Tag Archives: healing

Shamanic Inquiry as Recovery of Indigenous Mind (PDF)












Toward an egalitarian

exchange of knowledge


Published in:

Schenk & Ch. Rätsch (Eds.), 1999, What is a shaman?,

Journal for Ethnomedicine, special volume 13, 125 – 140.

Berlin: VWB – Verlag für Wissenschaft und Bildung

[Page numbers inserted below as P125 etc.]



Jürgen W. Kremer

3383 Princeton Drive

Santa Rosa, CA 95405




[P125] Abstract




 [P126] Dreaming

A few years ago I had a dream which pertains to the issues at hand:

The location of the dream is Hamburg, the town where I grew up in Northern Germany. Sitting on the threshold in the doorway of a pre-war brick house beside my partner I overlook the river Elbe from on high. We are atop the ancient ice age rim of the river, the border of its once miles wide flow, thousands of years ago when reindeer roamed these latitudes. The reindeer now live much farther north, and the river moves in a much more narrow bed; yet it still spreads to considerable widths three hundred or so feet below us, where ferries criss-cross its course and ocean liners enter and leave the harbor. We are not just sitting atop an ancient river bed, but also very close to the old building where I went for Kindergarten shortly after the Second World War. At that time it was a place with a comforting huge tile stove and a garden with plants and trees inviting the imagination of children at play. I realize that there are achaeological excavations in process behind the old Kindergarten. Signs are put up all around it: No trespassing! Stay out! Not to be deterred, I leave my body at the moment of seeing these signs and enter the forbidden grounds. I hover over the ancient ruins which are uncovered thanks to the work of the archaeological team. A round, towerlike structure emerging from the depths of the ground is clearly visible. It appears to extend a good ways into the earth. I understand that this is an ancestral ceremonial structure, as are other similar ones right next to it. The name of the place where this dig into ancient cultural history occurs is Altona[P127] meaning “all-too-near.” Legend has it that an orphan was blindfolded when the burghers of Hamburg wanted to expand their overpopulated city. The idea was to place the new town where the orphan would stumble and fall. But what happened was unexpected. The boy had barely left the city gates, when he stumbled and fell. The attendant burghers exclaimed in surprise that this was all too near, in the local vernacular:  “All to nah!”  – thence the name for this part of the city – Altona. The place where I gain access to the layers below the contemporary city and old ancestral cultural memories is all too close in this dream, right there with my childhood, and fenced in by signs forbidding entry.


I wake up bringing with me not only the memory of the dream images, but its self-interpretation at the end. This dream contained an answer to the curiosity and spiritual hunger which I had tried to satisfy since adolescence through the study of native peoples and shamanism in particular.


This dream and the image of the abstract at the beginning define my approach to shamanic inquiry. They also point to the cultural struggle of “the west.” The key to shamanic inquiry in the eurocentered context is the remembrance in itself of what it seeks in other peoples – recovering indigenous mind. Cultural history and the prevailing definitions of scientific inquiry make such a project difficult, to say the least. Native American intellectual John Mohawk has put it thus: “I do not want people to adopt Indian rituals because I want people to own their own rituals. I want them to come to ownership out of experiences that are real to them. Then I’ll come and celebrate it with them.”


Let me circumlocute this dream by responding to the editors’ request to present my personal interpretation of shamanism. The following statements are purposefully succinct and provocative; they are presented in no particular order or hierarchy. A theorem is the result of something seen (Greek qewrew), whether as mental speculation or at a spectacle or performance. I offer what I have speculated and seen of proceedings shamanic as “conversation pieces” arranged around the dream and the image initially given. This is what I have learned from my work with Native Elders, shamans, medicine people, and noaidis. As such they are my personal contribution to an ancient immanent conversation. This particular conversation disallows artificial splits between the concrete and abstract, between the personal-biographical and the impersonal-general, between transcendent and immanent, etc. It is integral in the profoundest sense of the word. I have presented arguments for my approach elsewhere, references to these publications are inserted behind technical terms or statements warranting explication. Here I am describing my perspective in a personal way. I am doing this with awareness of my maleness, and my mixed Germanic ancestry. I am also quite conscious of my current location in the U.S., and the impact Native American intellectuals and spiritual leaders have had on me. I write for Europeans and people of European descent; others engaged in a eurocentered consciousness process need to see what useful things they may or may not glean from this. I paint black and white, what truly isn’t black and white at all – but all this may be a good starting point for a conversation.




