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Ishmael Community Guestbook Archive

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

Ameno #14763
Los Angeles, CA USA - Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 18:30:17 CST (GMT -6:00)

First a quick thought to Madrone, and then to everyone else.

Madrone- I personally find no need to comment on feminism because it has absolutely no place in this discussion. Feminism is a REACTION to a SYMPTOM of a failing culture (DISEASE). The answer is not to cure the symptom. The answer is to cure the DISEASE, and the symptom will go away as well. I went to Howard University, a historically Black college, and I have the same issue with feminism that I have with afrocentrism. I don't care much for redistribution of the resources in the prison, I care only for the prison doors to be opened. Anyone who is here is on your side.

For Everyone Else-

I want to draw an analogy, sort of a parable, to let you know what I mean by "being willing to die for the cause." It relates to September 11th.

Imagine that we are all on a VERY large jumbo jet en route to some far off city. Just after take-off, a voice comes over the intercom: "Hello, this is your captain, not to alarm you, but we have instituted a new policy because we had word that there may be some onboard this plane planning to hijack it. As a result, there are several men on board, who are armed, to make sure that you are kept safe. Please aid these men as best you can and cooperate. Thank You." All of a sudden, a group of armed men stand up and get in the aisles. They tell everyone to please remain calm and quiet and just listen to what they have to say. Most of the people take it at face value. The armed men are nice enough as long as everyone is quiet. Once in a while, someone will get loud, but the men don't hurt them, just rough them up a little. A man stands up and shouts," Are you STUPID? We're being hijacked. Everyone, take control of the plane!!!" Immediately, he is subdued and taken to the front where he is not heard from again.

The voice comes back on, "OK, people that was one of the hijackers, we have subdued him. Thank You for your cooperation. However, there may be more."

Pretty soon, people are getting suspicious, something is wrong. They start to realize they HAVE been hijacked, and are being lied to aobut it. However, they know that as long as they are quiet, they won't suffer the same fate as that first guy (they presume he's dead). SO most are quiet. They just want to MAKE IT THROUGH. After all, what use are they dead. Soon, everyone but a few know they have been hijacked. A few try to reason or argue with the hijackers. They show just enough resistance however to stay alive. A VERY few argue to the point of being restrained, or even "disappeared to the front." These I relate to those like feminists, socialists, or any other sort of "radical" idealogues.

Now, there is a cartographer onboard and she has been looking at the gorund and realizes that the plane is headed toward Washington, DC. Another passenger has been on the phone to his wife, and she told him that it is suspected that the plane is going to be used as a weapon, a suicide bomb. They circulate this to other passengers. Some actually believe it, others just tell them to remain calm and they'll make it out ok.

Now, among the people that know they will soon be a kamikaze jumbo jet (that would be the people on this board), they all know control of the plane must be regained, or else they will all die, and so will those on the ground (future generations).

What is happening on this board is that some of you are so scared of the fact that you are going to be immolated soon, that you really just want to be comforted and told it is going to be OK. Guess what? It isn't. Others are concerned because none of them knows how to fly a plane. Those people are sitting around trying to figure out HOW to fly a plane. Unfortunately, there is no manual, and none of them even know what the cockpit looks like, so it is all conjecture until they get there. Still others are trying to figure out some way to get out of the plane (that would be the "walk away" group). Unfortunately, there are no parachutes. "Walking away is going to get you out of the plane, but you are not equiped to deal with being in midair.

What I am saying is this: Unless a group is willing to stand up and TAKE BACK THE PLANE (doesn't have to be violent, just has to work), then everyone is dead. The goal is to land safely. The first task is to subdue the aremed men in the cabin. Then take control back from the "voice of the captain" (Mother Culture). Then fly the plane to a safe landing. Once we get into the cockpit, the tower (Leaver societies) can help to guide us on how to land. But, the tower CANNOT truly help us until we get into the cockpit and have our hands on the controls.

In order to do any of this, a group is going to have to risk life and limb. The men are armed. There is a good, but not certain, chance that some will be injured or killed. However, there is also a very good chance that others will join in to prevent that, if they see that people are actually serious about stopping the hijackers (they just want to stay alive, and if the "rebels" seem to have a good chance, they'll help).

So what I'm saying is, I don't want to hear from people who think they can figure out how to fly the plane from coach. But I am willing to risk it all to save the people onboard and those on the ground.

