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Greer On Nature Spirits

Thursday, December 7, 2017 15:42
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John Michael Greer just wrote a 2-part brilliant essay on Nature Spirits, explaining how to think about them (our materialist ‘dead matter’ culture makes that more challenging for some) and what they are, etc.

Link to Part One here:

Part Two here:

I love reading the comments and sometimes what’s to be found there is almost as good as the original essay. A conventional, but environmentally friendly, fan of Greer’s took issue with him using language of “spirits” and treating them as persons for an “I-You” relationship, rather than “I-It” like what is acceptable now. In so many words, this commenter basically said that Greer would reach more people (who matter, you could tell he meant) than his current brand of Druidic spiritual posts do. He and his wife are both atheists, but very open-minded to “personifying” things– just don’t call them “persons!”

Greer’s reply was brilliant:

Michael, that’s funny, in a bleak sort of way. I’ve noticed that when people accuse me of a “superior tone of voice” or the like, it’s generally when I express an opinion that contradicts the conventional wisdom of our time, and refuse to couch it in terms properly submissive to the believers in that conventional wisdom. (My favorite example along these lines is the outburst, which I’ve fielded repeatedly, “You think you’re right!” Why, yes, I do.)

But the idea that I should make my opinions conform to the materialist orthodoxy of our time in order to make them more acceptable to the masses is, to my mind, a catastrophic mistake; You’ll notice that the materialist orthodoxy is never expected to compromise! Following that advice, plenty of thinkers, and plenty of movements, that might have accomplished something significant if they’d stuck to their guns watered their ideas down into irrelevance and, in many cases, turned into accomplices of the status quo. I’d cite the piteous state of the environmental movement these days as exhibit A here, though it’s far from alone.

If others want to try dancing on that slippery slope of compromise with the status quo, I make no complaint; we each have our own paths to walk. My path leads elsewhere, though. Somebody has to make the case for what Theodore Roszak called the Old Gnosis, and I call by the simpler and even more offensive term magic, and to do it without compromise — to hand out the red meat for strong men and women, if you will, while others dispense the milk for babes. That is to say, here I stand; I can do no other.”

Indeed! And I hope you never do!


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