The Bnetwork Guestbook Archives: 12 April - 1 May 1997

Kurt, check out the following,,for a unique view towards the subject of creation. Has anyone heard of somthing called the Multilateral Agreement on Investment or MAI. I heard it described as NAFTA on steroids. The Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development or OECD is very very quietly putting the finishing touches on this critical international agreement. It appears my country,s federal govt. is leading the charge to put in effect international standards backed by law (the MAI), that essentially make it illegal to create or enforce national standards or policies that deal with enviornment, employment, education, taxation, licencing, patents etc., or any social policies that impede the competitive intrests of transnational corporations. TNC's are the ultimate Taker manifestation, top dogs in our cultural prison. Protecting or restoring the environment could soon be a crime if these guys have their way. What the heck are we supposed to do about this kind of thing?
Scott <>
Ucluelet, BC Canada - Thursday, May 01, 1997 at 17:27:21 (PDT)
"we need to be as clear as possible about the world we live in, and to have some idea about our place in it; to understand and accept , if necessary the limitations that living on a finite and exhaustible planet imposes on us." -john haines
neil chambers <>
clemson, sc USA - Thursday, May 01, 1997 at 09:19:18 (PDT)
In discussing the concepts of Ishmael and B with my roomate he keeps saying that it is alright for us to keep living the way we are eventhough we are faced with economic, social, and environmental catstrophies. He thinks that if we werent supposed to rule and conquer the world that nature(or god, the great force,higher power, or whatever) wouldnt of let evolve into what we are today. He sees no importance in saving the natural community because he thinks that we will just evolve to meet the obstacles of survival that have been created strictly from the careless acts of our totalitarian agriculturalist culture. It frustrates me that he feels that it is ok to destroy life on earth just because it is insignificant to the infinite universe. He feels that because things that exist such as destructive cultures that it is alright just because the fact that they exist. Does it matter if we keep on killing the life on this earth if there is the possibility that we might just adapt and evolve to meet the disastrous symptoms of our culture. I think he to is so overwhelmed with mother culture that he feels that there is no realistic way to change everyones minds. People should just continue living for themselves trying to make them selfs happy while trying to stay out of the other guys way. He continually makes the point that no other animals in the natural realm care about the welfare of others, their main concern is to just survive and nothing else; they dont worry about saving the world or their natural environment. I say this is because first of all they aren't consciously destroying the world and second they are living based on natural instincts and their life is directed and contrlolled by the natural force that determines their survival or passing. Other animals dont have to worry about saving the world etc. because they aren't destroying the world. I dont know these discussions get very complex fast. I just wish I was as persuasive and convincing as B. Im working on it though. Discussions keep the fire going.
Josh Malbon
Harrisonburg, VA USA - Wednesday, April 30, 1997 at 17:33:01 (PDT)
Hello once again.. The post below from my friend prompted me to write..It goes to show what am impact DQ has had on people..... We both read it about 4 or 5 years ago.....and at that time there were not many others who read it or got it... It was kinda a lonely feeling.. anyway.. we passed it among friends...and some got it... some didn't...heck, alot of high school kids don't want to read a book if they don't have to.. But like Josh(below).. I was set afire by the message...but it also drowned in me...Years later, After I found out about "B" I was once again inspired, and this time I took an important lesson from Quinn... which was I had to make the message my own.. If it wasn't, then It would just fade like it did before...Now I feel like a freakin preacher sometimes...(gotta work on my presentation)...A good medium I have found is our Towns BBS..I write posts in the religon chat part...(only place with serious thought)... I get a good reaction, but people are hesitant, especially scince before I came in(began posting) it was just idle religous talk.. Now its full of various topics.. My first posting was titled.."Are you the Antichrist?"..Story Of B I wrote a long and somewhat sugar coated spiell(to avoid them getting on the defensive and using the standard "You'll burn" phrases).. I wanted to use a shocking Title.. Anyway.. there was only one relevant post, but now(month later)..we are discussing Why there needs to be a god(in their eyes), are non christians(like "primitives") damned and so on and so forth.. They even asked me to show proof for theory of evolution(which I'm in no postion to do).. Some are very open minded, and this has allowed me to explore exactly what my beliefs are... Anyway, It shows you can get devout christians thinking, and it gives me hope...It allows me to develop the message..without running to the book for quotes or phrases.. Its a humbling chalenge..but I'm up for it...Anyway, enough of my rambling...just thought I'd write a little(didn't work.:-))Any others with similar experiences?? Please write with thoughts criticsms, suggestions..etc... Till next time!!!......
