Saturday, March 31, 2012

Daniel Quinn Quote Saturday

"We look at the world around us and find that turtles are not flawed, crows are not flawed, daffodils are not flawed, mosquitoes are not flawed, salmon are not flawed--in fact, not a single species in the world is flawed--except us. It makes no sense, but it does pass the medieval tests for knowledge. It's reasonable--and it's certainly supported by authority. It's reasonable because it provides us with an excuse we badly need. We're destroying the world--eating it alive--but it's not our fault. It's the fault of human nature. We're just badly made, so what can you expect?"--Daniel Quinn in The New Renaissance

Friday, March 30, 2012

It's Already Happened Once

This excerpt has given me something to think about before bed:

"Our culture of expansion and achievement has projected its own mythology onto the universe, giving it a spectacular beginning and a linear progression to some kind of end. If, instead, the universe has always existed, then anything that could possibly be done has already been done an infinite number of times. If it's possible for you to win a Nobel Prize, then if you go far enough back, there's a world exactly like this one where you already did it. So there's no point doing anything just to accomplish it, only to enjoy it."--Ran Prieur

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Good and Evil

Ran across this quote while reading "The Maiden King" this morning:

"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to seperate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart." Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Changing the System

I revisited this article this morning. I like this quote:

"You could say paradigms are harder to change than anything else about a system, and therefore this item should be lowest on the list, not the highest. But there's nothing physical or expensive or even slow about paradigm change. In a single individual it can happen in a millisecond. All it takes is a click in the mind, a new way of seeing. Of course individuals and societies do resist challenges to their paradigm harder than they resist any other kind of change."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fincino Quote

A quote I wrote down before I returned James Hillman's Loose Ends:

"This [the soul] is the greatest of all miracles in nature. All other things beneath God are always one single being, but the soul is all things together...Therefore it may be rightly called the center of nature, the middle term of all things, the series of the world, the face of all, the band and juncture of the universe."--Marisilio Fincino

Monday, March 26, 2012

Things Are Alright

About an hour after I posted yesterday (Read yesterdays post), our 12 year old and I were talking about fear while we were raking up sawdust. And out of the blue he mentions this quote from Frank Herbert's "Dune" (He listened to the book on tape a few weeks back):

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

I was proud, impressed, and stunned. There are times when we are concerned that he is spending too much time in his room listening to books. Well, yesterday cooled that concern a bit

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Kids, Coaching and School

The other day our 12 year old commented that if they made school more interesting kids would pay more attention in class. I thought it was an astute observation. I know that looking back on my schooling experience I was bored out of my skull most of the time (That's one of the primary reasons why we homeschool). But when it came to my response to him, I waffled. My hatred of the schooling system has cooled a bit, I think. And, I think, part of the reason why is because of my experience coaching Little League baseball. I know that as a coach you try like hell to make practices as interesting and fun as possible, and there are just some kids that refuse to quit screwing around and disrupting practice. There is always the child who quips, when are we going to do something fun.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday's Daniel Quinn Quote

From The New Renaissance:

"During your lifetime, the people of our culture are going to figure out how to live sustainably on this planet--or they're not. Either way, it's certainly going to be extraordinary. If they figure out how to live sustainably here, then humanity will be able to see something it can't see right now: a future that extends into the indefinite future. If they don't figure this out, then I'm afraid the human race is going to take its place among the species that we're driving into extinction here every day--as many as 200--every day"

Friday, March 23, 2012

Headed Down the Path

Yesterday, finally finished putting up firewood for next next winter. While we were finishing up my neighbor stopped in to see if I wanted some chickens to run around the yard and eat ticks. This morning mailed my tree order forms for spring planting. Now we're headed out to the pasture to clear some brush. I'm also noticing the word farm and farming coming up more often in our conversations and I'm about ready for another pair bib overalls.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Blind Spots

"Thinkers aren't limited by what they know, because they can always increase what they know. Rather they're limited by what puzzles them, because there's no way to become curious about something that doesn't puzzle you. If a thing falls outside the range of people's curiosity, then they simply cannot make enquiries about it. It constitutes a blind spot--a spot of blindness that you can't even know is there until someone draws your attention to it." My Ishmael

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One Reason Why

One of the main reasons I broke down and bought The Maiden King was to have this poem by Rumi, and Robert Bly's commentary on it.

We should ask God
to help us toward manners. Inner gifts
do no find their way
to creatures without just respect.

If a man or woman flails about, he not only
smashes his house,
he burns the world down.

Your depression is connected to your insolence
and refusal to praise. Whoever feels himself walking
on the path, and refuses to praise--that man or woman
steals from others every day--is a shoplifter!

