Scholarship and New Book

The revenues from my 2021 book – PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE; Stories that Haunt – created the Dr. Ian Prattis Scholarship for Indigenous, Black and Racialized Students, at Carleton University, Ottawa. Value $2,000.  Established in September 2021. Awarded annually by the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs on the recommendation of the Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology to an outstanding Indigenous, Black or Racialized student.  I was a professor there from 1970 – 2007 and enjoyed teaching. I present the scholarship to graduates who are outstanding, diligent and intelligent.

            I wrote the book PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE: Stories that Haunt, because I had to. My responsibility of holding the pen was a mere posture to place words in a sequence that would resonate in the reader’s mind. I had a sense of reciprocity about what I felt was necessary to heal the world from climate emergency and pandemic. The chapters play their part throughout as a sort of call and response meter that leans on kinship and community rather than corporate greed. The chapters become as seeds in the mind of the reader, so my work cannot be buried or lost. There is a strong emphasis on Indigenous Wisdom that pulls chapters together while displaying how easy it is to fall into destruction.

            Take a look at the book’s URL http://ianprattis.com/PastPresentFuture.html  Go to the ORDER BOOK tab – for links to Amazon and Indigo and methods to purchase the new book via Paypal. Folks in Ottawa are welcome to get PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE from my home and also receive – FREE – any prior book. No costs for postage. Your purchase enables the Dr. Ian Prattis Scholarship at Carleton University!

PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE, Stories that Haunt

My new book has taken lots of work this winter. “PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE, Stories that Haunt” will be out in May. Testimonials below from kind readers. The big splash will be in May – on Amazon and Indigo, also signed copies from the author with a FREE bonus of any prior book.

Germaine De Peralta, Journalist and Reiki Master Teacher

Dr. Ian Prattis’ new book, PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE is a testament to the sacred interconnectedness and interdependence of man, his community, nature, the elements and the animal kingdom. It is these relationships that enable us to survive, thrive, heal and grow. Yet there is an underlying message that these very relationships can become fragile and worn, if we become complacent and fail to nourish and tend to them. Portrayed against a rich backdrop of nature and the seasons, Ian Prattis’ stories explore themes of purity and darkness, cruelty and compassion, revenge and forgiveness and finally acceptance. One will delight in the authenticity, depth, and sincerity of his characters.

Krystina McGuire-Eggins, Therapist

Ian Prattis’ new book, “PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE: Stories that Haunt” is a brilliant collection of stories, writings and essays in fiction and non-fiction. The book leads the reader through thought provoking perspectives about the treatment and respect Western society has thus far shown toward Mother Earth. Dr. Prattis presents the current state of our Earth through a lens that is alarming and sobering at moments. In his true fashion, he offers hope by educating the reader on how Indigenous wisdom that has been passed down for generations can provide a pathway that the human race can choose to embrace for a better future. This is an excellent read, very appropriate for our current times.

Bob Allen, Founder and CEO IDEAS

These tales operate at three levels. First, the characters are all of “US.” Their stories are the One Human Story of struggling to live in this world. Dig deeper, and you’ll find the rich metaphor pointing toward truths about the way our species has evolved and why our permanent dominance of the Earth is a fiction that will not stand up to any real scrutiny. At their root, Dr. Ian Prattis has pointed out that “reality” is not action-over-time but it is simultaneity. These stories take their place with other great cultural myths as a shaman’s call to the central village fire asking us to listen, engage and imagine.

A WRITER’S DREAM

A WRITER’S DREAM by: Ian Prattis

It happens – that moment when unexpectedly your writing receives glowing confirmation. Luckily I have had a taste of that. At a writer’s retreat, the facilitator who had read my book Redemption spoke of it that it was not so much a read but as if she were listening to music. The cadence of the writing struck her forcibly. I often describe Redemption as an extended prose poem but like her musical note more. Then a phone call that Trailing Sky Six Feathers received the Quill Award from Focus on Women Magazine, an advocacy group for women’s issues worldwide. I was delighted that the first award for this book came from a women’s group. Other awards include Gold for Redemption at the 2015 Florida Book Festival, Silver for Environment from the 2014 Living Now Literary Awards for Failsafe; Saving the Earth From Ourselves. There was the 2019 Gold from the eLit Excellence Awards. I received the 2011 Ottawa Earth Day Environment Award and in 2018 the Yellow Lotus award from the Vesak Project for spiritual guidance and teaching dharma. Also my book “Shattered Earth” received the 2020 Gold Medal from the eLit Excellence Awards.