Kurt Finguerra <>
Bend, Or USA - Wednesday, April 30, 1997 at 01:30:40 (PDT)
After reading Ishmael I was full of fire and reay to change my life as well as try to change our culture all in one day. This fire inside me was exstinghished by the daily effects of mother culture that quickly overwhelmed and discouraged me from believing that I could still make a difference. People seemed to be bored or not want to hear about something I felt was the most important thing to be said in any conversation and that was the teachings of Ishmael. After a year or so Ishmael remained a fuzzy memory in the back of my head. Now after reading B I felt the fire once again and an answer to all our social, economic and environmental problems in the pages of this book . Again I wanted to spread this urgent message to the world. The fight to keep mother culture from rocking me to sleep once again proves to be my greatest challenge in getting the word out. It is also hard to get people to want to talk about something that have little interest in or feel that the message is just another far out radical philosophy that needs to be taught by some cult leader. How can I tell people that about the leavers and the takers without having them tell me just worry about my self or that everything is going to be alright. Maybe the symptoms of our diseaesed culture will just have to become more apparent for most to start realizing that we must change. I feel like I should devote the rest of my activities and ventures to the "cause" but this seems impractical. Maybe I should just work on my own approach that works for me. thanks for reading, will be posting progress of the message spreading... Id like to thank my good friend Kurt Finguerra for lending me my first copy of Ishmael, and giving me The Story of B last Christmas
Josh Malbon
Harrisonburg, va USA - Tuesday, April 29, 1997 at 23:31:37 (PDT)
After reading Ishmael I was full of fire and reay to change my life as well as try to change our culture all in one day. This fire inside me was exstinghished by the daily effects of mother culture that quickly overwhelmed and discouraged me from believing that I could still make a difference. People seemed to be bored or not want to hear about something I felt was the most important thing to be said in any conversation and that was the teachings of Ishmael. After a year or so Ishmael remained a fuzzy memory in the back of my head. Now after reading B I felt the fire once again and an answer to all our social, economic and environmental problems in the pages of this book . Again I wanted to spread this urgent message to the world. The fight to keep mother culture from rocking me to sleep once again proves to be my greatest challenge in getting the word out. It is also hard to get people to want to talk about something that have little interest in or feel that the message is just another far out radical philosophy that needs to be taught by some cult leader. How can I tell people that about the leavers and the takers without having them tell me just worry about my self or that everything is going to be alright. Maybe the symptoms of our diseaesed culture will just have to become more apparent for most to start realizing that we must change. I feel like I should devote the rest of my activities and ventures to the "cause" but this seems impractical. Maybe I should just work on my own approach that works for me. thanks for reading, will be posting progress of the message spreading... Id like to thank my good friend Kurt Finguerra for lending me my first copy of Ishmael, and giving me The Story of B last Christmas
Josh Malbon
Harrisonburg, va USA - Tuesday, April 29, 1997 at 23:29:19 (PDT)
I just finished B. Ishmael was given to me by a friend a few months ago. He thought I would like it because I was a philosophy major in college and an outspoken athiest. I started Ishmael and I didn't like it at first. I thought that the book was being written by someone who clearly didn't love life and so I didn't want to hear from him. I don't know why I read those things inbetween the lines because I picked it up again a week ago and the words jumped off the page and became a part of me. B effected me the same way. I started telling people a couple of years ago that I wish I were black, or female, or gay, or handicapped, or poor, or oppressed in any way (I am none of those things) because then I would have something to fight for. Now I feel like I have found the cause for which to fight. I have found the particular philosophy which is worth following.
Kevin Tastet <>
Columbia, MD USA - Tuesday, April 29, 1997 at 21:52:28 (PDT)
I finished "b" the other day and I must say it was brilliant. DQ has been able to put into words what I hhave felt and believed for quite some time now. The Story of B and Ishmael are essential books for our beginning of a new era. I say this because they do two things; one, they awaken anyone who hasn't been exposed to this kind of thinking and two, they motivate people in our culture to try and develop a new way of life. I believe we must develope a hybrid culture, one that is more in tune with mother earth and utilize our technologies and our minds to create a new revolution. I was in Moab, Ut over the weekend and I cannot stress enough how important it is to get outside. We have become some disconnected from nature and the wild things that we have forgotten what it's like to be a part of this beatiful harmony that is ever present. I think it's great to see some many people from all over the country discussing their connection to these shared ideas, but please get outside and spend time there and feel what it's like to sleep under the stars free from the lights, sounds and chaos of taker culture. Peace.
Eric Miller <>
Boulder, Co USA - Tuesday, April 29, 1997 at 11:58:25 (PDT)
I enjoyed the book very much, and I'm planning on posting a review of it on my website. I agree that vision is the key to reversing our stampede toward extinction. In many ways, this philosophical treatise, thinly veiled as a novel (although you did a much better job than Ayn Rand, Mr. Quinn!), was preaching to the choir, but I do have some substantial points of disagreement. I question the pre-eminence of hunting as the driving evolutionary force that gave us humans our big brains. I think that foraging and planting, especially when medicinal herbs are considered, could be just as compelling. I also wonder about the short shrift given to Marija Gimbutas and her ideas. Is it not clear from the archaeological record that there was a period of 10-30,000 years of peace, i.e. no evidence of weapons, fortifications and the other trappings of war-culture in what is now Eastern Europe? Yet B. argues the primordial emergence of warfare and laments that the exclusionary vision is the only real problem with modern warfare from an evolutionary (species survival) standpoint. Perhaps this is a quibble, but while I think the style of warfare described at the end of the book might well be sustainable, it appears to be one style of relating to neighbors (asserting territoriality) and not the only one. I find the vision of Gimbutas, as amplified by Rianne Eisler in her books _The_Chalice_and_the_Blade_ and _Sacred_Pleasure_ to be more plausible, hopeful, and uplifting. That is, I think it is quite possible for peaceful, settled cultures to embrace the local spirits without resorting to warfare, however restrained. This is also one style among many, but it is the one I am committed to (along with the PPP) Great yarn, though, Daniel! Keep up the good work. -Rev. Jimi Freidenker Chairentity of the Pansexual Peace Party
Rev. Jimi Freidenker <>
Houston, TX USA - Tuesday, April 29, 1997 at 10:04:39 (PDT)
I'm writing a term paper for my AP Composition class on Culture, Agriculture and Ecology. I'm taking a very B-esque slant on everything, but I am supposed to remain unbiased and objective. The problem is that the majority of the sources that I try to use support Taker Mythology. More deeply scientific papers about rabbit and marine life food supplies and ecology make more sense, but little is available about human populations. I've used about every source alluded to in "B" and "Ishmael." At the beginning of "B," it says that Population: A Systems Approach was published in a slightly different form by Texas A&M. The onlything I have found was a book review of a book published by T A&M Press about pest populations. The review was not good. Is this the scientific evidence that Population: A Systems Approach was based on? If so, I'm disappointed, as much better material is available. If not, please let me know what it was based on. Thanks.
