Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Insulted By 115

The other day I was insulted while doing the mail route. The sting of it still being felt like salt being rubbed in a wound. It arises every other hour or so. I return to it like a horse returning to a salt lick. The insult a number that won't go away. The guy spreading the insult is probably a pretty decent guy; he's got a job to do like the rest of us. But an insult is still an insult no matter the character of the insulter. 115 is the number. That's how many operational frac sand mines and processing plants are in Wisconsin. That's the insult that filtered through the car speakers that day.

Monday, December 30, 2013

It's 25 Below Zero

Rolled out of bed this morning at 5:30 AM to get the fire started in the house. The thermometer reads 25 below zero. We've been burning wood for well over 3 months now and will be for at least another 4. It's our only source of heat. The other day I read a quote by Sinclair Lewis about winter that a facebook friend shared, it went something like, "Winter is not a season but an occupation." Makes about as much sense as the oft repeated quote by Lewis, "It's hard to make a man understand something if his paycheck depends on it."

I hope I didn't butcher those quotes too badly.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Flaubert on Order

I wrote down this quote by Flaubert this morning. It was buried in this week's Sports Illustrated article about Detroit Lion's wide receiver Calvin Johnson's drive to become the best wide receiver the NFL has ever seen.

"Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work."

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Derrick Jensen Interviews Chris Hedges

This interview with Chris Hedges was very sobering to listen to the other day on the mail route. Given his many years of experience being a war correspondent, and witnessing how countries domestic politics play out during periods of violent and bloody revolution, it seems that we're well on our way to a similar revolution. Of course, no one can predict it, but all of the signs and symptoms are there according the Hedges. I like the idea of how the state will determine how we resist (violently or nonviolently).

If you want your current way of looking at our political situation in this country to be shaken or rattled this interview is definitely worth the listen. If not, don't waste your time

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Subtle Truth

If you want money more than anything,
you will be bought and sold.

If you have a greed for food,
you will become a loaf of bread.

This is a subtle truth.
Whatever you love, you are. --Rumi

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Moyers on the End of Democracy

This 3 minute video with Bill Moyers lays out nicely how our political system is totally corrupt. The other day, while listening to Wisconsin Public Radio on the mail route, I heard an author talking about how in this day in age if you're a white male (That statement made me pay attention for obvious reasons) you're either going to become a right wing-tea party type that is pissed off because you've lost your God given sense of entitlement or you will move to the left and follow in the footsteps of the early 20th century populists that challenged the wealthy of there day that had totally corrupted their political system. I identify with the latter. Day by day I move farther to the left and entertain radical thoughts. Mediocre-middle-of-the-rode political thoughts bore the hell out of me.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Reading "Lined Paper" This Morning

A few quotes that caught my attention while doing some reading about human rights out of Daniel Quinn's If The Give You Lined Paper Write Sideways.

"If there are still people here in two hundred years, they won't be thinking the way we think, because if people go on thinking the way the way we think, then they'll go on living the way we live--and if people go on living the way we live, there won't be any people here in two hundred years."-- pg. 128

"To us, having to assert a right in to order to have the things we want or want to do is taken to be a sort of human norm." Pg.92

"I've searched many dictionaries of aboriginal languages, and very few of them seem to have a word for right in this sense. In all the reading I've done about aboriginal peoples, I've never come across any instance of them arguing about rights or asserting a right to do the things they do." Pg. 91

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Soren on Sunday

"The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays." ~ Soren Kierkegaard

Friday, December 06, 2013

Government Does Not Need To Show A Profit

I have been searching for the excerpt below for a couple of months now. Low and behold it appeared this morning while I was looking for another quote. It's important to me for a couple of reasons. One, is that I have been carrying mail for the USPS for close to five years now. And since then jobs have been eliminated and wages cut so that it can be run more efficiently. It must show a profit, they say. Secondly, my grandfather serves at the town and county levels of government, and he is one of the biggest opponents of the "lean government" trend. For example, in the county that I live in, certain public servants under the spell of Tea Party ideals want to cut the number of county board members from 21 to 15 to run the government more efficiently. This time to save the taxpayers money.

I like the idea of judging government institutions on the quality of the service they provide rather than the profit they show. In other words, the post office and other government institutions don't necessarily have to show a profit. I think James Hillman has done a good job of expressing below.

"It is well to keep in mind the image Treblinka when we ask government to be more "efficient." To expect the post office, the passenger railroads, the interstate highways, the prison system or the national parks to show a profit forgets that government is fundamentally a service industry as stated in the Constitution. It's efficiency can be judged only in terms of the services it provides--that they meet the needs of the people who grant its power. For a candidate for political office to campaign on a platform of efficiency in government suggests an infiltration of fascist ideals. Mussolini made the trains run on time--but at what cost?

"The extermination camps belong continually in our Western consciousness, not only to remind us of the human capacity for atrocity, the pathological potential in systematic technology, the virulence of racism, the existence of evil or the death of both the Jewish and Christian God. The camps belong continually in the consciousness because the devotion to efficiency continues unconsciously in the Western psyche, bearing witness to the shadow side of the current living god, the Economy, the god continues to urge Western civilization onward by means of ever more efficiency." [James Hillman, Pg. 44, Kinds of Power]

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Heraclitus on a Sunday Morning

Some Heraclitus upon my return from the deer stand on this Sunday morning:

What is not yet known
those blinded by bad faith
can never learn-- Heraclitus, pg. 81, Fragments

Thursday, November 28, 2013

He Read My Mind

I had something interesting happen to me this morning. Before I head out to the woods to my deer stand (It's the gun deer season in Wisconsin) I usually try to get some reading in. This morning I had the intention of reading some passages out of the Book of Job and Ecclesiastes. I'd read the other day in "Fragments"--a book about Heraclitus that James Hillman wrote a forward to-- that those two sections of the bible are considered books of wisdom. And I've heard James Hillman say that he assumes the readers of his work have a basic western education and therefore know the bible well. I don't. And since I can't seem to leave his work alone I've had the intention lately to become more acquainted with the bible. Anyway, the sun was about rise. So I got my bible out and put it on the kitchen table before I walked out the door. I had the intention on reading a few sections when I returned from the hunt. Well, a few hours passed by and I returned from the hunt. I stepped in the door to put my rifle away before I had to do my daily chores. I looked across at the kitchen table and noticed my bible was open. I didn't think I left it open so I asked Annie if she'd opened it. She laughed, and said, "No, Hayden (Our 4 year old) did. He opened it up Ecclesiates and I read the first section. It's fascinating writing. There is a lot of truth in it."

They beat me to it.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I ran across this passage last night before bed. The United States Postal Service would be a thriving institution if letter writing was imagined this way. Perhaps the USPS's problems are not so much about the amount of emails sent or paying bills on-line or politicians making the wrong decisions; but our loss of soul and imagination.

"One of the most potentially soulful aspects of modern life is mail and all that attends it: letters, envelopes, mailboxes, postage stamps, and of course the man or woman who delivers the mail. Junk mail and bills are only the shadow of an otherwise blissful institution. A great deal of pleasurable fantasy surrounds the important soul task of writing letters. An envelope is one of the few things in the modern world we seal, thus creating a private space for expression. Stamps are usually not mere tokens of monetary exchange, but small paintings, the closest thing we have to medieval miniature art, and they are also of interest to collectors, partly because of the variety of fantasy they contain, from national figures to local flora and fauna.

"The mailbox is a mysterious item, too. For the most part, we place our treasured letters in this box, and mysteriously our letters find their way around the world. I sometimes have the fanciful idea that the box is a black hole into which my thoughts and feelings fall, to be retrieved somewhat magically by another person participating in this ritual of self-expression. I can understand why people in other ages sealed their letters with wax--not only to keep them private, but also to acknowledge the sacredness of a letter through the ritual of stamping one's seal with fire and a material, wax, that is not just functional, like glue, but has aesthetic and religious properties." Thomas Moore, Pg. 124, Soul Mates

Monday, November 18, 2013

Reflection Isn't Enough

"...in feeling and desire we tend to realize the importance of something for the soul. Desire is holy, as D.H Lawrence, the romantics, and the Neoplatonists insisted, because it touches and moves the soul. Reflection is never enough."--James Hillman, Pg. 273, A Blue Fire

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Unacted Desire

"Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires."--William Blake out of Proverbs From Hell

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


A life after Ishmael reflection: One of the effects that reading Ishmael back in the late-nineties had on me was that it moved my emotions out it into the world. In other words the inrage started to change into outrage. Reading Derrick Jensen's work then pushed it further.

"Emotions are mainly social. The word comes from the Latin ex movere, to move out. Emotions connect to the world. Therapy introverts the emotions, calls fear 'anxiety." You take it back, and you work on it inside yourself. You don't work psychologically on what that outrage is telling you about potholes, about trucks, about Florida strawberries in Vermont in March, about burning up oil, about energy policies, nuclear waste, that homeless woman over there with the sores on her feet--the whole thing."--James Hillman, pg. 12, We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and The World's Getting Worse

Monday, November 11, 2013

Born On This Day...

Just learned that along with my son also born on this day were Kurt Vonnegut and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Joseph Stalin once said that "Nobody understands human psychology like Dostoyevsky, and that's why I've banned him."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Resistance Radio and Rights-Based Organizing

Spent time with Derrick Jensen and Thomas Linzey on the mail route yesterday. I highly recommend this interview to anyone concerned about our children's future. With the planet warming faster than most expected we are going to be faced with the issue of whether or not Nature has the right to exist and flourish sooner than we think. Atleast that is my humble opinion. Or maybe I'm being too hopeful.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Mencken on Rights and Privileges

I think H.L Mencken is describes our current political climate quite well with this quote:

"What men value in this world is not rights but privileges."

