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Ishmael Community Guestbook Archive


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

madrone #14898
, USA - Friday, December 7, 2001 at 19:5:32 CST (GMT -6:00)

Buzz--

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. Let's just say for the moment that I am hearing you right, just so I can make a point in case anyone here is doing what I think you are doing:

And what that is, is speaking out of the divisive, analytic a mind which believes it is the one true mind...when in fact it is the orphaned twin of a consciousness that needs both twins alive and co-operating together for optimum health of the organism and environment.

Intuition, trust in life, and instinct (if there be an appreciable difference in these), are aspects of intellect and also of free will and aware choice. Either half (rationality and intuition) is at best, not much use, and at worst, highly destructive, without the other half. We live in a world we have created into horror and poison, by severing the rational from the irrational. By placing a heirarchy where none belongs and thus alienating us not just from our world but from ourselves, our whole and wholly functioning selves.

And while I'm at it, I have to say that another fallacy you seem to be promoting, Buzz, is that of the "dangers" of unguided mystical practice. The heirarchical, proprietary, logic-binded/blinded mind wants to take enlightenment out of the reach of the average joe or jane, wants personal power and communion with the divine to be feared so that power can stay in the hands of the few at the expense of the many. This is why churches control so much wealth and so many lives! And I speak not just of financial expense, for there are certainly gurus out there who don't charge money for what they do. They want only power over their devotees, but that is the most expensive thing of all to the disciple, the very most costly thing.

Yeah, I read Pirsig's book, when it first came out in the 70's. At first I found it quite interesting; at last I found the whole story to be a huge bore, most of all because of Pirsig's amazing depth of egotism and banality, self-absorption and shallowness. It's no wonder he had a break down, really--to be so egocentric, so alienated from self and life as he was in my opinion, would drive anyone mad. I only read to the end to see if he were able to find life and joy at the bottom of all that mess! What a disappointment that he did not. But no surprise, for he was living in the logical mind, orpahned from his needed other half.

The half that may not know all the "reasons why", but which is able to witness life directly in it's wholeness, a vision that opens the heart and allows for joy and serenity and giving.

Yes, Buzz, there are those wandering around lost in the New Age wasteland, but the problem is not that they are tuning in intuition and tuning out reason. The problem is that they think that intuition, the holographic mind and the truly open heart are but more commodities to purchase or somehow obtain--when they are simply instead a way of being and perceiving that lets life in without incessant analysis, comparison, or measurement. That allows for entirely irrational things like compassion, art, innovation, and serenity!

The only "danger" these people might face is the same insanity that Pirsig found, in his obsessively logical and needlessly detailed analysis of his every heartbeat--the danger of staying just exactly as bound in the ego and the analytic intellect as always.

I hope you will rethink this, Buzz. The greatest danger I see with your words on this is the danger that some will actually believe that simple awareness and the everyday bliss of satori is beyond the average person's reach...when in reality it is everyone's birthright, and no one needs a priest or guide to go home.

Just the desire to do so, and the courage to try in this insane world. And I would not discourage that life-serving desire for anything in the world.

Madrone


madrone #14897
, USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 18:16:54 CST (GMT -6:00)

that last line and extra signoff were a big "oops!"

M.


madrone #14896
, USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 18:14:16 CST (GMT -6:00)

Oh yeah, Stephen, I forgot--

Interesting ideas on innana and the fertile crescent--a new take on all that for me. It is certainly all too easy to adopt a position with respect to all of this very ancient stuff which we may never know--are very unlikely to know--for sure. I have to say the work of Eisler and others (eg, geraldine thosten who wrote "God Herself" some years back, a feminist revisioning of western astrology) resonates for me the most. It feels right to me, and I am aware that there could be a variety of reasons for that which are not strictly academic or rational. But I decided a long time ago that that was just fine with me--for our biggest loss to heirarchy to my way of thinking is the honoring of the darkness, the mysteries/The Mystery, the deep knowing, the irrational.

What matters the most to me is not whether this view of mine is the most absolutely correct, but that it inspires me with hope and possibility for a whole world as nothing else does--and whatever does that for a person, can't help but be a good thing in my book.

