I just had lunch and watched Cesar Millan do his "magic". It struck me that his methods, like my own when I deal with my own pack, are very much based in awareness.
Dogs are very interesting "subjects". They have a very strong social system (the pack). Because they are predators they have a mutual dependency not only for protection but also for successful hunts. Observing dogs and their highly subtle signals is incredibly inspiring. You can really tune in to their joy, sadness, tensions, worries and playfulness and you will notice they actually include you and communicate with you.
There are a few things that are pretty different with my own dogs compared to normal house dogs. Huskies have many signals more resembling those of a wolf pack. For instance if you approach an unknown husky and he/she does not look comfortable with it. Approach the dog sideways and crouching. This is less important in normal dogs but if you watch huskies or wolves you will see that showing the flank means avoiding aggression and problems.
I can recommend studying dogs (and wolves) interacting with each other. You will learn a lot from them! You will notice that dogs are optimally aware of their environment. They will sense your every thought, emotion and intent.
With huskies and wolves I always have the idea that if you look them in the eyes you see your own soul reflected in them. They are hard and soft, tender, caring but also ferocious, delicate and brutal. They are full of life, they are Spirit.
Sadly that spirit has faded a bit in many of our domestic dogs but it is never buried very deep and we love them for it! What is even more sad is that our culture hates wolves and by proxy we are that culture's ruthless and immoral executioners. Brutally tortured and exterminated just because a few thousand years ago some thought it would be a great idea to till the earth instead of sharing it. Before, millions of years had passed without conflict. All the while they never hated us back and they never will. They just love life.
Can you look a wolf (or a dog) in the eyes and not feel very very sorry and very very guilty?
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Yesterday, I finished giving a 1 on 1 course cluster. The cluster consisted of Exploring Nature Awareness and Lifting The Veil (tracking and tracker philosophy) and some other primitive living skills. On the last day the student gave me a gift. It was a novel written by Daniel Quinn called Ishmael. When I came home I started to read the book just to get an idea of what it was about. It turned out I was unable to put it down and finished it at exactly 01:00 today. Now, that does not happen to me a lot.
I will tell you not what it is about, you need to experience every detail of the story (or rather stories) yourself except that it contains a very deep study and realization on the same subject as my first blog post "The Answer" and much, much more. To me the book is a source of inspiration and renewed affirmation because it reflects my own philosophy and goals so accurately. It touches all the reasons I have for teaching tracking, awareness and primitive living. It is the ultimate pep-talk for a "Leaver" teacher and the ultimate sales pitch to persuade the "Taker" pupil to sign up for the journey of cultural change that may well safe the world we belong to.
You may need to read the book to understand the full context of the following comments.
I was just so amazed that somebody else would write down thoughts so very much like my own. Of course, I never touch subjects like Genesis or "The Gods" but those concepts can easily be replaced with Nature or The Universe. Contrary to Ishmael, I do in fact believe that any "Taker" will start to see the "Leaver" story automatically by exposure to wilderness living, tracking and awareness. Also, in my own philosophy, Good and Evil is felt at the heart induced by the Spirit that moves in all things or as I simply call it: Nature. We have the knowledge of good and evil deep down. It manifest itself when you break the law of limited competition. We (all living entities) have this knowledge or rather feeling of unconditional connectedness and the intrinsic value of all things. We belong to the world, Nature, and indeed The Universe. "Belong" not as in a hierarchical relation but as in equating nature. We all constitute its very fabric. Our survival is based in diversity, redundancy and choice. Species will come and go and I do not logically, ethically or philosophically favor humans over any other species or the world as a whole. I do not feel we as humans need the elevated status of being the first to correct "The Fall". It is in our unfortunate culture (NOT NATURE!) to want to elevate our cosmological importance, to put ourselves on a pedestal, become our own gods. It is this same egocentric culture that may cause us to enact the destruction of the world we so need to live. If so, well, so be it. It's only Nature. But by actually learning the story of us, the "Takers", reevaluating the story of the "Leavers" and exposing our Mother Culture for the societal cancer she is, we may still avoid disaster and safe the world we all belong to.