Thursday, February 14, 2019


Animal Control had a case to prove about a guy who shot a pesky dog.  We had the dog's corpse and the shelter supervisor, a young woman, was trying to find the bullet but not succeeding.  Mike Burgwin, the supervisor, asked me to go out back to the concrete slab to give the task a try.  He knew I had been married to a taxidermist sculptor in Montana.  I had skinned coyotes.  They often have wonderful fur.  I admire them.

I had never read a book about how to skin a coyote or about coyote anatomy, but the shape and arrangement of their sheets and ties of flesh had been seen and felt.  After a minute of groping around in this dead dog's wound, I found the problem.  Once touching the first little bb of shot, it was easy to detect other pellets and carry a palmful of them to Mike's desk, proof that the killer used a shotgun.  I put them, still bloody, on a clean sheet of typing paper so he could see their size and count their number because those things tell you about the gun, which tells you something about the shooter.

This was literally embodiment thinking.  To academics used to working with printed thought-about-thought, no matter how clever the virtual version, it's hard for them to even locate their own embodied information, their own feelings.  One can't learn how to ride a bike by reading, though there are many rational reasons to do it and to believe you can. is a website trying  to make a profit from connecting and transmitting academic papers.  One posts a paper.  If others read it, Academia tries to feed one other related papers.  At best it can create a community.  Mostly I suspect it doesn't.  At least for me, because the ideas are literally unthinkable -- based on feeling.  Feeling around in the animal.

So far they have offered these:

"The Biology of Religious Behavior: the Evolutionary Origins of Faith and Religion." edited by Daniel Lietchy.

"Why Our Brains Love Arts and Crafts" by 7 women.

"Brain, Body and Culture: a Biocultural Theory of Religion"

"The Cultural Evolution of Religion"

"Cognitive Machinery and Explanatory Ambitions: the New Naturalism" by Barbara Herrnstein Smith.

None of them are remotely relevant to what I'm doing because all of them are "apologetics" in the Christian sense of rationalizing old pre-existing theologies.  They all define "religion" as a cultural phenomenon with social power.  I'm talking about the basic neurology that makes a physical body live, sentient embodiment.  They start with what is.  I'm starting with zero sum existence. 

And, lo . . . Academia put me in touch with Armin Geertz and his whole community.  Now to think and feel.  I'm a little distracted by the torn and bruised sheets and ties of muscle in my smashed shoulder which is why this is short,

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