The Bnetwork Guestbook Archives: 27 August - 13 September 1997

Things I thought about in the past but never mentioned... I can`t get rid of a dark, underlying weird feeling about all this, cuz it all reminds me a bit of the " transcendental book distribution" of the hare krishna devotees. Not that I don`t believe in the rightousness and honesty of all this, it`s just the system of almost uncritical mass support for an individual, whom I don`t know. But this ain`t very important.
Another thing: A lot of the things mentioned in here and in DQ`s Books are gentle versions of what left wingers, anarchists, eco-activists, whatever said with other words, a lot more bluntly.I prefer the blunt way, cuz I have no hope at all for the reformation of mass- society, neither for their systems, which is clear, nor for the individuals forming this society. I don`t believe in them, so I seek distance and independence from them, I don`t need to be polite with people who can kill with a smile, an insane smile of course. I don`t want to cooperate with them. Both Thoreau in Civil Disobedience as well as the idea behind "Boycott Quarterly" say you`ve got the power to support or defy whomever with your money, when your money goes into corporate business your responsible for the side effects of that game, if your money goes into the state cashier, your responsible for them supporting nuclear energy or whatever. With reviving leaver or tribal economy one can`t be polite with dominating society, cuz this will provoke another "age of quarrel" within the western world. They won`t let you go like that. What`s going on down here? This ain`t a personal change of individual lifestyles, this is a revolution, a battle against those in power!
The tribal idea seems to oppose everything we ever learnt about life, but it never really died. Nor ever will, it`s alive and kicking, a low voice in everyone`s head, and everyone knows that it`s right, that this is what`d make him happy. we only have to ignore the enormously loud propaganda vans all over the place. Fear of loneliness and helplessness is all that keeps us from following our inner voice. Fight that and human culture will grow again.

Alex Neumann <>
Verden, Germany - Saturday, September 13, 1997 at 12:51:24 (PDT)
As always I am glad to read all the signatures in the guestbook. Marlene mentioned Mutant Message Down Under. It is a very worthwhile book to read, to gain insights into one of the many Leaver cultures of the present time. If you want to see just how a culture could survive the pressure of the Takers, or just how they see things, read it, you will gain many helpful insights. Keep thinking and discussing, and if you want to talk about something e-mail me or post something for me in the guestbook. Remember our mission is to change minds and the most successful way to do that is to allow others to see our B-ness, so don't be afraid to let it shine through in everything you are, everything you stand for, and your interactions with others. There's a movie that says, "If you build it they will come." If we build (create) a real community others will come. If we spread the meaning of B, others will listen, and if we are B, then maybe all will B. I know that not everyone is open to new ideas, but there are so many people looking for something, but they have no idea what that something might be, so let why don't we let ourselves be seen for that? It's about time isn't it? What do you think?
Well I wish you all well, and I hope to hear from you soon. I leave you with one little saying: "Go Mad! MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!"

Theresa O'Connor <>
Portland, OR USA - Friday, September 12, 1997 at 15:50:32 (PDT)
Just fininshed reading ISHMAEL for the 2nd
time. Just as good as the first. Best book
I had picked up in MANY years. Picked it up at friend's house and stayed up all night
reading it (the first time) then bought a couple copies for gifts. THE STORY OF B was just as good. Makes all these novels of manners look awfully lame and lightweight (and boring). The is the issue of our time--the only issue. Can we make the turn and let this planet live?
Have you read MUTANT MESSAGE DOWN UNDER by Marlo Morgan? It's a story about a small leaver society that is purposely dying out because the 2-3 degree recent temperature increase (caused by taker activities planet-wide) in their area of Australia has eliminated so much of their food supply that they have decided to stop reproducing and "go back to forever."
If you read it, do you have any comments?

