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  Ishmael Community Guestbook

Ishmael Community Guestbook

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Amy Smith    #15670
Omaha    NE USA     Posted: Monday, October 20, 2008 at 17:57:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

My fifteen year old son "happened" upon Ishmael in school and decided to read it. Within 24 hours we were both hooked. I think we both had to go through multiple stages of "loss" before we could have a dialogue that didn't inevitably end in just a heavy sigh. We've read the trilogy...Ishmael, The Story of B and My Ishmael and Providence and Beyond Civilization. We both are spreading the word to family and friends, albeit, slowly and surely.

I am struggling with developing a new vision for myself and influencing those that I love to join in the journey. As a parent, it is heart wrenching to see the trappings of Mother Culture, want to change course, and have the added reliance of others for emotional and financial support.

It is absolutely astonishing to see the world through Tribal Revolution lens and than lens helps me re-prioritize what is worth the effort for the future. My Mother once told me that when you hear the truth, you know it. The ideas make so much sense, you do not have to argue morality or motivation, you can spend your energy giving support/getting support.

The priority and focus that I've gleaned from the series of books is the importance of relationships. Relationships are the foundation of passing on our story, nurturing our children, loving our spouses and respecting our elders. Relationships whether conflicting or diverse, bring about new vision. Relationships that are loving and nurturing bring never ending hope.

The series of books has also helped gel my thoughts and put better context around underlying emotional discomforts that I now can communicate with more confidence and vigor in building those relationships with ever increasing significance.

As an extension of the quote/reference from Ishmael about the books read before and the books read after...I would say, "There was my local and universal view before Ishmael and my forever changed view afterward.

It's nice to know progressive thought can come from anywhere, even Omaha, NE.

t.l.bailey    #15669
Omaha    NE USA     Posted: Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 22:47:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

I see that it is hard to actually get to DQ. I would love to be able to just talk with you like they did in little bohemia. instantly you were one of the few people I needed to meet. another I will be meeting soon. best wishes to you B. I hate the walls around you. B.

t.l.bailey    #15668
Omaha    NE USA     Posted: Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 22:2:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

when i was an undergraduate someone gave me ishmael to read. the book blew me away. functioning was difficult after reading it. then that year I also got to hear mr. quinn speak at kent state. one of the people in our group, a friend of my friends, had many questions: feasability, work within the present system, etc. I lost ishmael, but many years later I was in a library book sale and picked up the story of b. i've worked my way through that, tried to start a different book, but had to come back and reread b. i think when the friend of a friend was asking his questions i just wanted to know how. not in the programs, but in the vision. now i can see that i hope to be b in the world. i would shout that i am b.

Brigitte    #15667
Vienna    Austria     Posted: Friday, October 17, 2008 at 15:0:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Thanks, Mike, that's exactly what I meant. Or Quinnesque, whatever people want to call it. I still would opt for the "-ean" instead of everybody's "-ian", though. Don't ask me why, I don't know.

What's important to me, though, is the fact that someone who is NOT drunk re the superiority of humans on this planet, like most people are, has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Which is primarily awarded for supreme penmanship, of course, but the committee has always also sent out a message re content. Which is a reassuring message this time, as far as I am concerned. Whoever has been picked to be on the Swedish Nobel Prize Committee for literature is by definition no moron, after all, as you can imagine.

And if some people here don't get the fact that this is great news for us, well, then that's the way it is.

Mike    #15666
   USA     Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 10:26:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

It is very common when discussing cultural or philosophical matters to use a thinker's name to stand for a set of ideas. It's not to suggest ownership, but similarity and thinking along similar lines. For example, there are aspects of Nietzche, Darwin, and Freud that could be called Schopenhauerian, but that doesn't mean Schopenhauer owns or himself encapsulated the work of these later thinkers. And, although it's pretty certain those later thinkers were exposed to Schopenhauer, it wouldn't be wrong to use the label even if they hadn't been. The French Nobel winner may not have read Quinn, but it makes perfect sense to refer to him as Quinnian on the Ishmael Guestbook in order to describe him to readers of DQ's so that we know he has a similar outlook.

john kurmann    #15664
Kansas City    MO USA     Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 8:4:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Didn't you say you were never coming back here, dlundy? If only it had been true.

