The Green Lifestyle Handbook

Green Lifestyle Handbook

Jeremy Rifkin and Greenhouse Crisis Foundation, 1990

Buy appliances that are energy efficient.  Use less energy by turning off lights and other electronics when you aren’t in the room or they aren’t in use.  Share or borrow items.  Recycle. Properly clean up after using toxic materials.  Try to substitute natural nontoxic items in place of toxic items.

Americans throw away 2.5 MILLION bottles every HOUR. In a year’s time the average United States Citizen uses 200 pounds of plastic and 60% of that is from packaging.  In order to produce all that plastic almost 1 BILLION barrels of oil are used—enough to meet the nation’s demand for imported oil for 5 months. That plastic also releases tons of ozone-depleting CFCs.  Most plastic ends up in landfills, although some of it is burned. The burned plastic releases dioxins, furans and hydrochloric acid.

Still more disconcerting is that 45,000 tons of plastic were dumped into the world’s oceans every YEAR! Up to 1 MILLION seabirds and one hundred thousand marine mammals are killed each year by plastic trash such as fishing gear, six pack rings, sandwich bags and Styrofoam cups.

About 4 out every 5 parents used disposable diapers. On an average a baby will use 10,000 diapers before they are potty trained.  Plastic diapers make-up 4% of our solid waste—enough to fill a garbage barrel every 6 hours.  A disposable diaper takes an estimated 500 years to decompose.  A cloth diaper, after numerous uses, will only take about 6 months decompose.  In addition, plastic diapers are less comfortable than cloth and can cause rashes. Not to mention that they cost a lot.

Buy in Bulk and use Paper Bags. Don’t use Styrofoam. Try wooden toys and wicker baskets for storage. Use wooden bowls and cloth shower curtains.

Automobile accidents have been responsible for more teenage deaths than all the wars of the 20th Century combined.  The car killed 1 million people by 1952 and its 2nd million by 1975 and its 3rd Million by 1994.  Each year 8,000 humans are hurt or killed by accidents involving animals on the road.

69% of Led, 70% of Carbon Dioxide and 45% of Nitrogenous Oxide and 35% of Hydrocarbon in the air are from all forms of transportation that run on fossil fuels. Some 33% of the emission are from cars alone.

Aerosol products, some cleaning products and refrigerants contain CFCs.

In 1986, Office Buildings used more than 27% of the BTUs used in the USA, which is over 641 Trillion BTUs.  And American’s throw away enough paper each year to build a wall 12 feet tall that could stretch from NY to LA.  Paper should be reused or recycled.

New Jersey exported Garbage to Ohio. The waste generated in the USA alone would fill a convoy of ten-ton garbage trucks over 145,000 miles long, which would cover the distance from here to the moon.

Any religion which is not based on respect for life is not a true religion until he extends his circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace ~Albert Schweitzer

If our Earth is barren, our imagination would be as empty as the mood, our senses as dull, our intelligence as limited.

40,000 children starve to death on this planet everyday even though there is enough food to feed them.  Americans alone eat more than twice the protein they need on average.

Planting a tree is a spiritual as well as physical act.  It is an act that effects many generations to come.  “He that plants trees loves others beside himself” ~ Thomas Fuller, 1732

Tragically, deforestation has reached crisis proportions. Since 1967, the rate of deforestation has exceeded one acre for every five seconds. Moreover, worldwide deforestation is approximately 27 million acres a year.  Much of the deforestation is taking place in Brazil, Indonesia and Zaire, which contain nearly half of the world’s tropical forests.  The worldwide rate of deforestation is 10% of the rate of re-forestation.

The Central American Rain Forests are depleted at even faster rate for cattle grazing.  138 million pounds of beef is what American’s consume.  Just one fast food burger requires a clearing of 55 square feet of tropical rain forest. When trees burned, they emit 500 pounds of Co2 into atmosphere.

Deforestation causes 25% of all CO2 emissions.  Therefore, scientists see re-forestation as one of the most critical tasks in combating global warming. To reverse the effects of the greenhouse gas crisis, we must plant enough trees to equal the landmass of Australia.

Acid Rain also contributes to the Green House Effect.  Recent research indicates that Acid Rain prevents soil microbes from consuming methane, adding to the Green House Gases.

History has shown us the only effective way to resolve hazardous waste problems is for citizens to join together.

When the area of a habitat is reduced by 10% of its original size, the number of species that can persist in it indefinitely will eventually decline by 50%.  Since 1960, over 86% of known apple varieties have been extinct.  Since 1960, over 2,300 pear varieties have become extinct.  2/3rd of Japanese Rice varieties have been lost this century.  About 90% of Florida’s citrus harvest is from three varieties. There used to be a lot more.  Only 6 varieties of corn make up 70% of the US Crop.

“I think I could turn around and live with animals. They are so placid and self-contained. Not one is dissatisfied and not one is demented with the mania of owning things,” ~Walt Whitman.

Soap sometimes contains the tallow of not only exhausted dairy cows and over worked chickens, pigs and cattle, but also tallow of the 7.5 million cats and dogs killed at shelters each year.

Skiing, backpacking, bird watching, mushroom hunting, snowshoeing, fishing, snorkeling, rock climbing and even just walking, can help us celebrate the ecology in our lives.“Whenever people say we mustn’t be sentimental, you can take it that they are about to do something cruel. And if they add, we must be realistic, they mean they are going to make money from it.” ~Brigid Brophy.

Involve kids in gardening. Aside from learning to love dirt and plants, gardening can be an antidote to watching too much TV.

We must transform our entire economy—its industrial, agricultural and transportation economies—from fossil fuel and toxic based economy to a more sustainable form of humanity. We must start practicing Environmental Democracy—each of us taking control of our environmental future.

“It is possible that progress might be nothing more than the development of an error.” ~Jean Cocteau.

Organizing efforts have become ever-more important to stop environmental destruction due to the multi-national corporations. Years ago, if you poisoned a well or cattle, you went to prison.  Today, relaxed enforcements of environmental laws have allowed our water, air and land to be poisoned, wildlife killed and humans victimized—all in the name of corporate profit.

We suffer from NIML or Not In My Lifetime. But we must be active. Hopefully the 90s will be the decade of the Activist Consumer.  The weapon of choice will be consumer boycott.

