Saturday, June 30, 2012

Quinn Quote Saturday

"The people of your culture cling with fanatical tenacity to the specialness of man. They want desperately to perceive a vast gulf between man and the rest of creation. This mythology of human superiority justifies their doing whatever they please with the world, just the way Hitler's mythology of Aryan superiority justified his doing whatever he pleased with Europe. But in the end this mythology is not deeply satisfying. The Takers are a profoundly lonely people. The world for them is enemy territory, and they live in it like an army of occupation, alienated and isolated by their extraordinary specialness."[Daniel Quinn, Pg. 146, Ishmael]

Friday, June 29, 2012

One Of My Favorites

Here is one of my favorite William Stafford poems:

"If you don't know the kind of person I am

and I don't know the kind of person you are

a pattern that others made may prevail in the world

and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

"For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,

a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break

sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood

storming out to play through the broken dyke.

"And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,

but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,

I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty

to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

"And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,

a remote important region in all who talk:

though we could fool each other, we should consider-

lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

"For it is important that awake people be awake,

or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;

the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--

should be clear: the darkness around us is deep."--William Stafford

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hidden Values Find There Way To Action

I just didn't have enough time to do a blog post yesterday. That's three that I missed this year. It's been a long time since I've been this busy(Over a decade?)in my life.

Quote from The Un-Game that resonated with me yesterday.

"In coaching they'll get to see that any closely held value, no matter how well hidden, even from yourself, inevitably prompts action that's consistent with it." [Pg. 127, The Un-Game]

Phil Jackson hits on this in Sacred Hoops.

Monday, June 25, 2012

People Don't Want to Work

Throughout my life I've heard that certain people just don't want to work. Or there are plenty of jobs out there but people just don't want to work them. Well, here is an interesting challenge to that notion out of Ingrid Martine's The Un-Game:

"...why do great managers ignore the standard assumption that people work for companies? I came to work here because I wanted to work in a forward-looking company with staying power."

"You think you came for that reason, but I bet we could put that to a test. What are reasons you would leave? Look and see what's at the top of your list."

Reflecting only briefly Sam said, "I'd leave if I didn't know what was expected of me, if I didn't have the materials and equipment I need to do my job well, if I didn't have the opportunities to put my talents to work, if nobody noticed I was doing good work. Should I go on?"

Maria nodded.

"I'd leave if nobody cared about me and if the company didn't encourage my development. There are probably other things, but these seem the most important to me. If these things were true over and extended period of time, I'd leave. I'm certain about that. Yes, no 'I guess' about it."

"I believe you, Sam. And who would be responsible for helping you meet those important needs? The company?"

Sam looked intently at her for about twenty seconds, then grinned, delighted with the recognition. "I get it! Ultimately this is about solid, satisfying relationships. It's about being connected. I don't only work for money. It's a negative satisfier and becomes critically important only when I don't have it. That's true for others too. And we don't work for the impersonal entity called 'company.' The company's values must be reflected in its managers' behaviors. We work for our manager. If the relationships suck and the manager ignores our fundamental needs, it's all over. No wonder great managers don't buy that assumption..."

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Quinn Quote Saturday

"Given an expanding food supply, any population will expand. This is true of any species, including the human. The Takers have been proving this here for ten thousand years. For ten thousand years they've been steadily increasing food production to feed an increased population, and every time they've done this, the population has increased still more."--Ishmael

I remember getting this video for a Christmas gift from my parents in the early nineties.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cutting Trees

"What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another."--Mahatma Gandhi

Did I mention I used to make my living as a logger.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Is The Universe a Friendly Place?

Pulled this quote off from the PACHAMAMA Alliance website:

“I think the most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” Albert Einstein

Time to get off from the computer and go about my day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Quotes from The Un-Game

I've got a couple of books going now. This morning I started The Un-Game, by Ingride Martine. A couple quotes that resonated were:

"If you want to lead, you first have to follow."--Pgiii, The Un-Game

"Without the grand escape from their experience, people ae subjected to it - acted upon, or tossed about. Their brain overheats. Decisions they make while inside their experience are not to be trusted. Do they make them to escape discomfort? Are the decisions irrational or erratic, determined by impulse, not cool deliberation? People in their experience are out of their minds. Rather than having the experience, the experience has them! They are the feather. Something else is the wind."--Pg.vii, The Un-Game

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


“It is not our job to remain whole.
We came to lose our leaves
Like the trees, and be born again,
Drawing up from the great roots.” ― Robert Bly

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Insanity Inside

Working my way through All of the Above this morning. This excerpt really resonates:

"Most of us are not insane, if you define the word in terms of brain dysfunction and bad chemicals. You're right about that. But if we're not mentally ill, Mrs. President, would you agree that we're certainly culturally ill? Spiritually ill? Wouldn't sanity mean being consciously connected to reality, to what's actually so? And if we start from there, how should we then regard our society? Our culture tells us that we can fix every problem and control every outcome, even though we can see, if we just look, that most of our solutions simply lead to more problems. Our culture tells us that we will find true happiness through the things we own, that the material world is all there is, and that the rest of the planet is here merely to serve as our resource. Yet we know in our hearts that money does not, and has not, bought us true happinness and fullfillment, only comfort."

