Daniel Quinn Critique

Excellent point danaseilhan! The time for educating people about civilization is AFTER the work of stopping it is done. I agree 100%.

And this holds true in our current situation even more because the collective delusion is so vast and complete. The vast majority of people have never known any other way to live, have never even HEARD about any other way to live in fact (due to the overwhelmingly successful propaganda that “primitive” living = misery and poverty, and the complete lack of education about how people in other types of cultures actually lived).

This delusion is so complete that most people have completely identified themselves with civilization - so that they truly feel they would die without it. This even goes beyond the question of physical survival - because their fundamental worldviews are entirely based around the assumptions that underlie this delusion (like the ideas that humans are the only “people” who matter, and that the world is inanimate and full of “natural resources” that humans are completely entitled to “own” and extract, regardless of the damage to other life-forms), and therefore criticizing civilization criticizes these assumptions, which criticizes their worldview, which criticizes them.

So not only do the vast majority feel that anyone who questions civilization is either insane, utterly stupid, or a fanatical extremist (never realizing that they themselves are the fanatics), but they actually feel personally threatened by those who oppose civilization. As Derrick Jensen, the civilized will smile while they tear you limb from limb.

How many of you guys have experienced this (on a more subtle level, of course) - talking to someone who is very progressive, pro-environment, etc and seeing them suddenly turn defensive and shut down when you begin to talk about the evils of civilization?

So I think that waiting to act until the majority “get it” - break free from the most massive collective delusion in the history of mankind (by far!) - is quite possibly the biggest obstacle to real change there is. The fact is, as long as civilization exists, the vast majority will not only continue to participate, but will do everything they can to keep it going. It is completely self-defeating for those who want to stop it to make their action dependent on the understanding of the masses.

If we make this mistake, we will fail to take down civilization before we ever start.

Hey all,

I’m going to add some food for thought into this discussion.

This Q and A from the Ishmael Community, I think, helps clarify why Daniel Quinn uses the “the craft that is in the air (but not flying)” metaphor.


The Question (ID Number 497)... Do you agree that, as defined by John Ralston Saul, ethics are "a matter of daily practical concern"?

…and the response:
The fact that the words ethics, ethical, and unethical appear nowhere in any of my books, essays, or speeches should give you a hint that ethics is not my concern. I hoped to underline this in my choice of “the craft that is in the air (but not flying)” as a metaphor for our civilization. The aeronauts who built dysfunctional aircraft were not making unethical choices, they were just making unworkable choices. The point for me is NOT that the choices we’ve been making here for the past ten thousand years are unethical but that they’ve brought us to the brink of catastrophe. What good would it do us if it were somehow proved that every single one of those choices was in fact completely ethical? Would that make it all okay? Of course not. Ethics may make a fine guide for personal betterment, but I’ve never seen personal betterment as our problem here (since humans managed to live here for millions of years without being personally better than we are). Ethics are as useless a guide to achieving a sustainable human future as they were to achieving heavier-than-air flight.

And here is a excerpt out of a speech he gave in 2005 that briefly explains how and why societies change.


Most recently we've been put on notice that oil production has peaked and is on its way down--while the consumption of it continues to increase. The most serious threat in this is related to the fact that our agricultural systems are completely dependent on fossil fuel--at every stage, from raw land to the supermarket shelf. If we don't remodel those systems to make them function without fossil fuels--and it apparently CAN be done--we're going to face a global panic and famine that I for one wouldn't care to be around to see.

Of course, if the worst happened, this would certainly solve the problem of our overpopulation right quick–but that possibility certainly doesn’t make me rejoice.

When people look into the future and give up hope, it’s because they don’t know what to DO about the bad things they see. I’ve heard it so often that I’m sure the very first letter I got when Ishmael came out said something like, “I loved your book, and I get what you’re saying–but what are we supposed to DO?”

Of course he didn’t really get what I was saying or he wouldn’t have asked that question. This wasn’t his fault. If people don’t get what I’m saying and they’re reasonably well-educated, reasonably intelligent, and older than, say fourteen, then it’s my fault. I should have quoted something Thorstein Veblen said in The Theory of the Leisure Class a century ago. Here goes: “Social structure changes, develops, adapts itself to an altered situation ONLY through a change in the habits of thought of the individuals who make up the community.”

