Monthly Archives: August 2016

Your Body is A Portal to Truth. Enter and Be Transformed.

I’ve spoken to some folks who glance at the 7-step process of healing the mother wound and say “I already know all this” or “I’ve done these steps already” yet they still have all the painful symptoms of the mother wound. What’s clear is that they may know the concepts on a cognitive level but the process hasn’t actually reached the visceral level of the body.

Transformation isn’t fully real until it takes root in the body.

Cognitive understanding is very important but it isn’t enough to transform us and create lasting, meaningful change. Over the years, I’ve met folks who have spent decades on a spiritual journey but the process was taken almost entirely in their minds. They may still struggle with basic living skills although they’ve worked with several gurus, read tons of books or even teach their own workshops! This is not surprising as we live in a culture that tells us that we can gobble up concepts and that we should have a transformation.

Concepts are like seeds of transformation, that when dropped into the body can take root and begin to transform us on the deepest levels.

When we gobble concepts it is a superficial action. What creates lasting transformation is fully digesting the concepts and allowing them to sink deeply into our bodies, where the alchemy of transformation really takes place. Transformation has it’s own organic timeline that is out of our hands. It cannot be rushed. We cannot control or predict it. This truth can be hard to swallow, especially because our culture sends the message that success is equivalent to control and timely “results.”

Beth Cavener Stichter - Bringing Down the Moon

I know this well because I spent years avoiding the deeper work because it was too threatening to my ego who wanted to be done and healed yesterday. I eventually realized that the need to reach the final destination was really a defense against the un-processed grief within me. Wanting to skip over or avoid the murky parts was actually a projection of the child within me who wanted someone to rescue me from pain the way my parents never could. I would project my power outward onto a new teacher or method, asking them to be the mother I never had. This insight allowed me to see that attachment to the idea of a final destination was really just a postponement of facing the pain within me. I realized that if I was to work through it, I needed to face it head on.

In our patriarchal culture, there is the illusion that there’s safety in living life “from the neck-up.” We are encouraged in covert and overt ways to push aside our deeper, complex experiences. It’s what I call a belief that relief is in “away.” It’s the belief that we can push uncomfortable things aside and out of sight in order to be free of them. Whether it’s through throwing trash “away” or making the pain go “away” with a pill or a drink. It’s the deeper belief that freedom and comfort are possible in denial.

There was a time when there was indeed safety in denial, pushing aside, dis-owning, clenching or contracting. And that time is when we were children and had no choice but to suppress and deny our true feelings in order to survive. We’ve all had to do this to some degree.

Jackie Carpenter

Reality is much different as adults. We come to realize that there really is no such thing as “away.” We must SEE things and become conscious of them first before we can ever become truly free of them. The sooner we accept this, the smoother our journey can become. Whatever we refuse to see simply lies in waiting until we are ready to see and digest it. If we continue to resist, we’ll only experience increasing limitation and hardship.

The paradox is that when we truly see the thing we wish to be free of, we cease seeing it as something to “get rid of” but actually for the gift that it is in helping us to be more conscious and thus more free.

For example, if we have a goal and experience resistance to that goal, we become free of that resistance not by resisting it further or shaming ourselves, but by becoming curious and inquiring into the resistance. This openness and curiosityallows us to receive insights into the deeper cause of the resistance, at which point, we usually experience an emotional or bodily shift. This shift in the body/mind causes the resistance to lose it’s power to stop us and we can then move forward again toward the goal. We can trust that whatever is coming up is the next level of what needs to be processed in order to be released. Resistance always holds a gift.

Claudia McKinney

A key indicator for me is noticing how my breathing changes in relation to my thoughts. I notice that when I think a contracting thought, my breathing becomes shallow and quicker. And when I think an empowering, loving thought my belly expands and my breath automatically deepens down into my gut. There’s a physical sense of relief and opening. It’s as though my body is showing me what is true.

Relief from the pain comes from opening to the pain

For many of us, our bodies have served as a place we have stashed our biggest hurts. Opening to our bodies can be scary because we know that the hurt is in there. To the child within, there may be a fear that opening to the old pain will only bring more pain. But the truth is that in the opening to pain is ultimately where the relief lies. Staying present to our own pain is part of mothering ourselves and gives us the experience that we are bigger and more powerful than any intense emotion.

