I speak to bradley garrett, who explains to me beautifully some of the components of being a doomsday prepper survivalists. What are our assumptions about them? Should you be preparing for the breakdown of society? Is it closer than we think with the all prevailing pandemic, with the treachery deceptions lies and peculiarity? Should we all be preparing for the end of the world? Now, in this conversation with bradley garrett, we cover a lot of these issues and learn a lot and actually feel quite optimistic about armageddon. As a result, let me know what you think in the comments below and if you want to listen to this whole conversation go to luminary and subscribe that you get this podcast all of the podcasts. Where, once a week, i talk to someone deep and above the noise, my meditation podcast, wherever you are in the world, you can listen to luminary via apple it’s, available everywhere the links in the description below check them all out. Thank you and the other thing that sort of struck me is when you said about, like you know about reality that sometimes when i was younger, and i would think about violence that somehow, like a violent confrontation strips away all of the various edifices that we voluntarily Or otherwise live behind and like if someone says i’m going to kill you or punches you in the face like now, you are like oh yeah, stuff, like that, can just happen like it doesn’t matter that i’ve learned these things, you know where is it now yeah You’Re, exactly right and and the the doomsday preppers or survivalists that i’ve been spending years living with.

Have you know they? They explained to me that in some sense they were looking forward to a disaster because it ruptures the illusion um the bunker. You know whether you think about that as a physical space or a kind of metaphor um is, is a space for recreation, it’s, a space of rebirth. Essentially right i mean if you, if you don’t, emerge from the bunker it’s a tomb uh, so so the so. The bunker um uh is a space of rebirth, but it’s also a space of control and because so many aspects of our lives now are not with our control. I think that that’s something that people seek. You know they. They want to create a space where they know they can control the parameters of their existence and that moment of being in the bunker uh, you know, surrounded by the things that you’ve put together, uh self sufficient cut off from the world it’s precisely akin. To that moment of violence that that you’re describing right, it’s it’s a moment of radical confrontation with our existence, you know that where, where the veneer has been stripped away and and we’re back to the basics – and i think you know a lot of us crave – that On some level also – because you know society and civilization originally – was built upon a premise of mutual understanding of cooperation of human connection, connection with the natural world right, and that now has been occluded by these.

These social, economic and political structures that um are are fundamentally unsatisfying on some level, and so what many of the preppers told me was that the disaster is a moment for rebirth for recreation, for reconnection um, and so i mean strangely, there is an anxiety there underlying Things but there’s also a hopefulness that when the disaster comes it’s it’s a moment for us to confront ourselves and potentially to rebuild the world, and this is a perfect moment to be talking to you because you know we’re in that moment now i mean we. We have an opportunity to reshape things after going through a global disaster, that’s killed what almost four million people now um. We have a moment to uh build a different kind of world, whether we’re going to rise up to that challenge. I you know i’m, not sure um, but it’s, certainly a time of of change and that’s exactly what these preppers had been telling me uh long before the pandemic had hit cool a few things that bradley want. Like the cave, the bunker. You know, i think, of christ. You know and like the moment in the cave, that’s so cool like that’s a moment before rebirth and also think of the kali energy in hinduism, like the destroyer that things have to be destroyed, that we may be reborn reborn and, of course, most myths. Have that idea in agriculture itself requires a kind of death and burial for new crops to grow and stuff um mate.

This idea is, are survivalists a homogenous sort of group, or is there a lot of variety because when you just said that thing about the four million death my assumption, this is my assumption about survival. Listen! Obviously i don’t know anything like as much as you do. I only know what i’ve seen on documentaries and stuff like um. My assumption will be that survivalists are sort of libertarian right wing anti state and the government part of the root being kind of like a you know. The king of england could come over here at any moment. We must tall up and get get ready and that they would therefore be kind of anti vaxxy would think that the pandemic was has been exaggerated, mobilized misused and that you know that its risks have been. You know exaggerated or whatever um. Where am i wrong with my assumptions there on the survivalists? Well, so there’s a few things um one is you’re not wrong. Those people do exist. Um and there’s. Not. You know it’s a bit of a misnomer to describe this as a community of people. You know this is i mean there? Are people from um a full political spectrum that are ending up in these communities or adopting these practices? Uh there’s, some great research uh? That came out of queen’s college anna maria bounds worked with uh inner city preppers in new york city, many of whom are black and who said you know, we grew up in essentially a constant state of emergency um, dealing with crisis on a daily basis, and so They’Re they’re prepping so that they don’t have to go through something like that again um many of the communities that i went to and now here, i’m using community in the sense that you know a a group of people who have moved into a set of bunkers.

In a place, we can talk about the the bunkers themselves um, but many of those people came from drastically different backgrounds. Um uh, both vocationally and in terms of their demographics politically across the spectrum, and what was fascinating to me is that they were able to communicate around these shared methodologies right. So so you start, you start with the thought experiment. If this happens, then what would i do right and then and then you start putting the preparations, the material preparations in place, the emotional psychological preparations in place to be able to deal with those scenarios so uh, the the preppers that i worked with were able to Sort of bypass their differences because they were they were trying to work through these problems. These thought experiments on a on a you know, a cooperative basis, and often that meant building complementary skills uh so that they could see each other through a disaster. They they call. These mutual assistance groups um, so you know there’s there’s, again, there’s a lot there’s a lot there to unpack, but the uh the community is sort of wider and more diverse than you might expect, and i’ll tell you now that um recent research has indicated that, just In the united states alone, 13, almost 13 million people are prepared to go for 30 days without any sort of infrastructure, food, water power, grocery stores, that’s. An incredible statistic: i mean it’s almost what one percent of the population is prepared, uh to weather 30 days on their own, so that gives you a sense of how many people are involved and how many different sorts of people are involved in the practice.

That’S. So cool bradley one thing is like from the first part what you’re saying it’s like that abstract ideals about you know your cultural values around what we once would have regarded as the left and the right are irrelevant if you’re involved in the project of building a Community that survives that the culture that consists of those kind of debates – you know my my view – is kind of a distraction from important stuff um and two, like one percent of the population that’s enough to overthrow the government. You know like uh like if it was the right one, you know if you, if you can, if you can mobilize protest civil disobedience to sort of you know, i guess you’d need some strategy and some cohesion, but like that’s, a significant number, you know that’s an Impactful number, maybe we should be looking at the apocalypse optimistically a pokemon. I can’t do a neologism made out of those two words. The point of it is this that maybe we should be preparing for a better society. Maybe civilization needs to change. Hit me with your comments below subscribe to my channel. If you want to learn more about meditation, go over to awakening and sign up for that. If you want to see me, do my live shakespeare show there’s a stream show in a couple of days there’s a link in the description below to that too. And if you want to come see me live, you can get tickets to that below as well sign up to our mailing list.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-ifB5jHCI8