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Ishmael Community Guestbook Archive

Back to the *Current* Guestbook Previous 15 Records · Next 15 Records

Buzz Bloom #14943
, USA - Saturday, December 8, 2001 at 11:31:55 CST (GMT -6:00)

To Chazz re 15080: You said: "I got the vision, but I find myself at a complete loss as to how to describe it, for it’s just so blurry."
I offer some general advice about some techniques that work for me (with some difficulty) with this kind of problem. This is the blank screen problem.

Start by working to make a list of short phrases. Each phrase is just something to remind you about something you see more clearly than other things about your vision. For example, "no schools" might remind you about what your post said regarding "...schools as we know them will cease to exist. If the world is to be saved, it can’t be done with our children segregated into daily detention centers." Include reminders of the memes you want or don't want, such as: "more than one way to live". When you have listed all you can think of, put the list aside for an hour. The read the list, and see if what you already have on to will suggest more things to you. If you have friends working on their lists, you can exchange lists to get more ideas. This doesn't mean that what a friend has on his/her list you will want on yours, but it may suggest something new that you do want on yours. You might see if there are posters to the GB that will exchange lists with you by email, or by posts. After you have a list of say ten to twenty (or maybe more) items on your list and feel comfortable that they represent a good approximation of most of what your vision is all about, you can then proceed to write some text to explain the idea behind each item in some detail. Doing this may suggest more items, which you can just add to the list, or changes to items, which you can edit as needed. By the time you get this far, you will have a good start at documenting your vision, and it will get better every time you read through it. You will get more ideas about how to capture the vision and make it clearer.

Now a comment about schools. At this stage of our culture, and of the NTR, you need programs. If this word is an expletive in your language, then I have no advice for you. If programs are OK with you, then we can talk some more about it.

Best wishes,

Buzz Bloom #14942
, USA -
Saturday, December 8, 2001 at 11:31:11 CST (GMT -6:00)

To Ameno re 15261: I took a look at your web site, and there seems to be a lot of interesting stuff to read there. Right now there is a lot of items on my reading list, so I don't know when I will get to it, but I definitely plan to give it a critical read and give you some feedback.

I wanted to comment on the following from 15261. "I think Jared Diamond's theory is more unbelievable, and Quinn puts it succinctly: Starving people don't do agriculture."

First I have a question. I don't remember reading this sort of statement from DQ so I would very much like to read it in its context. It may very well be that I did read it but have forgotten it. If it is somewhere on the website, can you point me at it? If it is from one of his books, can you give me a specific reference?

Second, I think the argument is flawed, whether it is DQ's or not. It is an unrealistic straw man kind of an argument. I have read Diamond's GG&S, and I am now reading Marvin Harris's Cannibals and Kings and Colin Tudge's Neanderthanls, Bandits, & Farmers. I find that all three tell essentially the same story of a slow transition from primarily a hunter-gatherer lifestyle with a little gardening to a primarily agricultural lifestyle augmented with some hunting and gathering.

The transition happened over perhaps a thousand years. There was never a time when starving people had to suddenly switch from one life style to another.

The story also explains the "totalitarian agriculture" concept arising in the fertile crescent (of the vicious cycle of growing more food to catch up with a growing population) as a natural sequence of events rather than a cultural meme. These events were (a) a climatic change as the end of the last ice age completed which completed the melting of the Northern glaciers, (b) gradual flooding of the rich river delta hunting grounds which are now below the sea several miles into the Persian Gulf, (c) the adopting of an available grain package for cultivation, (d) the change of diet from mostly meat protein to mostly grain carbohydrates, (e) the effect of the diet on the fertility of women: more fat accumulated leading to earlier menarche and shorter natural periods of infertility after child birth while nursing from 4 years to 2 years, (f) increasing population and need for more food. The books fill in a lot of details.

I would be interested if this summary of the Diamond et al story changes your perspective about this argument, and if so how. You may want to look at the books I cited to assure yourself that I gave a fair summary before you respond.

Best wishes,

Buzz Bloom #14941
, USA -
Saturday, December 8, 2001 at 11:30:26 CST (GMT -6:00)

To Jim Linder re 15133: I really liked your "Realistic Saved World Scenario". Are you selling the movie rights? I know you were joking, but you actually have a lot of interesting ideas in there, including some that I think you intend somewhat seriously, like maybe:
Countries start imposing sanctions on the US for ignoring Global Warming
Grow-It, Use-It
co-housing movement -- I'm not sure what this is but it sounds interesting.
homeschooled high school -- later elementary level
UN declares transfer of foodstuffs across national borders destructive to humankind
each county must be self sufficient in energy, food production, and waste disposal
maximum residency laws -- I think I get this, but can you clarify?
Flat income tax of 12 percent imposed. Corporate income tax rescinded -- This is the first idea I really disagree with, so I wonder why its here. What's on your mind about this?
Minimum wage raised above poverty level.
Sales Taxes repealed effective 2020. County and Local lotteries legalized by all 50 states to replace funding. -- Another strange idea. What's the idea here?

