The E-primitive Thought Experiment


“Some of these threads mark points in time when the intellectual me wanted a voice for a little bit, to talk about things ‘correctly’, to get all insightful, and take ‘anti-this-or-that’ positions. Most of it I still stand behind, and heck, the intellectual me has pushed for the exploration of language in the first place.”

I think the intellectual excercises are good for us. They help raise awareness about some things that might otherwise continue slideing by. When we get dogmatic about things and the intent behind the excercise gets lost then we get in trouble.
The anti- positions are a first step in sorting things out aren’t they. Then we need to take it further. Somtimes then we find out that the criteria we sorted by needs to get revisited.


As for Willem’s “two sides,” I definitely feel that same way sometimes. I look at dogmatic Rationalism (eg. Objectivism, strong atheism) & find myself turned off, & I look at th dangerous superstitions of some “primitive” cultures that in some ways helps keep them from understanding their predicament & rising up against their masters, & that turns me off as well.

I think th integration of rationalism (critical thinking, abstract thinking, (de)construction, logic, skepticism, philosophy, modeling th universe, etc.) w/ animism (or spirituality, Buddhism, phenomenology, what have you) represents a stronger, more developed position than either of those on their own, greater than th sum of its parts. I think we need that contradiction, that kind of schizophrenia, to live in a true way.

Some aspects of civilization I don’t want to lose.


I think I’m getting the hang of this:

About the longest thing I’ve written in at least E-prime:

What you call "your life" connects you to all LIFE, the lifeforce of all that lives. All that lives directly cares for life and all that directly cares for life, lives. Things you don't think are alive LIVE because they take part in continuing life. Taxes, art, jobs, government, nothing matters but this: caring for life. You are alive to the extent that you take care of life.

Taking care of life, in part, means stopping that which seeks to destroy life. They seek to destroy everything that lives. Only then can they turn it into that which they can profit from. Do all that you can to stop them.

Go outside, head for whatever silvan woods you can find, sit still and feel this connection. It is the only way you can understand how to care for life. Learn from it, see what it is teaching you, remember how to do the things you were taught to forget. Once you begin to feel truly at home, walk around. Communicate with the life around you. Mimic what they do. Play. Connect. Stay there and then, when you feel you are ready, return. Begin to spend more and more time outside. Begin to feel more at ease. When you feel your connection slipping, and you will, remember nothing matters in this life but your connection to LIFE.

Directly care for LIFE, by directly dismantling that which seeks to undermine it and profit from it. They take from LIFE and they package it, ship it away, remove it from where it is. They take. they control. They dominate. Give up on dominating LIFE, connect to LIFE and remove their ability to dominate, control and take from you because, remember “your life” is a part of LIFE.

Recieve more and more of what you need from this connection to LIFE and give more and more back in caring for it until one day you decide it is time for you to give it all up. Find a group or a tribe that cares for LIFE and join them. Try to connect with them and their way of caring for LIFE.

It doesn’t matter what you call this LIFE. You experience it, you don’t name or explain it.


not to wrench on this thread but this just hit me (thanks to a friend who when I said rewilding said it reminds them of dandelions breaking through concrete to reach the sun)

Rewilding: to dandelion in the cracks of civilisation.


pardon my french, but holy shit that hits me in the gut, just in the way i like it.

thank you.


I gotta give you the thanks too, it just circled.


Jus to let you know (from England), brambling is a good laugh. So is going on a scrumpy - pinching cultivated fruits.

A ‘bo’ loves hiphop and black culture (and generally racist POVs), and a ‘bo’ object brings them respec’. For example, bling and sensemilla are considered ‘bo’. Incidentally, I use the word ‘beau’ quite a lot!

I see no schizophrenia in animist rationalism, logical or lateral.

Oh yeah- and ‘shiny’ has meant good here, ever since the days of weebl and bob. Mmm, pie…

PS. Where do I find the sandbox? My wish is to converse in e-prim!


I have been trying to change my language to reflect my beliefs for while now. Given the nature of my believes i say e-primitive is seems like a natural choice. negating the word to-be and all forms of it, and words of ownersip (which i see as going in the same direction) is something i can do with a bit of practice. But how do i get rid of pronouns. Given my nondualist believes, reducing pronoun use is something i would like. How do i do this on an everyday level?

See i used ‘I’ so many times here. I already don’t use my or mine, or use it very rarely (as in only to describe things such as beliefs and emotions and likes etc). It’s usually i got it, or i bought it or something (i.e. not my magazine, magazine that i got). This came naturally to me. But I and Me i can’t do anything abt, any suggestions?


Get a load of this.

David Bohm, a physicist, wrote a book he called “Wholeness and the Implicate Order”, addressing quantum issues of non-locality, the vibratory nature of all phenomena, etc.

In one chapter he declares the need for a language that can speak entirely in verbs, an idea he calls “Rheomode” (rheo; from the latin, ‘flow’).

Yes. And even though he eventually gave up in despair (nouns kept creeping back in, apparently…), I give him props.

You can check the TUMBLR sidebar at for some links I just dug up on all this. Pretty cool, really.