The Key in the Lock: Take inquiry into the Body

Hatching the Universal by Judy Chicago

We must measure our transformations, not by the number of years we’ve been on the path, the number of books we’ve read, or the teachers we’ve studied with, but by the depths we have gone to in our own process. This is only something only we can know about ourselves. It’s a private kind of integrity. It’s a combination of commitment and surrender. The question really is ‘How can I live in each moment in alignment with what I know to be true?’ and ‘How can my words and actions line up with my deepest truth?’ Sometimes we can feel the hunger for this kind of alignment in our very cells.

Very simple concepts have enormous richness and transformative power when they are felt and absorbed within the body.

Continue reading

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I am not a “Feminist”

Labels for every damn thing, I swear. Is it so unfathomable to not subscribe to any one doctrine or “con-cept”? It really shows the urges to have to pin down everything. BREAK IT down. Categorize it. Decipher it. Put it in a box and give it a name.

How does merely recognizing & embracing the sacredness of true Womanhood make someone a “feminist”? How could you even put a natural, essential truth/part of Life into a box? What does that say about the very Civilization who gives that necessary, obvious “law of Nature” a label, that has to make some “movement” out of it?

There is a massive difference between the true Feminine and this typical “feminist movement”. Must I state the obvious?

This pseudo-feminine shit is just counterproductive, as is every other “liberation” movement. Because they all continue to miss the point. They all fail to address the root. They fail to take the real problem to the real solution. Instead of focusing on the root, they’re too busy examining the leaves. Instead of trying to heal the sickness, they try to medicate the symptoms.

Essentially what these “liberation movements” are doing, especially honing in on this feminist shit, is just trying tweak the very System that was built off of & requires your oppression. I mean, the very fact that you have to “fight for your rights”, just shows that you never had them and you never will within the System. For who truly has the “power” to give or take away your “rights”? Certainly no other human being. That there’s this illusion of power, allowing elevation of one group of people above another; some authority, hierarchy just shows that our fundamental birthright, the right from which all others stem; the right to BE (left alone) has already been raped repeatedly.

Really, what’s happening here when people are fighting for (again, why would you have to in the first place?) their right to be treated as equals, what you’re really fighting for is elevation on the slave/hierarchical scale. You’re fighting for your piece of the Wétiko/Cannibal exploitation pie. You’re fighting for your “right” to partake in the very Evils that put you in that “lesser” position to begin with. You’re fighting for your “right” to contribute to & uphold the very System that forced you & your entire lineage into it.

The Elite are well aware of this too. They enjoy your futile protests and rallies. They’re glad that you’re only fighting for your “equal pay” because irregardless, ownership over you & your exploitation is still guaranteed, no biggie. Keep focusing on the irrelevant things while they continue to siphon off of you to keep their agenda rolling…which is your enslavement, your Stockholm Syndrome loyalty to them. Your dissociation.

And this is why almost every “revolution” has failed. Not surprising, seeing as how “revolution” literally means to go in circles. And this is all they’ve done. Go in circles. Trading one boss/cannibal for another, taking over & continuing the same ole bullshit; never changing the ROOT.

As long as humanity continues to play along with this gigantic game, fueling the delusions of power for these psychos, you will never be free. You will never be happy. You will never have peace.

There is no fixing the System. Try to rearrange it all you want, but it is fundamentally evil. Nothing good has ever and will never come from this.

So that’s all I’m gonna say about these movements. They’re pointless and insane because they’ve been perverted & infiltrated by the same disease. They’re stemming from THE SAME CORE issue that got us here in the first place.

I will also add though, that this aggressive male-dominated insanity known as “civilization”, has absolutely nothing to do with TRUE Manhood. TRUE Masculinity. This is the perverse “masculine”, faggotry. Yes, this shit was founded by faggots. So for so-called feminists, what do you expect? A faggot is only a faggot because they hate the Woman. Only a faggot hates the Woman. Not the Man. The System cannot go on without the exploitation of Mother Earth and the Feminine. It is the key. It is the foundation.

And the divide & conquer tactics first began with the Man and the Woman. Also a key. Because the sanctity of both coming together in unison, internally & externally, would be an unstoppable force. They knew this, they saw this. So of course they would turn Man against Woman. Of course they would try to separate them into two. Literal Man & Woman and the internal Masculine & Feminine within one. There is no dichotomy between Man & Woman! They are One! (So man-hating feminists, your shit is JUST as fucked. You’re just as delusional, partaking in the hatred, THE Lie.)

And as I’ve been saying, this System is just these faggots’ way of mimicking real Life. That’s all Civilization is. A knock off, tranny/perverse/phony attempted version of living to replace the Real. Jealous narcissistic cannibal faggots (masquerading as “men” or even blatant faggots) pretending to be the givers of Life while subjugating the actual ones (Woman/Earth).

So no, I am not a “feminist.” I am not an anything. I merely recognize and value Life for what it truly is.

To label/stereotype anyone is to contain them. Control them. That’s why “they” have so many fake alternatives already set up to turn to. The Gatekeepers; with all their different religions & cults & movements & oppositions; just another swing on the pendulum…but you’re still trapped within the same ole bullshit. The same exact structure banking off of & stemming from the oppression of Life itself. It’s all controlled. It’s all pasteurized. You’re still playing their game.

Another good example of this within the feminist movement is this “ancient Goddesses worship”. Yet do you not realize that those goddesses of Agriculture played one of the major key roles in the rape of the Earth, and thusly your rape? Those ancient “mystery religions” go hand in hand with this Civilization. The perverted masculine had already begun dominating. And these “mystery religions” aren’t even suppressed — they are everywhere you go. They are in the foundation of every other mainstream religion. They are the foundation of all this shit. Nothing about this civilization is different from all the others who rose & fell.

But that’s all I’m gon vent about this for now. It’s always too easy to veer off into so many other directions that play into it all.

I love the Feminine. I love the Masculine. I love Life.

And for those of you who actually do know what’s really going on, and my fellow sisters who do claim the term “feminist” & are trying to fight the System as a whole, this ain’t about you. I just personally do not wish to subscribe to any one thing… As always, merely calling out the frauds. But you should already know. Be weary of confining yourself, it’s easy to get distracted & sucked into bullshit.

The everyday violence of modern culture

& this article does not even remotely begin to scratch the surface.

By Max Wilbert / Deep Green Resistance

Modern society — industrial civilization — is built on violence.

This violence goes largely unnoticed. When it is noticed, it’s often seen a series of isolated incidents, rather than a fundamental part of the dominant culture.

#

Here is an average morning inside of this culture.

First, you wake up on top of a foam mattress offgassing toxic VOCs that will not biodegrade in 10,000 years. You sit up and put on your clothes — all with tags reading “Bangladesh” and “Puerto Rico” and “Dominican Republic.” These clothes were made by virtual slaves.

You walk downstairs and fill a glass with water from the tap. The water comes from a local river that was dammed 127 years ago. Ever since, native species in the watershed have been in decline. You drink the water.

You pour yourself a bowl of cereal. The cereal is made of wheat and corn grown in what was once the tallgrass prairie of the eastern Great Plains. Ninety nine percent of that habitat – millions of acres – was plowed and utterly destroyed to grow those crops. The soil is gone now; your meal is only possible through fossil fuel fertilizers.

You add milk; it comes from a factory farm nearby, where cattle are packed in next to each other in squalor and pumped full of antibiotics and rBGH (genetically modified growth hormone) to increase production. The cows are in pain; their imprisonment is fouling the land around them. The cereal tastes good.

It’s almost time for work, so you walk down to your car. You’re somewhat environmentally conscious, so you’ve bought an electric car. It makes you feel a lot better. The car has 1000 pounds of lithium-ion batteries under the hood. The lithium for those batteries was strip-mined in the Peruvian desert; the pollution and land destroyed by the mine has devastated local people’s traditional livelihoods. You get inside the car and start the engine. It’s a push-button startup system; there is a fancy LCD screen inside. It’s modern and sleek; you pull away from the curb.

You drive on paved streets to your destination. Under those streets are indigenous burial grounds. There used to be thick old-growth forest here; now it’s a trendy, up-and-coming neighborhood. There are a few run-down houses here and there; the poor people who used to live in this neighborhood and are being forced to move, many after generations here; it’s just the latest set of refugees that have walked through this place.

You pass a police officer. The precursor of the modern police force was the slave patrol in the antebellum South. This is not a rumor; it’s the factual origin of this institution. They continue their mission of terrorizing black and brown communities today. Many people live in constant fear of them. The fear is justified. They beat, rape, and murder everyday.

It’s cold outside, but inside the car you’re warm and happy. You’re listening to the radio; the transmission towers are responsible for a few hundred thousand bird deaths a year. The radio is on a news station. The news person is talking about the latest bombing campaign your government is conducting. It’s taking place far away; you don’t think about it too much.

You’ve arrived at work. You work at a hospital. The hospital is on a hill. Before the concrete and buildings, there was a meadow here. It was full of flowers in the spring. Insects came from a long way away to eat from the flowers. It made the flowers happy. Many people walked through the meadow in those days. There was a good view from there. Sometimes lovers would walk there to be alone. That all changed when the settlers came with their earth-movers and road-builders.

You park your car, then walk inside. The sun is shining. It’s a nice day. You pass the gardeners working outside, spraying herbicide on the weeds. It wouldn’t do to have weeds. The gardeners have brown skin. They came from Mexico. They used to grow their own food and sell the rest in the village down the road, but after the free trade agreements opened them up to competing with Cargill, they couldn’t stay anymore. They became refugees and crossed the border. Technically, they’re in the country illegally. The land they’re on was part of Mexico before the war.

Inside the hospital, there are people waiting to be seen for appointments. They’re reading magazines. Most the magazines have pictures of women in them. The women aren’t wearing many clothes. They’re being used to sell products. A girl is reading one of the magazines. She looks about 10 years old. The leading cause of death for girls a few years older than her is eating disorders.

Another woman is hoping to have an abortion. She is only 19 years old. The hospital has Catholic roots; she won’t be allowed that level of control over her body and her future.

You walk past them, past examination rooms and surgical rooms and recovery rooms. There are receptacles everywhere for gloves, needles, and other medical waste. All the garbage from this hospital is shipped to an incinerator; it’s illegal to send it to a landfill. The incinerator is located in the middle of a poor neighborhood two states away. The smoke that comes out of its smokestack contains some of the most toxic substances known to science. There is a school a block away from the incinerator. They keep their windows closed and keep the kids inside when the smoke is rising from the facility. It doesn’t help much.

You get to your office. You touch the door as you walk in. It’s made of dense chipboard. The wood in the chipboard used to be an old-growth boreal forest. Formaldehyde and other chemical glues hold it together. Like the light switch, the computer, the examination table, the chairs, the desk, the floor tiles, and the light fixtures, the paint on the door is made from oil. The oil used in these specific light fixtures and floor tiles came from Saudi Arabia and Niger and Texas and Canada.

You sit down and get to work.

#

This was a very partial description of the violence in modern society. Make no mistake: this is a war.

When we are honest about the level of violence in this culture, not resisting becomes a sickening thought.

But false solutions abound; almost all of the solutions put forth to solve these problems of violence continue it in another form, or simply displace it to another area of the world or a new type of impact.

True solutions undermine the ability of industrial civilization to continue its destruction. A longtime military maxim has been that victory requires removing the ability or will of the enemy to continue their fight. This is a situation of planetary self-defense. All options are on the table, from revolutionary law-making to strategic non-violence to coordinated sabotage of industrial infrastructure.

If you’re contemplating entering the fight, remember what Andrea Dworkin famously wrote: “Resist, do not comply.”

http://dgrnewsservice.org/civilization/the-everyday-violence-of-modern-culture/

“Economics”

..sharing more from Derrick Jensen’s ‘A Language Older Than Words’ because I can. As always, you don’t gotta like it. Or even read it. I know I’m just being redundant.

“The word ‘economics’ comes from the Greek ‘ta oikonomika’, which means ‘the science of household management.’ It is how one takes care of one’s house. The word has suffered devaluation, and now means the management of money.
The word ‘ecocide’ comes from Greek as well, ‘oikos’, meaning ‘house’, and ‘cidium’ meaning ‘to slay or destroy.’ Ecocide is the destruction of a house.”


“While the goals of economics — as is also true of physics — consists of equations ostensibly created to describe real-life events, it does so poorly. In order to make equations manageable (thus allowing the pretension that life is manageable) economists must disregard or fudge variables that may be difficult or impossible to quanitfy. Thus today I can look in an economics textbook and see that Wh = B + M, which means that wealth by definition equals bonds plus money, because, as the authors state, ‘bonds and money are the only stores of wealth.’ This example is not unfair: corporate accountants do not factor human happiness into their bottom lines, or the suffering of enslaved children. The voices of wild wolf and caged hen do not enter these equations. Like our science and our religion, corporate economics deafens us to corporeal life.
What’s more ludicrous is that the equations fail to describe even our economic system. The equations I learned were based almost exclusively on the model of something called ‘the free market.’ It was hard for me to waste time learning equations based on something that doesn’t exist: even Dwayne Andreas, former chief executive officer of the argibusiness transnational Archer Daniels Midland, admits, ‘There is not one grain of anything in the world that is sold in the free market. Not one. The only place you see a free market is in the speeches of politicians.’ You see the same thing economics classes.
For our economics textbooks to have been accurate, they would need to be printed in blood. The blood of indigenous peoples destroyed so their land could be taken, bought, and sold. The blood of salmon, beaver, and buffalo commodified and killed for the money they have come to represent. The blood of all of us whose lives are diminished in the act of commodifying others. The blood of slaves and wage slaves who spend their lives toiling so their owners may have the leisure that is the birthright of every living being. The blood of the land itself, poisoned by ‘externalities’, those cumbersome details too dark or difficult or inconvenient to take their place in the economic equations that guide so much of our lives. The blood of everyone who is silenced by economic theory. In the same vein as our science and religion, the most obvious function of our economics is the erection of a sociopolitical framework on which to base a system of exploitation.
I hung on through fall semester, and bailed in early spring. … The classes were meaningless, … I remember a class in managerial economics, the textbook for which was Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’. The instructor told us our grade would be based on presentations, and because the business world is, as he put it, ‘a world of cutthroat competition’, students were encouraged to sabotage the bulb from a slide projector when the presenter had left the room. Because the presenter had another bulb in his pocket, he received an A. I did not last the day; after hearing that story I packed away my notebook, slipped out the door, and went to the registrar’s office to drop the class.”

 


“It doesn’t make much sense for me to raise chickens. Why should I go to the trouble of incubating chicks, keeping them in my bathtub, dumpster diving for food, and conversing with coyotes, when I can go to Albertson’s and buy a package of drumsticks for less than a buck a pound?
Not much that we do in our personal lives makes much economic sense, just as most things we do for money make no sense in personal terms. It makes little economic sense for me to write this book: my pay will probably hover around a buck an hour (enough, at least, to buy a pound of chicken). From a fiscal standpoint, I’d be better off working at McDonald’s. High jumping didn’t pay. Friendships don’t pay. It makes no economic sense to make love: it takes time, uses calories, and costs money if you use condoms or pills.
I suppose if we stretch the definition, making love can be made to fit into certain economic categories: my friend tells me the price for sex on East Sprague here in Spokane is 50 bucks for a lay, 40 bucks for a blow, and 100 for the woman to do whatever you want for an hour.
It could be argued that by moving swiftly from lovemaking to buying sex I am blurring distinctions that shouldn’t be blurred. But that’s what happens to any process when we turn it into an economic exchange, whether we’re talking about a trick on East Sprague, a pound of chicken at Albertson’s, or a book at Hastings or Borders. The complex and often murky processes — lovingmaking in the first place; the gathering, raising, or killing of food (as well as more broadly our relations with other species) in the second; and in the third the process of exploring and articulating what it means to be alive and human — have been telescoped into commodities that can be quantified and transferred. ‘I’d like three books, two packages of chicken McNuggets, and a blow to go, please.’ That which it is possible to reduce to a commodity and sell, is. That which can’t, is either (by definition) devalued, ignored, or simply destroyed.
Let’s get back to East Sprague, and to what must be lost in transition from intimate to commercial. Love is certainly lost, but what else? Perhaps nothing. Perhaps the transition merely demystifies — removes the shroud of projection, of unnecessary and cumbersome mystery — to reveal what, at base, is really there: friction on skin, stimulation of nerve endings, lubrication, seminal emission. Nothing else. Perhaps our economics reduces it as surely and cleanly as does our science to what is reproducible and quantifiable in any laboratory, to what is real: we have time of erection, cubic centimeters and chemical content of semen, chemical content of the woman’s lubrication (if you pay 50). With the right equipment we could track the chemicals in the man’s brain as he comes, and those in the woman’s brain as she thinks of something else.
Here’s the problem: in this tidy world of economic categories, there’s no room for love, joy, mystery, for the somtimes confused and confusing, sometimes clear and clarifying, sometimes beautiful, sometimes magical suction of body on body, skin on skin, soul on soul. The process of lovers entangling and moving together figures little in the exchanges on East Sprague.
But I suppose even within the context of a relationship we could twist sexuality to make it fit within economic categories: I give pleasure in order to receive an equal amount of pleasure. It’s an economic exchange as surely as if money changed hands, with the currency now caresses. But as was the case for the two friends sucking on straws, this description of economic selfishness does not describe the process as I experience it. My experience — and this is true not just about sexuality — is quite the opposite of what our economic philosophy would suggest. The purpose — and this, too, is true for all of life — is in the giving, sharing, and receiving wrapped inextricably into a single thread.
Our economics, as is true of our science, represents the triumph of product over process, and form over content. It is the triumph of selective deafness and blindness over conscience and relationship. I don’t care how miserable was the chicken’s life nor how poisonous the hormones, just give me cheap and juicy drumsticks. I don’t care that the prostitute is probably poor and was sexually abused as a child, nor that the encounter will be devoid of emotional content, just get me off. My shoes were made in an Indonesian sweatshop? I don’t have the money to buy socially and ecologically friendly shoes that cost twice as much. It doesn’t matter that the production of my toilet paper came at the expense of clearcut mountainsides, sedimented streams, and rivers poisoned with dioxin; I cannot afford, once again, to buy the unbleached and recycled stuff that goes for 50 cents a roll.
One of the problems with our economics system is that money is valued over all else. That is enough to guarantee widespread misery, degradation, and ultimately the destruction of most, if not all, life on this Earth. It is axiomatic that people will not pay for that which they can get for free. This means that with certain notable exceptions — professional athletes, many of the self-employed, creative workers such as artists, scientists, members of the helping professions, and so on — most people will not get paid for doing what they would otherwise do, what they love: why should someone pay if you will do it anyway? Another way to say this is that as with grades, if implicit motivation is there, there’s no reason for external reward. The counter of this is also true, that oftentimes monetary rewards substitute for implicit motivation. What this means is that so long as money is valued — and in fact necessary — a great percentage of people will end up spending a great deal of time doing things they don’t want to do.
Prior to contact with our culture, it was common for members of indigenous cultures throughout the world to live ‘a careless life.’ Indeed, the Khoikhoi were said to ‘scarcely admit either force or rewards for reclaiming them from that innate lethargick humor. Their common answer to all motives of this kind, is, that the fields and woods provide plenty of necessaries for their support, and nature has amply provided for their subsistence, by loading the trees with plenty of almonds … and by dispersing up and down many wholesome brooks and pure rivolets to quench their thirst. So that there is no need of work. … And thus many of them idly spend their years of a useless restive life.’

Because our cash economy is predicated on the idea of a society composed of atomistic individuals pulling in selfish directions, it can do no other than reward selfish behavior. Communal behavior is not rewarded in this system, which means the cash economy can do no other than destroy communities. It damages relationships, too, not only because relationship consist of processes, not products, and are thus invisible to the system, but also because any relationship based on atomistic individuals pulling in selfish directions is not a relationship at all. And our cash economy can do no other than destroy life on the Earth, because life has neither value nor voice, whereas resources, for example two-by-fours, while still voiceless, have value. Given the system of rewards, it is a surprising testament to the tenacity of life that any viable natural communities persist. It is an open question as to how much longer they will do so.

Our economics promises a life of increasing ease, which would put us back where we started so many rapes, clearcut forests, and extirpated species ago. For those of us rich enough to reap its benefits, our economic system offers a life devoid of experience; as though life, and experience, were a hassle. I can buy fast food. I can buy fast sex. I can buy fast ideas. It is as though our goal were to pass our days comfortably in an embryonic hot tub, television turned on for community so we need never relate to another living being, umbilical cord attached so we need neither chew nor swallow. This kind of withdrawal makes sense for a traumatized people who believe that they’ve been forced to inhabit a treacherous world filled with selfish individuals. But if the world is not as they believe, then how sad that we avoid relationships to avoid the hassle.

Had I been satisfied to buy shrink-wrapped drumsticks at the grocery store, I may never have begun a conversation with coyotes, nor had the honor of meeting that brave Pekin who taught me about death. I would never have dug in a dumpster for the birds, nor felt the communion of generosity with that homeless man. … I may never have begun this exploration, with the richness of understanding it has brought to me.
It’s true as well that had I not attended the School of Mines, I would not have high jumped, and had my father not abused me, I may never have been sufficiently alienated from our culture to see it for what it is. Negative experiences can lead to joy and understanding. Life is untidy. When we reject this messiness — and in so doing reject life — we risk perceiving the world through the lens of our economics or our science. But if we celebrate life with all its contradictions, embrace it, experience it, and ultimately live with it, there is the chance for a spiritual life filled not only with pain and untidiness, but also with joy, community, and creativity. [now he’s saying LIFE, here.. not pretend/fake-life known as Civilization]
Last December I saw an advertisement outside an electronics store. There was a little boy, delirious with delight, surrounded by computers, stereos, and other gadgets. The text read: ‘We know what your child wants for Christmas.” I stared at the poster, then said to no one in particular, ‘What your child wants for Christimas is your love, but if he can’t get that, he’ll settle for a bunch of electronic crap.’


