Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Difference Between Madness and Insanity

"The difference between blessed madness and insanity is: insanity is following the wrong God."--Michael Meade

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Quinn Quote Saturday

"People in America (perhaps more than elsewhere) are used to being organized into "campaigns" -- support this cause, elect this president, boycott this product, vote for this legislator, support this bill, and so on -- but there is no campaign that is going to assure us having a livable world. For many generations, we've all been collaborators in bringing us to the point of extinction, but we weren't following any "course of action," as we did this. Rather, we were following a vision (or as Ishmael put it, enacting a story). Political leaders and captains of industry followed the vision in their own way (and contributed in their own way to our situation). Shopkeepers and workers followed the vision in their own way (and contributed in their own way to our situation). In reversing the situation, how could it possibly be different?"--Daniel Quinn in an interview with Bob Conrad

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Pennsylvania Judge Holds That Corporations Are Not “Persons”

I usually don't post news, but this brief news clip is truly inspiring.

"These communities believe that if ten thousand other localities do the same, that those tremors will begin to shake loose a new system of law – a system in which courts and legislatures begin to elevate community rights above corporate rights, and thus, begin to liberate cities and towns to build economically and environmentally sustainable communities free from corporate interference."--Thomas Linzey

Thursday, March 28, 2013


"Hope and growth, like youth, are green."--James Hillman

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pope and Unregulated Financial Capitalism

I never thought I'd find myself posting a quote from the Pope.

“It is alarming to see hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism. In addition to the varied forms of terrorism and international crime, peace is also endangered by those forms of fundamentalism and fanaticism which distort the true nature of religion, which is called to foster fellowship and reconciliation among people.” ~ Pope Benedict, Message for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, 1 January 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


"It's very important to distinguish between a practice and a task. You can succeed or fail at a task. This is a practice, you can’t fail at it, you just keep doing it. That's why we call it practice. It’s not about success and failure." ~ Ken McLeod

This resonates given my relationship with Buddhism and baseball.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Urging Strife

Up to this point in my life the lines below are some of the most important lines I've come across:

"Part of separating and drawing apart is the emotion of hatred. So I shall be speaking with hatred and urging strife, or eris, or polemos, which Heraclitus, the first ancestor of psychology, has said is the father of all."--James Hillman, pg.114, A Blue Fire

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Our Form Of Display: Rhetoric

I'm following my fascination with Hillman's work this morning. I like the idea of our speech as a form of display in the animalistic sense.

"I think that the human form of display, in the ethologist's sense of 'display,' is rhetoric. Our ability to sing, speak, tell tales, recite, orate is essential to our lovemaking, boasting, fear-inspiring, territory protecting, surrendering, and offspring-guarding behaviors. Giraffes and tigers have splendid coats; we have splendid speech."--James Hillman, Pg. 295, A Blue Fire

Saturday, March 23, 2013

God Is Life In Abundance

"God is life in abundance wherever life is found, but not for all in every season. When the locusts thrive, the birds feast and the bison and the deer go hungry; still that place is as full of life as it was before and as full of life as it can be. No place where there is life is a desert, except to man."-- Daniel Quinn, pg.8, Tales of Adam

Friday, March 22, 2013

More on Diderot

Someday I'd like to learn more about Denis Diderot. James Hillman has called him the spiritual father of our democracy. He had a big influence on James Madison and the other thinkers that had a hand in writing The Constitution. Diderot interests me because he'd given up on the state leading us. He also gave up on monotheism. Two ideas that we still think will lead us into the promised land, unfortunately. On his deathbed he said:

"I do not believe in God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Ghost."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Certain Kind of Coin

"Each God makes a claim on us which we may pay only in the God's coin--this is an inescapable fact."--Euripides

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Einstein and Fairy Tales

"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales."--Albert Einstein

I think Einstein is onto something here. Living the life of an homeschooling/unschooling parent has taken me into to the world of fairy tales. Growing up I heard very little of fairy tales after 6 or 7 years old.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Quinn Video Saturday

I think he makes an important point in saying that we don't have the power to destroy all of life on this planet. We do have the power to make it uninhabitable for humans, though.

