When we put both world views, the European and the American Indian, next to each other, you hardly can believe that it is the result of the same intellectual abilities.
We always are confronted with the question of WHY did thinking develop in that direction and not in another direction.
On the one hand we could say, that it is the context homo sapiens lived in, that guided his thoughts and when we look at Indian thinking, this might be easy to accept as an explanation.
But when we look at European thinking it becomes more enigmatic and yet it is not a question about right and wrong ways of thinking. It just happened.
The European style of thought was set by the Greeks of classical antiquity. Whatever else it may have come to be, modern science is a continuation and extrapolation of certain concepts originating with the Greeks of the sixth, fifth, and fourth centuries B.C.
Salient among the originally Greek notions of nature to find its way into modern science is the atomic theory of matter.
The ancient atomists imagined all material things to be composed of indestructible and internally changeless particles, of which they supposed there were infinitely many.
That the order of nature can be successfully disclosed only by means of a quantitative description is an idea that also originated in sixth-century B.C. Greece and is attributed to Pythagoras.
Then add to this that Descartes separated our mind and soul from the material world and our physical bodies, which were only a kind of machinery,
combine this with the idea from Genesis in which it is said that God created man in his own image to have dominion over nature and to subdue it
and you’ll understand how science could develop and how we can exploit the earth as we do, based on the sacrosanct believe that only economic growth can be our god.
How completely alien is this world view to the American Indians. From their perspective European thinking could just as well have come from another planet.
The Ojibwa, the Sioux, and, if we may safely generalize, most American Indians lived in a world that was peopled not only by human persons but by persons and personalities associated with a natural phenomena.
In one's practical dealings in such a world it is necessary to one's well-being and that of one's family and tribe to maintain good social relations,
not only with proximate human persons, one's immediate tribal neighbors, but also with the nonhuman persons abounding in the immediate environment.
The earth, the sky, the winds, rocks, streams, trees, insects, birds, and all other animals therefore had personalities and were thus as fully persons as human beings were.
In dreams and visions the spirits of things were directly encountered and could become powerful allies to the dreamer or visionary.
We may therefore say that the Indians' social circle, their community, included all the nonhuman natural entities in their locales as well as their fellow clan and tribe members.
While the American Indian experienced life as living in one big family, tribe as well as evironement where bonds of kinship, mutuality, and reciprocity were guiding principles,
the European homo sapiens had become a kind of spectator and user of a material world, in which he is a kind of alien, which we now call a consumer.
While the concept of “eco-system” was implicitly present in the world view of the American Indian, the post Darwinian Western individual had to rediscover this concept ,
that he is part of nature and that, when he ignores this basic fact, he is destroying his own world.
That we were created to have dominion over nature and to subdue it, has proven to be a rather destructive belief, but the jesuits unfortunately never listened to the “savages”.
[13:17] herman Bergson: Thank you... ^_^
[13:17] Lizzy Pleides: Thank you herman
[13:18] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:18] herman Bergson: If you like...the floor is yours....
[13:18] herman Bergson: What to think about this antagonism between such world views?
[13:18] Lizzy Pleides: there were many tribes in America, did they all have a similar philosophy?
[13:19] Gemma Allen: mostly they do
[13:19] Gemma Allen: tho some war against others over hunting rights etc
[13:19] herman Bergson: IT is hard to put it that way LIzzy.....but in general they lived close to nature yes....
[13:19] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:19] herman Bergson: and they had animistic believes
[13:19] Paolo Rousselot: similar viws Lizzy yes
[13:20] Paolo Rousselot: *views
[13:20] herman Bergson: As I said in the fist lecture about this subject...it is hard to talk about ONE Indian belief system.....
[13:21] herman Bergson: But nature is a common ground for all of them I guess
[13:21] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:21] herman Bergson: And it is interesting to note how we lost contact with nature in such an early state already
[13:21] Paolo Rousselot: indeed
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: today we just want a new iphone every half year
[13:22] herman Bergson: I mean...why had those Greek to think about matter as atoms....who told them that? :-)
[13:22] herman Bergson: How do you get such an idea......in their situation?
