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Ishmael Community Guestbook Archive

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

Stephen Figgins #14868
Monroe, WA USA - Friday, December 7, 2001 at 9:9:9 CST (GMT -6:00)

Madrone, I share some of your background in feminism and eco-feminist Wicca, and I have in the past brought up some of these same points, particularly with regards to value hierarchical thinking.

How do you feel, though, about Quinn's placement of the Taker revolution in the Fertile crescent? Quinn is suggesting that the first Takers were Goddess worshippers, rather than Goddess conquerors. We are talking about Inaana's people, and you can't get too much more reverent of the fertile goddess of agriculture than that! Inanna was a much revered goddess of fertility and ... note this, a goddess of war.

Some followers of Riane Eisler's work have in the past suggested Quinn was off the mark, and the real rise of the Takers did not occur until the Kurgans invaded the lands of the Goddess worshipers. Others have their own favorite changing points, David Abrams in the Spell of the Sensuous, puts the change at the development of writing, and Ameno has just offerred it as being the rise of a merchant class.

Quinn's point sort of stuck with me, though. I began to see the Goddess cultures as the first Takers, particularly at the point the human like gods rose up against the non-human like gods--powerful forces of nature like the Titans, the Giants, the terrible Fomorians, or in the case of the fertile crescent, the Dragons. The human like gods rise up and slay or bind the wild forces of nature. I have felt fairly uncomfortable with most of the civilized pantheons ever since. Like their dirty secret was revealed.

VerevolfTheGrouch #14867
, USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 9:4:11 CST (GMT -6:00)

You're right. No one is beyond betrayal. And we're all capable of being ill-tempered, short-sighted, greedy, selfish, and violent. We know that already and are not in denial of that fact.

So why is Sara's getting angry and expressing that anger worth pointing out as if it were exceptional? If you were already aware that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God", then why is it only now that you point out that Sara isn't "too nice" to do whatever you were talking about her doing. That would seem to indicate that the fault is not with her but rather with you for making a statement earlier that you knew was false.

Sara #14866
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 8:56:53 CST (GMT -6:00)


How did I betray anyone? i agree the dialogue between madrone and i was going ok for a while, even though we have different ideas about feminism and a few other issues. but when someone out of the blue starts whaling on me and telling me that, regardless of my situation, it can't be all that bad because she has been worse off, and that i should just chin up and stop feeling sorry for myself, then i feel like i have the right to be upset and to show that person how i feel.

if madrone was really trying to make me feel better (as she said) and just went about it in a very misguided way, then that's fine and i apologize. but if she's going to continue to condescend and say that my view isn't valid because i'm so "priveleged", i'm going to continue to be angry with her.

Stephen Figgins #14865
Monroe, WA USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 8:48:4 CST (GMT -6:00)


I read your first discourse. I recall Quinn's central point being that our predicament is a result of our story, and not Totalitarian Agriculture, which you have focussed on. The whole Totalitarian agenda sprung from the story we were enacting, and yes, he says it has fueled our contiunal growth, but not that it was the primary cause of our crisis.

It seems you place the rise of Takers later, suggesting instead it was the creation of a merchant class that made us different, and that the merchant class itself is responsible for population growth and the establishment of hierarchy, and essentially all our woes.

I am not sure how our cultural story fits into your discourse, if at all. From Quinn's central point, his recommended course of action is to change the story we are enacting.

From your discourse I would guess your recommended course of action would be the dismantling of the merchant class and returning to direct trade, fish for rabbit.

Is that about right?

Faith Contender #14864
, USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 8:40:34 CST (GMT -6:00)

All I'm saying is that Sara is not Beyond Betrayal. LOL.

And just for the record, neither am I or anyone else.

Romans 3:23
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

VerevolfTheGrouch #14863
, USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 8:33:56 CST (GMT -6:00)

So, FC, in order for someone to be considered "nice" they must never, ever, ever get angry?

Or is it something so pretentious as the particular words one uses to express that anger that makes someone "nice" or not?

Is it nice to say, "Go to heck." but not nice to say, "Go to hell?"

I guess so.

Sara #14862
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 8:33:31 CST (GMT -6:00)

FC, the comment was entirely warranted. I'll use language respectfully at most times, but i'm not going to play nice when someone repeatedly condescends to me.

