Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Community of Life, Intelligence, and The Personality of Nature(?)

Some notes:

The Personality of nature is the best I can come up with for right now. I'm following a thread and I don't know quite where it is leading me. Like Jung said, personal growth is not linear but circular, so I keep coming back to this thread when I get to thinking about otherworldly subjects and the nonhuman community.

“Thought creates the thinker of the thought and that which is being thought—a dichotomy. This dichotomy divides us from intelligence. I have inherited the notion that I am the thinker of the thought. I am not going to let anyone tell me that my thoughts make me up, and that my idea of who I am is getting in the way of some great intelligence out there somewhere.” [Pg. 191, Rezendes, The Wild Within]

I think what Mr. Rezendes is getting at is there is an intelligence out there that can't be understood if the ego gets in the way. The ego is part of the psyche along with intelligence, when it is allowed to be. The problem might be that intelligence is tuned out when we concentrate so much on our ego. The ego, of course, isn't bad nor good, it just is. Perhaps we can inflate or deflate it at will and that is dependent on our awareness of it.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Lifeline Quotes and Poems

There are poems and quotes that I consider to be "lifelines." They are basically words that have at times kept my head above water. Here is one by Robert Bly.

"A clean break from the mother is crucial, but it's simply not happening. This doesn't mean that the women are doing something wrong: I think the problem is more that the older men are not really doing their job.
"The traditional way of raising sons, which lasted for thousands of years, amounted to fathers and sons living in close--murderously close--proximity, while the father taught the son a trade: perhaps farming or carpentry or blacksmithing or tailoring. As I've suggested elsewhere, the love unit most damaged by the Industrial Revolution has been the father-son bond.
"There's no sense in idealizing preindustrial culture, yet we know that today many fathers now work thirty or fifty miles from the house, and by the time they return at night the children are often in bed, and they themselves are too tired to do active fathering.
"The Industrial Revolution, in its need for office and factory workers, pulled fathers away from their sons, moreover, placed the sons in compulsory schools where the teachers are mostly women."--Robert Bly

I like it because it points to the effect the Industrial Revolution has had on men.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Last Breath

One of my favorite Rumi poems:

It's important to pay attention to the name the
Holy One has for things.
We name everything according to the number of
legs it has
But the Holy One names it according to what is
Moses had a rod. He thought its name was "staff";
But inside its name was "dragonish snake."
We thought the name "Omar" meant agitator
against priests,
But in eternity his name was "The One Who
No one knows our name until our last breath goes out.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Possesion and Privilege

"Our cultural conditioning tells us that the way we live is the way humans were meant to live from the beginning of time and that we have to hold on to this way of living even if it kills us." [Daniel Quinn, Pg. 145, If they Give You Lined Paper Write Sideways]

Now from an economist's perspective.

"People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather surrender any material part of their advantage."[The Age of Uncertainty, John Kenneth Galbraith]

Saturday, October 01, 2011

More Baseball

Off to work for the post office this morning. Here is a baseball quote I wrote down about a year ago.

"You sell your soul to this game, and it gives you nothing to go on but the promise of chance." [Dirk Hayhurst, Pg. 141, The Bullpen Gospels]

Friday, September 30, 2011

Baseball and Democracy

A quote from one of my favorite philosophers about baseball.

"Baseball serves as a good model for democracy in action: Every player is equally important and each has a chance to be a hero." Edward Abbey

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sitting Bull's Perspective

More on freedom from Sitting Bull's perspective:

“This land belongs to us, for the Great Spirit gave it to us when he put us here. We were free to come and go, and to live in our own way. But white men, who belong to another land, have come upon us, and are forcing us to live according to their ideas. That is an injustice; we have never dreamed of making white men live as we live.