I have heard it said that the reason so many of us in this era are envisioning a whole and free life lived in peace with all of creation, is that human life was once just as those such as Eisler have proposed--and the knowledge or vision of it is therefore in our deep memories and our very cells. I like to think of it this way.

But then, as when reading your post, I sometimes think as well that perhaps the vision pulling me onward is what makes me think "it must have been this way before", or else how could I be feeling this strongly? Where else would that vision have come from, if not from memory, for it feels so very familiar--?

Your post made me remember once again that we do not really need any certainties about the past, in order to be guided forward. Something need not have been a certain way before, in order to be possible now and henceforward...and after all, fond as I am of Eisler's and Thosten's perspectives, what matters most is who we are, and how we be NOW and on into life from here.

Thanks for your thoughts on this.

Madrone

In any event, it was good to be presented with a different possible take on the subject.


Buzz Bloom #14895
, USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 18:11:42 CST (GMT -6:00)

To Sara re several recent posts (15042, 15044, 15049, 15142, 15166): I haven't seen your posts before, so either you have been away since before, I started reading the Guestbook a few months ago, or you are new to the GB. So, welcome or welcome back. I am very impressed with your approach of focussing on how to change minds, and I hope others will follow it. It is not only the most important kind of topic we should be thinking about, but there is an enormous amount of interesting stuff to talk about this area.

Regarding that your "... broad vision of a saved world would be a world where people operate on a much smaller level that we do now... i guess my scenario would be social and economic organizations in band or tribe form." I think this is one of the most difficult problems to work out: What is the kind of social organization we would like to see in the changed world? The answer must take into account the size of the population and the level of (not the actual kind of) technology for communication and the transportation of people and things that you want. Also, if your desired population is much smaller than today's, and you want a saved world, which by definition avoids a catastrophic population crash, then your desired world may be many hundreds of years in the future. If that is the case, you may want to think about what kind of interim world you might want about 100 years or so from now, since that may be more useful to create a plan for. (Please see my bits of wisdom regarding planning in my post today to David Theis.) My own view is a combination of tribal-like communities with a lot of autonomy, but also cities and a hierarchical centralized way of managing the infrastructure of a global culture, and even multiple city-wide cultures. The details of how these completely different kinds of social structures can be set up to successfully inter-operate remains to be invented.

I like your comment responding to David, "it's going to be pretty damn hard to go around and convert everyone and say, 'we're no better than animals, let's just walk away from civilization.' take that tack, and in 100 years, if humans are still around, you'll be right where you are now. but, if you go around saying, 'choose your own way of life. do what makes you happy. keep your life simple,' and then gradually progress to the more extreme concepts that are hard for sheep to grasp, you'll probably find it much easier to gain converts." We need to find stories that we can sell and find ways we can sell them. While we don't all need t be selling the same story, it is good to discuss the stories we will try to sell, and argue about them, to find ways to make them more sellable.

I was unable to locate exactly what the following was in response to, but in another message to followed up on this theme: "i think we need to keep in mind that our change will not necessarily be a change back to Leaver ways, but a change to new ways for a new culture. while wilderness training is certainly a good thing, especially if that's what you're interested in, i don't think we necessarily need to plan to be hunter gatherers living off the land in 10 years. the change, like all other cultural changes and movements that have actually worked, will have to be extremely gradual. the change will also have to be attractive to the general public. confront the average suburban family with the statement, "let's walk away from society and live in a commune," or "let's go live off the land and walk away from civilization," no one is going to want to walk away."

You also gave a useful response to Ameno about the characteristics of tribal culture and the strategy for the New Tribal Revolution via evolution.
"first of all, the idea of tribes in no way assumes self-containment. no one is self contained. tribes (regardless of whether you're talking people a million years ago or a thousand years ago) don't exist in a vacuum. even pre-agriculture, there was trade, and people had access to outside materials.
secondly, i don't think the point is to operate independently of Takerism. the point is to get rid of it from within. ... no revolution is going to get us out of Takerism. when you operate outside a system, you abandon that system, yes, but you do not take anyone else with you. ... But if we begin to live tribally within the system, while at the same time spreading the ideas of Ishmael, eventually so many people will be attracted to our cause that the minds of the world at large will be changed. and then we can start to dismantle civilization, because it will be obsolete. This is all almost word for word in Beyond Civilization, and it is probably one of the most logical and well founded points in all of Daniel Quinn's work.