Stephen Figgins #14861
Monroe, WA USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 8:26:22 CST (GMT -6:00)

Bev, tribal and hierarchal aren't living arrangements, they are organizational structures. Structures for coming together and doing together more than we can do individually.

When you hear about tribal businesses, do you feel concerned because you want the world to change quickly, and you feel to do that we shouldn't try to coordinate with others, but rather just head back to the land?

To achieve sustainability faster, are you suggesting that rather than find another way to make our living now, we drag some stones, save up money, and then buy our way out later as you have?

Faith Contender #14860
, USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 8:23:58 CST (GMT -6:00)

Sara wrote : "F*ck You Madrone."

I hereby recant my previous statement about Sara seeming to be too nice of a gal to play the role of the Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus.

The soap opera continues ... The GB should now be on High Alert.

Sara #14859
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 8:18:16 CST (GMT -6:00)

Bev -- when did you visit New York? I find absolutely nothing frightening about this city. I guess if you're used to wide open spaces it's a bit strange at first, and the sheer size, numbers, and complexity can be a little overwhelming. But i've certainly never been afraid about crime -- in a year of living in what many would consider the ghetto, i've never been mugged, had my purse snatched, or even been looked at too menacingly. of course, there are places i won't go alone at night. but, if i lived in the country i wouldn't go out in a forest full of wild animals alone at night, either. maybe it's just what you're used to and at home with? anyway, i find it very easy to live sustainably (as described in Beyond Civ. at least) here, and in fact i'm starting to spread the word about that, too. Ants and bees live in hives, so why can't we, right?

Sara #14858
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 7:55:12 CST (GMT -6:00)

Fuck You Madrone.

That's all I have to say.

Ok, in truth, i have a million more things to say.

I'm really excited for you and shit that you have "truly" suffered while, poor little rich girl that i am, i'm just slumming it.

True, I'm not at the absolute last rung of humanity. Things would be considerably worse with a child involved. However, that doesn't mean i have no call to say, "i am in a really bad situation which i have no control over right now, so don't fucking play that."

Let me be a little more frank with you. I lost a job of 6 months in the world trade center. I was physically there when the whole thing went down. Luckily, i wasn't hurt physically, but i have spent the last 3 months working my way back psychologically and emotionally. I went to work at a different company 4 days after the attack because i was assured by my temp agency that the job would be virtually permanent and there wouldn't be many more oppurtunities like it for a long time. within three weeks the company started downsizing and eliminated my position. I spent 6 weeks out of work. I went around to all of the charities, but they were busy giving the money to rich people with 401K's, investment portfolios, and thick savings accounts. Finally in mid-november i got a sort of permanent job, but it's only part time and pays about half what i used to make before september. And, at any moment, this job could be yanked out from under me if the guy i'm replacing decides to come back. Also, i have zero benefits. If i get strep throat or pink eye, i could die, because i can't afford to pay for the antibiotics. The only reason i'm still on 2 feet is because i have a few people out there who care, and their patience is wearing thin. I feel pretty confident that this would be a serious low for anyone.

This is not about me having a little pity party, i'm just trying to stop you from being a bitch. actually, when i'm not being pursued by bill collectors, i'm pretty happy. true, i'm not rich in money, but i'm rich in spirit and rich in creativity.

And, yes, i realize that i have not sunk as low as any person could ever go. I'm lucky my parents aren't/weren't drug addicts, that i got an education (even though that isn't hard, school is pretty much free up through high school and it's almost impossible not to be able to afford college at this point), that i'm white, and that i have a few people here and there who care about me.

However, i just want to stress that, even though i chose to move here, and even though i have family and friends in other places, leaving isn't an option. i can't afford a bus ticket to anywhere where i know anyone who could help me. and even if i could, i don't have (and can't afford) a car and i don't have enough credit to get a place to live. i also am a college student and there are no schools anywhere i could feasibly go that offer my program. i refuse to throw my whole life away to be a bit more comfortable, so i'm not going anywhere. So, no, i'm not just sitting on a goldmine of oppurtunities in other places.

OK, well, i've enjoyed this little pissing contest a lot, madrone. We'll have to do it again sometime.

