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Wisdom of the Elders: Sacred Native Stories of Nature txt Wisdom of the Elders: Sacred Native Stories of Nature, text ebook Wisdom of the Elders: Sacred Native Stories of Nature, adobe reader Wisdom of the Elders: Sacred Native Stories of Nature, chapter 2 Wisdom of the Elders: Sacred Native Stories of Nature, Wisdom of the Elders: Sacred Native Stories of Nature 3b0db9 An In Depth, Meticulously Documented Exploration Of The Ecological Wisdom Of Native Peoples From Around The WorldArranged Thematically, Wisdom Of The Elders Contains Sacred Stories And Traditions On The Interrelationships Between Humans And The Environment As Well As Perspectives From Modern Science, Which Often Than Not Validate The Sacred, Ancient Wisdom Of The Elders Native Peoples And Environments Discussed Range From The Inuit Arctic And The Native Americans Of The Northwest Coast, The Sioux Of The Plains, And The Pueblo, Hopi, And Navajo Of The Southwest To The Australian Outback, To The Rich, Fecund Tropics Of Africa, Malaysia, And The Our Technological Civilization Is Speeding Toward A Violent Collision With Nature, And We Are Threatening The Ability Of The Earth Our Home To Support Life As We Know It Suzuki And Knudtson S Extraordinary Work Powerfully Reminds Us That We Are Indeed One With The Earth We Are Truly Indebted To Them For Charting For Us The Course Toward A Healthy And Sustaining Relationship With Our Planet Vice President Al Gore


About the Author: Peter S. Knudtson

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10 thoughts on “Wisdom of the Elders: Sacred Native Stories of Nature

  1. says:

    This is one of the books my husband had to read for his Environmental Philosophy course and I read it, too Wisdom of the Elders Honoring Sacred Native Visions of Nature eloquently and enthusiastically fulfills its promise of sharing with Western audiences the philosophies and practices of many indigenous peoples with regard to nurturing their our sacred Earth In the process of glorifying indigenous worldviews, however, authors Suzuki and Knudtson needlessly belittle and degrade prevailing Western viewpoints to the degree that their book sometimes feels like a slap on the wrist rather than an invitation to explore Ultimately, though, there is much to be appreciated in their fine collection and it remains as timely in 2011 as it did two decades ago when it was first published.The book is broken down into ten chapters First is the introductory Visions of the Natural World Shaman and Scientist in which the authors agree with the famous anthropologist Claude Levi Strauss that, there is no reason why mankind should have waited until recent times to produce minds of the caliber of a Plato or and Einstein Already over two or three hundred thousand years ago, there were probably men of similar capacity, who were of course not applying their intelligence to the solution of the same problems as these recent thinkers They conclude the chapter by cementing their perspective for the remainder of the book, Native knowledge and spiritual values are not simply natural resources in this case, intellectual ones for non Natives to mine, manipulate, or plunder They are, and will always be, the precious life sustaining property of First Peoples sacred symbols encoding the hidden design of their respective universes mirrors to their individual and collective identities and ancient and irreplaceable maps suggesting possible paths to inner as well as ecological equilibrium with the wider, ever changing world The subsequent chapters include specific examples from indigenous peoples, such as the Kayapo of ia, the Waswanipi Cree of the Canadian Subarctic, the Tewa Eastern Pueblo of New Mexico, the San Bushmen of Africa, the Chewong of Malaysia, the Aranda of Central Australia, and the Mnong Gar of Vietnam These chapters are Distant Times Recognizing the Kinship of All LifeMother Earth Nature as a Living SystemWays of Seeing Nature Native Natural HistoriesAnimal Powers The Kinship of Humans and BeastsPlant Powers The Relationship Between Humans and VegetationSacred Space The Relationship Between Humans and LandTime is a Circle Responding to the Rhythms of NatureWorld Renewal Maintaining Balance in the Natural Worldand, finally,The Fate of the Earth Voices of the EldersIncluded also is an Appendix with an Excerpt from the United Nations Draft Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples I truly believe in the heart of this book as I have long been respectful of native traditions that honor the Earth and her creatures as a living entity, worthy of our care, compassion and respect And I agree with the authors that all peoples can benefit from exploring of these ideas The examples shown here go far deeper than the typical diluted native wisdom that gets translated through some of the environmental groups or that quote that you ve probably seen on bumperstickers We do not inherit the earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children I was especially interested to learn about many traditional methods of hunting in which the hunter thanks the spirit of the animal for giving its flesh so that the tribe can continue New depth was added to my understanding of this practice, as some indigenous people actually believe that the deer or whatever is being hunted willingly dies for the hunter if the hunter does not have a successful hunt, it means that the animals did not want to give itself that day Other traditions further embellish the interconnectedness of hunter and hunted as the tribe believes that the souls of humans who pass away are collected and exchanged not to be confused with reincarnation for the souls of animals to come to earth and be hunted Some traditions also hold a similar respect for plant life and believe that the plant is endowed with a spiritual essence and that plants, like other spirits, are exquisitely attuned to the well being of their kind and that, if disrespect is shown by careless destruction, the spirits of the plants can retaliate On the other hand, if they are shown respect, their bounty gratefully and modestly accepted and not exploited, they will continue to share their riches with humans I do take issue with the authors in that their glorification of native traditions often seems to come with jabs at Western worldviews although author Harvey Arden believes in his review that they Bridge the shimmering gulf between the shaman and the scientist The fly leaf synopsis even purports that this is the first book to explore shared beliefs about the delicate interrelationship between humans and the environment that are contained in both Western science and the age old wisdom of Native peoples from around the world The authors themselves believe, Native and scientific modes of thinking about the natural world are often complimentary and mutually enriching not only in their perceptions of the workings of nature but also in their prescriptions for a viable future Yet, sometimes their impassioned word choices which make for a very entertaining, not at all dry read reveal some deeper biases In their comparison of scientist and shaman, they call the Scientific Mind a relative upstart growing from the much shallower soils of seventeenth century European Christianity and natural philosophy In the next breath, they declare that neither is superior or inferior to the other, yet a few paragraphs later they describe the Native Mind as yearn ing to envelop the totality of the world and bringing a totality of mental capacities, beyond cool reason, to the task The Scientific Mind, rather than becoming active participants in nature rather than ecstatically immersing themselves in the immediacy of its sensory juices observe s nature as an object as an inanimate other and, consequently, from afar I don t know about you, but compared to the active, ecstatic, enveloping yearning and totality of the Native Mind, the Scientific Mind seems cool and awfully boring in comparison What a pity the authors could not let one shine without making the other seem detached, unenthusiastic, and cold implying, dare I say, it is less worthwhile, by comparison Not to mention that many Western scientists seem quite ecstatic and enthusiastic about their work and the universe These qualms aside, the collections in Wisdom of the Elders portray many varied and beautiful nuances that make each indigenous people its own unique culture but the heart of the collective indigenous message and of Suzuki and Knudtson is that we must regard nature as a living entity, worthy of respect and reciprocity, not exploitation And I do believe this is a message useful to all people Whether one wishes to accept or entertain the spiritual aspects the indigenous people implicitly interweave with this worldview is up to the individual The reader need not believe every rock and tree and creature has a life, spirit and name in order to benefit from the teachings of those who do No different than that one need not become a Christian to benefit from some of Christianity s teachings But it might behoove the reader to stop and contemplate those who do believe this and to consider how ones actions might be different if they, too, believed it even for a day.


