The Bnetwork Guestbook Archives: 1-11 April 1997


Well, to begin I would have to say that I read The Story of B after reading Ishmael a second time. I didn't feel like I had really understood it the way I thought I needed to. I can't explain what I missed or got the second time but I just needed to re aquaint myself with the story. So yesterday I finished Ishmael and started The Story of B and approximately 15 minutes ago I finished it. As I got to the conclusion of the story I in a way understood much of what I felt 'from' Jared through a lot of the story was the inevitablity of change coming from being associated with B and what B was trying to say. I felt a dread, probably more so because of my dissatisfation with my life and even more so with the amazing short life I've had as a 'true Christian', true Christian meaing living as much to the bible as I was able to day in and day out -and truly enjoying that life-,this dissatisfaction caused because of my inablity to live or lack of desire to live as a Christian though i was in a sense a lot happier. Anyway the point of all this dribble is to say that earlier on I had the impression that this is not a book I could reccommend to my friends who like me had made a dedication to their Christian lives. I knew that even if I didn't necessarily agree with what I read that my mind being what it was would argue with me till I finally admitted what was true and what was not, what made sense and what did not. Frankly I don't know where this leads. When I connected to this web site I saw something that both scared me and relieved a lot of hidden fears I didn't know I had. We do not claim to be the only path to B, but we are here to offer a roadmap, an occasional shoulder to lean on, and a cool drink of sanity in a desert of systems thinkers. Our mission is to guide, to assist, not to lead. Your journey to B is as unique as Jared's...and as inspiring to others. I do not as yet know if I shall start on this journey if I shall become B or not. I will not take this lightly nor casually however because for me this has been the first and biggest concern of my life. I will spend this week extensively going over my bible. I really can't make any decision unless I see with my own eye what others tell me is there. I figure it should still be there if it is, shoudn't it? I appologize for this being long but I've always had a lot to say when I've said anything at all, partly because I don't really know how to get my thought out. But when you cut through it I'm sure you understand what my crazy mind is trying to say. Mainly thank you. Whether or not this becomes my journey or not, I already feel what little I know was worth it. I'll end now so as not to test your patience any more than I already have. Sincerely Eric Reed
Eric L. Reed <reed@detroitbest.net>
Detroit, MI USA - Friday, April 11, 1997 at 18:18:26 (PDT)
Fascinating. Telling me something I have suspected and had even turned the corner up on about ten years ago writing about the relation of food, energy and our value system. What I wrote then was the result of reading The Waste Makers, The Hidden Persuaders, Man's Search for Meaning, Beyond Oil and the Affluent Society in rapid succession. I wondered why are we what we are? Ismael and The Story of B adds a whole new dimesion to it, however. Thank you.
Joel N. Gordes <jgordes@snet.net>
Colebrook, CT USA - Friday, April 11, 1997 at 17:32:55 (PDT)
The assertions made by B are no more founded on "truth" than those of the Takers. What possibly can lead you to the conclusions that the leaver society, which was already expanding arithmetically would not have expanded geometrically as well. What does withholding food from rats have to do with limiting crops. How would you accomplish that? Don't get me wrong. There are many things that need to be righted, but to believe for an instant that you can revert 6 billion people into tribal organizations, or that tribal organizations somehow are more "free" is tough to swallow. If the world population had stayed under 100 million, then possibly. And what if I don't like to hunt and would rather garden???? Seems to me that B is a bit of a totalitarian himself. Obviously this book bothered me more than I would like to admit or I wouldn't be answering. My concern is that someone may actually believe that this "utopia" is possible. Strange book...oh, and I'm not Catholic, only mildly reliqious, not a part of the farming lobby or anything like that. I just think that the world, even at 10 million had become to complex. Your logic was the same you poo-pooed in the theory that marriage causes divorce...food causes people. Please.
Dave Beck <davebeck@aol.com>
WI USA - Friday, April 11, 1997 at 16:37:31 (PDT)
Sorry about the last entry. First downsize was really slow, painful and no fun at all. I thought a good rant might help the second time around is all. Things are pretty twisted around here.