Let’s look at it more closely. He’s talking about social transformation, and he says this happens ONLY through a change in the habits of thought of the individuals who make up the community." It’s important to note that he’s not talking about the leaders of the community. He’s saying that a society is transformed only when people in general start thinking a new way.

He goes on as follows: “The evolution of society is substantially a process of mental adaptation on the part of individuals under stress of circumstances that will no longer tolerate habits of thought formed under and conforming to a different set of circumstances in the past.” [1899, Slightly adapted.] What kind of circumstances put people under stress? Veblen says they’re circumstances that will no longer tolerate old habits of thought–habits of thought that were formed under and appropriate to a different set of circumstances that prevailed in the past.

Take care,


WE NEED IT ALL!!…as Derrick Jensen says.

I hope i’m not “stretching” the meaning of his words to fit my view, but I include the changing of the minds and hearts in this “We need it all”.

Now, I’d like to look at the analogy of the mother fuckin rapist assaulting someone. How the hell does one stop a powerful rapist? Well, one of the ways would be to weaken the son of a bitch. Keep “it” busy, very busy. Eventually it’ll make mistakes, and loosen the grip it has on its hostage(s).

And also, and by all means possible, help the victims become better fighting beings.

One of the ways to weaken “it” would be to stop feeding it. That is why I think that it might be a good idea to start - or continue - building tribal communities, and why not also create Leagues of Allied Free Tribes. I know that this is only marginal, at the moment. But…this will evolve, and become better known by increasing numbers of people. And these tribal communities will show that the prejudices against this type of society are bull shit. Some people - and possibly in increasing numbers - will realize that we are eating, drinking, protecting ourselves, playing, etc. and all this, without civ’s “help”, no longer complying to the rulers’ desires.

Find the likeminded. Organize. Find ways to provide for as many of your needs as possible.
Create your society now. From your apartments, your farms, your streets, and so on…Trade, barter, gift, share, organize, fight, rewild, rehumanize, etc. Organize socially, politically, “economically”, and so on…

This way we will feed our own society, and NOT civilization, hence weakening civ. And empowering ourselves and our societies. That in turn will of course make us stronger, and fiercer fighters, hence better able to kick the shit out of the rapist.

One of the ways to weaken "it" would be to stop feeding it. That is why I think that it might be a good idea to start - or continue - building tribal communities, and why not also create Leagues of Allied Free Tribes.

Some people - and possibly in increasing numbers - will realize that we are eating, drinking, protecting ourselves, playing, etc. and all this, without civ’s “help”, no longer complying to the rulers’ desires.

Find the likeminded. Organize. Find ways to provide for as many of your needs as possible. Create your society now. From your apartments, your farms, your streets, and so on…Trade, barter, gift, share, organize, fight, rewild, rehumanize, etc. Organize socially, politically, “economically”, and so on…

This way we will feed our own society, and NOT civilization, hence weakening civ. And empowering ourselves and our societies.

Totally agree with you. Building the alternatives NOW is the most effective way to weaken civ and help to bring it down, while lessening both the destructiveness and suffering created by civ itself and the destructiveness and suffering of the process of collapse.

The capitalist civilization will die when it can no longer grow (expand) which is why “growth” is its constant preoccupation. (See my post “Why Capitalism Cannot Stop Destroying the Earth” in Civilizations Collapse section.) This is why capitalist civilization is the most destructive form of civilization ever developed, and this is also why it has unique vulnerabilities and built-in self-destruct mechanisms that we can take advantage of. And it is why creating ways to live even partly outside the money economy, and organizing communities that can live outside the control of money, is the most effective means that we have to bring down civilization.

