this

Ship for more than 10,000 years, isn’t it safer to stay aboard? Could things really be

this bad that we have to leave? Where will we go? Who will lead us? What if this is all

there is? What if we all die?”

Nevertheless, the Ship is sinking. Many people go over the side and are lowered

down to the boats. As they descend they are puzzled to see lettering on the side of the

ship, T-I-T-A-N-I-C. When they reach the lifeboats many are frightened and look for

someone who looks like they know what to do. They’d like to ride with those people.

However, they find that each person must get in their own boat and row away from the

Ship in their own direction. If they don’t get away from the Ship as soon as possible they

will be pulled down with it. When everyone, each in their own boats, rowing in their

own direction, reaches a certain spot, a new Web will be formed. It will be the basis for

a new way of life that will replace the life that was lived on the old Ship of Civilization.

I slowly came back to the present and found myself alone at the back of the Sweat

Lodge. I wasn’t quite sure what had happened, but the vision was clear in my head and

has remained so. Since that fateful day in 1993, I have been trying to understand what I

had been given to me in the vision and how to best share it with others. Here’s what I’ve

learned so far.

Seven Truths the Vision Has Taught Me

1. Trying to achieve success in a “business-as-usual world” is like getting a

better deck-chair on the Titanic. When the Ship sinks, it doesn’t matter which

deck you’ve managed to reach. “The world we have created is not sustainable,”

says Ervin Laszlo, who has been twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and
is the editor of the international periodical World Futures. “Whether we realize it

or not, we have entered a state of global emergency.”i

2. The Ship of Civilization is a 6,000 year old-way of life that has been based on

extracting more and more resources from the earth. In the last 150 years

fossil fuels have been critical. But this way of life is coming to an end. In his

prescient, 2003 book, The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial

Societies, Richard Heinberg says, “The world is changing before our eyes—

dramatically, inevitably, and irreversibly. The change we are seeing is affecting

more people, and more profoundly, than any that human beings have ever

witnessed. I am not referring to war or terrorist incident, a stock market

crash, or global warming, but to a more fundamental reality that is driving

terrorism, war, economic swings, climate change, and more: the discovery

and exhaustion of fossil energy resources.”ii Jared Diamond, author of

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, says “Civilization is the

worst mistake in the history of the human race.”iii

3. Indicators of failure are increasingly evident and interrelated.

• Prices of essentials--from food and water to gasoline and utilities—are on

the rise.

• Our economic system is chaotic and vulnerable.

• Unrest in North Africa/Middle East continues to spread.

• The devastation in Japan and damage to nuclear power plants brings into

question our use of energy.

“ “On the surface, the nuclear crisis in Japan and the political crisis in Libya (along

with at least five other countries in the region) might seem unrelated,” says Richard

Heinberg, “But when it comes to our self interest here in the United States, there's one

thing that binds them together: our unquenchable need for energy and the price we pay

for that addiction.”iv

4. Because these changes are unprecedented in human history, stress levels are

going through the roof and wiping us out. We can think of stress as impacting

us in three ways:

• We feel personal stress as we relate to our internal sense of security.

• We feel interpersonal stress as we relate to our spouse and family.

• We feel extra-personal stress as we relate to the larger social environment.

“The type of stress that causes damage manifests as a chronic sense of pressure

that is beyond one’s control,” says Woodson Merrell, M.D. “Energy-draining stress

can arise from anything that disrupts your balance. Unrealistic deadlines at work,

moving to a new home, marital disharmony or a new marriage, a change of job,

financial difficulties. Your nagging concerns, your worries, your efforts to adapt to a

new situation (whether welcome change or not) will take a toll on your energy.”v

And it’s clear that more and more things in our world are taking their toll.

5. Men Are the “Canaries-in-the-Coal-Mine” Alerting Us to World-Wide


Canaries were once regularly used in coal mining as an early warning system.

Toxic gases such as carbon monoxide and methane in the mine would kill the bird

before affecting the miners. Male illness and breakdown are the world’s early
warning signs of impending catastrophe. Things like irritable male syndrome, male

depression and aggression, and high suicide rates are alerting us to the toxic nature of

our current lifestyles.

Comedian Elayne Boosler understood something significant about the different

ways men and women act when they are depressed. “When women are depressed,

they either eat or go shopping,” she said. “Men invade another country.”

Though violence against others is one way men express their pain and unhappiness,

most often men turn on themselves. The suicide rate for men is 4 to 18 times higher

than it is for women. “Being male is now the single largest demographic factor for

early death,” says Randolph Nesse of the University of Michigan. “If you could

make male mortality rates the same as female rates, you would do more good

than curing cancer,” he says. Nesse's colleague Daniel Kruger estimates that over

375,000 lives would be saved in a single year in the US if men's risk of dying was as

low as women's.”vi

6. Men of Courage Can Help Lead the Way to a New World.

For most of human history we lived as “hunter-gatherers” in small bands. In their

role as hunters, it was the men who were the first to become aware of ecological

change—to notice when the buffalo had moved or animals were dying. It was their

job to protect their tribe and lead their people to safety.

As has been true throughout human history, males are genetically endowed to be

the risk takers. It is the role of modern men to lead their people away from the Ship

of Civilization and move us into a world where humans don’t attempt to dominate

nature, but live in balance with nature.

There are a number of visionaries, both male and female, that offer guidance on

how we can make this transition. Daniel Quinn has offered his ideas in books like

Ishmael, The Story of B, and Beyond Civilization: Humanity’s Next Great Adventure.

“Hierarchy” and “Domination” are key concepts in understanding “Civilization.”

