The ill A. D. and the Odd Essay


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Green Book



Volume 4
The ill A.D. and

the Odd Essay


Of what purpose is another book of meditations? Indeed, the primary source of inspiration for Druids is thought to be Nature, so why do I collect secondary tales? The Order of Worship has long since past away at Carleton, so the use of meditations at those services has also departed from general custom for many of us (at Carleton.) Well, I guess a sub-goal of the Druids has always been to reflect on life and consider the myriad of systems that also look on life; be they religions, philosophies or intellectual studies. A natural result of the search is to share some of your findings, right? I think these readings will spark an interesting thought or that might encourage Druids to widen their search parameters. I think group discussion of these volumes (and other sources of their own finding) would be fruitful. I hope these selections and advice from diverse sources may whet the appetite for the Search for Awareness and Truth.

I'm sure that the first three Green Books are more than sufficient for many Druids, but I just can't stop collecting stories. My motivation is part pack-rat and partly to provide as much "Druidic material" (in my opinion) for training future Druids, who have little time for personal research. It is also a portable set of notes for my own study. I merely hope that none mistake this book as a substitute for going outside for a walk or planting a garden or raiding a library or talking to a stranger.

By the time of this re-publication, the Green Books will have become 1/5 of the total volume of the ARDA. I certainly can't put an entire library in here. So, I'll have to probably call this the last collection, at least by my hand, for awhile.

Be careful reading this, for you are entering the life and culture of the authors. You cannot borrow the wisdom of a people, without repaying them in someway, perhaps through your life-style. As always, I've swiped these selections without permission, so don't go doing it yourself, right? Two wrongs don't make a right. I've listed the books, where possible to enable you to order them. Please enjoy.

-Michael Scharding

September 1st, 2002

Washington D.C.

Drynemetum Press

Table of Contents

Introductory Materials - 85


Table of Contents

Part One: American Sources

Native American Thoughts - 90

Chief Seattle’s Treaty Oration 1854

A Tribal Attorney

His Answer was "Maybe"

The Sick Buzzard

Bilingual Education

Words and Writing

Talk To God

Where is the Eagle's Seat?

Earth Teach me to Remember

Behold Our Mother Earth

Prayer for the Great Family

The Buffalo

My Journey Home

Prayer to my Brother

I Would Cry

The End

Go Forth

This is My Land

Lonely Warriors

The Wanderer’s Prayer

Native American Proverbs - 96

Community and Communication






Justice and Law






War and Peace


Spanish American Thoughts - 99

Wise Stones


Universal Mother

On Being Alone: Berkeley 1969

Delicious Death

Day of the Dead

Finding Home

Post-Colonial Contemplations

Aztec Thoughts - 102


Land of the Dead

Land of Mystery

Dreams and Flowers



The Wise Man

Why Do We Live?

American Wisdom: What Do We Mean When We Say God? - 103


Back to the Basics

Our Own God

Where is God?

Problems with God

Islam’s Attractiveness

A Glass of Water’s Travels

Sleeping Watchman

Lesson from Bali


Together in Church

Women and God

Difficulties with God

A Hard Job

Consider Allah

The Hidden Sun

Convenient Invention

Grammatical God


A Sine Wave

God the Creator

True Friend


Life is an Offering --------------------------------105

No Church Can


Towards What?

In Each Other

In the Flowers

God is Living

God is Potential

The Deer God

Face of God

Hindu Ritualism


A Map

A Hologram

John Barleycorn

One Size Fits All

Where is the Water?