Conversation Piece #1

Shamanism is a construct which mirrors eurocentric thinking.

The Ism of shamanism is the part “made up” or constructed by the early ethnographers and anthropologists serving the abstracting and universalizing pursuit of truth as defined in the western sciences. This definition of science is inherently imperialistic, as it relinquishes its participation in the phenomena in order to grasp and control what is left to be seen after the act of dissociation (1992b). Thus, as shamanism attempts to grasp the desired knowledge it may reflect more of itself in the mirror, than of the native peoples it is interacting with. In this sense the Ism of shamanism is all made up by eurocentric thinking. At this historical juncture I feel an obligation for specific cultural healing to the Tungus ªaman whose exposure to Russian visitors in the 17th century presumably led to the terminology of shamanism (see Voigt, 1984, for a discussions of the etymology and history of the word shaman); had ethnographers written in a similar vein about the yomtas of the Pomo-Miwok people, or the noaidis of the Sámi people, or the volvas of the Norse people, or the hataalis of the Diné people, we now might have the Ism of Yomtism, Noaidism, Volvism, or Hataalism. My interest is in the specificity of the immanent conversation, not just in order to pay hommage to cultural diversity, but to continue and affirm the specific indigenous knowledge (whether ecological, medical, astronomical, or otherwise) which can help us in our times of crisis. The most important questions to ask for any inquirer into matters shamanic is: What is the construction, what is the conversation I am participating in, if I am to inquire into what I am interested in? The Ism is the part where the labors of eurocentric social constructions are most visible, and where the loss of specific understanding of people, places, times, stories, and ceremonies needs to be recovered; the ªaman (or noaidi or yomta) is where the power of individual, cultural, and ecological healing rests through the specificity of the conversation.


Conversation Piece #2

Reflection upon and awareness of one’s own cultural viewpoint is a mandatory prerequisite for participation in the conversation.

I view shamanism as a particular aspect of an ancient, immanent conversation which indigenous people all over are continuing to this day (1996b, g, 1997e). This conversation is summarized in the graphic of the abstract. It is defined by its conscious participation in the phenomena (rather than a distancing view of the phenomena; 1992b). People of European descent or people who have entered the eurocentered process of consciousness have split themselves off from this ongoing interaction with place, ancestry, animals, plants, spirit(s), community, story, ceremony, cycles of life, and cycles of the seasons and ages. This dissociation has created a conceptualization of social evolution, in which a major shift has occurred from prehistory to history, from oral traditions to writing civilizations, from the immanent presence of spirit(s) to the transcendence of god(s). In my [P129] analysis, we engage in acts of imperialism – however subtle they may be – as long as we don’t understand our own shamanic and indigenous roots. I find it only legitimate to write about shamanism if what I write is true to my own shamanic tradition (even when and especially when writing about others). We can only be proper participants in shamanic exchange and dialogue if we know who we are as indigenous people. Otherwise we should take our hands off of other cultures. (1996a, 1994a, e).


Conversation Piece #3

The inquirer as partner in dialogue.

So, why do inquiry – even shamanic inquiry as recovery of indigenous mind? I can only think of one good reason: To resume an ancient conversation, which has balance as a goal (rather than control and progress), in order to be able to redress the ill effects wrought by an obsession with technological progress, an increase in population, etc. For me to become a partner in dialogue I need to recover my own indigenous roots, not to recreate a past long gone, but to move into the future in a complete, holistic conversation. If this is the context for dialogical inquiry, then there is no privileged access to knowledge nor a privileged preservation of knowledge; “Truth” has become truths or “temporary resolutions” to the issues at hand. As part of such conversation and dialogue it may become apparent that there are certain things to be said, and certain things which we need to be silent about (in our own tradition or in traditions we are exchanging with). (1997e, 1996a, f, 1994d)


Conversation Piece #4

If I don’t know who I am as an indigenous person, I should not write about other indigenous people.

