Book/Substack Recommendations, random thoughts, personal perspectives and some solutions based actionable intel for uncertain times
Something to nourish the heart, mind and soul while you watch civilization crumbling and those garden plants growing
Since I do not have much time for writing right now I wanted to suggest a few books I read recently that I feel are worth exploring and discussing further.
I apologize in advance for the somewhat haphazard, fragmented and discombobulated nature of this post, but I wanted to share some of the things that have been swirling around in my head with all of you, and this is the format that allows for that to happen in an expedited fashion (given my current work schedule).
Ideally, I would have liked to spend some time fleshing out an article based on each of the books, articles and topics listed here (individually) to really dig deep on what they have to offer, perhaps I will do that in the future.. but for now, here is what I have for ya.
It is my hope that if you read (and/or have already read some of these) that you will comment below to spark discussion so we can all brainstorm about how to put the concepts within the pages of these books into action to improve our quality of life, the resilience of our communities and hopefully leave this place a little bit more beautiful than it was when we arrived here for future generations.
If you live in (and/or like to visit) anywhere from Ontario to the Atlantic and anywhere in northeastern United States and value being able to nourish and heal yourself at anytime of year if you are in or near a forest I recommend getting a copy of this book.
Available here: http://healingtreesbook.com/about/
"The Healing Trees is mostly concerned with the edible and herbal qualities of trees local to the Upper Ottawa Valley Canada. This region amid the Northeastern Woodlands is a transition zone between the boreal forest and temperate mixed forest and thus offers a welcoming habitat for many different trees. These edible and herbal qualities are found in all parts of most trees: in the roots, sap, resin, bark branches, wood, flowers, fruit, seeds, buds, twigs, leaves and needles, and even in the ashes of some."
For two in depth articles I wrote in the past that focus on similar subject matter (working with trees to gain access to food and medicine) check out:
Next up, an excellent book on the practical applications of mycology (for both beginners and experienced foragers/cultivators):
If you are into learning about fungi (and how we can intentionally cultivate symbiotic relationships with our fungal elder species in our everyday lives) I highly recommend you check it out.
I was reading Peter McCoy's excellent new book (The Mycocultural Revolution) and when I got to the section of the book about growing oyster mushrooms (on a straw substrate in buckets) we happened to be driving by an endless sea of Phragmites australis growing in a vacant lot and this got me to thinking.
What about using the stalks of Phragmites in the place of straw (or at least as the main bulk of the substrate with some other nutrients added in if need be)?
One could theoretically use either buckets or even something like an old laundry basket (shown in a pics below).
The illustration of the bucket cultivation method in the image above is from Peter McCoy's excellent new book "The Mycocultural Revolution". You can get your own copy here: https://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/8525
Around here Phragmites australis is seen as an "invasive weed" and people constantly go to battle with the reeds with chemicals and machines but I thought why not instead recognize the many gifts these plants offer us and turn a so called 'problem' into a solution?
Turns out I am not the first person to think of this idea. Below are some research articles that focus on using ground up and hydrated Phragmites australis stems/stalks as a substrate for growing Oyster mushrooms. It seems that the material does indeed work as a suitable substrate. I look forward to experimenting with this myself later this year.
It would of course be worth taking into account that Phragmites australis is good at hyperaccumulating heavy metals like cadmium and lead (and likely takes in other potentially toxic compounds if they are growing in contaminated soil/water) so sourcing the material from a relatively pollution free place would be wise.
In the past I have experimented with using the fluffy seed heads as a stuffing for pillows (which worked out well) so I imagine a single harvest could yield at least two separate end products (with the spent myceliated reed stalk oyster mushroom blocks being able to be used either to feed animals afterwards or build soil fast).
