Posts Tagged ‘materialism’

Listening to the Thoughts of the Forest ; Undark guest repost

February 8, 2018

Listening to the Thoughts of the Forest

The fate of a Tennessee forest was weighed in a boardroom by an assembly of businessmen, lawyers, and scientists. They never listened to the trees.



“The meeting yielded a memorandum of understanding and a press release. The corporation agreed to stop converting native forests to plantations. In print, all parties congratulated one another. The governor added a supportive statement. By the standards of a technocratic world, this was a success, albeit one whose effects were mitigated over the following decade by fluctuations in newsprint pulp prices, mill closings, corporate mergers, and divestment of land. Now, a dozen years after this 2005 agreement, pressure to convert forests to plantations continues in the southeastern U.S. The chasm between the people in the room persists, as does our collective deafness to the forest.

“It is perhaps absurd to suggest that lawyers, scientists, lobbyists, and MBAs spend more of their time listening to trees, smelling the leaf litter, visiting paper mills, and talking to one another in the woods and the logging yards. In a data-driven world, one governed by quantifiable financial and scientific information, a practice of open-ended listening and bodily engagement seems out of place, a diversion or an irrelevance. But financial and scientific data are abstractions. The forest is not made of abstractions. It is not even made of separate, interacting objects. The forest is instead made of relationship. To enter this gargantuan conversation is to connect our bodies and brains to creatures and processes beyond ourselves. This is ecological “big data” wired directly into human cellular and cultural networks.

“It is time, then, for some unconventional in-service training: immersion in the forest’s mind. No polished shoes under tables, no soil-covering marble slabs, no slides of graphs delivered like slap shots at a goal. Instead, let us become sommeliers of forest soils (smell the varied overtones of ascomycete), tree-listeners (what crackle of drought do we hear in twigs, what rustle of unmade paper in the pine?), and interlocutors of root tips, bird memories, and human experience. We do so not to unearth ourselves into mysticism or to run away from disagreements in boardrooms. Rather, listening in the woods is a radical — radix, from the root — form of empiricism.”


Guest Post: Kevin Tucker

April 12, 2017





art by Frida Kahlo

It’s Going Down Column “Peak Civ” first part

“Civilizations are artificial cultural constructions, not biological organisms, and they would be poor biological performers if we insisted on considering them as organisms.”
– John Bodley, The Power of Scale

Our lineage, as nomadic hunter-gatherers, still shapes the way we see, interact and understand the world. That is a lineage shaped by millions of years of egalitarian, anarchistic existence. That is a lineage that defines each of us, but is perpetually being torn apart, repackaged and sold to us through the domestication process…

If we want to understand power, if we want to understand where and how inequality arises, then we need to stop granting the illusions of the power-hungry. The State exists because it has bent carrying capacity, prolonged itself (albeit temporarily) through agriculture and technological intrusions. The State had to create the concept of nature as a separate place so that it could have us believe that civilization had conquered it….

You should be afraid of what Trump can do, but you can’t separate him from the society that created him. One where the liberals and NGOs were so committed that they would lull themselves to sleep at night thinking symbolic compromise was enough. What we face with climate change is potentially endemic for both humanity and the world. How we fight it cannot be through politics. They will simply never be enough.

Kevin Tucker

It’s Going Down



Wealth Inequality in America – YouTube

December 7, 2013

Wealth Inequality in America – YouTube.

guest posting Russell Brand on revolution: “We no longer have the luxury of tradition”

October 24, 2013

Russell Brand on revolution: “We no longer have the luxury of tradition”.

…”The Indian teacher Yogananda said: “It doesn’t matter if a cave has been in darkness for 10,000 years or half an hour; once you light a match it is illuminated.” Like a tanker way off course due to an imperceptible navigational error at the offset, we need only alter our inner longitude.

“Capitalism is not real; it is an idea. America is not real; it is an idea that someone had ages ago. Britain, Christianity, Islam, karate, Wednesdays are all just ideas that we choose to believe in and very nice ideas they are, too, when they serve a purpose. These concepts, though, cannot be served to the detriment of actual reality.

“The reality is we have a spherical ecosystem, suspended in, as far as we know, infinite space upon which there are billions of carbon-based life forms, of which we presume ourselves to be the most important, and a limited amount of resources.

“The only systems we can afford to employ are those that rationally serve the planet first, then all humanity. Not out of some woolly, bullshit tree-hugging piffle but because we live on it, currently without alternatives. This is why I believe we need a unifying and in – clusive spiritual ideology: atheism and materialism atomise us and anchor us to one frequency of consciousness and inhibit necessary co-operation.

“In 2013 (another made-up imaginary concept) we cannot afford to giggle, drivel and burp like giant, pube-covered babies about quaint, old-fashioned notions like nation, capitalism and consumerism simply because it’s convenient for the tiny, greedy, myopic sliver of the population that those outmoded ideas serve. “

In a poo economy « Druid Life

December 13, 2012

In a poo economy « Druid Life.

The day I discovered I am a Woman after all, by Nimue Brown

June 30, 2012

The day I discovered I am female after all, by Nimue Brown

Nimue Brown is a British Druid who lives with her family on a canal boat. She also is chief editor of a division of LoveYou Divine Alterotica under the name Bryn Colvin and a fine folk musician. Here she says what I have maintained for years upon realizing it– the reason i don’t act ‘womanly’ is because the idea of ‘womanly we are held to is not in harmony with our actual female Nature. It is an invention of males, and the best exemplars of it are transexual males.

