My Magic Island

People will sometimes accuse me of being in love with tribalism, and I often hear them say, “If you love it so much, why don’t you just go leave everything and go to your magical island?”

Those who understand me in this way totally misunderstand what I’m saying.
The tribal lifestyle isn’t precious because it’s beautiful or lovable or because it’s “close to nature.”

It isn’t even precious because it’s “the natural way for people to live.” That’s just nonsense.

This is like saying that bird migration is good because it’s the natural way for birds to live, or like saying that bear hibernation is good because it’s the natural way for bears to live.

The tribal life is precious because it tested out. For three million years it worked for people.
It worked for people the way nests work for birds, the way webs work for spiders, the way burrows work for moles, the way hibernation works for bears. That doesn’t make it lovable, that makes it viable.

People will also say to me, “Well, if it was so wonderful, why didn’t it last?”

The answer is that it did last—it has lasted right up to the present moment. It continues to work, but the fact that something works, doesn’t make it invulnerable.

Burrows and nests and webs can all be destroyed, but that doesn’t change the fact that they work. Tribalism can be destroyed and indeed has largely been destroyed, but that doesn’t change the fact that it worked for three million years and still works today as well as it ever did.

-DQ

#dq

Anywhere in the world

Anywhere in the world, East or West, you can walk up to a stranger and say, “Let me show you how to be saved,” and you’ll be understood.

You may not be believed or welcomed when you speak these words, but you will surely be understood. The fact that you’ll be understood should astonish you, but it doesn’t, because you’ve been prepared from childhood by a hundred thousand voices—a million voices—to understand these words yourself. You know instantly what it means to be “saved,” and it doesn’t matter in the least whether you believe in the salvation referred to.

You know in addition, as a completely distinct matter, that being saved involves some method or other. The method might be a ritual—baptism, extreme unction, the sacrament of penance, the performance of ceremonial works, or anything at all. It might, on the other hand, be an inner action of repentance, love, faith, or meditation. Again in addition, and again as a completely distinct matter, you know that the method of salvation being proposed is universal: It can be used by everyone and works for everyone.

Yet again: You know that the method has not been discovered, developed, or tested in any scientific laboratory; either God has revealed it to someone or someone has discovered it in a supranormal state of consciousness. Although initially received by divine means, the method is nonetheless transmittable by normal means, which explains why it’s possible for a perfectly ordinary individual to be offering the method to others.


But all this barely scratches the surface of what is meant when someone says, “Let me show you how to be saved.” A complex and profound worldview is implicit in such a statement. According to this worldview, the human condition is such that everyone is born in an unsaved state and remains unsaved until the requisite ritual or inner action is performed, and all who die in this state either lose their chance for eternal happiness with God or fail to escape the weary cycle of death and rebirth. Because we’ve been schooled from birth to understand all this, we’re not at all puzzled to hear someone say, “Let me show you how to be saved.” Salvation is as plain and ordinary to us as sunrise or rainfall.

But now try to imagine how these words would be received in a culture that had no notion that people were born in an unsaved state, that had no notion that people need to be saved. A statement like this, which seems plain and ordinary to us, would be completely meaningless and incomprehensible to them, in part and in whole. Not a word of it would make sense to them.

Anywhere in the world


Imagine all the work you’d have to do to prepare the people of this culture for your statement.

You’d have to persuade them that they (and indeed all humans) are born in a state in which they require salvation. You’d have to explain to them what being unsaved means—and what being saved means. You’d have to persuade them that achieving salvation is vitally important—indeed the most important thing in the world. You’d have to convince them that you have a method that assures success. You’d have to explain where the method came from and why it works. You’d have to assure them that they can master this method, and that it will work as well for them as it does for you.


If you can imagine the difficulty you would encounter in this enterprise, you can imagine the difficulty I encounter every time I address an audience.

It’s seldom possible for me simply to open my mouth and say the things that are on my mind. Rather, I must begin by laying the groundwork for ideas that are obvious to me but fundamentally alien to people with whom I speak.

#dq

Verily I say unto you . . . again and again and again

A few years ago, when I began speaking to audiences, I had the rather naive idea that it would be sufficient—indeed entirely sufficient—to say each thing exactly once. Only gradually did I understand that saying a thing once is tantamount to saying it not at all. It is indeed sufficient for people to hear the laws of thermodynamics once, and to understand that they’re written down somewhere, should they ever be needed again, but there are other truths, of a different human order, that must be enunciated again and again and again—in the same words and in different words: again and again and again.
As you know, I’ve not spoken at Der Bau before this night. Yet some of you may have heard me speak elsewhere, and you may say to yourselves, “Haven’t I heard him say these things in Salzburg or Dresden or Stuttgart or Prague or Wiesbaden?” The answer to that question is yes. And when Jesus spoke in Galilee, there were those who asked: “Didn’t I hear him say these things in Capernaum or Jerusalem or Judaea or Gennesaret or Caesarea Phillippi?” Of course they heard him say them in all these places. All the public statements attributed to Jesus in the gospels could be delivered in three hours or less, and if he didn’t repeat himself everywhere he went, then he was silent during ninety-nine percent of his public life.

#dq

The Great Forgetting

I wonder if you’ve ever considered how strange it is that the educational and character-shaping structures of our culture expose us but a single time in our lives to the ideas of Socrates, Plato, Euclid, Aristotle, Herodotus, Augustine, Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Descartes, Rousseau, Newton, Racine, Darwin, Kant, Kierkegaard, Tolstoy, Schopenhauer, Goethe, Freud, Marx, Einstein, and dozens of others of the same rank, but expose us annually, monthly, weekly, and even daily to the ideas of persons like Jesus, Moses, Muhammad, and Buddha.

Why is it, do you think, that we need quarterly lectures on charity, while a single lecture on the laws of thermodynamics is presumed to last us a lifetime?

Why is the meaning of Christmas judged to be so difficult of comprehension that we must hear a dozen explications of it, not once in a lifetime, but every single year, year after year after year?

Perhaps even more to the point, why do the pious (who already know every word of whatever text they find holy) need to have it repeated to them week after week after week, and even day after day after day?


I’ll wager that, if there are physicists listening to me here tonight, you do not keep a copy of Newton’s Principia on your bedside table. I’ll wager that the astronomers among you do not reach on waking for a copy of Copernicus’s De revolutionibus orblum coelestium, that the geneticists among you do not spend a daily hour in reverential communion with The Double Helix, that the anatomists among you do not make a point of reading a passage a night from De huniani corporis fabrica, that the sociologists among you do not carry with you everywhere a treasured copy of Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus. But you know very well that hundreds of millions of people thumb daily through holy books that will be read from cover to cover not a dozen times during a lifetime but a dozen dozen.


Have you ever wondered why it is the duty of the clergy of so many sects to read the Divine Office —daily?

Why the same affirmations of faith are repeated word for word in so many religious communities around the world—daily?

Is it so difficult to remember that Allah is One or that Christ died for our sins that it must be reiterated at least once every day throughout life? Of course we know that these things aren’t in the least difficult to remember.

And we know that the pious don’t go to church every Sunday because they’ve forgotten that Jesus loves them but rather because they’ve not forgotten that Jesus loves them.

They want to hear it again and again and again and again. In some sense or other, they need to hear it again and again and again and again.

They can live without hearing the laws of thermodynamics ten thousand times, but for some reason, they cannot live without hearing the laws of their gods ten thousand times.

#dq, #politics, #religion

Chat With Daniel Quinn

Transcript of Lycos Live Chat With Daniel Quinn: 11/21/01

Moderator: Howdy folks. For those of you just joining us…tonight we will be chatting with Mr. Controversy himself, author Daniel Quinn. Hi Daniel, welcome to Lycos Live Events! How’s it going?

Quinn: Oh, it’s going very well!seigelord: Mr. Quinn, in The Story of B, you say that the world will be saved by new minds with no concrete plans at all. What do you mean by this, and how can we save this planet if we don’t have a plan for doing so?

Quinn: What I said was that if the world is saved, it will be saved not by old minds with new programs, but by new minds with no programs at all. An example of a great world change that took place is the Renaissance. The Renaissance transformed Europe, but there was absolutely no plan there, no program. This was the beginning of the scientific revolution, for example. The industrial revolution has virtually taken over the world, and it too came about without any plan. If the world is saved, it will be saved because people begin to think in a different way about the world and humanity’s place in it. No one has EVER been able to make long-terms plans on a global scale. Even the Soviet “five-year plans” were a joke.
zpiel: Are homeless people really beyond civilization if they still depend on civilization’s spillover for their survival?

Quinn: They’re beyond civilization in the sense that they’ve been pushed out. Many of them would very much like to get back in. But at the moment, there’s just no place for them in the system.
vilovian: How easy or difficult do you think it would be to implement a mass change of culture in the west?

Quinn: Changing minds is something that happens basically without effort. Unless minds change, change in general will be not difficult, but impossible. One of the chief programmatic approaches to change is to pass tens of thousands of new laws every year to try to stop people from doing things that are harmful to the world, but this doesn’t work and doesn’t produce any change. As I’ve pointed out in Ishmael, the dissolution of the Soviet Union was ultimately not difficult because people of the Soviet Union changed their minds about how they wanted to live, and they simply wouldn’t put up with communist rule anymore.
Moderator: In case you missed it …right now we are chatting with author Daniel Quinn. Over the years his books have brought much controversy. In “Ishmael” Quinn discusses mankind’s mistreatment of the environment and the repercussions it will have on our future.
koska_1: Daniel, do you believe that the world is headed toward destruction because we, human beings, have not planned any new civilization development?

Quinn: Civilization has never been planned. History does not proceed by being planned. Hitler’s vaunted Thousand Year Reich lasted about a decade, and he had all the resources of a very powerful nation at his disposal to implement his plans. Our civilization is headed for catastrophe because we simply keep on thinking the same way generation after generation, and therefore living the same way generation after generation. But, that can change! As I said earlier, the mind change that took place during the Renaissance completely revolutionized life in Europe.
shredhed17: Back to the homeless issue…, isnt it true however that most of them have pushed themselves out through drug/alcohol abuse?

Quinn: Yes. And so…? They have definitely marginalized themselves by choice. But it should be noted that I am not recommending homelessness as a way for people to go beyond civilization.

koska_1: Is not stumbling upon new ideas and implementing them part of the human condition how can we change this?

Quinn: I’m not sure I understand the question, because I’ve never said that this should be changed. Why would you want to change it? I certainly don’t. Ishmael said, “You consider yourselves inventive, don’t you? Well, be inventive.”
zpiel: While I myself have a changed mind, and try to change the minds of others, I find it difficult to apply my attitudes to everyday life. How did your everyday actions change after you realized the things you have written about?

Quinn: The changes that are going to be critical for us in the next fifty years can’t begin to be made until people stop thinking that humans belong to an order of being that is separate from and higher than the rest of the living community. This prevents us, for example, from facing the reality of the impact we’re having on the world. To go back to my example of the Renaissance, the Renaissance didn’t come about because people made adjustments to their daily lives, and so that’s not quite the way to measure it. Having lived through the 60s, and seeing the changes in attitudes that that brought about, I can see that those changes were not expressed in the way people conducted their lives on a daily basis, but the changes were nevertheless profound. A concrete example is the catastrophic race between food production and population growth. It’s almost universally believed that food production can “win” this race, but that’s nonsense, because every “win” on the side of food production stimulates a “win” on the side of population growth. It’s just like the Cold War arms race in this respect: every “win” on our side stimulated a “win” on the Soviet side. There was no way to achieve a FINAL win, but luckily for the world, the Soviets finally just walked away from the race. There’s no adjustment we can make in our daily lives that will end the food race. The food race will not be ended until people IN GENERAL finally understand that it’s a race that CAN’T BE WON. But this is not to say that there are no useful changes people can make in their own lives on a daily basis. Those must be chosen on an individual basis. I’ve never offered a list of changes people SHOULD make (and I never will).
dark_angel_0000: Do you believe in evolution?

Quinn: I don’t think of evolution as a subject for “belief.” Anymore than, let’s say, the fact that the sun is the center of the solar system is a subject for belief. The reality of evolution has been established to the satisfaction of 99% of the scientific community–and to my own satisfaction. I don’t “believe” in it. I’m as confident that it occurred as I am that the sun is the center of the solar system.
henriquevedana: How do you relate Buddhist ideas to your own?

Quinn: I don’t see any relation between Buddhist ideas and my own, I’m afraid, but you may have something specific in mind. If so, please tell me what it is. 🙂
Chat with Daniel Quinn -  - Chat With Daniel Quinn - I am Mahir - puc / @puccaso

dark_angel_0000: Mr.Quinn do you believe in God?

Quinn: To me, this is a bit like asking if I believe that there’s an old Model T Ford, complete down to the last nut and bolt, sitting in the very deepest part of the Marianas Trench. It’s possible, it’s thinkable, but I just don’t see the point in believing such a thing. It’s either there or it isn’t, but I have no way of finding out. But the fact that I can’t find out, doesn’t mean I have to choose between believing it or disbelieving it. It’s just a fact I don’t have and probably never will have. Another fact I don’t have is whether God exists. Either he does or he doesn’t, but, like the Ford in the Marianas Trench, there’s no way to find out. Maybe we’ll find out about the Ford someday–and maybe we’ll find out about God someday–but meanwhile, I’m not much interested in believing things that can’t be established one way or the other.
vilovian: When people ask me why the population is growing at a slower rate in the first world than in the third-world, is it safe to say that it is because the social norm in our culture is to spend our money on things other than food? That is, we buy the new gadget or toy on the market instead of food.

Quinn: We certainly buy plenty of food, of course, but having large families is not as attractive to first-world peoples as it once was–and as it still is in second- and third-world countries.
seigelord: Part of the problem in today’s society is that Mother Culture’s voice is hideously strong. Being a student, I want to make my peers aware of the issue, but how can I do that? And what do you see as being the ideal way to do that?

Quinn: If you yourself are seeing things a different way, this will affect the people around you. And it’ll affect them without their even realizing it. Teachers have told me, for example, that even though they’re not using my books in their classrooms, their WAY OF TEACHING has changed. And this is really almost beyond their control, because once you’re thinking differently, you must speak differently and teach differently and relate to the people around you differently.
seigelord: In light of recent political events, how much do you feel that “revealed” religions have played a role in today’s society?

Quinn: Well, revealed religions have had a tremendously important role in the history of our culture for the last 3000 years, and people have been killing each other over these religions for nearly this long. So what’s happening right now is not something new.
hdelbruk: What do the current events in Afghanistan say about our ability to change the way humans behave?

Quinn: We have no such thing as an ability to change the way humans behave, and we never have. We have NEVER succeeded in changing the way people behave. We’ve reasoned with them, we’ve inspired, we’ve educated, we’ve pleaded, we’ve exhorted, we’ve passed a million laws, we’ve punished billions of lawbreakers, but none of these things has changed the way humans behave. People’s behavior DOES change, however, when they begin to think a different way, as they did during the Renaissance. But you can’t MAKE people change the way they think. When powerful new ideas present themselves and begin to spread, people begin to think a different way–and to make changes in what they DO. Unfortunately, no one can predict what people who think a different way will DO. For example, one result of the Renaissance was ultimately the Industrial Revolution–but none of the foundation thinkers of the Renaissance could have predicted that. Moderator: I hate to say it, but we have to wrap this up in a few minutes. We’ll take a few more questions & comments.
shredhed17: Back to evolution… 99% of the scientific community may agree with evolution, but Im sure that at least 80% haven’t bothered to question it. Did you come make this decision by choice or by simply “stumbling” onto it as many as the others have?