The sun became full of light when it got hold of itself.
Angels only began shining when they achieved discipline.
The sun goes out whenever the cloud of not-praising comes near.

The moment the foolish angel felt insolent, he heard the door close.--Rumi

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Derrick Jensen and Daniel Quinn on voids:

"Quite suddenly, after six thousand years of totalitarian agriculture and civilization building, the people of our culture--East and West, twins of a single birth--were beginning to wonder if their lives made sense, were beginning to perceive a void in themselves that economic success and civil esteem could not fill, were beginning to imagine that something was profoundly, even innately, WRONG with them." (Daniel Quinn, Pg.267-268, The Story of B)

"The same is true on the larger scale, as no comforts or elegancies, no feeling of power over another, no accumulation of property can make up for a failure to participate in the great liturgy. It's an attempt to use increasing amounts of emptiness to plug a great void (or, as R.D Laing wrote, 'How do you plug a void plugging a void?'). It's an attempt to cure loneliness through power. But loneliness can only be cured through relationship, and relationship is precisely what expoitation and abuse destroy." (Derrick Jensen, pg.567, Endgame)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Not In Control

Lately I've been reading up on mythology and fairy tales. I found this quote significant: "The movement to demonize the father gods, and to create a sentimentalized version of the Goddess makes women and men more infantile." [Robert Bly, Pg.88, The Maiden King]

Out of all this reading and thinking about this I can say one thing for sure: We're not in control!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Good Satire

Here is a really good satire talking about the relationship the Alaskan oil companies have with the citizens of that state. The author of the article also wrote The Raven's Gift. I have a signed copy on my bookshelf. It's one of the best novels I've ever read. Here is what Daniel Quinn had to say about it: "An epic adventure, a work of mythical dimensions, never to be forgotten."

Don's work is definately worth checking out.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Quinn Quote Saturday

"As developed in Ishmael, the 'story' we're enacting in our culture is this: The world was made for Man to conquer and rule, and Man was made to conquer and rule it; and under Man's rule, the world might have become a paradise except for the fact that he's fundamentally and irremediably flawed. This story--itself mythology--is the foundation for all our cultural mythology, and I said in Ishmael that it isn't possible for people simply to give up living in such a story. They must have another story to be in." [Daniel Quinn, Pg.183, Beyond Civilization]

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bringing It To Light

Reading through The Maiden King again this morning and found these words of wisdom about depression:

"...the only way out of a covert depression is an overt derpression."[Pg.67,The Maiden King]

He also mentions in this section that most men in the west suffer from a covert depression.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Just Appeared

This quote found its way into my hands again yesterday. I thought I would have to go searching for it ever since I read Jung's Memories, Dreams and Reflections a few months back. But to my surprise, while I was reading through Thomas Moore's Soul Mates at a second-hand store in Rice Lake, and I ran across it. Actually, I opened up the book and there it was.

"Other people are established inalienably in my memories only if their names were entered in the scrolls of my destiny from the beginning, so that encountering them was at the same time a kind of recollection."--Carl Jung

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Action and Desire

Pulled the Te of Piglet off the shelf this morning in a last ditch effort to look for a quote to post, and I'm glad I did. Dug this one up from The Tao Te Ching:

Those habitually without desires
Perceive as "subtlety."
Those habitually with desires
Perceive it as "action."
These two have the same source,
But different names.
Together they're called "darkness"--
Darkness of increasing darkness,
All mystery's gateway.--[Lao Tsu, Pg. 54, The Te of Piglet]

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Inside and Outside

Saw and heard the first robins this morning. Always a welcome and pleasant sound this time of year.

This quote caught my attention while reading Loose Ends earlier today:

"'The soul functions in the body, but has a greater part of its function outside the body...(and)imagines many things of the utmost profundity outside the body, just as God does'." [Jung talking about the alchemist Sendivogius's perspective on soul, Pg. 153, Loose Ends]

Monday, March 12, 2012

Feeling a Bit Off

The Santee Sioux poet/philosopher John Trudell sums up nicely how I've been feeling the past couple of days: "I'm just a human being trying to make it in a world that is very rapidly losing its understanding of being human." Also, these two lines by D.H Lawrence comes to mind: "I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections./ And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly,/ that I am ill.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mythological Understanding

Slowly working my way through The Maiden King. I wrote this passage down yesterday:

"With the help of Freud, Western culture has moved from a literal to a psycholgical understanding of the world in only a hundred years. But now we are receiving a request to move on still further, from the psychological to the mythological stage. This is more difficult. We are at the moment, almost incapapable of a mytholgical understanding of the world. That understanding is not behind us, but ahead of us. It does not involve adversarial thinking, but the sort of double vision that develops in the Underworld." [Robert Bly, Pg. 40, The Maiden King]

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Where the Problem Lies

The problem isn't with the people but with the story.

