Seneca

CR,
Going through some jour­nal entries from a few months ago and found this from a Seneca quote:

[The wise man] does not have to walk ner­vous­ly or cau­tious­ly, for he has such self con­fi­dence that he does not hes­i­tate to make a stand against for­tune and will nev­er give ground to her.  He has no rea­son to fear her, since he regards as held on suf­fer­ance not only his goods and pos­ses­sions and sta­tus, but even his body, his eyes and hand, and all that makes life more dear, and his very self; and he lives as though he were lent to him­self and bound to return the loan on demand with­out com­plaint.

Nor is he there­by cheap in his own eyes because he knows he is not his own, but he will act in all things as care­ful­ly and metic­u­lous­ly as a devout and holy man guards any­thing entrust­ed to him.  And when­ev­er he is ordered to repay his debt he will not com­plain to For­tune, but he will say;

I thank you for what I have pos­sessed and held.  I have looked after your prop­er­ty to my great ben­e­fit, but at your com­mand I give and yield it with grat­i­tude and good will.  If you want me still to have any­thing of yours I shall keep it safe; if you wish oth­er­wise, I give back and restore to you my sil­ver, both coined and plate, my house, and my house­hold.”

Should Nature demand back what she pre­vi­ous­ly entrust­ed to us we shall say to her too: “Take back my spir­it in bet­ter shape than when you gave it.  I do not quib­ble or hang back:  I am will­ing for you to have straight away what you gave me before I was conscious–take it.”  What is the harm in return­ing to the point from whence you came?”
-Seneca, On the Short­ness of Life

This flesh­es out the basic ideas of non-attach­ment and how it ensures tran­quil­i­ty.  I espe­cial­ly like the idea of “take back my spir­it in bet­ter shape than you found.”  Liv­ing well for the expe­ri­ence alone of liv­ing well and right­eous­ly.  This whole of idea of not being a slave to any­thing lends free­dom to my thoughts and ideas.

See you soon.
NFH

Patagonia and me

CR,
Am read­ing “Let My Peo­ple Go Surf­ing” by Chouinard and these pas­sages stood out enough for me to adapt them to my own work, with inspi­ra­tion for a more con­crete per­son­al phi­los­o­phy.
Cheers,
NFH

Phi­los­o­phy of Archi­tec­ture (from Let My Peo­ple Go Surf­ing, Y Chouinard
1. Don’t build a new build­ing unless it’s absolute­ly nec­es­sary.  The most respon­si­ble thing to do is to buy used build­ings, con­struc­tion mate­ri­als, and fur­ni­ture.
2. Try to save old or his­toric build­ings from being torn down.  Any struc­tur­al changes should hon­or the his­tor­i­cal integri­ty of the build­ing.  We rec­ti­fy mis­guid­ed “improve­ments” made by pre­vi­ous ten­ants and strip way fake mod­ern facades, end­ing up we hope with a build­ing that is a “gift to the neigh­bor­hood.”
3. If you can’t be retro, build qual­i­ty.  The aes­thet­ic life expectan­cy of the build­ing should be as long as the phys­i­cal material’s life span.
4. Use recy­cled, and recy­clable, mate­ri­als like steel gird­ers, studs, re-milled wood, and straw bales.  Install fix­tures from waste mate­ri­als like pressed sun­flower hulls and agri­cul­tur­al waste.
5. Any­thing that is built should be repairable and eas­i­ly main­tained.
6. Build­ings should be con­struct­ed to last as long as pos­si­ble, even if this ini­tial­ly involves a high­er price.
7. Each [house] must be unique.  The heroes, sports, his­to­ry, and nat­ur­al fea­tures of each area should be reflect­ed and hon­ored.

