1. Ianrowcliffe on March 15, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Actually, as I had to create another email address to access this site I am coming back from the second one:-)

    To be truthful, I didn’t tune into the comment that triggered this reaction. but I seem to feel it, too. I don’t know why I love horses and their well-being so, but is it really about the horse or all life? It is not the call of the wild, but her brain child – communicated by the horse. Think on that if you will.

  2. Erin on March 15, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    I finally got around to listening to this today, and I was particularly moved by Linda’s description of the German lady who feels shame because of what Hitler did. I also recognize that I’m in a unique position to comment on this. My mother’s side of the family is Austro-Hungarian, while my father’s side is German & Polish Jews. I had a Jewish upbringing and strongly associate with my Jewish heritage.

    Though unspoken, the Holocaust and Hitler’s actions have cast a shadow over my family. I probably have family who died in concentration camps. My grandfather served in the army and participated in the liberation of concentration camps. He never spoke of it, and that in itself speaks volumes to how horrific the experience was for him, as a person, as a German-American and as a Jew.

    I know we do not at all hate Germans, and I think that is true for most Jews. If we hated the German people for the actions of one sick man and those who worked with him, we would be no better than Hitler ourselves. The cycle of hatred must stop, because if it doesn’t it could (and does in other countries) lead to more genocide. The Holocaust was perpetrated by a very sick, twisted man and a select few who agreed with him, and a majority who were brainwashed into following him. You have absolutely no control over what country, ethnic group, religion or skin color you are born with, and hating someone for something they have no control over is totally counterproductive.

    Hatred can be a normal response to being treated badly/abused by someone else. Then you move into true, empowered forgiveness where you give yourself permission to move on. The past can’t be changed, and you shouldn’t suffer because of the past. What comes after, it my experience is a very clear, emphatic setting of boundary. What that person did was completely unacceptable. Nothing can be done to change the past. Staying stuck is not healthy. Work through emotions and let go (really more complicated, but I don’t have the words to describe). Then comes the boundary. It was wrong. It was unacceptable, but I WILL NOT be bound to this. I will not associate with this person, but I will not remain a prisoner to the after effects of their behavior. Hope this makes sense in words. Not really sure if this is accurately capturing what I’m meaning to say.

    • Ianrowcliffe on March 15, 2013 at 11:02 pm

      That is SOME response. That is almost the same as coming out of the closet; talk about making yourself vulnerable. Thank you for that; our world is becoming impoverished. You place your neck on the block. But being of a like mind, I sing your praises. You transcend your frailty! And, in my way of thinking, are strong!

      We should put some idea together on this. Linda has some great points of departure. We can work on this if you wish – build something incredibly strong and empowering… I’d love to further this line of thinking.

      • Ianrowcliffe on March 15, 2013 at 11:04 pm

        some ideas…

        • Ianrowcliffe on March 15, 2013 at 11:07 pm

          Of course, the horses say … let this all go.. but I am only half horse:-).

    • LindaKohanov on March 16, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      Thank you Erin for this powerful discussion. In a talk I gave on the topic of “Emotional Heroism: The Power Behind Nonviolence” I happened to have Rica Dietmann in the audience. She was visiting from Germany, and she accepted my offer to come up and speak to the audience about her experience. There was another German woman in the audience, and this really hit home with her as well.

      In my talks on this subject, one of the things I’ve been able to articulate further about dealing with bullies of all kinds, whether they be schoolyard derelicts, maladjusted horses like Merlin, or predatory business and political leaders, is that the most productive yet certainly heroic response to this kind of behavior does involve holding boundaries without attacking aggressively back, usually by seeking revenge, etc. Moving forward calls for an empowered combination of forgiveness AND accountability. By this, I mean that the aggressor is held accountable for destructive behavior, behavior that he must change to be allowed back into the herd, with restitution if appropriate to the circumstance, followed by immediate positive feedback for any changes in behavior made. Shaming not only the original aggressor but his or her descendents, and in Germany’s case, an entire culture, for the insanity of a small group or subculture of individuals is a very destructive form of retaliation and objectification, where the descendents of the victims become perpetrators and promoters of unjustified shame, blame and pain.

      The conquest and revenge cycle must end for everyone to get back to life, while making adjustments based on lessons learned from the past….