Mike Brunelle <>
Chatham, IL USA - Monday, April 28, 1997 at 20:01:03 (PDT)
I just finished The Story of B has had as much of an impact as Ishmael did years ago...I can never get tired of hearing about the truth of our society, and where our earth is headed. The more you hear it, the more real it gets, and the more motivated one gets to make changes. My first reaction to this type of thinking was, "yeah! all right!" Someone finally put into words the truth of how hurtful our society has been throughout history, and is continuing to be, to other cultures and our earth. I agree wholeheartedly with DQ's ideas, and will do what I can to "open others eyes". I feel happy (and hopeful) that there are many others out there whose eyes are opening. Thank you, DQ.
Dawn <>
Rochester Hills, MI USA - Monday, April 28, 1997 at 16:19:19 (PDT)
I am B. I cannot be put back to what I was.
Jim Scribner <>
Orland, CA USA - Sunday, April 27, 1997 at 20:04:16 (PDT)
I'll try almost anything at least once, diversity you know. Someone suggested The Celestine Prophecy. A synthesis of psychology, spirituality and physics this books ideas felt more like a synthesis of Barney the Dinosaur, Jonathan Livingston Seagull and the Energizer Bunny. It almost makes the dark side of the force an attractive alternative. A Mayan city in Peru??? The day I finished reading this, I had a discussion with the garbage man about our local landfill filling up and the general sorry state of our world, a holy man, he said "if we go to church, pray and have faith we can live in the new one God will make. Our religion reveals this to us, be assured". Later on the radio I heard an economist, a scientist he claimed, say "have patience, any day now de-regulation, market forces, and the law of supply and demand will create a golden, sustainable, global economy. Our science determines this, be assured". Later still, two politicians argued about global warming on the tube, one said "the Rio conference was a waste of time and we're doomed". The other one said "our scientific data is flawed, the worlds really a groovy place don't worry". I figured he's a friend of the economist. Also that day, at work assessing last years efforts at stream restoration, we found salmon fry swimming were they had not been seen for years. Our boss also told us our funding is up in the air, again. Then, in the paper, I read the bureaucrat that approved logging on the above mentioned stream twenty years ago had announced further cutbacks to fishing. I swear on a stack of prophesies the above is true. Yup, that was one strange day, a bizarre unsteady balance of chaos and order I guess. Left me wondering just how many nutshells can you fit in a nut. On the question of reality. Reality is standing on a logging debris jam twenty feet deep, a hundred feet wide and a thousand feet long, then finding salmon fry upstream of that. That is a humbling experience. If they can survive so can we.
Scott <>
Ucluelet, BC Canada - Saturday, April 26, 1997 at 21:58:46 (PDT)
My reaction upon finishing "Story of B" this morning was that this is perhaps the clearest, most explicit wake-up call yet rendered in writing regarding our rather sorry planetary/cultural condition and its dysfunctional origins. Major kudos to DQ for putting it all so succinctly. Of course, most people in our Industrial culture will unfortunately continue to remain mired in denial. This does not bode well for the kind of change that is required if we are to alter our present course and thus avoi d the cultural catastrophy that "B" warns surely lies up ahead. I guess I was not particularly shocked or surprised by "Story of B", having previously digested "Ishmael" two years ago. "Ishmael", on the other hand, had a very powerful effect on me, clearly confirming what I had already suspected and had personally experienced--the profound differences between Taker and Leaver cultures. "Ishmael" nicely explained the historical roots of the divergent paths taken by each culture. This was a major revelation for me, and particularly relevant since I've worked close ly with Native Americans of the Southwest--Hopi, Navajo and now Pueblo Indians. Over the years, I've had plenty of first-hand experience observing and participating in the reality and cultural dilemmas of Leaver Culture. I daily must move between Taker and Leaver Culture and experience the best and the worst, the strength and the weaknesses of both. Perhaps the most profound effect of reading "Ishmael" for me was a virulent personal rejection of the apparent hopelessness of humanity's future that "Ishmael" seemed to project. I found I could not accept this conclusion, although quite logical, and so ended up composing an alternative vision for a cultural future that would explore the synthesis of Paleolithic Mind with Future Mind. I call it the "Compassionate Wild Other." And what would a new world look like if fashioned by such "new minds"? We ll, I collected my thoughts on transforming global institutions and cross-cultural relationships, creating environmentally sound and sustainable technologies and devloping new leadership paradigms into a book called "Designing the New World: A Map for Cha nge." (Timewindow Publications--ISBN# 0-931294-02-9) It's my answer to "What Do We Do Next?" If anyone would like to give it a try for 60 days (return if not satisfied) you can e-mail me at for ordering information. Clearly, we must do more than just talk about this very serious issue. I believe in formulating and taking bold action . . . sooner rather than later. We have the social and technological tools, we have the genius and the creativity to bring about th e necessary transformation. But we need to almost completely avoid television, most other media and constantly reject the seductive voice of "Mother Culture" and instead become personally intimate with the song of nature and "our still inner voice". Onl y then will we be able to design a New World that will be in sync with Natural Law and will, in fact, work. Charles Bensinger
Charles Bensinger <>
Santa Fe, NM USA - Saturday, April 26, 1997 at 12:18:28 (PDT)
Mark S Meritt..... I think your e-mail may be wrong or something.. It was sent back to me.....I hope you read this, b/c I'd like to talk about your ideas....Thanks, Kurt
Kurt Finguerra <>
Bend, Or USA - Friday, April 25, 1997 at 18:41:41 (PDT)
Having read Ishmael and B a few months ago, I have grappled with the conflicts within myself. You know, "Do I keep on doing what I have always done even though I now see differently?", and "Okay, I'm gonna change...but how?". I'm sure you know what I 'm talking about. Well, to keep this short, I would like to recommend two steps: 1. is to talk sbout what you have learned in Ishmael and B - indeed, this is the best we can all do; 2. read the book "Simplicity" by Mark A. Burch (New Society Publishers) - it presents much of what DQ brings to light in a way that we can actually act upon. Good luck.