[13:22] Paolo Rousselot: great question!
[13:22] Gemma Allen: no clue
[13:22] herman Bergson: I really don’t know....
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: hmm already the old greeks you use to say
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: and atom means indivisible in greek
[13:23] herman Bergson: but a fact is that we now live with nuclear physics...which confirm that weird Greek intuition it seems
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:23] Paolo Rousselot: or insight
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: nuclear reactors and particle accelerators as well as natural decay have shown that atoms are not undivideable at all
[13:24] herman Bergson: it was an insight Paolo, yes....but how they got it????
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: but they are the smallest basic parts of an element
[13:24] Areyn Laurasia: did the old Greeks have optics then?
[13:24] Paolo Rousselot: important point usually not seen
[13:24] herman Bergson: No Areyn....
[13:24] JB Hancroft: There are a lot of experiences that people have - modern or tribal - that are not based in science that can be rationally explained.
[13:25] herman Bergson: optics were rudimentary developed in the middle ages and refined in the 16 century
[13:25] herman Bergson: Can you give an example JB?
[13:25] Paolo Rousselot: original people had a much more holistic way of looking at life - perhaps because they lived closer to it?
[13:26] JB Hancroft: Well, I was thinking of things such as telepathy and other "ESP" experiences.
[13:26] JB Hancroft: Science might not be able to fit them into a rational structure or framework... but it doesn't invalidate the experience that people have.
[13:26] herman Bergson: There is a lot of experimenting in that area indeed, but not yet conclusive.....
[13:26] Paolo Rousselot: agreed JB
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:27] herman Bergson: Indeed JB...our paradigms may be incomplete or misleading even to see things in a different way
[13:27] JB Hancroft: *nods* exactly
[13:27] Gemma Allen: true
[13:28] JB Hancroft: so... to think of some "ancient" civilization as if they were not able to access what we "moderns" can... is usually to deny them the possibility that they were perceptive in other-than-scientific ways
[13:28] Paolo Rousselot: and so how that translates to perceptions of the material (spiritual?) world...?
[13:28] JB Hancroft: just a thought :)
[13:29] herman Bergson: I am puzzled by a related thought......
[13:29] Areyn Laurasia: interesting.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_optics
[13:29] herman Bergson: take the development of knowledge in European thinking.....
[13:30] Paolo Rousselot: personally I *think* our individual and collective consciousness is getting more fragmented all the time thus removing us from the ability to see precisely what JB illustrated
[13:30] herman Bergson: Put this next to the kind of holistic world view of the American indians.....what knowledge is expected to develop there?
[13:30] herman Bergson: Well we should be careful not to become too esoteric here ^_^
[13:31] Paolo Rousselot: going not so far off base as it might appear - collective typology
[13:31] CONNIE Eichel: :)
[13:31] Paolo Rousselot: but still you ask the question
[13:31] Paolo Rousselot: what if the answer is entirely held in esoteric realms?
[13:31] herman Bergson: How would knowledge have developed from the Indian world view?
[13:32] Areyn Laurasia: what good is any knowledge if it can't save them in the end?
[13:32] Paolo Rousselot: INFP vs. ESTJ
[13:32] herman Bergson: the Meyer test Paolo?
[13:32] Paolo Rousselot: yes
[13:32] herman Bergson: or what is it called
[13:32] Areyn Laurasia: Myers Briggs test :)
[13:32] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:32] Gemma Allen: lol
[13:32] Paolo Rousselot: look at the cultural traits with those references
[13:33] herman Bergson: yes that is the correct name...thnx Areyn :-))
[13:33] Areyn Laurasia: you're welcome
[13:33] Paolo Rousselot: Germanic is very J & S
[13:33] Paolo Rousselot: Native American is thoroughly NF
[13:33] herman Bergson: who is J&S Paolo?
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: hmm some sort of personality test it seems
[13:34] herman Bergson: It is Bejiita :-))
[13:34] Paolo Rousselot: J= judgers - S = Sensate
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: looks interesting
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: seems one of the most widely used too
[13:34] Paolo Rousselot: both physical, grounded, able to pay attention only to laws & rules
[13:34] Areyn Laurasia: would be similar to the American Indians animal totem symbolism?