Quinn: I never made a “decision” about it. I’ve always assumed that life evolved on this planet. There’s really nothing else that makes sense to me.
waltriddle: Why do you think that dialogues with God or gods continue to figure so prominently in our thinking?

Quinn: If you go among aboriginal tribal peoples, you will find that they’re completely confident about the way they live. This is because their tribal law goes back to the beginning of time for them, and it WORKS for them, generation after generation. They KNOW how to live, and we’re painfully aware that we DON’T know how to live–and that things are constantly going badly for us. And so we’re constantly looking for someone to TELL us how to live. This is either a god or a prophet in communication with a god. Or it might be an angel or perhaps a kind hearted alien from outer space. But no matter how many messages we get from the sky, we STILL feel that we don’t know how to live. And this is why this dialogue with the gods never stops. crow365: With all of the things you sell at New Tribal Ventures, would you ever consider producing those “Ten Thousand Year Reich” bumper stickers from the alternate end to Ishmael? Cuz’ that’d be really cool…:)

Quinn: {laughs} Oh, my goodness! We have given thought from time to time to producing bumper stickers, and certainly this would be a candidate for one. But it seems to me that, with the disappearance of bumpers, bumper stickers are soon going to become extinct!
Moderator: Well folks, it time to wrap up the chat. Thanks Daniel we had a really good time chatting with you!! We’ll have to do this again sometime.
Quinn: Yes, I’d be glad to do it again, and I have to say that this has been the best chat I have ever been a part of! Excellent questions, all. Thank you very much!

Daniel Quinn is an award winning author of Ishmael, a novel translated in 25+ languages and many other works. Read how Ishmael has inspired some of its readers.