When a reviewer hits the mark it is a big wow when they seem to read your mind. Julia Ann Charpentier in her review must have been sitting right there. She describes Redemption, “An admirable command of language brings to every scene a striking visual clarity… The novel falls into the realm of timeless storytelling… This eye-opening book will be a memorable experience for anyone who enjoys reading about primordial tendencies. Beneath a polished urban facade remains a part of human nature that few want to acknowledge, either due to fear or simply because it is easier to deny the basic instincts that have kept us alive on an unforgiving earth.”

A wonderful cap to all this musing was recent when I went to send some books through the Post Office. The young woman at the counter had posted many of the packages of books I had sent to competitions and I always gave a copy to her to read. She gave me a big hug and told me that the book – Trailing Sky Six Feathers – had changed her life. This is really why I write. I told her that the final bookend of the trilogy takes characters from the two books she has read and places them on a new planet in the immediate future. I gave her that book. My expeditions to the post office are a highlight for me these days.

My latest book – PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE: Stories that Haunt – is drawing in some exciting testimonials. It will be published in 2021. Taste this view:

Bob Allen, Founder and CEO IDEAS

“These tales operate at three levels. First, the characters are all of “US.” Their stories are the One Human Story of struggling to live in this world. Dig deeper, and you’ll find the rich metaphor pointing toward truths about the way our species has evolved and why our permanent dominance of the Earth is a fiction that will not stand up to any real scrutiny. At their root, Ian Prattis has pointed out that “reality” is not action-over-time but it’s simultaneity. These stories take their place with other great cultural myths as a shaman’s call to the central village fire asking us to listen, engage and imagine.”

You can find my work at http://www.ianprattis.com

Science, Climate Change and Global Pandemic

Many years ago (2008) I published Failsafe: Saving the Earth from Ourselves. I wrote about homo-sapiens as perhaps a Failed Genetic Experiment. I delivered the content of this book to students at Carleton University, in a television course on Ecology and Culture. Half way through the course I looked out at the young people and offered an apology – that my generation had not left them with a healthy planet.

            Much later in 2019, I participated in the Climate Strikes on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. It was quite emotional for me to see thousands of children shouting out for politicians to get behind the science. I was in admiration of their strike, yet sad that Earth matters had not changed for the better.

            However, a brilliant pushback to climate denial had been made by Polly Higgins, a fellow Scot. She was a barrister and created a world-wide campaign to criminalize “ecocide.” Unfortunately, Polly Higgins died from cancer in April 2019. Her strong belief was that “ecocide”, as a law, would change the world. Her work continues with a vast legal team in many countries. Her everlasting quip will never be forgotten:

            “I have a choice to protect our Earth, or let it be destroyed.”

            These are the stakes we all face.

This campaign of criminalizing “ecocide” was aimed at the destruction of ecosystems by the carbon multi-nationals and their political lackeys. The instrument of “ecocide” is growing. The Marshall Islands and Maldives in the Pacific Ocean have brought legal requests to the UN about their dire situation with rising sea levels. The European Union, led by the President of France, is making ecocide a criminal act in order to curb the damage done by corporations.

            We have had the scientific knowledge since 1980 to create the solution to Climate Emergency, but the obstacles were not technical or scientific. The obstacles were the attitudes, values and concepts that define the dominance of corporate values. Their bottom line of profits was upheld by successive governments that devalued science. It was never about science. It was about the brand of economics favored by Big Oil and other multi-national corporations promoting carbon extraction, irrespective of the damage caused to ecosystems and populations.