Putting aside the kidding, which of these do you think would be worthwhile programs? (I hope "programs" is not an expletive in your language.) Why?

Best wishes,

Buzz Bloom #14940
, USA -
Saturday, December 8, 2001 at 11:29:41 CST (GMT -6:00)

To Libran re 15247: I know you use poetic imagery, I and I like your imagery, but my normal inclination is to read things literally, and I sometimes forget things like that.

I fully agree that the "no future" meme is very old in our taker culture and has roots in the salvationist religions, and today's trend of its increasing influence certainly includes the religious aspects your describe. I believe that our Attorney General Ashcroft has himself expressed publicly his personal views about expecting the soon coming Armageddon, and that really scary. I was just expressing my belief that this current trend is a consequence of, rather than a result of, the trend for more open adoration of greed, both for wealth and for its power, and the bean-counter short-term attention span that accompanies it.

Regarding meditation. You said: "I had in mind the meditation that sought to break the endless cycle of death and rebirth practiced by Buddhism and others," and "It is my opinion that destroying the ego really means nothing more than removing oneself from our terrible state of existence".

My understanding of the Buddhist teaching about the endless cycle of death and rebirth is different that yours. When Buddhism began its context was Hinduism which everyone in India believed in, and Hinduism taught the concept of the endless cycle of death and rebirth. The new mystical message was not that you break the cycle, but that the cycle was irrelevant. This mystical message could not be readily expressed within the culture of the time, so it was instead expressed in terms to make it more comprehensible.

I also have a different understanding about what it means to "destroy the ego", although I have usually seen this expressed as "put the ego to sleep". This is a lot more difficult to talk about, and I hope that it will become easier after I establish a context by discussing my model for the relationships among the intuition, the intellect, and two other parts of "the mind", which I hope to post as an essay in a few weeks. The connection is that the Freudian term Ego more-or-less corresponds to the intellect, so this concept is really about the preparation of the mind to be open to experience Satori. It has nothing to do with our terrible state of existence. Its about becoming "awake" so we can see the world without the filtering of conceptualizations that come from our cultural upbringing.

By the way, I generally understand the words Satori and samadhi as synonyms, but I'm not really sure that is correct. Since I am clearer about Satori, I prefer using that word. If you are aware of a distinction between the concepts, I would appreciate learning about it.

Best wishes,

Karryn #14939
Berkeley,, USA -
Saturday, December 8, 2001 at 11:29:3 CST (GMT -6:00)

Sorry, Madrone. Wasn't trying to classify.

I want to state a focus I have when I arrived here: I will speak clearly and precisely,with my full present self and open for discussion. I prefer to take action locally, with Ishis here, and now.I have met with three this week,and breathtaking events have spiraled off because of it.

Please do not mistake my silence for lack of interest.I am trying to cut back on being a windbag, fascinated with my grasp of the english language that I have to go off in great soliliquies.I do not condone it, just don't wanna do it personally.

And Sara: I agree with Madrone.But would've been a little softer, but maybe you wouldn't have gotten the point. We are are trying to push each other into thinking.With our brains.and our hearts, though Madrone's is a tough nut. Not our scripts.Let go of the crutch.You can stand. We are all, or have all, been where you are. don't get mighty, read this a few times. Consider how your passion could be better served, rather than defending yourself.

Thanks everyone. Karryn

Buzz Bloom #14938
, USA -
Saturday, December 8, 2001 at 11:28:29 CST (GMT -6:00)

To madrone re 15241: This is the first opportunity for me to say Welcome to the Guestbook. For a newcomer I think its great that you have so quickly entered into spirit of the place and gotten involved in so many interesting discussions.

I wanted to comment on your remark: "Well it sure sounds to me as if you are placing 'intuition, trust in life, and instinct' on some exclusive planet from 'intellect, free will and aware choice'. It sounds, in other words, as you are posing them as mutually exclusive."

I can understand how what I wrote may create some misunderstandings. I have in my mind a rather complicated model about how all of the concepts you listed relate to each other, and I am sure that this world view doesn't come through in the short messages I post. I think that these concepts are important to what is discussed in the GB, and I expect that there is a wide range of views about how the concepts are interrelated. In particular, your post has inspired me to write an essay about my model with respect to intellect, intuition, and instinct as three functional parts of the mind, together with a fourth part I call the focus of attention. I hope to be able to post this essay in a couple of weeks.