Scott <sauza@cedar.alberni.net>
Ucluelet, BC Canada - Friday, April 11, 1997 at 15:12:31 (PDT)
I'm still screaming, so have no cogent thoughts, yet... just found this and here I go....
shannon nibley <snibley369@aol.com>
lake forest, CA USA - Friday, April 11, 1997 at 13:57:05 (PDT)
Having been downsized (from watershed renewal in Clay-quot Sound, honorable work for a former commercial fisherman) for the second time in a row I am inevitably becoming a Leaver. I'm sick of re-training, and going back to school for a third time is more than I'm ready to take. Re-duce, re-use and re-cycle are forgone conclusions. Where I live un-employment is near 30%, social services are swamped with caseloads and family violence shelters are full. Collapse is in full swing, Mother Culture carries a big stick and she is in one foul mood. After three years I'm weary of introducing and advancing ideas such as sustainability, bio-regionalism and self-government and I agree that "Taker" programs are utterly worthless. Sustainability is a word that is used fast and loose these days and my experience has been that people of all political spectrums run screaming to the governments back door and back rooms pleading to be rescued from it when they are truly confronted with it. The only thing being sustained is more of the same "taking". I personally do not have a problem with revolution, as a Leaver "program" it has a lot to offer the individual (its better than doing nothing) and it just might save the world. It does not necessarily have to mean violence or smashing everything in sight although I do think a certain amount of this is inevitable. If at all possible just walk away from society and let it continue to collapse, the sooner the better. Fight like hell to survive. Force the Takers to pry your dead cold fingers from your desire to be hopeful for the future and free of fear. P.S. Anyone who is aware of any enviros trying to "save" Clay-quot Sound this summer should tell them to demonstrate in the financial and political centers in the cities, that is where the real problem in Clay-quot Sound is. Tempers are really hot here and I'd hate to see anyone get hurt.
Scott <sauza@cedar.alberni.net>
Ucluelet, BC Canada - Friday, April 11, 1997 at 12:20:57 (PDT)
ISHMAEL, THE STORY OF B, and PROVIDENCE are "must reads" for all literate people and should be made available on tape for others. Hardly a day goes by without me seeing or hearing something about which I think differently since my reading of Quinn's works. I'm looking forward to MY ISHMAEL.
James Every <Jana2@ix.netcom.com>
Richmond, Ca USA - Thursday, April 10, 1997 at 18:19:52 (PDT)
"B" is an important blow to the prevailing mind-set. Hopefully it will function like a cultural virus(meme?) to be a self-replicating inoculation to the ideological status quo. I will "infect" as many as I can and encourage them to do likewise.
John Croxton <Wepawet@msn.com>
Lexington, Ky. USA - Thursday, April 10, 1997 at 15:49:52 (PDT)
I have discarded my bible and have adopted The Story of B instead. The information in this book has given me new hope for the future. We can all change how things are run. We can create new cultures by living a lifestyle that works. We can teach others and we can all DO SOMETHING for the world and ourselves. I will now devote the rest of my years to spreading the message of B. P.S. I realize how cult-like this sounds, how weird this may seem but I am still young (a High School student going off to college). Bear with me you'll hear from me again sometime in the future. --Arlene
Arlene Cruz
Brooklyn, N.Y. USA - Thursday, April 10, 1997 at 10:09:55 (PDT)
A wonderful series of Books that really challange the status Quo of the Taker Society. Quinn in on the verge of a new philosophy which is at the same time both simple to understand and difficult to comprehend.
Christopher Osborn <cosborn@utkux.utcc.utk.edu>
Knoxville , Tn USA - Wednesday, April 09, 1997 at 13:38:23 (PDT)
Samuel.... You clever rascal! Perhaps you should consider, "Perhaps I think, and therefore, maybe I might be, perhaps, unless it was just gas -- if there is gas, or not?" Oh well... I fight fires for a living. Never thought to wonder if the death and destruction are real. Seem real enough to those affected. Principles seem to operate whether I give them assent/permission/acknowledgment to or not. Hesse, Rand, other escapees from the dreaded PC movement. I'm found out!
Damien
Sedona, AZ USA - Tuesday, April 08, 1997 at 18:21:47 (PDT)
What to do, I had an interesting day. The radio talk show was about spring con artists. I stopped for a quick 69 cent roast beef and was suprised to see a grown man begging for food from the manager. The family behind me in line heard it also and the 10 yr old said why doesnot he get a job? We all thought a monent . I said he waited too long. We all went torn as he left and headed to the next fast food shop. We could easily spair the 69 cents. It tore us up. I went out to my car with my sandwich still wondering what is the best thing to do. I spotted my apple in the back seat and put it next to me. If the man was my husband who is diabetic ,he is in trouble if his sugar gets too low. I pull up to the light and the man crossed with a cup of something. I quickly lowered my window and called to him and offered the apple. He came over just missed getting hit by anouther car . He thanked me as I left. I am my brothers keeper. When did we forget. Will we continue to remember? We can always touch some lives .elower
Elizabeth <elower@hotmail.com>
Fairfield, ohg USA - Tuesday, April 08, 1997 at 17:44:34 (PDT)
We are all just clothed animals...