Research and data on the viability of using Phragmites australis stalks/stems as a substrate for growing oyster mushrooms :
For info on how to grow oyster mushrooms in containers (such as buckets or laundry baskets):
- Growing Oyster Mushrooms in a Bucket: How to use a bucket and pasteurized straw to grow mushrooms:
For more information on the ecological roles and practical applications of forging a symbiotic relationship with fungi in your life check out:
Next we embark deep into the heart of where nature and the essence of the soul merge together in:
Thank you for suggesting this book to me! :)
A quote from the book:
"In a medieval document known as The Four Ancient Books Of Whales, the Welsh Druid and mystic Taliesin says "I adore my God, my strengthener, who infused me with a soul to direct me with its seven faculties: fire, earth, water, air, mist, flowers and southerly wind". Sometimes I try to recite this as I hike through the woods, to hold this vision that the elements through which I walk are the powers of my soul. If only I could always be hiking this Great Mystery: assured that the hills, rivers, trees and clouds are the faculties of my soul extended beyond my body, my feet, and even beyond the footprints I leave in the dust of the trail behind me.
My soul can hike farther than I can, if my thinking mind will only give it free reign. I don't tote my soul through the woods as if it were an uncomfortable backpack. My soul carries me. Along the trails, up cliffs, down to the river, to the far mountains, to the setting sun beyond the wisps of cloud turning pink in the west. Air fire, water, earth, mist, flowers and southerly wind. These are the stuff of my soul..
Mist, flowers and southerly wind. How did these three aquire the same status as earth, air, fire and water?
Mist is air and water. Southerly wind is air and heat. Flowers are a spectacular blend of soil, water, sunlight --- and even air, for a flower does not stop at the edge of its skin, anymore than we stop at the edge of ours. Around every flower is the sweet fragrance of scented air. This field of fragrance is the flower's soul."
- Tom Cowan (Yearning For The Wind)
If you liked Braiding Sweetgrass, Yearning For The Wind and/or To Speak for the Trees I think you will also like this book (more on this as I find more time to dig into this book).
I especially enjoyed Robin Wall Kimmerer’s piece in this book titled “White Pine” (which you can read here).
Now for some books that illuminate the recent happenings within human civilization:
This book offers a concise and ruthlessly honest analysis of the degeneration of our global civilization into varying degrees of a new kind of totalitarianism (which has taken place over the past 3+ years). Some of the more important points covered in the book include explorations into the parallels between the emergence of totalitarian empires of the 20th century (such as the rise of fascism in Germany) and what has taken place globally recently, as well as insights into the relevance of the Milgram Experiments (and the Asch Conformity Experiment) in illuminating the psychological dynamics behind what we have witnessed in the masses of late and also offering vivid comparisons between cult dynamics and the behavior we have observed in a great many in the past 3 years.
The series of essays contained within its pages forces to reader to take an honest look in the mirror and rigorously assess whether or not one's choices during the scamdemic have amounted to the choices of someone in Germany in the late 30-s that bought the propaganda, turned on their neighbors, family and humanity and chose to tow the line of a fascist ideology being promoted by a small group of mentally unstable criminals.
This book begs us to ask the question: When the crushing hammer of a new form of fascism (a type of bio-security police state, which is in essence a technocratic version of fascism pushed forward by plutocrats) was rolled out with a blitzkrieg of state sponsored propaganda.. did I fold under the pressure and align myself with the herd mentality the above described criminals sought to propagate? Or did I remain true to what was in my heart?
Put in other words, this book invites us to ponder the following: "Did I choose obedience in the face of edicts being passed down by the puppets of hardened repeat felon criminal offenders and career profiteers under the threat of coercion, systemic abuse and institutionalized bullying?
Or, did I dig deep to find the grace to honor my intuition, my integrity and my love for all that is innately free and beautiful within me despite the prevalent onslaught of propaganda, those close to me turning on me having been brainwashed and the weapons of a economic war being waged upon myself and all those that refused to conform to this new kind of fascism?
The chronicles in this book's pages beg that we ask the question: When the chips were down, the bullies were emboldened and the temptations were great, did we chose fear, or Love?
The mirror this book offers to both the individual (and our society as a whole) is a powerful kind of medicine which is desperately needed at this critical fork in the road for our family of Humanity.
