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Medium 9780989175913

18. Philosophy West

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

When we look at Western philosophy, we see little more than armchair academics whose guiding light is not truth, but reputation and career. They have nothing to contribute, so they are effectively confined to clucking at each other and denying their irrelevance. A living philosophy is a journey of the most extreme proportions; a personal inferno, prolonged and bitterest conflict. To take just a single step on this journey is to leave the petty concerns of success and self-image behind forever, so yes, philosophers are non-participants and ideologues. They suit up like players and talk a good game, but never take the field........

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Medium 9780971435223

The Whole Truth

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

...through poetry and philosophy and religion, till we come to a hard bottom and rocks in place, which we can call reality, and say, This is, and no mistake; and then begin….

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Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

Perhaps the deepest reason why we are afraid of death is because we do not know who we are. We believe in a personal, unique, and separate identity – but if we dare to examine it, we find that this identity depends entirely on an endless collection of things to prop it up: our name, our “biography,” our partners, family, home, job, friends, credit cards… 

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Medium 9780253318992

Chapter 6. The Horticulturists

Felicitas D. Goodman Indiana University Press ePub

The history of horticulturalist settlements varies greatly according to geographic location. Judging from the archeological record, it flourished only briefly in Central Europe, and disappeared from the scene well over five thousand years ago. Traces of it can still be found in fairy tales and legends, but the absence of a historical memory of this cultural form contributed to the tragedy of native populations that got in the way of European conquest: It was not agriculture, and therefore it was despised as ignorant and savage. Only around the Mediterranean did some of the central concepts of its religion, especially that of metamorphosis, survive into the time of classical antiquity, as we know from ancient Greece and Egypt. But the ability of humans to change shape and become animals or plants was no longer generally accepted and became the attribute of deities in Greece. Zeus changes into a bull or a swan in order to further his amorous pursuits and seduce beautiful girls. And in Egypt, where many deities appear in a combined human and animal form, the entire metamorphosis complex apparently became part of the esoteric knowledge of the priestly caste. Japanese Shinto, the “Way of the Spirits,” is the only example of a large, modern industrial society retaining a horticultural religion. Horticulturalism as a way of life survived into the present in New Guinea, in parts of Southeast Asia, in Africa, and among Amerindian societies in both North and South America.

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Medium 9781771870801


Forrie, Allan Thistledown Press ePub
A weed infestation prompts Don Gayton to muse that “the ideal gardening personality is probably a mix of hippie, planner, and military strategist” in “Weeds ‘R’ Us”, and he goes on to compare such infiltrations to an alien invasion.
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Medium 9781608682652

11. Indigenous Wisdom and Shamanism: Meister Eckhart Meets Eddie Kneebone, Black Elk, and Bill Everson

Matthew Fox New World Library ePub

Meister Eckhart Meets Eddie Kneebone, Black Elk, and Bill Everson

The round form of the drum represents the whole universe and its steady, strong beat is the pulse, the heart, throbbing at the center of the universe. It is as the voice of Wakan-Tanka, and this sound stirs us and helps us to understand the mystery and power of all things.


The aspect of being at one with the universe…is included in our lives. It is a part of us.…For me, Creation Spirituality…is like the Dreamtime in the way that it brings the entire cosmos into our lives, making it a part of us, and us a part of it.


God loves all creatures equally and fills them with his being. And we should lovingly meet all creatures in the same way. We find this attitude among the pagans, people who came to this sense of love-filled equanimity.


The shamanistic tradition has always been about fostering, or restoring, our intimate connection with the cosmos and all the life within it. It teaches reverence for and identification with animals and creation. Shamanism is found almost universally among ancient and indigenous peoples, and evidence of it ranges from the Arctic to the southern tip of South America, from East to West and points in between. Shamanism speaks deeply to our ancient memory of how, in ages past, humans and animals “shared the same language” — meaning we humans were closer to our animal roots and more alert sensually to the mysteries of nature, be they the rock world, the plant world, the winged world, or the world of the four-legged ones. We were keen observers and translators, one might say, of the signals of other creatures. For our ancestors, this was surely a survival mechanism, but it was also a spiritual reality.

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Medium 9781608680474

Part 2: Yoga

Patricia Monaghan New World Library ePub

T he origins of yoga are lost in prehistory. Archaeologists have found yogalike postures carved on stone artifacts created approximately four thousand years ago in the Indus Valley in what is now Pakistan. But the first writings that describe the path of yoga came from about 200 BCE in the form of the aphorisms and sutras of the Hindu sage Patanjali. These sutras, which give instructions on how to quiet the mind, codified information that had been transmitted orally for a long time.