Fundamentally, in my book there is no legitimate inquiry about shamanism unless I know who I am as an indigenous person. Of course, as a consequence of knowing that (or parts of that)  the need for inquiry and the nature of inquiry change entirely. If I know who I am as an indigenous or cultural person (however fragmented that understanding may be), then I may be able to relate to other native peoples (peoples still practicing shamanism) as an equal partner in dialogue, rather than arrive as an outsider intent on finding “Truth” (the implicit assumption of the eurocentered paradigm is that this “Truth” then ultimately should also become the tribe’s “Truth” as evolution continues, and the tribe investigated advances on the evolutionary ladder, thus presumably incorporating the “Truth” of self-defined more advanced civilizations). Of course, my guiding interests in shamanic inquiry are bound to change as I understand and remember myself as a person with indigenous roots. As long as we think writing about shamanism is about “them,” we remain unconscious of shamanism in us. (1996a, 1994h)



Conversation Piece #5

Shamanism is just one aspect of the immanent conversation of native peoples.

For me it is important to keep in mind that what is commonly understood as shamanism is just one aspect of a complex set of cultural practices. (It should be noted that the terms “shaman” and “shamanism” are problematic for many indigenous peoples, Native Americans in particular.) To split the indigenous conversation in such a way that healing endeavors become highlighted serves eurocentered research approaches and their knowledge construction, but distorts what is known by virtue of decontextualization. What appears as unusual, inexplicable or even bizarre through this lense may have entirely different connotations if seen as part of the holistic indigenous conversation. Thus we exaggerate the unusualness of phenomena, ultimately only trivializing it because it is denuded of what it is a natural part of. It splits individual healing from communal or cultural healing, it neglects that individual illness is situated in the context of a process of cultural balancing – history, place, story, ceremony, etc. For me this means that my shamanic inquiry requires that I participate in the entire conversation, and understand healing from that perspectve. “To heal” is etymologically connected with the German heilen, and the indo-european root *kailo-, referring to a state and process of wholeness (“whole” also being related to this root). But “to heal” is also connectect to “holy” (as is heilen to heilig), which gives an ancient root to the reemergent wholistic and transpersonal perspectives on healing. Lincoln (1986, 118) concludes his analysis of “healing” in the indo-european context by stating “that it is not just a damaged body that one restores to wholeness and health, but the very universe itself. … The full extent of such knowledge is now revealed in all its grandeur: the healer must understand and be prepared to manipulate nothing less than the full structure of the cosmos.” For what is stated here regarding the older layers of indo-european thinking we can find analogies in contemporary indigenous traditions, such as the Navajo chantways. (1997h, 1996a, b, g).


Conversation Piece #6

Recovery of indigenous mind is the appropriate contemporary definition of shamanism for people of eurocentered consciousness.

Shamanism is commonly defined as the practice of some form of “technology” (including intentional alterations of consciousness) for the benefit of individuals or a community, conducted by practitioners who have been endorsed by this community. It is my contention that the appropriate contemporary practice of shamanism for people ensconced in the eurocentered paradigm is the recovery of their indigenous roots (and this way their own “shamanic” traditions, “shamanic” being a word probably more appropriate for people of Eurasian descent than anybody else). This is the starting point from which all manners of shamanic healing may arise. This then is a healing process on behalf of the individual, family history, history, community; in short, it is the healing of the [P131] dissociative split and the recovery of participation in the phenomena. Physical and psychological healing are a particular aspects of this. Shamanic inquiry becomes recovery of indigenous mind, which becomes the resumption of the ancient, immanent conversation. Ecologist Wolfgang Sachs talks about the necessity to develop the social imagination for sustainability; it is my contention that we can develop such imagination through the restitution of the indigenous consciousness process, where we can inquire about and understand the needs of all participants in a particular place and time. Balance may thus be regained. To presume that any such project of recovery work can arrive within one lifetime at the level of immanent conversation still practiced by contemporary native peoples (even in the face of colonization) would by hubris – recovering the indigenous consciousness process after a prolonged history of dissociation is a multigenerational project.