Friday, November 08, 2013

What Makes You A Man?

Having lived with my grandparents in my late-teens and early-twenties, and now watching my son board the train of adolescence, this poem by Rumi has a lot of wisdom in it, I think.

The Core of Masculinity

The core of masculinity does not derive
from being male,
nor friendliness from those who console.

Your old grandmother says
“Maybe you shouldn’t go to school, you look a little pale”

Run when you hear that.
A fathers stern slaps are better.

Your bodily soul wants comforting.
The severe father wants clarity.

He scolds but eventually
leads you into the open.

Pray for a tough instructor
to hear and act and stay within you.

We have been busy accumulating solace
Make us afraid of how we were.--Rumi

Thursday, November 07, 2013

A Sad Philosophy

"My philosophy is fundamentally sad, but I’m not a sad man, and I don’t believe I sadden anyone else. In other words, the fact that I don’t put my philosophy into practice saves me from its evil spell, or, rather, my faith in the human race is stronger then my intellectual analysis of it; there lies the fountain of youth in which my heart is continually bathing.” -- Antonio Machado

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The First Snowfall of This Season

As documented last evening. It's 8 PM. The snow is falling. It's been coming down for a couple of hours now. The ground is white. I'm shoveling off my front porch. The light above my head allows me enough to see what I'm doing in the ethereal darkness of a new winter's night. I hear a sound to my left, turn to look, and what I see is a naked four year old boy wearing camoflauge mudboots flash by. A sure sign that the first snowfall of this winter season is being honored and appreciated by some in my household. I, on the other hand, will be shoveling heavy, wet snow with my clothes on.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

My Letter To The Editor Concerning The Regulatory Certainty Act

Below is a letter to the editor of my local newspaper that I put together this morning. I don't know if I'm going to send it yet. It has to be submitted before the Tuesday.

Senator Tom Tiffany and the rest of the politicians that are supporting the Regulatory Certainty Act(LRB-3146 and LRB-3408) to restrict local communities to regulate Wisconsin's booming frac sand industry and other destructive activities have forgotten that prior to the writing of the Declaration of Independence there were over ninety local “declarations of independence” issued by community governments throughout the colonies prior to July 1776. This is according to historian Pauline Maier. Why? Communities at the time were frustrated with the central government serving the interests of British empire and preempting their necessary local laws.

Today we see history repeating itself. Communities throughout the United States are starting to put together Community Bill of Right's to protect the land and the welfare of their citizens. Politicians like Tom Tiffany are using the power of the State to try and preempt this from happening. Essentially they are serving the interests of corporate wealth over the public by not allowing communities to stop organizations like mining companies from moving in and poisoning their air, water, soil and bodies. If they will not allow communities to govern themselves then we really need to consider this excerpt of the Declaration of Independence:

“Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.”

Local communities are simply trying to provide a new Guard for their future Security. Politicians that are in support of the State government preempting the power of local governments to democratically govern themselves ought to be ashamed of themselves. They are going against the very fabric of our American democracy.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Dialogue Between a Couple of Guys

"How do I get out of this story* I'm in?"

"You don't understand, my friend. There is no way out. There is no program. You're a wanderer now."

"A wanderer?"

"Don't you remember the lines you read to me by Machado a few years back?"

"No, refresh me."

"Here they are: 'Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. Wanderer, there is no road-- Only wakes upon the sea.'"--Antonio Machado

"You're not going to go on and talk about the unconscious, dreams, the sea, Moby Dick and all that bullshit again are you?"

"No, I've got a building to build..."

*A story is a scenario interrelating man, the world, and the gods."--Pg. 41, Ishmael

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Democracy Doesn't Last Long

"Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide."--John Adams, 2nd President of The United States.

We're in for a long ride...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Why I'm Here

Two decades ago I moved up to northwestern Wisconsin. Right before I left a friend of mine said, "What the hell you moving up there for? There is nothing up there." There are moments when I wonder why I'm still here. As James Hillman has said, we never really know why. But I'm going to speculate as to why anyway. The answer might be found in this quote by Lewis Mumford: "Every generation revolts against its fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers." Both of my grandfathers grew up on farms in northern Wisconsin. I was nourished by stories from northern Wisconsin since I can remember.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mind Over Body

Two women talking at work yesterday. One of them mentions to the other that her knee has been hurting her lately. The other relates with her own knee pain story then concludes jokingly saying, "It's all about mind over body." I smiled and thought of this poem by Rumi that I heard the other day:

On Resurrection Day

On Resurrection Day your body testifies against you.
Your hand says, I stole money.
Your lips, I said meanness.
Your feet, I went where I shouldn't.
Your genitals, me too.

They will make your praying sound hypocritical.
Let the body's doings speak openly now,
without your saying a word

as a student's walking behind a teacher
says, This one knows more clearly
than I the way. --Rumi

Thursday, October 24, 2013

To Women As Far As I'm Concerned

Another poem that James Hillman read in the Men and The Life of Desire. This one by D.H Lawrence. It resonates on some level. That's why I'm posting it.

The feelings I don't have I don't have.
The feeling I don't have, I won't say I have.
The feelings you say you have, you don't have.
The feelings you would like us both to have, we neither of us have.
The feelings people ought to have, they never have.
If people say they've got feelings, you may be pretty sure they haven't got them.
So if you want either of us to feel anything at all
You'd better abandon all ideas of feelings altogether.--D.H Lawrence

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Feeling Fucked Up For The First Time

The other day I received Men and The Life of Desire, by James Hillman, Robert Bly and Michael Meade. It's a recording of a men's conference that took place in 1990. I think the men's work is more relevant today than it was back in '90. About halfway through 1st CD I was moved by James Hillman reading this poem by Ehteridge Knight.

Feeling Fucked Up

Lord she’s gone done left me done packed / up and split
and I with no way to make her
come back and everywhere the world is bare
bright bone white crystal sand glistens
dope death dead dying and jiving drove
her away made her take her laughter and her smiles
and her softness and her midnight sighs—

Fuck Coltrane and music and clouds drifting in the sky
fuck the sea and trees and the sky and birds
and alligators and all the animals that roam the earth
fuck marx and mao fuck fidel and nkrumah and
democracy and communism fuck smack and pot
and red ripe tomatoes fuck joseph fuck mary fuck
god jesus and all the disciples fuck fanon nixon
and malcolm fuck the revolution fuck freedom fuck
the whole muthafucking thing
all i want now is my woman back
so my soul can sing

Monday, October 21, 2013

First Bukowski Poem

I ran across my first Charles Bukowski poem in "Born to Run" yesterday. I first heard of him in a New Dimensions interview with Coleman Barks, the poet and translator that brought us Rumi. I will definitely be looking into Bukowski.

If you're going to try, go all the way
There is no other feeling like that
you will be alone with the gods
and the nights will flame with fire....
you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter, it's
the only good fight there is.- Charles Bukowski

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Q & A With Thomas Linzey

I learned a few interesting things in this Q & A yesterday. Did you know that once you cross through the door to work for a private employer you no longer have constitutional rights. So watch what you say at work.

Another thing that stuck out was the statement that progressives and liberals will not be the constituency to carry the community rights work forward; they'll be the ones to stop it. That doesn't surprise me. I've always found it peculiar that Derrick Jensen has received well over 900 negative emails from folks on the left and less than handful from folks on the right.

"They [Move To Amend] think the progressive/liberal community is actually the constituency that's going to do this work, and we've been convinced otherwise. They're actually the folks that are going to stop the work for happening, but they're not necessarily the folks that are going to move it forward. And that always sounds harsh too, but we have a limited number of hours in our day from waking to quitting work at night and I'm not spending one more iota of time with liberal/progressive groups trying to convince them that their work that they're doing is not achieving results. And so you're looking at generating new people. There is not an existing natural constituency for this work."--Thomas Linzey at 12:40 in the Q & A

Saturday, October 19, 2013


"Problems sustain us--maybe that's why they don't go away. What would a life be without them? Completely tranquilized and loveless, too. There is a secret love hiding in each problem...."--James Hillman

Friday, October 18, 2013

It's 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 like 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.” - Daniel Quinn

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Through The World

The way through the world
Is more difficult to find than the way beyond it.-- Wallace Stevens

Monday, October 14, 2013

Twain On Fooling

"It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."~ Mark Twain

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hope and Hopelessness

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise." (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Crack-Up)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Building Things That Fall Apart

It never fails, ever since we've started building with cordwood and other materials on our place this philosophy and image comes to mind. It also has kept me from strangling my kids.

"In the village, people used to build their houses out of traditional materials, using no iron or lumber or nails, but the houses were magnificent. Many were sewn together out of bark and fiber. Like the house of the body, the house that a person sleeps in must be very beautiful and sturdy, but not so sturdy that it won’t fall apart after a while. If your house doesn’t fall apart, then there will be no reason to renew it. And it is this renewability that makes something valuable. The maintenance gives it meaning.

"The secret of village togetherness and happiness has always been the generosity of the people, but the key to that generosity is inefficiency and decay. Because our village huts were not built to last very long, they had to be regularly renewed. To do this, villagers came together, at least once a year, to work on somebody’s hut. When your house was falling down, you invited all the folks over. The little kids ran around messing up what everybody was doing. The young women brought the water. The young men carried the stones. The older men told everybody what to do, and the older women told the older men that they weren’t doing it right. Once the house was back together again, everyone ate together, praised the house, laughed, and cried. In a few days, they moved on to the next house. In this way, each family’s place in the village was reestablished and remembered. This is how it always was.

