Planning for The Next Great Pilgrimage
Select your character and form your party
Before we begin:
- Ethan Hawke has given the Pope a quest to lead a march into Ukraine to stop the war. I’ve been calling this The Hawke Plan™
- I’m a wizard trying to amplify that wish into a massive global event intended to address a bunch of the heinous bullshit everyone is dealing with everywhere. I call this The Next Great Pilgrimage.
How’s your hero’s journey going?
It looks like a whole lot of people are really dissatisfied with their lives or the conditions of their existences… although we can’t easily measure this (partly because we don’t want to measure it because it feels impossible to do anything about. We don’t want to think about it.) Modern culture does weird things to our internal desire for a Hero’s Journey. They’re everywhere. It’s possible to consume them and feel enhanced by them, though sometimes we’re diminished and feel enhanced. The Hero’s Journeys we see others embark upon can inspire strong feelings in us and influence our own.
It’s much easier to be aware of people who are doing better than us than it is to emulate their lives. We’re shown those people in a culture that often inspires negative emotions in us through those reactions. It’s possible to consume our culture, which is comprised primarily of Hero’s Journeys, and feel like a personal Hero’s Journey is impossible, unneeded, or lacking in value.
Look at the world though. It’s begging for an age of heroes.
What are we doing again?
Right. So. We’re going to get as many people as we possibly can into Ukraine (from every possible direction would be most effective), in order to stop the war. They will come across every border in a massive coordinated effort supported by those who cannot make this journey but understand its value. Ethan Hawke proposed that the Pope lead this and the Pope hasn’t answered. At a certain point we’re just gonna have to follow Ethan Hawke. But also Ethan Hawke isn’t enough — even though he’s like totally awesome. Ideally we’d want people marching in from every direction. Well supplied and well provisioned, if possible, in order to reduce the odds of conflict along the way.
This is about bringing a better world to Ukraine. The goal must be a cessation of violence, a viable framework for peace, and a focused, coordinated, unilateral effort to rebuild the nation and heal its people. Healing the people of Ukraine will heal the people of Russia in a way that hasn’t occurred in their great history.
We can seize this opportunity to do more
A bunch of people all over the world are really unhappy with a bunch of systems, and also those bunch of systems are responsible for the current state of the world. Basically everyone agrees a lot of stuff is pretty shitty, right? Right? We maybe disagree on what’s shitty and why it’s shitty but holy fuck are we ever covered in a wide variety of shit.
Yes, I know, there are many amazing and awesome things and many metrics are the best they’ve ever been. Lots of things are also catastrophically shitty. Both are true.
There isn’t a plan here yet, it’s just a vibe. I’ve definitely written more about The Hawke Plan™ than Ethan Hawke has. There needs to be more people otherwise I guess it’ll just be me and Ethan Hawke and it’s gonna be pretty embarrassing.
If you want to participate you probably need to find other people to participate with. Build up local support for your journey. Find resources and allies.
Church groups in North America are very good at fundraising and pooling resources to send people out on pilgrimages. They have tutorials and guides online. There are secular organizations that fundraise in similar ways. Learn their strategies and collaborate in executing them. You can also modify their approaches to better fit your circumstances.
Your odds of success will increase through collaboration.
What options are available to you?
This is a hard question you should always try to have an answer for. If you don’t have many options available to you being aware of the reality of your circumstances can help motivate you to find better options if possible. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes you can only take the hits. Sometimes you lose. Lots of people lose because they don’t have enough options to even play.
The Hawke Plan™ is a great new option that’s available to a lot of people to stop something really horrible that’s happening.
The Next Great Pilgrimage is another new option for when we’re done with The Hawke Plan™. Inspired by the seriousness of recent events and many modern catastrophes, individuals and groups all over the world can Arise! and take control of the circumstances of their collective existence in a way that hasn’t been previously available.
Ethan Hawke isn’t advocating for this. He just wants the Pope to lead a big march to stop the war. That’s more than enough, and more than most. The rest of this is me desperately seizing a relevant cultural moment in order to try and change a bunch of big things. None of the elites running the systems that are fucking up all of our shit are able to get a handle on this. Some of them are causing this. Some of them are benefiting from it and many of them are being harmed the least by it. We need to stop the war in Ukraine because it can easily lead to something which destroys all of us. It’s worth noting that I’m a nonviolent extremist so my solution here is to flood a warzone, targeted by nuclear weapons, with an overwhelming mass of innocent people in order to demand a better world for everyone. Maybe there’s a better solution. I’m certainly open to talking about that. My solution is fucking nuts. All of my solutions are fucking nuts.
After we’re done stopping the war we’ll need to rebuild Ukraine and go stop the other wars.
There’s a bunch of insane shit that a bunch of people need to participate in so that we can resolve the insane shit that’s happening to and around us. Maybe it would be better to start close to home.
On Forming a Fellowship
Look to the space of culture for inspirational stories of people coming together to face hard challenges and overcome challenging odds, pull out the bits of culture designed to sell ads and products, and you’ll see the inspirational stories required by groups of humans all over history to protect themselves and their environments.
Chances are you know this and just don’t think it applies to you because our shared culture makes us feel weird if we think this stuff applies to us. But look at the world! It obviously applies to us. We need to work through a bunch of big damn things that can only be resolved by big damn heroes.
Find people who feel like you feel about whatever stuff you’ve got big feelings about and get to work. They’re all around you. Everyone is just pretending not to be terrified.
Understand the cost paid: The climate is collapsing alongside various aspects of our shared infrastructure and systems. We need to stop the war in Ukraine to prevent massive harm downstream from these events… where the worst of the climate collapse has yet to be found. All of the travel required by The Hawke Plan™ is a bad thing. This is perhaps the best of a bunch of terrible options so we need to make it count for something. This will be my last major trip until international travel is truly safe for the environment.
Loss is inevitable
One of the unrealistic things modern culture puts into our media to increase profit is happy endings. Happy endings are possible but the media we’re exposed to gives us a skewed perspective of how frequent, likely, or straightforward they are. We protected ourselves from thoughts of death and now we collectively misbelieve that we have protected ourselves from death. Part of the reaction of the pandemic is an unwillingness by a great many people, on both side of all of the ideological spectrums, to accept the reality of death. Fear of death caused people to both over-react and under-react to the pandemic. The cost of failing at the Hawke Plan™ could be death.
The Hawke Plan™ may have the capacity to be inspirational to some but it exists in the face of an overwhelming quantity of unimaginably complex threats and harmful conditions. There is an element of bleak pragmatism to this approach. I’m just not sure what else is suitable anymore and I’m willing to give this a whirl, so I’m grateful for Mr. Hawke for having proposed it. I spent a while being naively optimistic but that didn’t work very well.
A while ago I told Vladimir Putin he’d go to whatever the heck is the real version of the negative part of the afterlife if he destroyed the world. I’ve no doubt I’ll face a similar fate if I help march a bunch of people into nuclear annihilation, regardless of my intentions, and that is a plausible outcome of this scenario.
I’m sure Ethan Hawke is as open-eared to other possible solutions to this as I am. Where are they?