Joel Futch
Phoenix, AZ USA - Tuesday, April 08, 1997 at 13:29:07 (PDT)
I don't believe that ther is enough room, nor time on my part at this moment. But I do plan to interact in this story of B. Mr. Quinn, it's not often that one comes along who has the knowledge of "how to create change". You are one of those people. We, I do include myself one, seem to have a, gift, that allows us to see in a larger scope, and therefore too, the "potential" paths that life may follow, due to humanity. My advantage is that I have gained some of your knowledge at a youthful age, 26. Yet, I am not dillusioned by fad causes of the environment, and politics, and peace, that envelopes each generation. If I am to put my soul into a cause it has to be true. Speak and the world will listen, even if it is just a whisper. Sorry, I have to be short, but I have to go. I look forward to exchanging ideas.
BJW <post_no@hotmail.com>
Austin, Tx USA - Monday, April 07, 1997 at 22:23:12 (PDT)
Wow - I'm still digesting all of it. I just finished the book an hour ago. I think it needs to be read several times - I'll probably pick it right back up tomorrow and start over. All I can think of right now is - what a wonderful challenge to our culture at the end of the millenium. If enough people put their minds to it, just think of the possibilities! If enough people hear this, I see it as a hopeful message. If not enough hear it, I'm not sure I want to consider that possibility.
Mary Stevens <KellyGrn55@aol.com>
Roscoe, IL USA - Monday, April 07, 1997 at 19:54:01 (PDT)
I am currently working on a paper about social change suggesting the new minds not programs philosophy repesented in "The Story of B." If anyone has any good reading material for me or insights about what I can do with or if you just want to discuss, please contact me.
Rachael Stiegel <mstiegel@ix.netcom.com>
Saline, MI USA - Monday, April 07, 1997 at 07:12:20 (PDT)
I have an Irish/Catholic background and hold a B.A. with a Philosophy major as well as a Master's in Social Justice. To say that my thought patterns have been well-honed in Taker ideation is an understatement. I had no inkling as to what "The Story of B" contained when I began reading it. All of a sudden, the basic premisses underpinning my world-view, physical and metaphysical, were being subtlely but relentlessly bombarded. I read the book twice to assure myself that I understood what was being said so that I could begin to graple with the concepts woven within those words. I will read "Ishmael" and participate in this website. Hopefully, I will become a Leaver.
BOB QUINN <bob-q@usa.net>
WHEATON, IL USA - Monday, April 07, 1997 at 03:44:38 (PDT)
"we don't have an environmental problem. we have a people problem." george carlin
neil chambers <nchambe@clemson.edu>
clemson, s.c. USA - Sunday, April 06, 1997 at 23:11:40 (PDT)
Thanks a lot for your work in unveiling the great forgetting. Another "unveiler", whose work is also contributing to the renewal of leaver cultures, is Bill Mollison, co-founder of Permaculture, a design system for creating sustainable human and non-human environments. Some have called Permaculture the cutting edge of a 500,000 year old technology, though I suspect that it is even older. Certainly it's nothing new. What's new is that the basic ethics and priciples of sustainable design are organized and being presented in a form accessible to all humans, literate or not. To quote Bill "In Permaculture, we embrace a threefold ethic: care of the earth, care of people, and dispersal of surplus time, money and materials towards these ends. Care of the earth means care of all living and non-living things: soils, species and their varieties, atmosphere, forests, micro-habitats, animals, and waters. It implies harmless and rehabilitative activities, active conservation, ethical and frugal use of resources, and 'right livlihood'( working for useful and beneficial systems). Care of the earth also implies care of people so that our basic needs for food, shelter, education, satisfying employment, and convivial human contact are taken care of. Care of people is important, for even though people make up a small part of the total living systems of the world, we make a decisive impact on it. If we can provide for our basic needs, we need not indulge in broadscale destructive practices against the earth. The third component of the basic 'care of the earth' ethic is the contribution of surplus time, money, and energy to achieve the aims of earth and people care. This means that after we have taken care of our basic needs and designed out systems to the best of our ability, we can extend our influence and energies to helping others achieve that aim." Permaculture is being practiced all over the planet and a little web-searching, or bookstore browsing, will reward you with a wealth of information about it's successes in restoring natural ecologies which co-exist cooperatively with human cultures. There are many thousands of Permaculture sites and experiments unfolding quietly yet profoundly in Africa, India, the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia and many others. It's even become national policy in Vietnam. We can't afford not to take a look at this empowering global movement and to add our energies to it. I'm glad to have this opportunity to share. Thanks, Keith Johnson, Sonoma County Permaculture, Sebastopol, Ca. USA
Keith Johnson <keithdj@sonic.net>
Sebastopol, Ca USA - Sunday, April 06, 1997 at 20:54:11 (PDT)
I just wanted to say thankyou, Mr. Quinn. I felt lost and without hope for a long time after the blinds of adolescence had lifted. I knew not where to look for a solution, for I had no idea what the problem was to begin with. My roomate had heard of Ishmael on the Oprah show, bought it and passed it to me after he had finished. After the Story of B came out, we began to study and discuss the issues raised together. Scott does not yet consider himself B, and neither do I yet, as I think a certain level of "comprehension" has to be reached before one is B. At my present "level" I would merely parrot back the information in your books (I liked Providence as well). I look forward to when I can say I have shrugged off Mother Culture's yoke and can proudly call myself B.