Mother Earth is sending us many signals that she is at risk. We ignore her symptoms at our own peril.

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Feng Shui

Feng Shui

Nancilee Wyndra, 1993

Your environment has a big effect on your life. It gives off positive and negative vibes.  You should rearrange things—add and subtract things to balance energy.

Example: A House that sits at the T intersection of streets has negative energy.

Also don’t leave a stump in the middle of the yard. It is also negative.

Electromagnetic fields have a lot to do with Feng Shui and the Vibes of a Particular Place. Once: Twenty Hertz and Now: Sixty Hertz

Feng means Wind.  Shui means Water. Tao means The Way (A Balance of Yin/Yang) and Chi means Vitality.

As Above, So Below

Form School: Shapes, Objects of this World.  Pyramid is Biology, Psychology, City Planning

Add Ying by using less light, have seating with low backs, using burgundy and not red, placement of fountains, fabric patterns with curved lines for furniture. Use soft velvety fabrics. Turn off the TV, Fans and other things that make noise. Be alone.

Add Yang by using brighter light, having tall furniture, using bright colors, use a dehumidifier. Have vertical stripes on furniture. Add ticking clocks and toys on tables.  Use fans or open window. Display collections and invite company.

Energy in a house should move freely. Too much energy is chaos and too little energy is not enough life.  Space out furniture so you can move easily around it.

To Enhance Energy or Chi have pathways, windows, open space, thermal comfort, circles, light and windup objects.  Chi inhibiting things: walls, closed doors, clutter, darkness, too hot or too cold temp, use of triangles and corners and lack of movement in the space.

Typical problems in spaces are too much noise and activity, not able to transmit ideas. There is often an inability to relax and feel grounded.  In order to cure these problems it is important to add water or blue glass. Decorate with earth tones and fire tones.

Fire makes one feel inspired. Fire, Wood and Metal help one think.  Wood will make one feel happier. Metal helps us communicate and feel cultured.

Positive relationships are: fire to earth, earth to metal, metal to water, water to wood and wood to fire. Negative relationships are fire to wood, wood to water, water to metal, metal to earth and earth to fire.

Fire is red, tiles laid in a chevron pattern, triangles (like napkins folded in triangles) and call attention the direction south.

Earth is primary colors (Brown, Yellow and Terra Cotta), squares, clay, brick, mud cement, TV screens, computers, low coffee tables and double beds. Earth’s direction is center.

Metal is white, copper, gray, silver and gold, round surfaces, radios, clocks, TVs, computers, refrigerators, electrical wiring, nail frames and the direction south.

Water is blue, black, waves, glass, fish tanks, fountains, sinks, toilets, tubs, windows and the direction of North.

Wood is green, rectangles, wood, cardboard, paper, doors, roof tiles, chairs, cabinets, boxes, tables, lamps and headboards.

Ba-Gua is the Octagon shape. Right and Left sides represent different meanings.  The self-Octagon has fame, wealth, family, knowledge, career, helpful people, children and marriage. The Health-Octagon has future, power, community, wisdom, self, compassion, descendants and relationships. Furniture is usually placed more in the center and not against walls.

At the spot furthest from the door, place something from your past: a family picture or trophy maybe.  The Far Right side of the room place two chairs and a table.  It is a place for communication.  Also use mirrors, circles of light, fish tanks, and flowers.  And put up two of something as a symbol for two people. On the Right side place pictures of family, favored items, heirlooms and mementos.

The Self Space should have no crowded entrances and have controls for the lighting and temperature. You should have an unobstructed view of the room. The door should be able to open flat against the wall.

The Left Side of the room represents wisdom.  Have books and magazines Maybe a chair and a fountain or glass objects.  Community is on the Far Left. Place metal objects here.  Put accomplishments in the furthest left side corners from the door. Keep the area clean, bright and organized. Maybe keep a low coffee table or cabinet.  Shiny surfaces do well here too.

Colors: Red should not be used in mental institutions, bedrooms, lobbies, offices or restrooms. It is okay in kitchens, living rooms and dining rooms as well as libraries or dens. Yellow should not be used in nightclubs, bathrooms or places people meditate and inside drawers.  It can cheer up a work area or kitchen.  Blue should not be used in cold places or dining areas.  Blue is good for living rooms, bedrooms, etc.  It assists in meditations.  Orange should not be used in restful areas like bedrooms or places for meditation.  Orange is good at fusing a person to a place.  It can also repel loneliness. Green should not be used in cars or around Cancer patients. However, it can be used in most any room that you want connected to nature and want to feel rejuvenated in.   White should not be used in cold climates, kid’s rooms, student lounges, places people don’t know, theaters, funeral homes, etc.  Don’t use black in children’s spaces, healing areas, reading areas, service areas or anywhere communication is needed.

Sound can be used to initiate relaxation, ceremony, concentration and emotion. You can use sound to reverse nervousness, anger and sadness.  Appropriate indoor sounds are: Fans, bubbling water, chimes, curtains, leaves and music.

Smells can help. Spiced Apple Scent lowers blood pressure. Basil cheers people up and is good for migraines. Cedar dispels fear. Eucalyptus clears sinus and reduces emotional overload. Frankincense is conductive to prayer or meditation. Geranium relieves premenstrual tension and is good for combating depression. Jasmine migrates emotional suffering. Lemon and Lime elevate mood and fight exhaustion.  Mint helps clear thinking and eliminate mental fatigue.  Orange helps us feel warm and less self-conscious.  Pine strengthens and cleanses.  Rose strengthens inner being.  Sandalwood helps raise our spirits. Thyme purifies. Verbena is cooling and sedating. Ylang-yang sedates and helps with high blood pressure.

Spaces: In Children’s Bedrooms put basil, cedar, orange and pine. In a Couple’s Bedroom put ylang-yang and Jasmine. In Gathering Rooms put Thyme, Sandalwood and Orange. For Study Rooms put Eucalyptus, Thyme, Lemon and Mint.  For Offices use Thyme, Verbena and Jasmine. For Lobbies (Hotel) use Thyme, Lavender and Geraniums. In Airplanes use Verbena, Lavender and Sage.  In Physicians Waiting Rooms use Sage, Lavender and Cedar.

