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Old 08-24-2019, 10:46 AM   #324
OLChemist
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To demonstrate my total geekiness. Let me mutilate a line from a favorite Star Trek episode: "A good post. Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a good post." LOL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joythirstpop View Post
Long before I first started reading books about native american ideas and religion...
Plural, please. There are 500+ cultures in the US alone.


Quote:
Originally Posted by joythirstpop View Post
I think it might be difficult to understand the intense need for belonging that some people experience...
I think, many do understand the intense need to belong, the intense need to satisfy the itch inside oneself. This intensity and the fate of other things non-Indians have wanted has taught Indian people to be, at best, cautious and, at worst, frightened.

My years in academia and then in industrial labs working with young people from the dominant culture has exposed me to many non-Indians with just this emptiness. I see several factors at play in producing this hunger.

1) Alienation from family. Something about the dominant culture model of adolescence seems to require conflict with parents. The process of transitioning from child to adult creates a distance that for many never heals. Maybe, the base familial unit is too small? Maybe, the fact that the industrial and post-industrial economic system has rendered adolescents unable to usefully contribute just when the Creator has programmed them to start trying out adult roles? Maybe, it's the radical individuality of a culture steeped in two millennia of the Christian idea the individual before a wrathful God on Judgement Day? Who knows.

As a result, many members of dominant culture American society have few connections to relatives and few connections to the larger social institutions the provide meaning. Further, the current generations seem less likely join or form voluntary social support networks. They live in tiny nuclear families, expecting to get all their social needs meet by their partner, children and pets.

2)Near total ignorance of and contempt for their cultural heritage. Let me take Christianity as an example. In my experience, those professing religious alienation know little about the breadth and depth of the many Christians traditions. Usually, they simply know they don't like it. They are similarly ignorant and scornful of their artistic, literary and philosophical traditions.

Rather than honor what they have received from their ancestors and learn from the good and the bad in their history and culture, they disown their past. Rather than alter and adapt what is theirs, they become voyeurs. Then, they mistake exoticism for meaning.

3) Romanticism. Especially since the 1960's Native people have become wrapped in a Billy Jack, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Dances With Wolves veil of dominant culture projections. These are just as distorting as the John Wayne captivity narrative tropes of prior generations. Indian people and their cultures become vehicles for dominant culture desires. Natives are a magic mirror, telling them they are just who they want to be.


Which brings me to the other half of your sentence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joythirstpop View Post
...especially by those who weren't born with a sense of it predefined easily for them and passed down through their family.

No disrespect intended but... Easily?! Did you miss the zombie apocalypse? Language loss. Disintegration of the family. Destruction of traditional economies, educational systems, governmental structures, epidemics, war, institutionalized deculturation.... Native people have been a bit busy in the half a millennium since the Lost White Guy washed up in the Caribbean.

Transmission of identity isn't easy for any culture living submersed within another. You make a passionate case for the travails of the Gaels, Saxons, Cimbrians, Teutons, etc under the Roman Empire. Can't you see the same forces at work today? Can you understand why people might be less than willing to accept the child of the invader, when their own children need all the energy they have to give?



Maybe when I'm not nursing a migraine, I'll be a tad more positive and we can discuss some of your other points.

Last edited by OLChemist; 08-24-2019 at 12:26 PM.. Reason: Grammar. It's not just a good idea; it's the law.
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