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

" 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.