Why were the men on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania "heroes," and the others were victims? Will you be a hero or a victim. For the PErson who said they don't want to die for a cause, they want to LIVE for the cause... unfortunately, soon, there will be nothing left to live for. I'm not saying DIE, but have the commitment that stands at that level. Otherwise, you are wasting the time of those who really ARE ready to help.


Jim Linder #14762
San Jose, CA USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 18:6:26 CST (GMT -6:00)

Chazz, I’m with you. Except I don’t want to go to jail. But we need to find a way to awaken the children. We need children asking “Daddy, why are we buying a Suburban, we don’t carry that much stuff or ever go to the snow?” or “Mommy, how is this $2000 coat any better than the $200 coat over there?

Madrone, I agree with most of what you say, but I truly believe boys and men are greatly misunderstood. And yes, I have read books about Super Man syndrome. Don’t get me wrong; if I were pushed to, I would say women definitely have the short end of the proverbial stick.

It is not easy to change this. Even if you desire it for yourself. If you have been brainwashed to think women are the ones to take care of the children and the house, you can try very hard to change that thinking, but subconsciously, it is very difficult. What you say can change, and a great part of what you do, but instinctively, you still react to the old memes.

Have you tried looking at the child support laws from the viewpoint of a man. I am scared to death! How many men do you know that get child support or alimony from their ex-wives? My wife could kick me out, and make it impossible to live on my own. Basically pushing me into the street. I either work for my ex-family, or I live in the streets. That’s the truth of living where I live. Now the tough part: If I have to pay child support and alimony, and try to live alone, can’t do it. If she were to leave, and not have to pay alimony or child support, she couldn’t do it. So I see you point, but right now, my wife has the power. This is my current worst fear.

David, I’m with you. I never even cared about the gender of any posters until I try to tell someone about them. It is tough sometimes, because I don’t even know. I don’t realize until it until I start to say “This person posted this great quote and than at the end, uh, THEY summarized what I said before, and it was great…” Some people don’t post with real names. I just don’t think about it.

Libran #14761
, USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 17:31:31 CST (GMT -6:00)


I am the one who stated those things about aggression, etc being a major part of word communication. I am not some man. I am Libran. You should read the rest of that post. I explain the reasons that lead me to that conclusion there. I will not comment of feminism, because I am indifferent to the whole thing; the same way that I am indifferent to stem cell research, abortion, civil rights, and politics. Positive or negative, they bear no fruit. A recent work associate and friend of mine hung himself last weekend in the basement of his apartment complex. This has not made me against suicide. This also doesn't cause me to fight for every tormented life. I mourn him, but do not subscribe to any fixed stand on the whole thing. He was a christian, and if FC would say any words I would appreciate it(seriously).

To Jim,

Thanks for the comments. You definitly got what I was saying. Unfortunatly, I've just read a paper that described the narcotic chemicals found in our cereals(wheat, rice) and milk, eggs, etc...

The theory put forth suggests that we became addicted to the fruits of agriculture. I am still thinking on this. I can't recall the source. When I do, it will be shared here.

Addicts live as if there is no future...

Onward, Libran

madrone #14760
, USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 17:15:10 CST (GMT -6:00)

David--you'll talk to FC about the silly stuff he brings up, but not to me or the folks here about feminism? Now that just amazes me...but maybe not, because of course, FC is so easy to dismiss as a real contender of any kind. But the feminism issue is a lot more truly powerful for most...and therefore a much more likely thing to avoid. Oh well, that's your choice.

Sara--I didn't say that ALL leavers were peaceable, but that SOME had lived in peace for long periods...look up the pre-classical-greek people who lived on Crete until the greeks overran them violently, destroying their culture and religion. And the issue was memes, not whether or not violence was possible by our nature. My assertion was that we are not "by nature" violent, but we live in a culture that promotes violence. Clearly human nature includes the capacity for violence, but it does not require us to be violent; human nature has aggression to draw from, but that is not our only choice for response to any situation. ANd there is a difference between aggression as a response to real threat to safety, and violation as a general way of relating under stress. My point was about memes, which I noticed that no one touched on. And the meme has to do with violence as a response, one that this group apparently feels is no choice but simply human nature....and my invitation was for us to look at that in our own behavior.

But, apparently, no one here agrees that we ought to be looking too closely at our own behaviors and the memes responsible for them, as an important way for us to change the world. AS to feminism, the most important way that feminism fits here, is just in the way that jkd said it, that the personal is political, and the political, personal--which is one of the most important lessons of feminist spirituality as I see it (and have made use of feminism in my life).

Bev, you noted of jkd and Brigitte that you can't keep a good woman down, and I agree 100%. However, those good women are not, surely, "down" by any means--I omagine they are just spending their energy where they feel it will do more good than it did here.

