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Ishmael Readers Are Inspired to Create Website that Fits Everything Together:

Ancient Pathways to a Sustainable Future, What Can Hunter-Gatherers Teach Us?

Lanie Johnson and Ken Fischman, husband and wife, discovered Ishmael early in the 1990’s. Lanie got an inkling of Daniel Quinn’s ideas in a class called “Honoring Ancient Wisdom” taught by Sharif Abdullah. Sharif, who had been mentored by a Native American, taught that there are three types of people: Breakers, Keepers and Menders. Breakers are those who break the Sacred Hoop and so live above the Earth and its species, having a ‘duty’ to control Nature for their own benefit; Keepers have never left the Sacred Hoop, they hold ancient wisdom and believe they live in a world not created for any one species; Menders have been raised as Breakers but consciously choose to mend the damage. After the class, Sharif told Lanie that she absolutely must read Ishmael.

Lanie went out and bought Ishmael as soon as she got home from the class. She read it and had an aha! reaction. She gave it to Ken to read. When he’d finished it he said, “Now I understand why the world is the way it is!”

Lanie and Ken had learned primitive survival skills along with a respectful attitude toward the Earth from Tom Brown Jr. at his Tracking, Nature and Wilderness Survival School. Now these skills took on a whole new meaning: they understood more fully why people of ancient Hunter Gatherer cultures lived in harmony with their environment and all its species. These peoples’ connection to the Earth taught them respect for and a desire to preserve Nature.

Lanie and Ken wanted to spread the word. They helped organize the first Earth Day celebration in Durango, CO in ten years, with an Ishmael booth. They began giving programs, which combined Quinn’s ideas and wilderness awareness and survival skills, including: Ken is now at work on a book on Hunter Gatherers, provisionally entitled There Once Was A Sane Society.

This year they have created a website, Ancient Pathways to a Sustainable Future, which contains all of those programs as well as booklists on Earth-Based Peoples and Animism, Quinn-inspired artwork by Lanie, and discussions by Ken of some of our modern society’s problems - the worldwide cancer epidemic, the impending effect on our culture of loss of cheap energy sources, dangers from genetically modified foods, and a concise explanation of the effects of climate change.

After viewing a DVD of their Oil and Culture program, Quinn's wife, Rennie, commented that “your comedy relief bits worked wonderfully to reinforce what you were saying, and I'd guess will stick in people's minds. I especially liked the fairies who interrupted Ken’s serious discourse.”

Discovering how everything is connected has been a great adventure for Lanie and Ken, which they are happy to invite everyone to share and participate in.

Learn more about Ishmael and Quinn-related websites.

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