Conversation Piece #7

We need to travel in a way which does not touch “the other” with the virus of progress.

How then are we to travel to other places and do inquiry about shamanic traditions? Maybe we are not to travel there. The minute we cease and desist the “othering” of shamanic cultures we have to question deeply why we are traveling and where we are going. If we aspire to be partners in dialogue, then any conversation requires mutual consent. Additionally, it requires the consent of all participants in the conversation. This means, for example, that I cannot travel without my ancestors. It also means that I need a welcome from the ancestors of where I want to go. Thus it takes an invitation from the partners in dialogue, but it also takes permission from ones own indigenous culture. Dreams are important here. Offerings and conversation with spirit(s) are mandatory. And more. I know that as long as I don’t travel within the framework of this immanent conversation I am bound to infect wherever I go with the virus of dissociation and progress. I can only travel once the other has ceased to be other for me. (See McGrane, 1989 for relevant discussions; Kremer, 1994a).



Conversation Piece #8

The hunger for shamanism is the denial of the indigenous roots from which eurocentered thinking originated.

The current interest in shamanism reflects more than just a “legitimate research field” (in the scientific view), which is finally receiving some acknowledgement (of course, the legitimacy of this interest is tautologically defined and justified by the scientific paradigm itself). With it comes a cultural hunger created by the loss of indigenous conversations in eurocentered societies. The fascination with exotic other cultures, the nostalgic yearning [P132] for something ideal in the past, or the romantic images of Native Americans riding the plains or retreating into kivas on remote mesas – all this originates from cultural starvation. Of course, there is an incredible amount we can learn from indigenous peoples in general, and shamanism specifically, which may benefit our modernist pathologies, provided this learning occurs in an appropriate context. And, of course, indigenous peoples have never lived in a perfect world, the ideal of balance is always and at best a fleeting achievement. Traditional Hopi stories describing situations where things are out of balance (koyaanisqatsi) are very educational in this regard; see the Hopi Ruin Legends (Lomatuway’ma et al., 1993). Our idealizations are the flip side of evolutionary thinking, and an expression of its shadow. The projection of our hunger onto other cultural traditions is not going to satisfy the emptiness in ourselves. In a sense it is junk food. Being nurtured by our own indigenous traditions and nurturing them in return is what will satisfy and stop idealizations, romanticism, and nostalgia. The research of other cultures and the incorporation of their practices without consent is only legitimate, as long as we act within a dissociative paradigm. Once we regain our own immanent conversation, inquiry and exchange of ceremonial practices need to await guidance from the conversation of all parties involved – ancestors, communities, plants, animals, stars, and all. Or, in the words of Jung: “Shall we be able to put on, like a new suit of clothes, ready-made symbols grown on foreign soil, saturated with foreign blood, spoken in a foreign tongue, nourished by a foreign culture, interwoven with foreign history, and so resemble a beggar who wraps himself in kingly raiment, a king who disguises himself as beggar? No doubt this is possible. Or is there something in ourselves that commands us to go in for no mummeries, but perhaps to sew our garment ourselves?” (1970, 49)



Converation Piece #9

The cross-cultural differences between indigenous and eurocentered peoples is qualitative, rather than quantitative.

