Comment deleted
Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

The Powers Trilogy, by Walter Wink

Paul and the Uprising of the Dead Trilogy, by Daniel Oudshoorn

Emergent Strategy, Adrienne Marie Brown

Living at the Edges of Capitalism, Andrej Grubacic and Denis O'Hearn

The Art of Not Being Governed, James C Scott

The Many-Headed Hydra, Peter Linebagh and Marcus Rediker

Caliban and the Witch, Sylvia Federici

Debt: The First 5000 Years, David Graeber

Expand full comment

Great idea, Paul!

As a lover of Poetry I'm a believer that the human species's poetic consciousness is a very important "Library" to leave our descendants one way or another, as long as we can assume literacy in various languages is still a thing. Even if physical books become too difficult to maintain, perhaps our descendants can be like the old Welsh Bards and sing and chant their poems. Poets I'd want to take into the Apocalypse would be:

W.S. Merwin

Wendell Berry

Joy Harjo

Mary Oliver

William Blake

Keats + Shelley + Byron

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Antonio Machado

Miguel de Unamuno

Du Fu

Rumi + Hafiz

So many more but that's a start. Then the great religious literature:

The Bible (Old and New Testament)

The Gnostic Gospels in their entirety

Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita

Tao Te Ching and other core Daoist Texts


Indigenous American mythologies (Mayan, Aztec, Kogi, Inca, etc.)

everything by Hehaka Sapa/Nicholas Black Elk

teachings of the Buddha + Tantric Buddhist texts

Indigenous African cosmologies across the continent

likewise for Aboriginal Australian myths, the "Dreamtime"


Whole Earth Catalog

Co-Evolution Quarterly

The Sun magazine up for it's first 15 years or so

Parabola Magazine (real gem there)


a lot by Ursula K. LeGuin. Her "Always Coming Home" is an epic vision of the good and the bad that is possible in some future scenarios.

Wendell Berry once again, his essays.

Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier's Edible Forest Gardens and Carbon Farming books, and the Good Lord willing the Coppice Agroforestry book if Jacke ever finishes it (come on, Dave!)

Martin Crawford's work on Agroforestry

The Book of the Hopi, Hopi Survival Kit, etc.

Myths and Legends of the Cherokee by James Mooney (biased about this, because I'm a native of Southern Appalachia the longtime- 10,000 years possibly- and present day stomping grounds of the Cherokee people, and Mooney was lucky to get an almost complete cosmology from them in the late 19th century when they had intact knowledge of who they were and where they came from)

ANYTHING about Coppicing

ANYTHING about Dehesas and/or Montados Agriculture

Farmers for Forty Centuries by F.H. King

Farming/Agricultural texts by the Shakers, Amish/Mennonites/other Anabaptists?

Always incomplete, but a decent start there.

Expand full comment

Beginning the suggestions to the Library.

Two from the spiritual perspective. One about how we got here philosophically and spiritually, and the other about a way to correct the Naturalists of old and ecologists of recent years through a hesychastic life and perspective.

Nihilism by Fr. Seraphim Rose

The Noetics of Nature: Environmental Philosophy and the Holy Beauty of the Visible by Bruce V Foltz

Expand full comment

I know I’ve been one of those lobbing recommendations at you — Philip Sherrard and David Jones, etc. But honestly it’s hard to know where to start when you put it (movingly) like this. Do I want to bequeath something essential, or a warning? What will our descendants even be able to understand? It’s already hard for us moderns to really grasp certain cornerstones of the Western literary heritage, like for example Dante. We’ve lost too much of the cosmos that makes works like that meaningful. I mean, we may know about it, but we don’t actually know it experientially.

I think I would include The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings—both as a warning against all that is most dangerously evil, and as things of supreme beauty and craftsmanship in their own right. Those works stand at the beginning of my spiritual consciousness, at a quite young age, and my whole life has in a way been determined by them. Not the most original suggestion, I know.

I want to also suggest something that fills one with hope and vigor, zeal for the fullness of life. Much as I love Tolkien, that’s not quite how I’d describe those fantasies. This selection is surprisingly hard for me to settle on. I think for now I will say Thomas Traherne’s Centuries of Meditations. In whatever state the Earth will someday be, Traherne’s is the way to behold it: as theophany.

This is a great query. I’ll think on it more, and also look forward to seeing the final list.

Expand full comment

Newish but good are Alan Jacobs three books:

How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds, by Alan Jacobs

Breaking Bread with the Dead: A Reader's Guide to a More Tranquil Mind, by Alan Jacobs

The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction, by Alan Jacobs

Expand full comment

Bruno Latour's "Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime" seems on the mark, and it complements many of your perspectives.

Given that it is composed in the modern philosopher's tongue, it's more technical than your approach, but I've found it has offered insightful and useful thoughts to return to over time. If you've read it, Paul, I'd be curious to hear your take on it.

Expand full comment

A Secular Age by Charles Taylor

Kierkegaard’s Philosophy: self deception and cowardice in the present age, by John Douglas Mullen

Flannery O’Conner: The Complete Stories

Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

Child of God, by Cormac McCarthy

(All of McCarthy’s books, just not adding them all)

Institutes of the Christian Religion, by John Calvin

The Arrogance of Humanism, by David Ehrenfeld

The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Pilgrims Progress, by John Bunyan

Moral Believing Animals, by Christian Smith

Expand full comment

Allow me to plug my translation of Bernard Charbonneau's The Green Light. A Self-Critique of the Ecological Movement (Bloomsbury, 2018), Jacques Ellul's mentor, with whom he pioneered political ecology from the 1930s as the Bordeaux School. See my interview on these two thinkers (+ McLuhan) at https://thesymbolicworld.com/podcasts/christian-roy-technical-society-and-media/, and https://hermitix.podiant.co/e/the-work-of-bernard-charbonneau-with-christian-roy-38eeb04d120390/.

Expand full comment

Free, Fair and Alive, Bolier and Helfrich

Expand full comment