Sorry that I don't keep track of all the names. It's easier for me to remember the women because, for one thing, there are far fewer female names to remember. For another, they have spoken of just the kind of personal things that get my attention the most. But I do regret that my failure to get the men's names right, has made it seem as if I am just dissing them as a group. As they say "some of my best friends are men"--but I will add that those men who are my friends, are men who understand why feminist thought is important to all of us, including men. And are also men who can take some personal confrontation and self-searching as regards our conditioning and the ways that we behave that are destructive to our unity and empowerment.

Oh well.

Closing thought to Ameno--Yes, of course, one cannot be said to be committed to any life path if not willing to sacrifice self for it in some ways. But I myself am not so interested in dying for anything as I am in LIVING for it.

Lots of good thoughts here on various topics, by the way...but still I'm puzzled by the lack of willingness to address the things that Brigitte, jkd, and now myself have posed to you.


Mike #14759
, USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 16:19:12 CST (GMT -6:00)

This was posted in an online Ishmael e-group. It was written by someone who is part of the "BeyondQuinn" Yahoo Group.

"An Animist Vision of Dying"


Norman, my father, was born 22 years less than a century ago. He has fought, cried, laughed and loved. He has lived the life of Norman for a very long time. He has had four children, myself included. They too, as will I, live a life on this earth. Do so many things – fight, struggle, laugh, love, suffer, cry, gain, lose, I could go on forever. But can I find meaning and purpose in it, this cycle, this circle of events which forms the totality of our lives? Then again, would it be so bad if there was no purpose? Oh well, it is true, Norman will die, perhaps soon, so will I for that matter. So will my son or daughter. But as I struggle to continue writing, I know what is and is not, I can see past my ego's perceptions.

At some point in my life, not to long ago, I asked myself, "What is it that I love in Norman?" Also, "What is it that so many people love and are attached to which some how dies when the person dies?" When looked at it in that way, the answer was clear. I love in Norman, that which is eternal, that which never dies. His essence, his being, the energy, the light, I can see it, and I can feel it. Like all things we are one. That essence, it is with me when I am close by, and it is with me when I am far away, and it will be with me in death. As for his thoughts and, "what makes Norman, Norman," those things will remain as long as I need them to. But the transitory, the body, that of flesh and blood, I do not believe it is so important. To be sure, I love his matter, the particles which make of his body and appearance. But I am not attached to them.

When Norman dies, he will go, where all things go. Back to the source, back to the world, and back to the community of life- that which, if I may remind you, is eternal. It, the universe, is god, and we are all apart of it. We ARE it. When he returns, his body will enrich the soil. That soil will bring forth the grass, from that the grasshopper, sparrow, fox and antelope. To the deer, bison, quail and turtle. From there, the tiger, bear or lion. Perhaps one day, he will again be man. Bun in all honesty, man is not so special. All are needed, and all are welcome in my heart. His body will continue on in the form of other bodies. His energy, his essence, all the while continues on, in the cycle of life. Apart of it and belonging to it.

And he IS LOVED, and IS needed in this community. Not just by me and the people that are close to him though, but by all things. We are apart of a mosaic, a beautiful tapestry, one that has been woven and enriched by the countless beings of the universe. All continuing, dying, and being reborn. Why is it, that so many search for an escape from this world? To many, it seems like this world is only but a small, inconsequential moment in time, before we ascend to our "true" homes. That being Heaven, where man was "meant" to live. For others, this world is seen as bitter and that of suffering, as something that is sought to be escaped from. But for me, I am already at home. I know where I am needed. This world is beautiful, this world IS. And here, I am at peace. I know that things ARE as they should be, right now! Right here! This is life, it is the way of things, and it is good.

peace & love, Tim H.

Ayana Butler #14758
baton ROuge, La USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 15:58:30 CST (GMT -6:00)

Ishmael is a great book. My religion class, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, taught at LSU by Arthur Buehler, is using this text among several others in our discovery of life, religion and the diversity of each. One dilemma that we cannot seem to resolve is how each individual learns to live with " the other. " The other being anything or one other than self. This seems to be the only thing that separates people, diversity. Ayana Butler

Faith Contender #14757
, USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 13:37:4 CST (GMT -6:00)

Revelation 20:2
And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years

David Theis #14756
Hackenheim, Germany -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 13:29:56 CST (GMT -6:00)