I don't know what your beef with Quinn is, but he's not the one who said that, Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, the French Nobel Peace Prize for Literature winner, was Quinnian, it was Brigitte. If you do a search of this site, you will find 34 results for "Quinnian," only one in which Quinn used the term himself--and that was in reference to a single specific point, not the whole spectrum of ideas he explores in his books. In fact, the great majority of the 34 uses are mine--28 of them--and 27 of those were references to the free pamphlets of Quinn's speeches Lance Pierce and I created--"Quinnian" speeches.

In other words, neither Quinn nor others posters to this Guestbook are trying to "attach [his] name to truth as if [he] own[s] it."

dlundy    #15663
pdx    USA     Posted: Monday, October 13, 2008 at 10:51:0 CST (GMT -6:00)


There you go! Id say that Daniele is Eislerian by way of referring to a far more influential and comprehensive worker in social change. Riane Eisler...Her work the Chalice and the Blade uncovers the issues of culture and mindset, myth, if you will that so motivates all behavior.

A wonderful linguist George Lakhoff who studied under chomsky just identified contrastiny mytical elements that so deeply separate the liberal and conervative pollitical views, the dangerous world-strong father myth, and the safe world-nuturing parent myth, one emphasizing development and peace and the other war and protection...

One myth produces tyrants and facists and evil demon enemies who are sub human, (sound familar) and the other is accused of indulgence when it only prioritizes the value of all living energy, animal vegetable and per the wonderful Abram interview with Jensen.

As long as this undestanding is presented as "Quinnan" its limited, partisan and factionalized. When its not even presented, but jsut seen and lived out, then it becomes real. The more we talk, the less we do, until ultimately were ready for pollitics...just another "Ism" with its own special interests as opposed to a message that speaks for itself...WHATEVER VOICE HAPPENS TO BE TALKING AT THE TIME.

Obama says this is not about him, christ said when they called him "good master" why do you call me "good" there is only one good...Its not about anyone and if it is, its crap. Thats why the Buddha would slap people for revering him instead of finding him in everything...

Change is entirely in charge of itself, if we get to see just a bit of it and add, good deal. DQ or Jensen or Abram nor anyone but change itself is its source, origin or author. Cmon...

This is 90% of the complaint about the DQ following. Ask around. Thom Hartmann by the way has totally moved into the pollitical arena after doing his spiritual/cultural studies and is a great voice of change widely recieved and shared.

Much of this work of change has found a channel through dog studies which also go back to the origins of culture and civilization. Human bonding and attachment behavior as studied by Jon Katz and experienced and shared about by people changed by their bond with dogs- just as animals play a large role in Jensens work..The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is almost like Fight club on some levels and a Cain-Abel myth with a prophetic dimension to it thats tremendously powerful..

Is it Quinnian? God forbid someone attach their name to truth as if they own it. Leonard cohen is "prophetic," no that doesnt make him "Quinnian"...see you in six months.

Brigitte    #15662
Vienna    Austria     Posted: Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 17:6:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2008 was awarded to Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio last week.

A Quinnean writer, actually, although I didn't know him or of him either before.

He doesn't believe that humans are the apex of creation, he sees humans as just one part of the circle of life on this planet. And that's what his oeuvre is all about.

He probably never was translated into English in the first place, I would imagine. No other culture in the world reads as few books from other cultures as do Anglo-Saxons, after all.

Here's the - at the beginning a little clumsy, I find - official interview with a representative of the Swedish Nobel Prize Committee to explain why the guy got the award. And this is where people like us realize that this year's winner actually is one of us.