“White men like to dig in the ground for their food. My people prefer to hunt the buffalo as their fathers did. White men like to stay in one place. My people want to move their tepees here and there to the different hunting grounds. The life of white men is slavery. They are prisoners in towns or farms. The life my people want is a life of freedom. I have seen nothing that a white man has, houses or railways or clothing or food, that is as good as the right to move in the open country, and live in our own fashion. Why has our blood been shed by your soldiers? . . . The white men had many things that we wanted, but we could see that they did not have the one thing we liked best,­freedom. I would rather live in a tepee and go without meat when game is scarce than give up my privileges as a free Indian, even though I could have all that white men have. We marched across the lines of our reservation, and the soldiers followed us. They attacked our village, and we killed them all. What would you do if your home was attacked? You would stand up like a brave man and defend it. That is our story. I have spoken.”[i]

Derrick Jensen provided made that quote available in Endgame.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Note Post

Occasionally, I wonder what freedom is.

"Population growth creates a loss of one thing pro-growth advocates seem to value most: freedom. As alluded to previously, increasing population density causes restrictions on behavior and freedom. Loss of freedom is an inevitable consequence of population growth." [Pg.77, Humanity's Environmental Future]

Of course, our growing population is dependent on one thing: increasing food production.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fifty-First Degree of Losing Faith

For some of you that have read "The Story of B" you might remember this line: "There is only one degree of having faith, but there are fifty degrees of losing it." And later on B goes on to say, "When that amount of faith is gone, however, then it's ALL gone, and you're at the fifty-first degree You're out, you're finished."

After listening to an interview with Daniel Everett on Wisconsin Public Radio it sounds to me like he reached that fifty-first degree that B was talking about. His book titled: Don't Sleep there are Snakes is an account of how he and his family tried to convert the Piraha people of Brazil to Christianity, but didn't have much success. Daniel went into the jungle a Christian but ended up leaving the jungle an atheist.

I haven't read the book yet but the interview was fascinating. I thought some of you might be interested.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Gods

"In fact, the real gods of the world--if there are any--are competent gods. They created a world that functions perfectly, without divine oversight or intervention. If we don't curb our population growth, the built-in processes of the world will take care of it. If we continue to attack them as vigorously as we are right now, the ecological systems that keep us alive will eventually collapse, leaving a world that won't sustain human life at all. We'll be gone--probably along with most or all large forms of animal life--but life will go on and start rebuilding anew, just as it's done after every mass extinction of the past." (Pg.61, If They Give You Lined Paper Write Sideways)

I like how Daniel Quinn says "if there are any." It reminds me of this snippet by Edward Abbey:

"And yes, I do distrust mysticism. I regard it as too easy a way out. Whenever I find myself sliding into mysticism in my writing—I never do it in my feeling and seeing—I know that my mind is relaxing, taking the easy way around a hard pitch of thought. Just as those who casually throw in the word “God” think that they are answering questions which may very well have no answer. Not all questions can be answered. I think that Carl Sagan is a bit naive in his scientific optimism, just as those who call themselves mystics are naive in identifying their personal inner visions with universal reality." (Unpublished Letters)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Good Excerpt

I finished up The Raven's Gift this morning. It's one of the best novel I have ever read. I like these lines by a character named Red:

"'No,' he said, 'I'm plumb tuckered out. You wouldn't understand it, but I spent a good majority of the last thirty some years planning and preparing for the world to end. When it did, I was going to be ready with guns-a-blazing. Wasn't going to want for nothing. And I was about half excited when it came, to tell you the truth. But I didn't ever want it to just be me all by myself. I think I wanted people to be sorry they didn't listen to me. I imagined that they would flock to me and ask for forgiveness. Shit, I deluded myself into thinking that I would be like some gun-toting god of the tundra and finally get to have my say about how lift ought to be. Turns out, I'm the one feeling sorry. This definately ain't the outcome I envisioned. But I probably don't have to tell you about survivor's guilt.'" (pg. 140, The Raven's Gift)

There are times when I catch myself thinking this way. It's starting to atrophy though.

Saturday, April 02, 2011


It's been almost year since I've posted anything here. Believe it or not I didn't know I was going to post anything until a few minutes ago. Most of my previous posts were calculated and planned. It feels good to do this. Now, I'm not going to edit it. I'm just going to post something that comes to mind.

A quote from a novel I was reading this morning. The title of it is: The Raven's Gift. The author Don Rearden.

"You know as well as I that you can see it in a person's eyes. The eyes change when you kill a man, and they change again when your reasons for killing aint right." (Page 214, The Raven's Gift)

I don't know when I'll be back.