For Building and Buying Homes: Try NOT live at the bottom of a hill or at the T of an intersection of roads.  When you got out doors, go out a door facing South or East. Shield yourself from the setting sun when building or work space or office area. Don’t build on harmful mineral deposits. Build where there is lots of vegetation. Don’t build near dying vegetation.  Don’t pick a plain place or a place where you know there is lots of pollution. Don’t buy a place with cracked windows or painted over window. Don’t buy or build a place near stagnant water.  Hill or Vegetation should face North.  Homes should be built facing South East. Keep things organized and weed your lawn once you move in!

For Gardens: Bamboo promotes longevity. Evergreen Yew will give protection. Cornflower encourages balance in family, love, love, work, etc.  Ferns confers wealth. Geraniums enhance durability in overcoming obstacles. Mint keeps flying insects from home. Hollyhock promotes fertility. Yellow Roses create lively discussions. Tulips inspire love and devotion. You need more than one type of vegetation in Gardens. Having house plants is great as well.  Put natural, comfortable seating in your yard.

Entrances. Going through garages to go inside can be negative. Either decorate garage to make it a pleasant pathway or going through another door.  Make curved paths, not straight ones.  You should be able to see the door from the beginning of the path though.  If not, then place flowers, mirrors or something to indicate a door is nearby.  Entrance way should not be in line with a door to the outside or a window looking out.  When you walk into a house, you should be in a place where you can share experiences.  To be able to see the bedroom or bathroom from the front door is negative.  The kitchen shouldn’t be visible unless cooking is relaxing to you.  Split walls give splitting headaches.  Mirrors should not cut out anyone’s view.  If you have a tiny foyer make it look larger with a mirror. Stairs should not face entrance. Place or plant or other distraction so you don’t feel compelled to go upstairs to private rooms.  Split stairs need distractions as well.

Angles: Angles and Corners are like an invisible arrow pointing energy in a particular direction. For this reason, it is bad to be in the shadow of larger buildings and billboards.  Corner walls point at you so move so that the corner isn’t aimed at your couch or bed.  Don’t have desks or chairs or tables pointing at sleeping or sitting areas. Where there are no sidewalks or pathways outside/inside house make them.  Hallways are pathways between apartments.  Try to find an apartment with an window that looks out onto a street. If there is a singular room protruding from the house it will be a lonely place and a feel left out.  Have a U-shaped room for living in warmer climates so you have a patio on the U.  Evenly spaced rooms are good. Don’t have too many levels or angles your living space or you might feel fragmented.

Doors: The size of all your doors should match the spirit of the place. Your home should not have straight path from one door to another.  Too many doors can be uncomfortable. Doors should open flat. Place light over too big of a door and paint it a dark color.  Place sculptures around the door the same color as the door to make it look bigger if it is too small.

Stairs: Stairs shouldn’t be steep. If it feels too steep add pictures along the wall.  Nervousness comes from no railing, so add one if there isn’t one.  Spiral stairs may look neat, but they can be unnerving.  Spiral stairs need a railing and merging colors.

Ceilings: Lower in living room. Put pictures at eye height and the lower half of the wall should be lighter than the upper half to make room appear cozier.  Higher ceilings are good for churches and state houses, etc.  Slanted ceilings give a festive feel and a secure feeling.  Beams shouldn’t be exposed in living room.

Windows: There shouldn’t be too many, but there should be some. Windows shouldn’t open across from doors. Windows should be able to open. If they don’t open then get some fans, fountains and natural sounds in the space.  Windows shouldn’t expose you to severe weather. Windows should face rising sun. Do not face windows toward the setting sun.  There shouldn’t be any windows in front of or behind toilet.  There shouldn’t be too many windows in dining area.  A house with no front window doesn’t look friendly to people on the outside.

Living Rooms: You need a well-lit pathway to the couch or seating area. Don’t put couch too far from door.  The living room should be connected to all other rooms.  Putting your TV in a cabinet is a good idea. You should also be able to see the door from the couching.

Dining Rooms: Dining Rooms should be well lit. Colored lights will make it more festival. There should be walls around it to make it feel protected.  There should be chimes or something in the doorway so that people with their back to the doorway can hear people coming.  There should be few distractions in the room. Keep extra chairs out of the way.  There should be no more than two sitting out.  Don’t have too many people over at a time.  You need to be able to communicate with people effectively.

Kitchens: The Fridge should be away from the stove.  If the kitchen is by an entrance, put things there to distract from cooking, etc.  Stove and sink should be apart as well.  But they shouldn’t be across the room. They should only be a few steps away from each other.  The fridge shouldn’t be in front of the kitchen’s entrance.  Try to keep the kitchen organized and try to make sure it is connected to the outside with windows, doors or even house plants and fish tanks.


Bathrooms: Bathrooms should be separate and buffered from the rest of the rooms.  They should be private.  The sink and toilet should have some separation with a curtain or something.  The toilet shouldn’t be in view of the doorway. The toilet should be behind another door or cabinet.  The door to the bathroom should swing inward.

Bedrooms: The door shouldn’t open to a view of the bed first.  You should be able to see the door from your bed though.  Mirrors should not be the first thing you see.  There shouldn’t be a window directly behind or in front of bed.  Keep the door to the bedroom closed if you can see the bedroom from the main room.  Position objects to point direction elsewhere if your bedroom is right off the main room.

Work Space:  Your work space shouldn’t be in a corner. Nor should it be in a windowless basement.  You need windows and to be able to see the door.  Work Spaces should also be private. They shouldn’t be close to the kitchen. Also shouldn’t be directly under or beside cooling and heating duct.  You should be able to see the door while you are on the phone. Work Space shouldn’t be by a door.

Overall, you should have a balance of furniture. Don’t leave dark areas in your house. Make sure lighting can light it all up if needed.  However, the light should never be shining down in your eyes.

Celebrate your life with Rituals.  Celebrate the day you move into a place as well as celebrating graduating, marriage and having children.  Moving is one life’s passages. It is important.

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Gobekli Tepe

Gobekli Tepe: The Genesis of the Gods

The Temple of the Watchers and The Discovery of Eden

By Andrew Collins, 2014

From The Ashes of Angels: Abode of the Gods:  Gobekli Tepe is a Megalithic Complex near Sanliurfa, Turkey.  It is part of the Golden Triangle of Civilization. Gobekli Tepe is older than the Great Pyramid in Egypt.  The Great Pyramid is attributed to the time of the Gods.  Gobekli and the Great Pyramid, among others, were often built in response to great cataclysmic events like the Great Flood.

