That Pioneering Spirit

And now for something totally different than all this stuff about consciousness, spirit, science, altered states, etc…

A few of days ago I was finished with one task, not quite ready to start the next, how could I entertain myself for a few minutes?  I had brought back an unread Tom Clancy thriller from the library, but it was a huge book and I needed a big block of time to get properly started on it.  Ah, there was a book of my wife’s, Generous Fruits, A Survey of American Homesteading, written by her sister, Barbara Bamberger Scott, on the table.  Homesteading in America?  I didn’t think that topic would be very interesting to me, although Barbara’s a good writer, but it would do to pass the time for a few minutes, and it would satisfy my brother-in-lawly duty to take a look at it.

I can’t believe how fascinated I’ve become!  It amazes me at a deep level, as it’s not just interesting facts about pioneers and homesteaders, it’s about the depths of my own personality: I am an American, and that’s great!  (Although we have a lot to be ashamed of too, like the way the government set up homesteading to help pacify and wipe out the Native Americans…)

At an ordinary level, I’ve been something of a pioneer in opening up psychological ways of understanding altered states of consciousness, but my fascination is not just in ordinary time, present time.  My roots for, as it were, liking to learn the lay of the land, blazing new trails (or at least trying to), helping others to settle these new territories of the mind are my rich inheritance from the pioneers who created our nation.  I’m supposed to be a sophisticated intellectual, but as I read, I want to find a flag to salute!  What those pioneers and homesteaders did was so obviously sensible and right under difficult circumstances…and…my goodness, that’s me!

And “me” is part of a great American “we!”  Yes, yes, we’ve made and keep making  lots of mistakes, but we’ve moved so far toward freedom and creating a way to a good life for so many!  At a personal level, e.g., my maternal grandfather emigrating from Germany as a young man before he would have been drafted to fight in the innumerable bloody wars between various German states – much “fun,” I suppose, for the princes who ruled, not much “fun” for the maimed and dead soldiers…

I want to get back to reading on in Generous Fruits !  The only critical thing I’ve thought of so far for the book is that I hope a big, coffee-table edition comes out soon, with pictures!  We’ve got enough to worry about it today’s world, let’s really share the pride of what we can accomplish and keep pioneering and homesteading!





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