Michael #14857
Berkeley, Ca USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 7:8:55 CST (GMT -6:00)

Greetings everyone. I just started reading the GB a couple of days ago. What an amazing and vital interaction going on here! When it is "dialog" it is absolutely inspiring. When it tends toward "discussion" it is maybe somewhat less than inspiring but very entertaining just the same. At the risk of being presumptious(meaning I just walked in on this party and I'm spouting opinions already) I would like to offer a couple of ideas and observations. Madrone, I think your writings from the last few days esp. today are really great and is an area that DQ doesn't really get into. I would only add that I think patriarchy and white supremacy are inseparable. That's not to say that there aren't threads of patriarchy in cultures of color.(is that a double neg.?) Ameno, you mentioned a few days ago the idea that we all want some glimpse of the solution. I think that is one idea to let go of. Not only do I think it is futile, but it also plays into the idea of humans as a species desiring to exert control and domination. The future beyond are own lives belongs to our children and thier children and thier children, and we are never going to know about any of it. We keep speculating about the impending crash as if we will actually participate in it in some comprehensive way. Yes some of us(here in the North) might experience some effects in our lifetimes(people of the South have been experiencing effects for along time now))but the big picture will only be understood as history from a vantage point many many generations in the future by humans whose mindset and organization and technology we can't even begin to guess at. Truthfully I think that we have already crashed, meaning it has started already. I think that when contemplating this idea of "culture" crashing as metaphor it can be helpful to think about the ponderous scale of such a crash. It is going to take a hundred years, perhaps two hundred to even know how bad the crash was. Was it just a very rough landing or are we talking SPLAT! like a bug on the windshield? Who will survive? More importantly what ideas will emerge to form new paradigms among those survivors? Which of those paradigms will spread the widest? For me it is good to remind myself that in evolution no individuals of a species has any (at least that we as humans are aware of) knowledge of the big picture. Evolution does not appear to have a plan, only some very definite laws that govern the process. One of those laws says that if you want your genes to have any chance of heading into the future you must "survive and reproduce". Since we are talking about memes here rather than genes the metaphor would be something like "survive and teach". DQ would say become "B". As far as the whole conversation about business and sustainability and viability of large scale human organizations vs tribal etc etc and which will work and which are better and so on and so on,as a guide in my own life as I drag my stones I can only offer Michael Franti's words "stay human". Thanks for listening. M

madrone #14856
, USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 4:30:3 CST (GMT -6:00)

Bev--oops, I meant to credit you as well, for being inspirational to me!

Also I want to be sure it is clear when I spoke of power as it is used in our culture, that it is really no longer an issue of men vs women, at least not in the US and Europe, the way it once was (though there are individuals holding out to the gender thing, to be sure). The point here is that all of us as a culture embrace the "power-over" paradigm; it is not a strictly gender issue anymore, but one of the group mind. But the roots of this can be found in ancient times, when it very much was a gender thing. With this I am not saying that anyone should be guilty for the sins of our forebears, but only that by studying feminism thoroughly, including the social/political history of the world, it becomes apparent that as women themselves were beginning to be dominated by men through the use of force, at the same time the planet itself--already identified by most as "the great mother of life"--was marked as fair game for domination. That, in other words, it was very much a gender issue to begin with--the taker mind had it's roots in the idea that MEN were to have dominion, not PEOPLE. Women, and all things understood as female (the dark, the planet, the intuitive/irrational, the animal and plant kingdoms...) became identified as objects to be used or abused in any imaginable way, to provide satisfaction to the men. If you doubt this, just look at your local bible, full of direct reference to women as chattel along with the notion that the world is here to suit men's pleasure. I'm not bashing men here when I point this out! I am stating an incontrovertible fact of human history. Rather than anyone getting upset about these historical realities, far better to take a dispassionate view so as to investigate how one's own present notions and behavior are straight out of the patriarchal mind--not with respect to women in particular, mind you, for I see that men here are fairly egalitarian with respect to women. And I appreciate that! Yet, the patriarchal (or taker, if it pleases you more) mind is at the base of our assumptions and our present creation of reality.

Just try to see beyond the gender issue, to the matter of power in a more general sense as it is used and understood in our culture.

