I call the place where I live Isville. The inspiration (spirit within) came to me a long time ago while tending the fire in the stove. This does not mean the cheery little fires of early autumn that are only to knock the chill out of the cabin until the warm autumn sun is able to warm things up but rather the monotonous grunt type fires of mid winter. While doing this one day the “isness” and “suchness” of this caused me to call this place Isville.

Since Isville is off grid and somewhat primitive, the economy consists mostly of doing work and not numbers on paper. I usually don’t know what I‘m going to do because there is so much to do so I will just sit and wait to be motivated by whatever comes to me to do. I have spent the majority of my adult years living off grid and most of those years have been spent below the poverty line so equipment is usually old but cheap and often needs repair. Usually the work is tough and gritty and at other times it is light and pleasant.

A good day in Isville consists of not getting seriously injured or breaking something that is difficult or expensive to repair or doing a lot of work for nothing. But there are times of laziness when I will just enjoy the beautiful weather and maybe even strum on a homemade dulcimer. There have been times when song birds have chimed in and once a cricket even picked up the beat and joined in. It is magical times like these that keep me here.

Self Realization and Self Reliance are similar sounding terms with different meanings yet they intertwine and compliment each other. Self Realization is the process of discovering our spiritual and true self. Self Reliance is the process of learning how to do things on our own with little or no help from others. All the great works of humans are a group effort with everyone working together but this usually involves great sums of money and leadership. Here, a person needs to pull the motivation from deep within and this is difficult or impossible for the person who lacks self motivation.

Even the best teachers cannot teach a student to think; that is up to the individual. What they can do is to give the student as many truthful facts as he/she can handle and then a little more to give them something to think about. They can also teach them to have love and respect for the truth even if it is a little uncomfortable at times. This is how we evolve.

Masters of finance who are greedy do not favor the common people being educated too much more than what is necessary to prevent mistakes in counting the money or making measurements. Smart and intelligence are different things. Being smart means memorizing facts. Being intelligent means putting those facts together in a useful way.

Occasionally I am robbed and even though this is devastating to me, it is even worse for the thieves. Poor fools – the more they steal the poorer they become; they might even choose to make a compulsive liar the mot powerful man in the world.

In the deep darkness of night I hear the screams and howls of the wild forest creatures and am glad for a sturdy cabin door.

Dennis Miller lives in the Shade River State Forest, Meigs County, Ohio

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