Another way of saying this is: Cross-cultural differences between eurocentered peoples are of the same order, and cross-cultural differences between indigenous peoples are of the same order, but the differences between these two groups are of a different order or quality. I have defined the evolutionary trajectory of the so-called civilizing process as dissociative schismogenesis (1992b, c). This is a run-away pathological process, where the split from one’s origin increases in an addictive dynamic governed by progress ideologies, and where the loss of awareness of one’s root has tremendous power. Phenomena are seen as entirely external, and one’s participation in the phenomena is unconscious. – On the other hand, the immanent conversation of native peoples is aware of its active participation in the creation of the phenomena. The (explicit or implicit) goal of the conversation is not some transcendent state or some evolutionary goal set in the future; the goal is balance within each individual, between individuals, and among all participants of the conversation, balance within the cycles of the different world ages, balance as hunters, [P133] horticulturalists, gatherers or pastoralists, balance as sedentary people or nomads. – This qualitative difference between these two groups of cultures leads to tremendous interactive problems, which remain largely veiled for eurocentric folk. They are the proverbial apples and oranges. The dissociative inquirer can only approach the participative conversation qua dissociative means – resulting in an imperialistic acquisition of knowledge. The participative conversation, because of its values, usually welcomes dissociative inquirers, even when their pathology is apparent (the traditional worldview usually makes such open door policy practically mandatory, and frequently disregards the significant qualitative difference in paradigm, a difference which is also politically highly relevant). The truth generated by this approach (whether in one of the sciences or as new age spiritual practice) is, in final analysis, a validation for the conversation of the dominant paradigm. The indigenous conversation has no need for research other than the ceremonial and spiritual inquiry into what is needed for balancing in a particular place at a specific time in history. To my mind that is more research than most of us can handle. Exchanges with other indigenous cultures are guided by the contents of this conversation. – Wislawa Szymborska’s poem Conversation with a stone describes the distinction I am talking about aptly: ” “You shall not enter,” says the stone. // “You lack the sense of taking part. // No other sense can make up for your missing sense of taking part. // Even sight heightened to become all-seeing // will do you no good without a sense of taking part. // You shall not enter, you have only a sense of what that sense should be, // only its seed, imagination.” ” – These differences in paradigm can easily be illustrated in the area of physical healing, say with herbs: Within the eurocentered paradigm we pick an herb for its curative properties known to relieve a certain ailment. Herb collection is an entirely different event within an indigenous context. Here, it is a ceremonial event which involves spirit, and, especially, the spirits of the plant to be collected. It is a participatory event with the plant relations which presupposes detailed knowledge, including knowledge of their “language.” It requires knowledge of cycles and preparations necessary for gathering. It means understanding plants like any other intelligent people. This is no longer the collection of an herb, but an engagement and appointment with spirit to help heal. What heals is more than the beneficial chemical ingredient in the herb.


Conversation Piece #10

Dialog partners have the historic task of healing the history of projective identification in relation to indigenous peoples.

In relation to indigenous peoples colonialism is always an essential ingredient in the context of exchange, dialogue or research. The euro-centered, well-bounded ego frequently cannot see this deep structure of such encounters, which is present whether talked about or left unspoken or unconscious. It is this ego, which is likely to project from its personality make-up whatever it has dissociated from into its own past or onto indigenous peoples. In fact, projective identification may be the most apt clinical term to point to the [P134] psycho-emotional process eurocentered cultures are engaged in with contemporary indigenous peoples (this term also acknowledges that history is carried and handed down specifically in the process of socialization within each individual). Projective identification means that other people are made to feel the highly conflicted and split off material dominant cultures unconsciously injected into them – so that they feel and experience it as if it is their own. Natives feel the eurocentered dissociation from prehistory, ancestry, nature, etc. as self-hatred (“primitives”) which is destructive to their cultures. Of course, self-hatred as an effect of internalized colonization warrants a much longer statement than I can offer here. Notably, in individual psychotherapy projective identification is known to be a pathological process oftentimes quite resistant to change because of its strongly self-reinforcing nature; this would seem to imply that we can assume strong resistance to the healing of the history of colonialism in the relationship between indigenous and eurocentered cultures. I would think that the retraction of these projections is the first order of business; for this we need a different metaphor than “regression in the service of the ego”, which is appropriate for individual psychotherapy. I suggest that the integration of history and prehistory qua connection with indigenous roots (recovering indigenous mind) is an appropriate terminology. The reintegration of cultural shadow material presupposes the possibility of an ego – the indigenous ego in communal conversation, if you wish – which would be differently constructed than our contemporary ego can easily imagine. The revival of shamanic practices can be an aspect of the resolution of historically determined shadow material – or it may perpetrate the denial further.