The Book of Enoch talks about The Watchers or Irin in Hebrew. They are mentioned in the book of Jubilees as well. Could these structures have been built by The Watchers or for The Watchers?

A Tempe or Tell is an Artificial Mound that may serve as a burial mound or cemetery. There were mirrors found in Gobekli as well as Catal Hoyuk and Asikli Hoyuk. There looks to be blood stains there as well. Could it have been from human sacrifice? There are two pillars at Gobekli and large scale sculptures. These features make it the oldest temple in the world.

Dr. Klaus Schmidt is the archeologist who uncovered Gobekli in 1995.  He noted that there were burials in the sub-levels of the temple around the time The Big Chill ended in 96000 BC.  Drinking water probably would have been far away for them. They might have made beer from wild wheat.

The temple and what was found inside are all evidence that these people had agriculture. They always thought that agriculture came first and then religion, but perhaps religion came first and then agriculture.  Gobekli Tempe seems to suggest that we had it backwards before.

There are abstract hieroglyphs inside the temple. There is an eye and a crescent. There are womb shape or elliptical buildings and twin portals in the sky.  As Above, So Below is a Hermetic Axiom. Could the portals be a reference to this axiom?  Seelrnlocher are Soul Holes in the temple wall or ceiling so that the stars could be seen.  The statues have long, narrow heads and are wearing cowls or hoods.

There was a sudden change in civilization around 10.900-96000 BC. People often wonder if Angels or Aliens brought gifts or knowledge to the early people of Earth.  Suddenly, they learned how to domestic animals, build temples and create agriculture.

Collins talks about The Twilight of the Gods. He mentions Atlantis: The Antediluvian World by Ignatius Donnelley.  Ragnarok is the end of the world with the sun and moon being swallowed.  Seems there is a pervasive fear of the world ending. It is called Castatrophobia.

Who were these people? Collins talks about Swiderian People who migrated through Belarus, Lithuana, Lativa, Estonia, Moldova and Ukraine. They were those who settled in the Carpathian Mountains near Poland, Hungry and Romania.  Post Swinderian people lived in North West Russia. The Finno-Ugric people are from the area of Finland.

In 1956, it was suggested that there might be a hybrid between Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens. They might have been tall, with long heads and thin faces like the statues of Gobekli.

The people of Gobekli used Obsidian There was an obsession with obsidian in the Carpathian Mountains as well as on a Greek Island and in South America. There is a place called Wolf Stone Mountain in Armenia where Obsidian can be found as well. Were these people descendants of the people of Gobekli Tepe?

The End of Gobekli Tepe: It was buried and covered to prevent destruction.  There was a prediction of another cataclysm—perhaps a comet or something.

Could Gobekli Tepe be the Garden of Eden?  There was a river going out of Eden—The Hiddekel. It flows East of Asshur, which is now named the Tigris River. The Bible talks about Gilhon and the Land of Cush. The Father of Nimrod in the Bible is Cush. Crush is associated with Ethiopia and The Nile. The Bible mentions Mt Abus or Bin Gol.  The final river of paradise was known as Pison or Pishon in the land of Havilah.

West of Georgia is the Site Colchis, which is the land of the legendary Golden Fleece from Greek Mythology.  Could those marshy plains be Eden?  There is a monastery Northwest part of the town of Mush.  There is said to be a relic there—from the Tree of Life.

Other places Eden could be: Southern Iraq, The Persian Guilt and Jerusalem.

Is Eden merely a Utopia as Gilbert Shelden suggests?  Marmaduke Carver wrote A Discourse of the Terrestrial Paradise in 1666. Phillipe published a map in 1738 showing that Eden was west of Lake Van—on the Mush Plain.  Legends talk about the Fountain of Life or Maul Hayat near Bingol Mountain. The name Al-Khidir means The Green One. Azlan is Turkish for Lion.

The Cult of Enki is based on a Mesopotamian Legend. Dilmun is The Garden of the Gods. Is that the Land of the Cedars? Is located on Mountain Dilmun or is the Island of Babylon?  The Rise of Anunnaki is from there. The Name Eve means snake in Hebrew. It also means giver of life.  The Peri and Cin are the Faye or Fairies of Persia.  Dera Sor is the name of The Red Church. They worship the Red Earth of Adam. Is Yegrdut Monastery located in Eden?

Gobekli Tepe could very well be in The Garden of Eden.

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Joan Didion: Conversations and Essays

Joan Didion: Essays and Conversations

Edited by G. Friedman, 1984


Play It As It Lays shows a preoccupation with existentialism. She examines the nothingness of the void as in Sartre and Camus—particularly The Myth of Sisyphus.  Kierkegaard

She does not think in terms of abstracts or didn’t at least. As an undergraduate a Berkley, She tried to think in abstracts.  She was focused on the flowers rather than the Hegelian Dialectic.  Didion then discovered that she was a writer.  She got pictures in her mind. There were pictures of empty space for Play It As It Lays.

Conversation with Joan Didion: 

Sara Davidson asked “What were the origins for the book A Book of Common Prayer?”

Her trip to Latin America and seeing the politics and the revolution.  (13)

Cautionary Tales:

Banal Stories of Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary.

Susan Stamberg asked about Slouching Toward Bethlehem. Didion talked about Height-Ashbury and the Summer of ’67 or The Summer of Love.  She wanted to explore the danger of drugs and how a baby got burned because no one was there in time (because they were high).

Writers are always selling somebody out.

Joan’s husband is John Gregory Dunne

Joan creates bleak landscapes, desolate.  She is attracted to the underside of the tapestry—the unexamined lives. (27)

Joan Didion: Staking Out California

Michelle Kakutani writes about how California belongs to Joan Didion. Joan is small and looks fragile, but she is fierce and tough.  California must have been Eden to the first settlers Joan is the Kafka of Brentwood, though she is usually a cheerful person.  Didion says that her women characters don’t have specific problems. They have general problems. (32)

Points West: Then and Now: The Fiction of Joan Didion:

Jennifer Brady talks about how Didion was influence by John Cheever’s The “Tragic Obsolesce.” Didion has a Paradise Lost in her books. (42)

The Central Question of Didion’s fiction is “How exactly did we get from there to here? (51)

Characters of Run River are imprisoned in the memory of things past, attempting to elucidate their sense of change and loss their use of historical figures. (52)

Maria’s abortion is symbolic of Maria’s effort to order her life by “cutting clean.”

