Gary Snyder on the Sioux view of nature
My friend David Walmark sends along a couple of quotations from the US poet Gary Snyder. One particularly catches my attention:
The Sioux idea of living creatures is that trees, buffalo and man are temporary energy swirls, turbulent patterns… You find that perception registered so many ways in archaic and primitive lore. I say that it is probably the most basic insight into the nature of things, and that our more common, recent Occidental view of the universe as consisting of fixed things is out of the main stream, a deviation from basic human perception. Gary Snyder
Snyder’s remark reminded me of our upcoming interview with Dr. Greg Cajete, a Tewa Indian educator from New Mexico. It echoes what Greg Cajete writes and says about aboriginal ways of knowing and understanding, and aboriginal approaches to learning. And it also reminds me that the industrial world’s environmental problems are fundamentally a reflection of our skewed understanding of the world, and of our place in it.