Both Patanjali and the Buddha, who lived several hundred years earlier, believed that the source of human suffering is the craving for permanence in a universe of impermanence. However, they differed in their belief in the existence of a permanent reality. Patanjali’s yoga holds that there is a material reality, called prakriti in Sanskrit, and a spiritual reality, called purusha. Buddha taught that everything, including what appears to be the spiritual realm, is impermanent.

Yoga is a rich, variegated tradition that appeals to people with a wide range of temperaments and aptitudes. According to yoga, we can never escape the influence of the unconscious by mere intellectual understanding of its contents. The path of enlightenment, or liberation, requires more than an intellectual mode of cognition. It requires the combination of the intellect and the intuitive or other sensory modes of knowing.

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7. Consciousness Defined

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

Now it gets tricky. There are actually two types of consciousness; Atmanic and Brahmanic. AC/BC. Atmanic Consciousness is the I Am of the perceiver-perception-perceived dreamstate. Atmanic Consciousness is grounded in Brahmanic Consciousness, which is undifferentiated and absolute; no perceiver, no perception, no perceived. How does untrue Atmanic arise from true Brahmanic? I don’t know. Go ask Maya. Actually, I do know. Untrue Atmanic doesn’t arise from true Brahmanic, because untruth does not exist. There is only truth. Brahmanic Consciousness is our absolute nature, Atmanic Consciousness is our living reality. Consciousness is true, the contents of consciousness are not............

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Medium 9781608682294

2. Epictetus and the Art of Maintaining Control

Jules Evans New World Library ePub

RHONDA CORNUM WAS WORKING as a flight surgeon in the 101st Airborne Division during the First Gulf War in February 1991, when she was sent on a mission to rescue a fighter pilot who had been shot down. Her own helicopter was shot down, and crashed into the Arabian Desert at 140 miles an hour, instantly killing five of the eight crew. Cornum survived, although both her arms were broken, a ligament was torn in her knee, and she had a bullet lodged in her shoulder. Iraqi soldiers surrounded the crashed helicopter, and dragged Cornum out by her broken arms. They put her and another member of the crew, Sergeant Troy Dunlap, into the back of a truck. As the truck bumped along the desert road, one of the Iraqi soldiers unzipped Cornum’s flight suit and sexually assaulted her. She couldn’t fight him off, and tried not to scream, but every time he knocked her broken arms she couldn’t help crying out. Eventually he left her alone. Sergeant Dunlap was chained up next to her, unable to help. “Ma’am,” he said quietly, “you’re really tough.” “What’d you think, I’d cry or something?” she said. “Yeah, I thought you would.” “That’s okay, Sergeant,” Rhonda said after a while. “I thought you’d cry too.” They were kept prisoner in an Iraqi military compound for eight days. Cornum has said of the experience: “Being a POW is the rape of your entire life. But what I learned in those Iraqi bunkers and prison cells is that the experience doesn’t have to be devastating, that it depends on you.”1

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Great Moments in Enlightenment History

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

This was a New England vacation community in the off-season...........

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Medium 9780253205667

Coyote Comes Calling

Felicitas D. Goodman Indiana University Press ePub

As told by the Navajo singers, the religious specialists who are the guardians of Navajo oral literature, Coyote is the child of the sky but was born from the embrace of the sky with the earth. It seems that one day, the people saw the sky swooping down:

It seemed to want to embrace the earth. And they saw the earth likewise looming up as if to meet the sky.

For a moment they came in contact. The sky touched the earth and the earth touched the sky. And just then, at exactly the spot where the sky and the earth had met, Ma’ii the Coyote sprang out of the ground. (Zolbrod 1984:56)

Thus in his parentage, Coyote bridges the earth and the sky, the ordinary and the alternate reality. But something else also entered into his makeup, for his birth happened at the same time the elders were involved in an important ritual. They were giving a penis to a boy who had come of age, and a vagina to a girl who had come of age, which they had not had before. Coyote went to where the people were, and meddler that he was and fascinated by sex obviously from the time he sprang from the ground, he decided to make the young people even more beautiful than having a penis and a vagina made them. And so he blew some of his own facial hair in such a way that it landed between their legs. However, First Woman, in charge of uncontrolled impulses, was worried that now the young people had become too attractive to each other, and so she ordered that they cover themselves.

