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What We Can Learn from Traditional People

What can we learn from indigenous cultures, who still live the same way that everyone did thousands of years ago?

Geographer Jared Diamond points out that, for most of history, people lived in small groups as hunter-gatherers. Agriculture began 11,000 years ago, and state government is only half that old. But Diamond, who has spent years studying the tribes living in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, thinks we can still learn from traditional societies like these.

For instance, take criminal punishment: In contrast to Western criminal-justice systems, the chief of Sudan's Nuer people has no role in settling disputes but works to facilitate mediation and calculate traditional forms of compensation.

We could also benefit from a more Palaeolithic diet, since traditional societies have much less of the West's main diseases, such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and cancer.

Do traditional people include Indians? These people still live, to a certain extent, in a magical world--and part of this magic includes the Visitors. Anne Strieber has interviewed two contactees--just for our subscribers--who discovered, when they consulted their local Indian tribes, that they knew ALL about it!

What We Can Learn from Traditional People? Whatever they are willing to teach us, and from what I have read, that's an awful lot. Traditional people are the guardians of thousands of years of knowledge that can and just might save us from ourselves: knowledge about how to survive and thrive in all kinds of environments; how to adapt to extreme situations, and how to cope and come through socio-cultural and economic devastation without losing our compassion and responsibility to each other. They can teach us to see reality in ways that recognise the interdependence of all things and the greater reality behind the material. They can teach us how to live simply, build strong communities guided by the wisdom of responsible elders, and how to value the earth and its other inhabitants and treat them respectfully. Having suffered much at our hands and endured much, they can teach us to be humble, resilient, patient and ...ultimately.. forgiving, and how to lose everything without losing ourselves. They can teach us so much, if we are willing to learn, really ask them with a beginner's mind (as the buddhists say), "Teach me, brother", and open ourselves to new ways of seeing.

I wanted to add, regarding your question, 'Do traditional people include Indians?', that except for a few yet-uncontacted or isolated groups, most social systems have been profoundly influenced by cultures other than their own. We are all ,to some degree, mongrels (and I say that with utmost respect). Yet we are most fortunate that there have always been those within each group who cherish and protect their culture's deep knowledge, and who, if given the opportunity, might be willing to share it with us. Here in Australia, we do not respect or value our Aboriginal people enough, and have failed to learn from them how to live in harmony with this land, and how to use it well. When captain cook arrived some two hundred or more years ago, he described the Aborigines as having the best physiques he had ever seen: lean, straight, graceful and strong. Reason would suggest that the settlers would want to learn from these resourceful and graceful people how to thrive here, but British arrogance and Western conceit determined otherwise. Yet there is still time for us to turn around and recognise the wealth that was always there before us.

Thank you Tosca, both of these posts are absolute TRUTH.....WONDERFUL!

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