The Thermodynamics of Emotion

I’m starting a new project in support of the work I do here – if you’ve been following along and enjoying the posts and interviews on constructal law, and Immediate Moment Theory, come check out our new site for gatherings and news on this topic – The Thermodynamics of Emotion.

The Emotional Battery, Another Conversation with Kevin Behan

In this third conversation with Kevin we continue to explore a completely fresh approach to animal behavior, one that I think will become a fundamental part of our skill set as trackers.

Hold Your Answer Lightly

All “masters” (a difficult term but one I’ll use) eventually come to a particular ethic, the practice of holding all answers lightly. One can have passion, faith, move with confidence, but when it comes down it it all “answers” act as doorways to the next layers of question – or they hold you back. By… Read more »

Grief For Breakfast

Thoughts inspired by this Washington Post article: Historian believes bodies of 800 babies, long-dead, are in a tank at Irish home for unwed mothers “God knows who else is in the grave,” one anonymous source told the Daily Mail. “It’s been lying there for years and no one knows the full extent of the total… Read more »

Walking in the Garden of Wonders

What is Magic? In an interview with David Charvet in the October 1999 Magic magazine, Doug Henning speaks of his first awareness of the contrast between the perspectives of the performer and traditional tribal wizards: “…I was invited by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to perform on Christmas shows for the troops. At one point on… Read more »

Animal Behavior Science Through the Lens of the Heart

An Inquiry Driven by Both the Heart and Brain Tune in to the Art of Tracking radio show where, with host Garth Olson, I interview Kevin Behan, author of Your Dog is Your Mirror and Natural Dog Training. We dive deep into an approach towards understanding animal behavior (including the human animal!) that requires both our… Read more »

Language Making Nature: Week 3

And our adventure goes on! With three new chapters this week, our book group discussing David Lukas’ Language Making Nature continues to generate deeply meaningful conversations. This week we read aloud and discussed the chapters Blossoming Language, Wisdom Sits in Places, Bibliography, and Patterns in Nature. We had an extensive conversation about when artistic creations feel… Read more »

Language Making Nature: Notes from the Book Club

You may remember I began facilitating a small group of peers in reading aloud and playing with the ideas found in David Lukas’ book Language Making Nature. We have made it 6 chapters in (out of 75!): Voices and Gods, Crossing Boundaries, Three Dimensional Words, Contractions, Word Manufacturing, Word Boundaries. I present some images of my language play… Read more »

The Land Makes Language that Makes the Land

I recently discovered a book that I have waited and waited – lacking the scholarship, craft, and patience myself to write such a thing – for some pugnacious and insightful soul to write. A book on reclaiming language as a folk art, as an engine of perception, as a cord connecting us to our ancestral selves, and… Read more »

Fairies, Lived Experience, and Meaning

I recently ran across a lovely talk by English historian of folklore and religion Ronald Sutton, wherein he showcases a remarkable poise and generosity to both the scientific tradition which trained him and the lived experiences of the people who live on this wild and wondrous world. Sponsored by the Manx Heritage program on the Isle of Man,… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking, Podcasts

    Episode 27: “How Do You Know What You Know?”

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    For trackers or any observers of life, this question drives right to the core of so many issues that bedevil us. I begin the conversation, in this episode, with Billy, fiddler in the old-time music band the WillBillys. [The emotionally charged debate over fluoridation in Portland helped inspire this series – read more here.] Photo Credit:… Read more »

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    The Cabin In The Woods: Living At The Feet Of The Gods Once Again

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    Everything is knowable. Everything is under control. Keep shopping. The Cabin In The Woods, a Joss Whedon-horror-genre-deconstruction came out in theaters in 2012. I’m not a big movie watcher, but I am a long time fan of Joss Whedon – Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Dr. Horrible, Dollhouse, all storytelling I enjoyed in past decades. I especially appreciate Joss Whedon… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    You Tried Making Yourself Big