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Medium 9780253205667

Ten: Changing Shape—The Shimmering Game

Felicitas D. Goodman Indiana University Press ePub

In a tale of Rabelaisian abandon related by Indian fishermen of the Northwest Coast,1 their culture hero, the Raven, changes himself into a fisherman in order to make merry with the latter’s wife. When the fisherman unexpectedly returns and begins beating the intruder into a pulp, the Raven is constrained to revert to his original shape. The incensed husband ties him up and throws him into the pit of the outhouse. But the Raven, being immortal, eventually frees himself of his bonds and lives to see another day and more adventures of a similar nature.

Traces of such “softness,” as one anthropologist calls it,2 of the boundaries between humans and animals, when matters were in a state of flux between the species, are all about. Egyptian and Celtic and Hindu gods have animal heads or shapes. Echoes of the same tradition abound in the myths of every society of the world. They are known among the Australian aborigines and on the other end of the spectrum among the nineteenth-century Germans who were the consultants of the Grimm Brothers. And they are, of course, equally familiar to the Indian societies of our continent. There is a story current among the same Indian fishermen of the Northwest Coast, according to which a hunter once heard laughter coming from a cave. When he sneaked up to the entrance and peeked in, there were the animals hilariously playing at turning into people. In fact, the Haida Indians of the region recount that in those early times animals used to have both human and animal forms. As the Navajo singers put it, “In those times all the animals were like people. The four-footed beasts, the flying birds, the coiling snakes, and the crawling insects behaved the way that earth-surface people who occupy the world today behave” (Zolbrod 1984:98).

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Medium 9781609949198

4 The Path of Stone

Foundation, Anasazi Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

I mentioned that on the night of the great storm I found
safe passage on a formation of stone—one of many times
that stone has supported, taught, or saved me.

Taught? you might wonder. Stone teaches?


Every stone we observe has been on the earth for ages.
Should we be surprised if they possess wisdom
that we do not?

In the months and years I was separated from my people,
wisdom was at my feet all the while.

The stones that met my every step—
those silent patriarchs from years past—
they made wisdom my foundation.
Or at least offered to do so.

To become wise, I had to learn to hear their silence.

Initially, I heard stone only when I turned to it
for help—as when I needed to cross a stream
or when I desired to shape a tool.

But even when I have ignored it, stone has always
offered itself to me and supported my every step.

What has stone offered?

In a word:


Why peace?

Because amid turmoil, such as during the great storm,
stone has offered me safe passage.

When the earth has seemed to be shifting around me,
stone has been my sure foundation.

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Medium 9780980184839

Jed McKenna Interview

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

Even in the dreamstate my character is almost fully dissolved back into the ocean so, for instance, an outside observer might say that Jed McKenna wrote these books, but from my perspective there is no such distinction...............

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Medium 9780253204677

Chapter 7: The Ghosts that Kill

Felicitas D. Goodman Indiana University Press ePub

While the multiple personality disorder is rarely interpreted as a condition of demonic possession (although in some instances, as we saw, that would certainly be appropriate), in other contexts the term is bandied about with considerable bravado. In the opening speeches at a newly founded Christian Center for Information about the Occult in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1985, everything popularly subsumed under New Age, such as astrology, aura balancing, crystal healing, plus anything having to do with Spiritualism, was classified as demonic possession. The speakers at this center were fundamentalist Protestants, but when it comes to indicting Satan for the supposed ills of the age, Catholic popular writers do not lag far behind. A Viennese author writing in 19761 includes all the above, while adding also black magic, satanic cults, divination, and spirit journeys to the list. In a 1985 television interview, a Pentecostal minister advocated exorcism for gays, which thus by implication is also classified as possession by an evil spirit. It seems that even in this supposedly rational and scientific modern age, there is no dearth of those who will summarily accuse people of being possessed by abominable spirits if they succumb to the allure of anything culturally decried or censured at the time. But the spirits called up under such circumstances seem rather anemic as devils go. Upon closer examination, they turn out to be no more than flimsy masks used to give an aura of authority to a parochial, dogmatically informed judgment: “In a manner of speaking,” if I see a certain behavior, such as people wearing a crystal on a necklace or paying for an astrological chart, I should warn them in Christian charity that Satan is close by, tempting them to commit an act that within our doctrine, which represents the only Truth, is a Sin. The Evil One, in fact, may have already taken possession of them, and poor benighted ones, they do not even realize it.

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