Ted <>
USA - Friday, April 25, 1997 at 12:02:04 (PDT)
Uh...I am scared. I find myself resisting the urge, to jump on the B bandwagon. I cling to the Taker vision I grew up with, knowing that once I open my eyes and become B I will be blind to the life I am used to. I am so glad there are others out there that will be able to guide me as I see with new eyes. I am a person on the border, we are a society on the border. What I am trying to say here is that the net of love, cast between people who are B, is very reassuring when making the decision to jump. I am glad to know that I will be loved and accepted in to the new vision. Thank you for being B
Philip (B) Berens <>
Hood River, Or USA - Friday, April 25, 1997 at 09:55:24 (PDT)
It's been a little over four years since I first read "Ishmael," and I have been trying to spread the word ever since. I've probably gotten about 20 people to read it, so I'm 1/5 of the way toward my 100! "Providence" and "The Story of B" have only hel ped cement my dedication. These books express what was always somewhere in my head as a kernel of an idea, a set of values that I'd never quite been able to voice. DQ has given me much more to think about and hope for than I'd ever expected to find. It's great to see so many people signing the guestbook, great to read everyone's comments, but I think what I'd like more than a bunch of individual e-mail addresses I can click on is an online forum for people like us to talk, compare notes, brainstorm, whate ver. I've got chat software and I hardly ever use it because there's never much worthwhile conversation going on. Is anybody interesting in getting together online? Gosh, what would we call the chat channel?!?!?!? "#leavers" or "#ishmael" or "#imbrub?" or what?!?!?!?!?
Mark S. Meritt <>
New York, NY USA - Thursday, April 24, 1997 at 22:54:29 (PDT)
I have read all 3 of DQ's books and am about ready to re-read B. It is very encouraging to visit this website and see all the people that have read the books and to read about the impact they have had on them. I feel the earth is a living organism and the first law is survival. I feel the earth will survive but will the people? Humanity is on a crash course of wiping itself out. Quinn's books make that very clear to me along with what humanity has done to M other Earth. There are many concerned people and organizations - will they be enough to reach critical mass to expedite what needs to be done?
Patricia DeWitt <>
Tucson, Az USA - Thursday, April 24, 1997 at 17:35:26 (PDT)
Hello once again... I have seen many things on this site recently that have given me hope. Like "B"'s running for office, but most importantly, I have seen people grasping and developing the message for themselves. I too am becoming more confident in m y quest to "make the message my own".. Its an important factor in spreading the message, because not only are you more clear and consice with waht your trying to say, but also what you say is real and you don't have to remember what exactly it was that quinn said about populat ion...etc..It has become part of my belief system. Heck, I even have involuntary responses that shoot out of my mouth when someone preaches totalitarian agricultre"were're so happy we finnaly have this land that was destined for us.." Or other Taker tall tales...ENOUGH of this rambling... Anyway, what really drove me to post today was the recent "Earth Day"... There were people organizing trash pick up stuff, and other twigs in the river. There was tons of "Save our earth"...feel good activities... I replied to a post on our towns BBS. My post was titled.."Earth Day??? Really?? Are you sure??"... To a person still asleep in Mother Cultures arms, my post would have seemed very cynical... Hell, it was.. But I tried my damnedest to show why their "Earth Day" activities were actually holdi ng us back.. Like pacifing..etc.. And I put my message out there... I felt Damn good about my post.. But still feel fustrated in that people are quite confused as what the problem here is.. And what the possible solutions could be.. Its not recyling... although it is good short term.. Its not picking up litter.... To me, all that does is make the place l ook beter...I MEAN YOUR PICKING UP TRASH ON A STREET!!.. A street is one continuous HUGE piece of litter...Ya know??.. (and even though litter does do harm, It will eventually go under subduction zones and become magma..not to say we should litter... but we should realize what the REAL problems are.. not fret about some plastic litter that will be here for 4,000 years!!(whats 4,000 years...ya know??) And of course, after the day is over, everybody feels elated that they've helped save our planet, and they go back to sleep..figurativly.....Enough babling for now... If anyone made it this far.. Bravo.. and feel free to write me with comments criticisms, suggestions.. anything....
Kurt Finguerra <>
Bend, Or USA - Thursday, April 24, 1997 at 17:28:17 (PDT)
I've just been reading some of the comments written by others. I am about one week away from the 1st anniversay of my 1st reading of Ishmael. Since then, I have read Ishmael 2 more times, given away about a dozen copies of the book, made a few conver ts along the way, become active with a local environmental organization (Mass Audobon Society), become active with a group of native and non-native peoples who meet once a month to talk and learn from each other, implemented a career change, and completel y adjusted the focus of my spirituality (which was always in flux anyhow). Oh, and I got rid of my fancy car for something more basic and economical. To say that Ishmael has impacted my life is a gross understatement. The first time I read Ishmael, I felt I was finally digging into the truth of our culture for the first time. And, while it is frustrating to know that the world won't change in a day, I see plenty to make me optimistic that change is possible. If I can change, so can others. I do not know where my new path will ultimately lead, but I am glad that D. Quinn provided the impetus for me to begin the journey. And I am even happier to see all the other people that have also been affected by his words. It is good to know that ther e are many B's out there, and that the number continues to grow every day. Thank you Daniel Quinn. Oh, and yes, I am B.
