The Ishmael Guestbook Archives: 1-15 March 1997


I read Ishmael for my biology class (ninth grade). Of all the books my teachers have ever asked me to read, this one was just about the best. Perhaps actually reading Ishmael did not make the greatest impression on me. It was thinking about the ideas a nd then discussing them with others in my class and elsewhere. It helped me begin to form some of my own ideas about saving the earth. Thanks Ishmael
Liz Kaplan <BttlKap14@aol.com>
Newton, MA USA - Saturday, March 15, 1997 at 18:58:23 (PST)
"Ishmael has really made me contemplate the meaning of life. I hope to strive to make mine a better one, and to soon become a leaver.
Rich Reynolds <tripler5@juno.com>
Basalt , CO USA - Saturday, March 15, 1997 at 15:58:40 (PST)
I was reccomended Ismael by one of my co-workers while discussing a book to do a research paper in my Communication in Religion course at U.G.A. I just finished it and loved it. I really thought that it was a unique perspective on Genesis and am look ing forward to writing my paper this week. If you are interested, perhaps I could send you a copy when I am finished. Jon Housknecht(Speech Communication major)
Jon Housknecht <jonhous@arches.uga.edu>
Athens, GA USA - Friday, March 14, 1997 at 08:38:01 (PST)
Three of us have come together and are beginning work.
Anna Eizenija Bokaldere <eizenija@bahnhof.se>
Stockholm, Sweden - Friday, March 14, 1997 at 02:18:45 (PST)
Ishmael has certainly given me a new way to not only view my surroundings, but also myself.
Michael P. <Versus@Juno.com>
Atlanta, GA USA - Thursday, March 13, 1997 at 17:54:34 (PST)
I found both Ishmael and The Story of B to be engrossing and enlightening. For those of you who wonder what you can do, check out Permaculture. The notion of creating food forests and perennial gardens that are in tune with the laws of nature, is an exciting proactive step. Permaculture was started by an Australian, Bill Mollison, and has become a world-wide phenomenon. The country of Vietnam has adopted Permaculture as its national form of agriculture! We could do well in this country to follow t heir lead.
Cindy Nelson <cindyn@mills.edu>
Oakland, CA USA - Thursday, March 13, 1997 at 13:17:18 (PST)
First thing I want to say is the person below,Damaja or whatever, is not me, even though he/she used my e-mail address... anyway, Ishmael IS a revolutionary book, but guns and money won't win you a revolution, or at least won't gain you a new vision.. . Its been tried many times with the obvious consequences... We must first change minds, and that is going to be the most difficult task, more difficult than winning any military style war.. BUT it is possible, because it happened here 10,000 or so years ago.. Minds were changed...and we are the result... So arm your self with the message, YOUR message, and spread it like a virus..... Ha Ha JOSH!!! .... reply if ya want anybody, and please check out the "b" website... Lots of great Ideas there too!!!
Kurt Finguerra <kfingu01@sprynet.com>
Bend, Or USA - Wednesday, March 12, 1997 at 23:07:58 (PST)
Ishmael changed the way I view the world. Daniel Quinn perfectly illustrates the flaws of modern society through the teachings of Ishmael. Honestly, I would not have picked the book up and read it on my own. I was required to read it for a course that I was taking at Thiel College. I have read many other books in my relatively short existance, but none compare to Ishmael. Quinn captures the reader from the first paragraph on. I read the book in one day. I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! I am glad that I had been forced to read this book. The only thing that was actually forced was the intialization of picking up the book. From that point on, I was reading the book for my own personal gain. I have never read a book that even compares to the power expressed by Daniel Quinn in Ishmael!
Matthew R. Thiry <mrt@infonline.net>
Sharpsville, PA USA - Wednesday, March 12, 1997 at 18:10:38 (PST)
I recently was given the opportunity to read Ishmael, for my Psychology class. My first reaction to the brief highlights I was given of the book, were very shaky. I think the reason for this was that what I was about to read might change me, and that was frightening. I now look back on that person as scared, for I feel that I am now a new individual. I have a 100% different outlook on life. I hope to get many people to read this, so that maybe we can join together to make a little bit of differenc e, so that then eventually we all can come together to make a HUGE difference in society.
Rachel Reynolds <tripler5@juno.com>
Basalt, CO USA - Tuesday, March 11, 1997 at 21:38:51 (PST)
This book helped me bring into words what I was thinking and trying to say. It's really amazing to find so many people who feel the same.