It is kind of frustrating to me that on the Derrick Jensen forum they don’t seem to want to talk about this as the truly effective way to bring down civ – the “real” way to do it, according to them, is actions like blowing up cell phone towers. As though civ couldn’t manage without cell phones. Even the destruction of the World Trade Center did not do a speck to stop civ. Lots of people were killed, but none of the financial-trading companies headquartered there were even slowed down. The real way to bring down civ is to create alternatives that, as the economy crashes, offers an alternative model that makes it easier for people to jump ship. (Please see my post “Why Capitalism Cannot Stop Destroying the Earth” in Civilizations Collapse section, which explains why doing this is not just a means of trying to ensure our personal survival, but takes advantage of the built-in vulnerability of the system, because if it stops growing it dies, and we can make it stop growing and die.) I totally agree with everything you say, Misko.

I also agree with this. To me, we need a New Underground Railroad, that will help those tired of the wage slave lifestyle to escape towards a more fulfilling cultural world, thus draining civ’s labor pool and disheartening its cheerleaders.

I’ve tried the commune life, organic farming apprenticeships, etc., and discovered that most (I’d like to say all, but then I’d just look silly :slight_smile: ) ecovillages and the like offer the same old civilized paradigms in shiny, happy green eco-packages. Members, new and old, bring civilization with them into their sanctuaries, like a “dark passenger” hitching a ride. This also happens with residential programs at wilderness schools. You can run, but you can’t hide from the ghosts of civilization!

For this reason I place so much value on the conversations at Rewild.info and the invisible technologies of kin and clan as Sacha/Gayle also speaks about, along with all the other invisible technologies of storytelling, sense of place, community dreaming, and so on.

Civ has obviously spent a lot of effort building a wall of social technologies to keep us from just such exploration and discovery; “every man for himself” (fear whether the other person will screw you before you screw them), “time is money” (value coin over time spent in relationships), “justice means fairness” (seek punishment rather than healing), and so on.

We need it all - I totally agree with this. Every aspect of the struggle to dismantle civilization is positive and valuable. Of course everyone should feel free to put their particular talents and efforts where they choose, and this choice will be different for everyone, since everyone is a unique person in a unique situation. But I think that the question of effectiveness is something that should be at the forefront of any discussion of tactics.

I believe that ideally, everyone withdrawing their participation from the system would make it collapse very quickly and completely - agreeing with what Sacha said about capitalism needing constant growth and productivity to survive. And it would have the added benefits of preparing everyone for life without civ, and building the foundations of a different way of life so that the transition could happen with a minimum of (human) death and suffering.

HOWEVER, I do not think that this idea matches reality. Yes, there will be scattered individuals and groups who will have achieved this before civilization comes down, but I don’t think it is logical to expect that the withdrawal of participation of a scattered few will have any significant impact on the workings of civilization. And I think it is totally unrealistic to expect that the MAJORITY will turn away from civilization before the planet is destroyed to the point that any future survival becomes very difficult. After civilization falls, then yes, the majority could “see the light” and change their thought processes about civ. But before it falls? A pipe dream, and a dangerous one at that (so long as it keeps people expecting and working toward something that will never happen).

Yes, building alternatives to the system will weaken the system - as we all agree, we need it all, and this work is important. But the most effective tactic for stopping civilization’s death march? I disagree. First of all, capitalism has shown itself to be very quick to ruthlessly destroy any who do not submit (one can point to any indigenous culture as an example). Even in the US, those who try to escape the system are stopped from doing so, either by being jailed, forced by laws, etc. And the sheer economic pressure to participate in the wage economy is immense - this culture has done an excellent job of making it extremely difficult to acquire what one needs to survive from the landbase without having to buy land, pay taxes, purchase food, etc. Not that it can’t happen, but it will never be a option for the majority UNTIL civilization is dismantled, at least partly.

So I guess I see it as putting the cart before the horse. The tactic of building alternatives could never work as the primary method of dismantling civilization unless the majority participated, which will not happen until civilization is already partly or completely dismantled. Besides the reason I gave above, an even more fundamental reason why the majority won’t mentally break from civ until after it collapses is because the vast majority of people so completely identify with the system. They not only believe that civilization is the best way to live, but they cannot even conceive of a different way to live.

This culture has done an immensely thorough job of brainwashing people to believe that no alternative even exists - successfully preventing almost everyone from ever learning about other cultures and ways of life. And because those who have identified with the system believe that they NEED civilization for their very survival - and because civilization forms such an integral part of their worldview - that not only will they reject any alternatives, but many will feel personally threatened by any threat to civilization. As Derrick Jensen said, the civilized will smile as they tear you limb from limb. Not because they are bad people, but in fact because they are human. It is human nature to feel threatened by those who challenge one’s worldview so fundamentally.

