As I pondered "meaning" not only as synonymous with "outcome" but as more intimately connected with that dimension of life which I choose to call the sacred, I was taken on yet another journey. This would not be primarily a journey of analyzing the extent of polar ice cap melting, how much oil or water are left on the planet, how weather is affected by global warming, or how quickly I can move off the power grid and become totally self-sufficient. Instead, I would be grappling day to day, in fact, moment to moment, with the pivotal question...which is, "Who do I want to be in the face of collapse?" As a result, this book is not written as a manual of "how to survive collapse" or "how to prevent collapse" but rather, how to be present with collapse--how to perceive it as a phenomenon in which I am being both required and invited to participate for a specific purpose, or perhaps many specific purposes.
Collapse is not an event for which we are headed in some near or distant future. It has already begun, and we are well into it. As I state repeatedly in this book, I do not know how collapse will continue to play out, nor do I know its final consequences for life on earth or for the planet itself. What I am certain of, however, is that it will entail more loss than anyone reading these words--or the person writing them,can begin to imagine. This unfathomable loss will manifest a the loss of life, livelihoods, health, homes, marriages, families, food, clothing, shelter, towns, neighborhoods, communities, transportation, mobility, infrastructure, sanity, loved ones, possessions, and our very identities as the human beings we now are. It is likely to be the most devastating holocaust in recorded history, and it will be the end of the world as any of us has known it. But for me, that is not the end of the story; this book is an attempt to suggest what is beyond collapse and what every person reading it may wish to consider being and doing, as collapse unfolds, in order to plant and nurture the seeds of a new paradigm for the earth community. pp. xxiii-xxiv
--Carolyn Baker, Sacred Demise: Walking The Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization's Collapse