To me, I guess it might best be said in this forum that the study of feminism has nothing really to do with the study of rights, guilt, or the sins of our fathers against our mothers--but the study of the creation and invention of patriarchal mindset and so the taker world. I know that you don't agree with this, Verevolf, but I think that might be because you have not done the in-depth and exhaustive study of feminism that some of us women have (and even some men I know). And I don't mean to sound superior about this--any of us could say this to someone, for instance, who had never read DQ and related work. How could anyone see something on the whole, which they have not looked into all that much? And this, by the way, is the way I shake off Drs and other well-meaning people who try to tell me that it's wrong not to vaccinate children--by pointing out that we can hardly have a meaningful discussion if only one of us has studied all sides of an issue (which, I assure you, the vast majority of MDs have not done on the subject of immunizations). Not that all of those who have studied on an "equal" basis would necessarily come to the same conclusions about any issue--but there is not much hope of agreement if one party does not have a similar base of study. As a white person, I do not for instance engage in a lot of white guilt for the sins of my race against all others--but I am aware, and try to live with respect for, the fact that there is a sense of privilege, along with actual material privileges that I live with unconsciously that is all about being white--accompanied by a sense of disadvantage along with actual disadvantages for people of color in our society (in general). I can't change the past, especially the past beyond my own lifetime. I can change the mindset, given by our forebears, that still impacts the present in real ways.

How can we truly "change our minds", if we are not fully cognizant of the mind we now live in, and see how it actually needs changing?


madrone #14855
, USA -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 3:42:22 CST (GMT -6:00)


Thanks for your mention of Kate Millet and her book, Sexual Politics. This is part of what I have been trying to get at--that it's not about women having the "same rights" as men in takerdom, which does indeed lead to women who are more than anything else, male identified to the point of giving up what makes us, physically, emotionally and spiritually female in the first place. We are seeing the results of this in women's health, particularly in the form of auto-immune disorders such as Lupus, chronic fatigue. and fibromyalgia, not to mention the childbirth problems jkd mentioned. These are ALL known to be stress-induced, that is, having no known germ or toxin-based etiology (origin) BUT, I am not suggesting that women should not have rights!

Try this on for size, folks--women were not given the right to vote until after it was too late for us to have any real, fundamental impact on takerdom. By then, the existing political structure and taker mind was too firmly entrenched. And that doesn't even begin to address the issue that I see as most fundamental of all, which is about takerdom's very definition of power. This is written about very beautifully by Starhawk, in her book, Dreaming the Dark. As she and many others have stated it, in patriarchy, it's not just that men have more power than women, it's that we see power as having a basic definition of "power over" life/things/people. This is very much related to the ascension of the left brain over the right, the separative functions of analysis over the holistic perception of life, and the worship of the use of force to attain goals--of which totalitarian ag is our most stunning example.

The word "power" at it's latin root, simply means "to be able" (latin: poder). Think, the ability to speak, to make things, to love--none of these things naturally imply having power over anything, they are simply abilities among many that one might exercise in life. In takerdom, we are obsessed with having power over each other, the world, our fields of expertise, and this has been the root of the evil we perpetrate in the world. I tie this in with DQ's observations about "dominion"--which of course means dominating, having power over someone/thing.

And it is a fitting explanation for why, when folks in this discussion get passionate in a disagreement with someone, most often there is what David referred to as "bitchiness". We (most of us), at one moment or another, do not simply reassert support for our ideas, we tend to attack those who disagree--either directly, by name-calling or other forms of character assasination (as I did, whoops, with David yesterday), or else attacking their knowledge base. Now, this is not the same as attempting to show with our words the ways in which we may feel another's ideas may not hold water, or pointing our a behavior we find objectionable. It is all about the tone and choices of words made.

To give one example, and please forgive me David, I am not meaning at all to grind on you: David might have said, "Madrone, I feel you are discounting me, and that doesn't feel right, it's upsetting to me." Or, even given what D said to me, I might have replied, "David, I wasn't exactly trying to dismiss you, it's just that I had the impression you weren't willing to discuss this, that it was you who had dismissed me and I was acting on what I thought were your wishes regarding this aspect of discussion".

Is the difference here clear?

But I am not trying to do group therapy, really! I only use this as a good example, along with totalitarian ag on the whole, to illuminate what I mean by this concept of power which to takers, means having power over something (or trying to assert dominance of an idea or person through attack). Totalitarian ag is just one big long attack on the planet as are the vast majority of our industries.