  2. says:

    For anyone who has yet to be initiated into the themes and flavours of aboriginal traditional teachings, this book offers a well written introduction For those already studied in traditional teachings the book offers great insights into how many of the world s greatest contemporary men and women of science have come to realize the limitations of their collective work Despite the accomplishments of science it remains unable to fully account for what many aboriginal people refer to as the Great Mystery that force or spirit that holds all of creation together in a harmonious balance.


  3. says:

    This is a beautiful book, lyrically written, and inhabited by carefully arranged, well researched stories of belief from First Nations peoples from all over the world Written first in 1992, two years before the UN issued its long overdue Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the authors progressively challenge the notion of what science means, who says, and the false dichotomy between the answers to those questions and Native ways of knowing.


  4. says:

    A friend challenged me to read this book Though I m dour these days about ecospirituality, I tried to get through it But there were so many references to native people as simple and even childlike that I eventually threw the book against the wall I don t know, I m sure there are important points in here, but it doesn t seem to be anything near anti colonialist to speak of all native peoples in such idealizing and flattening terms.


  5. says:

    An important perspective that must wake up to and adopt if we are going to return to a harmonious relationship with our mother and our only home This book can be an important tool for anyone on the path of awakening, and a shelter for those of us who feel battered by the storms of the chaotic and complicated modern world.


  6. says:

    I read this book as part of a Native American philosophy class at St Scholastica While not nearly as enthralling as my professor s lectures, Wisdom of the Elders does explain the basis behind many Native American beliefs on humans and their interaction with nature.


  7. says:

    Loved it I read the French translation and I think I would have preferred the original version.


  8. says:

    I just read the Sacred Balance directly before this and there is quite a lot of overlap Same quotes and everything Still, it is really good and shares important messages.


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