Objectification, Worship and Power– Ennobling ‘Things’

December 3, 2011

Objectification, Worship and Power– Ennobling ‘Things’

I have been working upon manuscript which deals with the liberation of ghosts from bondage even beyond the grave,wrought by the will of another.

The happy ending is finally achieved when the spirits realize they are free to remember another identity outside the bondage state.

Part of the binding of the victims’ spirits involved reducing them to household appliances and furniture. Another part required stripping them completely of their previous identity as humans through loss of name, which in magical tradition is a puissant means of creation, or in this case, destruction.


All of this was rendered evil because it was achieved through force.

It occurred to me as I lay with my beloved, and he called me ‘his throne’, how different the outcome of the villain’s impulse to subjugate could have been.

I am happy to be my beloved’s throne. It in no way diminishes my many other identities, as mother, editor, artist, and ArchDruid. The vicitms in the story were denied all other identitites except for furniture, and there’s the rub.

In mystical tradition, inanimate objects also contain spirit, each as worthy as our own incarnate human version, but invisible to us as we go about our daily lives. We can ennoble our pets and our other life companions by treating them with love and respect, honoring the divinity in them as much as the divinity in our fellow sentients.


In other parts of the world, household and business machines, such as taxicabs and assembly lines, are given ceremonial blessings and these blessings are renewed seasonally.

‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me’, and similar monotheistic pronouncements, can exist in harmony with such practices when one remembers that the Universal Life Force, or whatever other name you prefer, is everywhere, including these objects.


Ceremonial worship is essentially the bestowing of love and attention of a positive nature upon objects. When the Wiccan heroine of the book I was editing blessed an athame, consecrated a thermos of herbal tea, or filled an area with incense or salt, she was performing actions of love. She was invoking the harmonic aid of the world around her to lessen suffering. Whether it is in a High Mass, a Buddhist temple, or a kinky bedroom, worship is a healing, and the healing is received when the worship is gladly accepted.

It is hard to tell, in our incarnate limited bodies with their attenuated senses, whether inanimate objects such as an idol, or a taxicab for that matter, is gladly accepting our worshipful attention. WE can only judge by the feeling of satisfaction we may have after the service, or after we gaze down at a well-scrubbed kitchen floor.

When it comes to being my beloved’s ‘throne’ I can be much more expressive of my acceptance, and this ennobles us both. When it came to the villain in the book I’m editing, he got pleasure only out of the victims’ sorrow and discomfort. This degraded him as well as them, and rendered them ‘stuck’ in the wrong plane and going the ‘wrong’ direction, once they were disembodied by death.

Once I am disembodied, I don’t think it will matter to me so much whether I reincarnate as an angel or as a chair. There are shiny ‘thrones’ both
ways! the victims of the madman on the other hand had to remain as ghosts. They made the living humans uncomfortable and the physical spaces they were ‘stuck’ in unusable. They were very glad to be angels instead, as soon as they realized that they could. Being ‘stuck’ had cut them off from love.

With the oriental greeting ‘Namaste’, or a bowing motion, one offers love and worship even to a stranger one has just met, because they too are a part of the universe. When there is involuntary bondage, exploitation, or degradation, that is a desecrating of a part of the universe, a cutting it off from love.

How different the villain’s character would have been if instead of forcing human beings to be objects, he had treated objects as nicely as human beings! It’s quite common, after all, to value things in our cultures. We want money and many things, and to display them to others for their admiration and our own. This impulse does not have to be bad for us because it springs from love.


A lonely person like the TV character Pee-Wee Herman begins to imagine that his household furnishings, the food in the refrigerator too, is alive and willing to be his friend. And though we might label this crazy behavior, it is not in a mystical sense false. And so he takes good care of his things, because he wants his inanimate friends to be as happy as he is when he is well cared for.

Humans can be fooled into involuntary bondage for a while, but eventually they usually will get up the nerve to realize it must stop before they die of it. That is called revolution, and it only frightens those who have been getting reward or pleasure from degradation of fellow beings in some way. When they stop this, or are stopped, their fear of change will ebb away from them.


We also see a large number of humans acting out of sympathy for beings with less ability to be understood, such as animals and plants and geographical locations. All these so called ‘lesser’ entities would benefit from worshipful treatment instead, just as much as our fellow humans would. Every material object has the potential to be a sacred ritual object, because they are all portions of the same Universe.

pastafarian tat

Recently I read an amusing Twitter post from a young man– ‘None of the gals I know are into golden showers so I tape pics of boobs on the toilet and it’s all good.’ In my view, the next step should be for him to give thanks to his toilet for accepting his piss. Maybe he’ll give it a nickname. It should aid him in his quest for the happy fulfillment of his fantasy, until that ideal shower partner comes along.

By the way, Helga is not THAT sort of ‘throne’. I believe too strongly in compost.

Happy Equinox

September 21, 2011

Now that darkness and light are of equal length, now that harvest and slaughter are in order to prepare for the year’s end, it is time to visit still pools and look into mirrors and realize that we all have a doppelganger. We all have a dark side. We all have an internal wife or husband or angel upon our shoulders. Time to call in the flocks and muster the reserves and give thanks for them. Otherwise, it is time to give up the ghost and push up the daisies.

This wise cat in the Wisconsin woods thinks it’s time to be the Fool on the Tarot card. Step out with an open mind, right off the cliff into the future, and see if your wings work.

So, celebrate this turn of the year, and say hi to our angelic guides, or internal archetypes, or alien overlords, or whatever they are. As above, so below, on Earth as it is in ‘heaven’. Let’s dance.