Don’t look at my finger. Look at the moon. The point of this book is not to excoriate our culture. To believe that any one thing is ‘the problem’ would be to believe that if we simply reform our economic system, everything will be okay, or if we reform science, or Christianity, or if I simply wait for my father to die, then everything will suddenly be fine.
But it won’t be fine. We need to look deeper. Ours is not the only deathly economics to evolve, and Christianity is not the only body-, woman-, and Earth-hating tradition. Women have also been raped, killed, and mutilated to serve Allah. The Hindu code of Manu V decrees that ‘A woman must never be free of subjugation’, and there have been many indigenous cultures as virulently misogynistic as our own. Other systems of knowledge have blinded people to physical reality and have deafened them to the suffering of others as surely as Western science. Other cultures have screwed up the environment, though none with the intensity, scope, enthusiasm, or finality with which we have approached this task.


But not every culture has done these things.
Don’t look at my finger. Look at the moon.

We need to look beyond, to the urges that inform, to the hidden wounds and presumptions that lead first to the conceptualization and later implementation of our economics, our science, our religion, our misogyny and child abuse. An economics like ours can emerge only from a consciousness like ours, and only a consciousness like ours can give rise to an economics like ours. To change economics, science, religion, or our intimate relations with humans and nonhumans, we must fundamentally change our consciousness, and in so doing fundamentally change the way we perceive the world. Try to see the patterns. Look. Look again, and look a third time. Listen.


Make no mistake, our economic system can do no other than destroy everything it encounters. That’s what happens when you convert living beings to cash. That conversion, from living trees to lumber, schools of cod to fish sticks, and onward to numbers on a ledger, is the central process of our economic system. Psychologically, it is the central process of our enculturation; we are most handsomely rewarded in direct relation to the manner in which we can help increase the Gross National Product.

It’s unavoidable: so long as we value money more highly than living beings and more highly than relationships, we will continue to see living beings as resources, and convert them to cash; objectifying, killing, extirpating. This is true whether we’re talking about fish, fur-bearing mammals, Indians, day-laborers, and so on. If monetary value is attached to something, it will be exploited until it’s gone. This story is so oft-repeated and oft-ignored.

Take the great auk, also called the spearbill in tribute to its massive bill, and called by the Spanish and Portuguese ‘pinguin’, which means ‘the fat one’, in reference to the soft jumpsuit of blubber that enveloped it. This flightless bird was common throughout Europe, existing side-by-side with humans as far south as the Mediterranean coast of France. By the year 900, the great auk was no longer perceived as a neighbor; it had become a commodity. It was slaughtered commercially for the oil derived from its fat, and for its soft elastic feathers. By the mid-17th century, hyperexploitation had killed all but one of the great auk nesting sites in Europe, and that was destroyed before 1800.
In North America, too, humans coexisted with great auks for thousands of years, perhaps thousands of human generations. But they didn’t develop an economics requiring the objectification of all others, and so the relationship continued. Humans smoked auk meat to eat through winter; they ate their eggs; they rendered fat into oil which they stored in sacks made from them into flour from which they made winter pudding. Humans did all this, season after season, generation after generation, causing no appreciable harm to the birds. I do not know what these humans gave to greak auks in return, but I would stake any hope I have for continued human existence on the belief that the humans gave something back to these stately black birds, with their powerful lungs and wings made for diving and undersea propulsion. Perhaps all they gave back was the right for them to be.
The earliest description we have of a North American encounter between Europeans and great auks ends, as these encounters always do, in tragedy for the natives: ‘Our two barcques were sent off to the island to produce some of the birds, whose numbers were so great as to be incredible. … In less than half-an-hour our two barcques were laden with them as if laden with stones.’ The next year another chronicler noted, ‘This island is so exceedingly full of birds that all the ships of France might load a cargo of them without anyone noticing that any had been removed.’ Having been noticed by members of our culture, the fate of the great auk was sealed.
They were slaughtered for their meat, which was sold. They were slaughtered for their oil, which was sold. They were slaughtered for their feathers, which were sold. Their eggs were taken for markets in Boston and New York. Wrote an Englishman: ‘These Penguins are as big as geese and … they multiply so infinitely upon certain flat islands that men drive them from hence upon a board into the boats by the hundreds at a time, as if God had made the innocency of so poor a creature to become such an abundant instrument in the sustenation of man.’
At last, around the turn of the 19th century, bans were placed upon the killing of remnant auk populations. The bans, being as nominal as environmental restrictions are today, were of course ignored, and the last known rookery was destroyed in 1802. But one colony, a tiny one of perhaps 100 individuals, remained, near Iceland. Word of this colony finally reached Europe, and collectors quickly offered a local merchant high prices for eggs. By 1843, most of the birds were gone, and on June 3, 1844, three fishermen killed the last 2 auks, and smashed the last auk egg.
It would be easy for me to hate that local merchant and this three hirelings for what they did to the world in general, and to me in particular, when they eradicated these creatures. But as with Chivington, Hitler, Descartes, Bacon, the authors of the Bible, ‘free market’ economist Milton Friedman, and so on ad nauseum, these men were not alone. They had, and continue to have, an entire culture for company. A bureaucrat with the Canadian Department of Fisheries and the Ocean stated the matter perfectly. His honesty is frightening: ‘No matter how many there may have been, the Great Auk had to go. They must have consumed thousands of tons of marine life that commercial fish stocks depend on. There wasn’t any room for them in any properly managed fishery. Personally, I think we ought to be grateful to the old timers for handling the problem for us.’