George coss <www.georgecoss1@hotmail.com>
Dearborn, mi USA - Tuesday, March 11, 1997 at 06:05:40 (PST)
I found Ishmael and the Story of B to be excellent reads. I still feel however largely pessimistic and do not feel that much is going to be accomplished. I know that thinking negatively does not help but hinders, but particularly with the new scienti fic "advance" providing humans with the ability to clone not only other creatures but humans too. This does not give me much reassurance.
chad Rosenthal <chadr1@juno.com>
Kings Park, NY USA - Sunday, March 09, 1997 at 22:32:17 (PST)
This book really opened my eyes to lot of concepts about our planet and culture that I had never even dreamed about.
Stephen Britt <S Man Yoda@AOL.com>
Corpus Christi, TX USA - Sunday, March 09, 1997 at 18:35:20 (PST)
After reading Ishmael, I can think of no better way to express my feelings than this: Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell? It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds of the air. Destruction and Death say, 'Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.' God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells, for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters, when he made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm, then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it. And he said to man, 'The fear of the Lord--that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.' Job 28:20-28
Debbie Leech <debbieleech@sprintmail.com>
Waukesha, WI USA - Sunday, March 09, 1997 at 14:11:41 (PST)
I am one of a group of people who regularly discuss the book Ishmael via e-mail. We are trying to develop workable ideas for changing our culture. If anyone is interested in joining in with our discussion, please e-mail me.
John Austin <baltasar@aol.com>
Worcester, MA USA - Sunday, March 09, 1997 at 14:04:01 (PST)
Wow! Ishmael was a wonderful and thought provoking book. It really made me think about life in general in a totally new and different way. At first I was frustrated with how the book was not clear-cut an after finishing I realized how much the effect of the book would have lost if it had been. I think that everybody should read Ishmael, and take it seriously!!!
a ninth grade Biology student
Newton, MA USA - Sunday, March 09, 1997 at 13:49:22 (PST)
Perhaps the most illuminative, insightful, and intelligent book that I have ever read.
Jeremy Suhr <tolucajim@aol.com>
Lincoln, NE USA - Sunday, March 09, 1997 at 11:20:30 (PST)
I was introduced to the book through a teacher at my school. After consuming the book quickly over the span of two days, I began to think more about the issues and theories raised in the book. I enjoyed it very much and am looking forward to peeking ar ound this web site. I will get back in touch as questions arise...
Steven Kundert <SinglTRX@aol.com>
Arlington Heights, IL USA - Friday, March 07, 1997 at 08:34:09 (PST)
As a Marriage and Family Therapist I encounter daily the anger, anxiety, and frustration, and sadness that most people carry just under the pretense of happiness or the business of their lives. More often than not they cannot find words, cannot name t he real place from which these feelings come. There is a feeling of loss, of grief and Ishmael, I believe, articulates a deep place from which those cries originate. We blame our parents, our spouses, our gods, because we cannot see the "water in which we swim," a cultural message of isolation and destruction. I was also struck with the knowledge that religion perpetuates this destruction by elevating man above the laws. And finally, being raised Catholic I could never understand the fall of Adam, the rejection Cain's offerings, or who existed to shun Cain fol lowing his slaying of Able. Like tumblers clicking into place I got it, the story written by the enemies of the takers. "What to do?" is the obvious question. I have concluded that "Think" would be Ishamel's answer. I will look about me for how I can no t just pass along the message but act to preserve what still exists while exposing the cultural myth for the fraud that it is. Thanks for sending the message through and I look forward to more contact with those who would save the world.
Matt Parvis <parclair@bellsouth.net>
Roswell, GA USA - Friday, March 07, 1997 at 07:07:47 (PST)
What a masterpiece. This book ranks right up there with "The Celestine Prophecy". I have written a poem to compliment this wonderful novel: "Life as We Know It" A child. Sheer innocence. Sheer love and joy. Born without hate or fear. Born with dreams and grace. His thin, hungry mother. Showing joy if only for this moment. As the time passes.. Season's change.. The child falls and stumbles now. A year has gone hence since his birth. The flies dance around his baby-soft face. His belly bulges, aches for the scraps of kings. A pain greater than all we can imagine. Physical, yes. Spiritual too. A feeling that life is pouring out of an open wound. Cut by the will of western man. The child looks round. He turns only to see his mother, face down in the sand. A new life to come after the child. Maybe a sister. Still present in her womb. The desert heat pours down on her dead body. As her child crawls over and lies on his giver of life. His mommy. Again, the child weeps. To him, this is normal. Death. As common as leftovers in America. This is all he knows. Home sweet home. Finally. The Child's lifeless body begins to return to the dust under the African sun. A new scene now. Many miles away in the distance. A normal, western family household. Gathers. Laughter. Joy. They sit around their TV. The channels fly by. A picture of a new born child, soon to be dead. Cradled in his mothers arms. Joy in her expression. The flies dance around their faces. The channel changes. Of course it looks different on my end. It's not all crowded together... Anyways , it's not one of my best.. Enjoy. Please e-mail me, I enjoy really would enjoy discussing ISHMAEL with someone.. Cya!