This LINK will take you to the video.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Money Cow

Baseball season is right around the corner. So, like years past, I find myself flipping through Robert Bly's book, The Sibling Society. I've learned that this isn't a conscious thing, it just happens. I would guess it's for the adult male wisdom in it. I'll be working with adolescents and children in one capacity or another on the baseball diamond this year, so it's always nice to get my bearings straight before I go at it. Anyway, while looking for a quote by Dostoyevsky on how adolescence naturally use language like soldiers and sailors I ran across this tale by Bly. I've probably read it a half-a-dozen times or so in the past, but this time it really had an impact on me.

A Curious Tale

Once upon a time there was a country, far north and far south of here, where farmers found a new domestic creature, superior to sheep, pigs, or chickens. It happened just after money had been reclassified as an animal. One day it was a thought; the next day it was real, and had horns and an udder.

The breeders soon found that the new animal needed much air and water; and some of the poor had to be moved to the inner cities and others to the suburbs, to make room. Although it was regrettable that people had to lose their old homes and their security, nothing could be more important, the Senate and the House said, for the future of the nation than this new money cow. What they needed was one great money bull for the development of the line.

A perfect money bull was finally discovered; his name was Bottom. For a while, everyone was satisfied with Bottom, and many gifts were brought to him. Boys wore their caps backward as an honor to Bottom. He finally learned to speak, and his words and his sperm were sent all over the known world.

When Bottom began to demand sacrifices, some people became uneasy. But Congress agreed to his demands. Hundreds of people lined up to be sacrificed to him. This line of people about to die was called Bottom's line.--pg. 153-54

The first people I thought of after reading this tale was Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan, and Wisconsin's very own Governor Scott Walker.

I'd say we've sacrificed a lot to Bottom since 1980.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Soul and Spirit Again...I think

"Spirit yearns for meaning, transcendence, and fullness. It asks for dedication to life and a mystical connection with all that is above and beyond us. Soul, on the other hand, is our ordinary life of deep connections, emotions, thoughts, and important attachments. Both soul and spirit need our attention? We are at our best when they work closely together."--Thomas Thomas Moore

This reminds me of Robert Bly talking about the masculine and the feminine. I've heard him say that it's vitally important for us to define what it means to be masculine and what it means to feminine and live somehwere in the middle. I would think the same would go for the soul and spirit.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Skulls, Eyes, and Sockets

Once again I was moved by this man's writing and wisdom this morning:

"The old natural philosopher, who was usually both physician and philosopher, pondered with the skull upon his table. Not only did he see death from the viewpoint of life. He viewed life through the sockets of the skull.

"Life and death come into the world together; the eyes and the sockets which hold them are born at the same moment. The moment I am born I am old enough to die. As I go on living I am dying."--James Hillman, Pg.59, Suicide and The Soul

Monday, March 11, 2013

And A Quote Presents Itself

Well, I was searching for a quote in one of the first on-line interviews that I ever read back in the late nineties. I didn't find the quote, of course. I usually never do. What usually does happen, though, is that I find a better one:

"But I think everyone knows secretly that if we’re going to save the world, it will have to be by a new religious awakening that technology isn’t going to be able to address. Governments aren’t going to do it, laws aren’t going to do it for us, police aren’t going to do it for us. It has to be an awakening among people of a religious kind. This is so serious here, we’re talking about the extinction of the human race; that’s what’s at issue. If the extinction of the human race isn’t a religious issue, what is?"--Daniel Quinn

Speaking of religion, I have a philosophical insight, I think. Those who have too much love for heaven end up hating the world around them to some degree. Of course, the opposite is true as well. If you fall in love with the world around you too much you end up hating anyone that speaks of religion or Christianity or manners or morals, etc. In other words you could be a fundamentalist-leftist-marxist.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Diderot and Democracy

"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."--Denis Diderot

Diderot is considered by some to be the spiritual father of our American democracy. I'm also really starting to like the idea of organizing folks at a community level and starting hammer out what our vision of a sustainable community is. It's becoming more and more clear to me that we can't expect government at the federal and state level to stop things like frac sand mines or factory farming.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Quinn Quote Saturday

"During your lifetime, the people of our culture are going to figure out how to live sustainably on this planet -- or they’re not. Either way, it’s certainly going to be extraordinary."--Daniel Quinn out of If They Give You Lined Paper, Write Sideways

Thursday, March 07, 2013

The Hopeful Illusion

"Most men, the huge majority, in fact all of us, are dyed-in-the-wool Christians, fully immersed in hope. We are unconcsiously converts to the hopeful illusion. But hope itself converts into what it covers, its ever-faithful nightime companion, despair, and we have been instructed, deceitfully, in only the the upper half of this truth. Look up; and new day is coming!"--James Hillman, pg.216, A Terrible Love of War

Monday, March 04, 2013

Kant on Discord

"The means nature employs to accomplish the development of all faculties is the antagonism of men in society, since this antagonism becomes, in the end, the cause of a lawful order of this society."--Immanuel Kant

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Like It Or Not We Are All Christians

One thing is for certain: Simply rejecting Christianity isn't going to be enough to stop us from going extinct. Years back I thought it would be. That aside I trudge ahead fearless in my foolishness.

