Jim’s Rumination Mill: i Wolf

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Mar '10

“i Wolf”

Dear Dr. David Suzuki Foundation,

Skiing home across the lake the other day croaking to one of the Raven’s that is keeping track of me for the wolves (which have mostly been to the north this year) I thought to myself; “Does the world really need another jet-setting environmentalist??”

I need to talk to Dr. David Suzuki.

History needs him to play the Huxley to my Darwin.

Story is the Galapagos of human cultural evolution.

Archaeology of plot is the key to our archetypal DNA of culture. “i Wolf” is the social double helix.

In your mission statement you mention we are at a turning point in our relationship with Earth. Yes we may be on the cusp of a major cultural paradigm shift. Or just extinction.

I need to talk to Dr. David Suzuki.

What if the first human culture was not based upon dominance, but partnership?

What if the first human act was not fragmentation but connection?

What if the first human step (from ape to human) leading away from insecurity was a conscious choice of species interdependence?

If we need to make a similar step again, understanding the first human step would be an invaluable tool towards changing the world.

Darwin postulated evolution and pointed out the painful fact we are an ape.

Freud mapped this ape’s mind and found it was controlled by unconscious functions.

Jung explored ape symbolism and revealed this unconscious was collective.

Larwill noticed recurring wolves in the stories these apes tell about themselves.

the story

Once-upon-a-time an ape ancestor looked at a wolf and then identified with this animal Other. Up until this point our ancestors were evolutionary animals. After this point our ancestors became revolutionary animals, and from this point on cultural revolutions of various kinds determined who we would become more than biological evolution. “i Wolf” was the first human thought and a blending of wolf culture with ape culture laid the foundations of the first human culture, a paradigm that continues to reflect itself in the behaviour of our species up until this very day. In our arrogance we assume the dog is a canine that has evolved from a wolf due to its long association with an ape, but in fact, this ape evolved into a human because of its survival being dependent upon an association with wolves. A competitive view of evolution has more to do with present social and political beliefs, rather than the truth of the natural world, in that, the survival of the “fittest” actually means, survival for the species that fits interdependently best.

Human culture is a hybrid of ape and wolf. While this dual nature of human culture is not dissimilar to the view presented in the Naked Ape, where Desmond Morris suggests much of human behaviour can be explained by the fact that we are and ape that evolved into a carnivore, the carnivoresque is an innovative theory of human nature because it uncovers the specific carnivore we became – an ape that turned itself into a metaphor of a wolf. Through many generations of tool making this ape had evolved its metonymic mind; however, it wasn’t until the sudden invention of metaphor that true symbolic thought sparked. Its offspring was language. The metonym is a direct connection between signifier and signified – stone becomes axe. Metonymic thought is very useful, and builds the ground work for more advanced processing, but it isn’t until the invention of the metaphor that true symbolic thought took off as it sparked the machinery of language. That metaphor was “i Wolf.”

Interestingly, “i Wolf” and a totemic identification with an animal Other is a very common and obvious explanation of who we are that predates Religious and Scientific discourses. Scriptures argue we are something beyond animals. Science tries to convince us we are evolutionary apes. The carnivoresque standing within the context of the development of religious and scientific understanding re-invents, and re-introduces, a totemic understanding of who we are. Quite simply, the carnivoresque explains what it is to be human.

The carnivoresque is not science. The carnivoresque is futurist storytelling in a post-modern context. i Wolf is the story of the first human culture. It is the unconscious story we tell over and over and over again – from generation to generation – from culture to culture – from medium to medium – up until now. It is the ultimate cultural conspiracy theory. It has a few basic characters: Alpha, Omega, Beta, and Wag. Its recurring plot structure is a simple one. A Beta that raises its symbolic tail is driven from the pack by the dominate Alpha/Omega pair, it lives alone as a Wag, eventually it cannibalises and replaces an Alpha or Omega.

i Wolf is a book I have worked on for 15 years and is based upon a Master’s Thesis “The Carnivoresque: An Essay in Literary Lycanthropology” done at Carleton University where I received a Senate Medal for Academic Excellence. “i Wolf” explains key carnivoresque terms and expands upon the archetypal plot structure that can be used to explain the power relationships displayed in the stories we tell. In the present manuscript once the theory and its development are explained, it is applied to a number of literary texts and movies.