Marlene Lily <>
Santa Rosa, CA USA - Thursday, September 11, 1997 at 09:42:39 (PDT)
I have just finished reading the latest sinatures in the guestbook. I am very pleased to see what is taking place here, but I have a few thoughts on our mission. Unlike the Tom Cruise character in "Mission Impossible" or the Perry Mason's of mystery, our message is not understood. I know you are all reading this and thinking, well duh doesn't she know anything? But we need to keep in mind that in order to change things we need to spread our message. I read the conversation between Richard and Kurt , and feel that you both bring up very good points. Now let's look at what we can do in the world we are living in. Whether we agree with the culture or not we still have to survive in that culture, the first thing we can do is change ourselves. I know this may sound stupid but from many of the entries I have just read I get the feeling like people are forgetting that you can only make a difference when you have changed yourself. It is more than just believing in B and in Ishmael and it's more than re alizing what our culture is doing, it's changing the way we represent ourselves. I am currently active at a University, spreading the teachings of B in large and small ways. I have given Ishmael to a philosophy professor and he is looking into it. The thing that surprised me the most is he already has much of B's teaching in him, he just doesn't know it and he doesn't realize what his knowledge means. He is often hesitant to share his ideas because he feels that he is the only one who is aware of thes e things. This brings me to my point, if we are going to save the world we have to start by changing minds. Start by letting ourselves be seen for what we are and what that stands for. We need to B and let others see B more clearly. This is a difficul t task, but there are definite possibilities in ways to do this. By letting others who may already feel these things, and know that something is wrong, but who feel isolated break away from Mother Culture's powereful grip we will have already achieved so much. We need to organize ourselves to do more. I am extremely interested in doing something, exact plans I do not have but I do have ideas, and at least meeting some or all of you. But since for the week ahead this does not seem probable don't forget your own circle of influence, it is larger than you probably realize and like the philosophy professor we might be able to show others that they are not alone, they are part of a B community too.
Theresa O'Connor <>
Portland, Or USA - Wednesday, September 10, 1997 at 17:34:49 (PDT)
1. I support Barry Thiessen's dedication through SOULUTIONS NOW, and request the B Network, Daniel Quinn, et all to support his sincere efforts to implement the spirit and substance of ISHMAEL, THE STORY OF B, as well as what others who resonate with this view want.
2. For those interested, IMB2RU has moved from San Diego, CA, to Santa Fe, NM, and encourages any and all interested in connecting to contact me (Richard Freeman) at IMB2RU@HOTMAIL.COM
3. Keep up! (Oops, correct e-mail is IMB2RU@HOTMAIL.COM

Richard Freeman <>
Santa Fe, NM USA - Wednesday, September 10, 1997 at 10:09:56 (PDT)
Very interesting site,I'll have to read the books.
Greg Roche <>
Vancouver, B.C. Canada - Monday, September 08, 1997 at 12:25:26 (PDT)
Point taken, Kurt. You point out two schools of thought:
1. How to avoid the crash?
2. What to do aftern the crash?
And neither is the one right way (Hey, I said it!), and I would say both are prudent at this juncture.

However, I am exploring how a modern Leaver culture might work for a reason other than figuring out what to do after "the crash." I focus my "mind-changing" on the local level; I feel it is more effective. And while we need vision more than we need prog rams, I think we can forget that vision can be spread by something other than words. My longterm goal (longterm meaning "longer than my individual lifetime") is to plant a community on a path of continually increasing sustainability. I'm not talking an intentional community; I'm talking about my present Taker community that is now under Mother Culture's spell. I take as my premise that a community can learn. And the only way to avoid a crash or survive its aftermath, is if individual communities can l earn to live sustainably. I intend to initiate the learning process in my community.

I am learning about a new system called community-supported agriculture, in which a community supports a farmer, and the farmer gives them all the vegetables (and sometimes meat and grain) they need. It makes small-scale farming financially viable, produc ing a niche that can't be touched by the agribusiness giants. Using this as a core, I aim to foster (over decades or centuries) the development of a local support-based economy in which farmers have no reason to produce and export surpluses, people can r egain a strong tie to the land upon which they live, local community ties are continually strengthened, and dependence on non-local resources is continually decreased. I aim to plant a community that will work, so that B's will have more to show than wor ds. We can say "Here is a way that works. It is not the one right way, but it works better than your present way. And here's an example of people just like you who make it work!" Though theories tend to come first, minds are more convinced by realitie s that arise from the testing of theories. I want to learn how a modern Leaver culture might work, because I want to change minds and help those minds build a community that expresses their changed minds.

John Stonecypher <>
Mason City, IA USA - Saturday, September 06, 1997 at 07:05:34 (PDT)

When I mention distinct cultures that have no power over each other I should say limited.. I can not forsee a time when every culture would stick to themselves exclusively..
And of course, this cannot be a rule, or else it would be a rule that governs them all, and that would not work..
This is the hard part..How would each remain independenent, yet intereact with one another....I think that we will have to be pretty far dwon the road before this can happen. In other words, I was just envisioning a time way past now. I was assuming that the crash was avoided(or some similar scenerio), and Mother Culture had been laid to rest. In fact, I was actually envisiong way far ahead to a time that Quinn talks about, a time that people look back at to the 20th and 21st century, and marvel at how c lose we came to destroying it all, or at least destroying ourslelves, but we didn't. We turned things around and that is remembered as the greatest human achievment(It sure will be if we do it!).

