420 Slices
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Medium 9780253000958

Voyageurs

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

In morning mist on a northern river, a slab of stone tumbled from a boulder into the water, where it came to life and floated, turning into a sleek black head that swam in circles dragging a V of ripples behind it. A beaver, I thought, as I watched from shore. But no sooner had I named it than the creature bobbed up and then dove, exposing a long neck and humped back and pointed tail. Not a beaver, I realized, but an otter. I was pleased to find a label for this animate scrap, as though by pinning the right word on the shape-shifter I could hold it still.

Presently a second otter, then a third and fourth broke free of the boulder and slithered down into the mercury sheen of the river. They dove without a splash, their tails flipping up to gleam like wands in the early sunlight, and they surfaced so buoyantly that their forepaws and narrow shoulders lifted well out of the water. Then one after another they clambered back onto the rock and dove again, over and over, like tireless children taking turns on a playground slide.

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Medium 9780971435223

Memento Mori

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

These were the questions I put to myself when I decided to come meet Brett’s group and say goodbye with them, and as soon as I asked the question, I knew the answer. Memento Mori: Remember you must die...........

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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 9780980184839

The Little Bastard

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

Manhole covers and sewer grates are good to look at. The green lamppost knows its business. I can be very happy staring at a cement floor; not just any cement floor, of course. Still, what kind of yutz takes pleasure in staring at the floor? Williams knew what kind: “So much depends upon a red wheel barrow, glazed with rain water, beside the white chickens.” Words can’t say the rightness of a black steel door in a red brick wall. My foot casts three shadows. This is the same breeze that cooled Christ and Buddha under this same moon. What does it all mean? Why, absolutely nothing. If it meant anything, it wouldn’t mean a thing.................

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Medium 9780253205667

The Story of Kats and His Bear Wife

Felicitas D. Goodman Indiana University Press ePub

During our exploration in 1985 of the Chiltan posture, the one about the forty-one girl knights whom the Uzbeki shamanesses call on to help them in curing (see Chapter 9), there were two reports that did not seem to fit the picture. One of them was Belinda’s:

Even during the breathing exercise I began seeing bark figures dancing. When the rattle started, I realized that I was flying very high; the ground was very far away. Then I approached a scene that was brown and green. There was a little pool of water that was like a mirror, and in it I did not see my own reflection, but a stick figure in the shape of a Y. There was a tree, and through it flew a little bird. In place of the pool, there was now a nest with three eggs. The little bird invited me to sit on the nest and intimated that to do that was very important. I stayed on the eggs for a long time, feeling intensified. Then I saw a totem pole, and was embraced by it, by the spirit in the wood. On the other side, there was snow, and pine trees. A hand moving a feather was making marks in the snow. An enormous she-bear appeared; she stood upright and we danced together. I grinned because she made me feel so light. She sat down and embraced me from behind, giving herself to me and penetrating me, and I felt greatly moved. My Lioness came and brought some twigs for the fire and then left. There were the horns of a mountain goat; everything felt high and cold.

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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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Medium 9780971435223

A Literate Ignoramus

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF
“For your own good. T’were best done quickly, like pulling a tooth. Brett might have felt the kindest thing would be to take a lash to you, keep you from dawdling and making things harder than they have to be.”

“Am I dawdling? I seem to be lying around a lot............ See All Chapters
Medium 9780980184839

Entertaining Negativity

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

Every step in the process of awakening has all three components. A step begins with seeing and understanding.That seeing and understanding becomes the very thing that destroys the thing seen and understood. But it doesn’t end there. Just because you killed something doesn’t mean you killed your attachment to it. Seeing the thing is the beginning of killing the thing, and killing the thing is the beginning of detaching from it. The third step isn’t therapeutic; it’s the point...............