Patag­o­nia Phi­los­o­phy:
a deep appre­ci­a­tion for the envi­ron­ment and a strong moti­va­tion to help solve the envi­ron­men­tal cri­sis; a pas­sion­ate love for the nat­ur­al world; a healthy skep­ti­cism toward author­i­ty; a love for dif­fi­cult, human-pow­ered sports that require prac­tice and mas­tery; a dis­dain for motor­ized sports like snow­mo­bil­ing or jet ski­ing; a bias for whacko, often self-dep­re­cat­ing humor; a respect for real adven­ture (defined best as a jour­ney from which you may not come back alive–and cer­tain­ly not as the same per­son); a taste for real adven­ture; and a belief that less is more (in design and in con­sump­tion)

My Phi­los­o­phy:
A uncon­di­tion­al love for indi­vid­ual humans I meet, a deep and lov­ing con­nec­tion for the nat­ur­al world; a curios­i­ty about how things work, a deep root­ed intent to help oth­ers reach their poten­tial; a healthy skep­ti­cism toward author­i­ty; a love for dif­fi­cult, human-pow­ered sports that require prac­tice and mas­tery; a dis­dain for motor­ized sports like snow­mo­bil­ing or jet ski­ing; a respect for real adven­ture (defined best as a jour­ney from which you may not come back alive–and cer­tain­ly not as the same per­son); a taste for real adven­ture; and a belief that less is more (in design and in con­sump­tion)

soil and health…

CR,
I prob­a­bly should have added a few choice pieces of writ­ing lift­ed off of Steve Solomon’s web­site (www.soilandhealth.org).

Here are a few to whet your appetite.  I think you’ll real­ly dig this guy:

I have irrad­i­ca­ble propen­si­ties toward inde­pen­dence, the expres­sion of per­son­al sov­er­eign­ty and the exer­cise of lib­er­ty.

Great dying words: “I do not regret the jour­ney. We took risks; we knew we took them. Things have come out against us. There­fore we have no cause for com­plaint.” Cap­tain Scott’s jour­nal, writ­ten while freez­ing to death in the Antarc­tic.

Only the lead dog sees new scenery.

If one want­ed a way to eval­u­ate the worth of an indi­vid­ual, it could be done by mea­sur­ing how much uncer­tain­ty a per­son could tol­er­ate. Most peo­ple can’t tol­er­ate much uncer­tain­ty at all and will cre­ate things to be cer­tain about rather than stand with one foot on a banana peel and the oth­er firm­ly plant­ed in mid-air.

The apparen­cy is, that an “open-mind­ed” per­son gives every view­point unbi­ased con­sid­er­a­tion. But I’ve nev­er suc­ceed­ed at con­vinc­ing an “open-mind­ed” per­son of any­thing. Give me instead a per­son with firm opin­ions, any­time! I’d pre­fer encoun­ter­ing some­one with firm­ly held views that con­flict with my own. At least this per­son can make up their mind. Some­one who can “make” their mind, can change their mind. In actu­al­i­ty, open-mind­ed­ness is one of two phe­nom­e­na: either some­one with noth­ing at all between the ears, so that all thoughts mere­ly go in one ear­hole and out the oth­er, or, an “open mind­ed” per­son is one who gives the ideas and view­points of oth­ers no real­i­ty what­so­ev­er.

Look at a man the way that he is, he only becomes worse. But look at him as if he were what he could be, and then he becomes what he should be.“Goethe.

All this is tak­en from:
http://www.soilandhealth.org/05steve%27sfolder/0502wisdomofsol.html

Cheers,

re. Zion, reading, and sheepdogs

Awe­some, I’m stoked to meet him.  I’m look­ing for­ward to the Zion trip, I’m going to have to break off from the Indoc course for a day or so but that shouldn’t be a big deal.  I’m think­ing about build­ing an (ama­teur, I know) wood bed/rack for the truck until I fig­ure out exact­ly what I’m going to do.  Look­ing for­ward to talk­ing with **** both at the Games and in Zion.

I haven’t read “On Com­bat”, still fin­ish­ing Blood and Thun­der.  It’s my bed­time book, so I’m only knock­ing out a few pages a day.  Not sure what’s up next on the read­ing list, prob­a­bly a good trav­el book about a guy and his dog.

The Games are upon us, so next week is major cook­ie mak­ing time, then a long dri­ve up to Aro­mas.

