Living Two Lives

You know that something is very wrong.

Even if you ascribe to the recovery meme and ingest the current narrative that the economy is about to take off and that stocks and houses will once again make us all rich, you know deep down that the story of perpetual exponential growth has an ending.

Maybe not immediately, but someday, certainly, the doctrine of endless growth will have to end. And you know that in all likelihood it won't end on human terms, in a manner of our careful choosing, but on some other terms set by exhausted ecosystems and depleted resources interacting with our highly complex economic and financial systems.

How exactly does one fashion a new lifestyle that is in alignment with this view? Is it even possible?

Or perhaps you don't even buy the recovery meme, but you know that endless money printing is not the path to prosperity and that the current appearance of recovery is just an illusion, all but certain to end in tears as it always has in the past. Holding this view, perhaps you have the sense that there's a more resilient and higher quality of life out there for you, but you are not yet there.

Living Two Lives

If you are like millions of other people (and how I used to be), you find yourself living two lives; the one you inhabit each day and the one you feel that you ought to be living.

While it is true in every age that humans have sought to find greater fulfillment and better alignment between their values and livelihoods, for many this striving takes on additional tones of urgency during a period of time such as the one we are in now.

We have been working hard recently to better define, understand, and work with the various components of what it means to live two lives and are pleased to announce that the first public offering of these efforts will be at the upcoming Kripalu seminar next weekend.

I am personally very excited about the potential of this new material to open up rich discussions and shift personal narratives.

To begin, simply being in a safe place among kindred spirits openly talking about the this topic of living two lives will, all by itself, be powerful. Just being open about it and naming the dynamic publicly will provide its own form of relief while opening new doorways to explore.

We’ll introduce a newly-developed form of framing that consciously explores where our individual actions are in alignment with our thoughts and values and where they are not.

It begins by asking Where are we acting to address the things over which we have control? Many of us are already doing these acts of mastery, be they in the physical realm such as gardening or energy retrofitting a house, or in the emotional realm by taking responsibility for and control over our emotional reactions to events. By noting these areas we can celebrate our positive contributions to our lives and future resilience.

It progresses to then explore Where we are acting to address things over which we have no control? These acts become a form of ceaseless striving; because no matter how much or how well we perform these actions, the larger outcome will turn out however it was going to in the first place. Operating in this way leads to stress, frustration, anxiety a decidedly powerless and unhappy place to be.

The third stage focuses on where we are not acting in areas we can control. This is a form of giving up, and it is a very powerless place to be in every respect, save the intensity of the emotions that it fosters. Despair, hopelessness, anger, or even rage are quite common emotions that occupy this territory.

And last we look at where we find ourselves not taking any actions to address the things we cannot control. This is a very powerful place to be, and it is represented by the idea of letting go and is often accompanied by emotions of peace and new-found freedom. Our culture, being as tilted towards the masculine as it is, typically focuses far more on taking action (mastery) than letting go, but each is just as powerful as the other and each has equal value when applied to different situations of our lives.

The Serenity Prayer and Buddhism both speak to the wisdom of letting go, and yet I find precious little direct, useful conversation in our culture about exactly what that means. And so at the seminar we will put our heads together to shine some much-needed light on this area.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Of course, the whole weekend seminar will cover a lot more territory, all of which we are working to integrate with this new discussion about leading two lives, and it really dovetails nicely. I am personally looking forward to participating in the discussions and learnings that result.

Moving Into Alignment

So returning to the beginning of this post: We all sense that something is very wrong with our society’s dependence on exponential growth. Many of us find ourselves ‘living two lives,’ bifurcated between working within the current system but believing we need to be behaving very differently if we desire a prosperous future for ourselves and our progeny. How do we bring our behavior into better alignment with our beliefs so that real change, real productive forward momentum, can bloom?

That’s the sweet spot of next weekend’s seminar. We dig into the need for change, identify the barriers and obstacles that make change difficult, vision the specific behavior changes and action steps that will benefit you most personally, and explore how best to bring your life into alignment with this vision.

If you think you’d benefit from this opportunity, there is still time to register and attend, and I'd be delighted to have you there.

