Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Golden Rule

The way you make love
is the way God will be with you.-- Rumi

(Coleman Barks says this is Rumi's variation on the golden rule.)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Candy Wrappers, Children and Enjoyable Animism

"Instead of the old punishing moralisms about dropping litter on the street, we need a new and enjoyable animism that children would be the first to understand. 'Don't throw that candy wrapper on the street'--not because it's dirty or bad manners; not because it's wrong; not because 'what if everybody did that?'--but instead 'because your candy wrapper doesn't want to lie around in the gutter or be stepped on; it wants to be in the trash basket along with all its friends."--James Hillman, Pg.89, Kinds of Power

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Living a Sincere Life

"To live sincerely is to live your own life, not your father's life or your mother's life or your neighbor's life; to spend soul on large concerns, not to waste your life as a kind of human ant carrying around small burdens; and finally, to live sincerely is to 'live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.' as Thoreau declares in WALDEN. That may require unsociability. Thoreau noticed that at certain age boys remain in shadows and corners of rooms, look a little wild, make up their minds about a given grownup in a second, and may come to supper or not. Thoreau values that unsociability in both boys and girls. But those moments soon disappear, replaced by an old anxiety to please."--Robert Bly, Pg.26, The Winged Life: The Poetic Voice of Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Hand of God

"We make our journey in the company of others; the deer, the rabbit, the bison, and the quail walk before us, and the lion, the eagle, the wolf, the vulture, and the hyena walk behind us. All our paths lie together in the hand of god and none is wider than any other or favored above any other. The worm that creeps beneath your foot is making its journey across the hand of god as surely as you are.

"Wherever live moves, the hand of god is under it, so no step can be off the path. When you stumble on the mountainside, that is part of your path. When your child is sick and you turn aside from the hunt, that is part of your path. When you wander hungry in the desert and cannot find your way, you're not lost, you're on your path. When cunning fails and your prey eludes you, don't curse your luck; this fruitless hunt is part of your path."--Daniel Quinn, Pg.74, The Tales of Adam

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Solidarity and Moral Purity

A quote by Brad Warner:

"The moral high ground is a lonely place. It seems like there’s only ever room for one up there. I used to try to stay there. But it was too sad. So I came back down."--Brad Warner in THIS blog post.

I've always admired Stephanie McMillan's clarity (quote below). I think she's done a great service by defining what solidarity means. This is useful to anyone involved in any kind of political struggle, which is most of us whether we know it or not. I think it was Aristotle who once said: "Man is my nature a political animal." In other words, we're animals and were of the polis, or city.

"Someone asked me to explain what I think solidarity is. True solidarity goes beyond building support for someone else's struggle (though it includes that). It is to identify that struggle as your own, to grasp your common interests, and to take responsibility for fighting your common enemy on your own battlefield. And to do this in a way that is collective, mutually supportive and mutually strengthening."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Neither Patriarchy Nor Matriarchy

"The patriarchy is a complicated structure. Mythologically, it is matriarchal on the inside, and a matriarchy is equally complicated, being patriarchal on the inside. The political structure has to resemble our interior structure. And we know each man has a woman inside him, and each woman has a man inside her.

"The genuine patriarchy brings down the sun through the Sacred King, into every man and woman in the culture; and the genuine matriarchy brings down the moon, through the Sacred Queen, to every woman and every man in the culture. The death of the Sacred King and Queen means that we live now in a system of industrial domination, which is not patriarchy. The system we live in gives no honor to the male mode of feeling nor to the female mode of feeling. The system of industrial domination determines how things go with us in the world of resources, values, and allegiances; what animals live and what animals die; how children are treated. And in the mode of industrial domination there is neither king nor queen." [Robert Bly, pg. 98, Iron John]

A couple of thoughts occurred to me while typing this out:

1. The idea of male and female modes of feeling means that you accept the premise that there are certain masculine and feminine traits that you inherit genetically. In other words, this is the gift of our ancestors. It's a genetic inheritance that is not culturally determined.

2. Daniel Quinn made a genius move by explaining to his readers why the problem of good and evil doesn't exist for him. He simply stated that he has peopled his world with gods that have an equal care from anything from a wood tick to a wildebeest. In other words, if a wolf takes down an old whitetail deer it was good for the wolf and bad for deer. Perhaps when one is in the mode of industrial domination they can't see this. In a sense Quinn has softened the mode of industrial domination. He's made it easier to fall in love with the world.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Nine Inches of Fresh Snow

Close to nine inches of fluffy snow on the ground this morning. It's April 23rd, and I would have never expected to be driving over to my dad's to pick up the snowblower. At this point in time only one question remains for me: What will the weather be like when it becomes more extreme. Out of all the climate change literature that I've read one scientific prediction that has always stuck with me is that of more extreme weather conditions. I wonder what the weather will be like 10 or 20 years from now.

