Ishmael

On page 192 of My Ishmael you say “This is how you must differ from revolutionaries of the past, who simply wanted different people to be running things. You can’t solve your problems by putting someone new in charge.”

This is a theme you’ve echoed repeatedly, and undoubtedly it is impossible for anyone to take office in this structure and save the world within it.

My question is, do you not agree that it is important, however, to try to get someone in office who is at least PERMISSIVE of letting us make the necessary changes, or as permissive as possible.

I feel that nobody will ever come into office and set into motion policies that will save the world. But, there are many who will come into office and set into motion policies that greatly inhibit the ability of others to do so.

Do you agree with this concept of at least minimizing the force with which government prevents us from walking away, even if it will never assist us in that process?

Recently someone asked me to clarify for them the meaning behind the sun and olive branch featured on the cover of Ishmael. What do you (all of you) think it means?

Here’s the best I could do: “I’m not entirely sure what the olive branch and sun are supposed to symbolize. My best guess is that they represent the most basic elements that nourish life on Earth. The sun, through photosynthesis, nourishes plants. Plants—primary producers—in turn, nourish the entire community of life from insects to humans.

I think the point is that all living things depend on one another. That is what makes the Community of Life a COMMUNITY. Everyone’s (and everthing’s) fate is intertwined.”

I am around kids who will soon be ready to hear the things that you’ve written about in your books. I am also in college preparing to teach middle and high schoolers.

What I’m wondering is whether it’s a good thing for young people to actually have their worldview changed to one that is so diametrically opposed to those around them. Is the alienation I’d be giving them something that would make their lives less satisfying? Is the worldview I’m giving them one that would make their lives miserable?

I agree 100% with the things you say in your books, but I wonder if sharing those ideas will do more harm than good for the individuals that take them in. For instance, when I held the traditional American view of life and the Judeo-Christian spiritual outlook I was on a path that I felt was very clear and I may have been happy to go along that path. But I had that mysterious feeling that something was off and Ishmael answered where that came from.

But since reading Ishmael, I have no enthusiasm for our culture, for its traditions, for America, for education, for “success.” I’m afraid that if I share my new way of looking at things, it will take away others’ enthusiasm for such things. While I was happy to gain other goals from reading your books, I feel it’s unlikely that any of those will be accomplished.

So what’s “better” for the kids—letting them keep their mainstream goals or giving them a new vision with other goals altogether, but that will likely never be met and may lead to lives of desperation as they look at reality?

I’ve read all your books, and I think they are amazing pieces of work! Your books have changed how I see the world. As a result they have changed how I live my life and what I value. I have a problem though.

My family doesn’t think what I’m doing with my life is a good idea. They think I’ve bought into something that I will forever regret! In fact I think they may even think I need to be saved from this “Ishmael type thinking,” which I know isn’t true.

But I’m still pissed off about it, because family is pretty important to me. Here are some of the things I’ve heard:

1.You and your ideas may be a conspiracy to give us poor people false hope while the Jews steal from us.

2.Quinn is a Jewish name, therefore you are a Jew and you are in cahoots with the Jewish power who controls the worlds wealth.

3.Ishmael was a Jew in the bible, and of course the bible is the Jews’ handbook. So the character you used also leads to the conspiracy of you trying to keep us gentiles brainwashed.

4.You got rich off your books, us poor people still have to make a living.

Those are all I can think of off hand. The reason why I’m writing this to you is because with the knowledge you have, I’m hoping you can challenge these bullshit myths. Or you can point me in the right direction so I can put these myths to rest. If you have time, it would be great to here your thoughts on this.