John Austin <>
Worcester, MA USA - Thursday, April 24, 1997 at 15:41:20 (PDT)
I've written before about my feelings and experiences with B. They continue to evolve, and continue to challenge me about the way that I live, and the changes I need to make before the smiling frog is already cooked. What I want to write about is somet hing I read while briefly cruising through different internet links (ok, surfing, whatever. I barely know how to use the internet.) on Earth Day. There was a story (from "New Scientist")out of Australia regarding Koala overpopulation that made me think of B. (Many things do) I'll use quotes from the article. "Koalas..may die of starvation if efforts to control their numbers are not implemented...the government..wants to introduce a programme of sterilisation..Female Koalas will be given hormone implants t o stop them from ovulating and dominant males will be given vasectomies...The Australian Koala Foundation suggests encouraging the spread of Chlamydia.." A veteran "B" would attack this blatant irony head-on. I'm a little more hesitant, Mother Culture sti ll whispering, yes, dear, but those are just little bears, you'd be barbaric to suggest these methods to control human population. Sure, it can't be implemented the same way. Obviously you can't chase down people and give them shots or tie them down and s tart snipping, we don't have the right to violate anything, but we are years away from even making birth control options available in countries full of women who don't even believe they have an option about whether or not to have more babies. I'm pointing out, without going on, that as clear as the options for controlling the Koala population are, no options are considered to battle human starvation. The USA handles it with "humanitarian" missions.. dropping off food.. just had to point it out.
Spokane, WA USA - Thursday, April 24, 1997 at 09:28:56 (PDT)
The first time I read Ishmael, my eyes were opened. When I read B, I can't begin to describe the feeling that welled up inside of me. Your ideas and theories ring witht the truth that so many of us are longing for but don't know where to begin. It's so easy to get swept away in new age idealism and hocus pocus. B is in a class by itself and that is the reality of the world we are living in and the culture we are apart of. I am a environmental geography student and the reading B has forced me to look a t the whole environmental movement. Before I couldn't figure out what was not right about it until I read B. This isn't about movements it's about a whole approach that solves the problems at the core and not just with bandaid or temporary solutions. than k you for the inspiration to seek the path of truth and once being there, one cannot ignore it.
Carrie Caldwell <>
San Diego, Ca. USA - Wednesday, April 23, 1997 at 18:18:35 (PDT)
Thank you Dave Spaar- please do not apologize! I would like to take your concept of the give and take of energy and the force of life being passed on, one step further. I offer the theory that the give and take of energy is universal and not self-contained upon the earth. By universal I mean that eve ry part of the universe exists because of a give and take of energy and that all of the parts of the universe are constantly being born and dying because of the passing of energy from form to form. Thus, in the "big picture" humans on earth are a very mi nute "form" in a huge system of passing energy. However........ This brings me to another theory- "Survival of the Fittest." Our species has an instinct to survive no matter how minute we are in the "big picture", thus, WE, (people who are B), are trying to evolve so that our species will survive. If our species is not "fit" we will not survive. If we do not survive- we were not "fit." This is our time to evolve..... I hope we make it!!
Molly B <>
Boulder, CO USA - Wednesday, April 23, 1997 at 13:28:24 (PDT)
I apologize for not knowing the author of this quote, but never was it more applicable. "Nothing is so powerful as an idea whose time has come..."
Scott MacKnight <>
Price, UT USA - Wednesday, April 23, 1997 at 10:12:11 (PDT)
My apologies for the length of this, but I've haven't posted to this page for a while, and have only just caught up with the posts of the other readers. I've had a few experiences within the last couple months that have really clarified some of the id eas I've encountered in Ishmael and the Story of B. I finished Providence last Friday night, and it kind of helped to push me to write finally. There are a few items, all tied together I believe, which have had a severe impact on my way of thinking. To help set the perspective I'm operating from, you should know that I was raised in a Roman Catholic home, attended Catholic school for 12 years, a nd was active in my church as an altar boy and lector. Also, I have a degree in nuclear engineering, which has a bearing on the kind of mechanistic way I look at the universe. I was at a friend's place one Saturday afternoon not long ago, just hanging out listening to music, and I went to sit down on their couch. I moved a pillow to plop into the corner of the couch, and under the pillow was the gaudiest Bible I'd ever seen. It was purple, with a holographic color which scintillated with rainbow colors as I picked it up, inquiring who belonged to it :) My friend's ten year old son claimed the book, and his father snorted in disgust; I'd obviously stumbled into an old argum ent. I tried to tell the boy about my background, and the fact that the world is full of many people with many wonderful ideas, so that he should keep an open mind. The boy said he believed in the Bible. His father was vehemently opposed, and said some thing that made me think he must be B: "Just burn the damned thing and be done with it!! Enough already!!" It was a little surprising, not shocking, but it made me start thinking and I finally understood a very GOOD reason to consider the Bible dangerou s. The Bible is presented to the human race as the word of the Creator to creation, and purports to be a recipe for the way to live. Recipe for disaster is more like it!! In my twelve years of Catholic education it was thoroughly drilled into me that humans are fundamentally flawed creatures, inherently disposed towards doing evil, and this teaching is based on the story of the fall, to some measure. What I realized that Saturday was that this concept of "original sin" is one of the two fundamental and contradictory concepts which has contributed to the relationship humans have with the world today. The second concept I found in that flashy, gaudy bible is in Genesis 1:2 6, where it clearly states that Man was created to RULE the earth! This should have been completely clear to me the first time I read Ishmael, or the second, or finally when I read B, but it wasn't. But as I see it now, the bible is based on the idea that the