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Medium 9780989175913

19. Philosophy East

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

Most notable among Eastern philosophies for our purposes is the idea that Brahman Is All, where Brahman is without attributes and therefore precisely synonymous with any term we define as without attributes, such as truth or consciousness. Saying Brahman Is All just means we’re using the word Brahman instead of consciousness. Here we’re calling it consciousness because I experience consciousness directly, and I don’t know this Brahman guy from Adam.............

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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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Medium 9780253000958

House and Home

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

When our first child was born, a rosy wriggle of a girl we named Eva, my wife and I were living in a second-floor apartment on the noisiest avenue leading east and west through Bloomington, Indiana. Trucks grinding their gears, belching buses, howling ambulances and squad cars, unmufflered pickups and juiced-up jalopies roared past our windows, morning, noon, and night. What little dirt we could find between pavement and weeds in our tiny yard was slimed with engine oil.

To begin with, Eva weighed only six and a half pounds, all of them fidgety. Like any newborn she was pure appetite. With a stomach so small, she hardly seemed to close her eyes between feedings. Even when those brown eyes did fitfully close, they would snap open again at the least sound. Ruth nursed her to sleep, or I rocked her to sleep, and we’d lay her in the crib as gingerly as a bomb. Then some loud machine would come blaring down the street and Eva would twitch and wail.

Once an engine had frightened her, mere milk would not soothe this child, nor would a cradle endlessly rocking. Only songs would do, a rivery murmur while she snuggled against a warm chest, and the chest had to be swaying in rhythm to a steady walk. Fall silent or stop moving and you had a ruckus on your hands. Night after night, I worked my way through The Folk Songs of North America, cover to cover and back again, while carrying Eva in circles over the crickety floorboards. It took hours of singing and miles of walking to lull her to stillness in my arms, and then a siren or diesel could undo the spell in seconds.

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Medium 9780980184839

The Bird’s Nest

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

You can try to take control of your self, try to make some sense of it, organize it, but all you can really do is tidy up on the surface. Some egos are more cluttered, some less, but the idea that a true self lurks within the clutter is just one of the little vanities that keeps us walking in small, purposeful circles..........

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Medium 9780946439331

II Philobatism and Ocnophilia

Michael Balint Karnac Books ePub

THE introduction of new words calls for justification; their usefulness has to be proved. I propose to do this in two ways. I intend to show, first, that by using these two terms we can discuss certain human experiences more easily than without them; and, secondly, that in this way we can better understand these experiences and their dynamism. Let us therefore briefly survey what we already know about thrills; that is, philobatism and ocnophilia. This will help us at the same time to clear our way for the next step, since this survey will bring us to the point which our theory of these phenomena has reached.

Let us start with the children’s games. As I have said, the zone of security is always called either ‘home’ or ‘house’, which points to its being a symbol for the safe mother. We have seen also that all thrills entail the leaving and rejoining of security. The pleasures experienced in either of these two phases—that is, either when staying in security or when leaving it in order to return to it—are very primitive, self-evident, and apparently in no need of explanation—although it must be stated that not every adult can enjoy them equally. True, some adults seem to be at ease only when in the state of stable security; others, on the contrary, enjoy leaving it in search of adventures and thrills and show signs of boredom and irritation if they have to forgo them for any length of time. Somehow, however, correctly or incorrectly, one gets the impression that ocnophilia might be the older and more primitive of the two attitudes. Later we shall have to examine more closely how far this impression is misleading.

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Medium 9780971435223

In the Kingdom of the Blind

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

Why speak at all? Why should the sighted add his voice to the din of unsighted who claim to see, and who, unfettered by truth, are free to tell a better tale?.......

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Medium 9781771870801

PHANTOM LIMB

Forrie, Allan Thistledown Press ePub
In “Phantom Limb” Theresa Kishkan remembers Lily, a dog who was adopted from a nearby reservation and quickly became a member of the family: protecting the yard from deer, raccoons, and bears; training the new puppy Tiger; and sharing family picnics and walks before the end of her too-short life.
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