A Fish out of Water

Unlisted Phone Number

The Creator

God’s Ways

There is a God

Short Thoughts

African-American Proverbs - 108

Tales from the South - 109

Uncle Remus Teaches a Child

The Wonderful Tar Baby Story

Part Two: African/European Sources

African Proverbs - 110

African Stories - 111

The Skull

Two Roads Overcame the Hyena

The Giraffe and the Monkey

The Two Cold Porcupines

How the Monkeys Saved the Fish

The Leopard and the Rabbit

The Lion’s Share

The Community of Rats

The Man and Elephant

The Chameleon and the Lizard

The Old Woman Who Hid Death

The Sacrifice of the White Hen

The Monster Shing’weng’we

The Story of Gumha & the Large Rooster

King Leopard and the Spear Contest

Aphoristic Advice - 115

Atheism and Agnostics

Death and Aging


Education and Knowledge




Justice, Law & Government




Poverty and Hard Times


Religion and Philosophy

Ritual and Prayer

Silence and Tact






Wisdom of Aesop's Fables - 125

Aesop Saves his Master, Xanthus

A Cat and a Cock

A Countryman and a Snake

A Lion and an Ass

A Fox and a Raven

Wolf and the Shephard

The Rabbits and the Frogs

The Lion and the Mouse

The Ox and the Frog

The Mole and Her Child

The Snake and Zeus

The One-Eyed Deer

The Proud Deer

The Martin and the Mistletoe

The Stork and the Fox

The Horse and the Ass

The Cat and Venus

The New and Old Goats ---------------------127

The Ass and the Statue

The Dog and the River

The Dog and the Hare

The Beetle and the Eagle

The Reed and the Olive Tree

The Fir and the Thorn Bush

Springtime and Wintertime

The Merchant and the Statue

The Cowherd and Zeus

The Fool and Fortune

The Cobbler and the King

Hercules and the Apple

Two Travelers and a Bear

A Sick Kite and her Daughter

An Ass, an Ape and a Mole

A Dog, a Sheep and a Wolf

An Ant and a Fly

The Ax and the Forest

The Sick Lion and the Fox

A Boar and a Horse

A Fowler and a Pigeon --------------------------129

A Camel

A Dog in the Manger

An Old Tree Transplanted

A Camel and Zeus

A Fox and a Goat

An Imposter at the Oracle

An Astrologer and a Ditch Digger

Hermes and a Traveler

A Doctor and an Eye Patient

A Lioness and a Fox

Two Cocks Fighting

A Fox that Lost its Tail

Death and an Old Man

An Old Man and a Lion

A Flea and Hercules

Two Travelers and a Bag of Money

A Wolf and a Goat

A Musician

A Crow and Pigeons

A Wolf and a Sheep

Travelers by the Seaside

An Ass and the Frogs

A Gnat Challenges a Lion

The Traveler and Athena

Fundamentalist Aesopian Article

Wit and Wisdom of Women - 133




Fame and Fortune


Love and Justice


Philosophy & Religion




Wit and Wisdom


Welsh Proverbs - 136

Akkadian Proverbs - 137

Part Three: The Monotheistic Faiths
The Way of the Sufis - 137

Shah on Sufism

Attraction of Celebrities

The Dance

The Words of Omar Kayyam

Seeds like These

Under the Earth

I am

The Words of Attar of Nishapur

The Heart

The Madman and the Muezzin

The Test

The Unaware Tree


The King who Divine his Future

The Words of Ibn El-Arabi

Whence Came the Title?

The Words of Saadi of Shiraz

Notable Quotes

The Pearl

Scholars and Recluses

The Fox and the Camels


The Words of Hakim Jaami

Notable Quotes

The Beggar

What Shall We Do?

The Words of Jalaludin Rumi --------------------139

The Way

I am the Life of My Beloved

No Other Place

Two Reeds

Actions and Words


This Task

The Teachings of the Chikistri Order

The Gardens


When Death is not Death

The Seven Brothers

The Oath

The Sufi Missionary

The Teachings of the Quadri Order

The Rogue, the Sheep and the Villagers

The Teachings of the Naqshbandi Order

The Host and the Guests

The Three Candidates

Three Visits to a Sage

One Way of Teaching

Cherished Notions


Sentences of the Kajagan

Sayings of the Masters

The Magian and the Muslim



What the Devil Said

Thauri on Contemplation

The Idol

The Candle’s Duty

Three Stages of Worship


On Your Religion

Among the Masters -------------------------------145

To a Believer

Eat No Stones

Why the Dog Could Not Drink

Man Believes What He Thinks is True

Time for Learning

Four Teaching Stories

The Watermelon Hunter

Nasrudin’s Ambassadorial Trip

The Fool, Salt and Flour

The Indian Bird

Solitary Contemplation Themes

To Be a Sufi

Teachers, Teachings, Taught

Perception and Explanation

Sufi Literature

Becoming One Who Becomes

Where it Went


Various Stories to Teach With

Who’s in Charge?

No Boat?


The World

When to Teach?

The True Pilgrimage

The Proper Task

The Noble Thief

The Test of the Birds

The Test of the Camel

The Walnut’s Lesson

Kindness to Animals

Wean Yourself

Sleep No More

GroupRecitals ----------------------------------151

The Caravansary


The Meaning of Culture

The Aim

Wild Utterances

To Reach the Degree of Truth

Death Visiting

Thou Art There

What to Do and What to Have Done

Mean and Knowledge

What is Identity?

The Answer

We are Alive

Final Essays

Sufi Lectures

What is Sufism?