  3. Ianrowcliffe on February 17, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Not sure where to place this comment, for now we see how virtually everything is connected. Anyway, I think it belongs under the Emotional Heroism GP, for as Mark observed, this is the culminating principle. And so I was just reading:

    Winston Churchill was posted to the cavalry, and served in both India and Africa.

    Once again, the connection with horses and a truly great leader.

    • Ianrowcliffe on February 17, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      For anyone interested in reading more about Winston’s connection with horses read here:


    • LindaKohanov on February 17, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      Yes, Ian, I did talk about Winston Churchill’s cavalry experience in Chapter 2, way back when….And actually I have to thank Mark Mottershead for telling me that Churchill was a great horseman a good year before we even started this web symposium! Connections abound….

      In the meantime it’s great to have even more info about Churchill’s equestrian experience. Thanks!

      • Ianrowcliffe on February 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm

        Yes, we have touched on so many themes and people and, of course, the GPs, so I am always interested in adding extra details. Obviously, the book index will come in very handy.

  4. susan on February 11, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    I’ve just re-read the Chapter, truly inspiring LInda, beautifully expressed! it is so clear and so concise, that is why. I found the explanations of the four stone-age tools and then the ‘antidote’ to their use extremely helpful and useful. I also have to say I was fascinated by your exposition of the story of Jesus and his significance in the context of this book. I have always been wary of christianity (because of what I see as the abuse of the church and the church’s representatives) while thinking of Jesus as a much-misunderstood seer/prophet/shaman. This exposition of the story puts it more into perspective for me and makes it take on a new form. I am aware that I have not separated the real teachings and examples of Jesus from the travesties they were distorted to bring about. So I needed to see how to start tackling ‘the discomfort of revising antiquated practices’ in the form of my own muddled thinking in this regard -a useful starting point for putting all the guiding principles into practice in general in my life. I do feel – I do actually know – that I have grown while participating in this symposium, grown and grown up too. I have found – and continue to find, of course – your approach as illustrative as your words, and thank you for the good and positive steps forward that I am taking both in my life and with my horses, not to mention the glimmer of hope I now have for the future of this planet of ours. I can’t wait for the book to arrive in my mailbox, it will surely quickly become one of the most thumbed and re-read volumes I possess!!!! and I’m looking forward to the continuation of the symposium which is going to contribute to that ‘thumbing’! Thanks for the hard work and sacrifices you have put into the research and writing of the book, it is a real contribution to the future cathedral.

    • LindaKohanov on February 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      Thank you so much Susan. More adventures to come….

  5. Anonymous on February 4, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    ps the anonymous before is me, Susan, but the page won’t allow me to type my name or email in….

    • Ian Rowcliffe on February 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      Your signature is clear in each of your words or at least in their collective formulation, Susan:-)

      I guess that the email and name is registered by the profile in WordPress associated with your email address. Nevertheless, mine is also no longer being accessed, which suggests that it has been blocked in some way. Mark, as site administrator, would need to sort this out…

      Re, Light Chasers – I have been looking at ‘dream catchers’ and ‘vision quest’ of late – although there may be no connection, other than the wish to return/maintain balance and connection with Nature.

      • Susan Garvin on February 11, 2013 at 3:57 pm

        thanks Ian that was a very nice thing to say!
        re dream catchers, the one thing that puzzles me – if it is correct, I read it somewhere but did not go into it in any depth – is that dream catchers are supposed to stop the ‘bad dreams’ getting through, and yet the bad dreams are often the most informative and productive ones. do you know any more about dreamcatchers and their purpose?

        • Ianrowcliffe on February 11, 2013 at 9:08 pm

          As I understand it dream catchers are also part of the process of mending the sacred hoop/loop. The notion has been revamped to help Native Americans deal with modern life (but are no less relevant for any of us, in my opinion):


          From the article, you can note that the recent approach has been adapted along Jungian lines and, in particular, mandalas and how they can be used to represent/mirror the Self. Indeed, Linda has describe the corresponding inner state in ‘The Eye of the Storm’ in The Way of the Horse and I think Emotional Heroism also reflects it. The corresponding Runic symbol is Othela, the home where your heart is. The difference is that the dream catcher process allows you to build up a physical representation of the factors that contribute to establishing that space and is part of the myth of the Rainbow Warrior, who through trust and grace (GP7 tolerance for vulnerability) is able to find him/her self between the rainbows of truth and knowing. I rather think that there are parts missing. For example, Linda’s round pen analogy (page 124) in Riding Between the Worlds, fits in nicely. In short, all these ideas seem to complement and complete each other, in my opinion.