Your faithful information scout,

~Chris Martenson


P.S. For a bit more on the dynamic of Living Two Lives, here's the intro that I wrote for a recent Martenson Insider article that generated an excellent discussion on the site.

At the Rowe seminar in 2013, when we asked the participants what they hoped to get out of the event, we heard something very different from prior years. Where the first years of the seminar could be characterized by tactical requests such as I want to know how to store food and how and where do I buy gold, this year we heard something very different.

One of the more pressing requests was I feel like I am living two lives, how do I manage this?

What was meant by this was living with the perception that their old life, marked by a normal job and regular routines like filling up the tank with gas, shopping, and attending parties where the weather , kids and sports were discussed, was not the one they wanted to be leading.

In many cases people were leading second lives marked by passionate interests in new things like bees, gardens, and discussing future scenarios that were not fit for polite conversation unless one happened to be a Hollywood screenwriter.

Nearly everyone shared the perception that their true calling was to be fully in their 'new life' but that they could not yet get all the way over to it. Yet. Also common was the desire to be more fully connected to their local community as was the perception that critical mass was still some ways off.

In many cases people wondered if perhaps there weren't a lot of other people feeling similar things but that nobody was really talking about it yet and so they went unnoticed to each other.

Underneath it wall was a lurking dissatisfaction with 'normal life' and a desire to get on with something new, more engaged, dynamic and just plain fun.

Once this view is adopted, the old world can seem drab, uninteresting and even tedious. Where are the dynamic conversations about real things, the willingness to try new things, take risks and live more fully if not intensely?

And so we all are waiting to some extent, and that comes with a sense of powerlessness, like a farmer wishing for rain.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

At least we have the MSM to keep us entertained in the interim.
Breaking news on the 777 crash out of San Francisco

And the subsequent retraction.

It is to weep. This video clip, the retraction and the troll traffic after both is profoundly disturbing on a stunning number of levels.  The shear depth of the ingnorance, stupidity and malice is mind boggling.  Is it any wonder that so many of us are having trouble making sense of the world when it is increasingly apparent that the information that we are tryng to use is so badly corrupted as to be meaningless.  Back to the Crash Course, hard data and equations for a meaningful template, the mass media would seem to be worse then usless.

I sometimes think that I am a little to critical of modern westren culture, after seeing this… well maybe not so much.  This is depravity at it's worst.

Yet another reason to wish I could make the Kripalu seminar next weekend.  Perhaps next year.
The primary reason I'd like to attend is to address the split between my wife and I.  She believes at a gut level, but does not want to focus on what's happening, or engage in significant preparation or lifestyle change.  She's in the camp of enjoying the party until everyone goes home camp.  If she tries to ignore it, she can have more 'fun' until whenever, right?

As for me right now, I walk around a bit dazed.  We were in a new upscale grocery store yesterday, pickup up some fillets on sale.  Unlike big box department store, which just depress me with the wasted energy associated with rampant consumerism, grocery stores can make me feel like a kid in a candy store.  But, now, at the same time, I carry the burden of realizing how much we will miss cheap energy food in the years to come.  Gourmet cheeses, USDA choice angus, broasted whole chickens, endless flavors of ice cream… I can't grow these things in a garden and I'll miss them.

Regarding the video clip, it's sad, but no where near as sad as investment advisors, the MSM and the general public believing or pretending to believe the inflaton, GDP and unemployment numbers reported by our trusted government officials.  That is simply mind boggeling 'double think.'



Much to say here but it's easier to view my website: and click onto
the Costa Rica Community/Retreat/Wellness Center developments on the left side.  There are a lot of details

there, with videos, brochures, opportunities, etc.  The idea is to CREATE a COMMUNITY of like-minded

people living in "paradise,"  well almost paradise. You can do it part-time or full-time and enjoy the style of living

that is closest to your heart and thinking.

Additionally, we suggest two books to see how quantum physics can answer many of your questions about life:

The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World; and, God Is NOT Dead: Physics

Tells Us About Our Origins and How We Should LIVE, both by Amit Goswami.

Enjoy and BE OPEN,  Ken Pollinger, Ph.D.

I identify with the Chris point of living two lives, see avatar. 
Us/Others, GOP/DEM, Rich/Poor, Smart/Dumb;

Perhaps high IQ robots will handle multiple identity better than humans.

Humans allow identities to prevent effective problem solving;

greed is good for one side- at best,

at worst it isn't even good for one side.


Great post Ken… I am interested in your Costa Rica outpost.Another book that affected me deeply in exploring spirituality through the lens of quantum mechanics is this;
written by astrophysicist Bernard Haisch

…and my two cents are that I share what is happening with my wife and let her see everything for herself as she is living in this world. Over the last few years she gets it and is very supportive. I protect her from the mundane and share a beautiful life with her. I am responsible for all preparations as I have the time, energy, and the will to just get it done. Naturally she partcipates in making sure we rotate the pantry, keeps a list of foods gone through and maintains our stocks. 
Having completed the primary and many secondary preparations and back up plans to the back up plans I am now terribly relaxed that I will have plenty of time to figure things out as we move forward. The needs are met at least out 6 months. We have recently moved our camper to a friends Northern property in our State. Grandfathered as part of their property was an old man and his small home where he could live until he died. So he left behind the power and septic that is still in good shape as they have a nice sandy sub-soil where the septic drains well so that will be our bug out place. It's 20 acres that butt up against State lands and we'll manage there in any emergency. I have a truck and small pull behind for a quick load up of our back up systems here at home. Generator, freezers, and other essential items to hole up for a good while with friends who get what is happening as well. If we do not get the complete societal breakdown then we store our camper there and pick it up on our way to our property and relaxation well north of their location.

Now, I just live life, play, socialize, read, and go about my days normally. I will not, nor do I spend much time, worrying about what isn't happening. I do not plan for the worst of the worst, I just prepare for the possibilities. Why let your mind travel that road and cause you such dispair. OK, time to go lay out in my 8'x 8'x18" blow up swimming pool! It is great fun, very relaxing looking out at the trees, flowers, garden, fire pit, pond, and the bird feeders while having a nice cold glass of ice tea and small talk with my Lady and companionship of our dog.

Have a great day people. Whatever "it is", "is" going to happen so until it does why spend the emotions on " whatever it is " that's going to happen. What!? :slight_smile: Costa Rica has the worst bugs, snakes and yuk on the planet. I'll take my chances against the gangsters!!! LOL

I traveled 1200 kms to see Nicole Foss in Perth, Western Australia.She is one of our better brains. I managed to get the microphone.
We both understand energy on a thermodynamic level (Caveat to follow). However when I explained the importance of exploring every possible avenue out of our trap, and hence my trip to listen to the Professors discuss Condensed Matter Nuclear reactions in Daejeong Korea, she responded with a fascile off-hand one-liner.

"I don't know anything about that." End of discussion. How can someone with that level of knowledge make an appeal to ignorance?

No one knows what is going on. That is precisely what makes it interesting.

What is the value in more about what we know, about what we know, about what we know.   .   .   .? The classic Left Hemisphere hall-of-mirrors trap.

You can Listen to Nicole on this Podomatic with Tom O'Brien.

The Caveat? I do not have a firm grasp on the relationship between Information and Entrophy. I wish someone could put the strong link into plain English.

In the aftermath of a genocidal war between two profoundly ignorant peoples the land was left to recover.
A wondering adventurer sat before a stream in this great and empty land, and saw great beauty. The little steam of crystal clear water bubbled and gurgled in the profound quiet . When he put his tired feet into the water, the cold soothed away the miles he had walked.

In his gladness he thought, "I will make a stone ford here and plant Pomegranats and Mangos, so that whoever comes this way will eat and see the beauty of this land."

The trees grew and gave a burden of fruit fot the taking. Others came to the stone ford and saw that the life here was good and built their houses among the abundance. More people came and soon they were a multitude. The trees still produced fruit but the stream began to be foul. And then there were so many that they plucked the fruit before it was ripe, and it was sour and wasted. Soon the sound of axes could be heard as the trees were cut down for firewood.

The man stood in the desolation and wept with great bitterness in his heart that the beauty was gone, that the abundance became famine, and that a great ignorance was again upon the land.

There is heaven only in this moment.

i understand the frustration with nicole…however, i've distilled her to be do as i say and not as i do.  she is trapesing(sp) around the world preaching better a year too early than a second too late, while her own home lies unprepared. she has some good ideas and some crap. i separate out what i like and discard the crap. her 15 min of fame is about up. some of her concepts are not. some of her thoughts are crap. i can separate it all out and know the difference. we all come with some correct and some incorrect thoughts. …the wisdom to know the difference.
re: a foot in 2 different worlds. eventually one has to make a choice during a transition…and the winners seem to choose to move on into the new way.

i consentrate on what do i need and how to get that and then let the rest go. the serenity prayer sums up the psychological resilence.

then again, i am giving out my raspberries, creating good will. good will seems more valueable in either foot camp than cash.

i think just being a decent caring human being goes a long way and part of being that is saying no to free loaders who want what i have worked for. i have room in my universe for both justice and mercy.

my next door neighbor just soldsome other  land to a large chain store for millions. he knows things are changing…he asked me where to invest, what to do with his money…i answered exactly how i approach my own wealth…be prepared to live without money…(store of wealth of any sort)

every week i live more without money…i'm not sure where the needle says i am , but i would guess i'm 70% off the money grid.

there are lots of ways to ford the river of transition and enjoy being alive.



To Yogiismy hero and Arthur Robey:

Have a great day people. Whatever "it is", "is" going to happen so until it does why spend the emotions on " whatever it is " that's going to happen. What!? :slight_smile: Costa Rica has the worst bugs, snakes and yuk on the planet. I'll take my chances against the gangsters!!! LOL

Hey YOGI.  First of all I got my Yoga teacher training from Kripalu where Chris will be, again.

So Yogananda, Lukteswar, and other yogis have great appeal to me.

As for your comments about Costa Rica, I take it that you've never been here, no?

You are partially right, by the beaches it does get hot and buggy, even

need air conditioning.  But I live up in the mountains, 15 minutes from Dominical Beach, where there

are no bugs, pure clean mountain air, no need for AC nor heating (save a bundle this way!), and here

I can grow food ALL-YEAR round, right outside my door.  Yes, there are snakes, but generally in the

dense wooded areas–I haven't seen one up here in five years!!

Please be more precise about "yuk," as I haven't seen it where I live.  Try for a

reasonable tour of Costa Rica.  Could say much more but then "thousands" may come, as Arthur Robey

suggests in his post.  So, maybe I'd better not post anymore about Costa Rica.

Meanwhile I do have my own "paradise," until invaded by "thousands."

Peace, understanding, and hugs,  Ken

Ken, so nice to see you mention Paramahansa Yogananda and Sri Yukteswar, two enlightened yoga masters whose lives and words give me inspiration and great comfort. Yogananda's books and lessons provide a template for spiritual growth and self-realization through Kriya yoga, a method for direct experience of God/All That Is.Thanks for your input on Costa Rica and all that you are creating there. It sounds lovely. I hope for your sake it doesn't become too successful (good point Arthur)!

I have on many occasions expressed that I am a home body. I will remain with those I have spent a lifetime with through thick and thin. You be good, I wish you well but I'll pass on packing up my things for the foreseeable future. If I need to skiddadle from my currect place then I head to a bug out place already set up for me about mid point the mitten State. "Yuk" is a harmless term to express YUK! For example: Oh no!, I just stepped in some…Yuk! Seeeee?.. Peace

To Jim H, Yogiismyhero, Arthur Robey and, of course, Jdye51:
Many thanks for your correspondence.  It's nice to see that making money, buying junior

miners, avoiding the "collapse," etc., is only one very small part of the BIG PICTURE.

I see the Crash Course as the Big Picture and Sitchin-Goswami-Tellinger as the BIGGER PICTURE.

Sitchin's The 12th Planet (plus 13 other books) and Goswami's scientific explanations via quantum physics

(Thanks Jim H for the reference to Bernard Haisch–read Amazon's first review, really excellent), helps

me put the Crash Course in perspective.

But back to WHY GOLD?  Can't recommend enough: Tellinger's Slave Species of the Gods; and for

EVIDENCE of Sitchin's research about the Sumerian civilization:  African Temples of the Anunnaki:

The Lost Technologies of the GOLD MINES of Enki (GREAT pics!!).  Are the "gods" of Nirbiru coming

back for "their" GOLD??  Are there really 3 lost cities in S. Africa that, each, are larger than Los Angeles?

