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Lifestyle's Supports and the Difficulty of Understanding

Curve-billed Thrasher, Alamogordo NM, November 12, 2011
... In a life that depends on results and not just intentions, it is vital to be able to examine and question EVERYTHING. Sacred cows eat people out of house and home and bring them to their ends in ruin. Blind belief in anything kills.

My favorite quote from Wendell Barry [sic] (other than his mad farmer poems that is) is from Long-Legged House:

"To make public protests against an evil, and yet live dependent on and in support of the way of life that is the source of the evil, is an obvious contradiction and a dangerous one."

Perhaps because of the constant questioning of everything, I have wondered if there is any right livelihood to be had.


So it seems to me that the real question is does what you are doing (or not doing) strengthen or weaken whatever you are wanting to strengthen or weaken. ...

There aren’t too many things in this world that I don’t consider corrupt, and I mostly exist outside of those structures. Money is essential to most of those structures. So spending, and earning, very little money is a form of protest, a form of being the change, a way to force the change.


I think you have to consider what your lifestyle supports, and what it doesn’t support. And also what supports it, and what doesn’t support it. At least if one is going to think of ethics, those things have to be considered. Upton Sinclair said “It is difficult for a man to understand something when his income depends on his not understanding it.“ Well, you can understand a whole lot more if you have very little income and you spend even less.

From No, No, No, I Don't Smoke It No More by the Contrary Goddess

clipped April 17, 2007

Collection: Philosophy

I Ain't What I Was
Alex Can Spell
Alex Can Think
Beware of Hypnotic Media
When Hope Dies
Commitment is the Glue that Binds
Concentrated Space Intensifies Everything
Frustration Between People in Creative and Non-creative Universes
The Credential of the Dominant
Lifestyle's Supports and the Difficulty of Understanding
Digging Your Toes
Digitally Thin
Do We Really Mean What We Say
That's the Point of Emotions: Survival
Ever Tried, Ever Failed
Finding a Balance in Execution, Reflection and Articulation
Finding the Words to Fit It
First Find What's Truly Significant
Fit In Better
Float Your Ideals
From Knowledge to Wisdom
Genetic Determinism and Human Nature
God made mud. God got lonesome.
Growing up... it never stops
Skepticism is Helpful
How Do You Know
Haunted Until his Humanity Awakens
Gets Me Into My Boots
It's Time to Go Home
It was the Crickets
Leaving Home
Life is Strange
Life is to be Lived, Not Controlled
Make No Little Plans
Mix With the World
More Toward Realism than Fantasy
I Mourn the World in Which I Live
Normal Damage
There is Nothing a Man Will Not Do for Another
Now, Dazzled
Transcript of Barack Obama's Speech on Race and Politics
Observational Learning
One Forgets
Others Choose the Path of Healing
Our Peripheral Existence
Over Fifty
Passing Time in Byzantium
Our Past is Written Deep
People are Themselves
Persistent and Ineradicable Instinct
Playing and Learning and Loving
Politics and the English Language
Primary and Secondary Emotions
Proficiency in Knowledge of the World
Relive Your Traumas
Running With the Pack
The SEEKING Circuit
Shopping for sensation
Sincerity Itself is Bullshit
Or So I Feel
The Speed of Wisdom
Stay What You Always Were
That Ideas Should Freely Spread
The Bottom Line
A Theory of the State
The Speed of Darkness
Our Three Brains
Tools for Communicating
To Remember Safely
I Tremble for my Species
Truth and Story
Something Useful Can Be Artful
The Value of Notebooks
The Value of Time
Vision, Novelty and Fear
Visual Thinkers
A Voyage and a Harbor
Walk Humbly
Walking the edge, I am. ...
Was Love Then
What a Deale
What I've Learned
Ask What Surprised Them
Words Get in the Way
Writing From the Inside Out