Nathan    #15661
Edmonton    AB Canada     Posted: Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 10:57:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

I also enjoyed the Jensen-Abram interview immensely. There are some remarkable insights there. Interesting perspective on the Copernican Revolution ... I'm not sure I completely agree, because sensory perceptions are not necessarily accurate, and theoretical frameworks can actually change sensory experiences, they don't necessarily deny them ... is it possible that we can change our sensory experience so that we actually feel the earth rotating and revolving? The back and forth between Jensen and Abram over whether we are wise enough to have technology and literacy was amusing.

I've plugged this stuff here before too, but here it is: Abram talks about how civilization was part of what separated us from an animistic experience of the world, but that writing and the alphabet also played a role. Daniel Quinn explores the civilization factor in some depth. The Organelle Essays ( explore in some depth how writing and representational cognition in general separated us from direct contact with our own natures, identities, abilities and potentials. Also how letters are actually living beings and how we can rehabilitate our relation with language. I'd be interested to see what you think of Organelle, Scott, since David Abram seems to be onto something similar.

For anyone who is interested in sound and detailed intellectual opposition to scientific rationalism and related ideologies, I recommend any book by the philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend.

destry    #15659
phoenix    AZ USA     Posted: Friday, October 3, 2008 at 13:15:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Scott: Thanks for the link to the Jensen-Abram interview -- repetitive plugging has its place. I thought of Quinn when Abram explained how "...our ways of speaking, and our ways of living, perpetuate this odd notion that we stand outside of the world, apart from the world, looking at it, pondering it as if from some distant vantage point." The lesson i derive is this. Be careful just how much you identify personally as a "Martian Anthropologist" --- or a Martian anything.

Linnea: I read your comment out loud to my family here in my mom's living room. Kareesa and Mom have at times been quite Quinn-resistant, often finding themselves the recipients of unsolicited advice about how to view the world. But your piece they accepted with open arms, which tells me not only that i've learned to present new views in better ways, but that the piece was good.

I should, however, correct myself. Unsolicited advice is basically judgement, and i wasn't trying to judge them. Well, maybe just a little. Mostly, I was trying to reinforce the lessons I had learned --- to nail them down deeper for myself by "teaching" them to others. But people being people, they hear what they're ready to hear, by definition. They hear it a lot better than what YOU'RE ready for them to hear. And, oddly, as it turns out the people we're supposedly trying to reach don't enjoy being used as test fodder for the teeth of our fancy new perceptions nearly so much as they enjoy hearing a story --- thanks for telling it.

destry    #15658
phoenix    az USA     Posted: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 18:39:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Interesting. Honestly (but not all that seriously) entertained the thought that maybe this sight was pulling the old Ishy Dissapearing Act. You know, "By, by, and... move on with your life. I'm just going to leave now and expect you to get the message implied by me having left none: sever all dependency upon me and go spread forth what you now know."


The movie "MindWalk" came out in 1990 spouting such lines as the following dialogue between the main two characters, looking up at Mont St. Michel in France:

"How did we wind up here? I'll bet there's some secret plan of yours behind all this."

"Well, I bet I could say the same thing about you. No, I just thought you might like to come here to discover that precious quality that the world so desperately lacks..."

"Ahh, yeah. Vision."

"Perspective. Perspective, Jack."

Quinn says, in his recommendation for it on "DQ's book list," that THE FIFTH DISCIPLINE is the only book of its kind, presumably in being "an introduction to systems thinking." I have not read THE TURNING POINT, the book upon which "MindWalk" is based, but the movie at least certainly seems to me an introduction to systems thinking.

Like Quinn in "The New Renaissance," the main characters in "MindWalk" are often able, with stunning insight, to put themselves in the mindset of people from hundreds of years ago, who thought of the world in some profoundly different ways than we do today.

Even more illucidating, as Quinn points out about both the mindset of the Renaissance AND the middle ages, are not so much the differences, but the similarities. The old Cartesian mechanistic view that sees the world as a ticking clock, the authors of "MindWalk" explain, prevades our vision to this day. We still treat our minds, bodies, personalities, relationships, and the world itself, as a collection of parts.

