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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 746)...

    Though I certainly enjoyed After Dachau, The Man Who Grew Young, and The Holy, I miss reading new insights from you every once in a while about saving the world. Your last book directly addressing that subject, Beyond Civilization, was published about five years ago. The most recent of your speeches posted to this site is from about 2 1/2 years ago. All of the books you've announced were in the publication pipeline before the Context Books bankruptcy contained writing that had been published in some other form before. Do you think you will have anything new to say about saving the world in the future, either in a book or shorter format?

    ...and the response:

    I'm afraid I'm not cut from the same cloth as a Wayne Dyer or Deepak Chopra, who manage to reiterate their messages in new books every year. It is my temperament to say what I have to say, and then to shut up till I have something else to say--and you can't reasonably expect me to say that I will have something "new to say about saving the world" in the next six months or twelve months or eighteen months. If I do, I will, and if I don't, I won't. (Nevertheless I HAVE produced a book subsequent to the ones you mention: If They Give You Lined Paper, Write Sideways addresses a question I've been struggling to answer ever since Ishmael appeared: How do I do what I do?) There comes a point in many thinkers' lives when they've said what they have to say, and (at least for the moment) it seems to me that I've reached that point. Though he lived to be 89, Ralph Waldo Emerson's last work of importance, The Conduct of Life, was published when he was 67. Though he lived to be 65, David Hume wrote nothing of importance after age 50.


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