Any being that sparks economic interest is doomed. Eskimo curlews, passenger pigeons, puffins, teals, plovers, all these and MORE were exterminated or diminished by the insatiable lust for killing that our economics both rationalizes and rewards.
Sea mink, exterminated for their fur. Beavers, decimated. Wolverines. Fisher, marten, otter. Buffalo, wood bison, pronghorn antelope. Salmon: ‘A ball could not have been fired into the water without striking a salmon.’ Cod: ‘So thick by the shore that we hardly have been able to row a boat through them.’ Halibut. Herring: ‘I have seen 600 barrels taken in one sweep of a seine net. Often sufficient salt cannot be procured to save them and they are used as manure.’ Capelin: ‘We would stand up to our knees in a regular soup of them, scooping them out with buckets and filling the wagons until the horses could scarcely haul them off the beaches. You would sink to your ankles in the sand, it was that spongy with capelin eggs. We took all we needed for bait and for to manure the gardens, and it was like we’d never touched them at all, they was so plenty.’
You or I could catch all the fish we could ever eat, cut all the trees we could ever use, kill all the animals whose skins we could wear, and we would still not destroy the Earth. Or rather, we could kill all that is given to us only so willingly as we give back. What the hell use would it be for me to overfish West Medical Lake, where just tonight I caught my dinner? Why would I possibly take every fish? They would rot. It makes more sense to leave them so I can come back next week or next year, or never. Why should I stop them from living out their lives in their own manner?

Right now in the Bering Sea 45 trawlers, each larger than a football field, drop nets thousands of yards long and catch up to 80 tons of fish per day. These ships can remain at sea for months, catching sea lions, seals, pollock, whales, halibut: anything that crosses their paths. Most of what they catch is not worth any money, so it is simply shredded and dumped back in the ocean. If none of the 80 tons of fish could be converted to cash, no sane people would ever want to kill so many, which is itself powerful support for the thesis that our economic system makes us crazy, or at least manifests prior insanity, or both.
But money doesn’t rot. It doesn’t swim away to live another day. It doesn’t fight back. It doesn’t disappear to the bottom of the ocean. It doesn’t get eaten by other fish.
Like the Christian heaven far from Earth, and like the robo-roaches made more pleasing by the removal of their wings and the insertion of electrodes to facilitate their control, money perfectly manifests the desires of our culture. It is safe. It neither lives, dies, nor rots. It is exempt from experience. It is meaningless and abstract. By valuing abstraction over living beings, we seal not only our own fate, but the fates of all those we encounter.”


“What’s the point? Is it to accumulate wealth? If you were to ask 10,000 people if their main goal is to accumulate wealth and material possessions, the overwhelming majority would say NO. But if the answer to this question to be based not on their words, but on how they spend most of their waking hours, the answer would be a resounding YES.

What if the point of life has nothing to do with the creation of an ever-expanding region of control? What if the point is not to keep at bay all those people, beings, objects, and emotions that we so needlessly fear? What if the point instead is to let go of that control? What if the point of life, the primary reason for existence, is to lie naked with your lover in a shady grove of trees? What if the point is to stop, then, in your slow movements together, and listen to birdsong, to watch dragonflies hover, to look at your lover’s face, then up at the undersides of leaves moving together in the breeze? What if the point is to invite these others into your movement, to bring trees, wind, grass, dragonflies into your family and in so doing abandon any attempt to control them? What if the point all along has been to get along, to relate, and experience things on their own terms? What if the point is to feel joy when joyous, love when loving, anger when angry, thoughtful when full of thought? What if the point from the beginning has been to simply be?”

[and yes, as i’ve been saying.. the point of Life is Life itself. the end.]