            Did anyone notice that degradation of the Earth’s ecology was the catalyst for radical Climate Change? Food crops were destroyed by horrendous heat waves as carbon dioxide poured into the atmosphere. Did no one realize that food riots and world panic trace back to one cause – the economic agenda of corporations? The undercover deal between governments and corporations was invested in political and economic structures that centered on the carbon combustion complex. This collective agenda destabilized world order and endangered the world’s populations. Billionaire backers protected their profits, downplayed scientific conclusions and deliberately dulled the intelligence of the general public. They paid selected scientists to promote the position that the existing evidence on climate change does not support crisis warnings. This is a bought and sold lie! Everyone knew the lack of truth – the US government, corporations and industrialists – all knew the truth. To keep the bottom line of profits in their favor, they were willing to accept that civilization would be destroyed in the not so far future.

            The brilliant indigenous response from Robin Wall Kimmerer’s “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants” (2020) is very clear.

            “What was needed was the wisdom of environmental science, the clarity of philosophical analysis and the creative power of the written word, to find new ways to understand and reimagine our relation to the natural world. (283)

            We seem to be living in an era of economics of fabricated demand and compulsive overconsumption….we continue to embrace economic systems that prescribe infinite growth on a finite planet…..we need reforms that would ground economics in ecological principles and the constraints of thermodynamics. (300)

            Climate change will unequivocally defeat economics that are based on constant taking without giving in return. (363)

This applies equally to the COVID–19 pandemic, which is killing people world-wide.

It is necessary to follow the science or face disaster.

The coronavirus pandemic has devastated our planet. Health officials appear every day on TV News: broadcasts to provide protocols – such as distancing, wearing masks, washing hands and reducing contacts. Their directions, however, are often ignored by considerable populations who insist on their freedom to do whatever they wish, particularly with the economy. The balance between government and population are often seen by them as oppressive. Scientists do not yet know the full nature of the virus – its effects on the body and just how lethal it can be to different populations. Any nation decimated by such a disease cannot expect to have a functioning economy. Thus a horrible damage occurs to both mental and physical health. Essential steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus are not yet working.

Science is in a race to create workable vaccines. There is, however, good news. Pfizer and BioNTech have developed a coronavirus vaccine and claim that it is 90 per cent effective. They are asking the US Drug and Food Administration to approve the vaccine for emergency use. Other potential vaccines are undergoing Phase 3 studies by Moderno, AstroZeneca and Johnson and Johnson. However, there is a major difficulty. Pfizer’s vaccine requires a super-cold storage, as it needs to be kept at 70 degrees Celsius (-94F). This cold chain makes delivery very challenging. The logistic issues of this requirement omits many countries in the world from receiving the vaccine, as vaccine shots will spoil at normal refrigeration temperatures. The 70 degree Celsius requirement of Pfizer eliminates delivering vaccines to rural areas and poor nations that are hit by surging infection counts. Their vaccine is based on synthetic mRNA to activate the immune system against the virus and this has to be kept at minus 70 degrees Celsius. Other vaccines being developed by Moderna Inc and Novavax Inc do not have this drawback, as they are aiming at the temperature of a regular refrigerator.

Thankfully, the President Elect in America follows the science – Joe Biden has organized a new COVID Task Force as his first presidential task.

Right View – Buddhism

SARIPUTTA’S RIGHT VIEW

This is perhaps the most significant dharma talk I have ever given.  Years later it still rings a bell inside me to do better!!! Enjoy.

Right View and the Nutriments of Volition and Consciousness.

In the opening dharma talk about the Noble Eightfold Path we learned about the dynamic nature of Right View and Sariputta’s 4 Edible Nutriments. Edible Food and Sensory Food were discussed. We now come on to the Food of Volition/Craving and the Food of Consciousness. This establishes the formidable presence of Right View – not something that can really be taught as the practitioner has to diligently practice Mindfulness and Concentration for Right View to trickle in. A matter of experience rather than intellect.

Nothing survives w/o food – Stop Feeding Your Demons!

