In the eyes of the reader, confined to his home due to a planetary virus, the discovery of Collapse uniquely resonates. “It is an understatement to say that the spirit of the times is worrying”, write in the preamble the scientific journalist Laurent Testot and the risk engineer Laurent Aillet, who directed this collective work, published in March. In the fold of this 346-page book, are gathered all the evils that threaten our industrial civilization entering the era of the Capitalocene (1). First and foremost is climate change and the erosion of biodiversity that would lead to a sixth mass extinction.
The wealth of Collapse lies in its systemic approach. Forty specialists, thinkers as well as practitioners, give their point of view on " collapse (from the Latin “collapse”) with regard to their discipline. Be it philosophy, agronomy, history, politics, geostrategy, law, biology, economics, sociology and even science fiction. As Pablo Servigne, collapsologist, co-author of How everything can fall apart et Another end of the world is possible : “Questioning our way of being in the world is impossible if we do not call on all possible human approaches (…) A real political change begins with a profound change of consciousness”. It is precisely to raise awareness that the contributors to Collapse draw up an inventory and clearly explain the issues, starting from this fundamental postulate: "Every system has its limits" according to the theorem posed by the economist and philosopher Kenneth E. Boulding: "Whoever thinks that exponential growth can to continue indefinitely in a finite world is either a madman or an economist! ".
The spiritual dimension is also invited throughout the pages. Thus, for example, the philosopher Christian Godin writes: “If man killed God, it was because he could not bear a higher power which could judge him (see Nietzsche). If man destroyed nature, it was because he could not bear a reality on which he depended and which escaped him. The monk Dôgen, founder of the Soto school of Zen Buddhism, of which we know the importance he attached to representation, said that flowers wither even if we like them and that grass grows even if we do not like them. not ". And to conclude: “Modern intolerance to nature stems from the refusal to admit a reality that does not depend on us”.
After the state of amazement that gripped us when reading this book – of the same order as that triggered by the coronavirus – the question of meaning arises. The unprecedented period we are experiencing must therefore more than ever lead us to connect and project ourselves into a future of solidarity. The objective of this inspiring work, underline besides Laurent Testot and Laurent Aillet, is to "identify the possible futures". Like an echo of the motto of Buddhist News: "Life and the world are what we make of them".