Play It As It Lays ironically supports Conservative values by showing their utter absence in the character’s lives. We see a Hollywood society with no sense of history, no sense of the liks between then and now, and we watch this world disintegrate into suicides, abortion, sexual promiscuity and divorce.  It disintegrates into neurotic lethargy—into nada.

A Book of Common Prayer shows America’s failing dream of redemptive beginnings.

Play It As It Lays is about obsessive memory

A Book of Common Prayer explores and interrelates both possibilities through its use of the two protagonists.

Book of Common Prayer’s Landscape is Boca Grande. It is a symbolic landscape and functions as the epitome of entrapment in the nation’s misdirected dream. It is the heart of darkness awaiting on the frontier for the exiles.  Boca Grande is a country lacking a record of its past. (55)

The Limits of History in the Novels of Joan Didion

Thomas Mallon says that Joan Didion admitted, “Predisposition for the extreme and gothic trappings of her imagination. (60)

Narrative Technique and the Theme of Historical Continuity in the Novels of Joan Didion:

Leonard Wilcox talks about the simultaneous sense of exile from and paralysis by the past, the break up an order, a loss of historical coherence. All experiences of the 40s and 50s constitute critical aspects of the California experience. This 40s and 50s and the disconnect from them informs Didion’s Literary Imagination. (68)

Height-Asbury is the center of Counter-Culture in the 60s. The counterculture is a symbol of the fall from an intact historical discontinuity or social hemorrhaging.

Obsessed with the past, with culture obsolesce and historical loss, Didon’s novels and essays keep returning to the question of “Where has the trial been lost?” (69)

Didion’s Protagonists are often pursuing an El Dorado of the mind—one that is free of time and memory. (70)

Each of Didion’s novels, “is an attempt at traveling backwards in search of various historical explanations.” (71)

Abortion in Play It As It Lays: Source of Accumulated Guilt, Severance from the Past, from Purpose. Her past no longer ads up. Abortion revolves around repressed memories and becomes the root of her despair. (73)

A Book of Common Player is reminiscent of The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

The Didion Sensibility: An Analysis by Ellen G Friedman

Existentialism in her works include influences by Sartre, Camus, and Kierkegaard. The influence is Nihilistic and Mythic.

Like the existentialists, Didion sees no hope for the meaning of existence in the way that the world is organized. For her, the world is atomized. As she puts in The White Album, there is no narrative. There is no God, no dependable system governing the social order. She shares the existentialists sense of sickness and dread, but she does not believe in their, or in any, general cure.  Indeed, compared with Didion, Camus and Sartre are foolish optimists. (81)

She is even more severe in some ways—to leap to another sphere—than that apostate of the self-pitying and angry and hopelessness of Sylvia Plath, who reduced to world to self and then was accused, justifiably, those to tried to enter that world, of being a fascist, of being Daddy and suffocating her being. (82)

Didion’s heroines, on the other hand, have a less secure sense of self than Plath’s personae generally have. The Didion world is in fragments rather than reduced to an isolated self.

Kierkegaard’s ideas in either/or concerning the aesthetic and the ethical existences are useful to an understanding of Didion’s sensibilities. (84)

Didion’s sensibility is stubbornly moral.

Maria is driven by Kierkegaard’s aesthetic mode. “Immediate pleasure seems to its sole imperative.”  Kierkegaard’s options are not available to Maria. Maria cannot choose to organize the universe meaningfully.  Didion has not faith in universal systems—even God.  (85)

The White Album’s first lines are, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” (87)

Didion’s work mirrors a melancholy and deprived world, a world that is without joy, suspicious of good works and optimism. As she says of herself, “You are getting a woman who somewhere along the line misplaced whatever faith she ever had in the social contract in the ameliorative principle in the whole grand pattern of human endeavor. (In the Islands).  Didion’s is the most depressing writing I know. It is also among the truest and most brilliant. (90)

Run River: Edenic Vision and Wasteland Nightmare by Katherine U Henderson

Run River is Similar in Mythic Structure to Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises

River Eden is home of the wounded Fisher King.

Man and Wife by Robert Lowell. Tragic course of the marriage of Lily Knight and Evert McClellan.

Circular pattern of Time in Run River.

All three of the novel’s major characters idealize their children as an Edenic time of unconditional love and total freedom from pain or danger. (95)

The line between childhood fantasy and adult responsibility is indicated in Run River by the image of the mythic terms representing the loss of Eden. (96)

TS Elliot’s The Wasteland is influential. The abortion is both a cause and a symptom of the wasteland inside of them and around them. The imagery of water, fire, aridity and heat from which there is not shelter is there as it is in The Wasteland.

Death by Water: 3 people die by Drowning in Run River.

Didion, in the oldest traditions of European and American Literature and establishes her “religion” as that of the human spirit. (104)

Nothingness and Beyond: Joan’s Play It As It Lays by David J Geherin

Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Camus The Stranger were influences (105)

Maria dreams of a snake and coils her food like a snake. The symbol of evil is the snake. (108)

Comparison to Sylvia Plath and The Bell Jar. (110)

Play It As It Lays isn’t Nilistic. (111)

Myth of Sisyphus is a surrender to meaningless

Sadness and sorrow a part of the novel. (116)

Joan Didion Play It As It Lays and The New American Heroine by Cynthia Griffin Wolff

Hemingway style. “Cut” like a scene. Nothingness. Hester Prynne The Scarlet Letter.

A Taught Novel of Disorder by Joyce Carol Oates

Slouching Toward Bethlehem and A Book of Common Prayer

Watery Deaths (138)

Sex, Love, Marriage Are Blank

Heroine partly despairing but always in control (141)

Joan Didion and Her Characters by John Romano

Passion and Delusion in A Book of Common Prayer

By Victor Strandberg

Why? Why Not?  (Slouching Toward Bethlehem, Play and Book mentioned)

Compared to The Great Gatsby and Heart of Darkness.

Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein, Willa Cather, Henry James and Joseph Conrad

Charlotte’s Sexual Freedom hasn’t fulfilled her.

Baby Imagery and TS Elliot’s The Wasteland.

Against Interpretation: Narrative Strategy in A Book of Common Prayer

by John Hollowell (164)

Joan Didion’s novels and works of nonfiction are about people, usually women, whose lines are tangled and troubled.

In all her work, Didion is obsessively fascinated with the interpretation of facts, events and the lives of people.  Over and over, in different ways, she must ask, What does mean?

Great Gatsby and Lord Jim.  Like Fitzgerald, Joan Didion has created a novel in which the narrator encounters a series of revelations about the central characters.  (175)

The White Album Essays. Did Jim Morrison fear a violent death?

The Album of Anxiety

by Irving Malin (177)

Morrison was an erotic Politian, Lighting his Fire.  Bringing the fire home is enlightenment.

Beyond Words: Narrative Art in Joan Didion’s Salvador

by Fredrick Kiley (181)










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From Beast to Blonde

From Beast To Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers

Mariana Warner, 1994

This is an entrancing, multi-layered and as wittily subversive as fairy tales themselves, this beautifully illustrated work explores and illuminates the unfolding history of famous fairy tales and the contexts in which they flourished. It also lifts the curtain on the tellers themselves – from ancient sibyls and old crones to the more modern Angela Carter and, of course, Walt Disney. A brilliant compendium of folklore, fairytales and learning which reveals unexpected links and histories behind some of our oldest and most-loved tales.

Rather than treating the stories as `archetypal’ tales, Marina Warner returns them firmly to their historical context – a context in which small children really were abandoned in the forest during times of famine, where daughters suffered incest in silence, and where the lives of penniless old women were precarious indeed. As she restores the social context that has been airbrushed away since these tales were written down, she reveals them as they were: coded stratagems for survival, triumph, subversion, rebellion. Fairy tales, as she says, have `a generic commitment to justice’.


Xantippa, From Old Wives Tale by George Peele says, “A Woman without a Tongue is a Solider without his Weapon.” (13)

Andrew Lange wrote the Fairy Tale Books: Red, Green, Yellow, Blue and Rose

Italo Calvino Fiabe 1956

Charles Perrault 1697

Storks would return in the spring to nest on house chimneys and they came to symbolize birth. Later, parents told children that storks fetched babies from the marshes and brought them to their parents. See 1916 Painting. (54)

Mother Goose. Goose is Aphrodite. Goose became associated with Sex and Sexually Transmitted Diseases.  The Goose Month is the 1 month of Bedrest before Birth. (57)

Women story tellers associated with Storks and Geese (or the Goose).

Then Storks were associated with Doctors or Obygen’s.

Storks also were associated with the industrial revolution as well as they were portrayed as carrying bags of dirty laundry.

Sybl Nurse tells the children the future. (79)

Saint Ann, Dear Nan, Sybls II

German Ana is Grandmother. Ano is Grandfather or Ancestor. Greek Annis is Maternal or Paternal. Latin Anus is an old Unmarried Women. English Nan or Nana for Grandma. Nanny is then a Nurse or Grandmother-Like Role (86)

The Magic of the Cross: Queen of Shebal

“The legends Antoine de La Sale collected appeared in different forms elsewhere: Fazio degli Uberti (d.1367) had written a poem about Simon Magus, in which the wizard travels to the area to dedicate his grimoire to the pagan oracle; Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini (d.1464), who became Pope Pius II, first identified Sibilla with the goddess of love, Venus herself.”

Beauty and Beast represents many dichotomies: Innocent and Adulterated, Good and Evil, Love and Self-Hatred, Overcoming Abuse

The Beast is Symbolic of Man’s Inner Beast. Belle is Physically Attractive and Pure of Heart.  Belle is Educated (Alone with Books and Isolated). Magic Rose is Enchanted. It represents the Pure Self.  It is delicate and thorny like the Psyche of The Beast.

Beauty by Robin McKinney, 1978, is  a retelling of the Fairy Tale.  “The rose had opened no wider. It was as though it had been frozen at the moment of its most perfect beauty. Looking at it—its perfume filled the room—I found it easy to believe that this rose would never die.

Beauty as Persephone and Beast as Hades.


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Lame Deer Seeker of Visions

Lame Deer: Seeker of Visions

John (Fire) Lame Deer and Richard Erodes


For us Indians everything has a deeper meaning. Whatever we do is somehow connected to our religion.

Indian children are never alone. They are always surrounded by Grandparents, Uncles, Cousins and Relatives of all kinds who fondle the kids, sing to them and tell them stories.

We Indians always say that our kids are our most important possessions, not our cars, our houses, our TV sets. These count for nothings.

White Buffalo woman addressed the women, telling them that it was the work of their hands and the fruit of their wombs which kept the tribe alive. You are mother earth she told them. The task has been given to you is as great as the one given to the great warriors and hunters. Buffalo Woman turned to the children, because they have the understanding beyond their years. Young Indian Children have the right to be treated with the same respect that is shown to grownups.  She turned to the grownups and told them that their children were their greatest possession, that they represented future generations, the life of the people, the circle without end. She told the children to remember this as well and that they were teach their children this when they were grownup.

I was never scolded. Indian kids are handled gently.

Kola means friend in Sioux

The Great Spirit is EVERYWHERE. Sometimes it shows itself through an animal, bird, or some trees and hills.

Grandson, I don’t think they love us more than they love themselves. Some don’t love us at all. ~Grandfather Fox from the 1920s

Maka Tahan Wicasa Wan means I Am A Man of the Earth. Ike Wicasa means that natural humans are free and wild. Cate Ista mean the Eye of the Heart.

For the white man, each blade of grass or spring of grass has a price tag on it. Indians chase the vision. The white man chases the dollar.

The air, the water, the earth—that belongs to everybody. If man wants to survive, he’d better come around to this Indian point of view and the sooner the better.  There isn’t much time to think it over.

If this earth should ever be destroyed, will be by desire—by the lust of pleasure and self-gratification, by greed, the greed for the frogskin.  It will be by people who are mindful only of their own selves, forgetting the wants of others.

Wopila is a thanksgiving for something good that happened to a person.

