Depression can be ontologically (way of being) embraced as a natural expression of empathy; a rational response to the present conditions of psychopathic Earth “leadership.” Choosing to embrace rather than resist so-called “depressed” thoughts and feelings opens a pathway to possible proactive thoughts, speech, and actions to transform present conditions to unpredictable and even unimaginable virtues. That is, if a human being is going to participate in the transformation of present Earth conditions, then it seems normal for most people to have reactions that may include shock, horror, denial, sadness, fear, rage, depression, and anxiety in becoming responsible (response-able) to Earth conditions when factually embraced. This is a temporary stage that those of us with experience observe often, and almost all of us have gone through ourselves. Initially painful reactions is a transitory phase to discovering openings for action in this condition. It also opens real-world exercise of religious/spiritual/philosophical self-expression for ontological peace within this condition.
As the crisis of austerity deepens, forcing workers and the public to swallow the costs of the global financial meltdown, the need for the radical imagination is more urgent than ever. But what is it, actually? How can we understand the radical imagination as more than a hollow slogan? How can it be a critical tool for building movements to reclaim our world from a renegade form of capitalism rooted in sexism, racism, homophobia, mass incarceration, the illegalization of migrants and the destruction of the earth? These are the questions we ask and seek to answer in our book The Radical Imagination: Social Movement Research in the Age of Austerity (Zed Books, 2014), which is based on our study of today's social movements. Here are a few key things we learned. The radical imagination is not something that we have as individuals; it's something that we do, and that we do together. The idea of the imagination typically makes us think about our own unique, individual mental worlds. But in a very real way, our mental worlds are shared imaginative landscapes. When we tell stories about our past, present and future or about inspiring victories or humbling defeats, we are crafting such landscapes through dialogue and participant power.