"There's nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world. Given a story to enact in which they are the lords of the world, they will act as the lords of the world. And, given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now."--Ishmael

Friday, March 09, 2012

Teach a Hundred

Another noble effort to spread the teachings of the gorilla

"What you do is to teach a hundred what I've taught you, and inspire each of them to teach a hundred. That's how it's always done."--Ishmael

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Growth for Adults

I wrote these lines down this morning. It's becoming clear that when we stop hearing about a growing economy it will be a sign that our society is starting to mature.

"Growth is indeed an appropriate megaphor for children, but in an adult growth also means aggrandizement, overweight, over-population, overkill, cancer, escalation, proliferation. So that growth has become the foolish metapsycholgoy of fat men in a declining culture." [James Hillman, Pg. 85, Loose Ends]

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Letting The World Fall Apart

The other day, while reading Jim Harrison's After Dark, I jotted down these lines:

"The study of native cultures tends to lead you far afield from all you have learned, including much that you have perceived and assumed was reality. At first this can be disconcerting, but there are many benefits to letting the world fall apart."--Jim Harrison

Sometimes I wonder if you don't carefully, conciously, and slowly try to take apart what you think is reality there is something out there that will arrange it for you, and sometimes not in a nice way.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012


I don't have anything to say or a quote in mind to share. I'm going to shut this thing down and start reading through The Maiden King, by Robert Bly and Marion Woodman.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Our Secret Plan

I posted the quote below with this article over at Facebook. I think they go well together.

"Our secret plan is this: We're going to go on consuming the world until there's no more to consume. This does not preclude consuming it "wisely" or consuming it as slowly as possibly. It doesn't preclude supporting every conceivable conservation initiative. It doesn't preclude supporting every conceivable means of recycling. We're going to recycle, we're going to conserve-- but we're also going to go on consuming until there's no more to consume."--Daniel Quinn, from his essay titled: On Investments

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Many Gods

I woke up this morning with a plan to post a simple quote with an article talking about the acidification of the oceans, and than I ran across this excerpt in James Hillman's "Loose Ends." The excerpt shook me up a little, and is important to me, because I learned in reading his autobiography a few months back that Carl Jung's house was being haunted for a brief period until he finished the book this excerpt was from. In other words, the invisible beings were not going to leave him and his family alone until he finished the book, atleast that is the conclusion he came to upon reflection of the experience.

"For me, to whom knowledge has been given of the multiplicity and diversity of the gods, it is well. But woe unto you, who replace these incompatible many by a single god. For in so doing ye beget the torment which is bred from not understanding, and ye mutilate the creature whose nature and aim is distinctiveness. How can ye be true to your nature when ye try to change the many into one? What ye do unto the gods is done likewise onto you. Ye all become equal and thus is nature maimed...The multiplicity of the gods correspondeth to the multiplicity of man."[Carl Jung, Seven Sermons of the Dead]

Saturday, March 03, 2012

The Book of the Damned

I pulled out Daniel Quinn's The Book of the Damned this morning to look for a quote, and found this one:

"Imagine that the gods have a care for everything that lives in the community of life on earth."--Daniel Quinn

Friday, March 02, 2012

Know Thyself?

"Know Thyself? If I knew myself, I'd run away."--Goethe

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Driving to Work

Years back I remember Derrick Jensen saying that we value production over life itself. In fact, he said, we sacrifice life at the altar of production. Yesterday was one of those days where this was made clear to me. I had to drive to work on unplowed roads that had over a foot of snow on them, and only a one lane track broken through from other vehicles that were capable of busting through that much snow.

Of course, I didn't make it. I got the bottom of the first big hill and decided to turn back for obvious reasons, one being what would happen if I met a snow plow coming over the top of that hill with only one lane to travel in. So, I got out of the car and shoveled myself out a spot to turn around. Hoping the whole time while I'm frantically shoveling that some crazy bastard doesn't come speeding over the hill and smash into my car or me.

Well, I got the spot shoveled out and the car turned around and made it home safely. But the point is I, or other drivers, could have been seriously injured or killed in that situation, and I was angry about it. But who do I get angry at? The United States Postal Service? Myself for bad decisions in the past? My boss? This insane culture (Afterall, this part of the state could have shut down until atleast the roads were plowed)? Past generations?

I don't know the answer to this, but I do know it felt like I was forced into a situation that I had no control over.