“Truly, if someone were to renounce a kingdom or the whole world while still holding on to themselves, then they would have renounced nothing at all. And indeed, if someone renounces themselves, then whatever they might keep, whether it be a kingdom or honour or whatever it may be, they will still have renounced all things.” – Meister Eckhart, The Talks of Instruction

Note on photo: Glacier Bay National Park, summer 2012

Published by

Jonathan Erdman

Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability.

2 thoughts on “Renouncing”

  1. Maybe you’ve renounced the blog too, Erdman. Anyhow, this —

    “if someone renounces themselves, then whatever they might keep, whether it be a kingdom or honour or whatever it may be, they will still have renounced all things.”

    — isn’t this precisely the rationale invoked by many of “the haves”? I have renounced worldly things: they don’t own me and I don’t own them. I am the good steward, the camel who has passed through the eye of the needle, one of the few deemed worthy by God Himself of being a keeper of honor and power and whatever. I am the moral minority, the 1%.


  2. I have indeed renounced the blog…sort of…..It’s more a matter of having moved to Facebook. It’s just so damned easy at FB, both to blog, microblog, and to connect and carry on conversations. Too easy. I didn’t plan it that way, I just sort of got sucked in…..if there were a more seamless connection between wordpress and FB, then I’d be doing more on wordpress; but I think FB intentionally keeps things difficult….In any event, I think I am primarily drawn to blogging for the interaction. I like to write, but without comments, I get easily bored….I do miss interacting with you, my friend.

    In terms of your above comment on the 1%…..Most of the world’s most enlightened beings seem to have renounced worldly wealth in word and in deed. Jesus told a rich young ruler (i.e., a 1%er) to sell all he had, give it to the poor (redistribution of wealth), and follow him. Jesus, himself, was homeless. The Buddha was one such rich young ruler when he walked away from it to pursue spiritual development…..Then there is the wisdom of Fight Club: “you don’t own your stuff, you’re stuff owns you.” A similar theme…..It’s easy, though, once you have a position of wealth and privilege, to assume you’ve got it because you are indeed special and blessed by God (or whatever).


Consider this post an invitation, an invitation to comment and collaborate ~ In Solidarity, JE

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