Nathan Neufeld
Victoria, BC Canada - Sunday, April 06, 1997 at 20:01:17 (PDT)
I feel "The Story of B" is excellent book with a concept that has never been seen. This book is much better than his last novel "Ishmael". Daniel Quinn is one of the most interesting author's I have ever read.
Tim Langridge <langrid1@pilot.msu.edu>
Clinton Twp., mMI USA - Sunday, April 06, 1997 at 15:31:01 (PDT)
Loved it!
Aaron Miller <aaronmil@expert.cc.purude.edu>
West Lafayette, IN USA - Sunday, April 06, 1997 at 10:58:30 (PDT)
I read Ishmael summer of '96 and just finished The Story of B, April, 97. I always felt what DQ has written and have always betrayed myself by not living the type of lifestyle that incorporates more leaver than taker values. On the other hand, I belong to a strong Jewish community that holds high beliefs in Tikkun Olam and works hard at establishing community give and take. I think this is a small step in becoming a leaver oriented society. I would like to meet more people from MA area who want to join together in expanding these ideas. We need to spread the story and I want to help.
Jean Betz <BeansMTG@aol.com>
Sudbury, MA USA - Saturday, April 05, 1997 at 12:16:39 (PST)
i've been coming to the b website for a while now, just digesting what everyone has been saying. i'm an anthropology student, and it's interesting for me to fit b and the comments on this website into what i'm learning. one thing that constantly surprises me is the need for dichotomies--if you're not a taker you must be a leaver. or the most striking, that if you're religious you feel like b is trying to be the opposite of you. it seems more true to me that things are just different, and you can believe whatever you want to believe. dq is just showing the projected course of most of the world's beliefs. another thing that bothers me a bit is the tendency to romanticize a lot of leaver peoples. it's important to remember that anthropologists are still a part of their own culture, and the way they describe people is not always true; they do it for many reasons. politics, economics, ignorance, a deep love for the people they study. any of these can cloud the truth. for example, someone mentioned richard lee and his work with the zhu/twasi (!kung) a while back...lee made many contributions to the understanding of that culture, but he was also far off in many respects. you can read e. wilmsen's "a land filled with flies" and find many of the points lee missed. culture is not a neatly packaged bundle; when you talk about leaver cultures you have to consider the surrounding cultures as well. the last thing i have to say is that while dq is very insightful, he is not a new messiah. this website scares me a little; the exaltation of dq, if it happens, will only warp the message. so, i've run out of things to say. please email me if you have a response. be good.
Brenda Conken <skykeepr@ix.netcom.com>
Seattle, WA USA - Saturday, April 05, 1997 at 10:38:41 (PST)
Damien... I am not sure that I ate the Toast (or english muffin), I remember having the sensations that are assummed to indicate bread product consumption, however it, so far is unproveable. Most people think that I must go around in a semi-confused state, bumping into things that may or may not be there. This simply is not true. I think of life (assuming it is not "real". which I do not do, I simple do not assume it is real) a little like a video game, do certain things and enjoy them, do others and be "penalized". I've actually thought to myself, "the phrase-'I think therefore I am', should be amended to 'I think therefore I may be'." Because the only reason we take our self awareness as irrefutable proof of our own existance is because some guy in a toga told it to us( not to insult the concept, because as concepts go it is one of the most "solid"). People think I'm a bit daft when I say it, but, look at it this way....we seem to be only perception, not actually ccapable of making decisions. This may sound rediculous, until you really think it through. Are you actually aware of the processes that formed the thought? or are you just aware that the thought was there... Try it, try to actually be aware of the formation of the though, "gosh I really like salmon." or the first word you come up with to describe something. On a related subject the actor David Duchoveny of X-files fame (yes even actors can come up with a good thought now and again) Said something like," Every decision we make is a moment of insanity, what makes us look at the selection before us and say ' Yes! I'll have the cruller!". In essence what was it that made us decide on one thing rather than the other when both coices would have been equally acceptable? Oh and by the way Damien... Do you read Hermann Hesse?