By the way, it would help me, and perhaps others who like me who try to follow threads, if you, and others, would include the number of the post you are responding to in your posts.

Best wishes and keep up the good posts,
Buzz


Buzz Bloom #14894
, USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 18:10:58 CST (GMT -6:00)

To David Theis re 15041 and 15043: I really much respect that there is more than one way to think about how to save the world, and that your way is different than mine. In some respects I envy your way, but I can't do it. From where I am it seems like your way is a lot less work than mine, but the only way that I can follow is what I know that I know how to do, and I know that I can do it this way pretty well, even if it is hard work.

As I indicated in my response to Verevolf, I do NOT make my scenario or list of desired characteristics the GOAL that I must achieve, but instead I use it to make day-to-day decisions about what I can do to help save the world. The two bits worth of wisdom that work for me here are: "A bad plan is better than no plan," and "The purpose of a plan is not to follow it, but to change it."

Best regards,
Buzz


Buzz Bloom #14893
, USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 18:10:15 CST (GMT -6:00)

To Karryn re 15050: This is the first chance I have had to welcome your participation in the Guestbook. I noticed that you have already gotten into some good discussions with several regulars and have some interesting ideas.

I wanted to ask you to clarify something from the referenced post: "I cringe at 'people do this, people don't think, people don't feel, people don't act, people DO stupid things...etc." I am people. I am stupid, and thoughtless get depressed, I get angry. I battle all the time. I am unwilling to defend or depend on the opinions given to me about what 'People' think or want or do."

It wasn't clear where this was coming from. What/who are the sources of these generalized statements about people? Do you cringe because of the sources, because the falseness of the characterizations of the nature of people, or because you feel the generalizations are generally OK and you just don't fit in? Or something else? I would like to be able to offer some useful general free advice about this kind of thing, but I am too uncertain about what exactly this kind of thing is to offer it. By the way, please see 14947 for advice about how to estimate the value of free advice.

Best wishes, Buzz


Buzz Bloom #14892
, USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 18:9:25 CST (GMT -6:00)

To Libran re 15034: Regarding having "no crystal clear vision of what the saved world will look like," I hope no one got the impression that I was proposing that we try to have such a vision. What I was proposing is being specific about some of (as many as you can think of) the required characteristics of the saved world in order for you to consider it to be saved. This doesn't mean knowing how we get there from here, although if you have any ideas about that it would interesting to share them as well.

You observation about the relationship between the strategies for interaction and the time frame of interest is very insightful. In particular you said: "What I see in our culture is a meme that tells us that our future is short. It manifests in such ideas as heaven, hell, and Armageddon. Most Takers seem to put little support behind anything that would come to fruition beyond their lifetime." One of the changes in our culture in the US, and perhaps in other developed countries as well, has happened just over the last view decades. It is the tremendous shortening of the time frame, aka attention span, for all public policy thinking. The ideas of heaven, etc., have been around for millennia, but this meme, "no future", is new. My personal view on this is that this largely due to the greater influence of business school educated people in important positions of policy making, via big corporate CEO-ships, and the fact that American business schools teach a technique called discounted cash flow. This technique calculates the future value of something by dividing its present value by a divisor that increases exponentially with the time of interest. In our household we refer to this law of modern business practice as: "The present value of the future is zero." As an example, assuming a modest annual interest rate of 5 percent, something worth a million dollars new today has a future value if you acquire new it after 400 years of 1/3 cents. If you think this way you don't bother to create anything to last a long time, or from which you won't see benefits for a long time. Another bit of wisdom invented by my wife: "The purpose of accounting is to make you happy." In order to change public policy we need to change the minds of accountants, aka bean counters, and their employers, so that some new idea will make them happy.

You continued: "In response to this dismal view, some influential people have planted incredibly unrealistic options for what is to come: utopia, the second coming of Christ, freedom from the constant cycle of death and rebirth, afterlife(not on earth of course), etc...People buy into these dummy futures buy expending themselves during life: meditation, salvation, scientific innovation, etc.."
I am with you all the way until "meditation". The people I know who do, or have done, meditation are not into it for the reasons you describe at all. They are into it as a way to improve themselves now, today, for living in this world. If you omit "meditation" I'm with you completely. By the way, I'm not into meditation myself, but I have tried it a few times.

