Shattered Earth: Approaching Extinction
Romola V. Thumbadoo PhD, Writer, Coordinator, Circle of All Nations: Elder William Commanda’s Legacy Work
A prolific writer in these times of unprecedented global and local challenges, Ian Prattis combines his groundedness in spiritual search and meditation, activist peace building and a passionate concern for environmental issues in a search for new horizons in this provocative book. Addressing the complexities of unbridled corporate domination, greed and blindness juxtaposed against the passionate and insistent voice of youth and the cry of nature, he queries the place and potential of ancient Indigenous knowledge in the urgent search for future. In what is now deemed the age of Anthropocene and global connection, can passion and creativity evolve from the seeds of ancient wisdom to ignite a legacy of hope? He invites us all on this journey of soul searching and action.
PART ONE - BROKEN GLASS
Broken Glass is a metaphor for the broken cycles of Climate Systems that place humanity in dire straits. Chapter One - A Candid Look at the Future of Planet Earth - is indeed candid, brutal and dark. It begins with a futuristic analysis of Climate Change and the inevitable fate provided by the suicide pact engineered by corrupt corporations for most of humanity.The futuristic view is sent back from the year 2080. It is not an uplifting account, even when it reverts to present time and reveals how unready humanity is to encounter Climate Emergency.
Chapter Two is about The Children and Extinction Rebellion (XR). The essay opens with the Children's Strike for Climate instigated by Greta Thunberg. I admire this magnificent young Swedish woman as she impacts generations and many politicians. Yet, the corporate oligarchy will not budge from their greed and power. They have already bought and sold governments. They will certainly gut the possibility of restraint with respect to Climate Change, thereby dashing the bravery of children worldwide. The emergence of Extinction Rebellion, a global grassroots environmental organization that emulates Gandhi and Martin Luther King's adherence to non-violent protest is a disruption I fully support. Their target is the existing political establishment at the beck and call of corporate cabals.
These global protest movements intend to motivate citizens, parliaments and industry to implement massive measures to ameliorate the impacts of Climate Emergency. However, powerful financial interests, the creators of Climate Change, will not allow their power and control to slip away. They are better organized than us; they control the media and have the wealth to usurp any coalition that threatens their power. This could escalate to the collapse of societies amidst violent revolution.
PART TWO - FACING EXTINCTION: MOVING MIND AND HEART
What are we going to do now? Is there a future for our beautiful children and grandchildren? The Marshall Plan strategy used after World War 11 required a global effort to implement it. Something similar needs to be applied to Climate Crisis in the 21st century. However, given the nature of political leaders at this time it seems highly unlikely that similar steps will be taken. The denial of Climate Emergency by Presidents in the USA, Brazil and other nations, leaves the world bereft. The massive co-operation required to off-set the accelerating Climate Emergency has not appeared - yet. What is left for us?
There is an ancient and unusual perception that is at the ready in Chapter Three: the notion of Impermanence, which expands the heart and mind so that a culture of kindness and co-operation emerges. Impermanence connotes our true nature of interconnectedness with a constantly changing web of life. Impermanence is not so far away from the modern mindfulness movement, which is a vital link in the chain. I will lay out the origins of Impermanence and apply it to community activism.
I introduce James, my great nephew, and his concern for our Burning World in Chapter Four. Some personal steps are in Chapter Five - Transformation in India.
PART THREE - HELLO DARKNESS
Extinction can impact us in many different ways. Our minds can destroy us as devastation shatters our will to continue. Then we find ourselves stepping back into hell's dreadful desolation, where we do not allow anyone to help us. We enable self-destruction when hope drains away. Yet there is always a glimpse, a possibility of stepping through the darkness and touching a warm, knowing light that spurs us on. I offer four short stories that move in this direction. Chapter Six: Love Lost and Dark Shadows catches the downhill lapse of a beloved seaman. Chapter Seven: The Solace of Winter has a pinnacle soaring that is then spurned. Chapter Eight: Torched is a sharp, flash fiction of desperation. Chapter 9: The Ewe permits the option of death to merge with surprising awakening.
