Recieved: 1999/09/29 11:10
Subject: [K-list] Huh?
On 1999/09/29 11:10, Ckress posted thus to the K-list:
A somewhat tangential rant: Western (and Patriarchal) cultures, with their
emphasis on controlling, manipulating and conquering nature are focused on
understand HOW and WHY things work, which can be useful in all kinds of
material and social operations. The more feminine-oriented (mostly
indigenous and shamanic) cultures are more concerned with WHAT is than how
and why it is. They interpret phenomena as manifestations of an observable
but essentially unknowable Mystery.
When I was younger, I was enthralled with trying to discover the "why" of
things, but I've come to see the limitations of that. If you read enough and
live long enough, you see that both popular and cutting edge explanations for
just about anything are an ongoing parade of theories and premises founded on
everything from scientific inquiry to political policy-making to the endless
meandering of human imagination. This ever-changing eureka-cry of "We've
figured it out!" is given the spin of "progress," with the implication that
we are smarter than all previous generations of humankind who didn't have
their facts straight and didn't understand the nature of reality as well as
we do now.
Whenever I hear someone attach an ironclad explanation to anything, I take it
with a grain of salt. I've found too many things which can't be adequately
or unequivocally explained. And there is so much which doesn't depend on
explanation to be valuable and meaningful, and too many things which are
cheapened or dishonestly dismissed by our mania to explain them away. I'm
not saying that trying to understand how and why something works is wrong;
this basically masculine approach is very useful in all sorts of
applications. But it produces arrogance and a false sense of security to
assume it's possible to get our hands/minds on the blueprint of the universe
(or of the psyche, or the spirit, or even the mind), especially when we
intend to use the blueprint to bend everything to our personal
The WHAT of life seems to me to be too unpredictable, too astronomically and
intricately interconnected, too majestic and too magical for us to totally
harness for our tiny individual agendas.
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