Samuel William DeGraff <ae859@pgfn.bc.ca>
Prince George, BC Canada - Saturday, April 05, 1997 at 02:00:37 (PST)
Hello once again. Last week I attended a lecture at my university by Dr. David Suzuki. He is a Canadian geneticist and planetary advocate. "Environmentalist" is a label that many people use to describe Dr. Suzuki, but it doesn't quite fit. You see, weather or not he has heard of Daniel Quinn or his books, he is strongly representing a need for a "profound perceptual shift." Some of you who have postings here invite titles for further reading; Suzuki has written several books, often with other authors. One of particular note is `Wisdom of the Elders`. Co-authored with anthropologist Peter Knudtson, it is a collection of the worldviews of various leaver peoples who still live as such. I would also like to say something else before I go. Some people on this posting board are displaying confusion and/or fear of B. Others are displaying concern for this fear and may feel it is rediculous. Remember we are not one but many. No one is alone on this jouney, B is here to learn and to teach. As B, I don't want to force anything down anyone's throat. Just because someone is unable to see the obvious now, doesn't mean they won't be able to see it tomorrow. Your friend on the path, Brian
Brian Barth <bpb987@mail.usask.ca>
Saskatoon, SK Canada - Friday, April 04, 1997 at 20:12:11 (PST)
I've been all over the bnetwork lots of times, down- loading for discussions and the like. Have made "B" bumper stickers and sent one to Daniel, wear a t- shirt with man gone gorilla survive quote and talk about the world as it shamefully is almost to the point of obsessing. Have been honored by several phone calls from Daniel Quinn. Buy or lone his books constantly to nearly any one who shows the slightest interest in my points of view of the world. I'm in this new world of thought and deeds shamelessly till my decomposition begins(I'm a master composter so I talk like that and get to talk to many folks). I.M.B.R.U.B.IF NOT Y? And now I've finally signed the Guestbook.
John V. Anderson <jonjon@info2000.net>
Fort Collins, CO USA - Friday, April 04, 1997 at 19:48:35 (PST)
Kurt.... Thank you for the kind comment. Remember what Ben Franklin once told a close friend at the close of a particularly long letter, "I'm sorry to be so verbose. If I had taken more time, I would have written much less." We too often "talk a lot" as a cover for not much thought.
Damien
Sedona, AZ USA - Friday, April 04, 1997 at 14:40:32 (PST)
Samuel.... Well said! Soren would be proud. But are you sure when you've finished that you "acutally" ate, or only thought you ate, or is there anything "real" to eat anyway?
Damien
Sedona, AZ USA - Friday, April 04, 1997 at 09:14:17 (PST)
Go Joel ! Awesome bit of writing. :-)
Amanda Allan <saallan@vuw.ac.nz>
Wellington, New Zealand - Friday, April 04, 1997 at 02:14:20 (PST)
Dear Damien, I usually make a "leap of faith" and go for the english muffins, usually enjoyed with a generous helping of taker butter. To be serious though, I usually make decisions (about life and breakfast) on a whimsey. I try to do what makes me happy... I haven't yet been able to discover what happiness truely is, or what pleasure truely is, I just happen to know I (for lack of a better word) "desire" them. If you want I could try to sum up my philosophy for you, admittedly it does change from time to time. I am blessed ( or cursed ) with the ability to pick up and throw out concepts. ie; " The universe created sentient beings in order to understand itself better and to explore the concept of self awareness and emotions, this is revealed in the fact that early representations of 'GOD' were acting like an angry child... throwing temper tantrums by destroying civilizations and turning people into salt.....NAH! Thats not it."
Samuel William DeGraff <ae859@pgfn.bc.ca>
Prince George, BC Canada - Friday, April 04, 1997 at 00:33:31 (PST)
I'm only halfway through "The Story of B," but I am completely in love with it. I am a junior in high school and I read "Ishmael" last year simotaneously taking an ancient history course. My teacher was fascinated by Quinn's views and is considering making "Ishamel" required reading for the class. I think that would be a superb ;earning experience: the facts about the Neolithic revolution along with Ishmael's insights. Well, to be blunt, Ishmael changed the way I think and "The Story of B" is continuing on with that tradition. I have been forced to question my fundamental beliefs and ideas-the foundation of my morals- and have grown significantly in the process.