Regarding free will and aware choice, I think of aware choices as a subclass of all of the choices made by a free will. That is, some of your free will choices are made without your being fully aware of them. For my thoughts about free will, please see my post 14421. For my thoughts about trust in life. In several posts I referred to my inability to have faith that if I eschew making decisions, and just go with the flow, that everything will work out OK anyway, and I assume that this is what you mean. What I do believe in, for me, is not binding myself to any outcome or result, but I do decide what I think is the right thing to do when I decide that such a decision is required.

You comment seems to lump "intuition, trust in life, and instinct" as one concept and "intellect, free will and aware choice" as a second concept, while see all six as distinct concepts, but I suspect that I am now misunderstanding your intent. You said that you that that I was "posing them as mutually exclusive", so I will interpret this as posing intuition and intellect as mutually exclusive. I do not think that they are mutually exclusive. I see them as working concurrently all the time.

You also said that "... intuition, the holographic mind and the truly open heart are ... simply ... a way of being and perceiving that lets life in without incessant analysis, comparison, or measurement." I agree that that is true, but ONLY after the mind has been TRAINED to be receptive. It just doesn't happen because you want it to. You also rejected my concern about danger. Aside from the danger of that Persig faced that you attribute to some defect in his personality or character, there are other dangers. I'll leave Persig aside for the moment. Another danger, less serious but real, is that it is virtually impossible for someone to tell alone the difference between a true experience of Satori and a very similar in which you interpret the experience via some hidden conceptualization. What I have read about this phenomena is that it can create a very distorted view of reality, not technically insane, but definitely disturbed. And it comes with a complete and absolute certainty that you have an amazing new insight into reality. The problem is that is doesn't really integrate with the world you live in.

Now about Persig. ZATAOMM has always been one of my favorite books since I first read it. I have re-read it many times for both enjoyment and to refresh insights. I don't think Persig's insights are complete, but I got, and get, a lot from them. (I didn't like his second novel at all.) His ideas helped me to create for myself for the first time an integrated combined mystical and scientific/artistic world view. I have recommended the book to friends many times, and very few of them could tolerate it for a variety of reasons. Those that did tolerate it came to like it a lot. I have heard reactions before similar to your assessment: "...obsessively logical and needlessly detailed analysis of his every heartbeat." I hope you will pardon me for saying this, but from my perspective you are just one of the many who didn't get it. I see Persig as having done something similar to what DQ has done. Persig explained the nature of the origins of Western culture, focussing on the split between Science (and related) and Art (and related), tracing ideas back to earliest Greek philosophers, and pointing out exactly where the split occurred (Aristotle), and explaining what the bad consequences of the split are that our modern culture inherits. Then he explains that to repair the split and its damage we need to change our cultural world view, and in what way this needs to be done

I hope this clarifies my thinking for you some. If you like, I will email you with the number of the post that includes my essay on the parts of the mind when I post it.

Best wishes,

Rev. Slick #14937
Kitanakagusuku, Okinawa Japan -
Saturday, December 8, 2001 at 11:26:59 CST (GMT -6:00)

Greetings to all, Thank you Karryn. I don't think I've ever heard it put quite that way before, but you have very eloquently made my point for me.

It is, comparitively, very easy to motivate an individual. One person, given the proper stimulus, will fly into action at the drop of a hat. To motivate a society, however, is difficult indeed. Societies operate on the pricipals of inertia and routine. This is especially true of ours, and to change that will be no small feat. And that, dear reader is the crux of my statements. Action must be taken. Change, or at least meaningful change, cannot come solely from discussion. Tell me, since DQ first formulated, articulated, and published the ideas set forth in "Ishmael" or "The Story of B", has the air gotten any cleaner? The oceans? Has any warring faction, anywhere, set aside their weapons in favour of a better way? Of course not. But please, feel free to discuss. And fates willing, maybe I'll be proven wrong. Perhaps the operative paradigms of our society will suddenly and inexplicably shift, and dreams and discussion will be enough. I certainly hope so. Dreams and discussion cost nothing, whereas the price of real and genuine action will be far greater than anyone, myself included, can comprehend. Peace To All Who Desire It, The Reverend Slick.

