Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Spring 2015
By Don Eulert

Last week, after goodbyes to my last lovely class, spent the afternoon in the gardens.  Remembered Robert Frost on “teaching can be a wonderful thing when it comes into your life just right” and his poems about apple-picking and choice of paths through snowy woods. 

Thought back to my first classes at Colby (Kansas) high school.  Then came a kaleidoscope of a thousand and one persons places times.  And for all that reciprocal “teaching”, Gratitudes— especially for these last 40 years at CSPP-San Diego.

For present and onward, thought about challenges for the Center for Integrative Psychology to address (gratitudes also for the continuity of CIP’s community and mission).

Someone in the last class had asked my observation about how the about world has changed.  Well, for one thing, the earth and its lifeforms now change fast enough for us to recognize in one lifetime. When I first settled at FrogFarm for place, Hatfield Creek ran year-round.  Forty years ago fish swam, and a pair of ducks came every year to its pools.  Now it’s six years since frogsong in living water.  

A unique time in human history.  But if you count dinosaurs, maybe not the first time in history that sentient beings experienced the earth and its forms change so fast that it affected their lifetime.  Not the first time that a civilization denuded the last stand of fruit trees for warmth . . . or a tribe the last mastodon. 

However, we’re uniquely equipped to get the news from everywhere, just in case personal experience might be a fluke.  We should be smarter with knowledge at hand, while we participate in a path of ecological self-destruction (even if reluctant), unless systems change. Which parallels a system change that has crept up on us:  the commodification of everything.  From patented corn seeds, to for-profit prison systems and health care.  And education.  From Colby High on, I believed education first serves an ideal of the educated person.  Now at all levels increasingly education = efficient training to compete economically.   

Found myself quoting “Things are in the saddle and ride mankind”, Emerson’s warning at the beginning of the industrial revolution.  I wonder, in this information age, how advertising for consumers can be worth gilliions and has become the electronic driver of our culture.  I wonder how systems denuded of hands-on goods can sustain.  And what difference we as individuals and as a Center—describing ourselves as “a community networking for agents of change”-- can contribute.  


Make corporations be people  
deny their passports    when diseased 

Govern the International Monetary Fund

with day laborers on the Board 
Pay the Kansas wheat farmer his fair share    
maybe ten cents a loaf instead of two   
Profit the Palestine goat herder
milking her doe    for aged cheese    
Slow time      Let Juan
feel when corn is ready to pick by hand   
Value attention
and care   
We are too many

When we want too much

Efficiency becomes a false god    we worship
so a Vietnamese worker falls into the hamburger grinding vat
in a Dodge City meat factory and probably we eat some of him    
Which fits    with what I’m trying to say
about interdependent systems     
Some precious thing got lost     in your house  
you think    you only misplaced it
it’s Juan the corn farmer      moving to the barrio 

For all of those who would like to say a few words in honor of Don Eulert's retirement, please comment and share your thoughts here.

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