Rachael Stiegel <mstiegel@ix.netcom.com>
Saline, MI USA - Thursday, April 03, 1997 at 21:45:24 (PST)
After reading the book my view of the world and culture will never be the same. Everything from work to the leaves in the yard look different to me. Although the book led me out of my comfort zone, I have entered a new one that makes much more sense. I have studied Christianity, Buddahism, Hinduism, and Islam extensively and have found parts of each to question. However after reading The Story of B, I can't find anything to question and this is a fisrt because I'm the world's leading skeptic!
Shawn Smith <shawn@iamerica.net>
Longview, tx USA - Thursday, April 03, 1997 at 18:02:20 (PST)
Reaffirms what I've been feeling for some time, but have not been able to articulate.
Randy <StaubrJRS@aol.com>
Denver, NC USA - Thursday, April 03, 1997 at 16:15:31 (PST)
Right on Joel!
Kirk Knighton
Bainbridge Island, WA USA - Thursday, April 03, 1997 at 15:33:14 (PST)
Life does not suck! Yet obviously the taker way of living does. In fact, as I browse through this web-site and read other peoples reactions, I can't help but feel some sense of loss; almost as if there really is no hope. "The Babylon system is a vampire, sucking the blood of the sufferer", in the words of Bob Marley. So why suffer? Simply opening one's eyes to the schemes of mother culture and then doing what ever one can to awaken others, is not enough if no physical change takes place in the way you live your life. It almost seems as though Quinn's books are in fact just another serman or wise speech to the masses, where the masses show up to listen, get all wired up and exited with what they're hearing, then go home and go right back to sleep. Oh sure, they tell all their friends about what they heard; how great it was, and in most cases their friends are genuinely moved. But nothing changes in the way they live their lives. It goes without saying that if scientists were to televise a prediction, that there was a 93% chance that unless we all stopped driving within a week none of us would be able to breath, I guarantee you that unless some enforcement action was mobilized, 90% percent of the population would wake up and drive to work. The other 10 would drive off and party, and they would all feel good about themselves because when they look out their car windows they would see that they are not alone in what they are doing. Therefore they must be in the right. Never doubt that there is safety in numbers; that it is far easier to suffer than it is to rebel, yet we all must become that rebel, not just in thinking but in action, if anything is going to change. What do I mean by this? As Quinn was so kind to point out, we are in fact all slaves at present to a system of living that not only puts at odds with the swiftly vanishing natural community, but that puts us at odds with one another as well. In fact, our society at present almost seems as if it were designed to take our eyes away from what is real, and make us focus on what is meaningless. Yet can you imagine a world where blind faith doesn't exist; where every last one of us began combining our efforts in an attempt to answer the basic questions: Why are we here? and where the heck are we anyways? I started examining the bars in my cage several years ago. Ishmael and B helped continue the cycle. But what I saw very clearly early in the course of my examination, is that most of the bars in my cage were not based on my needs at all, but were self-imposed, in other words brought on not out of need, but out of desire. I don't really need a car, a T.V., expensive furniture, a big house with a big back yard, modern comforts and appliances. Even though mother culture will tell you from day one that all of these things are essential needs and that possessing all of these things is a sure sign of making it in the world, reality will tell you that they are in fact not needs at all, simply desires. What's more, you'll find that in order to attain each of these items, you are going to have to take a degree of stress upon yourself within the system. "Want more" is fundamental to the taker mind, so simply lose it! I'm not suggesting that we give up our desires, just put them in a healthy place, yah know. Experience love and creativity where-ever and when-ever possible (which is often if you seek hard enough) yet always adhere to the golden rule, "do unto ALL life, as you would have it do unto you." Most of the bars in your cage are removable, we're just afraid to remove them, and I have confidence that those that aren't will be removable as we gradually lose the taker "Material" mind set. This is a lot for one entry so shut-up now. Babylon will fall, we may or may not go with it. peace... P.S. have you ever wondered what a city must look like through the eyes of a wolf...
Joel Futch
Phoenix, AZ USA - Thursday, April 03, 1997 at 11:55:59 (PST)
Samuel.... How do you decide what to eat for breakfast?