"Then the missionaries and the businessmen and the politicians brought in tin and lumber and sturdy houses. Now the houses last, but the relationships don’t."--Martin Prechtel in The Sun Magazine

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wolverines and Badgers

Just when I get to feeling slightly hopeful about things in steps a friend of mine to set me straight. This time it was about the Michigan Wolverines playing the Minnesota Gophers in a recent Midwest college football showdown.

Friend: Do you realize that 100,000 people attended that football game; and there have been at least 100,000 fans that've attended each Wolverine home football game since 1975.

Me: No, I wasn't aware of that. I'm a Badger fan.

Friend: How many badgers are left in United Wisconsin?

Me: Again, I don't have a clue. Over the years I've seen a few around our place, so I know they're around.

Friend: When it comes to real wolverines in Michigan that's not the case. Did you know there was a wolverine spotted in 2004.

Me: No, I didn't.

Friend: It was the first one spotted since 1804.

Me: That's 200 years ago!

Friend: Yeah, and that one died in 2010.

Me: So, what's your point?

Friend: Do you think more people in the Wolverine State care about real wolverines or the wolverine football team?

Me: Point taken.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

One Big Yawn

"Every action flick depicts the destruction of civilization as some kind of crash-boom-bang, a nuclear war or hurtling comet or a self-aware-cyborg uprising, but the true cataclysm may already be creeping up right under our eyes: because of rampant obesity, one in three children born in the United States is at risk of diabetes--meaning, we could be the first generation of Americans to outlive our children. Maybe the ancient Hindus were better crystal-ball-gazers than Hollywood when they predicted the world would end not with a bang but with a old yawn. Shiva the Destroyer would snuff us out by doing...nothing. Lazing out. Withdrawing his hot-blooded force from our bodies. Letting us become slugs."--Christopher McDougall, pg.99, Born to Run

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Dad Shaved

Sophia (1 yr. old) is keeping a safe distance from me this morning. Periodically she stops, stares with widened eyes, and searches for the dad she once knew in my face. She doesn't wander too far from the safety of mom's arms, keeping them close by. Sometimes taking it as far as raising her arms to give mom the pick-me-up sign; perhaps to get a safer and slightly different angled look from mom's arms. The world has changed for her; daddy shaved.

Monday, October 07, 2013

George Washington God King

I was following my nose this morning and doing some reading on Wikipedia about William Blake and Orc energy. I found this excerpt interesting:

"Blake had many expectations for the American revolution, which is described in a prophetic way within the poem. However, he was disappointed when the fallen state of existence returned and that slavery was not immediately ended. He was also disappointed when there was not a sensual liberation. After Napoleon declared himself emperor in 1804, Blake believed that the Americans would start treating George Washington as their god king in the manner that the French treated Bonaparte and the English George the III. He continued to believe in an apocalyptic state that would soon appear, but he no longer believed that Orc man, the leader of a revolution, would be the agent of the apocalypse. Instead, he believed that God could only exist in men, and he distrusted all hero worship."

I've heard more than a couple people refer to George Washington as a god king.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

I Eat Ants

The first thing my 3 year old son says to me this morning is, "I eat ants." Ten minutes later I run across this quote over at NaturalAwareness.

"It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?"--Henry David Thoreau

Sendivogus on The Soul

Maior autem animae pars extra corpus est (The greater part of the soul is outside the body).--Sendivogius

I think about this quote often, especially on Sunday mornings.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Robert Sund's Mother

What Robert Sund's mother told him:
"Without love of earth
There is no love of Heaven."

(Thank you to George Draffan over at NaturalAwareness for sharing this.)

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Boys and Baseball

Last night we drove into town for dinner and an interview that I was asked to do. A former Little League player of mine had to interview some coaches for a school project. During the interview he asked what one of my fondest memories was of coaching. I couldn't think of anything. Well, that's sort of true. I did but didn't think it proper to say it. The first memory that came to mind was from the 2011 season. I was standing on the mound throwing batting practice to the team and out of all the chaotic noise and laughter I hear a 11 year old voice from centerfield razzing my second baseman of equal age, "Billy's got a boner. Billy's got a boner. Billy's got a boner." I tuned into listen. The two of them proceeded to razz each other for a bit then let it rest. During the exchange I fought back the impulse a few times to tell them that they'd better put a lid on it. After all, there were parents around, and what kind of coach would let this go on at his practice? I persevered, though. I silenced the voices, buried the impulse, and smiled.

I don't know why it's one of my fondest memories but it is. Atleast it was the first one out of many that came to mind last night. I remember returning home after practice on that chilly spring evening and looking up this quote by Dostoyevsky:

"There are 'certain' words and conversations unhappily to eradicate in schools....Boys, pure in mind and heart, are fond of talking....of images of which even soldiers would sometimes hesitate to speak....There is no moral depravity...but there is the appearance of it, and it is often looked upon among them as something refined, subtle, daring and worthy of imitation."

My centerfielder's razzing chant and the exchange that followed was nothing close to what " even soldiers would sometimes hesitate to speak," but I knew it was a start. I'm glad I silenced the internal voices that evening. They were on their way to becoming young men.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Another Day of Digging Post Holes

It's 7:40 AM. My back's stiff. My hands, fingers, and wrists don't want to move from a day digging holes and planting posts to hold up our pole shed yesterday. My body is asking, almost to the point of crying, for a day off from digging. But I must soldier on before the predicted 3-day rainstorm hits. The plan is to finish my cup of coffee, force a bowl of oatmeal down my throat, and be out there digging within a half-n-hour. Before doing any of that I have a request to fill. Hayden (My 3 yr. old son) has just asked me to read him Work, Work, Work, by Daniel Quinn. I smile and say, "I'd be glad to son." We sit down on the couch and I read it to him. I look up, smile, chuckle, and shake my head. Why? The character in the book is a gopher. And before his day's work of digging and burrowing, he says, "Another day. Ho hum. I suppose I may as well get at it." A few minutes later the book ends with the gopher saying, after he goes through a full day of digging and burrowing and missing all the going-ons around him, "Sometimes I think about taking a day off. But what would I do?"

He hit the nail right on the head with that one.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Half-gods and Devils

Sitting with a couple of books before I head out to plant some more posts in the ground for our pole shed. I've called it a barn in the past but it's actually only half the size of your average barn. We're hoping to have the framework up and the roofs on before the snow flies.

One of the books I'm sitting with this morning is The Conduct of Life, by Lewis Mumford. I like this quote out of it: "When the god in him is repressed, the half-gods and devils take possession of man." Another one of the books that I'm sitting with is, of course, Lament of the Dead. And in it the authors explain how the half-gods and devils appeared to Carl Jung in the form of figures in his active imagination. He named, had conversations with, and sketched them. From what I understand so far this is essentially what Jung's Red Book is about.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Two Quotes Today

Two quotes today. The first one I came across yesterday while browsing The Natural Awareness Facebook page."Of all the footprints, that of the elephant is the greatest. Of all the meditations, contemplation of death is the greatest." (Shakyamuni Buddha)The second I wrote down a couple of weeks ago. Michael Meade mentioned it in one of his talks that I downloaded and listened to on the mail route. “Take your well-disciplined strengths and stretch them between two opposing poles. Because inside human beings is where God learns.” --Rainer Maria Rilke

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Martyrs and Victims

No post yesterday. I got called into carry mail at the last minute.

It's Sunday morning. I've found myself going through a few of the conversations in Lament of the Dead. I was hoping I would run across their conversation about Jesus banishing the demons to hell. I'm not familiar with the Bible at all. Someday I would like to find out where it's talked about in the Good Book. Anyway, I ran across a different quote that has stuck with me since I finished LoD last week.

"We're all Christians. We're all suffering the two-thousand-year curse that has been laid on us by what you all like so much, the early Church. As Jung explains to the 'Red One,' his devil, in the Red Book, 'Do you believe that Christianity left no mark on the souls of men?' Don't forget what the early Church did, a lot of murder, a lot of victimization too. But you don't have murderers unless you have martyrs. So the enjoyment of martyrdom is all part of the same sadism."--James Hillman, pg. 218, Lament of the Dead

I think this is why Derrick Jensen refers to Christianity as a victim religion in Endgame. To some degree most of us are martyrs in this death seeking culture of ours. Why else would we allow 200 nonhuman species to go extinct everyday. You'd think we'd take a stand. We're talking about the murder of life on the planet here. It's sadistic. And I think there is a level of enjoyment in it. I also think Ishmael and most of his other work is Daniel Quinn's way of working through the wounding of Christianity.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Winter Is Just Around the Corner

Yesterday I wrote about my 3yr. old son's ability to repeatedly cover himself in the clay-like substance of our gravel pile as being the primary motivating factor for us to get it moved and spread in our pole buildings. Well, that's sort of true. The northern Wisconsin winter is on it's way, and the priorities shift from outdoor projects to just keeping warm. In other words it's a different kind of struggle. My uncle used to have his own way of expressing this as he was getting a fire started in the woodstove to warm the house, "It's time to fight fires."