Willem, very interesting thoughts! Reminds me of Ludwig Wittgenstein, a 20-century philosopher who claimed that “meaning is use” (verbs!) and “philosophy is the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.” How language frames our thinking is a very important insight. Are you familiar with the Sapir-Whorf Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis?



haha. I have Whorf’s book on my shelf and I love it - “Language, Thought and Reality”.

However, the hypothesis is a straw man neither dreamed up by Sapir or Whorf, but by some academics who wanted something easy to take down.

To this day, folks say “Well, I don’t agree with the strong version of the hypothesis, but the weak version gets more and more support”. Which is to mean, what Sapir and Whorf actually thought gets more and more support all the time.

Hell, in your first year of high school Spanish you can feel crazy shit going on. Duh.

In case of confusion:
Strong Version: “Language constrains your reality.”
Weak Version: “Language influences your reality.”


Willem and all,
Do you know of a list of languages that do not have a “to be” verb? It would be interesting to see a historic language tree that marks which branches have “to be”, and where and when the transition to “to be” structure occurred.


Nope. This is a complex question.

Some languages can be said to have a copula now (Tzutujil Mayan) but didn’t have it before Christian evangelicals transformed the culture. This is a common problem.

All Amerindian languages - Athabaskan, Iroquoian, Algonquin, Salish, and dozens and dozens of other language families - I believe have either none or “very weak” copulas - what might be better described as “non-copula” thinking. A modern linquist might be able to do contortions to make the case that they do indeed have copulas - but the languages being fundamentally verby it’s just not part of their language-world.

The correlating example would be Russian, which has extremely strong copula thinking, but technically rarely uses the copula in the present tense - “I student, you electrician.” So regardless of Russian being on the “zero copula” list, it is a strong copula thinking language.

Modern folks are particularly obsessed with who or what things “are”. Non-copula-obsessed folks are obsessed with what kind of tracks they leave.


Thanks! I love how you’ve expressed that Golden. “Spirit-based perspective”.


Hi everyone.

I was the Dickens who got into the arm-wrestling about this topic 9 years ago, in 2007, at the age of 18. I admit to the mistakes of my past, and the errors of my adolescent ways. I was just a teenager trying to figure out how the world worked, and not knowing really what was going on. A person also with autism, not understanding things the way that I should.

I have worked hard to attempt to re-read many of these past dialogues, so I can understand rather than Fight them. I still pains me to realize how harsh I was towards many here and my disagreements and struggles, but I am now trying to understand what the meant. And our final dialogue (when I was Dickens), I can re-read now and try to understand, even if I don’t agree with everything.

I realize now that it was the fact that my identity is tied to the written word that was causing me to have an emotional response, which Blinded me to actually read and understand what you were talking about. I realize now that I do acknowledge that perception-based understanding. I do agree about the illusions of “to be.” But I still identify with writing nonetheless. I thank you for helping me understand that other perspective.

In addition, I come from a single-parent household whose income is tied to the written word. My mother is an author and book editor, and my family wanted me to become an author when I grew up. Animals fight for their survival, and do often act irrationally when they perceive their survival as being threatened. That’s why I wrestled and challenge Jason, who argued the unsustainability and “deadening of senses” with writing, since I felt as if my survival was threatened.

I know I have said this before, but Jason, I deeply apologize for how I treated you and bombarded your blogs and forums on Anthropik 9-10 years ago. I am a different person now, and I thank the Rewilding forum for acknowledging and allowing me to move on from the mistakes of my past. It’s a shame that some of your best work, which you published on Toby’s People, was eventually removed from the Internet, especially your piece “my walk spot,” about tracking the groundhog. That work resonated with why I developed an interest in Rewilding in the first place–to reconnect with the Living Earth any way I was able to.

Back then, I was a kid with autism, dependent on my parents, who do believe and enjoy and worship Civilization for my continued survival. Now I am 27 and things haven’t changed much. I’m still very much dependent on them, and have little opportunities to spend money to learn any Rewilding skills or attend any Rewilding camps. My parents and I live in the heart of Civilization, in the large Midwestern metro area of Chicago, and they refuse to move anywhere else.

But accepting this reality has set me free and enabled me to mature from the “sock puppetry” and horrible behavior I displayed as a teenager. Now that I realize that I must die in this culture, I can spend the rest of my life learning the philosophy of Rewilding before our culture collapses.

I fought so hard because I thought I was fighting for survival. My “liking” civilization and challenging others was based on knowing that I could never survive outside civilization. I thought I was fighting for my life–that’s why I went mad, since I realized that I could not survive due to lack of abilities my autism had brought me. I could not accept that at this time. But now I am older, and I can. I have also concluded something that I have not seen directly addressed on these forums–that if the collapse inevitably requires the deaths of billions of individuals, then the choice of death should not be frowned on. Just as many here are working to survive, I myself can now agree and support many of the ideas on the website (though not 100% of them), yet choose to die with the awareness of the Rewilding future, and not have the ignorance that many others will have during the collapse. A lot more people, after all, have to die than can survive and Rewild due to the carrying capacity of the Environment.