Craig Knox <cknox@ccinet.ab.ca>
Ft.McMurray, AB Canada - Thursday, March 06, 1997 at 15:08:24 (PST)
What a masterpiece. This book ranks right up there with "The Celestine Prophecy". I have written a poem to compliment this wonderful novel: "Life as We Know It" A child. Sheer innocence. Sheer love and joy. Born without hate or fear. Born with dreams and grace. His thin, hungry mother. Showing joy if only for this moment. As the time passes.. Season's change.. The child falls and stumbles now. A year has gone hence since his birth. The flies dance around his baby-soft face. His belly bulges, aches for the scraps of kings. A pain greater than all we can imagine. Physical, yes. Spiritual too. A feeling that life is pouring out of an open wound. Cut by the will of western man. The child looks round. He turns only to see his mother, face down in the sand. A new life to come after the child. Maybe a sister. Still present in her womb. The desert heat pours down on her dead body. As her child crawls over and lies on his giver of life. His mommy. Again, the child weeps. To him, this is normal. Death. As common as leftovers in America. This is all he knows. Home sweet home. Finally. The Child's lifeless body begins to return to the dust under the African sun. A new scene now. Many miles away in the distance. A normal, western family household. Gathers. Laughter. Joy. They sit around their TV. The channels fly by. A picture of a new born child, soon to be dead. Cradled in his mothers arms. Joy in her expression. The flies dance around their faces. The channel changes.
Craig Knox <cknox@ccinet.ab.ca>
Ft.McMurray, AB Canada - Thursday, March 06, 1997 at 15:05:20 (PST)
I am 35 years old and have been going through a mild mid-life crisis for maybe as long as 10 years now: Why are we here? Is this all there is? What should I do when I grow up? You get the picture. "Ishmael" shined a spotlight on the problem. Now the hunt is on (by all of us) for solutions...
Bill Golden <bgolden@awod.com>
Charleston, SC USA - Thursday, March 06, 1997 at 11:10:05 (PST)
it is the wake up call of man for the nineties. we should try not to hit the "snooze."
doering <->
st.louis, mo USA - Wednesday, March 05, 1997 at 07:50:04 (PST)
I read Ishmael as an assignment for my environmental science class. I have a question: I have asked several of my fellow students how they would describe a leaver and a taker. I have gotten a lot of different responses. How would you best, in maybe more basic terms what they are.
Danielle Taylor
Danville , VA USA - Wednesday, March 05, 1997 at 06:12:49 (PST)
I started reading THE STORY OF B at my son's urging. Then he suggested ISHMAEL. He thought I needed to read ISHMAEL first. Instead, I listened to the tapes. Now I'm looking at the book (portions at a time). The books have certainly changed my perspective. They resonate with something I feel important, but not well articulated within myself. Last Monday, our Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship's book discussion group read and discussed ISHMAEL. A rousing discussion. The word is being passed one, two, 100 at a time.
John K. Motsinger <ccsc@igc.org>
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Wednesday, March 05, 1997 at 05:52:59 (PST)
The book is very intriguing and raises many questions about mankind........
frankdavis <frankdavisii@kih.net>
evarts, ky USA - Tuesday, March 04, 1997 at 19:34:35 (PST)
Ishmael articulated the problem well. I for one, however, didn't need convincing. My concern is what to do about it. In this regard, I found Ishmael disappointing. I do not believe that everything that technology has to offer —this web site, for exa mple— should be chucked. Personally, I am glad that there are dentist too. I note further, that nature is, at least in part, behind the situation and dillema in which we find ourselves at the moment, and this fact should not be overlooked, and may suggest meaning. Finally, the suggestion that we just let nature take its course, is not new, but to the extent that this means we should not help the unfortunate or the weak, the suggestion is not acceptible to me, since though I admire the Neitsche and Ayn Rand, and bel ieve, that like Ishmael, they have something to contribute to the human dialog, I decided long ago that this attitude is dangerous in its naivety. Like it or not, we have eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the idea that we can go through life without making decisions is simply untenable. Whethter we like it or not, there is simply no escaping the fact that in every waking mome nt, we can, must and do make decisions that affect others in a myriad of ways. Therefore, the real question is what should we do, and the suggestion, implied by Ishmael, that we should do nothing, leaving the consequences to nature, may be realistic for a gorilla, but for a human (all too), this is, alas, not even an option.