We ended up moving and spreading 80 wheelbarrow loads yesterday. That's probably about half of it. The dump truck driver brought in another 10 yard load yesterday to fill out the other load and to give us enough to fill a few potholes in our driveway. It looks like we're going to be busy shoveling gravel for another day or two.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Family Fun Activity

The family fun activity for today is: moving 10 yards of freshly dumped gravel from pile to floor of pole building. All that it's going to require is strong backs, two wheelbarrows and a garden shovel for each adult and adolescent. The primary motivation for this is will be my 3 year old son's ability to cover himself in the clay like residue from the pile at multiple times throughout the day. We figure it would be more work to: police him to keep him off of the pile, give him multiple daily baths, and wash all of his play clothes on a daily basis until our guy shows up with his machine to spread it. I do not know where shoveling and wheeling gravel fits into the unschooling scheme of things yet but I'm sure it will show us by the end of the day.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Born To Run?

I have been running close to a mile six days a week for well over a month now. I really like doing it, which is surprising. I'm a baseball player at heart. And baseball players usually don't spend a lot of time running long distances on a daily basis. Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle come to mind. Ruth spent a lot of time drinking, smoking, chasing tail and not getting to bed on time, and he's still one of the greatest hitters of all time. Mantle, after a long night of drinking, said the next day the key was just to swing for the middle ball as it's crossed the plate. The first Milwaukee Brewer game that I ever went to as a kid I peaked around the wall of the dugout to see then all star catcher Ted Simmons smoking a cigarette.

Granted I haven't played organized baseball for close to twenty years now but I still love it. Some of my fondest memories have come from my time spent on and around a baseball diamond. This is partly the reason why I think I've kept myself in pretty good shape since I graduated high school. If need be I still could play. So over the past 20 years or so I've made sure to stretch in the form of some loose yoga poses and do sets of push-ups and sit-ups atleast 5 days a week. Currently I'm doing a variation of them everyday. But I always made sure not to run long distances because I didn't want to suffer any of the injuries that I've heard runners suffer, especially knee injuries. My mom has had a couple of knee replacements starting in her mid-forties. She weighs just over 110 pounds, so it's not because she's overweight. She's never been a runner. She has worked in retail since she's graduated high school, though. That means a lot of time spent standing on cement floors. Come to think of it, both my parents have been making their living standing on cement floors for close to 40 years now. My dad spent 30 years in a metal fabricating factory near where I was born and raised, then retired so he could move up to northwest Wisconsin by his kids to spend more time standing on cement floors in the sporting goods department at Wal-Mart. He's had his share of foot problems. So I've tried to stay away from cement floors and long distance running.

To top it all off I started reading Christopher McDougall's "Born To Run." I'm 15 pages into it and he's already layed out the common injuries that runners suffer and how often. The number that has stuck with me is 8 out of 10 runners will suffer some type of injury during their time at it. Now I'm really ready stop running, but before doing so I had take off my shoes and try running a mile barefooted. I know of a friend that started running barefooted after he read it. If I remember right he said that his doctor told him he'd never be able to run again. The last I checked in with him, he was running close to three miles every other day and getting stronger. So maybe I will continue on with the book and try some barefooted running before the snow flies here in northwestern Wisconsin.

On a different note. I stopped by a neighbors yesterday to pick up her garbage. She's done some activist work in the past and follows Wisconsin politics much closer than I do. She made sure to let me know that they (I forgot the name of the company) are now pumping water out of the ground near the Penokee Hills and shipping it over to China. She also made sure to let me know that the Walker administration was fascist. She even wanted to take the time to show me a list of reasons that was put together by a fellow citizen as to why this is so. I told her not to worry about it. I said to her, "I pretty much figure any government body that values products over people's needs is well on its way to fascism. And this is why I don't think Derrick Jensen is too radical of a writer."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

More Than a Truck

The most important thing I got from my neighbor yesterday was not my 1995 Chevy pic-up but were a couple of stories from his wife. She told us (Annie drove me there) that her son would have been 45 years on that day. He's buried in the cemetary across the road from their house. I heard he died close to 25 years ago playing chicken on a motorcycle with my grandpa's cousin. Neither of them refused to stray from their direct path with each other and neither of them made it. I've heard it said they were going well over 80 miles an hour when they made contact. She also told me that she's been taking in foster kids for close to 40 years now but she's had enough. "One of the latest", she said, "was an emergency case. The kid showed up with nothing but the clothes on his back, and they were all full of holes." She then went onto say, "He got in the car and moments later he was eating food scraps off from the floorboards of the car." And at the end of the conversation she even threw in some politics. She didn't think it was right that Governor Walker thinks he can just take away BadgerCare (Wisconsin's state run healthcare system for poor people.) and food stamps. "There are people out there that need that," she said. "Yes, I realize it's not just up to the govenor, but it seems like he is sure playing a big part."

And that's my brief reflection on some of yesterday's activities before I head outside to do some work on our pole barn.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Brief Reflection on The Insolent Chariot

How do I define pain? Having to go to the bank to pull out cash to buy a vehicle. Lewis Mumford wrote this back in 1966: "Only war can claim so many premature deaths; for the death rate from motor cars is greater than the combined death rate from falls, burnings, drownings, railroads, firearms, and poisonous gases, plus some two thousand other deaths from undefinable causes. And though only roughly half as many Americans were killed outright by autos in the last four-year period as were killed in our armed forces during a similar term in the Second World War, nearly three times as many were injured."

I imagine it's only gotten worse.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Our New Addition

We have a new addition to the family. Ernie, the owner of the junkyard a few miles to the west of me, had it sitting out by the road with the for sale sign. Annie spotted it on the way from work. She thought Ernie just put it out there and it was going to go fast. So as soon as she got home we loaded up the kids and headed a mile to the east to pay the neighbor for the 4 dozen eggs he'd given me earlier in the day, then we headed back 3 miles to the west to look at it. There it sat with not much rust. The number one selling point for me at this time. Especially on a chevy pic-up that'll be 19 years old next year. My Chevy pic-up that my dad bought after I rolled his Bronco II when I was a junior in high school is just about ready for the place our new addition is coming from.

The next thing I was looking for was if it had 4 wheel drive. It did. It didn't work, though. By the time I noticed that, Ernie had made his way through his front yard to the truck. He said someone had swiped the front drive shaft off from it while it was sitting in the yard amongst the hundreds of other vehicles.

"It happens all the time," he said.

"That's fine," I said. "Are you pretty firm on the price?" I asked.

"I'm negotiable," he said.

"Alright, I'll go home and think about it. I'll give you a call tomorrow."

"That sounds good. But before you leave I'm going to pull it out of the way so no one misses the corner and smashes into it. That tends to happen quite a bit right here." He said.

I got home and gave it a half hour's thought. I called him up and offered him two-thirds of what he was asking. He came back with his price. I told him I'd take it.

"Do you want cash or check?" I asked.

"Cash," he answered. "You gonna pick it up tomorrow?"

"No, I've got to wait for the bank to open on Monday," I replied. I just don't keep that kind of cash on me.

"Alright, I'll look around here for the title." He remarked.

We exchanged good-byes and hung up.

Not bad. I got 4 dozen eggs and a different pick-up without leaving County Rd. E. And I'm still in line with what I mentioned to a friend this summer; we both agreed that we haven't paid as much for a vehicle as most people pay for a new riding lawnmower.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Getting Out The Door

It's 6:30 AM. It's been one of those mornings. Annie wasn't able to get out the door before Hayden (3 yr. old) and Sophia (1 yr. old) got out of bed. That means nursing Sophia (I'm not equipped!) and a diaper change (I'm capable but not so much willing). They're sad that mom has to go to work in 10 minutes. Hayden has started his usual mourning process. Tears and the occasional scream. You'd think somebody had died. I'm questioning this whole attachment parenting idea as I'm holding Sophia. I don't think she knows whether to cry or jump back into mom's arms. Annie should be just about to the Post Office by now, but she's still trying to get out the door. She tries to make the final break by saying the usual, "Okay, now I really have to go." We all go through our final good byes with hugs and kisses again. She's grabs the door handle is able to get the front door open without too much trouble. She steps out onto the porch and is just about able to get the door shut when Hayden grabs the handle and opens it. He says with a concerned tone in his voice, "Mom! Watch out for mice, rabbits, and deer. Because they jump out on the road!"

Friday, September 20, 2013

Limits on Ammo

The other day my two sons (14 and 3 yrs. old) and I were at the store looking at shotgun shells. We were trying to determine what size of shell to use for shooting ruffed grouse. We weren't standing there but only a few minutes and a casually dressed man who looked to be in his seventies smiled at my 3 year old son and said, "Someday you'll be shooting those." My son turned his head and buried into my leg so he could get a view of the man out of the corner of his eye. I smiled at the man acknowledging his presense. Silence followed. We all went back to looking at the shelves full of shells and bullets. A minute or two passed by and out of the silence the old guy motioned toward a sign that was on display in front of us and grumbled, " This current President and his administration are why we have limits on buying ammunition." Tension followed. I said something intelligent like, "yeah." Less then a minute later he turned to walk away. And as he did he made sure to proudly smile at us as he walked by.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Brief New Technology Reflection

The other day, while my family was gathered at my parent's to celebrate my mom's 57th birthday, my 8 yr. old nephew excitedly said, "Hey guess what, Uncle Curt, I got my IPad at school today. We've just started learning about them." About two months prior to this I was over visiting my grandparents on a Sunday afternoon. Just before leaving to go home my grandpa says to me, "Here I've got to show you something." He unzips a black case and pulls out an IPad that he is currently required to use in his capacity as a publicly elected county board member. "This thing," he says, "will be my undoing. It marks the end of my service as a county board member. I'm not running again."