Verevolf, El Mono Loco,

bingo twice indeed. El Mono, you're right with your observation. But, let me be honest again, I was the same. It was the 2nd or 3rd time I was here, about one or two years ago, when I came in here and people where talking about buddhism or something. I said nearly the same as Ameno. "What are you talking about? Let's talk about something IMPORTANT." I've just learned since then. I understand him. But I can't agree anymore. Because with this way of thinking I just ended up with people looking at me like crazy. Being called arrogant and fanatic I re-thought what I did and after a long time I managed to find out that this doesn't work. Not right or wrong, it just doesn't work. People don't jump on the street for no reason. Either they think they can change something or they do it because everybody does or because it seems morally right to do so. We have this here in Germany all the time when people demonstrate against Neo Nazi groups. They know this is wrong and they know it's right to demonstrate against this groups. During these demonstrations they call insult them and throw stones at them. And I don't think they're any better than what they think they're fighting against.

Well, enough of that. You guys (and girls of course) will post so much that hardly anyone will remember this, when I'm back on here in about 20 hours.

Good night then, and dream well (even if most of you just get up maybe),

just another idealistic guy

El Mono Loco #14755
Portland, OR USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 13:20:4 CST (GMT -6:00)




I don't know if you can imagine how incredibly common it is for new folks to read half a weeks of posts, come to a conclusion of how everybody here is wasting their time, and proceed to announce that sentiment.

True or not, it's still pretty boring.

el mono loco

VerevolfTheGrouch #14754
, USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 11:46:6 CST (GMT -6:00)


Hold on just a minute. Where on earth did you get the idea that Leavers don't pursue the "what's good for ME" strategy? Every human in the world pursues that strategy. The strength in the tribal organization is that what's good for me tends to also be good for the group. The weakness of the hierarchical organization as we know it is that what's good for me tends to be good for me only.

Ask people to be selfless, and I don't think this revolution won't go very far. Help people understand that there's something in store for them as well as future generations, and you'll spark some interest.

David Theis #14753
Hackenheim, Germany -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 11:39:57 CST (GMT -6:00)


thanks for the kind response. You see, after I wrote all this I knew exactly how it would turn out. I feel so uncomfortable with the whole idea. It is so narrow-minded in my opinion. But if you say that, you get accused of being a man and not understanding. I didn't really meant it serious, my last sentence, about being a man and so on. It's just what it often leads to. But I say again, I'm just not the right person to talk about this. Of course if I see something in the discussion that catches my mind I won't refuse it, but to be honest, the last dozens times this topic was discussed here, I did not here something new. But I'm open-minded for everything.


can you still talk, in the dawn of dying? :) Sorry, couldn't stop myself. I just agree with what you said. One close friend of mine read the book and told me: "I thought about all this before." And I thought "Wow, what next?". And he said "I think science will solve all this." Damn, how he must have thought about all this.


just wholeheartly (can you say that?) agreement.


just another thing. You thing people will not just walk away. How do you come to believe people will just stand up for what they believe? Where is the difference? I said it before, this is not about that I disagree with your idea. It's that you seem to think it is the infamous one right way.

Debbie #14752
, NJ USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 11:20:30 CST (GMT -6:00)

Ameno said,

"Ask a Leaver if they are willing to give their life, or at least risk it, so that their children and their children's children can have a world worth living in, and there will be no question in their mind."

Of course a leaver would give his or her life to DEFEND their lifestyle if necessary. But we're not here to defend anything. We are a lost people; we don't have anything to defend. We're here to CREATE. What good is dying if you haven't even gotten around to creating a new lifestyle? The last thing we need is martyrs.

I agree with Verevolf that this revolution is not about being brave and selfless and valiant in fighting the Great Satan. It's about getting for ourselves what we want, what we NEED, as human beings. Of course this is selfish at heart, but the only way for any vision to spread is for those who adopt it to benefit from it. This isn't about what we sacrifice, it's about what we gain.

As for your hypothetical question, it's completely irrelevant. There's just no way any situation like that could ever come up, so what's the point?