Sara #14936
Saturday, December 8, 2001 at 11:15:14 CST (GMT -6:00)

madrone --

perhaps i was oversimplifying a bit when i said starchy staple crops as a whole provide virtually no nutritional value. however, that doesn't change the fact that we simply don't need complex carbohydrates to live.

while humans TODAY get the majority of their calories from starches and sugars, it certainly wasn't always the case. the few extant foraging tribes eat virtually no starches, and they get along just fine. and while i don't necessarily buy into the whole sugarbusters diet, you have to admit when you look at the facts that grains and starchy roots provide carbohydrates and little else. empty calories, basically. especially when you look at the fact that, on a cellular level, we get energy from PROTEIN and not SUGAR. It's mother culture that tells us we need starch, not our own biology. certainly i'm not saying that no one should ever eat starches, but when you look at the volume of carbs vs. the volume of actual nutrition we get, it's ridiculous. certainly ancient tribes ate wild and cultivated starches (especially wild rices and corn), however it wasn't a staple of their diets. we don't need starch to live, but we can subsist on it. however, as they say, "man cannot live on bread alone." there are countless sources that will back me up here. i didn't just make this up.

part of the reason for the HUGE decline in health when indigenous populations become "westernized" is due to the shift in dietary focus from vegetables and meat to carbohydrate based diets that consist mainly of starches and refined sugars. i'm sure you've heard of the concept of "diseases of affluence." as tribal diets shift to starch, those diseases skyrocket. also, i remember someone talking a few weeks ago about teeth quality in indigenous populations -- the reason is that most tribal peoples didn't subsist mostly on carbohydrates. again, there are countless articles that back me up here.

madrone #14935
, USA -
Saturday, December 8, 2001 at 11:10:34 CST (GMT -6:00)

Sorry, Karryn, I'm not in the club you were just referring to, but perhaps we all already knew that.

And sorry Rev Slick, I can't revile you, for in most part I quite agree. Now I am imagining that your reference to taking arms against takerdom was satirical rather than serious; but otherwise we are of one mind in this, and yes indeed it is not about what CAN be done, but what WILL be done. Or more accurately, what will NOT be done to stop this outcome.

Many here might cry outrage and feel dismissed for their efforts here. All I can say to that possibility is that even if everyone here today actually withdrew support from takerdom and found themselves a new and sustainable vision, there would still not be enough of us to make a real difference.

It is the same conclusion, articulated differently, rev, that I came to as well.


VerevolfTheGrouch #14934
, USA -
Saturday, December 8, 2001 at 11:9:53 CST (GMT -6:00)

I'm going to amend slightly what I said: the ability to destroy a competitor does have some part in evolutionary superiority, but it's only one aspect of it. A species can have the ability to destroy competitors and still be evolutionarily inferior because the way the species does things is unstable.

madrone #14933
, USA -
Saturday, December 8, 2001 at 10:56:18 CST (GMT -6:00)


While I am beginning to find your competitive drive and snotty immaturity just a tad tedious, that part of your commentary is easily enough ignored henceforward. But while I really don't care how you want to present yourself to this forum, don't YOU care? I just want to point out that it's hard to take people seriously who act as you do. Not that anyone other than me is likely to say anything, but be reminded that you're not just talking to me here--but to everyone. And believe me, though not a one is likely to confess it out loud, many of the men in this mostly male-populated site are right now giggling at what looks to them like "typical female nonsense". Probably FC is already planning his next misogynist post.

In any event, I am simply amazed at your dismissal of staple crops as just "starchy stuff with practically no nutritional value". I am no fan of large scale ag, but if that is what modern anthropology is actually saying about wheat, rice, corn, potatoes--well then the whole lot of you oughta go take a biochemistry course or something. And then some basic human nutrition courses. Guess what, Sara? Complex carbohydrates are the main way we get our energy! And if you don't take out all the vitamins and minerals in processing, as takerdom does, then you've got yourself some mighty nutritious food on your hands and in your belly. Sure, we certainly need fruit, veggies, squash (mostly starch ALL of them, did you know that? Yes they have higher concentrations of vitamins--but they do not have nearly the protien of those practically useless starches you mentioned).

And again, I am in no way defending totalitarian ag; the fact is that these crops can be and have been grown on a small-scale, sustainable basis. I am only pointing out that what you base your arguments on just doesn't hold water; it's not reality based, and I just can't imagine why your anthro books are saying it is. I also can't imagine what other fallacies they are basing their "conclusions" on.

There's just no sense throwing down the gauntlet with me, Sara. I'm not here to compete with you or anyone, but if I was I certainly would not find you any sort of "worthy opponent". The simple fact is that I have spent a lot more years studying a lot more subjects in greater depth than you have yet. I know you feel that I have utterly dissed the education you are working on (and surely have reason to be proud of to an extent). I am not here to argue with you over this, though; I am here to present things that no one else can or will, to be a provacateur for positive reasons--mainly that I despise the complacence and self-congratulatory smugness that would reign if there were no one here like me. And we all (even me!) need something to shake us up now and then. But you are not truly challenging me, just getting pissy because I refuse to hold your education and grasp of logic in as high esteem as some do.