So I guess I disagree with Daniel Quinn and Thorstein Veblen (and the whole idealistic philosophy) that first ideas change, and then the culture does. (Unless I’m misinterpreting what they believe). I think for the majority, it is the other way around. First the environment - one’s surroundings and way of life - changes, and THEN one’s worldview changes as a result.

Of course there will always be a few whose worldview is not in line with the majority, despite the culture they live in. And many feel a certain level of discontent with the status quo, and reject the culture to varying degrees - but I maintain that it is only a few who are able to break free from the dominant worldview that they are surrounded by. The pressure to conform is just too great, and it is extremely hard to be isolated in consciousness from everyone around you.

I think that what one believes about this question - which changes first, the ideas or the reality - will naturally determine what one feels to be an effective tactic. If someone believes that ideas (people’s minds) must change first, then they would naturally focus on that. And if one believes the opposite, then naturally they would focus on changing the reality first - i.e. physically dismantling civilization.

I’ve always believed the latter, but still I spent years as an activist working to change people’s minds (raising awareness through education and symbolic actions like protests), because I always assumed that that was the only effective avenue toward change.

Now I feel that my logic was flawed, not only because of what I said above, but also because years of reality hitting me in the face has forced me to conclude that unless someone WANTS to change their mind (in other words, unless they already believe something deep down), it is impossible for another person to change their mind, even if all the evidence in the world is staring them in the face. Changing one’s mind can only come from within - external messages can help IF one is ready to hear them.

So I think education is important - it can help someone along in the process of changing their own mind - but if the ideas clash with someone’s entrenched worldview, the ideas will lose, regardless of how true, logical, or right they are. But if the reality upon which that worldview is based is radically, fundamentally changed, then that worldview will eventually change as a result.

Sorry for beating this to death :wink: - but it helps me to think it through.


In the end though (or as Tom Brown, Jr. always says in his books, “in the final analysis,…”), do we talk about “most effective strategies”, or do we simply act from a rewilding place?

If rewilding includes it all (which I think it does), and part of rewilding blossoms from allowing us to access the “other intelligence”, that malnourished and much maligned wild intelligence of acting from one’s gut, in accord with the world of life…

Then regardless of what my “thinker” tells me, I will still follow my heart’s path, won’t I? Unless I still struggle with the “shoulds” and literalism of civilization, I suppose. Which I probably will do to some extent, for the rest of my life.

I think “we need it all” speaks far more to the “judge not another rewilder’s path”, than it does to what you, or I, “should” do. We just do what we each do best (according to our gifts and our heart’s guidance), and voila - whatever could have happened, will end up what does happen.

I’ve suddenly realized I sound like an advertisement for Open Space Gatherings. Huh. I guess that explains why I have confidence in this as a tool for making whole decisions and acting from them.

I think conversations about “effective strategies” need to happen within the context of realizing that one’s heart has told them that their path lies on the path of strategizing and thinking. Like someone who feels inspired to learn chess, needs to understand the strategies of chess. But the strategies of chess tell us nothing about following the trail of inspiration and heart.

Hey all,

The other day I ran across this post by Charles Eisenstein talking about pessimism and despair.

Re: Jennifer, point of pessimism: On a deep level, the premises of pessimism are identical to the premises of our destruction of the planet. A key premise is that we are discrete and separate selves in a world of other; hence (1) we are powerless beyond whatever force we can muster, which isn't much as just one person and (2) we must dominate, control, and outcompete nature and other people, since the premise implies that more for me is less for you. So when I feel pessimism or despair, I see it as a symptom that my transition to a new sense of self is not yet complete.

There are times when I become really pessimistic (especially after reading Endgame) about the strategies that Daniel Quinn has layed out in Beyond Civilization. Then I wonder how much my pessimism about changing minds in a Quinnian sense has to to do with how my transition to a new sense of self and new worldview is going at the time. Perhaps I’m still hanging on to certain aspects of my old worldview.

