I commend to you Andrew’s recent post on Indigenous Knowledge: A Roadmap to Belonging Again, which gives a succinct and clear message about how the modern world has departed from the wisdom of those more closely connected to the earth.
I quote two paragraphs from his post. One is about each of us being but part of a system, a greater whole:
“The core tenet of Indigenous knowledge systems is the need to cultivate a sense of kinship with others and the environment. Relationships are the core aspect of existence. We are shaped and molded through our connections to our family, friends and place. Humans are not viewed as separate or isolated individuals but intertwined in a vast array of different living systems. Thus, we are just one component of the greater whole.”
And the second is about the need for balance and harmony:
“What Indigenous cultures understood is the importance of a developing a sense of reverence for the gifts provided by nature. Indigenous Peoples aim to maintain a sense of balance and harmony with the natural world. Natural resources and other species are not to be exploited but respected and carefully preserved… The goal is to establish a healthy and reciprocal relationship between us humans and the world around us.”
Yes, there’s a danger in viewing ‘the past’ as some sort of idyll, and by comparison denigrating modernity. Each era has its positives. And yet we have moved so far from that interconnection, way too far, and the natural world is paying back our negligence in its many ‘environmental’ crises, which are really crises of our own collective psyche.
Featured image of Amazon rainforest on the Urubu river, Amazonas State, Brazil.
By Andre Deak, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons