William Hennessy: Psychopomps are carriers of the dead, but they carry them to their afterlife.
Dottie Bailey: Cool!!
William Hennessy: We are in that phase of history. The 20th century is dying, or dead
Dottie Bailey: Makes me sad though.
William Hennessy: Everything that we called “normal” for all our lives lies listless in the beaks of sparrows—psychopomps—on their way to a new birth.
That rebirth won’t happen for another 5 to 10 years. So this is purgatory for America. We’re being cleansed of our 20th century sins
Dottie Bailey: So we have not that much time.
William Hennessy: These 5 years will seem like an eternity. The worst years since the Depression and WWII.
Dottie Bailey: I know that is what I’m afraid of. I know it’s coming. Will Greece happen here?
William Hennessy: People my age who witnessed the 60s and 70s will look back on those “upheavals” with fondness. They seemed so dramatic at the time, but they were vacation compared to what’s to come.
No. We’re not that lucky. Greece will get through this relatively unscathed.
They went first. If they vote No Sunday, they’ll have been the first to dive into the abyss that separates the 20th century from the future.
Dottie Bailey: It’s Revelation playing out. Damn I thought we were suppose to be gone.
William Hennessy: No. We have front-row seats
Dottie Bailey: Oy vey.
William Hennessy: Did you read David Stockman’s post on Greece? It’s awesome.
Dottie Bailey: No I’ll have to look it up.
Is this in the 4th Turning book…the whole depression thing?
William Hennessy: Yes. But it’s not depressing. It’s life. It’s how it works. And as Fr. Corapi liked to say, “we know how it ends; the good guys win.”
Dottie Bailey: No I mean “the depression” like 1929?
William Hennessy: Oh. Sort of. It will be different. But there will be a climax to the Crisis The Crisis started with Lehman Brothers in 2008 It will end 15 to 20 years later All of the “green shoots” in between are wishful thinking, but don’t hate the wishful—it’s human nature And the climax MUST happen so we can move on.
Dottie Bailey: I’m a green shoot sometimes;)
Climax is another word for reset?
William Hennessy: Not exactly. The climax of the last Crisis was WWII. The Depression was the bulk of the Crisis 10 years of Depression + 5 years of world war.
Dottie Bailey: That is Revelation
William Hennessy: After came the the High—18 years of hope and optimism and growth.
Then Kennedy was killed, and the culture became very spiritual and questioning, seeking broader understanding.
Awakening from the Stepford Wives world we’d been in since Japan surrendered
That lasted until Reagan’s re-election in 1984.
Then we started getting cynical and nasty. The mood darkened. As Howe and Strauss put it, despite remarkable peace and prosperity, we felt like society was unraveling.
Gen X came of age, adopting the freedom of their older Boomer siblings and the hard edge of their WWII parents and grandparents That ended with the fall of Lehman Brothers because us Xers turned out to be right: it was all screwed up, but we’re tough enough of deal with it. And we probably deserved it.
Dottie Bailey: This is great. Keep going
William Hennessy: But it gets really bad. People always think prosperity is just around the corner. In America, it usually is.
But sometimes, it’s miles away.
This is one of those times.
Like 1938 and 1860 and 1776.
Dottie Bailey: Geez
William Hennessy: In each of those years, we thought the worst was over. But the worst was just ahead.
Dottie Bailey: Sooo true.
William Hennessy: This is why novels are way better preparation for life than history. Historians never catch the mood of the time, the false optimism.
Viktor Frankl saw it in the concentration camps. The people who thought liberation was just around the corner all died.
Dottie Bailey: Jesus.
William Hennessy: The ones who lived to make life a little better that day, accepting that that day might be their last chance to make something better—they lived. Some of them, anyway.
Dottie Bailey: Like the POW in Greitens book. He accepted what was happening and it gave him hope. He didn’t fool himself.
William Hennessy: Exactly. James Stockdale.
Dottie Bailey: Yes, Stockdale!!
William Hennessy: If I were honest, this is what I’d blog—what I just wrote. Because this is what I really believe will happen in the next 5-10 years. But I don’t have the guts.
Note: This a very lightly edited text message conversation.