#cuba, #dq, #soviet-union

Chat With Daniel Quinn

Transcript of Lycos Live Chat With Daniel Quinn: 11/21/01

Moderator: Howdy folks. For those of you just joining us…tonight we will be chatting with Mr. Controversy himself, author Daniel Quinn. Hi Daniel, welcome to Lycos Live Events! How’s it going?
Quinn: Oh, it’s going very well!
seigelord: Mr. Quinn, in The Story of B, you say that the world will be saved by new minds with no concrete plans at all. What do you mean by this, and how can we save this planet if we don’t have a plan for doing so?
Quinn: What I said was that if the world is saved, it will be saved not by old minds with new programs, but by new minds with no programs at all. An example of a great world change that took place is the Renaissance. The Renaissance transformed Europe, but there was absolutely no plan there, no program. This was the beginning of the scientific revolution, for example. The industrial revolution has virtually taken over the world, and it too came about without any plan. If the world is saved, it will be saved because people begin to think in a different way about the world and humanity’s place in it. No one has EVER been able to make long-terms plans on a global scale. Even the Soviet “five-year plans” were a joke.
zpiel: Are homeless people really beyond civilization if they still depend on civilization’s spillover for their survival?
Quinn: They’re beyond civilization in the sense that they’ve been pushed out. Many of them would very much like to get back in. But at the moment, there’s just no place for them in the system.
vilovian: How easy or difficult do you think it would be to implement a mass change of culture in the west?
Quinn: Changing minds is something that happens basically without effort. Unless minds change, change in general will be not difficult, but impossible. One of the chief programmatic approaches to change is to pass tens of thousands of new laws every year to try to stop people from doing things that are harmful to the world, but this doesn’t work and doesn’t produce any change. As I’ve pointed out in Ishmael, the dissolution of the Soviet Union was ultimately not difficult because people of the Soviet Union changed their minds about how they wanted to live, and they simply wouldn’t put up with communist rule anymore.
Moderator: In case you missed it …right now we are chatting with author Daniel Quinn. Over the years his books have brought much controversy. In “Ishmael” Quinn discusses mankind’s mistreatment of the environment and the repercussions it will have on our future.
koska_1: Daniel, do you believe that the world is headed toward destruction because we, human beings, have not planned any new civilization development?
Quinn: Civilization has never been planned. History does not proceed by being planned. Hitler’s vaunted Thousand Year Reich lasted about a decade, and he had all the resources of a very powerful nation at his disposal to implement his plans. Our civilization is headed for catastrophe because we simply keep on thinking the same way generation after generation, and therefore living the same way generation after generation. But, that can change! As I said earlier, the mind change that took place during the Renaissance completely revolutionized life in Europe.
shredhed17: Back to the homeless issue…, isnt it true however that most of them have pushed themselves out through drug/alcohol abuse?
Quinn: Yes. And so…? They have definitely marginalized themselves by choice. But it should be noted that I am not recommending homelessness as a way for people to go beyond civilization.
koska_1: Is not stumbling upon new ideas and implementing them part of the human condition how can we change this?
Quinn: I’m not sure I understand the question, because I’ve never said that this should be changed. Why would you want to change it? I certainly don’t. Ishmael said, “You consider yourselves inventive, don’t you? Well, be inventive.”
zpiel: While I myself have a changed mind, and try to change the minds of others, I find it difficult to apply my attitudes to everyday life. How did your everyday actions change after you realized the things you have written about?
Quinn: The changes that are going to be critical for us in the next fifty years can’t begin to be made until people stop thinking that humans belong to an order of being that is separate from and higher than the rest of the living community. This prevents us, for example, from facing the reality of the impact we’re having on the world. To go back to my example of the Renaissance, the Renaissance didn’t come about because people made adjustments to their daily lives, and so that’s not quite the way to measure it. Having lived through the 60s, and seeing the changes in attitudes that that brought about, I can see that those changes were not expressed in the way people conducted their lives on a daily basis, but the changes were nevertheless profound. A concrete example is the catastrophic race between food production and population growth. It’s almost universally believed that food production can “win” this race, but that’s nonsense, because every “win” on the side of food production stimulates a “win” on the side of population growth. It’s just like the Cold War arms race in this respect: every “win” on our side stimulated a “win” on the Soviet side. There was no way to achieve a FINAL win, but luckily for the world, the Soviets finally just walked away from the race. There’s no adjustment we can make in our daily lives that will end the food race. The food race will not be ended until people IN GENERAL finally understand that it’s a race that CAN’T BE WON. But this is not to say that there are no useful changes people can make in their own lives on a daily basis. Those must be chosen on an individual basis. I’ve never offered a list of changes people SHOULD make (and I never will).
dark_angel_0000: Do you believe in evolution?
Quinn: I don’t think of evolution as a subject for “belief.” Anymore than, let’s say, the fact that the sun is the center of the solar system is a subject for belief. The reality of evolution has been established to the satisfaction of 99% of the scientific community–and to my own satisfaction. I don’t “believe” in it. I’m as confident that it occurred as I am that the sun is the center of the solar system.
henriquevedana: How do you relate Buddhist ideas to your own?
Quinn: I don’t see any relation between Buddhist ideas and my own, I’m afraid, but you may have something specific in mind. If so, please tell me what it is. 🙂
Chat with Daniel Quinn -  - Chat With Daniel Quinn - I am Mahir - puc / @puccaso
 