Holistic medicine says "Treat the whole patient and not just the symptoms." Systems thinking says "IN GENERAL, look at whole systems, and systems of systems, and never just single parts in isolation. For every time you fail to do this you fail to notice THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS about parts of a system, which are not the intrinsic qualities of the parts themselves but HOW THEY INTERACT WITH OTHER PARTS and what place they take in the whole."

I just popped the old flick back in the VCR after many years, feeling lucky i have a mom who, despite having culled many literal tons of former valuables from her recently sold house, knew to keep our copy of "MindWalk."

One of the first lines, helping motivate me to hop up and come blathering to you, comes from an unimportant character who says, by my way of explaining, that we shouldn't think of death as distinct from life, but understand death to be a PART of life. Simple. Yet profound. To me. And way systemic thinking. Like the People of the Deer and the Fire of Life and all that.

So anyway, that's officially up there on the Destry Recommends. List. My friend Sarah pointed out to me the other day how much she sees things reaching what she called a "turning point" in our society as a whole. I looked at her, brimming with an addendum --- or bursting with an excited interruption, if you will --- and she held me off with "I know, you like the book THE TIPPING POINT."

This shut me down in the best of ways, me having forgotten that I'd mentioned it to her, probably like five times, and Sarah HATING to be interrupted (and being very bad at interrupting people herself --- a quality which forces a bloke like myself to actually shut up and listen every now and then....that is IF i actually want to learn anything about her). But it also reminded me: The Tipping Point and The Turning Point kind of sound like the same fucking thing.

And speaking of mechanistic thinking, charging OURSELVES with the "repair" of the earth is a lot like Johnny-5 asking Stephany to "reassemble" the grasshopper he's just smooshed.

"Noooooooo disassemble Johnny-5!"

Remember Humpty-Dumpty?

Brigitte    #15657
Vienna    Austria     Posted: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 12:31:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

I found this an interesting comparison: What happens when a western civilisation like the US collapses and what did happen when the USSR collapsed. And who is/was better prepared.

Sam    #15651
   USA     Posted: Thursday, September 25, 2008 at 5:12:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Hi All--I'm going on a trip and will only be near my computer mornings and evenings. Don't despair if your post takes a while to make it to the GB.

Cheers! Sam

Linnea Flores    #15650
Flower Mound    TX USA     Posted: Wednesday, September 24, 2008 at 21:1:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Reading Ishmael and My Ishmael has changed my life so significantly. The biggest change came when sitting in BCIS (computer class). I am a senior in high school and naturally thrive on arguments, but as I sat reading the last few chapters of My Ishmael in the most boring and usless class ever, I experienced a mind opening change so huge, so life changing that I felt as though everyone could see the change that I felt. Like maybe, I even looked different. With a racing mind and an overwhelming need to talk to someone, ANYONE who would understand, I rushed home to speak to my best friend who has himself read the first book as well. His friend was also there and together we had a two hour discussion on the thoughts and ideas of the book. Although his friend had not read the book, he could still identify with the subject, being one he a pondered numerous times himself. He is now reading the book and is sharing the very same life changing, overwhelming, crazy feeling like something MUST be done. Together we are trying to bring a new open mind to as many people as we can. The point to my story is this; when one learns something and doesn't apply that knowledge to his or her life in short time, memory will fade. When the reason you once felt hope and faith is not frequently looked to, that hope and faith will slowly become lost. It is easy to believe that although we feel trapped, although we know that we NEED a change, it will never happen. Either because not everyone will buy in or because initally not everyone will even give it a chance; we still HAVE to try. Giving up is no different from pusing our civilization towards extinction with our own bare hands. We cannot let these lessons leave us unchanged. If we all remain passionate, and everyone holds faith in their own 'earnest desire to save the world' a change can and will be made. Remember, WE are the teachers now.

Sam    #15649
   USA     Posted: Wednesday, September 24, 2008 at 17:31:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

The Quinns have electricity now, so things are back to normal. Thanks to those of you who asked me how they were doing. Sam

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