Friday, December 11, 2009

Anxiety, Abram and Animism

I'm starting to understand why Daniel Quinn will not use the term nature in his work. In The Story of B he even titled a section Dynamiting Nature. In that section he talks about why using the term nature in any discussion can be decieving.

Anyway, back to another quote I dug up out of my notebook that speaks to my understanding.

"From an animistic perspective, the clearest source of all this disstress, both physical and psychological, lies in the aforementioned violence needlessly perpetrated by out civilization on the ecology of the planet, only by alleviating the latter will we be able to heal the former." --David Abram, Pg.22, The Spell of the Sensuous

Perhaps what we do to the earth we do to ourselves.

3 comments:

Filip T. said...

"From an animistic perspective, the clearest source of all this disstress, both physical and psychological, lies in the aforementioned violence needlessly perpetrated by out civilization on the ecology of the planet, only by alleviating the latter will we be able to heal the former." --David Abram, Pg.22,

Abram's quote makes perfect sense, of course. I love how concise and simple it is.

As for the word nature... Do you think Quinn avoids using it because the canned assumptions the public often has about that word is such that the implied relationship of nature to man is a dualistic one? I.e. Man and nature?

As an instructor, I have found Quinn's and Abram's advice to use words wisely to be immeasurable important. Indeed, often the other instructors and I get into details discussions on how best to frame this lesson or that lesson. All of us aware of how important the right words in the right context can be.

In encouraging healing the relationship of humans (students) to their natural surroundings, I find that the way things are framed/described is tremendously significant. At times, the use of just one word over another can cause a disconnect.

Using common language, and being able to understand assumptions/energies around words is one of the cruxes at work for me everyday. Our language shapes our reality in a tremendously powerful manner.

Curt said...

Yes, Quinn talks about this in "Lined Paper". The distinction between "us" and "it" (nature) is a cultural construct that goes all the way back to the Middle Ages.

Thank you for sharing your story and insights. I always appreciate them.

robert said...

The dostress you mentioned stems from a Materialistic outlook. Animism is the antithesis of Materialism.
robert