I HAD A DREAM

I HAD A DREAM

Jennifer Jane Clark kindly interviewed me to talk about Mother Earth and Spiritually for her Jen’s Zen program. The focus was on delivering opportunities for young people. My book – Our World is Burning: My Views on Mindful Engagement – was singled out as a starting place, which can be found at:

http://ianprattis.com/OurWorldIsBurning.html

Our World is Burning is an inspiring and informative read. Ian Prattis offers us valuable insight, wisdom and perspective in finding our way to a healthier world, one based on compassion and commitment, mindful of how everything we do impacts the whole. Laurence Overmire, Author

Interview below:

Spiritually Inspired

SPIRITUALLY INSPIRED

Dear friends and gentle people,

My interview with Claudiu Murgan’s series – “Spiritually Inspired” – has many surprises. He asked the hard questions about spirituality, Climate Emergency and the state of the World. The interview includes Black Lives Matter and the consequences of a corrupt president.

  1. For 52 min Interview: https://youtu.be/X0teYIzBmaA
  2. Books at : www.ianprattis.com
  3. FB: www.facebook.com/IanPrattisAuthor 

Please pass this on to your networks. That would be most appreciated,

Thank you,

Ian

Ecocide

Ecocide                                                                                                           Ian Prattis

Many years ago (2008) I published Failsafe: Saving the Earth from Ourselves. I wrote about homo sapiens as perhaps a Failed Genetic Experiment. I delivered the content of this book to students at Carleton University in a television course on Ecology and Culture. Half way through the course I remembered stopping – I looked out at the young people and offered an apology to them – that my generation had not left them with a healthy planet.

Four books later I released Our World is Burning: My Views on Mindful Engagement in 2017.In 16 essays I offered examples of how to respond to the most serious social, economic, environmental and personal challenges of the 21st century in order to become better stewards of the earth and society.

My books reinforce the attempt to change the state of our world – only things have got so much worse since my initial apology. To blaze through the fog I went over to the dark side with my latest book “Shattered Earth: Approaching Extinction.”  A brilliant reviewer of this book remarked at the end of her testimonial – “This book is dark. It is bone chilling. It is captivating.” That is a good description! Jana Begovic had this to say; If humankind wants to survive, it needs to unite in this very late hour, and attempt to reverse the human greed, callousness and cruelty inflicted upon Earth. The powerful, sobering and timely message of this book should be shared far and wide.

In 2019 I participated in the Climate Strikes on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. It was quite emotional for me to see thousands of children shouting out for politicians to get behind the science. On the Hill I do remember apologizing to my students at Carleton University. when surrounded by thousands of magnificent children. I was in admiration of their strike, yet emotional and sad that Earth matters had not changed for the better. I noticed that I was not the only grandparent who cried a bit. I was also thinking about the completion of my new book – Shattered Earth: Approaching Extinction – and decided to dedicate it to the brave children of our world. I was saddened by the COP25 in Madrid where the fossil fuel industry stalked like predators over governments and premiers. Every legal action must now be taken up to drive the oil executives and their government lackeys to change or occupy a jail cell.

Ten years ago a brilliant pushback to climate denial was made by Polly Higgins, a barrister in Britain. She created a campaign to criminalize “ecocide” – whereby environmental damage would be a global crime. This was aimed at the destruction of ecosystems by the carbon cabal and their political lackeys. The legal instrument of “ecocide” has yet to be adopted, though her idea has garnered world-wide momentum to hold corporate executives and governments liable for the damage they do to ecosystems and humanity. The Marshall Islands and Maldives have brought similar legal requests to the UN about their dire situation of rising sea levels.

The legal work of the ecocide movement operates as a counterpart to the mobilization of Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Greta Thunberg’s Global Youth Strike for Climate. The organizations are highly complementary and combine as strong grassroots movements demanding specific legal changes to protect the Earth for future generations of all species.