Daniel Quinn says: “Every civilization brought forth in the course of human history

has been a hierarchical affair. You can have hierarchy without civilization, but you

can’t have civilization without hierarchy; at lease we never have—not once, not

anywhere, in ten thousand years of civilization building. To have a civilization is to

have a hierarchical society.”vii But, as Quinn says, we can move beyond civilization.

David C. Korten describes the process in his book, The Great Turning: From Empire

to Earth Community. “I use the term, Empire with a capital E as a label for the

hierarchical ordering of human relationships based on the principle of domination.

The mentality of Empire embraces material excess for the ruling classes, honors the

dominator power of death and violence, denies the feminine principle, and suppresses

realization of the potential of human maturity.” viii

He contrasts this way of being to Earth Community as a label for the egalitarian

democratic ordering of relationships based on the principle of partnership (as

described by Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice and the Blade.) “The mentality of

Earth Community,” says Korten embraces material sufficiency for everyone, honors

the generative power of life and love, seeks a balance of feminine and masculine

principles, and nurtures a realization of the mature potential of our nature.”ix

Although some believe that men are inherently hierarchical and dominating and

females are inherently democratic and partnering, this is not the case. All of us have
suffered in cultures of Empire and all of us will benefit as we move to Earth

Community. And men of courage can lead the way.

7. Your Energy Psychology Power Tool is Designed to Assist You to Heal the

Wounds of Empire and to Embrace the Benefits of Earth Community

Let’s face it, we’re all embroiled in the tentacles of Empire no matter how much

we want to escape. Going through the transition to Earth Community is stressful and

we can use all the help we can get. It’s pretty obvious that the health care system,

like all hierarchical systems is falling apart. It was pretty limited at best, and now it is

not only expensive, but it doesn’t work very well for the stress-related problems we

are facing today. A new health-care system will emerge as Earth Communities

become more stable and more people embrace this healthier way of life. In the mean

time we are going to have to take our own health-care, and the care of those we love,

into our own hands.

Fortunately, your Energy Psychology Power Tool, is just what the new kind of

doctor would order. Using these tools will help you overcome stresses you are

holding from the past, deal with stresses in the present, and keep you focused on the

future that is the most vibrant and health-producing that you can imagine.

The Swiss Army Knife for the Body, Mind, and Spirit

What would you give to have a tool that can fix most of the things that really need

fixing, is easy to use, can be taken wherever you go, never needs to be plugged in,

and costs nearly nothing? Think of it as a super-charged Swiss Army knife with

everything you need to address any emergency and heal any wound.
The Swiss Army is one of the strongest in Europe. It is a tough, well-trained

professional fighting force so formidable that it has kept the country from being

invaded through two World Wars. Every able-bodied Swiss male is required to serve

and remains in the army as a reservist until age 50. As a condition of preparedness,

each soldier is provided with the most advanced technology and the simplest – a

folding pocketknife.

This tool dates back to 1886 when the Swiss Army decided to equip every soldier with

a regulation single-blade folding knife. In 1889, a new rifle was introduced. To

disassemble the rifle, a screwdriver was needed. So a decision was made to create a

multi-purpose tool incorporating four elements--a knife, screwdriver, reamer and can-

The tool I’ll be giving you in this book also has four elements, which you’ll appreciate

even more than your Swiss Army knife. This tool will give you what you need to create

the kind of life you want. It can instantly shift your brain’s electrochemistry to:

• Help overcome unwanted emotions such as anger, jealousy, fear, guilt, and


• Help change unwanted habits and behavior.

• Alleviate physical and emotional pain.

• Enhance your abilities to love, succeed, and enjoy life.

The 4 Elements of the Energy Psychology Power Tool

So, what exactly is Energy Psychology? Energy Psychology is a family of

powerful evidence-based healing methods that blend contemporary and ancient healing

traditions to provide relief from mind-body distress. According to David Gruder,

Ph.D., Founding President of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology,

“Some truly exciting new upgrades in the field of psychology have been unfolding over

the last several years, which are beginning to align psychology with the stunning

discoveries that have been made over the past 75 years in the field of quantum


Energy Psychology is a family of powerful evidence-based

healing methods that blend contemporary and ancient
healing traditions to provide relief from mind-body distress.

Although there are many techniques and practices that might fall under the heading of

“Energy Psychology” or “Energy Medicine” (The Encyclopedia of Energy Medicinex

compiled by Linnie Thomas lists sixty-six different approaches), I’ve chosen to focus on

the four that I feel are the easiest to learn, the most effective, and that have a good

scientific basis for their validity.

The four elements of your Swiss Army knife for the body, mind, and spirit (I call it the

Energy Psychology Power Tool) are:

1. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

2. Earthing

3. Heart Coherence

4. Attachment Love

For more information on my forthcoming book on Energy Psychology for Men, please

contact me at
Laszlo, Ervin. WorldShift 2012: Making Green Business, New Politics & Higher Consciousness Work Together.
Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions, 2009, p. xvii.
Heinberg, Richard. The Party’s Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society
Publishers, 2003, p. 1.
Diamond, Jared. “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race.” Discover Magazine, May, 1987.
Richard Heinberg, MuseLetter #227 / April 2011 by Richard Heinberg.
Morrell, Woodson. The Source. New York: Free Press, 2008, p. 22.
New Scientist Magazine, 1972.
Quinn, Daniel. Beyond Civilization: Humanity’s Next Great Adventure. New York: Harmony Books, 2009, p. 85.
Korten, David C. The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2006, p., 20.
Korten, David C. The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2006, p., 20.
Thomas, Linnie and Obry, Carrie. Editor. The Encyclopedia of Energy Medicine. Minneapolis, Mn: Fairview Press, 2010