Damien
Sedona, AZ USA - Thursday, April 03, 1997 at 11:06:30 (PST)
Hello. Before I begin to discuss your book (even thoug h this is to Mr. Quinn anyone may answer it) I think it's necessary to give a short description of the way I think. I am a doubter. This does not mean that I am a skeptic, alow me to explain... A Skeptic clings to t he irrational belief that "if something cannot be prov- en it doesn't exist. This makes no sense because your senses can be fooled. If you allow the possibility of your senses being fooled, you cannot prove anything because it could be falsely interpreted by your sens es, ergo nothing exists. I am a doubter, because i cannot prove anything. This means I am relatively unconstrained in my views (This is not to suggest that I am always right or un- biased). Because I am a doubter I do not "believe" anything, however I do not "un-believe" anything either. All that aside... I truely enjoyed the two books of yours I read; "Ishmael", and "the Story of B" . They wonderfully articulated many of my own thoughts and hypothesises(is that right?) You brought much together that I hadn't realized were connected so strongly. I don't mean to be vague but there is too much to discuss And I am feeling a bit tired. I realize that many people have a problem with the statement that "B" is the anti-christ, I on the other hand applaud you for not being afriad to kick up a little dirt. I will agree that not all of the christian faith are "bad" souls(I personally don't believe in good or evil), but by the same token not all Nazi's were "bad" either... It's not the individual that's doing the damage, it's the institution that is the brainwasher... It almost seems that organizations are acting like living entities, breeding, expanding, and evolving. And the people in them are but single cells. Does this mean "B" is a kind of benevolent cancer? This whole thing seems like it may turn into a quasi-religious movement, while this does leave me with an unpleasant taste in my mouth, I can think of much worse scenarios. One Last thing... How many of your characters are based on real people( if any)?
Samuel William DeGraff <ae859@pgfn.bc.ca>
Prince George, BC Canada - Thursday, April 03, 1997 at 01:59:25 (PST)
I have been reading other people's comments in the "Guest Book" and I must say that I am surprised about how many people "don't get it." Daniel Quinn's books were not written for the purpose of forming a new religion or to develop a "following;" they were not written to "bash" religions; they were not written to "get you to come over to the other side;" and they were not written to indicate that we should all adopt a Leaver culture. We were not asked to spread the word because Daniel Quinn thinks he found "one right way to live." Daniel Quinn is in no way suggesting that Ishmael and B have all of the answers- if anything, he's saying that they don't have the answers! There is no "Daniel Quinn's way of living" or "Daniel Quinn's school of thought." These notions can be derived from many of the comments people have written they are frightening. They are frightening because it shows that people aren't getting the message... The message of Ishmael and B is quite simply asking us to open our eyes and our minds. So please people, dig a little deeper and open your eyes and your minds. Thank you..... Molly
Molly <eandm@concentric.net>
Boulder, CO USA - Wednesday, April 02, 1997 at 16:13:43 (PST)
My soul weighs heavy in my heart. I am appalled at how quickly people cling to new ideas that are simply reworkings of old ideas with minor (but ultimately important) points changed. I need to answer several questions from "The story of B". 1.What did Jesus come to do? To restore humanity 2.Is B the anti-Christ? Yes and no. 'B' is not the classical anti-Christ in Revelation. The requirements placed on this person haven't been fufilled. 'B' is an anti-Christ in another way in that he subverts the ideas of Christ into another teaching. 3.Why was Jesus only concerned with humanity? The rest of the world does not need "saving". Look at the parable of the Mustard Seed. The mustard seed has faith in that, if it follows God's plan, God will take care of it. So the mustard seed goes about being a mustard tree-nothing more and nothing less. Until it is a full grown tree. That is great faith, the faith required to be what you are. The world and it's creatures don't need salvation because they understand their place in the order of things. Now on to the true question, what is being subverted? The truth behind Christ's teachings. I don't know how familiar Dr. Q is with these works. If he is familiar, he must find his philosophy echoed in almost everything Christ said or did. Such things as being content with what you have, love everyone, give, don't be greedy, are all found in the Gospels. The big difference is our reasons for doing them. A follower of Christ does them for one reason-to maintain a relationship with God. Another does them for many reasons. Perhaps to save the earth, perhaps to make money, perhaps to satisfy a craving. These are all wrong. The difference is this: Dr. Q speaks of animism as the primordial religion. Then great lengths are gone to to discredit the Judea-Christian belief structure. The Judea-Christian belief structure credits worship of God (YHWH) as the original belief structure and largely ignores others that have come up. So the thrust of the ministry of Christ is to restore the man-God relationship. Not the man-Earth relationship. The improvement of the man-Earth relationship is just a by-product of the improved man-Earth relationship. Many lengths are gone to to discredit my belief structure as a follower of Christ. Most are directed at the religion called Christianity. I don't see Christianity as a religion. Those that do are wrong. Religion is a pattern of beliefs. Christianity is a pattern of life. The two are different. Thank you for your time.