So I am envisioning a time that everything is working out, and there have been distinct cultures that have been developed, there is no more "One right way" lifestyle and enforcement.. People no longer rememeber what that meant, except as it is in their local legends, and myths....
I envision that these cultures interact, but how, I don't know.. Maybe like how some of the leaver cultures interacted, maybe some new way that will "naturally" arise..
This is a challenge for future times, and I cannot "envision" any of that(yet).. I could make it up, but what I was just writing about(and have writtem about in the past) was truly from my pondering the questions at hand. And coming up with what I though t were truly possible scenerios...I haven't come up with any concerning interaction..and besides.. I still think its far more important to plan ahead to divert the crash, than to wonder whats its gonna be like if we do "suceed" in avoiding the crash...
Yes, it can be nice to dream about a time when Takers are gone, and whatever replaces Takers are occupying the earth, but we gotta(I gotta !) stay focused and rememebr what I believe, which is that we don't have to wait till after the crash till we can change things...I don't think that the crash is 100% inevitable(some do, and think the best thing to do is figure out what to do after the crash)
and think that we have a possiblity of changing things... It is, like Quinn has mentioned, the Greatest Challenge the Human Race has ever faced(he said something along those lines). If we are able to pull it off,
then we will truly be remembered as a wonderul memeber of the community of life..

Like I said , I haven't figured out how to draw the line you talked about. Or what the line will be(if any)....When I do review it more, I will let you know...Thanks for geting me thinkng... Anybody else have an ideas about John's Questions??

Kurt Finguerra <>
Bend, Or USA - Friday, September 05, 1997 at 18:34:43 (PDT)
An organization was started in response to the book Ishmael which has grown even more relative with the release of The Story of B If you have read either of these and are still asking yourself, "What can I do" visit our site and join the network of pe ople just like yourself who are willing to give a little bit of time and a couple of calories to begin the healing process of our planet and our society. Please visit the page and be sure to sign our questbook.
Thank You

Colorado Springs, CO USA - Friday, September 05, 1997 at 12:38:15 (PDT)
Some thoughts on how a modern Leaver culture might work: Kurt envisions several independent communities, none trying to influence the other (Kurt, I hope I at least got the gist right?)

To me, non-influence does not seem to be the way Nature works. Interaction is what drives evolution (Though in Nature, it is an illuminating fact that all interaction is local). Is it inherently Taker of me to be talking to you, influencing you, telling you about what I think works and what doesn't? Does this website destroy diversity and ensure the collapse of the ecosphere? In one of the Little House on the Prairie books, a man from the local Lakota tribe walks into town in September to tell the town speople that a really bad winter is coming up; it's a 21-year cycle his people have discovered over the generations, one the settlers would not figure out on their own before they froze to death. Was he being a Taker, imposing his culture on the poor def enseless homesteaders, ensuring the destruction of the ecosphere? --No, he was sharing his knowledge. He said: "I know of this pattern that helps us survive. Our experience tells us that you will die without it, but take it or leave it. Bye." I pers onally see this as a good thing. But there is no place for action like this in a world in which no one community influences another. What do you think? If you agree that the Indian was not being Taker, and that influence is not inherently destructive, how do we know where to draw the line between constructive and destructive influence? Is there a way for two cultures to interact (without destroying diversity) in some way other than border wars?

John Stonecypher <>
Mason City, IA USA - Friday, September 05, 1997 at 07:56:06 (PDT)
Wow. How inadequate. I just finished The Story of B. and there it was, the website, like a secret message tucked in the back. It's true what Daniel Quinn says in his writing on the site -- it's not like anyone can march on out and save the world. It wi ll take people with a "new vision" and it will not happen all at once -- like the Industrial Revolution and Christianity even. I'd be curious to know the true reaction of Christians/Taker religious types to the messages in the book. It certainly is Anti-s aviourist.
I, for one, will recommend this book to my friends and loved ones. What they choose to do with it is up to them. I suppose once enough people are exposed to the ideas, the "well-buts" Theresa mentions above will be replaced with "well-buts" when it comes to maintaining the current Taker ways.
I think the mind-shift, for now, is enough. Hopefully, we can spread it.

Dhyana Roche <>
Edmonton, AB Canada - Thursday, September 04, 1997 at 15:34:40 (PDT)
Both Ishmael and the Story of B were wonderfully intriguing books! It was amazing that I never saw what was right in front of me. It is sad that people have plenty of hindsight but never any foresight.
Richard R. Kehn Jr. <>
Orlando, Fl USA - Monday, September 01, 1997 at 21:08:28 (PDT)
I have fixed the guestbook... Sorry about that -- working too late last night!
webmaster <>
Houston, TX USA - Monday, September 01, 1997 at 06:31:12 (PDT)

Excerpts from My Ishmael!

On successive Mondays starting September 15, the Ishmael/Bnetwork websites will be sharing seven never-before publicly seen writings of Daniel Quinn -- excerpts from the soon to be released novel by DQ publishe d by Bantam Books, My Ishmael.