"The fact is clear: Western wars are backed by the Christian God, and we cannot dodge his draft because we are all Christians, regardless of the faith you profess, the church you attend, or whether you declare yourself utterly atheistic. You may be Jew or Muslim, pay tribute to your god in Santeria fashion, join with other Wiccas, but wherever you are in the Western world you are psychologically Christian, indelibly marked with the sign of the cross in your mind and in the corpuscles of your habits. Christianism is all about us, in the words we speak, the curses we utter, the repressions we fortify, the numbing we seek, and the residues of religious murders in our history. The murdered Jews, the murdered Catholics, the murdered Protestants, the murdered Mormons, heretics, deviationists, freethinkers...Once you feel your own personal soul to be distinct from the world out there, and that consciousness and conscience are lodged in that soul (and not in the world out there), and that even the impersonal selfish gene is individualized in your person, you are, psychologically, Christian. Once your first response to a dream, a bit of news, an idea divides immediately into the moral "good" or "bad," psychologically you are Christian. Once you feel sin in connection with your flesh and its impulses, again you are Christian. When a hunch comes true, a slip-up is taken as an omen, and you trust in dreams, only to shake off these inklings as "superstition," you are Christian because that religion bans nondoctrinal forms of communication with the invisibles, excepting Jesus. When you turn from books and learning and instead to your inner feelings to find simple answers to complexities, you are Christian, for the Kingdom of God and the voice of His true Word lies within. If your psychology uses names like ambivalence, weak ego, splitting, breakdown, ill-defined borders for conditions of the soul, fearing insistence upon unified, empowered, central authority. Once you consider apparently aimless facts of history to be going somewhere, evolving somehow, and that hope is a virtue and not a delusion, you are Christian. You are Christian too when holding the notion that resurrection of light rather than irremediable tragedy or just bad luck lie in the tunnel of human misfortune. And you are especially an American Christian when idealizing a clean slate of childlike innocence as close to godliness. We cannot escape two thousand years of history, because we are history incarnated, each one of us thrown up on the Western shores of here and now by violent waves of long ago.

"We may not admit the grip of Christianity on our psyche, but what else is collective unconsciouness but the ingrained emotional patterns and unthought thoughts that fill us with the prejudices we prefer to conceive as choices? We are Christian through and through. St. Thomas sits in our distinctions, St. Francis governs our acts of goodness, and thousands of Protestant missionaries from every sect you can name join together to give us the innate assurance that we are superior to all others and can help them see the light."--James Hillman, Pg. 191, A Terrible Love of War

Saturday, March 02, 2013

A Daniel Quinn Quote On A Saturday Morning

“But why? Why do you need prophets to tell you how you ought to live? Why do you need anyone to tell you how you ought to live”--Daniel Quinn out of Ishmael

Friday, March 01, 2013

The Furies and Resistance

This brief excerpt about the Greek furies knocked me on my ass this morning. It's sort of dark. Then again I'm feeling dark so what can be expected.

"After a blood-crime the ancient Greek Furies (Erinyes) demand vengeance. They do not let go and they work by disturbing the mind. There is no escape from their pursuit. Heraclitus says that if the sun itself were to leave its ordered course, the Furies would find him. To forget a major wrong is to neglect the laws of the cosmos, which are also reflected in the order of the family."[James Hillman, Pg.157, A Terrible Love of War]

This is part of the reason why, I think, Derrick Jensen heavily criticizes the dogma of non-violent pacifism. We are destroying nonhuman life at such an alarming rate there isn't one of us that can wash the blood off from our hands by claiming the moral high ground of nonviolent pacifism. And besides, the furies (Erinyes) will find a way to torment us anwyay. I'm beginning to think the deaths cannot be transformed by love. Perhaps underground acts of resistance will be inevitable for some simply because of the torment.