One thing I have been able to do is become active in a Native American community in the nearby state of Wisconsin (where many Natives were sent to from Illinois due to past treaties). I have cultivated relationships with this group for the past 9 years as an extension of my autism work, where I have indeed seen that much of the philosophy of this group is shared by their cultural values. I admire the established cultures that they have, that bridges the gap between the conjecture of “rewilding” and the possible values that they bring.

I thank you and others for working hard to Rewild and create a viable future. But now that I am no longer fighting to survive, I have spent 2015, and now, the year 2016, trying to learn the truth of what I fought. So I can at least die knowing that I had some level of understanding rewilding and the future of humans, even though I will never be able to live to see that future. Not fighting to survive and accepting my death has cleared my mind, and enabled me to resolve the breakdown. Now I can learn without any biases of needing to survive, and be willing to respect others here. Thank you.


I couldn’t help but think of my sweater when I read this, Willem of December 2007 (pre-dad Willem! weird!). What does this big lumpy gray mass of yarn do? For starters, she can’t contain me—doesn’t even try—just kind of hovers in slow waves, folding and unfolding accordionlike with the movement of my arms, and seems too relaxed to stay buttoned much. She likes to stretch out and take it easy, especially on the floor without me, sometimes beneath a cat.


Lovely! Who brought the yarn into the sweater shape? If you did, how did the yarn tell you what it liked to become? Did that work similarly to the stone or wood telling the sculptor?

Reading back the first couple of posts, made me wonder if “re-localizing” language might come more easily on local topics? How would I, as someone from the Low Countries, talk about high peaks and valleys where the land around me offers none of the kind (although artificial indoor ski slopes can be found here)?
So, as a first step, my personal challenge now has become to try and “naturalize” my language - talk in terms of nature rather than from civilization’s arsenal larder of words. I don’t want to drive run this too far, and give lots of concrete tangible examples, but I guess these illuminate what I mean.


Absolutely! I agree with that.

Also, now that I have matured more, I soon realize the paradox of my battle as Dickens–the very things that caused me to defend the verb “to be,” actually, I now realize, actually referred to the very things that people disliked about the verb. I resented the “god-like” proclamations that I perceived many people on the Rewilding forum speaking about because of that very verb. The basis of my argument came from what I felt consisted of an inconsistency–that people opposing the verb “to be” used it for their very arguments against civilization. And I resented many of those “god-like,” absolute ideas, not realizing that they were not absolutes, but that due to my autism, I took them literally (as absolutes) due to the very verb that they probably had to use to communicate things that probably had nuance and not the absolute ideas that I thought existed.

I actually agreed all along with that sentiment, and was too ignorant due to my adolescence at the time to realize it. So thanks!


A continuation. There’s something that has frustrated me on this forum for almost 9 years, and I need to get it off my chest, and “let the cat out of the bag,” so to speak.

When I grew up, my career goal was to become an author and presenter. Being an author and writing books was my dream. I wrote extensively as a child, and wrote several novels in adolescence.

But I also struggled with many social rules in civilization, and came to rewilding initially as an adolescent as the byproduct of a fear of death. I then wanted to explore the idea and learn more about hunter-gatherer cultures. But I’ve always had a passion for the written word.

During the debate I had here on this forum, Jason asserted that “writing deadens your senses.” When I asked him why, he told me that “writing deadens your senses the way a fire burns,” which I could not understand at the time. I grew up with writing, and writing was how I communicated with the world as a child, when I suffered from speech delay. I learned how to read and write before I could speak, and I feel best when I am writing.

To be told by someone I’ve never met in person that something “deadens my senses” when writing makes me feel more alive shocked me, since I have felt stifled and hurt when I feel unable to write. I used to write books but have not been able to since Jason made that claim, feeling I have to “stop writing” in order to live in harmony with the Earth and to be a natural, “wild” human. My passion is writing, and I want to keep writing. How can I write and still live in harmony with the Earth, and live according to being human? My body and soul want to write, and need to write.

In contrast, not writing has “deadened my senses,” in my experiences of life.

Writing makes me more alive and more active and more in balance with myself, and my body and soul want to write, and I want to keep writing until I die. I have so many books that are in my brain. Jason’s comments have compelled me to stop writing, yet I have this urge to write.

I have nothing against Jason and others, but that debate and those comments led me to breakdown, as if my identity and who I identify with as a person had been taken away from me from people I do not know. I really want to write, and have decided to start writing again, since I cannot escape how my mind and soul wish to function, even if it sentences me to a domesticated existence.

A question should be asked: as rewilders, how do we come to terms with these differences?


Good to hear you picked up writing again, James. What feels true to one person may totally upset another. And that even when it was said with only good intentions. And indeed, it may take many, many years to recognize that what seemed true to someone else, does not work at all for yourself. So my congratulations on discovering and reclaiming what fulfills you.
It wouldn’t surprise me if many of us have such “undermined” talents or interests. I do, for sure. Recently, it made me wonder if another skill to rewild might involve reactions to others…