Seven Thoughts on Famous Teachers

Teaching of the Sufis

How Strange a Thing is Man

The Study Group

Advice to the Vigiler

Jewish Thoughts - 154


Hide and Seek

Differences of Customs

Publishing Advice

Papa’s Gift


Hasty Prayers

Where is God?

The Disbeliever


The Unpopular Rabbi

The Accused Maid

The Disbeliever and God




Fresh Bread

One’s Worth

Two Thoughts from David

Gardening and Tax-Collectors

A Fair Exchange

On One Foot

The Jewish Jeweler


Two Ideas from Singer

A Poor Jew ----------------------------------158

The Doctor Doesn’t Worry

Qualification of an Expert

Nature and Poets

To Tide Him Over

Deferred Judgment

The Long and Short of It.

He Did All He Could

Increased Horse Power

Some Jewish Proverbs

The Considerate Beggar



No Peace for a Rabbi

De Profundis

The Philosopher


God’s Garden

Why the Sixth Day?

Growing Roots

Wearisome Things


Water and Stones

Christian Thoughts - 160

I am There

Inside You

Washing the Feet

In All Things

God is Mother

A Prayer for the Frightened

The Dark Night

The Serenity Prayer

Birmingham Jail Letter

The Canticle of Brother Sun

Part Four: The Indian Sub-continent

Hindu Thoughts - 162

Isa Upanishad: All Beings in Your Self

Chandogya Upanishad: Thou Art That

Two Quotes

Jain Thoughts - 163

What is Ritual and Religion?

What is Religion?

What is Truth and Knowledge?

How Should We Live?

What are the Different Jain Fundamentals?

The Problem?

The Butcher and Papanubandhu Pap

The Immortal Song

Fight Against Desires

Virtuous Prayer

The Doctrine of Maybe

Nonviolence Prayer

Creator? Creation?

Buddhist Thoughts - 166

See For Yourselves

Carrying a Girl

Sand Castles

Flapping Things

The Water Jar

What is Zen?

On Trust in the Heart

Loving Kindness


Must I Now Preach?

Sikh Thoughts - 167

Basic Sikh Philosophy and Beliefs

Women in Sikhism: 3 Quotes

What is Truth and Knowledge?

Letter to the Ascetic

All Religions are Alike to Me

Tibetan Thoughts - 168

With Impurity

Of What Use if Meditation?



Teachers and Students

The Tibetan Path

Part Five: The Far East
Chinese Proverbs - 171

Chinese Stories - 172

Moderation in Harvest


The Bell Stand

The Roots of Wisdom - 173

Mountain and Forest

Form and Spirit

On Giving Advice

Balance in Vocation

Sky Lessons

Where They Belong

On Education

How to Advise

Simply Natural

Be Yourself

Why be Upset?

Where to Look

Taoist Thoughts -174




Mongolian Proverbs - 174

Korean Proverbs - 175

Korean Stories - 175

The Land where you Live is Your Native Country

The Teacher’s Poison

The Tiger in the Trap

Miraculous Awakening of Zen

Japanese Proverbs - 177

Japanese Lessons - 178

Basho’s Poems

Ikkyu’s Poems

Thoughts of Ryokan

Rinzai’s Quote

The Book of Haiku

The Path and the Pith

Parable of the Raft

About Death

Sun and Moon

Two Shinto Quotes

Mountain Tasting: Weeds and Rain

Zen Stories ----------------------------------184

The Holy Demon

The Earnest Acolyte

A Singular Animal

Five Shinto Selections

The Way of Shinto

Hello? Can Anyone Hear Me?

The Creation of the World

A Blade of Grass

What is Shinto?

A Shinto Priest’s Life ----------------------188

#1 What is Shinto

#2 Kannagara: Rhythm of the Gods

#3 Shinto & Western Religions

#4 Shinto & Other Religions

#5 Shinto & Buddhism in Japan

#6 What is the Model Life of a Priest?

Part Six: Down Under and Beyond
Australian Thoughts - 192

Dreamtime Stories and Dignity

The Church and Me

The Now

A Simple Request

The Developers


The Unhappy Race

The Past

Mary’s Plea

Soul Music


A Letter to My Mother
Conclusion - 195

Part One: American Sources

Native American Thoughts

As you may know, many people turn to Native Americans for inspiration from an ecologically-based belief system. To borrow some wisdom, of course, requires some type of compensation, to live wisely. Repay your debts accordingly. This selection is taken from "Native American Reader: Stories, Speeches and Poems,” edited and commentary by Jerry D. Blance, PhD, published by The Denali Press, PO BOX 021535 Juneau Alaska 99802-1535, USA. ISBN 0-938737-20-1. Please seek more from this book of modern Indian thoughts and don't forget that there are living Indians, with modern problems, who might welcome some help.