  6. Anonymous on February 4, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    A bit late this time, but I have been following. I really need to read the Chapter yet again, it is so full it takes a while to digest it all, but I wanted to say straight away a big thanks to Linda for recommending the ‘Light Chasers’ book, I got it (on kindle actually) and am finding it truly helpful and inspiring, so thanks for that tip. Also I have pre-ordered the book itself, so that is a treat in store! During the conversation you also answered a question I’d posted under Chapter 11, about whether it was useful to stand up and be emotionally heroic for other peope who were taking a battering, and your answer was very constructive on that one, thanks.
    Mark mentioned needing to listen to all the conversations again, well I have listened to them all at least three times now and every time I go back I find myself thinking ‘Of course, how could I have forgotten that!’ – yes, it is these habit-addictions that keep us using the inefficient old mops instead of the new swifflers indeed!!!
    I do hope we carry on in some way, discussing things further – in one call LInda you seemed to be saying this would happen, yet the end of Chapter 12’s conversation sounded terribly final….?
    I would certainly miss these appointments and the exchange of ideas and experiences.

    • LindaKohanov on February 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      Yes, Susan, we are definitely going to continue the symposium and Mark and I are currently working on ways to do this: Continuing the conversations on specific topics at times, as well as offering live problem solving conversations, where sympsosium members can share a specific challenge they’re facing at work, school, home, etc. and we develop strategies for success, using the various tools offered in the book, and over time, I would assume, coming up with new ones. Mark and I are looking at some other websites for ideas on how to best execute these new features.

      In the meantime, I’m glad you are enjoying the Light Chasers! I have not forgotten about adding an article on the difference between leadership and dominance and how and when to employ both. I was overcome with some extra work creating a power point presentation titled “Emotional Herosim: The Power Behind Nonviolence” for a conference titled “Victory Over Violence” held at the University of Arizona a couple of weeks ago. It was very well received, and I think I’m going to take this particular show on the road during some of my book tours this spring and summer. I think there might be a way to do a Power Point over the web so that I can share this with you all as well. But again, being technically challenged, I need to research how to do this.

      And finally, I will be sending Guiding Principle 12 to Mark to post soon.

      The material in thsi book really seems to come to life when I share it in workshops and coach people in how to put it into practice. Thus, the publication of The Power of the Herd feels, oddly enough, like just the beginning of a whole new chapter for all of us.

      With gratitude to you all!


  7. Ian Rowcliffe on January 29, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Some interesting points of departure came up in the discussion of the chapter:

    When I asked whether ‘fair play’ would be enough – Linda responded immediately with an emphatic No. So, Yes, the notions we have been discussing need to be implemented furthering our innate sense of fair play.

    How to make things pay was another question, given the perspective here. I need to go back over Linda’s answer, but I think it was something like ‘things will come together’. With references made to Jesus’s teachings, the image of the seven(?) loaves and fishes comes to mind. It is interesting just how that works and is exemplified by a Portuguese custom. You have a ‘cake’ and you begin to divide it up. However, there is a convention that dictates that it is not done to take the last piece. What you may do, though, is to halve what is left. Hence, although the remaining piece gets smaller and smaller, there is always a little bit left. Crumbs, you think!

    But logic of the power of the herd also suggests, that we can benefit mutually, especially with respect to relationships, as opposed to going it alone. Just how that is to shape up is anyone’s guess. In a dream, yesterday I saw, defining our roles much like being the proverbial needle in the haystack. You see, grass has been used for just about everything under the sun not only by people but all creatures great and small, witness the grass seed eating birds and the nest they build. So what about the needle: it symbolize our tool using capacity and particularly our ability to knit things together – just as the women of the past did traditionally not only literally in terms of life itself but recording life textually, for example, the classic Bayeau Tapestry. So let’s see what we can ‘knit’ together… any ideas?

    • Ian Rowcliffe on January 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      There are some interesting youtubes available depicting the Bayeau Tapestry and the Norman Conquest and it crossed my mind that the most obvious product of grass was the war horse. And so we typically focus on war and the spoils of war, but what about the tremendous energy and even surplus – channeled into Cathedral building, amongst of other things, that was generated going to war. Might we ‘tap’ that process for its life enhancing benefit?