Unfortunately, Polly Higgins died from cancer in April 2019. Her strong belief was that such a law would change the world. Her work continues with a vast legal team in many countries. Her everlasting quip will never be forgotten:

“I have a choice to protect our Earth, or let it be destroyed.”

These are the stakes we all face.

http://ianprattis.com/ShatteredEarth.html …

I have copies for $20 plus $12 postage. Glad to autograph it for you. I have just learned about E Transfer. A bonus is that one of my prior books will be given to you FREE. For Ottawa area folks you can pick up the books from my home. 613 726 0881

Now in the USA – Consciousness and Judgement

Dear friends and gentle people,

My dharma talks usually come out once a week. However I feel that the situation in the USA requires to be addressed. This is Week 12 of my talks  – I thank students from Carleton University and Pine Gate who insisted that this dharma video be opened at this time.

CONSCIOUSNESS AND JUDGMENT

This dharma talk is about how to change the mind from disaster to wholesomeness. Something radically needed right now in the USA, indeed everywhere that allows racism to be a norm. The ending will make you cry – so please listen to this call for change

The investigation of “Judgment” leads to a Call Centre where the outgoing message is always that of “Suffering.” Judgment is not alone. It has many companions in the Call Centre – discrimination, hate, distraction, ignorance, fear, delusion, greed, oppression and so on – all sending outgoing messages that cause suffering. This prelude introduces a simple model of Healing and Consciousness before talking about Eight Levels of Consciousness. The Call Centre of suffering is none other than “Manas.” – the distorting level of consciousness. Investigation is on how it is created, what feeds it and how do we transform it.

The dharma talk closes with a Miracle of Mindfulness – that is where you cry, so have a hanky close by!!

Sincerely,

Ian

Hummingbird

Hummingbird                                                                                                  

Every time I tell this story it takes on a different form.

The non-human land and air creatures of the world were alarmed and frightened by the world being on fire.  Each species and form sent a representative to gather in a secluded valley visited by rain, with a river running into the ocean.  This location was chosen so that the ocean and river creatures could also be represented.  At the gathering of the non-humans there was a huge cacophony of sound, laments, blaming, cries of anguish that the world was coming to an end – and much desperation.  Beyond this verdant valley the world was on fire. Then all the creatures gradually grew quiet and lapsed into silence as they observed Hummingbird.  Hummingbird flew to the river and took a drop of water in her beak. He flew to the fire and dropped it on the flames.  Back to the water, picking up a drop of water, flying to the fire and dropping it.  On she went, relentless and unstoppable – flying to the river for a drop of water then flying to the fire and dropping it on the flames.  All the creatures were astounded.  Finally Bear shouted “Hummingbird, what do you think you are doing?”  Hummingbird flew to the river for another drop of water and dropped it onto the flames.  As she flew back to the river, he hovered for a moment in front of Bear and said – “The Best I Can.”

What is the best that you can do dear reader?

What is the best that I can do?

What is the best that our political and corporate leaders can do?

For the latter to emerge requires that we hold our leaders to account, and citizen activism on an unprecedented scale is necessary for that.  This is essential for the younger generation just coming into maturity and responsibility.  My generation has not left a healthy and viable planetary eco-niche for them to live in.  I offer a deep and humble apology to them for that neglect.  I ask of my generation of environmentalists, activist and organizers that they transfer their skills and knowledge to the younger generation.  To be mentors for the generation that has to do the heavy lifting to put things right on planet earth.  I will not be around to see the changes.  Yet I do posses a modicum of confidence. 

When I look at young people, I see beyond the ipods, electronic gadgetry and attitude to the deep intelligence that yearns for something better.  I love their in-your-face attitude, as that is the energy of determination that will drive them to put things into balance on Gaia.  They are not caught so readily by the identities and trade-offs that my generation is so good at entertaining.  They are breaking down the barriers of discrimination, storming the barricades of separation.  I have only one thing to ask of them.  That they slow down for a moment and hold out their hand.  For as long as I have a spark in this mind and a

breath in this  body – Take my hand for I am going with you!

Ian Prattis is a Zen teacher and author www.ianprattis.com