Dimitri Orlov asked four questions following the 2014 Age of Limits conference. They covered issues that he felt needed answers to enable movement beyond intellectualising about collapse to practical action and changes. They covered family relations, wider relationships, personal physical resilience and creating communities.

Here are my responses together with the full questions.


1. How can we communicate the reality of collapse to family and friends in ways that are constructive rather than destructive and find helpful ways to reflect our “endarkenment” in our everyday behaviour?

This is primary. If you can't fix this one then you are on your own and lost. It took each of us a lifetime (to date) to build our closest family relationships and we are not going to be able to walk out on them and start afresh easily (ask a divorcee).
It also took us a (long) process to get to our individual understanding of where we are in terms of "collapse", and there is no short circuit - so the answer is patience, mutual tolerance, and facilitating the learning process in ones nearest circle.
Remember you can not force someone to learn - teaching is a process of enabling the learner to discover for themself.
It does take time, but you have to let them learn, all you can ask is a bit of space to get on with your own concerns, and you will find that you can also learn new things yourself from the way they go about uncovering our situation.

2. How can we form personal relationships with people that can survive the disappearance of official life support systems based on finance, commerce and centralized authority?

This seems closely related to q4 and q1. We need to be focusing on those relationships that are not dependent on those official life support systems.
A relationship that is contingent on your current 'work' situation will likely not persist. A relationship that is based on occupancy of shared space that you anticipate you will go on occupying is more likely to persist. The shared space may be physical eg relationships with your next door neighbours, or conceptual eg relationships with those who share a belief system with you (perhaps the belief in collapse!) - but in this case there must also be a physical basis for the relationship.
I will never meet most of you reading this although we probably occupy a shared conceptual space in DO's blog, and so there is no basis here for a relationship to persist if electronic communication was not available (the internet is an example of an "official life support system")

3. How can we transform our physical selves into ones that will stand a chance, by eliminating lifestyle diseases, bad habits, luxuries and comforts, and by finding maximally independent and resilient ways to provide the necessities?

q3 is the easiest one since you pretty much answered it in posing it. Personal action to promote the personal changes you call for is available to everyone. Get rid of the TV, stop consuming news, start growing more of your own food, or foraging for food, take steps to disconnect yourself from The System - cultivate invisibility, cultivate flexibility, be open to trying new things, try living in a tent or a boat for a few days (or a few more days), spend a day (or more) without using petrol, or electricity. And so on - just doing it in little bits certainly helps me do more and more.

4. How can we make use of ritual and spiritual practice to transform a group of individuals into a community?

q4 is a tough one it seems to me. You can't create a community - it evolves. Certainly shared ritual and a spiritual dimension to life are important elements of abiding communities, but this can (needs to) start in very simple ways.
Once a day we come together to eat, or once a week we come together to sing are possible starting points - the meaning of those repeated acts evolves over time and if they provide value back to the participants they become ritual and can acquire a spiritual link.
You can't start off by saying 'we are doing this as a shared spiritual ritual', you have to start by saying 'we are doing this because we need to eat', or 'we enjoy singing' and allow the rituals to develop.

The thing about all four questions is that the practicalities of answering them take time. If you haven't already then you need to start now on actioning your own answers.