Here are the excerpts (subject to change) and the order they will be added to the website:

  1. "Hello There" -- about 1500 words to be made public after 6pm (CDT) 15 September 1997
  2. "Your Culture" -- about 1200 words to be made public after 6pm (CDT) 22 September 1997
  3. "Tunes & Dancers" -- about 2500 words to be made public after 6pm (CDT) 29 September 1997
  4. "The Parable Examined" -- about 1400 words to be made public after 6pm (CDT) 6 October 1997
  5. "Wealth Taker Style" -- about 2800 words to be made public after 6pm (CDT) 13 October 1997
  6. "Less Is Not Always More" -- about 2400 words to be made public after 6pm (CDT) 20 October 1997
  7. "My God, It Isn't ME!" -- about 2400 words to be made public after 6pm (CST) 27 October 1997
Some of the titles may look familiar from the website, but these excerpts (indeed, the entire book My Ishmael) are filled with totally new issues, and entirely new approaches to old problems. Mark your calendars!
Alan Thornhill <>
Houston, TX USA - Wednesday, August 27, 1997 at 20:36:19 (PDT)
Ishmael and The Story of B have organize many of the thoughts and feelings I've had for some time as it has with many others. As I write this there is a strange feeling of passing thru some sort of stargate. Looking forward with both eager anticipatio n and anxiety.
John Tanner <>
salt lake city, ut USA - Wednesday, August 27, 1997 at 19:39:59 (PDT)
I just finished writing a message and I realized I forgot one more thing. This summer I read the book "Mutant Message Down Under", and I suggest it to you all. It tells about the author, Marlo Morgan, who goes on a walkabout with an aboriginal tribe in Autralia. It gives the views from an insider on a Leaver culture and their ways. B's ideas are their easily recognizable and differentiable from those of the Takers. It will give you an insight to their culture and I hope more insights to ours and w hat is to come next. I found many lessons in there and came to the realization the full extent by which the universe is diverse. It is a great book to add to your collection and to remember in your continuing travels through our destructive, counter-pro ductive society.
Thank you for your time and your wonderful dedication to B.

Theresa O'Connor <>
Portland, Or USA - Wednesday, August 27, 1997 at 11:04:00 (PDT)
I am a strong supporter of B ideas, they emoby me and can be seen and felt in everything that I do. I have read a few of the comments many individuals have made in the guestbook, and I noticed something. Many people are saying, but this, and but that , and what about this...,etc. Trying (it appears to me) to get away from the necessity of the circumstances. When I talk to people on the streets, my friends, family, acquaintance, I often get similar responses. You can go to the beach, but it may take a lot of planning. Or you can become a doctor, but think about all the schooling and money that it requires, are you willing to give that up? We need to answer that last question. We need to think about everything that B says and does. What B means. I'm not supposing for one instant that it is an easy task but it is so necessary that we need to keep our eye on the ball so we don't lose track of the most important thing. My experience has been that when people are presented with a "well, but.." they often give up and let the difficulty or the sticky points make them lose their persistence. We can not lose our persistence on this issue. It is so important and necessary that I don't see how anyone could offer excuses for not doing more. I, myself a m constantly trying to do more. To teach more people, to help others realize, and to remind myself of what it is all about. Mother Culture is constantly whispering and if we let her take hold we may lose all that we have accomplished. So I ask for thos e who hand out excuses and "well, but.." to re-examine what you think and believe. If you feel as I do that it is extremely important that we do something to change the minds of others, change the cultural vision from one of destructive mechanisms, and t o indeed change our cultural way of life, stop the excuses. Another thing that I would like to point out is that it must all begin with yourself. I have had people ask me about what I thought and why I responded the way I did, and from that they learned a piece of the bricolage and a piece of my message. Remember to look at the situation realistically, but to keep it on a level that you can handle. If you can handle approaching complete strangers and giving them a book, go for it. If you can handle sp eaking to people do it. It is a possibility and things are happening, but do not give up. If you need someone to talk to or wish to discuss something, drop me a line. my name is Theresa and I want to do more to help. It takes more than one grain of sand to build a sand dunes, and likewise more messengers of B to change the cultural vision. We must begin by changing ourselves and by our actions others have and will continue to change, and even if they do not change immediately they will be thinking and we can never forget to continue in our growth. We have a message that longs to be heard, noticed, and seen, so let's become active in our own way. I am reminded of the comments made about the changing of the carpet industry. It to ok no programs only changed minds, and that is our task, our job, and our mission. We need to make others aware of the things they have never thought of or the ideas they have discarded for one reason or another. It is up to those of us who do KNOW to s pread it to those that do not. Please never give up. It will be a drastic change that is made, and like Quinn points out in "The Story of B" we are now B when we put in our own insights, teach, and show others. Our never-ending job is to B.

Theresa O'Connor <>
Portland, Or. USA - Wednesday, August 27, 1997 at 10:54:47 (PDT)