Anyway, Sunday reading fun

This is EXACTLY how I feel, and I've felt like I've been living 2 lives since at least 2006. It's a bizarre feeling actually.On the one hand, I left the U.S. and live in a very remote part of the world. I have a small organic farm that is completely off-grid. I have a second home in the middle of nowhere in a part of the country that is very resilient – small farmers or cattle ranchers who are largely self-sufficient and have been living the same resilient, rugged lifestyle for generations. They are completely unfazed by world news, economic strife, political strife, etc. Things are pretty much the same for them day in and day out and they get along just fine. Their way of living is "work to live", not "live to work."
On the other hand, I still travel to the U.S. at least once a month for business and to meet with corporate clients. I have an apartment in the U.S. and get sucked right back into the consumerist, money at all costs, and "live to work" mindset. When I return home overseas after one of these business trips, it takes me several days to readjust, relax, slow down.
To get an idea of how incongruous it all is: On Saturday I spent several hours at our small farm (5 hours from the city) planting tomatoes. That night I was in a small little thatched bohio restaurant playing guitar with 2 other expats and a group of diners that included a mix of locals, Americans, and Europeans. The expats are wonderful folks who have the same sort of Peak Prosperity worldview.
Two days later, I'm sitting in an all day meeting in a major East Coast city in an antiseptic conference room with a Fortune 50 technology company wearing a suit and giving a Power Point presentation while every single participant types furiously on their smart phones. The people in this meeting are 180 degrees different than the folks with whom I spent time only two days earlier.
I get ribbed often by these folks for my tinfoil hat beliefs and living in a very small community in the middle of nowhere. But at the same time, they ask me lots of probing questions on why I believe these things and seem generally interested and concerned. It's as if they instinctively have the same concerns, but can't bring themselves to make any changes. 
I had drinks several months ago in Washington DC with a reporter who was interested in doing a story on "preppers" and wanted to learn more about what made them tick. He was fascinated that I still somehow managed to straddle these two completely different lives and concluded that what I was ultimately doing was hedging my bets. I guess that's probably the most accurate way to describe my circumstances.
I count myself as incredibly blessed that I'm still doing very well playing by the old rules but simultaneously had the foresight to begin planning for a radically different future. On the other hand, it sometimes fills me with guilt… I know that my suit and tie life is largely illusory and contributes to the same consumerist, exponential growth paradigm that is growing long in the tooth. I'd like to exit that life completely, but it's incredibly difficult. 
It's cognitive dissonace to the extreme.
Les, regarding the wife… Dmitri Orlov, a Russian author who lived through the collapse of the USSR and wrote a fantastic book titled "The Five Stages of Collapse" has a fantastic synopsis of how husbands and wives experience these things very differently. He writes;
"A common pattern is for the husband to do some reading and become convinced that collapse is underway… He suddenly believes that extraordinary preparations are called for as the matter of the highest priority… Meanwhile, the wife wants to continue living the life she had always wanted: living close to family, sending the children to summer camps, vacationing in the Tropics…" [For the wife, discussion of collapse] becomes an unbreachable topic of conversation compulsively introduced by her increasingly, odd, alienated and socially embarassing husband."
Orlov concludes that this is a conservative evolutionary strategy… Most of the time, but certainly not always, it's the husband who sweats the big stuff while the wife sweats lots of the little details. For some wives, the necessary adaptations of life post-collapse look substandard from a pre-collapse mindset and many resist even thinking about it. 

Really interesting comments about your personal sitution straddling 2 lives, coleywch.  Thanks for sharing.
As for Orlov's comments (and I am a fan of Orlov), I would take care in regard to typecasting which spouse is analytically inclined to do the research, and anticipate collapse (and to your credit, you did say "certainly not always"!).   In my marriage, it was exactly the opposite.   I was the analytical one who followed the research where it led me (here), while my husband had no interest at all in considering the possibility of an economic collapse.  His preference was to continue to embrace consumerism and spend like there would always be plenty, and to subtly ridicule my alternative perspective.  Not good mojo for a marriage, I'm afraid!  Les, as long as you and your wife can at least respectfully "agree to disagree", that is a good sign!