Off to blow snow that'll be melting in a few days.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Re-Imagining Us

"Imagine our ancestors [primitive tribal peoples] enacting a different story from ours. Not a story about man mastering his environment. Not a story about man's conquest of the world. Not a story in which products and productivity figured at all."--Daniel Quinn, The Book of the Damned

Friday, April 19, 2013

Snow Falling In Northwestern Wisconsin

Snow is on my mind. Six inches or more (It's still falling) of fresh heavy, wet snow to drive through on the mail route today. Maybe this is what we get for having Senator Ron Johnson in town last week saying he thinks man-made global warming is a farce. I don't know. I'm done trying to figure it out.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Transparent Man

"Transparent Man, who is seen and seen through, foolish, who has nothing left to hide, who has become transparent through self-acceptance; his soul is loved, wholly revealed, wholly existential; he is just what he is, freed from paranoid concealment, from the knowledge of his secrets and his secret knowledge; his transparency serves as a prism for the world and the not-world. For it is impossible reflectively to know thyself; only the last reflection of an obituary may tell the truth, and only God knows our real names."--James Hillman

On the home front: Spring is here and so are the ticks and the diseases they carry. I don't think it's an exaggeration to call it an epidemic, especially in northwestern Wisconsin. We found a deer tick dug into our 3 year old son's head last night. It's obviously been there for over 24 hours. Now it's either get him on antibiotics immediately or wait it out to see if he starts showing symptoms for any on of the tick-borne diseases.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What's The Matter, Don't You Wanna Work?

I don't know how many times I've had that question asked of me or have heard it asked of others. It occurred to me this morning, after reading some excerpts out of James Hillman's Blue fire, that it could be the person asking the question perceives work to be a duty. They do not associate work with pleasure but as their ethical duty. They also might not find much pleasure in their own work. Anyway here is the excerpt that set me off on this train of thought:

"We moralize work and make it a problem, forgetting that the hands love to work and that in the hands is the mind. That 'work ethic' idea does more to impede working...it makes it a duty instead of a pleasure. We need to talk of the work instinct, not the work ethic, and instead of putting work with the superego we need to imagine it as an id activity, like a fermentation, something going on instinctively, autonomously, like beer works, like bread works...."--James Hillman, Pg.171, A Blue Fire

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Perhaps" by Shu Ting

Perhaps our cares
will never have readers

Perhaps the journey that was wrong from the start
will be wrong at the end

Perhaps every single lamp we have lit
will be blown out by the gale

Perhaps when we have burned out our lives to lighten the darkness
there will be no warming fire at our sides.

Perhaps where all the tears have flowed
the soil will be richer

Perhaps when we sing of the sun
the sun will sing of us

Perhaps as the weight on our shoulders grows heavier
our faith will be more lofty

Perhaps we should shout about suffering as a whole
but keep silent over personal grief.

Because of an irresistible call
We have no other choice.

(Again, thank you to naturalawareness for this one.)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Daydreaming, Kids, and Homeschooling

A good article HERE on daydreaming. If I can give my kids one thing hopefully it is enough time to daydream. Now that I think of it that is one of the main reasons why we homeschool or unschool.

Thank you to Naturalawareness.net for sharing this.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Environment, Religion, and War

"Environmental battles are where the wars of religion are fought today, showing the old pagan nature Gods have not altogether been subdued by the world unification plans of god, the Economy."--James Hillman, pg.4, Kinds of Power

Saturday, April 13, 2013

It's Time To Set The Record Straight

"We belong to the world. We belong to the community of life on this planet--it doesn't belong to us. We got confused about that, now it's time to set the record straight."--Daniel Quinn, Pg.174, Providence

Friday, April 12, 2013


We began as a mineral.
We emerged into plant life and into
the animal state, and then to being human.

And always we have forgotten our former states,
except in early spring,
when we dimly recall being green again.~Rumi

Not recalling "being green again" today, Rumi. Snow is falling. There is well over two inches of fresh snow on the ground, and we're closing in on 10 days of no sunshine here in northwestern Wisconsin.

Oh how different it is from last year at this time.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Souls Code and Tiger Woods

If you've read The Soul's Code then this statement by Earl Woods to Sports Illustrated in the summer of 1996 about his son Tiger will make sense. If you haven't read TSC, than you'll probably think he's a nutcase.