creator is so daft as to make broken creatures and put them i n charge of the whole of creation!!! Additionally, the "original sin" concept is the greatest rationalization the world has ever known. What better excuse for the way our culture has evolved than that you can't EXPECT anything better from humans??? This notion has kind of chilled me, and I know now I will never set foot in any church, temple, synagogue or other place of worship which embraces the Salvationist concept. Without salvationism, there is no rationalization for our behavior; with it we ca n justify anything. I also have finally gained a clear grasp of the concept of sustainability in terms that an engineering geek like me can understand. One of the most fundamental concepts I was able to draw from my nuclear education was the idea that matter IS energy; I'v e seen the traces from electron-positron annihilations, I've seen the measurements of fission which show nuclear binding forces transformed into kinetic energy, but it has only been recently when I can understand what this means for our world and the Life within it. Life is a process, the transformation of matter from form to form through the use of energy; since matter IS energy, Life is energy too, but Life is more than that: Life is the FORCE which acts on energy to continue the transformation, from f orm to form, life to life, an endless dance of birth and death and rebirth. Or at least it would be endless, save for the constraint that the system of Life on earth is essentially CLOSED. The sun is the primary initiator of the process, providing the light which is absorbed by green plants, but the rest of the system is pretty much self-contained. When the plants absorb the sunlight they create sugars in which they store the energy as chemical bonds; that energy is passed on to other creatures, which take in the energy by eating the plants. Those creatures then are food for o ther creatures, which are food for other creatures, and so on, each taking from the environment and each returning to it. The limitation on this process is that the remnants of any part of the process must be 100% usable by some other part of the process in order to continue indefinitely. Life is transformation; by removing matter from the transformative process, potential is lost from the system, and the possibilities for life decrease. Additionally, the space in which the useless matter is located is also a loss, and could probably be likened to friction in the system, like grains of sand in an engine or a motor. So for billions of years the process has endured, life into life, form into form, with no matter wasted EVER, since even the smallest of the wastes produced by the smallest of creatures is usable by some other creature as fuel. It occurred to me while th is understanding came that Daniel Quinn might have chosen two other names for Leavers and Takers: Transformers and Consumers. It's so obvious now that Quinn opened the door: we have the right to use resources in Life, but we do not have the right to USE THEM UP!! Doing so damages the entire process, and if enough damage accrues, eventually the process will simply break down. I know I've rambled on at great length here, I hope it gets posted because it has taken me a while to write this, but I apologize for the time and space I've taken up. These thoughts have been plaguing me for some time and this is about the only place wh ere I felt I might find some people who would understand me, and be able to provide some feedback and suggestions. I look forward to these, I would definitely like to gain further perspective on the subject. Does anyone else see this transformative proc ess which is Life? Are there others who see the Salvationist concept is a true danger to continued life on earth? I'd like to know, and if you've made it this far, I truly thank you for your endurance!! Feel free to email comments, suggestions, or flam es to me!!!!
Dave Spaar <>
Oakton, VA USA - Tuesday, April 22, 1997 at 17:53:38 (PDT)
I am still reading Story of B,so my understanding is not complete, but I wanted to say something. The mechanics of the story vary more than Ishmael, with different characters conveying the message with different styles. Both this book and Ishmael man age to appeal to those of us interested in human thought and human culture. It doesn't merely say, "youre a naughty bunch of people, and only 'Greenpeace or their kind' can save us". It laughs at liberals and shocks conservatives. It seems to me that collapse will occur. It seems there is no way to counter the weight of this runaway train. And when I speak to people about it, I feel like an idea thief. But there it is, I feel it is a message that ought to be shared. So thanks for the follow up.
Dan Mortenson <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Monday, April 21, 1997 at 23:18:18 (PDT)
Another convincing re-telling of the important concepts from Ishmael, with an added angle to show the dangers of confronting the great fallacy of our culture. It's dangerous out there. I have personally challenged the authority of established religions for more than 10 years. I recently ran for mayor here on a "B" platform, although it was not so designated. I pointed out the danger of urban sprawl, for example, and challenged the notion that continued growth was bad, bad, bad... I ran a very effective campaign, although I didn't win. There are many people in this community who really hate me, but even they agreed that my ideas were sound. I will be happy to send anyone a copy of my 22-page campaign booklet; it may be helpful to other political aspirants who share our concerns and want to copy any portion of my literature that may be helpful.
Lake Saint Louis , MO USA - Sunday, April 20, 1997 at 22:39:08 (PDT)
Truly a book to stretch the wrinkles out of our brains. I still have a strong belief in God,but Mr Quinn does a wonderfull job of making us think, and open our minds to other ideas. I truly hope humanity will survive long enough to reach the stars and realize our full potential in this incomprehensible universe. With the help of minds like Mr Quinn and all of us who can truly learn to listen to each other, perhaps we can have another couple of milinea on this planet. Keep reading and learning and teac hing. Shalom, Glenn
GLenn Eisenberg <>
Saugerties NY 12477, NY USA - Sunday, April 20, 1997 at 20:05:26 (PDT)
A co-worker introduced me to "The Story of "B" one slow day at work when I had forgotten to bring a book with me...(Karma?) I was unable to put the book down and several hours later, when I finally emerged from the vision of the book, I became a r eal advocate of Mr. Quinn's vision. I have encouraged three others to read the book so far and I'm looking forward to reading Ishmael. No groundbreaking changes in society yet, but I feel my eyes were opened and that's a step in the right direction!