Before our white brothers came to civilize us, we had no jails, therefore, we had no criminals. We had no locks or keys, so we had no thieves. If a man was so poor that he had no horse or tipi or blanket—someone gave that to him.  We were too uncivilized to set much value on personal belongings. We wanted to have things in order to give them away. We had no money and therefore a man’s wealth couldn’t be measured by it. We had no written law—no attorneys or politics, therefore we couldn’t cheat.  We really were in a bad way before white man came and I don’t know how managed to get along without the basic things, which we are told, are absolutely necessary to civilized society. (Irony or Sarcasm here).

Anything in disharmony with nature is bad art

Richard Erodes said that some of his Indian friends tend to look upon life as a long series of symbolic images forming definite harmonic patterns. They see man not as a separate entity, but as part of the Earth upon which he walks.

There were Sixty Indians who were at Martin Luther King’s speech.

Red, White, Black. These are true colors. We are fascinated with colors for the unity of man—for our white, black and red brothers and sisters.

Let us sit down here, all of us, on the open prairie, where we can’t see a high way or a fence.  Let’s have no blankets to sit on but feet and sit on the ground with our bodies. Let’s sit on the earth that is yielding shrubs as a mattress, experiencing its sharpness and softness.  Let us become like the stones, the plants and the trees. Let us be animals and feel like animals.

Listen to the air. You can hear it, feel it and taste it. Woniya Wonka is the Holy Air.  We sit together and don’t touch, but something is there. We feel it between us—a presence. It is a good way to start thinking about nature and talk about it or to it. Let us talk to the rivers, to the lakes and the wind as our relatives.

You have turned women into housewives and truly fearful creatures. Don’t, don’t don’t! That is crazy!

You live in prisons which you have built for yourselves and call them homes, offices and factories.

American want everything sanitized. No smells. No even the natural smell of men and women.

Your idea of killing is to sit an airplane way above the clouds and press a button and drop bombs and never look below the clouds. That is the odorless, guiltless and sanitized way.  When we kill a Buffalo, we knew what we were doing. We apologized to his spirit and tried to make him understand why we did it—honoring with bones of those who gave their flesh to keep us alive and praying for their return and praying for the life of our brothers and those of the buffalo nation as well as our own people.

To us, life is sacred.

But all animals have power, because the Great Spirit dwells in—even in the tiniest butterfly, even in a flower and even in rock. The modern white man’s ways keep that power from us, dulls it. To come to nature and feel its power is let it help and one needs time and patience for that. You have so little time for contemplation. It is always rush, rush, rush with you. It lessens a person’s life all of that grind—that hurry and scurry.  Our old people say that Indians long ago didn’t have heart problems. They didn’t have cancer. The illnesses they had, they knew how to cure.

During a vision I heard that, “You have love for all that been placed on this earth…You have You are just a human being afraid and weeping, filled with that love. All of nature can fit in there.”

What is life? If you ask a business man, he will tell you that life is a matter of buying and selling things and making money because that is his life from morning to night. The man of ambition will tell you that life is a struggle to achieve fulfillment. For the man who has attained a position of power, who is head of an organization or country, life is full of activity of his own making. For laborers, life is an endless week without rest, it is dirty, miserable and without sufficient food.

In a fight, there is a heightened sense of being alive. We think that struggle in every form is necessary to keep us alive, but you see that kind of living as very destructive.  There is a way of living without that kind of struggle.

Why do we steal? Because society as it is now constructed deprives many people of the necessities of life.  Others steal because it causes excitement.

There is beauty and meaning in life only when the heart is cleansed of the things in the mind—things like useless knowledge.

What is age? It is the number of years you’ve lived.

You see most of us have known love in our hearts. We never look at the stars or delight in the whispering waters. We have never observed the dance of moonlight on a rushing stream or watch the flight of a bird. We have no song in our hearts. We are always occupied. Our mind is always full of schemes and ideas of mankind.

But we have a great sense of privacy, of pretending not to notice. That is very important because we have to make our own privacy where it doesn’t really exist.

The Great Spirit wants people to be different. The Great Spirit is one, yet he is many. And all creatures exist for a purpose.

Wicasa Waka means a man who feels the grief of others.

Man cannot live without mystery. He has a great need for it.

Imagine darkness so intense and so complete that it is almost solid, flowing around you like ink, covering your body like a velvet blanket. Imagine a blackness which cuts you off from the every-day world, which forces you to draw deep into yourself, which makes you see with your heart instead of your eyes. You can’t see, but your eyes are open. You are isolated, but you know that you a part of the Great Spirit, tied with all living things.

Friend. White people use this word lightly. Many of you don’t know what real friendship is.  The young men who vowed Kola to each other would be almost a single person. They shared everything—life and death, pain and joy, the last mouthful of food, even their women. They had be ready at all times to give their lives for each other.

“Time is like space, it grows and shrinks in unexplainable ways. A lifetime of being, learning and understanding pressed together in a few seconds of insight or time standing still and not moving at all, a minute becoming a lifetime. Think what we can do with such a minute.” Says Leonard Crow Dog.

A Ute holy men came back to earth with sacred knowledge. He told everybody “Don’t hurt human beings. Don’t fight. My ghost dance is a dance of peace.”

Not the old ghost dance, not the rolling up of the ancients, but a new spirit, not only among the Indians, but among the whites and blacks too—especially among the young people. It is like raindrops making a tiny brook, many tiny brooks, a stream, and many streams. Making one big river bursting all the dam. Us talking like this—those are some of the raindrops creating the brooks.

Now, not only Indians aren’t the only endangered species. All of human kind is endangered.

There is a light man coming and bringing a new light. It will happen before this century is over. The man who has power will do good things too.

I think we are moving in a circle, or maybe a spiral, going higher each time, but still returning to the same point. We are moving closer to nature again. I feel it, you feel it.

If you want to go to the New Earth, you have to make an arrow, it has to be straight. It has to be perfect and that arrow, that’s yourself and you have to be straight, be on the good side.

