Ishmael, Daniel Quinn
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Daniel Quinn

Ishmael

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The narrator of this extraordinary tale is a man in search for truth. He answers an ad in a local newspaper from a teacher looking for serious pupils, only to find himself alone in an abandoned office with a full-grown gorilla who is nibbling delicately on a slender branch. «You are the teacher?» he asks incredulously. «I am the teacher,» the gorilla replies. Ishmael is a creature of immense wisdom and he has a story to tell, one that no other human being has ever heard. It is a story that extends backward and forward over the lifespan of the earth from the birth of time to a future there is still time save. Like all great teachers, Ishmael refuses to make the lesson easy; he demands the final illumination to come from within ourselves. Is it man’s destiny to rule the world? Or is it a higher destiny possible for him—one more wonderful than he has ever imagined?

Contact other readers of Daniel Quinn’s books (Ishmael, The Story of B, My Ishmael, Providence, and Beyond Civilization) at http://www.ishmael.org
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“We now have in place all the major elements of your culture’s explanation of how things came to be this way. The world was given to man to turn into a paradise, but he’s always screwed it up, because he’s fundamentally flawed. He might be able to do something about this if he knew how he ought to live, but he doesn’t—and he never will, because no knowledge about that is obtainable. So, however hard man might labor to turn the world into a paradise, he’s probably just going to go on screwing it up.”
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I was thunderstruck, as you may well imagine. Not Goliath? What could it possibly mean to be not Goliath?

It didn’t occur to me to say, “Well, if I’m not Goliath, then who am I?” A human would ask this question, because he would know that, whatever his name, he is assuredly someone. I did not. On the contrary, it seemed to me that if I was not Goliath, then I must be no one at all.
adinda
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if you are still, then you will be better able to hear.
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