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    You tried making yourself Big Puffing your chest out You strode about the earth cock of the walk stamping down the ground green before you brown dust behind just like the rest You tried making yourself Big and you’ve fallen so low and the time has begun to make yourself small so small small and… Read more »

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    You Don’t Want Me to Agree

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    How on earth did so many (all?) of our conversations become about whether or not we agree or disagree? Why do we so often treat conversations with friends, family, colleagues, like high-pressure sales? Why the relentless evangelism for the diet you advocate, the exercise program, the gadget, the political platform? What do you think will… Read more »

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    Seed the World with Adult Conversations

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    Lately in Portland, OR, I have seen a raging and fairly uncivil debate about whether or not to fluoridate the city’s famously high-quality water from the Bull Run Reservoir. For me, it has put a spotlight on the fascinating and fundamentally not-so-funny inability of americans to have adult conversations about points of disagreement. Rarely have… Read more »

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    Building a Community of Trackers

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    Photo Credit: jenny downing via Compfight cc Right now, the sense of expansion and enrichment in the tracking community has really amazed me. Over the past few decades a few different schools of thought have emerged in North America, exemplifying different styles and values about the utility and purpose of tracking. I myself have noticed trackers originating from the… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Confidence

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    I’ve spent time practicing thinking in accord with “degrees of confidence”, rather than right or wrong, true or false. When we use our analytical mind, not only does “lack of proof” not disprove anything, the presence of evidence can’t conclusively prove anything either. We can only establish levels of confidence, degrees, in accord with the… Read more »

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    Rewild Portland Spring 2013 Fundraiser

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVZUSc1sbIk

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Beauty and Horror

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    This essay is a part of the Animist Blog Carnival of October 2013. To read other animist perspectives on death, please visit the Earth Animist Blog. To read works from previous Animist Blog Carnival or join us, visit headquarters here: The Animist Blog Carnival at Eaarth Animist.  A short story about a psychopath, from Wikipedia: Èṣù is a… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Rewilding Shame

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    I ended the last post with the question, “where else do we see psychopathic behaviors in nature?” I still want to explore this, but not today. Today let’s talk about remorse. Shame and guilt has done tremendous emotional damage to many rewilders. In the modern world, we use shame and guilt as a whip to… Read more »

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    A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

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    Let’s reconnect with what this subject offers us; how it can improve our lives as rewilders, human beings, village-creators. In reading about psychopaths, something hit my consciousness with an almost physical force, that in a certain sense has nothing to do with this terrifying syndrome, but rather the opposite… If psychopaths experience so much success,… Read more »

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    Psychopaths in the Village

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    Dedication: to my friend Thaddeus for first suggesting I begin perceiving the presence of psychopathy, and for forgiving me for my blindness to psychopathic behaviors in my own community This article springs from several urges; to fully own my own responsibility for thinking critically (with a Tracker’s eye) about the issues of my life, and… Read more »

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    Rewilding and Healing Your Eyesight Part III: I Always Find Waldo Now

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    I have good news and bad news.   The bad news: it’s taken way longer than I would have guessed to improve my eyesight to the degree I sought (i.e., good enough for driving, seeing signs, etc.) Let’s call this the goal of greater visual acuity. The good news – the rewilding of my vision… Read more »

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    Everything Honest Feels Like a Conversation

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    I’ve felt frustrated lately; I want to accomplish things that don’t seem to come fast enough. I want things to happen that…haven’t. I talk with people who I want to respond in a certain way that…don’t. I’ve felt this building feeling of stressed impatience. And so, last night I watched a french swashbuckling movie, in… Read more »

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    Support the Language Hunters

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    You may not be aware of a major new project I’m working on; the non-profit Language Hunters organization. This holiday season we’re fundraising on kickstarter to complete our Irish Language Hunt project – a series of language game videos that simultaneously documents and teaches the endangered Irish language. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/242604490/irish-language-hunt By doing this we’re working on a model usable by… Read more »