As Obie spoke, his voice grew louder, and his eyes glinted, like a televangelist reaching the high point of sermon.

"In this physical plane, Mrs. President, it's the soil and water and forests and sky and plants and animals upon which our very lives ultimately depend. The structures of civilization cannot exist without those things. And yet we live inside of those structures - houses, offices, stores, factories, cars, roads, subdivisions, cities, whatever - and those structures keep most of us almost totally disconnected from the real world that serves as their foundation. So you might begin to see the benefit of just sitting for a while with the notion that not only is this culture not in touch with reality, but that this insantiy lives inside of you." Pg.293, All of the Above

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Rilke and Fathers

I thought about these lines by Rilke while doing dishes

Sometimes a man stands up during supper
and walks outdoors, and keeps on walking,
because of a church that stands somewhere in the East.
And his children say blessings on him as if he were dead.

And another man, who remains inside his own house,
dies there, inside the dishes and in the glass,
so that his children have to go far out into the world
toward the same church, which he forgot.--Rilke

Happy Fathers Day!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Quinn Quote Saturday

"Circumstances have at last shattered our mad cultural vision, have at last rendered our self-aggrandizing mythology meaningless, have at last strangled our arrogant song. We've lost our ability to believe that the world was made for Man and that Man was made to conquer and rule it. We've lost our ability to believe that the world will automatically and inevitably support us in our conquest, will swallow all the poison we can generate without coming to harm. We've lost our ablitiy to believe that God is enequivocally on our side against the rest of creation."--Daniel Quinn, Pg. 284, The Story of B

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Good Morning So Far

Behaved myself this morning. Woke up and sat zazen for a half-n-hour. Afterwards pulled out the notebook and journaled, read some of Timothy Scott Bennett's All of the Above and then reread the section about fathering out of James Hillman's The Souls Code. As a result of waiting a couple of hours to get on the internet I feel less overwhelmed and rushed. And, of course, I found a dandy of a quote by James Hillman about fathering and parenting.

"When your child becomes the reason for your life, you have abandoned the invisible reason you are here. And the reason you are here as an adult, as a citizen, as a parent? To make a world receptive to the daimon. To set the civilization straight so that a child can grow down into it and its daimon can have a life. This is the parenting task. To carry out this task for the daimon of your child you must bear witness first to your own." [The Souls Code, Pg. 85]

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Good Bye Innocence

"Whether early or late, shame, guilt, and low self-esteem are necessary to character formation because they eat away at innocence."--James Hillman, Pg.179, The Force of Character

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Doing Some Reading

I've been spending my free time reading samples of The Un-Game by Ingrid Martine. I also just finished up One Shot at Forever by Chris Ballard. I really liked it and recommend it to any baseball fan to read, especially those that follow high school sports.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Back at It

I'm on the internet right away this morning (Yesterday I mentioned I was going to quit doing this). I felt a strong need to go to Amazon and browse through Robert Johnson's book titled: Balancing Heaven and Earth: A Memoir of Visions, Dreams, and Realizations. I understand why, I think. I'm feeling the need to learn about the psyche and the otherworld before everyone wakes up. Paging through random books is a bad habit of mine.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Changing a Few Things

I'm going to stop getting on the internet so early in the morning. Lately I've been getting on it immediately after I sit zazen. It's not working. I find that I get a lot more writing done when I sit down with a notebook and a pencil. I'm also able to think with more clarity and not feel so overwhelmed throughout the day.

It's going to be a challenge to post once a day though. By the end of the day I have no energy for posting.

I'm just going try it an see how it works.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Some Internal Coaching Conflict

I've mentioned in previous posts that I'm a Little League Baseball coach. I've coached my son's team for three years now. And I have to admit there have been moments during the past three years where I have felt conflicted about my role as coach. When these moments of conflict arise I usually pull out Robert Bly's The Sibling Society to try and understand the source of the conflict. The quote below spoke to me:

"Most adults have been slow to grasp how perfectionist the changed Interior Judge of their children is, and how savage. The Judge is more perfectionist than ever, but now there is not enough fame or popularity in the world do satisfy it. For parents to try to encourage the development of their children is natural, but now there is something desperate in it for both the parents and children. If a teenager is not invited to the dance, she may try suicide. A high school boy, scoffed at, may retreat behind his computer for ten years."--Pg. xii,

