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  The Ishmael Community: Exerpts from Daniel Quinn

Quotes from Daniel's Works

"There once was a universal religion on this planet, Jared," B said. "Were you aware of that?"

I said I wasn't.

"Audiences are almost always amazed by this news. Occasionally someone will think I'm referring to what is sometimes called the >Old Religion'--paganism, Wicca--but of course I'm not. In the first place, paganism isn't old. It's a farmer's religion through and through, which means it's just a few thousand years old, and of course it was never a universal religion, for the simple reason that farming was never universal. Very often--almost invariably, in fact--no one will even recognize the name of the religion I'm talking about, which of course is animism. They've literally never heard of it."

The Story of B

The "majors" have no authentic message of their own concerning the degradation of our environment, the diminishment of biological diversity, the destruction of the creative processes that brought forth and sustain life on this planet, the end of speciation (which, to the mind of the animist, is creation itself), the extinction of species--even of our own species. These concepts are simply not in their theological vocabulary. Why should they be? From their very foundation, these religions were about making people holy, were about uniting mankind with a god unthinkably remote from the sordid moil and muddle of mere biological survival. They can rewrite their prophets' lines to give them an environmentalist spin, but I frankly doubt that this will save them. Their irrelevance in the contemporary world is not one of appearance; it goes right down to the bone.

Providence



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