Jason E. Nobles <susjasno@hcn.hcnew.com>
Granbury, TX USA - Wednesday, April 02, 1997 at 09:42:24 (PST)
If you are ANY of the below and would like to talk with someone about this stuff, please feel free to write: moved, shaken, quiet, meek, funny, religious and conservative, religiously liberal, a reader, a ponderer, non-philosopher, open, caring, introverted, deep, devastated . . . I've been most of those (struggled with religion too and am liberal but more accepting of traditional christianity than DQ). I'm trying to make real changes in my own life and always like to hear from thoughtful people.
Olivia James <james3@niehs.nih.gov>
Chapel Hill, NC USA - Wednesday, April 02, 1997 at 09:32:21 (PST)
Concerning the below post: Maybe my using the term "B-lievers" wasn't that smart considering the recent events... Drew a pretty strong response!! :-)
Kurt Finguerra <kfingu01@sprynet.com>
Bend, OR USA - Tuesday, April 01, 1997 at 20:24:40 (PST)
I have not read The Story of B, and it has changed my life dramatically. My husband and my best friend are really into what Daniel Quinn has to say, I do not know for a fact (even if I did read the book) that what he has to say is true. He is an auth or,like Danielle Steele, maybe her stories are true. I think he is no better that Herff Applewhite, the co-founder of Heaven's Gate. He is trying to get followers and people to talk and praise his book. I am really sorry to say but, I will never become one of his followers, but that does not mean to say that anyone out there can not. I wish you all good luck and, keep believing what you believe.
Angie Mensch <bpb987@mail.usask.ca>
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada - Tuesday, April 01, 1997 at 19:37:43 (PST)
Hello all you B-Lievers!!! Some interesting posts have been written in the past few days...The connections between Animism and science are definately there, but can be confusing at times... DAMIEN... I wish you would write longer posts as in the pasts, you've left little snippets of thoughts that really got me thinking... Especially the one a month or so ago about how we are doomed(because of some readers posts)...Alot of people took it as a n abrasive post, but they must realize that in order to get this thing going we can't sugar-coat our opinions..I agree with you that some of the posts can be disheartening at times... but at least people are aware of the fact that something must be done.. . I have found the recent trend of analyzing and debating the details of Quinns message to kinda of be "going around in circles", if you will. The concepts expressed in B are of great importance to the spread of the message, but we must see and understand the message as a whole, and personalize the message..For me the "ONE right way" myth of man holds true with the message... To me there is not "One right message".. What the distinction is for me is whether the message still has Mother culture's fingerprin ts on it. We have to be very aware of this, as someone recently pointed out to me...When interpertating and formulating the message for ourselves, it is very easy to unintentionally create a sugar-coated and "comfortable" message...One that fits in with t he ECO/Enviro mindset of the nineties... Its true we are working toward saving the planet, BUT we must remember that we(Totalitarian Agriculture Civilization) are the cause of the problems...We can try and become "one with nature" all we want, or we can contribute to "Save the Animals" till we'r e broke, and feel good about it, but the problem will still exsist...But of course we would sit back and say..."I've done my part...I saved a tree yesterday..." Thats all fine and good...But of course the vision hasn't changed.... Mother Culture will have done her job and we will still be in dire straits.....WE must take a look at just what Daniel Quinn has revealed in his books. What is the WHOLE picture here...We must look at our options and look at examples of past and present cultures and see what the y have done that lets them survive as a species... What aspects of their exsistence could we begin to incorporate in our new vision.... What would be the price to pay for such change and how could we make the transistion... What would the catalyst be.. Must there be a catalyst?? All of these are things that are milling about in my head. I am starting from scratch in my head, and trying to weed out ideas with Mother Cultures stamp of approval on it... I must breakdown and disregard preconcieved notions of leaver life and ignore th e sterotypes and notions of inferiority that M.C. has taught me to believe about any and every culture that is not ours...... This is where I'm at, and I would love some help... Ideas, suggestions, comments, criticsms...questions....... Feel free to write
Kurt Finguerra <kfingu01@sprynet.com>
Bend, OR USA - Tuesday, April 01, 1997 at 18:18:02 (PST)
Does DQ have a position with regard to writings like the Celestine Prophecy and their relevance and or resonance with Ishmael and "B" thinking? Does he see harmony and synthesis with his views, or syncretism and dilution?
Damien
Sedona, AZ USA - Tuesday, April 01, 1997 at 15:50:54 (PST)