You continue: "In a saved world, this meme [no future] cannot exist among a majority. We have to replace finite temporal thinking with an infinite future thinking. We must endeavor to show people not only what it will take to save the world, but what is beyond. An infinite future of infinite possibility.
I agree that the "no future" meme has to go, but I don't accept that it has to necessarily be replaced with "infinite future of infinite possibility", although that is certainly a good meme for people to have. I think that the memes "humans are intimately an interdependent a part of the web of life" and "there is more than one right way to X" may be sufficient. However, this is certainly something worth discussing further, and I look forward to some more discussion of it.

Finally you ask: "Does anyone see any sense in this(or nonsense)? I'd like to here about it." I hope my comments above provide my answer to this.

Best wishes,
Buzz


Buzz Bloom #14891
, USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 18:7:50 CST (GMT -6:00)

Hi Everyone:

There has been some good posts lately about what tribal businesses were and were not all about. I would like to put my 2 cents in, but first I would like to highlight some quotes I thought were particularly pertinent.

Jim Linder 15163
What are the key characteristics of a tribal business versus a non-tribal business? I can think of one: Tribal businesses do not endeavor to grow beyond a size that supports its owners. Non-tribal businesses seek to grow at all times no matter how big. ...As for [the] form of business, I don’t think it matters.

Libran 15167
The point of tribal business is ... to give it's members complete social support - rather than the strictly financial support offered by hierarchical business.

jaret 15177 (responding to Armeno)
Tribal businesses are just learning what they are at this point. And as a business owner ... you should know that a employee owned business either fails from lack of unity or excels anywhere from 150% to 300% or more in their first year alone. Less sick days and the whole bit.

Stephen Figgins 15188
Quoting DQ: ...band together with others, and work as equals to make a living.

Vered 15190 (describing a successful tribe of tribal businesses)
We consist of 17 independent businesses, 90 people are employed and boy , are we a happy bunch :-) Want to have a look at us ? www.naturefarm.co.za

Ameno 15145
This is why tribal business will never work. A business is based on 3 things, without these things you have no business. Now, you will have fluctuating degrees of each, but each MUST be there. They are NATURAL RESOURCES (wood, land, water, etc.), HUMAN RESOURCES (self explanatory), and CAPITAL RESOURCES (these are generally finished products made from natural resources, like tools). [In] the current [Taker] business model, all three can be owned. In leaver societies, only one of those is ever owned (capital resources), and an individual's hold on that is pretty tenuous. Therein lies the real difference.
...A taker business outsources out of necessity. A tribal business outsources by choice.

What seems clear to me from all of the above is that there is more than one way to create and operate and participate in a tribal business. There were also some definitional issues. (I didn't include quotes about these arguments.) I have always found it to be rather silly to ARGUE about definitions, that is what do words or phrases MEAN, in this case "tribal", "business", and "tribal business". It seems to me to be sufficient to say that when I use this word or phrase it means this to me, so now the reader should be able to figure out what my sentences and paragraphs mean, that is, what I am trying to communicate. Of course, one really doesn't have to say this because it should be obvious that such an introductory statement is always understood. That's OK if that is an understood protocol of the communication channel, and maybe that should be the understanding here. Anyway, I think one should take it as a hint that the writer may have a different definition in mind than yours as a reader when what you read seems really strange to you. In this case, maybe a request for clarification would be more helpful to communication than an argument.

You all may have noticed that I have accepted that it is my calling to preach to you about these matters.

Now, more specifically about tribal business. There are two things I want to say about this.

1) Some friends of mine many years ago started a kind of employee owned business. I don't really know all of the details, but I do know that everyone participated in all important decisions, and that all profits were shared among the employees based on the total number of hours of participation in a very equitable way. I don't think ownership in terms of equity shares was important if relevant at all. In effect, there were no employees who were just wage earners. Some people joined for a while and left. Some worked part time. The founders were friends, and all who joined were or became friends. The business did grow slowly over the years, but growth was not a goal. The founders are now retiring, and I am not sure what will happen now to the business. I describe this because it seems to me that this business has some of the qualities that are talked about as desirable for a tribal business. It also shows some of the issues that a tribal business has to deal with that some of you may not have thought about.