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Death and The Other World

"I think it's more a matter of realizing that there is a porous permeability between the living and the dead. Between life and death. And the way we have set it up is that death and life are opposed and you must hold off death and it's the ultimate other, and you die alone, this sort of existential whatever. And it seems to me that this offers a completely different way of realizing that the day world is permeated with the other world--in all kinds of small ways, that they're always inner voices, that the dead are cautionary figures. That you are living with the dead. And what you think of as the way of life may be the way of more death. And the way of death may be the way of more livingness. That these are not necessarily alternatives or that first you do one and then you do the other."--James Hillman, pg.25, Lament of the Dead

Derrick Jensen made it clear to me with his work that our "way of life may be the way of more death."

Sunday, September 15, 2013

All Learning is Remembering

I learned yesterday in a talk by Michael Meade that "all learning is remembering." What I'm hearing him say is that if you want to learn there has to be some remembering involved. In other words, the knowledge is already there it is just needs to be awakened. It's also interesting to note that in The Story of B Daniel Quinn titled one section The Great Forgetting and followed up later with a section titled The Great Remembering. I'm starting to come to the conclusion that if any schooling program isn't aimed at remembering then all it is doing is putting kids and adults to sleep and it isn't worth the taxpayers money. The Quote below out of The Story of B better illustrates some aspects of this remembering.

"B means to gather the voices of humans all over planet into one voice singing, 'The world must live, the world must live! We are only one species among billions. The gods don't love us more than they love spiders or bears or whales or water lilies. The age of The Great Forgetting has ended, and all its lies and delusions have been dispelled. Now we remember who we are. Our kin are not cherubim, seraphim, thrones, principalities, and powers. Our kin are mayflies, lemurs, snakes, eagles, and badgers. The blinding we suffered in the Great Forgetting has abated, so we no longer imagine that Man was ill-made. We no longer imagine that the gods botched their work when it came to us. We no longer think they know how to make every single thing in the whole vast universe except a human being. The blinding we suffered in the Great Forgetting has passed, so we can no longer live as though nothing matters but us. We can no longer believe that suffering is the lot the gods hand in mind for us. We can no longer believe that death is sweet release to our true destiny. We no longer yearn for the nothingness of nirvana. We no longer dream of wearing crowns of gold in the royal court of heaven.'"--Pg. 324, The Story of B

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Not to be Forgotten

"I often wondered what would happen to the Gods of Christianity if no one believed in them. They require belief. If the God says you have to believe in me, then belief is what supports the God. The Greeks did not ask people to believe in their Gods. The Gods asked for certain rituals, or not to be forgotten, the was the most important thing. Not to be forgotten."--James Hillman, Pg.128, Lament of the Dead

I learned something interesting today while reading "Lament of the Dead." Back in the 1950's John Freeman asked Carl Jung in an interview if he believed in God. Jung hesitated for a bit then replied by saying something to the effect of: I don't believe, I know. This would mean absolutely nothing to me if I never would've read "The Holy" and the rest of Daniel Quinn's work, but especially "The Holy." The beings that drove David Kennesey over the edge and eventually to his death, I think, are good examples of beings that don't necessarily expect belief of any kind, but only ask not to be forgotten. Because, like Jung has said, called upon or not they will be present. I would guess it's better just to be aware of them instead of being asleep at the wheel. Too bad it's taken me close to a decade to come to this understanding.

Friday, September 13, 2013

An Ancestral Question Answered?

I haven't had much time in front of the computer lately. Still busy trying to get two pole buildings built before November 1st, and generally getting ready for winter. Posting will be light for awhile.

James Hillman writes in Lament of the Dead:

"...the way I understand archetypal psychology, that you must always understand who is asking the question. The task is not to get the answer, the answer is who is dominating my mind, so that that's my basic question, who is determining my point of view. It's like a deconstructive 'I'.' You don't just want to get an answer. The real answer is 'Why is that my question?'"--James Hillman, Pg. 56, The Lament of the Dead

Another reason why I think I cried with a sense of relief after reading Ishmael back in the late nineties was that an ancestral question was answered for me. A question that my grandfathers were asking generations before me. Plus, I had just come off from living and working with my grandfather for close to seven years. To a certain degree I had an understanding of his point of view and inner struggles. And if you follow Jungian psychology those inner struggles are also mine to some degree. This is probably why I tried my damdest to get him to take a look at some of Quinn's ideas.

Monday, September 09, 2013

A Short Letter To The Editor

This morning, amongst 50,000 other things, I typed up a short letter to our local newspaper's editor.

Corporations and Corruption

At the end of [editor's name] article he commented that although Abraham Lincoln was not considered one of the "Founding Fathers" of this great nation of ours he did have the ability to see into its future. I couldn't agree more, especially after reading this quote by our 16th President:

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."- Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln was right, of course. The money power in the form of the mega-corporation has rigged our democratic system and the laws it creates so much in their favor that the majority of citizens are uncertain about the future and have little or no faith in their government, as [editor's name] alluded to in his letter last week. But I wonder why instead of singling out the power of the federal government he didn't go after the power of the mega-corporation. If Lincoln could see this starting to happen back in the 1860's why can't [editor's name] see it 150 years later?

Friday, September 06, 2013

We've Colonized Ourselves

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (Probably my favorite environmental organization.)posted this on Facebook yesterday:

End "capital-ism" for corporations--- you can help shut down the widespread acceptance of "corporate personhood" even before we amend the U.S. constitution.

It's a tell tale sign of the biases institutionalized in our society that each time I try to send an e-mail or write in a "word" document using the name of a corporation, my spell-checker tries to correct me for not having capitalized the name of the corporation. If we assert that corporations are things and not persons, then honoring the names of corporations with capitalization and accepting their names as personal pronouns seems to me to be a contradiction of the idea that they are things, not persons.

I think that if "microsoft" deserves to be capitalized, then why not Dog, or Dolphin, or Box Turtle...all of which I hold in higher regard than the corporation? In fact, I want never again to capitalize the label ("name") of a corporation.

We at the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund often capitalize local "Ordinances," because they are laws of communities. So too County, and Township and Borough -- respecting community self-governance. I generally capitalize People and Nature.

So, we can make a statement not only with what we say, but how we type it. And if we do not, we still make a statement...and it is that we continue to be colonized by the dominant culture, which elevates corporations (property) above People and Nature.

Who will join us in de-capitalizing corporations?

I like the idea of ending "capital-ism" for corporations. I also think they make a good point in saying that Dog, Dolphin, or Box Turtle should capitalized well before Microsoft (This computer does not allow me to not capitalize Microsoft.) Robert Bly was right when he pointed out in "The Sibling Society" that we are the first culture to have colonized ourselves.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Back After a Few Days

It's been close to four days since I've posted anything on here. Been busy with building a pole barn, canning garden produce, and just being dad. I've noticed my day goes better when I put something on here. A few thoughts and a quote below.

I think I've figured out the 50 Shades of Gray phenomenon: people are craving ritualistic sex.

It's the third day of school in these parts. It has caused me to reflect a bit on my school days some 30 years ago. Reflection: School would have been a whole hell of a lot more interesting if we would have been introduced to myth, the gods, and the other world. In other words, spent a lot more time on mythology than we did. Michael Meade has said no learning takes place unless psychology is involved.

"One always thinks you get your ideas from the masters, the mentors, the teachers. I found that ideas are connected with eros, and that where the eros is alive, the two work together. That's a crucial part of all the work. We always had parties surrounding it all. Eros is the whole key."--James Hillman, pg. 580, The Life and Ideas of James Hillman

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Jesus on My Mind

Here is an interesting psychological insight by James Hillman on Jesus Christ:

"Of all Jesus' strengths, above all his weakness stands out, his sympathy and understanding for weakness, 'Jesus wept.'"--Pg.521, The Life and Ideas of James Hillman

This quote out of the bible was posted by a Facebook friend a few weeks back. I like the language. I also like how it challenges the sanitized-peace-loving version of Jesus that I was fed throughout my childhood. Mind you I never sat through a day of bible study or went to church on a regular basis but the ideas and images are still there.

“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”--Luke 12: 49-53

Friday, August 30, 2013

No Mommy, Daddy, Me

Ever since hearing James Hillman mention in one of his talks that when he did therapy he always tried to make sure his patients talked about their grandparents instead of their parents, I have been fascinated. He said one thing that this did is help move the patient's mind away from so-called concrete events and into fantasy and imagination which is basically all it is anyway. In other words, what I'm hearing him say is our behaviors, habits, and emotions are fantasy based. Here is what he has to say in the Lament of the Dead. If I understand it right this was the final project he was working on before he died.

J.H:"When I was doing therapy, back in another period of history, I always tried to escape the parents, which was the story that the person always wanted to tell me--what their mother did and what their father did. You notice Jung hasn't a lot to say about them anywhere in the Red Book."

Sonu Shamdasani: "There's no 'Mommy, Daddy, me,' as Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari would put it."

