John Michael Greer’s latest essay, delving more deeply into the role of narrative in human experience of the world:
“…I started making a list of the more obvious features of the story in which we find ourselves at this point in the turning of history’s wheel. I encourage my readers to follow along, and see whether or not the answer that struck me occurs to them as well.
- We live in a world dominated by a vast, slowly decaying empire that gets quite literally superhuman powers by feeding on what we may as well call the blood of the Earth;
- That empire is ruled by a decadent aristocracy that holds court in soaring towers and bolsters its crumbling authority by conjuring vast amounts of wealth out of thin air;
- Backing the aristocracy is a caste of corrupt sorcerers whose incantations, projected into every home through the power of the blood of the Earth, keep the populace disorganized, deluded and passive;
- Entire provinces of the empire are ravaged by droughts, storms, and other disasters caused by the misuse of the Earth’s blood, while prophecies from the past warn of much worse to come;
- Meanwhile, far from the centers of power, the members of a scattered fellowship struggle to find and learn the forgotten lore of an earlier time, which might just hold the secret of survival…
It was more or less at this point that the realization hit: we have somehow gotten stuck, all seven billion of us, inside the pages of a pulp fantasy novel….”