Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit

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Series: Ishmael Series 1.

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Narrator: Anthony Heald. Abridged: 3 hr. Format: Digital Audiobook. Publisher: Random House Audio.

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Genre: Fiction - Religious. One of the most beloved and bestselling novels of spiritual adventure ever published, Ishmael has earned a passionate following among readers and critics alike. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person.

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It was just a three-line ad in the personals section, but it launched the adventure of a lifetime. So begins an utterly unique and captivating novel. We want to change our lives. Not long after Hannah, a college student, experiences increasing anxiety and a sudden collapse, all signs point to the surprising circumstances of her birth.

Hannah soon learns from her parents that she was adopted and is the survivor of a failed ab This special twenty-fifth anniversary edition features a new foreword and afterword by t Like this document? Why not share! Embed Size px. Start on. Show related SlideShares at end. WordPress Shortcode. Veluzrug66 Follow. Published in: Education. Full Name Comment goes here. Are you sure you want to Yes No.

Be the first to like this. No Downloads. At first, the narrator is certain that civilized people no longer believe in any "myths", but Ishmael proceeds to gradually tease from him several hidden but widely accepted premises of "mythical" thinking being enacted by the Takers: [5].

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Ishmael points out to his student that when the Takers decided all of this, especially the idea that there is something fundamentally wrong with humans, they took as evidence only their own particular culture's history: "They were looking at a half of one percent of the evidence taken from a single culture. Not a reasonable sample on which to base such a sweeping conclusion". Together, Ishmael and his student identify one set of survival strategies that appear to be true for all species later dubbed the "law of limited competition" : in short, as a species, "you may compete to the full extent of your capabilities, but you may not hunt down competitors or destroy their food or deny them access to food.

In other words, you may compete but you may not wage war". All species inevitably follow this law, or as a consequence go extinct; the Takers, however, believe themselves to be exempt from this law and flout it at every point, which is therefore rapidly leading humanity towards extinction. To illustrate his philosophy, Ishmael proposes a revision to the Christian myth of the Fall of Man.

Ishmael's version of why the fruit was forbidden to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is: eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil provides gods with the knowledge of who shall live and who shall die—knowledge which they need to rule the world. The fruit nourishes only the gods, though.

Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit Summary & Study Guide

If Adam "humanity" were to eat from this tree, he might think that he gained the gods' wisdom without this actually happening and consequently destroy the world and himself through his arrogance. Ishmael makes the point that the myth of the Fall, which the Takers have adopted as their own, was in fact developed by Leavers to explain the origin of the Takers. If it were of Taker origin, the story would be of liberating progress instead of a sinful fall.

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Ishmael and his student go on to discuss how, for the ancient herders among whom the tale originated, the Biblical story of Cain killing Abel symbolizes the Leaver being killed off and their lands taken so that it could be put under cultivation. To begin discerning the Leavers' story, Ishmael proposes to his student a hypothesis: the Takers' Agricultural Revolution was a revolution in trying to strenuously and destructively live above the laws of nature, against the Leavers' more ecologically peaceful story of living by the laws of nature.

The Takers, by practicing their uniquely envisioned form of agriculture dubbed by Quinn " totalitarian agriculture " in a later book produce enormous food surpluses, which consequently yields an ever-increasing population , which itself is leading to ecological imbalances and catastrophes around the world.

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

Ishmael finishes his education with the student by saying that, in order for humanity to survive, Takers must relinquish their arrogant vision in favor of the Leaver humility in knowing that they do not possess any god-like knowledge of some "one right way to live". Ishmael tells his student to teach a hundred people what he has learned, who can each pass this learning on to another hundred. The student becomes busy at work, later discovering that Ishmael has fallen ill and died of pneumonia. Returning to Ishmael's room one day, he collects Ishmael's belongings.

Among them he discovers that the sign he saw before "With man gone, will there be hope for gorilla? Ishmael proposes that the story of Genesis was written by the Semites and later adapted to work within Hebrew and Christian belief structures. He proposes that Abel's extinction metaphorically represents the nomadic Semites' losing in their conflict with agriculturalists.

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As they were driven further into the Arabian peninsula, the Semites became isolated from other herding cultures and, according to Ishmael, illustrated their plight through oral history, which was later adopted into the Hebrew book of Genesis. Ishmael denies that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was forbidden to humans simply to test humans' self-control. Instead, he proposes that eating of the Tree would not actually give humans divine knowledge but would only make humans believe they had been given it, and that the Tree represents the choice to bear the responsibility of deciding which species live and which die.

This is a decision agricultural peoples i.

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  5. Takers make when deciding which organisms to cultivate, which to displace, and which to kill in protection of the first. Ishmael explains that the Fall of Adam represents the belief that, once mankind usurps this responsibility—historically decided through natural ecology i. He cites as fulfillment of this prophecy contemporary environmental crises such as endangered or extinct species, global warming, and modern mental illnesses. A gorilla who was captured from the West African wild when young and sent to an American zoo.