Does this make sense? Anybody else ever feel or think this way?

Take care,


Willem, great point! I totally agree with this.

I think conversations about "effective strategies" need to happen within the context of realizing that one's heart has told them that their path lies on the path of strategizing and thinking.

I totally agree that one’s heart should determine one’s path - that one should find what they are called to do, and act accordingly. And everyone’s path will of necessity be different.

But if one IS discussing various strategies from the point of view of effectiveness (which seemed to be the subject of the OP) - and especially if one is using this discussion to help determine their course of action - it is important to think it through fully. Of course, everyone will have different opinions about this. My efforts in this particular discussion is just to help clarify things, to clarify the presumptions that underly the various perspectives.

From what I’ve seen, many many people operate under the presumption that people will “see the light” if they are only presented with the truth, that it is even possible to change people’s minds (especially regarding the most entrenched aspect of people’s worldviews, the part that is pro-civilization, pro- all the memes of civilization), and that educating others is the best way to change society. I want to address this, because in my opinion these premises are unsound, illogical, and don’t jive with reality.

But this is not to say that educating others doesn’t have a key role to play in the movement towards change. I hope that anyone who feels called to this kind of work will follow their heart and do it. I think the work that Daniel Quinn, Derrick Jensen, and other authors, speakers, and activists do is of vital importance - I know that Jensen’s work has played a key role in my life, helping to clarify things for me that were vaguely floating around in my subconscious, and helping me to become conscious of what I’ve been feeling for so long. But as Jensen said recently, this work is necessary but not sufficient (to bring down civilization in and of itself). Just as long as we all have our eyes wide open…

About pessimism - I personally want to be realistic, and the reality is not pretty. Focusing on this ugly reality, and believing this culture to be irredeemable and needed to be stopped, means that many other people will consider me to be negative or pessimistic. But to me, it is impossible to be “positive” without ignoring the reality of the situation.

This may be a tangent to this discussion, but I really like this quote:

Every individual who wants to save their humanity - and indeed their skin - had better begin thinking dangerous thoughts about sabotage, resistance, rebellion, and the fraternity of all men and women everywhere. The mental attitude known as "negativism" is a good start.

And this one:

To think deeply in our culture is to grow angry and to anger others; and if you cannot tolerate this anger, you are wasting the time you spend thinking deeply. One of the rewards of deep thought is the hot glow of anger at discovering a wrong, but if anger is taboo, thought will starve to death.

Of course, someone can have totally different ideas about what it means to be “positive” or “negative” - what I’ve said concerns the popular attitude that I come across all the time.

But I suppose this is a tangent - the question of optimism and pessimism is somewhat different. I guess it all depends on what one considers to be pessimistic. I don’t call it pessimistic to believe that this culture will never change on its own, that it can never be sustainable, and that it will never stop the process of destroying all life on the planet (converting living beings into “resources” & “products”) as long as it exists - but others would consider that POV to be pessimistic.

I would consider believing the opposite to not be optimistic, but to be believing in false hope. I consider hope to be wishing for something to happen over which one has no control - therefore I have no desire to have “hope” about anything. I only wish to become aware of reality, to choose to act, and then to act.

Sorry if this is totally beside the point you were trying to make, Huby7! But I find this question of positivity/negativity, & optimism/pessimism to be very interesting. If I’ve totally missed what you tried to say, could you elaborate?



Sorry if this is totally beside the point you were trying to make, Huby7! But I find this question of positivity/negativity, & optimism/pessimism to be very interesting. If I've totally missed what you tried to say, could you elaborate?

I really can’t elaborate on it because I’m still trying to figure it out myself. And, because of this, I don’t think you really missed what I was trying to say.

Take care,


Link to a 3-part Derrick Jensen video:


Hey all,

Ran Prieur posted this yesterday 10/28/08. It makes sense, and it sort of sounds like what Daniel Quinn was saying, too.

The only good path I see is to prevent any catastrophe so big that we forget what we've learned, and to keep working for anything that makes humans smarter, until we get a majority who understand the deep reforms that we need. I don't see it happening in less than 500 years, unless we get some miraculous high-tech wild card. (My favorite scenario is the invention of time-contracted virtual reality, so that anyone can pick up a lifetime of experience in a day. I like to think that's what we're doing now!)

