Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Reflections From the Wilderness

Before the book about Dick Proenneke's life in the Alaskan wilderness goes back to the library today, I thought I'd share a comment he made in the second to the last chapter. It really resonates with me.
Needs? I guess that is what bothers so many folks. They keep expanding their needs until they are dependent on too many things and too many other people. I don't understand economics, and I suppose the country would be in a real mess if people suddenly cut out a lot of things they don't need. I wonder how many things in the average American household could be eliminated if the question were asked, "Must I really have this?" I guess most of the extras are chalked up to comfort or saving time.


  1. Fantastic connection my friend! I am a Philosophy teacher, and had my students watch "Alone in the Wilderness" during our unit on Taoism - a most useful study to see a "Westerner" in accord with the Way ..

    Larry M.

  2. This is the demon of the economy in the modern world. Indeed, if we didn't have so many "needs", the economy would fall apart. The thing is, as Hannah Arendt points out in The Human Condition, we actually have far less free time than our mediaeval forebears did. The system that pretends to liberate us enslaves us instead.

  3. Larry,
    Thanks for stopping by! It's nice to know that Taoism is a featured component of someone's philosophy course. :)

    I guess that's one advantage to being a disabled person! I am far less enslaved than the average bloke.


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