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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

Questions and More Questions...

    Your request found 170 questions.
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  • The Question (ID Number 481): I hope to make the issues of your work apparent to others but admit to a sense of hopelessness in this task. The rich, because they gain from the System, and the poor, because they feel trapped by it, will block any attempt at change. We know that the current trend can only end in social collapse. Ideally, we would prevent the collapse, but I don't see how. Do you? We have the beginning and the end of a story: The problems our society has now, and some outline of what we would like to see. What is missing is the middle chapters: the method of getting the masses, both rich and poor, to break the system they have benefitted from and been trapped by. Because this middle part is missing, I'm beginning to lose faith in a happy ending. I feel as though there is a very simple path, just beyond perception, that is always just a couple of steps away. I can't see it but feel that it is there, and the more I read about where the path leads, the more frustrating it gets that we don't know in which direction to tread.



  • The Question (ID Number 478): A recent news story I read online describes lions and hyenas "waging war" on each other in Ethiopia. Doesn't this explode your "law of limited competition"?



  • The Question (ID Number 474): I am a Junior majoring in History and was assigned Ishmael as reading for my geology class. It is one of the most amazing books I have ever read. I too, feel the exact same way about what we are doing to the planet. However, i feel totally overwhelmed at the task of doing something about it, especially in the US, where it's almost trendy to convert the earth into a playground for the rich and affluent, and screw anyone or anything else that gets in its way. . . . I don't think joining Greenpeace or EarthFirst! is doing enough, do you? Who or what can you get involved with that will make people listen?????? Or maybe I'm not getting the point of Ishmael after all. I don't know. Just the same, things need to change. But how?



  • The Question (ID Number 470): In PROVIDENCE you mentioned the existence of prophetic dreams throughout your life. Do you consider yourself a modern-day prophet? If not, what do you consider yourself?


  • The Question (ID Number 465): In the Story of B, the way you have described animism struck me as being similar to the way I have heard modern forms of pantheism defined. Are there any similarities between them in your mind, other than them both being worldviews, or attitudes that find the sacred in the nature?


  • The Question (ID Number 463): While I think you point out some legitimate examples from history of people "walking away," you also acknowledge that the "jungle option" no longer exists. If history is any indication, people do not act to change circumstances in civilized societies until those circumstances have become intolerable. I fear your books amount to shouting for the driver to hit the brakes after the car has go off the cliff.


  • The Question (ID Number 461): I want to find my way, but I don't believe that I will. I feel very much like your Jeffrey (except, thank god, for the self-destruction). I read a story once where someone used the analogy of a compass to describe a person. That's how I feel, like a compass with the needle spinning in circles. Except there is no north for me.


  • The Question (ID Number 459): I was wondering why in your telling of the Adam and Eve story, you left out the serpent, the creature the teller of the story condemns to a life on its belly. Could it be that the serpent stands for Adam's worst instincts and that the crawling on the belly part means that after the fall, man is condemned to lead a life without grace?


  • The Question (ID Number 449): In My Ishmael, are you proposing "unlocking" the food, and if so, what do you see the economical ramifications of this to be?


  • The Question (ID Number 438): What if you used your influence to encourage, arrange, or even supervise an experimental community which tries to live independently, in harmony with nature?


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