To me, this issue of our sense of power is at the real heart of feminism--and no CP, I do not read much current "Feminist Literature", most of which I see in the bookstores I find all in keeping with women's rights to live just as men have been living, in essense and as a group (not bashing anyone here) for millenia. That is, in a dominance-type style--which as far as I can tell has only led to worse problems for us all.

Brandis, I think it was, asked me what books I have read to get to where I am now, philosophically. Well, as I've been reading for my own education and enlightnment now for over 25 yrs, and not for classes for which I was bound to create bibliographies, it would be hard to give an exhaustive list. But I can give a few titles/authors:

Starhawk--Dreaming the DArk, which I already mentioned, and The Fifth Sacred Thing, which is a fabulous novel envisioning the near future of the planet. It not only describes some now-unclear ways in which the environment will collapse along with the world economy and social order, but also presents a stunningly beautiful and comprehensive portrait of one group's revisioning and recreating of human culture. Scientifically sound, spiritually, socially and envirinmentally sustainable.

Sonia Johnson--From Housewife to Heretic, and Going Out of Our Minds, the Metaphysics of Liberation. The latter, most especially, speaks of power as it used in our culture, and alternative mindset on this; this book, by the way, (pub in 1987, I think) is where I first heard the idea of walking away as opposed to "changing the system from within". Her use of the term "going out of our minds" means, walking away from the dominator mindset altogether. DQ was not the first to suggest that a new world needs new minds to get us there!

As I recall other books, I will mention them here.

Vered--lovely post. I am so glad to hear your story. This idea of life you have created, is so similar to what I have been reaching for for many years. Did not take the practical approach you did, haven't yet gotten to a stable situation--but definitely have not given up. Was just talking to my college aged son yeaterday about this--he has decided, after taking his first jaunt into takerdom, that this dream of mine is one he wants to pursue as well, and even in his mother's very company! Your words were inspiring and timely for me.

Ameno--"there is nothing new under the sun"--solomon. But there are new ways to work with old wisdom, new ways to articulate and share. I'm not sure I would agree with everything you have to say, but I do appreciate your audacity in saying it, accompanied by that level of humility represented by your "nothing new" comment.

One last thought: there has been mention of "evolution, not revolution", and the question of why I do not believe there is time for gradual change. Reading The Fifth Sacred Thing will elucidate this much more than I am able to here. But I will say this: between the toxification of our land, air and water, extinctions,global warming, and such things as taking too much water out of aquifers in California and elsewhere (causing massive land collapse from relatively small earthquakes, eg), I simply see it as inevitable that we are bound to see major ecological collapse in the next 25 yrs and beyond. If you look as well at such phenomena as "overcrowding psychosis"--strong symptoms of which are already apparent--, and reactions emotionally and economically to events such as those of 9/11--which surely was only the beginning of more to come soon--well, I don't see how anyone could look at all this and NOT believe that our time is short. Far too short now to think in terms of gradual change. Not that we shouldn't try to teach others in whatever way they might hear it. Just that that should not be our only way of preparing for what is to come. The greatest gift that any of us can give our species will be TO SURVIVE. And, if there is any reality to the scenario I predict (along with many others, by the way), then I don't see how "living sustainably" --if that's even possible, which I doubt--in the cities will do anyone much good. Being anywhere near the metropolitan areas is bound to be certain death for the vast majority there.

I will choose survival, no matter how selfish this may appear!


David Theis #14854
Hackenheim, Germany -
Friday, December 7, 2001 at 0:40:46 CST (GMT -6:00)

Ah, well, just another day here. Everyone's still there and I'm pleased to join the crowd again. Well, well...


I don't know how to start this. I really like to just say "oh, okay, let's forget it all, start new and let's dance." I just let these things lay at the point where they're, which means out of my sight. To put it in your words: they don't fit into my parameters now. That's all I should say, because anything else I want to add would lead to nothing with any significance.

I don't want to make it worse, so I just watch for a while. Maybe the "fights" decrease then.


I used the word 'bitchy' a) because as a reference to the "fights" that went on before and b) because I just found another word. I think some of you have to remember that my native language is German. I've just started my studies in English and sometimes I just don't find the right word. I didn't want to imply anything.

goodbye, everyone, I'm taking a break now (at least I want to)

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