2) I suggest that it may be useful to cooperatively via the GB create a checklist of questions about decisions a tribal business will need to consider as it gets itself organized. Different tribal businesses may answer the questions differently, and maintaining information about this may help other tribal businesses learn useful lessons about what works well and what doesn't work or works only marginally. Perhaps this website can offer some space to maintain this information. Here are some possible questions to start the list:
Product or service or both?
How to account for assets that participants put into the business?
Form of business: formal partnership, corporation, other?
Make a business plan? If so, how many years? How much capital needed?
Use a lawyer? If so, how to select one?

I also want to comment on some other quotes.

Also from jaret 15177 The winner is always part of the answer, the loser is always part of the problem; The winner sees an answer to every problem, the loser sees a problem for every answer. The winner says "It may be difficult but its possible," The loser says" It may be possible but its too difficult,"

I find this very strange. I didn't see anyone else comment on it, so maybe I'm the only one. Maybe I misunderstood the intent. If it is intended to be some sort of advice, then I think it is very bad advice for too many hard to explain reasons to go into now. I will give three reasons. (a) Telling someone that they are either a winner or a loser is all by itself bad advice. (b) The particular characterization of winners and losers in terms of how they think about problems is all by itself bad advice. (c) The particular way the advice treats the criterion of difficulty in evaluating an approach to dealing with problems is bad advice. If you would like to discuss this further, please let me know.

Also from Jim Linder 15163: If you have a changed mind, you will know if this is something good or bad. If it feels right you will keep doing it. If it still doesn’t satisfy your desire ... you will do something else.

I think this is beautiful. I think this applies to more than just the changed mind in the sense of changing the mindset of a Taker to the mindset of a different sustainable culture. This obviously applies to the mystical state of the Tao. But I think it also applies to changing just two Taker memes into new memes: "There is more than one way to X," and "Humans are a part of the interdependent web of life."

Best wishes to all,
Buzz


Buzz Bloom #14890
, USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 18:6:38 CST (GMT -6:00)

To Verevolf re 15036: You said: "I just attempted to write a saved world scenario and found that I couldn't. I really don't think I can do such a thing, because it seems too much, as DQ says, trying to imagine the next paradigm. I started to say that I would think the population couldn't possibly be any more than x billion before we're too far gone, and that the population would be on the decline, towards a more stable, sub-billion number. But as for how that might be accomplished, I have absolutely no idea."
Scenarios are really hard. Except for a previous bad experience with a similar proposal, I would suggest some sort of a team effort to work on scenarios because teams can frequently do better on this kind of problem than individuals. Anyway, I think it is more important to start with understanding the required characteristics of the saved world in order for YOU to consider it to be saved.

I think is useful to pick the value for x billion as the maximum acceptable to YOU desired peak population because you can then work out arithmetically if it is possible, and if not, think about adjusting what is acceptable, or what additional characteristics might ameliorate the bad effects to make it OK.

Regarding how the population might be reduced after it stabilizes, you can think of some possibilities: programs to encourage having fewer children, programs to force limitations on number of children, programs to reduce food production, education programs (aka brain-washing of children) that instill new cultural values (aka memes) about numbers of children, or what ever else you can come up with. You will see that I am program oriented, but perhaps you can think of a way without programs. The GB participants can suggest specific possibilities. Eventually, through focused discussion, something is likely to click for you.

Similarly for how we would feed ourselves. Similarly for social organization.

The point I would like to emphasize is that a lot of focused GB discussion of specific scenario issues like these can lead to some good stories.

Now a final bit of advice. Once you have a good scenario story you like, what do you do with it? You do NOT make this the goal that you must achieve. You do NOT make this the goal that your allies must agree with. You use it to make YOUR day-to-day decisions about what YOU can do to help save the world, that is to bring about the kind of world YOU want. And you should be prepared to change your mind whenever your intellect and/or intuition tells you it is time to do so. You also use it to help explain to someone whose mind you are trying to change the kind of world that you want, and how it might come to exist, and what you are doing to help it come to exist.

Best regards,
Buzz


Buzz Bloom #14889
, USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 18:5:34 CST (GMT -6:00)

Hi Everyone: I want to thank Lance (15072) and Verevolf (15071) for follow-up comments to my 15070 about living "in the hands of the gods". I have decided that I am unlikely to get any definitive answer about my question: mystical or practical psychology as the basis for interpreting the phrase. So, I am going to assume for now that the DQ intended interpretation is NOT mystical, but is rather practical psychology. My own reading of DQ's writings suggest to me that he is a down-to-earth type of guy, and not inclined towards mysticism, except perhaps for some epiphanies he describes in Providence. However, there seems to me to be a lot of mysticism being expressed in many postings to the GB.

Now I personally love mysticism, or at least the Eastern variety, although when I was much younger, I hated it. However, much of what I see here disturbs me. I don't want to overstate this, because what I am about to say I am sure does not apply to everyone who posts here who likes mysticism. I think many who talk about listening to your instincts, or listening to your intuition, or walk away from your intellect, or beware of logic, are getting this stuff from the New Age movement rather than from solid OLD mystical ideas, either Eastern or Western.

If there is anyone who really wants to pursue Satori, that's great. I want to offer some advice about that by quoting myself from an email I sent recently.
Generally, the way one comes to experience Satori is by engaging in a practice that has been designed to put the mind into a receptive state. An example of such a practice is Zen zazen (a special kind of sitting meditation), which has been refined over 1000 years. It is dangerous to engage in a practice like this alone, without supervision. As an example of one of the dangers, in Persig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", which is an autobiographical philosophical novel, Persig describes his own experiences which put him into a mental hospital. If you do this practice, or any other practice with the goal of experiencing Satori you will fail. Having the goal, the want, the desire, the wish keeps the mind from being in the necessary receptive state. That is why it is hard to achieve the experience. If this seems paradoxical, it is. The most fundamental bit of wisdom I have discovered in my life I summarize in the following Koan-like statement: "Reality is paradoxical." If this is too terse, an elaborated form might be: "The essential nature of reality is that in all of its aspects it is paradoxical."

Now back to the practical psychology. I want to give an example of a practical psychology interpretation of a basic Buddhist principal, which of course also has a mystical interpretation. "Desire is the origin of pain." One practical psychology interpretation goes something like this. If you desire something enough, you may decide that acquiring it is worth giving up something else that you value. So, you may decide to give up to one to get the other. Now there are several possible outcomes: (a) You get want you wanted and every thing is OK -- no pain -- you are happy with your trade decision. (b) You fail to get what you want, but you lose the other anyway -- this is painful. (c) You get what you wanted, giving up the other, but after you get what you wanted you find you really didn't want it after all -- now that is really painful.

In my 14776 I gave the following interpretation for "in the hands of the gods".
The phrase is hard (or impossible) to define verbally because it has mystical qualities. However, here are some contexts that indicate what it means to me. Leavers believe in leaving things in the hands of the Gods; Takers don't. I think we would all agree with that much. Here are some points where there may be differences. Leaving things in the hands of the gods means not choosing your destiny. It does not mean not choosing your path. It means respecting the world, and all life on it. It means recognizing that the world was not made to be ruled by people or people made to rule the world. It means recognizing that other life forms do not exist solely for whatever benefit humans can make of them. It does not mean abandoning, or even reducing the use of free will, intellect, or technology. It does mean that when you use free will, intellect, or technology you do so with as much awareness as you can muster of the impact your decisions will make on the world as a whole, and weight that along with your respect for the world as you make your decisions.

I am now content that in terms of good practical psychological advice, I got it right. What this means is that this is a reasonable interpretation consistent with DQ's message, and that it works for me. I would like to thank everyone again who responded to my request for help.