Conversation Piece #11

Psychologizing spirit(s) misses the mark.

For Europeans and Euroamericans the easiest way – other than by anthropological means – to approach native peoples and their shamanism is probably via psychology, particularly transpersonal pyschology. This seems to be the current moving force within eurocentered societies, where the influence of psychological thinking has increased steadily over the years. Joseph Campbell’s approach to mythology and Jung’s archetypal psychology offer attractive avenues in this regard. While these and others can be extremely helpful for people of euro-centered consciousness, they easily become problematic projections when applied to native peoples. Jung himself had actually quite a good understanding of this when he looked toward alchemy as an earlier tradition in his own background or when he stated: “A spiritual need has produced in our time the “discovery” of psychology.” While various forms of psychology may open the door to the remembrance of an indigenous mind process for people of European descent, even transpersonal psychology is hardly identical with it. It is important to be aware that an archetype is not a spirit. Psychologizing spirit is a way of preserving and affirming eurocentered thinking. Faris (1990, 12) has summarized this succinctly in his discussion of the Jungian interpretations of Navajo traditions: ” Such motions … are still popular and [P135] continue to be attractive to both romantics and humanists who seem interested in fitting Navajo belief into some variety of universal schema – reducing its own rich logic to but variation and fodder for a truth derived from Western arrogances – even if their motivations are to elevate it.” To my mind the prerequisite for writing about shamanism is that spirits are or have been present to the author. Otherwise it seems more appropriate to be silent about a universe only partly seen.


Conversation Piece #12

Remembering indigenous roots is medicine.

It seems so much easier to see the “medicine” in a plant, a feather or a stone people lodge (sweat) – and it is so much harder to see the medicine offered by the confrontation with history. The land I live on now is not my ancestral land – it is the ancestral land of the Ramaytush-speaking people of the San Francisco peninsula, the first people of this particular land with a name we still remember, the original keepers of this land. The beauty of the land I live on has suffered from the devastating consequences of technological progress. I live in a society where the destruction of its aboriginal cultures is scarcely acknowledged and is not mourned by the majority of people; living in this society I am in a certain way complicit in the ongoing perpetration of racism and cultural genocide. Yet, I also live in a city which seems to be among the most comfortably and richly multicultural places in the U.S., with less pollution than in many other metropolitan areas. My Germanic ancestry puts me in the gateway of the Shoah. I recall Hitler’s perversions of mythology in the service of genocide; I will never forget the image of the Germanic goddess Nerthus cattle-drawn past Hitler, which I saw in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. I recall the aberrations of the Vikings, their vicious slaughters and conquering – another guardian at the threshold. Passing these and more guardians, witnessing what they hold, is to heal old collective wounds as they have been passed down to me as an individual, passed down consciously and unconsciously. These guardians don’t stand at the threshold simply to propagate guilt. The guardians are medicine for the collective shadow of the Western world. They are the medicine of remembrance with all that it entails, be it fear, pain, guilt, anger. Ancestry and stories of origins and homeland have been abused for various ideological purposes, usually right-wing and fascistic. The story of our cultural self-understanding is open-ended, necessarily. The exposure to the medicine of the guardians is mandatory in order to counter chauvinistic or nationalistic abuses. The healing power – for individual as well as collective healing – of the witnessing of history with all its perversions, twists, and contradictions, is a) a prerequisite for anybody of European descent as part of shamanic work, and b) in a profound sense more powerful than any animal bone or feather that one might want to pick up.


Boring Things

I am bored with the shifting fashions of shamanic inquiry and New Age appropriations – yesterday the Australian aborigines, now the Siberian tribes. I am bored with the fashions of charismatic figures and the disempowerment of seekers.