[13:34] Lizzy Pleides: what i understood is that in general the American tribes were more empirical , i think the people of early days in the rest of the world have been too
[13:34] JB Hancroft: interesting
[13:35] Paolo Rousselot: NF = Intuitive & Feeling
[13:35] Paolo Rousselot: thus more open to the mystical
[13:35] herman Bergson: Yes Lizzy...in fact it is the first stage of our encounter with nature and selfconsciousness.....we become animistic....
[13:35] herman Bergson: It even appears as a stage in the development of the child's brain.....
[13:36] herman Bergson: It goes through an animistic stage too.....
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:36] herman Bergson: But now we are stuck with all our science and thence our world view....
[13:37] herman Bergson: the one of the American Indians is completely lost
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: we dont believe until we see hard fact
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: at least some of us do
[13:37] Lizzy Pleides: and most of us are not aware of it
[13:37] herman Bergson: Now we have environmentalists
[13:38] herman Bergson: The new Indians perhaps :-))
[13:38] JB Hancroft: well, that's a different kind of religion ;)
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: aaah
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:38] herman Bergsonherman Bergson grins at JB
[13:38] Paolo Rousselot: yes, - and scientists - headed toward the same goal
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: hehee
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: to find the higgs boson! lol
[13:38] CONNIE Eichel: :)
[13:38] Areyn Laurasia: God particle... religion in science?
[13:39] Lizzy Pleides: many of environmentalists are ideologists in another sense too too
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:39] herman Bergson: I have a feeling we are at an open end here....
[13:39] herman Bergson: Yes LIzzy...link environmentalist with solar energy, with produced of solar panels etc etc etc....
[13:40] herman Bergson: Like the wind mill industry.....
[13:40] Paolo Rousselot: so the apparent opposites are coming together
[13:40] Lizzy Pleides: yes and they want to make money with it
[13:40] Areyn Laurasia: link animals that flee when they sense an earthquake coming while humans are oblivious
[13:40] Paolo Rousselot: because of our lack of appreciation of nature
[13:40] Paolo Rousselot smiles w/ Areyn
[13:41] herman Bergson: Yes Paolo....eventually the views have to come together.....
[13:41] herman Bergson: and not distorted by commercial longing for profits
[13:41] CONNIE Eichel whispers: I'm sorry, but I got to go... great class, kisses :)
[13:41] Gemma Allen: Bye, Bye ㋡
[13:41] Gemma Allen: connie
[13:41] JB Hancroft: Have a wonderful day, Connie :)
[13:41] CONNIE Eichel whispers: bye :)
[13:41] Paolo Rousselot: the opposites have to agree to their mutual importance - not "either/or" but "both/and"
[13:41] herman Bergson: Bye CONNIE :-))
[13:42] CONNIE Eichel: ;)
[13:42] Paolo Rousselot: by Connie
[13:42] Lizzy Pleides: TC Connie
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: bye conie
[13:42] CONNIE Eichel: bye bye :)
[13:42] .: Beertje :.: i have to go too...have a goodnight and thank you Herman
[13:42] herman Bergson: I guess we wont solve all problems today :-)
[13:42] Gemma Allen: Bye, Bye ㋡
[13:42] Gemma Allen: beertje
[13:42] Areyn Laurasia: :)
[13:42] Paolo Rousselot: later Beettje!
[13:42] herman Bergson: So I thank you all again for your participation....
[13:42] Gemma Allen: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:42] herman Bergson: Bye Beertje :-)
[13:42] .: Beertje :.: tot later:)
[13:42] Areyn Laurasia: Thanks again for all the insights
[13:43] JB Hancroft: It's philosophy... meaning there is always full employment for considering the problems, right? ;)
[13:43] herman Bergson: Keep an open mind.....
[13:43] Gemma AllenGemma Allen GIGGLES!!
[13:43] Gemma Allen: ...LOL...
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: always
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:43] Gemma Allen: forever