I'm not condescending to anyone to say that what you learn in college isn't enough, because it is so highly biased and filtered, and in some cases is just outright bs, like what is taught to schoolchildren about Chris Columbus. I'm telling you the truth as many many people have discovered it, at least those with a more than skin-deep interest in knowledge and changing the world both. At least, not to sound utterly passe and irrelevant, those of us who have been around for (dare I confess?) more than 15-25 yrs.

I am sorry if you, Sara, or anyone else here seems to think that I am being condescending somehow to urge you to look beyond the borders of takerdom's institutions for knowledge, and beyond the serious limitations of logic into your intuition and connection to the collective consciousness of our species.

It is not condescension for me to point out fallacies in some of the knowledge presented here, or to say that there are limits to logic used alone. It is my sharing of things that were very important for me to learn about, as I was, once just like many of you, a young adult on fire to change the world "through the system". It's just a plain fact that I've been around longer than you in this round, and have been privileged to learn a few things which helped me greatly to find a path that had heart and real promise. I speak not perhaps with condescension, but with a confidence about things that has been hard-won through my efforts to break the pattern in which takerdom tried so hard to fit me. I have already done many things which have made a difference in the world, for myself and others. And I can't help it if that's hard for you to take. I do not apologize for having a broader understanding and a somewhat different take on some of the topics that we delve into here. Do with it as you please.

All I will tell you again is that you are making choices. If your attitude toward me is a choice that somehow serves you, then fine by me. But don't expect me to keel over with wonder at what you say, straight out of takerdom' texts without one iota of real questioning or cross-referencing of it by you. And don't expect me to respect you as some do, because you have learned to strangle 1/2 of your female birthright of intuition in favor of overfeeding your logical brain.

Are your professors condescending when they tell you what to read and what to think about ancient cultures? Or when they grade you, or make you regurgitate knowledge on an exam? I think not--they are doing what you paid them (or the state pays them for you) to do. Did any of us come to this forum to be only affirmed in what we think we already know--or perhaps to learn and be challenged to know more and think new thoughts? Sure, we all like that affirmation, myself as much as the next--but if that's all we're doing here, then what a great big stupid waste of time.

Do as you please, Sara, you can't hurt me or change the path I take with this group in the ways that you try to. And again, I doubt you're making much of a positive impression on the others, whose good opinion seems to please you.


Libran #14932
, USA -
Saturday, December 8, 2001 at 10:40:2 CST (GMT -6:00)

Hey, if anyone feels so inclined, check out the paper on agriculture at:


Sara #14931
Saturday, December 8, 2001 at 9:42:45 CST (GMT -6:00)

I know not many (if any at all) of you guys live in the NYC area, but i just found a very interesting website.

Apparently there's this guy here who gives foraging tours of parks in the TriState area. He takes you through the parks and shows you how to identify edible plants in your local parks. There's a tour in my neighborhood park coming up this spring, which i'm definitely planning on taking. There are frequent tours in central park, as well as in a lot of parks in queens, long island, connecticut, etc. so if you're in the area and want to learn about easy to find local plants that you can eat (and recipes for cooking them), you might want to check this out.

the URL:


VerevolfTheGrouch #14930
, USA -
Saturday, December 8, 2001 at 9:40:43 CST (GMT -6:00)


I am aware that we're saying very close to the same thing. What I am contesting is that you seem to be putting forth the Taker way as superior to the Leaver way as an absolute, and it was just that the first Takers were the first to discover that fact. I am saying they merely believed that this way was superior...most likely they only believed it was superior for them when they got started and only later decided it was the one right way. I may be reading too hard between the lines of your statements, and if I am please correct me.

The ability to destroy a competitor doesn't make something evolutionarily superior. Stability makes it evolutionarily superior. And the problem with Taker culture that makes it self-eliminating is not some incidental problem such as a lethal gene. It is a fundamental flaw in the Taker way of approaching life.

And as Quinn has pointed out, aside from the Takers, no civilization builders have ever stuck with civilization for more than few thousand years (and in some cases only a few hundred), and the Takers are about to destroy themselves. That hardly sounds evolutionarily superior to me.

Karryn #14929
Berkeley,, Ca USA -
Saturday, December 8, 2001 at 9:39:32 CST (GMT -6:00)

I suggest no one respond to the Rev. Clearly he and we are swimming two different streams. Karryn

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