The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

January 17, 2007


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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 09:53:38 -0500
From: Pata de Perro <vanessa@intermundos.org>
Reply-To: LEAdigiwild@googlegroups.com
To: LEAdigiwild@googlegroups.com
Subject: [LEADigitalWild] the wild as seen from the wild?

I have just returned from the Putumayo, on the foothills of the Andes mountains, doorway to the Amazon jungle in Colombia, where I spent 10 days drinking yage with a shaman.  From there the perspective is quiet different. The putumayo happens to be one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, and "the wild" is definitely present.the wild we can see (even if there is much deforestation) and the wild we learn to see through the yage medicine (definitely sublime). There is no academia around .but there are other forms of knowledge that replace it.The knowledge of the wild itself, the knowledge of the different indigenous tribes that live in the region; Kofan, Inga, Kamsa and the knowledge of the plants, rocks, animals etc... Unfortunately none of the beholders of this knowledge will be participating in this online conversation. The wild has not been invited to take part. But, I understand it must be quiet complicated while standing in a US city to find representatives of the wild that would be interested in participating in these talks and I don't blame you.



Since the wild is not taking part in the discussion, very humbly I will try to transmit a bit of the knowledge that wilderness has given me ...certain plants, certain indigenous people.



The key question in this discussion seems to be whether or not humanity and technology

(+ new technology) are a part of the wild or not and if the wild is disappearing.



Many indigenous people adhere to this first idea; that indigenous people are the people of nature and that westerners are somehow outside of nature - and that when the last of the indigenous people have been killed or absorbed into western culture, the planet as a living organism (or ecosystem) will die, as it will have lost one of the key elements to maintaining its already very deficient balance...



Western man is considered by some indigenous people to dwell outside of nature because he has somehow broken the laws of nature and lost harmony with nature. A frontier has been breached. This frontier marks for example the point whence human beings began to get sick - as it is considered that while harmony with nature is maintained there is no possibility of sickness. This breached frontier can also be noted by the loss of instinct (or sixth sense) on the part of humans - the many senses that all animals share like knowing what plants are beneficial for health (dogs know by instinct to eat grass to purge themselves) or if an earthquake is coming etc. we have lost long ago. We have to learn everything through others - an eye is closed within us that is open for other animals.

(Similar to the biblical idea of the loss of the garden of eden)



Also, according to a legend from the putumayo (oral tradition passed down for centuries = unwritten history) - the reason that the Europeans came to the Americas was because the indigenous people of the Americas broke the laws of nature and therefore opened the doorway that permitted the discovery and further corruption of the Americas by the Europeans. (According to this indigenous people remained in the "garden of eden" longer then us westerners - but today have also lost harmony with nature).



These are a few random stories and ideas I have heard in the Amazon region and which I find are related to the theme at hand.



In reference to the online conversation, I found Roger Malina's coments on dark matter and dark energy very interesting. I don't know if this energy / matter is necessarily dark or if it called dark by the astronomers because they do not understand it (dark could be considered also negative - air is not dark yet it is not visible) but it seems that finding out that we only perceive 3% of the wild and that 97% of it is "invisible" to us reaffirms what I learned in the putumayo and Amazonas through yage and oral tradition - that is -  that there are many dimensions other then ours and that there is much more then meets the eye - So perhaps this dark energy/ matter are those other dimensions? That we cannot perceive with the naked eye?

Reality is a question of perspective the indigenous perspective is different from the scientific perspective (but the same / only the terms change really) -(personally I find its also a more pleasant perspective as it is full of magic and limitless in possibilities; the world is what we make it threw our thoughts, legends and words). Everything exists potentially. When I asked a kogi mamo what he thought of computers he said that he had no problems with computers, that computers existed before they existed, because everything exists potentially, that the computers where sitting in the mountains.. So maybe dark matter/the wild is that potential as well? that potential everything?



To the kogi Indians for example there are 3 planes of vision - you can look at things inmense, like the sky, or look at things miniscule, like an ant walking around, or you can look at what they consider to be "our plane" - "our dimension" : the everyday actions of human life...This plane is of no interest to them because it is too familiar, knowledge resides in looking at the other planes.



It seems that western man has concerned him/herself mainly with this third plane - our environment, up until now (especially the artists / scientists go further) and along with it, a materialistic worldview (based on the physical) that is limiting. I agree that the wild is immense and unknown and I think that it would be important for furthering a better understanding of it, to explore other forms of knowledge acquisition. Forms of knowledge and languages of understanding that come from the people who have remained closer and longer to this wild than us westerners..



Vanessa Gocksch

www.intermundos.org



You can download a PDF of texts spoken then transcribed from leaders of the indigenous tribes of the Sierra Nevada here: (it is not easy to find things writen by indigenous people)

http://www.intermundos.org/intermundos/sierra_nevada1.htm

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