Noel C. Ice <teleice@earthlink.net>
Fort Worth, TX USA - Tuesday, March 04, 1997 at 17:44:40 (PST)
Ishmael changed my life. I have given the book to many and most have enjoyed it. Some however are still caught up in themselves and can't see the vision.
p036123b@pb.seflin.org
Boca Raton, FlF USA - Tuesday, March 04, 1997 at 17:03:13 (PST)
Daniel Quinn: you are a Pantheist, though you might not even know it. Please check out The Pantheist Society homepage. I believe that the philosophy towards man's place in the world is the "truth". I am so encouraged that Ishmael is being used to e ducate our children. So little of what they learn is morally just. I cannot wait to read the "Story of B". Please write to me regarding Pantheism, I am a member. If more people became educated to what Pantheism is, WE COULD SAVE THE WORLD!
Jo Ann Larsen Hickman <JoGee4@aol.com>
Leonardo, NJ USA - Tuesday, March 04, 1997 at 15:18:20 (PST)
An incredibly thought-provoking book, which left me energized and frightened at the same time. Like many other readers, I had secretly hoped for the hidden answer at the end, telling me what I should do to save the world. Seems the answer is, "Pass it on". So I did, and maybe you will too. Incidentally, I am glad to hear so many have been moved by Ishmael, for nothing great is accomplished without vision and the strength to follow it.
Lori A. Johnson <Lori750@aol.com>
Allen Park, MI USA - Monday, March 03, 1997 at 22:03:19 (PST)
I was assigned to read Ishmael for a class I am taking on bioethics at Clarion University. Our professors, Dr. Smith and Dr. Bartkowski should be applauded for incorperating this extremely powerful work into our lesson plan. I would have to say that through all my years of schooling this was the best textbook I have ever invested in. Our class is currently discussing and studying many different topics, from animal research to fetal tissue transplants, and Ishmael has given me a window of thought to see it all from the clear perspective. Please encourage any and everyone to read this book and incorperate it in their teaching if possible. But, more importantly ACT on what you gain from it. It is one thing to see and acknowledge truth, it is another thing to live by it.
Rebecca
Clarion, PA USA - Monday, March 03, 1997 at 18:40:09 (PST)
I would like to get in contact with Quinn. I would appreciate ant addresses and/or e-mail addresses where I can personally write Quinn. Thanks for the help-Lara
Lara Duncan <Ange411@AOL.com>
Knoxville, TN USA - Monday, March 03, 1997 at 18:01:58 (PST)
David and I read Ishmael while on vacation in Jamaica. What an incredible journey it has been. We have had and continue to have very lively discussions about the book and are looking forward to discussing it within a book club type group. If anyone in the area is interested in joining please email me. Thanks, Helen
Helen and Dave Graffy <hgraffy@cybergate.net>
Shaker Heights, OH USA - Monday, March 03, 1997 at 10:18:58 (PST)
The more people who understand what Mr. Quinn is saying the better it will be for this planet and others we dare to touch. The potential is wide open, but each of us must do what we can, get involved, be a part of your family and your community. If we can some how work together there will be hope for gorilla, man, and all other living things.
Alan R. Willard <fringe53@volcano.net>
West Point, CA USA - Sunday, March 02, 1997 at 23:34:17 (PST)
I am 15 and in high school. Ever since I read Ishmael my whole way of looking at things has changed dramatically. I find myself in arguments with other people and my teachers all of the time. I'm trying to get everyone in my school to read Ishmael, bu t so far only about 20 people have read it. I'm not doing very much school work because I just can't see myself working all my life for mother culture and the destruction of the world.
Bobby Franco <rfranco@brigadoon.com>
Bellevue, WA USA - Sunday, March 02, 1997 at 19:23:29 (PST)
I am currently a sophomore in high school. Last May, I met a couple people who I considered to be highly respected. They seemed to know what they were talking about. These two people first introduced me to many enlightening topics. They also introduced me to the book "Ishmael". I read the book and it opened my eyes to many new directions. At first I felt as if I should thank them... but then I realized that it was not them... it was Daniel Quinn... and even more so... the perspectives he has shared thr ough Ishmael. I am now very grateful to have met these two people and to also have read Ishmael. It has changed my life.
Elyzabeth <silvermage@hotmail.com>
Gaithersburg, MD USA - Sunday, March 02, 1997 at 12:08:05 (PST)
Ever since I read Ishmael, my whole way of thinking has changed. I've grown up in the wilderness and can't stand the thought of what people everywhere are doing to the planet! And I'm not the exception. I catch myself contributing to the disaster ev eryday. It's the way we live. The worst thing is that I hear people talk about what an entertaining novel Ishmael was and they don't say one solitary word about the implications of the ideas it brings. Why can't people see that this culture of ours is a problem?
Kyle McCabe <taurlink@hotmail.com>
Kodiak, AK USA - Saturday, March 01, 1997 at 19:51:02 (PST)