I will be keeping an extra copy for Posterity. I think this book is worth preserving for I am observing how the dominant institutions currently steering our industrial civilization are attempting to distort and re-write history in a very 1984-esk manner. There are those that have been working to change definitions, censor pivotal events online and silence the victims of this slow motion genocide. These interests seek to obscure the criminality and immoral nature of the actions perpetrated by those that actively sought (and are seeking to) permanently establish what CJ Hopkins calls the "New Normal Reich".
All that being said, this book does however (in my opinion) leave much to be desired in the realm of solutions to the challenges posed to us by the emergence of this "New Normal Reich". It does offer some elucidation on the relevance of engaging in forms of peaceful disobedience (in the form of what some call the way of Satyagraha) but in my opinion, this form of resistance to tyranny (by itself) is not enough.
Despite this lack of actionable/practical solutions, I would still suggest getting a copy and reading it for yourself. Knowing one is has a serious life threatening (but elusive) medical condition (without being offered a cure up front) is still valuable and helpful information for it invokes one to seek out pathways to healing. Refusing to receive a diagnosis because one is afraid of the potentially challenging path to healing is a choice that does not respect the gift of life we have been given by Creator.
There is honor in being courageous enough to take a long hard look at the worst our family of Humanity has to offer (so we can be in a position to instead choose a different path). Cj Hopkins has a real knack for this. Only through clearly assessing the wounds we have allowed to be inflicted on our human family, our civilization and our collective consciousness can we effectively formulate a remedy and begin a path to healing.
May the scars on the soul of Humanity that are illuminated in the pages of this book serve as a map so that we may trial blaze a path ahead with a new found sense of compassion, love, courage, humility, integrity, determination and the clarity of perception to know where we never want to venture again. May our willingness to take on honest look in the mirror empower us to become our best selves in the days, months and years ahead.
I also suggest you check out an interview CJ Hopkins did with Catherine Austin Fitts titled "We Need to Talk About Mr. Global - Part 3":
In the interview, they discuss some of their ideas about why so many seemingly intelligent and (typically) critically thinking people were able to be swiftly subdued by the blitzkrieg of propaganda. They also clearly illustrate where two different possible paths that are in front of us could lead (in a similar way to the image below).
For related info on more recent events: https://archive.org/details/newnormaltotalitarianism
For more info on the parallels between the rise of Nazi Germany and the Rise Of The “New Normal Reich” watch this:
Vera provides historical reference from the perspective of someone that knows what it looks like when a 'civilized society' descends into madness and a great many of it's citizens align with a totalitarian regime all too well. The above linked interview with Vera Sharav (a holocaust survivor) and the title is “Never Again Is Now”:
For Vera’s full documentary go to the 𝗡𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗔𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗜𝘀 𝗡𝗢𝗪 website at:
She was in a concentration camp as a young girl, so she knows what it looks like when a government begins to use propaganda, mind control and psychological warfare on it's own citizens to get them to turn on their neighbors. I admire Vera’s fierce cognizance, clarity of mind and unflinching honesty.
and now for a brief music intermission:
(I do not endorse violence but self-defense is another matter and while my methods of protecting my self and my loved ones are different than this man's in the video above.. I can relate and I dig his musical expression)
The book has some important intel regarding how what some call 'the totalitarian tip-toe' has snuck onto our doorstep. Through illuminating how the oligarchs are attempting to trojan horse their way into our lives (to create what one might call 'digital concentration camps') Derrick helps the reader to be able to strategize to avoid those pitfalls.
The one criticism I do have is how a lot of the book is focused on cryptocurrency and other alternative monetary systems. The author does emphasize the importance of permaculture and regenerative gardening, but then spends more time focusing on the virtues of cryptocurrency (which in theory, I do see as a helpful tool, but not as important as creating decentralized food production systems with our own hands on experience).