J.H: "But to go and ask people about their grandparents and their great-grandparents and imagining all their great-grandparents sitting down at a table. That would be eight people. Could they eat the same food? Could they talk the same language? Could they even sit with each other? But the ancestors in the book--see the reason being that it shows the enormous complexities in human nature and the incompatibilities in human nature. And the fact that your actual parents whom you think cause everything are actually the result of those tremendous incompatibilities themselves. It frees them up too." --Pg. 3, Lament of the Dead

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Mini Ms. Pac-Man Marathon

Had a good evening yesterday. We went out with family to have pizza at a local spot. I ended up sticking close to two dollars in Ms.Pac-Man. I was taken by it. It brought back all kinds of memories from my days growing up in Beaver Dam (For those of you who aren't familiar this is a small town in southern Wisconsin). There were my friends with me once again giving me advice over my shoulder as I was trying to escape Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde. You see, I was always terrible at video games. I didn't have much interest in them. My friends knew this and they tried to help me out as much as they could and at the same time gave me a lot of shit while doing so. Anyway, I'm still terrible at it. I may have broke 20,000 points once. What interested me though was that towards the end of my mini Ms. Pac Man marathon is that my 14 year old son looked over my shoulder and said: "You know, Dad, Ms.Pac-Man was Dionysus's favorite video game." That makes a dad smile. I know he's learned something in this unschooling adventure we're on.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

From Tittilation to Toxicity in No Time

It's interesting how it all works. Yesterday I mention in a post that I'm right where I need to be. Less than 24 hours later I'm ready to move the hell out of here. Last night around midnight Annie and I are sitting on the couch in the living room feeling a bit romantic. We've shared a few drinks which is rare these days. The kids are sound asleep. The night has got a saltry feel to it. It's 82 degrees in the house. We can hear a pair of fans blowing cool air from outside the windows they've been temporarily placed into. All is going well until the smell of burnt plastic wafts through the air. The romantic feeling is instantly gone and reality hits: We're being poisoned by one of our neighbor's burning barrells to the east or west. Then reality hits again: There is no place to go to escape things like this. The nights over. We go to bed feeling helpless and wondering how this is going to effect our kids.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Morning So Far

It's 7AM. It's been a busy morning so far. The kids have been up for an hour or so. I bitched a little to Annie about Scott Walker turning the federal money to help fun Badgercare before she left to carry mail for the USPS. Hayden (4 yrs. old) made a captive toad swim multiple laps in our kiddy pool than released it back into our garden. Now he's making me bacon and eggs with green play doh as Waylan Jennings plays in the background on my 14 year old son's stereo. And as I type this Sophia (1 year) attempts to waddle her diapered-butt across the room a little bit further than she did yesterday. Life couldn't be better. I'm right where I need to be.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Citizens Getting Pushy

One word comes to mind when hearing about citizens working to stop big corporations from destroying their landbase at the city, county, and town government levels: Patriotism. Also it's a sign they've given up on the idea that their state and federal governments will have any success changing the corporations behavior. It's what the spiritual father of our American democracy Denis Diderot had in mind when he said: "If we look to the city rather than the state it's because we've given up hope that the state may create a new image for the city."

Now the question is how long will take for citizens across the country to push hard enough for it to be recognized in the United States Constitution that Nature has rights.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Reading about sex and intimacy this morning. This quote interested me:

"It's no accident that the word intercourse means both physical lovemaking and intimate conversation."--Thomas Moore, pg.171, Soul Mates

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How Do They Do It?

Yesterday I was talking to a friend about Thomas Moore's book, Dark Eros: The Imagination of Sadism, which I read two summers ago. During our talk I mentioned to my friend that I'd heard Moore mention in a radio interview that I downloaded last year that he felt compelled to write that book because he'd just started out practicing psychotherapy and a lot of his patients were coming to him with dreams filled with kinky sex, death, and murder. It has always fascinated me how an analyst can handle sitting across from a patient and listen to them reveal the different dimensions of their soul. Well, this morning, while reading James Hillman's biography I ran across this quote in a letter that he wrote to his mother in his early thirties:

"To be an analyst is a hell of a burden, since the questions one must face are not to be answered easily, else the patient himself would have found the answers. Every hour of working with someone involves the whole personality, with all it weaknesses especially in this Jungian method where the two people sit face to face, and not where one does all the talking lying down and the other hides behind a note book out of sight.. So this autumn I have been depressed over facing all the implications of my work, my shortcomings, mistakes...It has never been clear sailing but the difficulties become more apparent as one gets nearer the port. One can only have an effect on the other person if one can experience certain symbols and certain problems and certain wounds. In ancient times the physician was symbolized as having a wound himself, or the same disease as the patient. Or he carried or caught the patient's disease and thus by curing himself cured the patient. Since most of the illnesses brought to the consulting room are the standard illnesses of our day, illnesses which everyone has and shares, I have to work these things in myself before they can be of any use to anyone else."--[James Hillman in a letter to his mother in 1957, pg. 441, The Life and Ideas of James Hillman]

On a different note but somewhat related. Yesterday I ordered Lament of the Dead: Psychology After Jung's Red Book. It was the last project James Hillman was working on before he died.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Writing Down Dreams

This past week or so I've found myself writing down my dreams first thing in the morning. I've been writing in a journal for years now and have never written down my dreams. One thing that I've learned so far is how fast I forget them before I write them down. It seems like I should have my notebook next to the bed so when I wake up in the middle of the night I can get it all down on paper before it slips into nothingness. Ironically, I ran across this quote in the James Hillman autobiography this morning:

"We may also understand our resistance to dreaming as a resistance in our 'natural' nature to Hades. We 'can't remember' go vague, forget to jot it down, or scribble it beyond deciphering, and excuse ourselves by pointing to the obvious slipperiness of dreams. Yet if each dream is a step into the underworld, the remembering a dream is a recollection of death and opens a frightening crevice under our feet."--James Hillman, The Dream and the Underworld.

Yes, indeed Mr. Hillman, they're definitely slippery.

On another note someone the other day had mentioned that when I get done reading Hillman they've got something more immediate for me to read. It was a book about the role religion and Rockefeller money played in colonizing Indians in the early part of the 20th century. At the time I wish I would've asked, what can be more immediate than the souls immanence in a culture that shows very little concern for the soul?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Jung on Yoga And Eastern Religion

Carl Jung on practicing yoga:

"The European who practices yoga does not know what he is doing. It has a bad effect upon him, sooner or later he gets afraid and sometimes it even leads him over the edge of madness."-- Carl Jung, Pg. 346, The Ideas of James Hillman

You've got to wonder if this psychological insight still holds true today to some degree.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Unexpressed Tolerance Felt as Hoplessness

I'm still immersed (captivated might be a better word to use) in the biography titled: The Ideas of James Hillman, by Dick Russell. There are so many new and refreshing ideas in his work I think it would take me a couple lifetimes to understand them all. Also, since I'm learning more about his life I've been inspired to listen to some of the talks I have downloaded of his. I have been delivering mail quite a bit the past couple of weeks so I've had plenty of time alone in the car for listening. I'll share a quote out of the talk titled Myths of the Family below.

"Family love allows family pathology. An immense unexpressed tolerance felt as hopelessness for the hopeless shadow in each. The shadow that we carry as a permanent part of our baggage and which we unpack when we go home."--James Hillman, 32 minutes into disc one of Myths of the Family

This is fascinating to me and I'll tell you why. He's expressed elegantly what happens when we go home to our family. For who better knows our shadow than our families? Robert Bly once said that you usually can't see your own shadow but your family and friends can. Also paralysis is the greatest form of acceptance there is because there is no attempt to change anyone. In other words, the regressive needs of the soul are contained within the family.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


"To make sense of later years and the often absurd predicaments and ridiculous degradations congruent with age, we do well to return to one of the deepest questions human thought has posed: What is character, and how does it force us into the patterns we live? What ages is not merely your functions and organs, but the whole of your nature, that particular person you have come to be and already were years ago. Character has been forming your face, your habits, your friendships, your peculiarities, the level of your ambition with its career and its faults."-- James Hillman, Pg. xv, The Force of Character

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pray To The Animals

Thinking about animals this morning.

Years ago I heard a story of an American Indian spiritual leader who was in a circle with a bunch of environmentalists who were drumming and singing. One of the environmentalists prayed, "Please save the spotted owl, the river otter, the peregrine falcon."

The Indian got up and whispered, "What are you doing, friend?"

"I'm praying for the animals."

"Don't pray for the animals. Pray to the animals." The Indian paused, then continued, "You're so arrogant, you think you're bigger than they are, right? Don't pray for the redwood. Pray that you can become as courageous as a redwood. Ask the redwood what it wants."-- Derrick Jensen, Pg.132, Thought To Exist In The Wild: Awakening From The Nightmare of Zoos

Monday, August 12, 2013

Thank You Mr. Mussolini

"Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power." - Benito Mussolini

Thank you Mr. Mussolini for summing up our current state of political affairs.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hard Books

In the past my wife has given me a hard time about reading serious books all the time. For example, I read a half a dozen psychology books by James Hillman this winter. It used to bother me to a certain degree. I, of course, thought it was some kind of neurosis or obsession. There just aren't many people around me that read the stuff I read, at least that I know of. It sort of gives one the feeling of an expatriate. It also reminds me of an interview that I listened to with the poet Robert Bly recently. In it he mentioned how our culture has really fallen apart in the last 10 to 15 years. One of the reasons he gave was that no one tackles hard books anymore. It also takes me back to a comment that a guy I work with made a year or so ago: "I don't read because I don't have the time. I've got more important things to do. I'm too busy."

I wish I had more time to read. I don't because I've got responsibilities to my family. Or perhaps it's like I've heard Hillman say in one of his interviews: I'm stuck in family values. Something the republican part and new age Christians continue to hammer home to their followers. If you ever want to listen to a really good talk about family that James Hillman did well ever 20 years ago google: Myths of The Family. Or I could find a way to email it to you.