Also, I think I told you already, when I get back from the Games I’m going to set a date to speak with some local SD SWAT guys re. Min­dEx stuff; I’ll talk to **** (do you know him) when I get back about squar­ing that away.  Very excit­ed about that, it will open up all kinds of doors.

Re. the sheep­dog stuff:  I like it and under­stand it, and I can real­ly see how it res­onates with many of the guys we both know.  I think there’s a cat­e­go­ry that’s miss­ing.  I don’t see myself (along with a few oth­er peo­ple) as a sheep, sheep­dog, or wolf.  I mean, is Bil­ly the Indi­an school guy a sheep?  A sheep­dog?  A wolf?

I’m not super inter­est­ed in pro­tect­ing oth­er folks, but am very keen on being inde­pen­dent and ready for the wolf when he comes slip­ping past the wire, more with what’s at hand than any spe­cif­ic instru­ment.  Is that blind­ness or denial?  Are you real­ly a sheep when you don’t have a gun?

if you want to be a sheep­dog and walk the warrior’s path, then you must make a con­scious and moral deci­sion every day to ded­i­cate, equip and pre­pare your­self to thrive in that tox­ic, cor­ro­sive moment when the wolf comes knock­ing at the door.”  -DG

I’ll tell you this; I feel more like a loose­ly inde­pen­dent fer­al sono­fabitch that has friends in all tribes, and I’m real hap­py with how I live.  I’ve got a great wife and part­ner, two good dogs, and the means to always make a liv­ing with­in my head and my heart.  I don’t feel a need to car­ry a gun, and I don’t see the val­ue in pin­ning my iden­ti­fi­ca­tion (even in a small part) on being a pro­tec­tor.  Maybe I’ve been com­post­ing my own shit too long, but I’d like to see some more gar­den­ers, or shep­herds, or wild and kind humans.  Folks with­out maybe the agili­ty or nat­ur­al weapons of a sheep­dog or wolf, but who use their minds to do many more things than tend a flock of veg­e­tar­i­ans.  Was Gand­hi a sheep?  A sheep­dog?  Hell, he was a wolf to the Eng­lish, and a war­rior to his core, but not in a way that fits into Grossman’s cat­e­gories.

But if you are autho­rized to car­ry a weapon, and you walk out­side with­out it, just take a deep breath, and say this to your­self…

Baa.” -DG

Maybe he meant a weapon beyond the sense of a gun, or knife, but I don’t think so.  I think this is the kind of think­ing that holds us in sta­sis; we move nei­ther for­ward nor back­ward.  We still have wolves and we still have bad ass sheep­dogs.  It is damnably excit­ing to be a sheep­dog (or a wolf), but it’s drain­ing too.  Even Gross­man says it; you can’t be a sheep­dog 24/7.  Well, then who the heck are you?

How do we move into a soci­ety where we don’t need as many sheep­dogs?  How do we cre­ate a soci­ety that is not one of sheep, or sheep­dogs, but maybe some­thing that wolves avoid…going with the ani­mal exam­ple, why not bears?  They keep them­selves to them­selves, they eat just about any­thing they can catch, and a sane wolf stays the hell away from them.

None of that is a judg­ment on how you live; I like what you do and I’m damn thank­ful for cops and sol­diers; being a sheep­dog is a good, hon­or­able, dif­fi­cult job where you have to make deci­sions every day about a line I’ll hope­ful­ly nev­er cross.

I just feel that we’ve got a lot more dis­cus­sion ahead of us before we make a 3 way split in what defines, even in a small way, a per­son.  I see such poten­tial for mak­ing shep­herds out of sheep­dogs, some­thing I thought of (although not by the sheep/dog/wolf def­i­n­i­tion) as a long-term goal for kyk13.

Hell, re-read­ing that I can see maybe I’m tak­ing it too lit­er­al­ly (or per­son­al­ly).  I do want to make clear that I like sheep, sheep­dogs, and even the occa­sion­al wolf, and I see a place for all of them as well as a few more ani­mals in a good and healthy eco-sys­tem.  Look­ing for­ward to more dis­cus­sion when we meet again in the flesh.

Ok for now,
Nik