PART FOUR - ALL MY RELATIONS: ANCIENT WISDOM
My long encounter with Ancient Wisdom enabled my heart and mind to expand in a manner that astonished me. I absorbed the significance of the Earth Mother and saw clearly how humanity neglected the basic respect for all that sustains us. The era of Climate Crisis and Extinction is not a surprise. Indigenous wisdom the world over knows that protecting the Earth is primary to care for ourselves and all species.
My approach to life comes through experience, crises, difficulties and joys that may have common ground with many readers. I was gifted with mentors in the desert, training with sages in ashrams in India and monasteries in France and the Ancient Wisdom of Indigenous cultures. My intensive training in different traditions enabled me to better understand the processes of transformation. There was a lot of mud in my seasons, yet that mud provided the necessary compost to cultivate surprisingly accurate insights. Thus, I was able to anticipate the hard core of Extinction by first of all developing Impermanence. And just why do I - do we - need all of this? It is so we may emerge as the new leaders for the 21st century.
I introduce Sacred Stalker in Chapter 10 and my indigenous education in Chapter 11: Medicine Mentors. Chapter 12: The Transfer Particle is a futuristic story about Hopi mysticism for a new planet. Chapter 13: The Forest provides a short, sharp finale about my intentions.
Author Dr. Ian Prattis opens Shattered Earth in the not too distant future with a futuristic analysis of Climate Change and "the inevitable fate provided by the suicide pact engineered by corrupt corporations for most of humanity."
From there, the award-winning writer examines destructive environmental trends and practices and explores ways to protect and preserve planet Earth.
Dr. Prattis employs a skillful blending of fiction, non-fiction and biographical narratives to effectively convey his message in a thought-provoking, reader-engaging manner.
Shattered Earth provides both a big-picture look at our planet's environment in crisis along with a more individualistic-personal perspective, evident in his own experiences shared throughout this book.
This is also particularly evident in my own favorite section of Shattered Earth: The enthralling Part Three - Hello Darkness, a superbly written collection of fictional short stories, exploring everything from a broken lover's loss of his self-created nurturing relationship-environment and subsequent encounter with a violent ocean environment; to a loner's strong desire to save his natural environment from being destroyed by big developer bulldozers; to an act of arson; to an old man braving an incredibly harsh environment to save the life of a child - small-picture stories of individuals engaged in environmental interaction.
Shattered Earth is a joy to read with an underlying message that we need to treat ourselves, our neighbours and our planet with much more care and concern - if you weren't an environmentalist on starting this book, you will be by the time you finish reading it.
- Michael B. Davie, publisher-president, Manor House.
Claudiu Murgan, Author
Ian Prattis's previous books - Failsafe: Saving the Earth From Ourselves; New Planet New World, and Our World is Burning - should be part of our schools' curriculum. Shattered Earth makes no exception. It has an abrasive message for those that still don't want to understand that the existing ecological balance is broken and only a sudden halt of the destructive actions fuelled by greed and power could dim down the effects. A must read for all that care about their legacy.
Barbara A. White, M.A. and Critic.
I often find myself observing [occasionally out loud and with genuine astonishment] that "Ian was right!" He has anticipated all of the major threats to personal fulfillment and global peace and harmony. The path he has long advocated and expands upon in these brisk pages will catch you up in exceptional prose. But brace yourself; there is no going back. You cannot "un-see" the revelations Ian pulls from the deep waters and furtive shadows of emerging global awareness. His wisdom becomes your wisdom AND a fulcrum for your own personal enlightenment and development. Such is the grace and gift of a man who has tapped deep into the well of ancient wisdom intent upon saving the earth and all of humanity. Listen and begin your own healing hero's journey.
Jana Begovic, Poet, Author, Contributing Editor of "Ariel Chart."
In this political and economic climate of climate emergency, Prattis' book Shattered Earth reflects Toni Morrison's statement that there is no time for despair, delay, self-pity or fear, but it is time for artists to go to work. And Prattis does just that. His allegiance is to the truth, to our ravaged planet writhing in agony. He paints a bleak portrait of today's reality in which the corporate world uses its unbridled power and wealth to resist and denigrate ruthlessly any environmental movement in order to keep the privileged status quo for itself, regardless of the devastating current and future consequences.