I have concerns with focusing on cryptocurrency (or money in any form really) as the means to resist tyranny (rather than focusing most of our time and energy on connecting with Mother Earth to produce the food and medicine we need) as I feel that while gathering money/cryptocurrency to pay someone else to grow/gather your food is more convenient than learning how to grow it your self there are certain situations in which having money or cryptocurrency would not enable you to get food.
Diversified hard assets, cash and cryptocurrency are great, but those things do not have intrinsic value, thus their value in a survival situation pales in comparison to food cultivation, foraging and preservation skills.
The book also talks about self-defense and I think it is worth noting that while defensive weapons might make one feel safe and may protect against random degenerates, if the oligarchy sends in it's goons and high tech weapons those weapons would be pointless. Thus, while I see the wisdom in being able to defend yourself and your loved ones in extreme situations, I do not think that focusing a large amount of time on gathering defensive weapons is healthy nor productive.
Hard assets (whether cash or gold or food stores anything else) can be stolen from you and events can be brought about by humans (or happen naturally) that (even in a best case scenario) would render your cryptocurrency inaccessible and useless for long periods of time (EMPs, CMEs and/or some kind of Digital ID/Internet Drivers license requiring biometric scans to access internet).
Knowledge, skills and experience related to food cultivation, foraging and preservation cannot be stolen from you however, and thus it has intrinsic value as it is applicable and accessible in any and all situations.
Every little bit of food you cultivate for yourself and learn to preserve not only increases your resilience, health and ability to boycott corporations in the here and now, it builds those skills and experience that have intrinsic value for the future. Those are the skills and choices that have the most power to starve the corporations and build a new way of living to leave them behind
While I know Derrick is not like this (as he is actively working to create an off-grid ecovillage that uses food forest and permaculture design to produce it's own food) others that have presented at Greater Reset conference 2023 (Organized by Derrick Broze and John Bush) suggest using money making schemes to get rich fast and just keep buying food from others (so they could avoid having to live in the forest or "on a mountain top with goats" as they prefer the high tech convenient city life).
In my opinion, assuming one will always be able to buy food from someone else (because one is wealthy and/or lazy and does not want to get their hands dirty and work with the soil) is a choice to leave one's self vulnerable and is not a solid strategy for weathering the storm ahead.
Thus, I do recommend this book to others but I would humbly suggest taking in any information that glorifies cryptocurrency (or any other form of money/currency) as a comprehensive solution and a means to remain resilient and able to resist tyranny with a grain of salt.
There have been a number of people that have reached out to me recently to ask if I have concerns about the recent bank / economic instability and if I think they should be concerned about having the majority of their life’s work stored (in the form of fiat currency savings) in the bank.
My answer is invariably, Yes. I do have concerns, as the fractional reserve and creating money as debt system we currently live in is inherently inflationary and vulnerable to manipulation by duplicitous centralized banking cartels (such as the BIS, IMF and other more recent manifestations/vehicles of the plutocrat’s parasitic schemes and economic blitzkriegs such as Blackrock and The Vanguard Group).
Within the span of our lifetime fiat currency may seem relatively stable in value, but when one takes a step back and looks at the larger patterns we are a part of, history tells a different story about what truly has a stable value as empires rise and fall.
Read the book in the image below for more info on the history of the central banking cartel (particularly the BIS and the IMF):
To understand more about why the fiat currency economic system is imploding and will continue to fall apart (and/or transform dramatically) in the coming years:
as well as:
Some suggest that one should gather guns and gold to become resilient and capable of thriving and surviving the times ahead. I lean more towards Charles’ perspective on that approach.
"What survives collapse? What survives crisis? Community. What ever you give and contribute into your community and you generate that goodwill, and you generate those structures of taking care of each other and reciprocal (gift) relationships... that is an investment. That is a savings account that fires cannot burn and thieves cannot steal.
The best investment you can make is generosity, for only thing that cannot be taken from you is that which you give."