Best wishes to all,
Buzz


madrone #14888
, USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 17:35:23 CST (GMT -6:00)

Libran--

That was your dream? Wow. That's all I can say, other than I think you're really onto something there. And since you brought in dreams, I confess I've had a bunch of intense ones myself these past few years. But rather than the disappearance of the takers into the sky, my dreams have mainly involved the non-human life forms of this planet taking me on journeys through the ethers to places all over earth, showing me the destruction that mankind is wreaking, asking me to look, to hear them, to witness not just what is happening already (in places I've never travelled while awake), but also the path we are on leading to unimaginable loss. Also have seen glimpses of a future for us, far far fewer of us than now, with lots of healing needed but surivors in many life-forms who are up to the task of world-creating once more. This is why, in fact more than any other reason, that I am so firmly convinced that our time is short to find ways to live and survive, and have such a very dim view of prospects for those in the cities--some of the very worst "visitations" of mine were located in urban areas.

Michael--

THanks very much for your affirmation and also for your additional comments. Yes, yes, keep it human--and that is really, in all its mundane and sacred glory, what I am hoping to continue doing and pointing out to others as well.

Vered--

Thanks for writing more! And if my affirmation of your earlier post helped incite you to further comment, then yay for me. Its great to hear your voice here.

Ameno and Stephen--

Wonderful stuff. Ameno, the more I see of your work, the better I like it...it's so very cool to see that another is fully articulating some of the very thoughts lurking as hunches in me for so long...not a topic that I have recently had the energy to spare for drawing out as you have done. And Stephen's comments definitely add to the stew in a good way--exciting stuff!

Me oh my Sara--

Now me, I never say "fuck you" to anyone but my closest friends, because they know exactly what I mean by it, and know better than to get too offended...but whatever floats your boat, sister.

I kinda knew that you wouldn't take my post in the sincere spirit of good will in which it was offered, but what the hey, I can't let fear of reaction stop me...or I would have never done or said anything in my life. And I am proud to be here today and be able to say that I have done some wonderful, amazing, truly great things in my day--many of which caused reaction! And at least one of which also changed a law favorably for women. Yeah, I sound off, I speak up, but even some of my enemies will tell you that at heart I'm a healer and a big ol marshmallow with love, understanding and hugs to share (even if occasionally offered with unwanted advice to boot)

Uh, well, it's just that. ....no, you don't really know what misery can be. And though I have indeed borne "more" of a burden than you have so far, the fact is that neither of us middle-class American white girls know SHIT about real misery. Sorry that you couldn't see that it wasn't a pissing contest at all, just an effort to help you see things differently and perhaps feel more control than you do now (a very great gift, offered to me many times when I was feeling down over the years, and one that I try to pass on as often as possible). We all have the right to our pain, as my friends would tell you I firmly believe in!--yet it is simply a truth of my life that to understand both how very blessed I am, even at the darkest times of my life, compared to billions of other people on this beleaguered planet, and to remember that I have made and am always able to make choices--well, these things have given me new hope in the hardest of times and great power to endure and create and share in my world. They are things I hope to inspire in any suffering person...and more than once have been told that I did do so. So, why not offer it to you as well?

Vent spleen if you like, call me names, see me as competing with you, dismiss me as a hippy-dippy flake, believe that everything is beyond your control, whatever--and at the end of the day, you are still making choices. In the morning when you rise, you still have more food and comfort and safety and more available choices, than MOST of the people here on earth.

ANd that's not condescension, Sara, that's just the plain truth.

WEll, all, it's been a nice ride this evening, quite a bit of inspiration and food for thought! Makes me feel like a big group hug, even with FC and Sara.

Madrone


Stephen Figgins #14887
Monroe, WA USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 16:55:12 CST (GMT -6:00)

Oops, Libran, the movie is Soylent Green, the band Soilent Green. My mistake.

The movie stars Charlton Heston. I hear it is incredibly cheesy. I have not seen it myself.


Libran #14886
, USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 15:55:12 CST (GMT -6:00)

Stephen, I'll have to check out that movie. I listen to a band that goes by the same name.

I think the cannibalism idea came from a bizarre dream that I had a couple days ago. I'll put it in a very simple outline:

1)Sometime in the near future, a massive ark is built with the ability to travel at near light speed.

2)The takers climb aboard but those like us decide to stay behind.

3)A few million years go by with the takers pillaging the known universe, and they come upon a new planet.