What do you think?


Ran Prieur is a neo-futurist. He rambles and rambles and says nothing and yet tons of people read his shit. I don’t get it. It’s the same old boring mental masturbation. He’s a sci-fi nerd who really wants a sci-fi future… which is why his critiques ignore reality; we’re fucked.

I agree that “we need it all.” And I also think that this whole “we must educate people first” thing is bullshit, and like a school teacher forcing education onto a child, believes that humans must be taught something from a book or lecture rather than through direct experience. I believe nothing is more powerful than direct experience, and nothing will teach people the problems of civilization than the collapse of civilization itself.

I believe nothing is more powerful than direct experience, and nothing will teach people the problems of civilization than the collapse of civilization itself.

Actually, this sums up the entire problem very nicely. As a mentor and educator (same as Urban Scout), who has worked for 15 years with loads of outdoor camp kids, teenagers, adults, and worked alongside indigenous mentors, I have to say that the thoroughly publicly schooled members of our culture (including authors and speakers who I hold dear to my heart), in general know fuck-all about what it means to “know” or to “learn” something.

“Coyote Teaching”, as introduced to me by Tom Brown, Jr., and as role-modeled by other indigenous mentors of mine, means the ability to learn from experience. Action, and reflection. Content doesn’t matter (i.e., the conclusions that you draw), but the relationship to action and reflection does. A whole human being doesn’t think the same things as a rewilding POV, rather they have rewilded their relationship to knowledge, into one of action and reflection. Rather than one of “thinking and believing correct things”: something borne entirely of civilization.

Right? This idea that we need to “explain” the problems of civilization and the taker thunderbolt, so that people will make the “correct” decisions and have the “right” understanding, comes right out of this goofy idea of what it means to know, and what it means to learn.

We need to raise children who have (and encourage in each other) the ability to question, to act and reflect, and they will do all the heavy lifting it takes to continue the rewilding renaissance, as this culture shits itself and collapses all around us during their/our lifetime. They will live the reality of the fragility of civilization, as we have lived the reality of its insanity.

We won’t survive by knowing better and more correct things; we’ll survive by ever-deepening our rewilding.

I’ve run into way too many Ishmael readers with totally off-base ideas of what Daniel Quinn meant, to think that “explaining” suffices or even addresses the issues. To the extent that Ishmael in fact does provide an emotional catharsis and transformative experience for some, I applaud Daniel Quinn, and point to this as the benefits of making it a novel rather than a non-fiction text.

It clearly doesn’t crate this catharsis for every one; Information sits fundamentally in dynamic opposition to Transformation. They represent two fundamentally different models of knowing.

That’s it Willem, yeah, right on dude, this is basically what I have been trying to express in nearly all of my posts since I started posting on this forum.
That is what I was talking about before, that Sacha said, that I think is important.

Information sits fundamentally in dynamic opposition to Transformation. They represent two fundamentally different models of knowing.

Wow, Willem. There are very few people around who understand this. Wow.

Well, hot damn then! ;D

Hey all,

I may have misunderstood Ran when he said:

The only good path I see is to prevent any catastrophe so big that we forget what we've learned, and to keep working for anything that makes humans smarter, until we get a majority who understand the deep reforms that we need.

By being smarter, I think he means not being so rigid in our thinking:

You could call these expansive thinking and contractive thinking. I like to call them scout thinking and warrior thinking. Warrior thinking has its place -- sometimes your emotions and intuition can sense things that your rational mind can't, and of course we never have anywhere near full knowledge. To some extent, every idea and theory and "fact" is like a shape we're seeing in the clouds, and sometimes you have to believe something to see it.

But the great advantage of scout thinking is that it constantly makes you smarter. When new information appears, the scout looks at the map, erases a line, draws another, and keeps exploring, while the warrior either rejects the new information for not fitting the map, or if it does fit the map, draws an existing line darker.

And it seems to me that you were driving at the same point here, Willem:


For a Tracker, no answers exist. Only questions, suspicions, hypotheses, patterns, tendencies.