Stan Koci
Bradenton, FL USA - Sunday, April 20, 1997 at 14:49:33 (PDT)
Ishmael was a real psychic shock, apparently to many others besides myself. One recognizes immediately that this is the most appropriate way to understand the world. And how far we are from that understanding. There are obviously other ways --- most of which are in use --- yet here we are, in a pickle, as it were. But the question can't be avoided -- now what? As you say somewhere -- obviously we can't go back. Story of B --- the device of 'Antichrist' provided the shock here, I suspect. Nothing wrong with a shock. Best way to get a mule's attention, I was once told. 'B' developed and extended the theses presented in Ishmael. Brought them into contact with people -- the problems of communication and fulfillment become apparent. Still the question -- now what? Your response to this -- incremental action toward community support -- is well put. Obviously this is no weekend seminar operation. Years and years is more like it. Toward that end, have you considered establishing a page here which could act as a clearing house where interested persons could see who's posting from their own region? It might be set up on a state by state basis at first -- the mechanics would evol ve, no doubt. E-mail is neat but has its limits.
Tom Carey <>
Norcross, GA USA - Friday, April 18, 1997 at 22:08:02 (PDT)
additionally, i wanted to say, to daniel quinn that i think you are absolutely brilliant. your ability to take thess that obvious thisng that everyone knows and develop such a unique perspective on them astounds me. after reading f i could only convi nce everyone, everywhere to read this book.... there could be hope for this human race.
stephanie pruetz <>
houston, tx USA - Friday, April 18, 1997 at 14:18:51 (PDT)
after reading ishmael, my thought processes were almost completely transformed. the story of b continued this transformation, although i missed the meat of the message as i did not have time to read the lectures. being a , this book definately hit ho me. i wonder how much experience he has had with catholocism becuase the book suggests many things about the catholic church that seem to be very true.
stephanie pruetz <>
houston, tx USA - Friday, April 18, 1997 at 14:08:30 (PDT)
Damien..... Even though I doubt the very existance of the world around me doesn't mean I have no feelings towards it... Or for that matter the people (real or not). Even if it all is just a delusion, it's a delusion I have spent my "life" in and one ca n hardly help but get attached to it. A good example was; A couple of years ago I fell in love with someone for the first time, And I don't mean infatuation or a crush, I mean the full blown, I-would-die-for-and-put-aside-my-feelings-spend-the-rest-of-my- life-with kinda love, And in one of the calm moments of this totally engulfing feelings, I sat down and thought about the possibility that this feeling negated my whole philosophy... And I came to the realization (read: It donned on me ,not that I convinc ed myself) that it didn't matter wether she was real or not because even if she was a delusion or a figment of my imagination I was still in love with her. Even if it was just a part of my subconcious, that just meant I was in love with an aspect of me, t hat didn't lessen the joy...Or, for that matter the pain.
Samuel William DeGraff <>
Prince George, BC Canada - Thursday, April 17, 1997 at 21:54:22 (PDT)
I have been misTaken in the past in the way I thought I needed to live, I don't want to be taken wrong now however. You see, the millionaires want small fishermen Taken off the sea. I guess the b?-crats in the govt. got it figured this way, "its better that we control a handful of millionaires than let everyone else attempt to govern themselves". Just who the hell's in control here? Whatever. Slowly, hope is being renewed in Clayoquat Sound. Watershed restoration attempts will continue and a lot of people around here can begin to stop worrying about becoming leavers the hard fast brutal way at least for the moment. One bittersweet lesson is being learned here. The people who live in this region, this ecosystem, this web, will care the most for it because they have the most to lose. We can do this if other people elsewhere feel the same about their own region. Anyone who thinks I'm only into restoration for the money should go jump out of a helicopter, drive steel pins into the ground to keep the mountain from sliding into a salmon creek, in the driving snow and rain for 10 hours a day. If you think Taking the planet is hard work try putting it back. Rural people trying to become B or more like B need the support of city people that feel the same way. Saving our region for your "get back to nature types" completely misses the mark. Promoting the ethic that is embodied in the attempt to restore the damage done to our planet is what's needed. Especially in the cities. The "millionaires" view restoration as money wasted. Some people refuse to wake up, some even prefer sleep. What would you have Uru suggest?
Scott <>
Ucluelet, BC Canada - Thursday, April 17, 1997 at 17:07:32 (PDT)
Thanks for the IMB/RUB shirt tip. I just dicovered Ishmael in paper back at my book store. Glad to see it and suprised I just discovered it. Have a great EARTH DAY and lets make it every day. elower
elizabeth <>
fairfield, oh USA - Thursday, April 17, 1997 at 12:31:55 (PDT)
Okay, so I'll grant you that this isn't your usual signature to the guestbook, a reaction to The Story of B (though the book did change my life). It's more a call-to-action, but I hope you will indulge me in it. As you already know, if you've checked the What's New section recently, a company called Frankie and Zoe's has begun producing items with the I.M.B./R.U.B.? logo on them. I've already placed an order for my shirt (I plan to be wearing it at local Earth D ay celebrations), and I hope you will soon. It seems to me that this is a great way to get people started wondering, and hopefully asking, just what the blue blazes this B stuff is all about. It also could be a great way to hook up with others B in your area ("Hey! U.R.B.? I.M.B., 2! Let's talk, and then let's DO SOMETHING about it together."). Right now, the shirt is only available on unbleached, natural color cotton, and standard, chemically-bleached cotton, not on organic cotton or any alternative to virgin cotton material (recycled cotton/synthetic, hemp, whatever). So far, insufficient dem and has been shown for such materials, presumably because of the increased price. When you order, please make clear that you would be willing to pay more for an environmentally-preferable material. If we don't create the market, who will? Also, the company has plans to introduce a second shirt which has the koan from Ishmael on it ("With man gone..." on one side, "With gorilla gone..." on the other), and a third shirt with something to the effect of "Another Friend of Ishmael " on it. You can be sure I'll be ordering them for myself; hope you will, too (no, I don't receive a commission for every sale; DON'T show me the money). BTW, I am very interested in meeting others B in the Kansas City area. If you're out there and reading this, message me, and soon. The ground is coming up fast, so let's get to work. We must remember the truth we once lived without questioning: We are not above the world, but of the world...