    • LindaKohanov on February 1, 2013 at 12:24 am

      I thought I would share Wendell Berry’s 17 rules for a Sustainable Community in regard to the mutual aid/mutual profit idea. The rules follow a couple of quotes that are significant about Wendell and his philosophy:

      “A community economy is not an economy in which well-placed persons can make a ‘killing’. It is an economy whose aim is generosity and a well-distributed and safeguarded abundance.”

      “Wendell Berry is a strong defender of family, rural communities, and traditional family farms. These underlying principles could be described as ‘the preservation of ecological diversity and integrity, and the renewal, on sound cultural and ecological principles, of local economies and local communities:”

      1. Always ask of any proposed change or innovation: What will this do to our community? How will this affect our common wealth.

      2. Always include local nature – the land, the water, the air, the native creatures – within the membership of the community.

      3. Always ask how local needs might be supplied from local sources, including the mutual help of neighbors.

      4. Always supply local needs first (and only then think of exporting products – first to nearby cities, then to others).

      5. Understand the ultimate unsoundness of the industrial doctrine of ‘labor saving’ if that implies poor work, unemployment, or any kind of pollution or contamination.

      6. Develop properly scaled value-adding industries for local products to ensure that the community does not become merely a colony of national or global economy.

      7. Develop small-scale industries and businesses to support the local farm and/or forest economy.

      8. Strive to supply as much of the community’s own energy as possible.

      9. Strive to increase earnings (in whatever form) within the community for as long as possible before they are paid out.

      10. Make sure that money paid into the local economy circulates within the community and decrease expenditures outside the community.

      11. Make the community able to invest in itself by maintaining its properties, keeping itself clean (without dirtying some other place), caring for its old people, and teaching its children.

      12. See that the old and young take care of one another. The young must learn from the old, not necessarily, and not always in school. There must be no institutionalized childcare and no homes for the aged. The community knows and remembers itself by the association of old and young.

      13. Account for costs now conventionally hidden or externalized. Whenever possible, these must be debited against monetary income.

      14. Look into the possible uses of local currency, community-funded loan programs, systems of barter, and the like.

      15. Always be aware of the economic value of neighborly acts. In our time, the costs of living are greatly increased by the loss of neighborhood, which leaves people to face their calamities alone.

      16. A rural community should always be acquainted and interconnected with community-minded people in nearby towns and cities.

      17. A sustainable rural economy will depend on urban consumers loyal to local products. Therefore, we are talking about an economy that will always be more cooperative than competitive.

      • Ian Rowcliffe on February 1, 2013 at 11:20 am

        Thank you very much, Linda: thanks for being so supportive. An interesting thing happened this year: a group of six graduates set up a class with me and we have been working at your ‘cathedral thinking’. Hence, as you know, every little bit counts such that this list complements your other ideas very well. Blessings…

  8. Ianrowcliffe on January 26, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Yes, this talk WAS transcending, touching on so many empowering revelations. You got a sense of the cracks appearing in our present system and the light entering, much more than the beautiful Leonard Cohen sense and song of that name … as Linda is projecting paths that can embellish and enhance our world like never before. Thanks for a truly inspirational dialogue for the future!

    • Linda Kohanov on January 26, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      Thank you Ian!

  9. Ianrowcliffe on January 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    I have been trying to extract myself from the pressing austerity that I am in the middle of here in Portugal to read the chapter. And it hasn’t been easy. I have got half way, but the chapter is rich in thought provoking ideas. Things like ‘God and Nature are on the same side’ feel right, but as part of a man-made system we know that this has hardly been the case. We need only look around us. The Portuguese who ‘invented’ the lobotomy got a Nobel prize for it, but clearly it is NOT the answer – mindfulness is needed for us to survive.

    We know what is fair and just – which is a good starting point – and what we have to build on and yet will ‘fair play’ really be enough to correct the overwhelming imbalance we are a product of? It is true that a needle may burst a balloon, but the problem is that our lives exist inside that balloon. Transforming our lives before it is too late is the question, but how can we break old habit that we have been dependent to this point in time? Profit means taking out more than you put in… at the cost of something or someone else, doesn’t it?