Jensen is well aware that he is inviting your ridicule by telling such stories. He thought he was losing his mind. He tells other stories. He tells of conversations with indigenous writers and activists, recounting their words for how their cultures have experienced the world. He talks about his abusive father and how he learned to disappear when horrible things were happening, to not feel them. He quotes from accounts of the first European contact with North America, about the overwhelming abundance of both flora and fauna. He writes about the inevitability of story after story of our culture's contact with indigenous people. Extermination. Story after story recounting the despoiling of land after land. Desertification. He, again, concludes that we're all fucking crazy.
I'd offer quotations from the book, but I've already leant it out. However, by coincidence, I noticed last week that Skholiast had recently quoted a key passage from the book, in which Jensen reports the following words from Jeannette Armstrong, "poet, teacher and activist from the Okanagan tribes":
Attitudes about interspecies communication are the primary difference between western and indigenous philosophies. Even the most progressive western philosophers still generally believe that listening to the land is a metaphor. It's not a metaphor. It's how the world is.Skholiast, incidentally, while admitting that he has "many difficulties" with the book, says that "it is still written the way I believe philosophy ought to be written (with urgency and beauty)". I'm curious about his difficulties. I can imagine what mine might once have been (I agree about the urgency and beauty). Oddly (oddly?), I find I have no difficulties with it now, even if I am unsure how to process many of the stories found in it. I have no trouble whatever with Jensen's overall message about the insanity of our civilization, except insofar as I am already troubled by that insanity. Read his book, but read it with an open mind.