Dr. Prattis is a recipient and bearer of the ancestral wisdom, He shines the light on what is important for our survival, and that of the generations to come, on the urgency with which we ought to act while there is still a glimmer of hope left before it is too late. If humankind wants to survive, it needs to unite in this very late hour, and attempt to reverse the human greed, callousness and cruelty inflicted upon Earth. The powerful, sobering and timely message of this book should be shared far and wide.
Dr. Koozma Tarasoff, Anthropologist
Ian Prattis explores earthly society as it struggles to survive the challenges of climate change, militarization, greed from excessive capitalism, and war itself. These are BIG QUESTIONS that even angels fear to tread. Ian as an anthropologist and Zen teacher knows that he must pursue the truth to its end. Bravo, Ian! Shattered Earth has a focus on civilization's demise because of the factors mentioned above. Whether humans can prevent this from happening will depend upon their genius. I still believe that there are enough wisdom people in the world that will prevent civilization from collapsing. That is the premise that gives me hope for our future.
Rabia Wilcox, Cancer Centre
Ian shows us the dire importance of acknowledging where we are now in regards to climate and the future of our Planet. He captures the true reverence between our relationship within ourselves and our precious Earth.
Rolly Montpellier, Co-Founder Below 2 Degrees
Shattered Earth: Approaching Extinction, comes to us at the right time when the era of climate consequences is upon us. We have neglected the warnings of climate scientists and the signs about global warming for decades. But we can no longer silence the truth about the climate crisis. This book asks two fundamental questions: "What is left for us?" and "What are we going to do now?" Dr. Prattis shows how the notion of impermanence will expand our heart and mind to help us navigate through the dark times we will face in our future. The conversation with his nine year old grand-nephew (Chapter 4) is particularly moving and useful. It helped my four grandchildren prepare for their climate-constrained future. I am grateful for the guidance provided by Shattered Earth: Approaching Extinction.
Gary Finnan, Author
Ian conveys with stark reality how humanity has neglected the basic respect for all that sustains us on our fragile planet. The fact that Greta Thunberg has instigated and championed the Children's Strike for Climate is testament enough to the late hour of the situation. Ian asks the tough questions. Can indigenous wisdom teach us to protect and care for our earth, ourselves and all species before it is too late?
Anita Rizvi, Therapist
Shattered Earth: Approaching Extinction is humankind peering into a broken mirror and seeing the stark reality of Climate Change Emergency reflected there. Without leniency, Dr. Prattis forewarns of a world with 'no beauty rising from the ashes' should we stay on our present course. Amidst the desolate and barren narrative described so beautifully in this book, a solution is born in the mud pits. Civilization can set a new course that will allow our natural state of interconnectedness to emerge. Shattered Earth is brilliant and asks something of each of us - to become part of the only force that can jointly topple the empire of the creators of climate change. With Dr. Prattis there, it is time for the Lotus Revolution.
Judith Matheson, Elder
Thanks to my friend Dr. Ian Prattis this book is a true wake up call for us all to link minds and hearts and to honor that this is the "Time of the Sixth Sun" to rise up and to discern the ways of the heart and soul forward. In conversations we can see that what is best inside ourselves is enough to shine light to empower our own deep individual and collective transformation! I hope you all will read this book and see that in this process of touching darkness so to become the light we will all become the individual and collective change we all need to be for our One home to become blessed by our presence.
Krystina McGuire-Eggins, Therapist
In Shattered Earth, Ian Prattis catapults the reader into a dark, brutal vision of the devastation on Earth as a result of our willful neglect and abuse of its resources. Prattis shares his abundance of knowledge and experience as a professor emeritus of anthropology and religion, scholar, world traveler, spiritual leader and poet, to present a convincing and alarming view of the future, including a glimpse of the year 2080. Using the wisdom he has gained from his travels to overseas ashrams and monasteries, as well as his time spent with Native American medicine people and shamans, he also provides an invaluable insight into the ancient wisdom that can sustain us. This book is dark. It is bone-chilling. It is captivating.
"Shattered Earth" is a glimmer of hope in a very dark time. It’s a call to action, a rallying cry that unites us all in the most epic battle of all: the fight for our survival. Beautifully written and compelling, Dr. Prattis lays out the case for immediate action before it is too late.
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