Sara #14751
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 11:16:58 CST (GMT -6:00)

ameno -- i don't really see what dying for our cause would do. True, martyrs always make a cause more visible, but there are plenty of causes that don't have many visible martyrs that have done fine. neither women's lib nor gay rights had any specific, named marter, and those, in my opinion, have been the most successful "causes" of the past century or so. However, compare that to racial rights, where you have people dying for their cause right and left, there's a martyr for every day of the week. We haven't come nearly as far when it comes to race as we have gender issues. even though, ironically, there is far less biological difference between 2 people of different races but the same sex than there is of 2 people of the same race but different sexes. So i don't think you can say "people willing to die for their cause is the answer."

besides, if we all go off and die for our cause, who will be left behind to spread the word?

however, i do agree that it's probably time to start making some noise. however, i don't think noise necessarily has to be bloody. i just think we need to take ishmael from the fringes into the mainstream, most likely by using the media for our own ends, working within the system. this worked for the women's and gay rights movements. why can't it work for us?

about feminism, again -- i am in no way saying that the lives of women are 100% peachy. i think there's a lot more room for growth, especially in the issues of medical treatment, child care, child support, family vs. the workplace, etc. i mentioned that things weren't totally finished like 3 times when i was writing about my attitudes toward feminism.

HOWEVER, i think there are so many more important things to do, so many causes that are more of a priority. and starting more feminist programs is going to do absolutely nothing.

our attitudes toward stay at home moms aren't going to change with government stipends and subsidized child care. in fact, when you look at the way single moms on welfare are viewed in our culture, it'll probably make things worse. the only way to change anything is to change minds first. the attitudes toward stay at home moms and "home keeping" (as martha stewart calls it) are already changing away from the 80's ideal of "if you don't have a career, you can't call yourself a complete person."

what i'm saying is that it's the way we look at childrearing that needs to change, not the government's economic response. we need to view making a living and caring for a home and kids as equal to a career, rather than seeing the career as more important because it "brings in the bacon." because, you know, you can bring in all the bacon you want, but if there's no one there to cook it and put it on the plate with lots of other good things, and talk to you while you eat it, and cut it up into little bits for the baby, what's the point? our culture puts a huge emphasis on career because it gets you the money you need to unlock a little food and shelter for yourself. but it ignores childrearing and housekeeping because they don't facilitate that in a direct way. when we unlock the food, this will dissapear. whereas if we spend a lot of time making noise about government subsidies for this and that, it won't accomplish much at all, except more taxes and beaurocracy, and probably even more of a stigma towards stay-at-home moms.

about warfare, patriarchy, and the leaver/taker question --

i don't think you can say that violence started with takers. it just exploded with them. pre-taker, anytime 2 leaver societies were competing for the same territory, or if one leaver society was a bit overpopulated and started spilling into someone else's territory, there was war. of course, this didn't happen nearly as often as it does in modern culture. and now we don't go to war for the same reasons we used to. but the point is that conflict and war did exist before the totalitarian agricultural system came about. and beyond that, people aren't always nice. i'm sure there was fighting sometimes among overly stubborn or competitive people. it just didn't go far, because it wasn't in your interest to kill, rape, or rob from people who you depended on for food. and in bands, everyone was interdependent. they worked as teams. of course, people had connections to other bands, so probably, if you had a problem with someone in a different band, and you were a violent, greedy, stubborn son of a bitch, theoretically you might use violence. which could, theoretically, start a war if conditions were right. so i think its a bit of noble-savagism to suggest that leavers lived in peace all the time, never raised a hand to another man, woman, or child, etc. because violence certainly didn't come out of nowhere. if it wasn't in humanity's repetoire, the first takers would never have thought to use it.

GrammySammy #14750
, AZ USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 11:12:52 CST (GMT -6:00)

Old person checking in;-)

Ameno--a few day's worth of posts isn't indicative of the community. Even among those who "get it" there will be millions of ways to go about "living it." Strength is often undramatic--something that manifests itself in one's daily life. Among the many people I've exposed to Ishmael, ages 18-85, both genders, readers have reacted with everything from "YES!" to outright hostility. Lots of indifference as well. People I thought would love it, didn't get it at all. Unexpected others took to it as if they had always thought this way.

Cheers all! Sam

Brian #14749
, -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 10:56:29 CST (GMT -6:00)

I think much like there is no ONE right way to live, the is no ONE right way to try and affect change in your surroundings.

Some ways may seem more effective to people because they yield more immediate 'results', but to others these methods may justifiably seem to costly.

I would think it's accepted that one of the most basic and fundamental human instincts is self-preservation. To fault people for being unwilling to sacrifice their lives is like faulting people for wanting to eat, sleep, or procreate.

To belittle or degrade the efforts of others who wish only to create the same world you do, only by different methods, is counter-productive.

Already I see the parallels between this and different factions of a religious group quabbling over the furniture in their temples. Fruitless.

The sharing of ideas, the challenging of ideas, and the discussion of ideas is helpful.

The belief that ONLY your ideas will work is foolish, and the exact mindset we are trying to overcome.

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