I need to talk with Dr. David Suzuki.

I am a poor poet who lives in a cabin on a small lake. Six months of the year I have no running water, I heat with twigs I gather from the woods. I’ve been living rough for a while and I’m getting old (sadly I even now look like a scruffy shamanistic backwoods Darwin) and I can see “i Wolf” being published with Greystone. This oldest of stories retold is of great use to your Suzuki Foundation’s stated goals.

Major paradigm shifts in human understanding are usually very simple concepts that are hidden under a present bias. Man descended from apes was pretty obvious to Huxley once the shyer Darwin had constructed a story around the utterance.

I need to say “i Wolf” to Dr. David Suzuki.

Dr. Suzuki needs to say “i Wolf” to the world.

Given the present manuscript leans towards the literary theory aspects of the carnivoresque, I think a co-author reworking with Dr. Suzuki is the way to go in order to better dove tail it into your foundation’s agenda which I support. Truth is owned by no one.

“Naked ape” changed the surface view of who we are.

“i Wolf” looks inside.

“i Wolf” is the ultimate metaphor of human environmental co-operation.

Did I mention David wants to talk to me?

Jim Larwill

Oct '09

Wolf Fest

WOLF-FEST AT THE RAVEN’S NEST: The Beer Ceremony (Oct 16/17/18 2009)
by Jim Larwill

IMG_4103 The ceremonial fire was lit Friday night and Jeremy our Fire Lord tended it through out the fest. Many “medium-sized sticks” blazed all night. Embers still glowed on Monday, long after the revellers had left.

Ali generously drove those who needed a lift back and forth supplying extra beer and encouraging friends to drop by.

IMG_4104Mac “the excitable” lead rounds of Frisbee golf around the woods and was not decapitated by Pearl.

[Shown left in protective head gear.]

John showed up again Saturday morning to pick up his forgotten tea cup and drained the coffee urn into his portable caffeine-barrel with a handle.

IMG_4102 Chewy
“Waterwoman” Kim brought the best garlicky cucumber salad ever – as well as the totem wolf-dog Chewy. (Naan bread and bean dip now part of next year’s ritual food.) She also took time on the Sunday to meditate connecting the fest to other realms.

As the meat roasted on the spit the Uncles in their Raven form (still arguing) flew over the site casting a dark blessing down upon us all.

Originally uploaded by Daníel Starrason

Friday night Michelle donned a thick wool military great-coat, was given a rifle, hasn’t been seen since.

an eye for the birds adee dee dee
Brian hand-fed the fest’s chickadees, his smile and calm vegetarian demeanour an accent to the endless wolfing down of copious amounts of roast meat and beer by others.

Wendy shivered in good humour, her smile a flicker of laughter in firelight.

Ross came, ate, Frisbee golfed, enjoyed the most excellent sunshine of the entire fall.

The Most Venerable Cricket had said to the Raven King a few days earlier not to worry and to have a beer ceremony before the fest. As it turned out this year was a three day beer ceremony. This year was the foreshadow of things to come. This year was small, friendly and simple. This year tribal directions met in a circle around a hot fire by a lake. This year the only poetry was late Saturday night when the long silent wolves started to howl in the west and were on the move.

This year a totemic Canadian Shield was designed and displayed for the first time. According to Jeremy by early morning dark, the wolves had moved to the North. The Raven’s tail had stolen the moon. Out of fall dark, winter snow arrives, the True North, strong and free.

The Raven King, again alone in his nest, thanks all who came or connected in other ways. Let this cold harsh winter come; bestow Her ashen dream – hard and relentless.

Apr '07


Apr '07


Apr '07

Capitalism Plan

Apr '07

Policy on Cats

Mar '07

Lies and Truth

Mar '07

Snowmen and Blackflies

Mar '07

On Pressure

Mar '07

The start of a series of things jotted down…