- Charles Eisenstein
Also incase you thought that that electing better leaders is the answer to all the problems that we collectively face (and you think that some knight with shining armor is gonna show up and get rid of all the bad guys and make everything all better, “drain the swamp” or “make canada the freest country on earth again” (or some similar PR slogan) I would like to politely remind you that:
and incase you would like to point out any rare exceptions to that rule, I would also like to remind you that:
I also suggest that if you have not checked out the fun and informative episodes that James Corbett does with James Evan Pilato of Media Monarchy that you give these episodes a listen and explore some of their archived episodes.
and here is another one I thought was full of important info: https://www.corbettreport.com/nwnw20220728
You can also check out more of James Evan Pilato’s work, listen to his daily informative and enjoyable radio broadcasts and read excellent material that is published there with the help of his amazing team at their website here.
Next up a book that I really enjoyed and a substack article that brought me to tears recently:
If you have not come across the superb articles of Margaret Anna Alice on substack I highly suggest checking out her work.
I recently pleasantly surprised to find one of her articles published in our local newspaper in Ontario this month! You can read the version they printed on page 3 online here: https://druthers.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/druthers-april-2023-resized.pdf
I have arranged for this newspaper to be delivered directly to the houses of everyone in my whole neighborhood. Take that censorship algorithms ! :)
Here is a link to the original article:
Re-reading the article linked above in our local newspaper the other day actually brought tears to my eyes. Tears of feeling truly seen and understood, tears filled with the essence of a sense of genuine comradery and the sensation that results from the application of a sort of medicine for my heart... healing wounds and strengthening my resolve moving forward.
Many of her articles have served as a balm for my heart. On some occasions, when I shared her writing with people who were on the fence, it helped to provide clarity and motivation to choose moral courage over compliance with tyranny. I believe Margaret Anna is doing very important work, helping people who are lost to more clearly be able to attune their moral compasses to true north.
“Government Itself Is Immoral you say!?? But I thought if we can vote in the good guys they will swoop in a save the day, clean up our mess for us and do all the heavy lifting in creating a better future”?
Unfortunately, the above prevalent attitude I depicted (in the hypothetical words of the ‘loyal statist’) always hoping that the government can fix everything (if we just get the right people in office) is a fairy tale. Multi-generational propaganda and very effective PR campaigns have indoctrinated us into the above described role of learned helplessness and hoping some parent figure will show up and clean up our mess for us, but not only does history teach us otherwise, even if there was some hope of taking on the role of spectator/cheerleader and letting someone else do the hard work for us (which there is not) on a spiritual level, that is not what we came here to do.
We have all been indoctrinated since we were very young to unquestioningly accept the domination of involuntary governance systems (aka multi-generational organized crime syndicates) in our lives and see the "big brother" figure as something that is necessary to 'keep us safe'. However, students of history quickly learn that the facts do not support that story of the role of governments in our lives.
When will we muster the courage to break the cycle and instead (peacefully) choose a different path?
We have been indoctrinated into a belief system called Statism which is immoral and degenerative, but what alternatives are there to involuntary governance systems (aka multi-generational organized crime syndicates) ?
The book shown in the image below offers some ideas on one such alternative.
The following are screenshots of the an the digital version of my book (Recipes For Reciprocity : The Regenerative Way From Seed To Table) which pertain to voluntaryism:
It is time to move past the era of followers and leaders, peasants and princes, worshipers and saviors, haves and have-nots, minions and tyrants, corporations and consumers and usher in the age of self governed, self reliant, creative, resilient and symbiotically connected human beings which collaborate of their own free will to leave this world a little more beautiful than it was before.
There is no elected official, institution, politician, guru, priest, revolutionary, savior or any other external force or individual who can do this for you. Engaging in life on Earth is a voluntary journey that each of us chose willingly. The Creator of all things respects our choice to be here and our free will. We did not come here to see a dramatic dualistic showdown happen and applaud the ‘good guy' for vanquishing the bad guy (from a distance as a spectator). No, each and every one of us (whether we are currently consciously aware of this fact or not) came here to co-author the story. That means no-one else is going to do the hard work for us (not a savior, rebel leader nor a politician) we came here to do that work of transforming this world ourselves.
