Collapse is Natural

Hamish Lindop
2 min readSep 21, 2023

I have been holding a koan for a while which goes like this: it seems as though evolution is natural. Homo Sapiens and the complex intelligence they represent were meant to evolve out of our ecosystems that have grown in complexity since the beginning of life emerged as single cell organisms from primordial soup. and it seems like Homo Sapiens, having “selfish genes” like all other organisms, would end up expanding the human footprint into ecological overshoot to the point of creating the sixth mass extinction and ecological (and civilisational) collapse. My koan was “what is the purpose of a natural process that causes collapse?” Then I had an insight this evening; I am projecting the idea that there needs to be a purpose to this process. Nature just does what it does. And humans just do what we do. We are learning, probably much too late, about how our overshoot is causing our demise and deep unbalancing of natural earth systems. And we are trying to change. But more than likely it will be too little too late to avoid massive collapse. The key thing for me is to let go. Thich Nhat Hanh, in his book “Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet”, identified that mass extinctions have happened five times before. Death(which is transformation) at massive scale is not new. Many Near Death Experiencers report the realisation that in the place they go to, time and space are not limited or linear, but infinitely spacious. And also that they are waves, but they are also the sea. We can experience these insights here and now through the practice of letting go and being with what is.

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Hamish Lindop

Sharing insights from community building and social innovation, and reflections on ways of (well) being