And this one:

"In a Sibling Society, it is hard to know how to approach one's children, what values to try to teach them, what to stand up for, what to go along with; it is especially hard to know where your children are."--Pg.xiii

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Quinn Quote Saturday

"If there are still people living here in 200 years, they'll know that humanity doesn't belong to an order of being that is separate from the rest of the living community. They'll know this as surely as we know that the earth revolves around the sun. I can make this prediction with confidence, because if people go on thinking we belong to a separate order of being, then there will be no people living here in 200 years."--Daniel Quinn from The New Renaissance

Friday, June 08, 2012

Looking Back

No time for writing or reading. My life is full of carrying mail for the post office and Little League baseball.

So Another quote from the beginning of The Souls Code:

"It was Karl Marx, I think, who once proposed that evolution be studied in reverse, with an eye firmly fixed on the evolved species while glancing backward for hints."--Jerome Bruner, In Search of Mind

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Short and Sweet

From the list of quotes at the beginning of James Hillman's The Soul's Code:

I don't develop; I am--Pablo Picasso

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Vallejo Quote

Thanks to a Facebook friend for this quote:

"Heaven and happiness do not exist. That’s your parents’ way to justify the crime of having brought you into this world. What exists is reality, the tough reality, this slaughterhouse we’ve come to die in, if not to kill and to eat the animals, our fellow creatures. Therefore, do not reproduce, do not repeat the crimes committed against you, do not give back the same, evil paid with evil, as imposing life is the ultimate crime. Do not disturb the unborn, let them be in the peace of nothingness, anyway we’ll all eventually go back there, so why beat around the bush?" -Fernando Vallejo

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

James Hillman Quote

Opened up The Souls Code this morning and this quote resonated with me:

"I am different from everyone else and the same as everyone else; I am different from myself ten years ago and the same as myself ten years ago; my life is a stable chaos, chaotic and repetitive both, and I can never predict what tiny, trivial bit of input will result in a huge and significant output, I must always remain acutely sensitive to initial conditions, such as what or who came into the world with me and enters the world with me each day. On that I remain dependent."--James Hillman, pg. 140, The Souls Code

Monday, June 04, 2012

Stolen Signs

Towards the end of yesterday's post I talked about what I was going to do during the rest of my day off. About an hour after I put the computer away we noticed our Vote for Tom Barrett* yard sign had been stolen in the dark of the night. So we moved into action and gathered up some boards, paint brushes, paint, screws and driver. We spent the rest of the afternoon constructing two bigger and better yard signs. I don't know what this has to do with the original self, but it was fun. And the yard signs are still hanging with no evidence of vandalism.

*Here in Wisconsin Governor Walker is facing Tom Barrett in a recall election on June 5th.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Original Face

Lately I've had the urge to search for some zen koans. This morning I found one while reading samples of Thomas Moore's Original Self over at amazon. It's all I've really got energy for right now. I just got done working five days in a row carrying mail for the post office, and I'm possibly looking at working three more starting tomorrow. It seems like once I work over two to three days in a row carrying mail it has a negative effect on me. I become less creative, imaginitive, and my range of emotions starts to narrow. I think the only thing that stops them from narrowing to the point where I feel hopeless and imprisoned is that I know there is an ending date. In other words, I'm not a full time worker.

I don't know how full time rural route mail carriers do it. The carrier I substitute for works six out of seven days a week, and he's in his late sixties. I admire it in a way, but I know it wouldn't work me. And this leads to the zen koan:

What was your original face before you were born?--Zen koan

Hell, right now I have no idea. I think there are just to many layers spun over that face. Of course, like I alluded to above, the layers thicken the more I work. But I bet if I got the boat ready and took the kids fishing today the layers would lessen a bit. The problem is that I've got a lawn to mow, trees to water, and a Little League baseball practice to coach tonight.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Quinn Quote Saturday

"Our leaders aren't stupid, they're just acting in accordance with the fundamental mythology of our culture, which represents humans as intrinsically and hopelessly destructive. This being the case, the only conceivable course for them is to (quote) "protect the environment" -- from us, of course. Who else? The environment doesn't have to be protected from shellfish or owls or rattlesnakes or elm trees. It has to be protected from those intrinsically and hopelessly destructive beings who are US." Daniel Quinn in his speech titled: Protecting the Environment: Whose Business is it?

Friday, June 01, 2012

The Outcast

A quote for anyone that has ever felt like an outcast:

"Soul enters only via symptoms, via outcast phenomena like the imagination of artists or alchemy or “primitives,” or of course, disguised as psychopathology. That’s what Jung meant when he said the Gods have become diseases: the only way back for them in a Christian world is via the outcast."--James Hillman