Chief Seattle’s Treaty

Yonder sky that has wept tears of compassion upon my people for centuries untold, and which to us appears changeless and eternal, may change. Today is fair. Tomorrow it may be overcast with clouds. My words are like the stars that never change. Whatever Seattle says, the great chief at Washington can rely upon with as much certainty as he can upon the return of the sun or the seasons. The white chief says that Big Chief at Washington sends us greetings of friendship and goodwill. This is kind of him for we know he has little need of our friendship in return. His people are many. They are like the grass that covers vast prairies. My people are few. They resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept plain. The great, and I presume -- good, White Chief sends us word that he wishes to buy our land but is willing to allow us enough to live comfortably. This indeed appears just, even generous, for the Red Man no longer has rights that he need respect, and the offer may be wise, also, as we are no longer in need of an extensive country.

There was a time when our people covered the land as the waves of a wind-ruffled sea cover its shell-paved floor, but that time long since passed away with the greatness of tribes that are now but a mournful memory. I will not dwell on, nor mourn over, our untimely decay, nor reproach my paleface brothers with hastening it, as we too may have been somewhat to blame.

Youth is impulsive. When our young men grow angry at some real or imaginary wrong, and disfigure their faces with black paint, it denotes that their hearts are black, and that they are often cruel and relentless, and our old men and old women are unable to restrain them. Thus it has ever been. Thus it was when the white man began to push our forefathers ever westward. But let us hope that the hostilities between us may never return. We would have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Revenge by young men is considered gain, even at the cost of their own lives, but old men who stay at home in times of war, and mothers who have sons to lose, know better.

Our good father in Washington--for I presume he is now our father as well as yours, since King George has moved his boundaries further north--our great and good father, I say, sends us word that if we do as he desires he will protect us. His brave warriors will be to us a bristling wall of strength, and his wonderful ships of war will fill our harbors, so that our ancient enemies far to the northward -- the Haidas and Tsimshians -- will cease to frighten our women, children, and old men. Then in reality he will be our father and we his children. But can that ever be? Your God is not our God! Your God loves your people and hates mine! He folds his strong protecting arms lovingly about the paleface and leads him by the hand as a father leads an infant son. But, He has forsaken His Red children, if they really are His. Our God, the Great Spirit, seems also to have forsaken us. Your God makes your people wax stronger every day. Soon they will fill all the land. Our people are ebbing away like a rapidly receding tide that will never return. The white man's God cannot love our people or He would protect them. They seem to be orphans who can look nowhere for help. How then can we be brothers? How can your God become our God and renew our prosperity and awaken in us dreams of returning greatness? If we have a common Heavenly Father He must be partial, for He came to His paleface children. We never saw Him. He gave you laws but had no word for His red children whose teeming multitudes once filled this vast continent as stars fill the firmament. No; we are two distinct races with separate origins and separate destinies. There is little in common between us.

To us the ashes of our ancestors are sacred and their resting place is hallowed ground. You wander far from the graves of your ancestors and seemingly without regret. Your religion was written upon tablets of stone by the iron finger of your God so that you could not forget. The Red Man could never comprehend or remember it. Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors -- the dreams of our old men, given them in solemn hours of the night by the Great Spirit; and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people.

Your dead cease to love you and the land of their nativity as soon as they pass the portals of the tomb and wander away beyond the stars. They are soon forgotten and never return. Our dead never forget this beautiful world that gave them being. They still love its verdant valleys, its murmuring rivers, its magnificent mountains, sequestered vales and verdant lined lakes and bays, and ever yearn in tender fond affection over the lonely hearted living, and often return from the happy hunting ground to visit, guide, console, and comfort them.

Day and night cannot dwell together. The Red Man has ever fled the approach of the White Man, as the morning mist flees before the morning sun. However, your proposition seems fair and I think that my people will accept it and will retire to the reservation you offer them. Then we will dwell apart in peace, for the words of the Great White Chief seem to be the words of nature speaking to my people out of dense darkness.

It matters little where we pass the remnant of our days. They will not be many. The Indian's night promises to be dark. Not a single star of hope hovers above his horizon. Sad-voiced winds moan in the distance. Grim fate seems to be on the Red Man's trail, and wherever he will hear the approaching footsteps of his fell destroyer and prepare stolidly to meet his doom, as does the wounded doe that hears the approaching footsteps of the hunter.

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