You are an artist and therefore, can look beyond what is peddled to us as reality. You were confused by the white man’s religion as we were. When, as a boy, you spent hours in the crotch of a tree or when you felt more at home with the animals than the people that it was kind of a vision quest. Maybe it wasn’t much, but it was something. If you are also picking up odd and ends shaped pebbles or fossils, saying that you do because it pleasure you, but I know that deep inside you that there must be an awareness of the powers of the rock, of the spirits inside them, otherwise you would not pick them and fondle them like you. Your coming here to read this was no accident either…








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Think On These Things

Think on These Things

By Jiddu Krishnamurti, 1964

Self-Knowledge comes when you observe yourself in a relationship with your situation, you teachers are all those around you. It comes when you observe the manner of another, his gestures, the way he talks, his contempt or fluttering and your response to it. It comes when you watch everything in you and about you see yourself as you are.

Life is an extraordinary mystery—not the mystery in books that people talk about—but a mystery that one has to discover for one’s self.

How can we realize the truth in our lives? So, if you want to discover the truth in that vital process that is your own life, you will have to inquire deeply into all these things: you will have to give your mind and heart to it. You will have to think independently and clearly without prejudice…

Now why do you get angry? Because you don’t want to be hurt, which is a normal human demand for survival. You feel you should not be used, crushed, or destroyed by an individual, a government or society. When someone slaps you, you feel hurt. First of all, anger is a natural response to avoid being hurt. Why should anybody exploit you? So, in order to not be hurt, you protect yourself. You begin to develop a defense and barriers. Inwardly, you build a wall around yourself by not being open, therefor, you are incapable of exploration of feeling. You say that anger is very bad and you condemn it and other feelings; so gradually you become empty. You have no strong feelings at all.

But happiness is not something you can seek; it is a byproduct. If you pursue happiness, it will have no meaning. Happiness comes invited.

Keep An Open Mind: If you have no prejudice bias, if you are open, then everything around you becomes extraordinarily interesting and tremendously alive.

You Cannot Learn From A Book: You and I must understand ourselves and we can only do that when we are fully alive, very alert, watchful and observant, taking interest in everything around us. Then we shall have a discourse in what it is really is to be happy.

Most people are unhappy and they are because there is no love in their hearts.  Love will arise in your hearts when you have no barriers in your heart and when we meet other people you will not judge him.

What is important is to be inwardly very simple, which is to have a mind NOT clogged with beliefs, with numerable wants, for only such  a mind is that is simple is capable of real thinking, exploration and discovery.

What is Education? Why do we go to School? Is it merely in order to pass examinations and get a job? Or is it the function of education to prepare us while we are young to understand the process of life? Having a job and earning one’s livelihood is necessary—but that isn’t all.  Are we being educated just for a job or occupation? Life is not meant to be just about a job. Life is something extraordinarily profound. It is a great mystery, a vast realm in which we function as human beings. If merely prepare ourselves to earn a livelihood, we shall miss the point in life. The point in life is to understand that life and life is much more important than preparing for exams and becoming proficient in math, physics or whatever you will.

And so what does life mean? Is not life an extraordinary thing? The birds, the flowers, the flourishing trees, the heavens, the stars, the rivers and the fish in those rivers? All this life. Life is meditation.  Life is what we call religion and it is also the subtle and the hidden things of the mind.  The ambitions, the passion, the fears, the fulfillments and the anxieties. All this and more is life.  But we generally only prepare ourselves to understand a small corner of it.  We pass certain examinations.  Find a job, get married and have children and become more like machines seems to be all we are prepared for.  We remain fearful, anxious and frightened of life.  So it is the function of education to help us understand the process of life

Do You Know What Intelligence Is? It is the capacity to think freely without fear or formula. So you begin to discover for yourself what is real and true.  Because if you are frightened you’ll never be intelligent.  (Getting over fear or facing your fear is intelligence, I might rephrase or add here).

The world is torn by conflicting beliefs, by caste and by class, by stupidity and by cruelty.  And this is the world you are being educated to fit into.

Life itself is your teacher.  You learn from EVERYTHING. You are in state of constant learning.

The importance of finding out WHAT to do is relatively new in society.

Sir, anything truly revolutionary is created by those who see what is true and are not only willing to live according to the truth, but to discover that freedom demands freedom from tradition and all fears.

Only he who has love, he who abandons himself—forgets himself completely, and thereby brings about the state of creative beauty.

There is an inward beauty only when you feel love for all people and all things of the earth and with that love comes consideration, watchfulness and patience.

But to acquire a technique or develop a capacity without paying attention to the inner state brings about ugliness and chaos in the world. If we awaken creative beauty inwardly, it expresses itself outwardly, and then there is order instead of chaos.

If your parents really loved you they would see to it that you had no cause to fear, that you were healthy and happy human beings, they would see that there was no war, no poverty in the world….It is because parents truly do not love their children that there are wars  and that there are rich and poor…If parents were really concerned about their children, there would be transformations overnight. We would have a different kind of education and different kinds of homes and a world without war.

You are a prisoner of dos and don’ts. Where there is fear, there is no joy and no creativity.

You who are fairly well to do, why don’t you revolt? Not as a communist or a socialist, but revolt against the whole system of society? You can afford to do so. Why don’t you use your intelligence to find out what is true and create a new society? The poor are not going to revolt because they don’t have the energy or the time to think—he is wholly occupied. But you who have leisure and have intelligence, why don’t you revolt?  Why not find out what is a right society, a true society and a new civilization?  If it does not begin with you, it will not begin with the poor.

You see most of us have not this spirit or this urge to break through, to find out, and it is this spirit that is important.

As I have told you, if you watch your own mind, it is all there.  But have you ever thought what would happen if you did not name a feeling? You try it. The next time you are angry, don’t call it anger.  Just be aware of the feeling without giving it a name and see what happens.

So the Indian Culture is somewhat different from the European culture, but underneath the movement is the same. This movement may express itself differently in America because the demands are different.

It is not a great tragedy that almost all of us are concerned without how to fit into society or how to form it.

Laziness is not wrong. Listen intentionally and you will here. You must be watchful and observant.  You must have knowledge to communicate it.

To Revolt within a society in order to make it a little better is to bring about certain reforms. So there is a vast difference between the actin of a creative revolution and the revolution or mutiny in society.

Never stop asking questions or you will be dead.

But what matters is not the pleasure or the pain, but rather it is to be in a communication with everything. It is to be sensitive both to the ugly and the beautiful.

Inward Beauty that gives grace, an exquisite gentleness to outward movement.

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