dark_angel_0000: Mr.Quinn do you believe in God?
Quinn: To me, this is a bit like asking if I believe that there’s an old Model T Ford, complete down to the last nut and bolt, sitting in the very deepest part of the Marianas Trench. It’s possible, it’s thinkable, but I just don’t see the point in believing such a thing. It’s either there or it isn’t, but I have no way of finding out. But the fact that I can’t find out, doesn’t mean I have to choose between believing it or disbelieving it. It’s just a fact I don’t have and probably never will have. Another fact I don’t have is whether God exists. Either he does or he doesn’t, but, like the Ford in the Marianas Trench, there’s no way to find out. Maybe we’ll find out about the Ford someday–and maybe we’ll find out about God someday–but meanwhile, I’m not much interested in believing things that can’t be established one way or the other.
vilovian: When people ask me why the population is growing at a slower rate in the first world than in the third-world, is it safe to say that it is because the social norm in our culture is to spend our money on things other than food? That is, we buy the new gadget or toy on the market instead of food.
Quinn: We certainly buy plenty of food, of course, but having large families is not as attractive to first-world peoples as it once was–and as it still is in second- and third-world countries.
seigelord: Part of the problem in today’s society is that Mother Culture’s voice is hideously strong. Being a student, I want to make my peers aware of the issue, but how can I do that? And what do you see as being the ideal way to do that?
Quinn: If you yourself are seeing things a different way, this will affect the people around you. And it’ll affect them without their even realizing it. Teachers have told me, for example, that even though they’re not using my books in their classrooms, their WAY OF TEACHING has changed. And this is really almost beyond their control, because once you’re thinking differently, you must speak differently and teach differently and relate to the people around you differently.
seigelord: In light of recent political events, how much do you feel that “revealed” religions have played a role in today’s society?
Quinn: Well, revealed religions have had a tremendously important role in the history of our culture for the last 3000 years, and people have been killing each other over these religions for nearly this long. So what’s happening right now is not something new.
hdelbruk: What do the current events in Afghanistan say about our ability to change the way humans behave?
Quinn: We have no such thing as an ability to change the way humans behave, and we never have. We have NEVER succeeded in changing the way people behave. We’ve reasoned with them, we’ve inspired, we’ve educated, we’ve pleaded, we’ve exhorted, we’ve passed a million laws, we’ve punished billions of lawbreakers, but none of these things has changed the way humans behave. People’s behavior DOES change, however, when they begin to think a different way, as they did during the Renaissance. But you can’t MAKE people change the way they think. When powerful new ideas present themselves and begin to spread, people begin to think a different way–and to make changes in what they DO. Unfortunately, no one can predict what people who think a different way will DO. For example, one result of the Renaissance was ultimately the Industrial Revolution–but none of the foundation thinkers of the Renaissance could have predicted that. Moderator: I hate to say it, but we have to wrap this up in a few minutes. We’ll take a few more questions & comments.
shredhed17: Back to evolution… 99% of the scientific community may agree with evolution, but Im sure that at least 80% haven’t bothered to question it. Did you come make this decision by choice or by simply “stumbling” onto it as many as the others have?
Quinn: I never made a “decision” about it. I’ve always assumed that life evolved on this planet. There’s really nothing else that makes sense to me.
waltriddle: Why do you think that dialogues with God or gods continue to figure so prominently in our thinking?
Quinn: If you go among aboriginal tribal peoples, you will find that they’re completely confident about the way they live. This is because their tribal law goes back to the beginning of time for them, and it WORKS for them, generation after generation. They KNOW how to live, and we’re painfully aware that we DON’T know how to live–and that things are constantly going badly for us. And so we’re constantly looking for someone to TELL us how to live. This is either a god or a prophet in communication with a god. Or it might be an angel or perhaps a kind hearted alien from outer space. But no matter how many messages we get from the sky, we STILL feel that we don’t know how to live. And this is why this dialogue with the gods never stops. crow365: With all of the things you sell at New Tribal Ventures, would you ever consider producing those “Ten Thousand Year Reich” bumper stickers from the alternate end to Ishmael? Cuz’ that’d be really cool…:)
Quinn: {laughs} Oh, my goodness! We have given thought from time to time to producing bumper stickers, and certainly this would be a candidate for one. But it seems to me that, with the disappearance of bumpers, bumper stickers are soon going to become extinct!
Moderator: Well folks, it time to wrap up the chat. Thanks Daniel we had a really good time chatting with you!! We’ll have to do this again sometime.
Quinn: Yes, I’d be glad to do it again, and I have to say that this has been the best chat I have ever been a part of! Excellent questions, all. Thank you very much!
 

Daniel Quinn is an award winning author of Ishmael, a novel translated in 25+ languages and many other works. Read how Ishmael has inspired some of its readers.

#cuba, #dq, #soviet-union