Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Daniel Quinn: Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit

Date: 08/2014

Title: "Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit"

Author: Daniel Quinn

Duration: 2 hrs and 56 mins Abridged

Review: This book uses a Socratic dialogue between a hyper-educated gorilla and his observant and nimble  human pupil to expose some very interesting ideas.  What is the mythological basis underpinning modern culture? Civilized people are enacting a story in which we need to destroy the earth.  This story is collectively called Mother Culture in this book, and the tales that Mother Culture tells are instantly recognizable to us moderns: that humans are the pinnacle of evolution and that we were "created" to dominate the earth and other animals, that we'll keep inventing our way to ever more resources through exercising our god-given cleverness, AKA being productive.  That this productivity is moral and good, and that the opposite of this is bestial and lazy. The effects or consequences of this world view on ethics, especially in regards to ecology, sustainability, our future, and on basic justice have been building for some time and are now accelerating and quickly coming to a head.  I recommend this book to anyone willing to look deeply at what s/he believes makes us human.  This book is very short and dense, yet totally accessible. I liked this book a lot.