Here is a quote related to the subject at hand:

"Studying literature or other things is just study, but philosophy is living and is part of you. I sit and think about it all the time. I have tried to get back to reading a novel or two, but just can't [get] interested or started. It is the first time such a thing has happened, I usually have a lot of books I should read and want to read."-- Pg. 212, James Hillman writing in his early twenties, The Life and Ideas of James Hillman

That quote resonates with me. I've always been really attracted to philosophy and can't find the time to start and get interested in a good novel.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Joy Forever

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever."--John Keats

Friday, August 09, 2013

Man Of Action

"The saddest of all America's complexes is its idolatry of the man of action. Will we never leave the frontier stage?"--James Hillman, pg.169, The Life and Ideas of James Hillman

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Writing A Bit More These Days

And because of that this advice by George Santayana to James Hillman about writing interested me after running across it in my morning reading:

"If you to write it is not necessary to be complete (formal education, knowledge) but be in harmony with yourself, read what interests you."--Pg.160, The Life and Ideas of James Hillman

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Children and Childhood

The other day a friend of mine sent me Michael Meade's Alchemy of Fire lectures. And in it he mentioned an idea that I've heard repeated by others (Robert Bly, James Hillman) in the men's movement of the late eighties and early nineties: We Americans idealize childhood and hate our children. Perhaps this explains why funding is being cut for the arts and general education in the public sphere, or how we've made sex into a plaything.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Delivering Mail Again Today

My God, I'm living at the end of the Oil Age and my wife is delivering car advertisements to everyone on her mail route today. Most of the people I've talked to say they take those flyers and walk straight from the mailbox to the garbage can (Notice I didn't say recycling bin) or they take great joy in watching them burn in their burning barrels.

Also, here is a quote out of a 1973 mystery novel that a friend shared with me this morning:

"Our myth has been that our standard of living would become available to all the peoples of the world. Myths wear thin. We have a visceral appreciation of the truth. That truth, which we don't dare announce to the world, is what gives us the guilt and the shame and the despair. Nobody in the world will ever live as well, materially, as we once did. And now, as our materialism begins to sicken us, it is precisely what the emerging nations want for themselves. And can never have. Brazil might manage it. But no one else."--John D MacDonald, The Scarlet Ruse

Monday, August 05, 2013

Not Enough Death

"Our Culture is singular for its ignorance of death. The great art and celebrations of many other cultures--ancient Egyptian and Etruscan, the Greek of Eleusis, Tibetan---honor the underworld....The soul...desires to go beyond, to go ever inward and deeper."--James Hillman, The Dream and the Underworld

Sunday, August 04, 2013

The Bible and Last Sunday's Visit With My Grandparents

Last Sunday I was over visiting my grandparents (My mom's parents) and we got on the subject of gay marriage. Of course the conversation then moved to God and the Bible. The conversation was short. And to close it I repeated a statement that my grandmother (My dad's mom) was fond of saying when she was alive: The Bible was written by the hand of man, so I don't trust it. My grandpa smiled at me and said she was right.

I have never read the bible cover to cover. I've only read bits and pieces, usually opening it up when it has been quoted by an author that I'm reading at the time. Anyway, while reading James Hillman's biography this morning I ran across this quote by his grandfather. He was a Jewish rabbi during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

"We recognize the truth in every religion...We discard the belief that the Bible was written by God, or by man under the immediate dictation of God, and that its teachings are therefore infallible and binding upon all men and all ages... it is the work of man and shares all the faults that characterize the religious writings of bygone ages; its self-evident contradictions, its conflicts with the indisputable facts of science, show conclusively the human and the primitive human mind." [Joseph Krauskopf, Page 66, The Life and Ideas of James Hillman]

A hundred years later his grandson went on to write in A Terrible Love of War (A book I highly recommend):

"To consider the events in the Bible as legends, myths, and stories, or as exemplary lessons for learning life's truths, opens the mind to imaginative speculation, shaking belief in the Bible's revelation of the true words of its God."--James Hillman, A Terrible Love of War

In other words, don't take it literally. I've heard Robert Bly say that angry people have forgotten how to think metaphorically.

There it is, a blog post by 8:30 AM. Now it's time to get a bite to eat, then go out and dig some fence posts in bone-dry, sandy soil. We desperately need a good rain. We haven't had a notable amount of rainfall since late June or early July I believe.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Ruling The World

"Male rule of the world has its emotional roots in female rule of early childhood."--Dorothy Dinnerstein

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Started A New Book This Morning

This morning I started officially reading The Life and Ideas of James Hillman, by Dick Russell. In the past month or so I've been randomly opening it up and reading bits and pieces.

Yesterday I made it a point to tune into Wisconsin Public Radio and listened to local author Michael Perry. As always it was a pleasure to listen to an interview with him. There were a couple of things I took from the interview: One, he mentioned that he was an amateur fan of Montaigne. I'd consider myself an amateur fan of James Hillman. Secondly, he said that he'd never come out of the room that he writes in if given the chance. I often fantasize about that, but it's pretty much impossible right now given that I have three children. I help unschool our 14 year old son and have a 4 and 1 year old that demand a lot of my attention.

One of the quotes out of The Life and Ideas of James Hillman that gives me a better idea of what the soul is.

"Hillman's approach takes psychology back to its ancient origins where the word literally means 'study of the soul,' deriving from the Greek psyche. For Hillman, soul is not a substance but a perspective, 'an inner place...that is simply there even when all our subjectivity, ego, and consciousness go into eclipse.' It is also 'the imaginative possibility in our natures...that unknown component which makes meaning possible, turns events into experiences, is communicated in love, and has a religious concern."[pg.xix]

I do a lot of reading of footnotes. I learned today that Hillman made a book proposal back in 2002. It's title: The World's Playground: How and Why America is a Child Among Nations. Sounds fascinating. I wish it would've seen the light of day.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Are Fantasies Alive?

I wrote down two quotes this morning. One out of Sit Down and Shut Up, by Brad Warner. The other out of The Life and Ideas of James Hillman, by Dick Russell. I'm confused by them. I'm hearing in them that Buddhists don't think fantasies are alive and archetypal psychology views them as living beings that are archetypal. Perhaps, here again, spirit is claiming itself to be superior to soul.

"'...through the imagination man has access to the gods: through the memoria the gods enter our lives.' So it might be that psychological language must 'find its kinship, not with the logics of scientific reason or with the exercises of a behaving will, but with the arts.' 'Why are our fantasies embarrassing to tell, and why are we embarrassed hearing the intimate tales of another's imagination?...The shame about our fantasies gives testimony to their importance.' Our will and intelligence do not embarrass us in the same way, yet 'the revelation of fantasies exposes the divine, which implies that our fantasies are alien because they are not ours. They arise from the transpersonal background, from nature or spirit or the divine, even as they become personalized through our lives, moving our personalities into mythic enactments."[pg.617, The Life and Ideas of James Hillman]

"To a Buddhist everything is alive, including wells. The only things that aren't alive are those fantasies we create in our heads." [Brad Warner, pg. 240, Sit Down and Shut Up]

I'm wondering if one denies that fantasies are alive then one is denying the existence of the gods. If you've read The Holy by Daniel Quinn you might have a better understanding of where I'm coming from. What I got from that book is that the gods and our fantasies are beyond our minds but yet influence our actions. So how could they not be alive? I thought the gods are eternal and immortal.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Getting Old

This 10 minute video is well worth the time it takes to watch. It helped me understand my grandparents (I lived with them for 5 years). It also helped me realize that aging is no accident and with it comes a level of vitality if one has the right perspective.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

If I Had More Money

I donated $25 to the making of this film this morning. If I had more money I'd donate more. Thomas Linzey's work is truly inspiring. It has inspired me to do what I can to help challenge illegitimate structure of law that keeps communities from moving in the direction of sustainability.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Letter to the Editor

It was nice to take a 48 hour break from the internet. I finally got on to sit down and write a letter to our local newspaper's editor.

Sustainable Communities

It was a pleasure to read [Insert Name] letter to the editor last week. Why? Because a fellow citizen mentioned local government doing something about global warming in the first paragraph of his letter. Then that fellow citizen went on to point out that we can't expect federal and state government bodies to do much about the future of humanity on this planet.

A number of thinkers over the years, like Thomas Linzey from The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, have pointed out that state and federal environmental laws do more to protect the rights of corporations over the rights of communities and ecosystems. In other words, what environmental regulations regulate is environmentalists.

Perhaps this is why we're seeing militant environmentalism in the Penokee Hills. Maybe their actions are a result of the inherent injustice in the laws that have been written to protect the environment. As a result they've taken it upon themselves to do something about this in ways that most of us would not approve of. This is nothing new, of course. We've seen this throughout history surrounding many injustices. Slaves formed underground railroads and the Black Panthers fought back by any means necessary when faced with overt racism.

So this has got me wondering: If more citizens got together in their communities to lay out their visions of what a sustainable community is there would be no need for militant environmentalists because they'd have local laws in place to protect themselves and their landbase from destructive activities like the one being proposed in the Penokee Hills or the various frac sand mines to the south of us.

I think it's time for us to take the advice of Rene Diderot--the spiritual father of our American democracy-- when he said "If we look to the city rather than the state it's because we've given up hope that the state may create a new image for the city." That's what our country was founded on and perhaps that's what it is going to take for it to survive into the future.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What Family Is

Thank you to James Hillman for helping me understand what family is instead of what it ought to be.