John Leon Fish <>
Kansas City , MO USA - Thursday, April 17, 1997 at 08:10:33 (PDT)
After having read Ishmael and The Story of B I was jarred from the complacency that so many of today are stuck in. I realized that it is not only up to the environmental group and legislators out there to help "save the world" (which they won't) but it is up to all of us. DQ's two books have opened my eyes to the actual plight of the world. I have made it my goal to learn as much as possible in the fields of anthropology, human history and evolution, and paleontolgy so that I can help others to see what I have learned. I look forward to sharing this vision with others every day. I am not going to sit idly by while the Taker ideology which has brought our world to the brink of disaster finally pushes it over the edge. I won't wait for some guru to come and lead the way. What I will do, however, is use my own resources and talents to address the problems around me (and eventually in a more global forum) and help to bring about a change in our doomed society. Thanks to DQ and Marvin Harris for their eye-opening and inspiring writings. Any correspondence from other friends of B would be appreciated and answered.
Andreas Trolf <>
New York, NY USA - Thursday, April 17, 1997 at 03:07:27 (PDT)
Read and appreciated Ishmael. Halfway through Story of B. As with Ishmael, not a novel but a tract. Nevertheless fascinating and far above the usual drivel. Incidently, who are you, as in "our guest book"?
Chet Stover <>
Litchfield, CT USA - Wednesday, April 16, 1997 at 16:42:34 (PDT)
I have been working on my own theology, philosopy, ethos, paradigm, etc. for the past 20-25 years. Until I read "The Story of B", the closest 'formal' codification of my current level(? - too linear, but will have to do) was goddess worship or paganis m. After exposure to B, I am very excited and plan to spend much time with b-network. Thanks for being here.
Katherine Lake <>
Marshalltown, IA USA - Tuesday, April 15, 1997 at 17:02:31 (PDT)
Have you seen THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY? We laughed and laughed but we were laughting at the modern people run crazy with modern conviences. It shows the leavers loving life and at peace. To the New yorker moving to Boston looking for a balanced community /business to work in. You e mail address will not connect . zMy company has 400 offices nationwide and you will see our possitive enviromental ads in the sales help wanted section of the paper. TO YOUR HEALTH> e lower fairfield, Ohio..
elizabeth <>
Fairfield, oh USA - Tuesday, April 15, 1997 at 07:50:33 (PDT)
Currently reading, currently enamored with the book. Still learning a lot, but that is good.
Matthew Branch <>
Milwaukee, Wi USA - Monday, April 14, 1997 at 10:30:50 (PDT)
Having read The Story of B strengthens my conviction that a key to our collective future is the need to change the way we IN business DO business in this country and around the world. As DQ points out in his 1994 San Francisco speech, business needs a new identity, a new role for itself in the 21st century. I am part of an effort to create a network of business people committed to changes along these lines. We could use help. I'm interested in hearing from business people everywhere about the evolution we must bring about. Who and where are the B's in bus iness? Please get in touch. Ralph Copleman
Ralph Copleman <>
Lawrenceville, NJ USA - Monday, April 14, 1997 at 06:18:30 (PDT)
Now that I've had my sneaking suspicions confirmed, (about what kind of "culture" I'm living in), Oh my, Oh my, what do I do now!? Head for the hills or become a modern day Luddite. Neither, i suppose, and yet standing motionless in indecision is jus t as deadly for my/our longterm survival. In past reaction to my world, I've lived as a business "mechanism", thoroughly effective, and almost completely cut off from any real contact with others or sense of community. I will be basing myself in the gre ater Boston area within 90 days from now, and will quit my present position in search of a sustainable business/community to create and/or support. Those of like mind,and spirit, are welcome to contact to begin a process of mutual support. We all need ea ch other. May the Gods be with us.
New York, NY USA - Sunday, April 13, 1997 at 12:43:33 (PDT)
I read Ishmael a few years ago and I just finished B. Once again I found myself thinking and feeling "Well, of course! It's so obvious. Why haven't I noticed these thing before?" I imagine lots of folks have this response. Thanks to Mr. Quinn for the brilliant way you express something I have longed to hear but didn't know where to look to find it. How can I hook up with others in the Austin area who are interested in discussing these ideas?
Jeff Schneider <>
Georgetown(near Austin), tx USA - Sunday, April 13, 1997 at 10:46:53 (PDT)
B has given me a lot to think about. I still cannot see how the plan of growing less food wouldn't result in many starving people. I have also wondered about how life you be if we did adopt yle. Would we no longer have time or the resources to persue scientific endevors? Etc. I have some questions too. I was recently talking to the author of Yellow Fever and the Black Goddess (are you familar with this book?) and he told me that due to contuning urbanization the world population gro more areas of the world urbanize and get a merican TV. Basically I think this means that more and more people will be to miserable to have kids, plus they are not as helpful when you live in a city. Also I thought I may have heared form an anthropologist friend of mine that the aboriginal people of Austraila were losing their young people to the cities because traditional life seemed boring after having experience city life. Have you heard anything about this? Thank you, Laura Hollar
Laura Hollar <>
Riverside, ca USA - Saturday, April 12, 1997 at 14:35:44 (PDT)