"I was personally selected by God himself...to nurture this young man....Tiger will do more than any other man in history to change the course of humanity."--Earl Woods

Hillman makes the argument in The Souls Code that our daimon chooses our parents before we come into this world. So, I think in a sense Earl Woods is onto something. It may not necessarily have been God that selected him, but Tiger's daimon. It knew Earl would be the one to nurture it.

It's also interesting to note that I read this about Earl Woods in ESPN magazine a few months back.

"After two weeks of swinging his plastic club lefthanded (this is, again, according to Earl) Tiger apparently grew dissatisfied with the motion. As the father looked on, in the part of the tale that always engaged Earl the most in the telling--switched his hands, moving the right below the left, intuitively finding the proper grip. Earl called to his wife Kultida, elsewhere in the house: 'We have a genius on our hands!'"--ESPN Magazine, Pg.76, 2/4/13

Tiger was about a year old when he did this. He was simply copying Earl's swing, so the story goes. But that's not why I mentioned the quote above. The reason why I did is that Earl recognized Tiger's genius. I think a lot of people go through life without their genius being recognized by anyone. Perhaps it takes a trained eye to see it, the problem is we live in a culture where most of is don't even think it exists.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Essay And Interview With Daniel Quinn

Daniel Quinn has a new interview and essay coming out. This morning I pulled Beyond Civilization off from the shelf to read the section titled, "The Invisibility of Success," again. It's one of my favorite sections of the book. Below a quote from that section:

"The basic laws of ecology have the beauty and simplicity of a fairy tale, but their existence only began to be suspected a century ago."-- Pg.11, Beyond Civilization

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Vitality of a Culture

"The vitality of a culture depends less on its hopes and its history than on its capacity to entertain willingly the divine and daimonic force of ideas"--James Hillman

Monday, April 08, 2013

Uecker is Authenticity

"His head didn't bobble on that one!" Said Bob Uecker after Norichika Aoki's second hit of four hits on Norichika Aoki bobble head day at Miller Park. That, to me, ranks right up there with him saying the proper place for a Jason Kendall bobble head would be a hood ornament on a demolition derby car.

I don't think there is a Brewer game that has gone by where I haven't asked where does he come up with this stuff?

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Sunday And No Church

It's Sunday morning. I just finished up listening to an hour long talk titled: The Educated Heart, by Robert Bly. I've been to church less than a handful of times in my life. As a child, whenever I asked mom about attending church, she always told me that as long as you kept God in your heart you'd be just fine. So, we didn't go. Anyway, Bly's talk is more valuable to me right now in my life than any church service will ever be.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Do Schools Work?

"Our entire program [ Compulsory Schooling] is based on this argument: 'We know kids learn effortlessly if they have their own reasons for learning, but we can't wait for them to find their own reasons. We have to provide them with reasons that are not their own. This doesn't work, but it's the only practical way to organize our schools.

"What? How would I organize the schools? To ask this question presupposes that we must have schools, doesn't it? I prefer to think about problems the way engineers do. If a valve doesn't work, they don't say, 'Well, we must have valves, so let's try two valves.' If a valve doesn't work, they say, 'Well, what would work? Their rule is, if it doesn't work, don't do it more, do something else.

"We know what works for children up to the age where we ship them off to school: Let them be around you, pay attention to them, give them access to as much as you can, let them try things, and that's it. They'll take care of the rest. You don't have to strap small children down and teach them to speak, all you have to do is talk to them. You don't have to give them crawling lessons or walking lessons or running lessons. You don't have to spend an hour a day showing them how to bang two pots together, they'll figure that out all by themselves--if you give them access to the pots."--Daniel Quinn, Pg. 121, Providence

Friday, April 05, 2013

Men and Women

"It appears that neither man nor woman want to be so dependent on each other as they have been in the past. Each gender aims for independence, and that seems natural for us. But as the obligatory dependence between men and women lessens, dependence itself if not lessening, dependence on the state increases." -- Robert Bly

Thursday, April 04, 2013

The Holy In The Ground

I received this book in the mail yesterday. When a new book lands in my hands I usually open the book up and start reading a few lines or just page through it. Here are the first lines that I ran across after opening it:

"Civilization could probably be defined as humans with lapsed memories who live forgetting that people in the long run are not in charge, nor are they truly ever going to be. Whereas the Indigenous mind does not give the direction of the world to the 'will' of God, but to the desire of the Holy in the ground to continually unfold as nature."--Martin Prechtel

Good stuff.

Monday, April 01, 2013

It's Opening Day!

It's Opening Day! Looking forward to hearing the voice of Bob Uecker through the car speakers as I pedal mail on this first day of April.

“[Baseball] breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall all alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.” ~ A. Bartlett Giamatti