"The measure of a family's magnanimity is not what it gives to charity but rather its capacity to shelter the shadows of its members." [Pg.199, A Blue Fire]

Monday, July 15, 2013

The desire to win and Lombardi

Vince Lombardi is on my mind today. I learned today from author Phil Cousineau that Lombardi is didn't say "Winning isn't everything but the only thing," but "The effort to win is everything." The latter having much more to do with the desire to excel.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Our Name

"No one knows our name until our last breath goes out."--Rumi

Thursday, July 11, 2013

On My Own This Morning

I finished up Hardcore Zen this morning.

"It's a frightening thing to be truly honest with yourself. It means you have no one left to turn to anymore, no one to blame, and to no one look to for salvation. You have to give up any possibility that there will ever be any refuge for you. You have to accept the reality that you are truly and finally on your own. The best thing you can hope for in life is to meet a teacher who will smash all your dreams, dash all of your hopes, tear your teddy-bear beliefs out of your arms and them over a cliff."--Brad Warner, pg.184, Hardcore Zen

I wonder how alone we really want to be in this. I think of archetypal psychologist's James Hillman's statement that meditation feeds the capitalistic-individualistic, developing ego, and personal growth fantasy. In other words, the child archetype.

I've heard the Buddha once said "work at your salvation with diligence." Why can't this be a community activity? Perhaps that's what the Sangha is for. I don't know that much about Buddhism to say for sure.

Brad Warner asks on page 184 of Hardcore Zen: "Why is it that we prefer fantasies to what our life really is?" I think of Carl Jung's statement that "Fantasy creates reality everyday." The goal in Zen Buddhism, the way I understand it, is to get beyond your fantasies and see reality for what it is. But I'm hearing thinkers like Jung and Hillman say there is nothing more powerful than fantasy, it creates our reality. It is reality. Perhaps they're speaking from the perspective of soul and Brad Warner is speaking for the perspective of spirit. And, like I've heard Hillman say many times, spirit posits itself as The Truth. Or to use another quote from Joseph Campbell, “The only problem with Yahweh is he thinks he's. God!" It's an old Gnostic saying.

Just some random thoughts this morning...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

How Old?

"How old are we before we realize someone inside doesn't wish us well?"--Robert Bly in The Sibling Society

Tuesday, July 09, 2013


A few minutes ago I was trying to figure out what to post then out of the blue my son said this:

"I wonder how many times they have to predict the end of the world before it actually happens?"

I often wonder this myself.

Monday, July 08, 2013

What's Right

Ran across this gem in Hardcore Zen, by Brad Warner. "Never let your sense of morals keep you from doing what's right."-- Isaac Asimov

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Some Rumi On A Sunday Morning

I haven't cracked open my daily readings of Rumi in awhile. I decided to this Sunday morning. Yesterday's poem resonates.

Now I return to the text.

And He is with you,
wherever you are.
(Qur'an 57:4)

But when have I ever left it?

Ignorance is God's prison.
Knowing is God's palace.

We sleep in God's unconsciousness
We wake in God's open hand.

We weep God's rain.
We laugh God's lightning.

Fighting and peacefulness
both take place within God.

Who are we then
in this complicated world-tangle,
that is really just the single straight line
down at the beginning of Allah?

We are emptiness.--Rumi (Pg. 216, A Year With Rumi, Coleman Barks translator)

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Vico and Universali Fantastici

"The basic layer of mind is poetic, mythic, expressed by universali fantastici, which I translate as acrchetypal patterns of imagination."--James Hillman, Pg.7-8, A Terrible Love of War

Monday, July 01, 2013

Some Questions To Ponder Before Bed

"Every event and circumstance in this world is dependent on complex causes and conditions that are constantly arising and disappearing. The pleasures, conditions, beliefs, and relationships that I rely on — which of them is genuinely reliable and lasting? What am I taking for granted? As I observe the world about me, I can see that everything changes — nothing stays the same. The inhabitants of the world come and go. Every one of them will die. Though I see change, impermanence, and death all around me, I act as though I were going to live forever — but I too will die. My death will definitely come, and I have no idea when. I may live a long time, or I may die today. What I do know is that each day brings me one day closer to my inevitable death. Nothing — not wealth, intelligence, strength, power, friends or family — will prevent me from dying. Where in my life do I ignore change? What am I trying to cling to? What is really important to me? Am I living the life that I want?"-- George Draffan

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Peter Pan and Puer Projections Of The Future

"Hopeful Greening: A New Age of Aquarius. Global village, self determination of ethnic cohesive societies like Slovakia and Slovenia. New conflict-resolution models. Billions of trees reforested like a thousand points of light; biotechnology for 'cleaning up' after environmental disasters. Racial and gender equality. Community care, hospices, day-care centers, parental leave, integrated schools, rebirth of the arts with spiritual and social purpose. Peace dividends. Permissive suicide, permissive sexual affiliations. All the walls tumbling down. Legalized prostitution, legalized marijuana. Creative education. Universal access for the impaired and deprived. Health care and wealth share." James Hillman, Pg. 228, Kinds of Power

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Still Riding Rilke's Wings

No matter how deeply I go into myself
my God is dark, and like a webbing made
of a hundred roots, that drink in silence
.--Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, June 24, 2013

Digging Up Rilke

I had to dig up this Rilke poem this morning:

Sometimes a Man Stands Up

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 glasses,
so that his children have to go far out into the world
toward that same church, which he forgot.--Rainer Maria Rilke

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Poem By A Crazy Japanese Monk

You do this, you do that
You argue left, you argue right
You come down, you go up
This person says no, you say yes
Back and forth
You are happy
You are really happy

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Happiness Happens

"Robert Johnson wrote that the word happiness comes from to happen. Our happiness is what happens. That's different from the Declaration of Independence, which states that each person has the right to pursue happiness, meaning that if we don't have it we have a right to go after it. But Johnson says that as soon as we pursue it, we lose it." -- Jeff Bridges, Pg.33, The Dude and The Zen Master

This isn't the first time I've come across this line of thinking. James Hillman has said the right to pursue happiness should be taken right out of the Declaration of Independence.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Wild Man Then The Witches

"The burning of the Wild Man preceded the burning of the witches by several centuries, and it proceeded from the same fear and anger."-- Robert Bly, pg. 246, Iron John

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Enemies Keep You Sharp

"Plutarch declares enemies keep us on guard and sharp...the ability to have enemies keep us on guard and sharp...the ability to have enemies might be a sign of a sound ego."-- Pg. 476, The Life and Ideas of James Hillman

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Men Moving

"Men do unite by moving toward each other directly but only by losing themselves in the same god."-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Inside and Outside

"Are you able to remember yourself at age five, seven, nine, ten? Do you recall yearning to be allowed to sit in a classroom for six hours a day? No, neither do I. Do you remember where you wanted to be? Or can you imagine where you might have wanted to be? Well, yes, certainly out-of-doors, not in a school, but..."--Daniel Quinn, pg. 122, Providence

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Man After My Heart

"I said we were addicted to innocence, we're also addicted to newness. Every bloody thing in America has to be new, why?...Why are we talking about emergence, evolution...Why are we talking about what the hell's coming, let's face that right off the bat. We know what's here, and it's pretty bloody serious...we are in a very serious destructive phase, and it doesn't do us any good to be wishful and hopeful, it does us a lot more good to be faithful to what is, what really is, and to struggle with it."-- James Hillman in a 2005 debate with Deepak Chopra

Thursday, June 13, 2013

It's A Good Fight

"A [Psychiatric] clinic was opened in NY City. In the first 31 months, 10,750 individual people came for free or cheap psychotherapy! Strain is the best thing we have. The breakdowns, strains, cracks are the ultimate answer to the big technological machine. The machine gets better and better and the people crack...either the machine will slow to a halt because the people can't manage it any longer, or the machine will win and the fittest people (i.e. most mechanized and oiled) will survive. It's a good fight." James Hillman in a letter to Mike Donleavy

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

It Can With Courage

"The soul can become a reality again only when each of us has the courage to take it as the first reality in our own lives, to stand for it and not just 'believe' in it."--James Hillman, Pg. 100, Suicide and The Soul

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

No Need To School

For a couple of days now I have been trying to come up with a post to express my frustration with other homeschooling parents that I've come into contact with in my community. Why? Over the years every parent I've talked to assumes that we keep our kids out of public school based on Christian values. In other words, they think that we think there needs to be more Christianity taught in our schools. That's not the case. And here is where I think my frustration is coming from: I don't think children need to be schooled (Daniel Quinn convinced me of this back in the late nineties), but I never say it. That would be blasphemy. And I think it would open up can of worms that I don't want opened.

"I'm not in the least favor of home schooling, Julie. It's not merely linguistic whimsy that connects the schooling of children with the schooling of fish. Schooling of any kind is unnecessary and counterproductive in human children. Children no more need schooling at age five or six or seven or eight than they need it age two or three, when they effortlessly perform prodigies of learning. In recent years parents have seen the futility of sending their children to regular schools, and the schools have replied by saying, 'Well, all right, we'll permit you to keep your children at home, but of course you understand that your children still must be schooled, you can't just trust them to learn what they need to learn. We'll check up on you to make sure you're not just letting them learn what they need to learn but are learning what our state legislators and curriculum writers think they should learn.' At age five or six home schooling might be a lesser evil than regular schooling, but after that it's hardly even a lesser evil. Children don't need schooling. They need access to what they want to learn--and that means they need access to the world outside the home."-- Daniel Quinn, Pg.166, My Ishmael