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Einstein

To see a barefoot track upon the earth, does not mean the maker didn’t wear shoes. What if they had cut the bottoms out?

To see seven black crows in a row does not mean all crows wear black. To see an eighth appearing white does not mean some crows don’t have black feathers. What if the “white crow” fell victim to a sack of flour?

At best, a Tracker can say about a barefoot track: “this suggests an unshod human foot.” Yet like the invisible man, until each surface of the foot receives coverage, below and above, back to front, side to side, pressing into a medium that will hold an image, one must hold open many possibilities, while choosing the likeliest one as a working hypothesis. And even then…

Consider the hoax of Bigfoot tracks. Wooden stamps disguised as bare feet. Does a Tracker seem foolish if she refuses to make assumptions about any track, not just those that seemed an unusual fit for what one usually sees?

We can never quite completely trust our senses, yet these same senses encourage us towards exploring certain possibilities. One cannot state for certain that a groundhog made a particular track, even when you catch the groundhog, cook it, eat it, and lie satisfied with your hands on your belly. At least you can contemplate the mystery with a greasy smile and a nap.

Results encourage us towards particular ends, towards particular behaviors, towards particular models of reality. But results can change, patterns can shift, models can (and do!) become obsolete.

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. -Einstein

So, I don’t know if Ran is saying we need to educate (In a western sense, of course) the masses to save the world. Perhaps Coyote Mentoring is just one way to encourage expansive or scout thinking. I’m just throwing this out there, I haven’t given it much thought.

Take care,


I don’t want to totally shoot this thread off onto a tangent, but, I’d like to comment on this tiny piece. I don’t know much about Coyote Mentoring, per se, but in terms of expansive thinking, thinking “outside the box” or whatever, it seems to me that those most successful examples I’ve seen have been where people feel free to fail. The most fear gripped groups seem the least inclined towards expansive thinking. So, when I try to get people to think “outside the box” or from a different perspective, one of the things I try to do is to get them to feel safe.

Let’s see more on the difference between transformation and information!

Very Esoteric!

This guy, or the other guy: a very old remnant of binary thinking

Neither teachers solves problems, they point to their observations as they create them.

Let’s explore this honestly. Not many Jensen readers who then go on and discover Quinn and transform their worldview. But many read Quinn, then Jensen, and the transformation varies, but it occurs!

They build the same gateway, and Jensen builds his wider. One could conceivable use the books themselves as weapons of the revolution!

One problem with both authors; even if you started listing off the others, like hemingway, and molison, and prechtel and ruiz, the gateway STILL doesn’t open wide enough for the first human to pass through.

It takes personal experience, widening the channels of local, honest living, and narrowing the channels of materialistic, unsustainable living for others to pass through with us.

Writing can only inspire, it cannot do the deed itself.

A pacifist must insist that ‘the pen is mighter than the sword’ because of the obviousness of the pen’s second-tier might when applied against the first-tier aggressiveness of the sword.

The ‘-ist’ must change all around them in order to acheive. A rewilder only simply needs to change personal patterns of behavior in order to achieve.

I voted for Change, and I sparred with my martial arts group. I did both, and more… Because I freed myself of civilized shackles, because voting isn’t my only option, and war my only other option, I was able to hear the voice of Timothy Leary, “Overt rebellion is a part of the game.”

And so I rebel by becoming more traditional. To go to war, I would have to set the battlefield. I would have to draw up allies, understand my enemies fighting techniques (not just why I want my enemy dead). A very large door would have to open for me, indeed, to go to war. Maybe you grew up in a militia family and this door could be pried open with little effort…

So instead, a much smaller door, for me, is personal victories. I replanted 4 acres of disappearing Mississippi river delta in 2008. And that door was already opened, I just walked through it. And yet, I train, become more focused for battle…

For I am a warrior, but a warrior of this earth, I fight for this earth, but not against her enemies… because these are my opportunities, and the guidance and wisdom of the spirits in us and around us.

I was filled with anger and rage until V Day, V to the 10th:


Then I was given a mission to heal all the vaginas of the world (the wetlands). And I accepted.

Now I may still live with doubt and judgment, but now I have the spiritual energy and tools to win the fight without ever bringing it to the front lines.