4)They are delighted by the fact that they do not need to terra-form this planet, for a thriving ecosystem is present.

5)The planet is the strangest they had ever seen. Rather than a sphere, it is a disc, thickening toward the middle. Their sensors indicate that the disc is composed of bacteria that construct shells out of minerals and cement themselves together into a kind of growing rock. Strangely, this disc shape causes the planet to be pushed by the solar wind as the system's sun grows in size, thus keeping the planet within the habitable zone where water is liquid.

6)Ecologists begin descending to the surface to study. They quickly discover that nearly every form of animal life is fully sentient. They have this idea thrust upon them by the fact that the sentient animals are also telepathic, and the minds of the explorers are awash in alien sensory input.

7)The explorers quickly bring down some heavy machinery to aid both in further study and thinning out animal populations whose minds are literally driving the explorers insane.

8)After about 48 hours of this activity, explorers began disappearing. No evidence could be gathered to explain the mystery. Witnesses report that they have seen others being literally taken away by the wind- as though carried away by something unseen. Sensors detected nothing.

9)Many companies began moving to the surface of the planet, hoping to put their planet harvesting skill to some use. They dismissed the disappearances as nothing more than wives tales, until it began to happen to them.

10)Finally, a biologist suggested that an animal might be responsible for all of this. He proposed that there was an animal that had the ability, telepathically, to make itself unseen by other creatures. That would explain why it also didn't register on any senory equipment.

11)I woke up right after one of the humans 'left behind' on earth recited a part of his tribe's story to his son:

"Those destroyers of earth and sky left from here long ago. We have always anticipated their return. But always remember, when they do return, it is in apology for what they have done in the past. In return for their disgrace, they come to offer themselves as food..."

Onward, Libran


Vered #14885
, South Africa -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 15:19:6 CST (GMT -6:00)

Hi All :-)

Jaret - thanks for big welcoming smile :-) And guests are welcome, but no free accommodation !

Sam - Cheers !

Madrone - You made me glad I decided to write that post.

I will make another personal prediction: 90% of people getting involved in the discussions here will become 'leavers'.

There is no way a person can know what his/her leaverdom will consist of. When you have 'left' in your mind it is just like throwing your bags over the fence and all you have to do is follow physically. ( who said that ?) When the seed is planted it is in the nature of it to grow and come to fruition.

I once came across a website that gauged your direct impact on the planet based on consumption of resources. The bottom line was that if everybody (6.2 billion and more) lived the lifestyle of an average income North American, we would need 5 planets like earth to support it.

As a result 200 species are removed daily from existence.

This beautiful blue planet is all about LIFE.

If we pose a threat to LIFE we will be eliminated. As simple as that. ( An answer to Jim # 15191)

And we will remove ourselves - kicking up a fuss and screaming that it all belongs to us while we are self destructing.

When I really realized this I had a fit of a temper tantrum. Then somebody came along and explained to me that the planet will not die, LIFE will continue after this mass extinction that we are instrumental in - just without us.

That really got me. Can we survive ? For a while ? How long ? In my opinion we will hang on for another 200 years or so.

Yes, Bev, it is all about taking steps in the 'right' direction - which may mean something totally different, and unsuspected, to each one of us here.

A quote from 'Beyond civilization' - " What a tribal people transmits to the next generation is not a ready-made fortune but rather a reliable way to make a living." - makes sense to me :-)

Love to All :-) Vered


Stephen Figgins #14884
Monroe, WA USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 15:2:31 CST (GMT -6:00)

Libran, there's a movie about that: Soilent Green.

I thought a similar thought the other day when Sara wrote surviving in the wilderness would be easy, the smart people would figure it out, and the rest would die. After I picked myself up off the floor laughing, I thought, "hmmm... survival might not be too difficult, for cannibals! At least there would be plenty of food."

Not to knock, Jean Craighead George. I always wanted to be Sam Gridley. I loved My Side of the Mountain, but in my experience, it isn't quite as easy as Jean painted it. And don't forget, Sam was quite the well educated naturalist going into that adventure as well.

For survival tales, my recent favorite is Gary Paulsen's Hatchet series, but even his protagonist, Brian Robeson, survives more by luck than using his brain, at least at first.


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