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  Ishmael Community: Who IS the Awakener?

Who IS the Awakener?

    A few days after "Uru in the Valley of Sleepers" appeared on our website, a reader responded by asking, "Does 'U-R-U' equal 'You-Are-You'?" It represented an astonishing insight -- and one I had totally missed myself! I went on to explain that authors are sometimes the last to know what they "mean" by what they write.

    "YOU ARE YOU" is of course the Awakener. As I never get finished saying (because readers never get finished asking), only YOU can know what YOUR resources are. Only YOU can know what YOU can achieve where YOU are and in YOUR situation. When everyone wakes up to this fact, then we will at last be free of Mother Culture's hypnotic lullaby: "There's nothing YOU can do. You must wait for OTHERS to do something -- world leaders, industrial leaders, religious leaders, and so on. On your own, YOU are helpless, so you may just as well go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep. You are NOT Uru -- you are NOT YOU. You're not YOU, you're NO ONE, a person without resources, without influence, without a voice to speak, without ears to hear, without eyes to see, without mind or hands to bring to bear on any task. So don't listen to Ishmael, don't listen to B, don't listen to Uru. Listen to me and sleep . . . sleep . . . sleep. Because there's nothing YOU can do. You must wait for OTHERS to do something -- world leaders, industrial leaders, religious leaders, and so on. On your own, YOU are helpless, so you may just as well go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep. . . ."

    The sleepers in my fable were those who didn't hear the awakening message, which is: "You are YOU!" No one but YOU can tell you what to see. No one but YOU can tell you what to say. No one but YOU can tell you what to listen to. No one but YOU can tell you what to think. No one but YOU can tell you what to make.

    There was only one message that was the same for everyone Uru met in the Valley of Sleepers: AWAKEN OTHERS. This is the message of Ishmael, The Story of B, and My Ishmael, and it's the only answer that I can personally give to each and every person who says to me, "But what can someone like ME do?"

    Daniel Quinn

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