If you are reading this than that means that on a soul level you chose to be here on Earth in this particular time (and critical stage in the unfolding of humanity) because you are resilient, courageous, capable of transmuting pain into wisdom, radiating light from within to make the darkness flee and serving as an exemplar to help those who are ready to also become catalysts for a metamorphosis.
You are the sowers of the seeds of change and the remediators of humanity's collective consciousness. You are the gardeners that sow the seeds of hope, healing, remembrance, kindness, respect, solidarity and compassion (even in the midst of the cold winter winds) having faith these seeds will germinate and their roots take hold when the time is right.
As I do feel that the most lasting joy and fulfillment is found when we look within I will share a quote, some thoughts and then one final article that align with that inward path.
Some words from a wise man that speak to how there is indeed a 'divine authority' that will provide a hedge of protection for those walking a path of courage and compassion.
"𝗪𝗲 𝗰𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗺 𝗯𝘆 𝗲𝘅𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮 𝗵𝘂𝗺𝗮𝗻 𝗯𝗲𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝘀. 𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗺𝗮𝗱𝗲 𝗮𝘁 𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗸, 𝘀𝘂𝗰𝗵 𝗮 𝗰𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗺 𝗶𝘀𝘀𝘂𝗲𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗵 𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝗽𝗿𝗮𝘆𝗲𝗿. 𝗔𝗻 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝘆𝗼𝗻𝗱 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗽𝗿𝗮𝘆𝗲𝗿, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗿𝗲𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘇𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱 𝗮𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝘁. We may experience this as synchronicity, which seems to happen with uncanny frequency just at those moments where one takes a leap in the dark... Synchronicity so often congeals around bravery. Synchronicity is the snapping of the laws of probability as reality shifts to align with brave choices." - Charles Eisenstein
I can also speak from personal experience to this. I have found that if one chooses actions that are in the interest of protecting those that cannot protect themselves, giving a voice to those that cannot speak for themselves, offering pathways to healing, empowerment, hope and unification of our family of humanity (and our more than human family) there are beings that stand at the ready in higher realms that are willing and able to provide protection and guidance.
While I do believe that each of us have a pre-determined time when we have agreed to leave this Earth (and no amount of prayer or will power will extend that time frame) the time we do have here can be drastically improved and our efforts supported in meaningful ways through genuine, open-hearted prayer/meditation. The Creator of all things does not interrupt or override our free will, but when invited to be part of our lives on Earth, all things become possible.
In closing I would like to share a link to a prayer that was expressed by my beloved, as I do believe that nourishing our spirit and nurturing a direct relationship with the Creator is the most important, liberating, empowering and healing choice each of us can make as we strive to accomplish our shared goals.
Okay that is it for me today!
I hope this constellation of thoughts, books, articles, memes and perspectives serves to enrich your life and offer you pathways to increased resilience and joy as you do your own part to co-create our shared future on this Earth.
I look forward to hearing what you think in the comment section.
Also, I will have my own book to add to that suggested reading list (in physical copies) in the near future too!
More on that soon
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“This is how I focus
Knowing it's not hopeless
But it sure starts with me and ends on a whole note
This is my healing
For past and present future things to come
I see people stressin'
Over space and possessions
Out of fear and a need for visual aids of our abundance
Give me examples
Or something tangible
Something I can get my hands on and find real meaning
Where is the medicine?
Well, I've been searching
And I suppose each will find their own kind
Well, everything's at stake
It makes it hard to concentrate
And there are men who see a war and see a paycheck
Such different programming
To live so fearfully
Terror this and terror that terrible reality
There is no medicine
On the television
So turn it off and turn yourself around…
...When the sky opened
Like I been hopin'
And there came horses by the thousands
And there was thunder on their tongues
And lightning on their minds
And they were singing this old melody from some other time
They sang don't waste your hate
Rather gather and create
Be of service
Be a sensible person
Use your words and don't be nervous
You can do this, you've got purpose
Find your medicine and use it”