Exciting Things

I am excited about the possibility of the disappearance of the white man (‘white man’ in the sense of the masculinization of the phenomena through eurocentric consciousness). I am excited about the possibility of resuming ancient forms of knowledge exchange, where we all might mirror each other through the original instructions we all received (while taking care of the teaching circles or instructions from the tree of life). I am excited about developing evolutionary thinking which gets us off the linear trajectory through the remembrance of all of our traditional stories (the cycles of history as evolution). I am excited about the possibility to see the history of our planet spoken in multivocality, which respects not only different traditions, but takes care of each place and time to the best of our ancient understandings for today. I am excited about the possibility of universal connection through specificity of knowledge trade rather than dissociation and abstraction. I am excited about the possibility that the oppositions between cultural relativism and scientism may resolve itself into the universalism of the knowledge exchange among immanent conversations.


Shamanic Career

The outline of my “shamanic career” can be given briefly: During adolescence I developed a benign form of cancer, a bone tumor. The surgery and subsequent healing process prevented me from undertaking a journey which I had dreamed of since childhood: I had won a scholarship at my school to visit the northernmost part of Scandinavia – Sápmi – and to go to a place which lived most vividly in my imagination: Girkonjárga (which I knew then only as the Kirkenes of the Norwegian language). Many years later I had an unexpected experience which jolted me out of the life course I was on (the practice of clinical psychology), and – finally – led me to that very place in Sápmi: During an experience – commonly labelled “out of body experience” – I appeared as an agent in what seemed a healing for another person. This embarked me on an exploration of various alternate forms of healing, primarily those called ‘shamanic.’ I spent time with shamans and medicine people from various cultures, including Navajo, Cherokee, Pomo-Miwok, Japanese, Cambodian; I travelled incessantly to the tribes and archaeological sites of the Southwestern U.S. In addition to studying these various traditions I fasted, danced, and sweated. I also explored what various proponents of New Age shamanism had to offer – [P137] some of these people were native, some of them not so native or fake native, all of them were decontextualized in one form or another. As I listened to them and researched their claims the meaning of their decontextualization became increasingly apparent to me. After years of study with and of traditional, non-traditional, and anti-traditional people I realized that I could not be a participant in indigenous endeavors unless I knew who I was as an indigenous person. The work with my Oneida colleague, Dr. Pamela Colorado, was instrumental for this process; her conceptualization of “indigenous science” has impacted much of my work. The realization regarding my own indigenous roots led me to review my relationships with people who had taught me and who I had researched, and resulted in a deep exploration of my Germanic ancestry. I worked through some of the shame and embarassment which had prevented me in the past from looking at the older layers of Nordic history. I finally began taking trips not just back to Germany, but to the last remaining people in Europe living in an indigenous frame of mind, the Saami people of the far north of Scandinavia and the Kola Peninsula, the land they call Sápmi or Saami Eatnan. The meetings with the members of PRATEC from Lima, Peru – facilitated by Frederique Apffel-Marglin – were influential in my own conceptualizations of immanent conversation (particularly thanks to conversations with the late Eduardo Grillo). Out of the many Saami people who met with me during my travels the ongoing work with Biret-Máret Kallio is of particular significance for my recovery work and its conceptualizations. […] (See 1997a, c, 1996e for extensive autobiographical material.)



It seems customary to think about influences in terms of books and teachers. For me other storehouses, “libraries”, or “universities” for ancient knowledge have been at least equally significant, namely rock art and archaeological and sacred sites. On the continent where I live the rock knowledge of the Southwestern U.S. (Horse Shoe Canyon, and innumerable other sites), and sacred places like Chaco Canyon, White House Ruin, Spider Rock, Uxmal, Chichen Itza, and others have been of tremendous importance for me. In Europe the rock knowledge of sacred sites in Bohuslän, Nämforsen, and Jiebmaluokta in particular, and places like Čeavceageađge have been of particular significance. Early on the work of Stanley Krippner and the contacts he provided were influential. Other than Colorado, Wilkinson, Kallio, and PRATEC the works by Pentekäinen, Valkeapää, Mohawk, Deloria, Churchill, McGrane, Faris deserve particular mention. The many native teachers who have generously shared their knowledge and ceremonies are gratefully acknowledged.




Churchill, W. (1992). Fantasies of the master race. Monroe, ME: Common Courage.

Churchill, W. (1995). Since predator came. Littleton, CO: Aigis.

Colorado, P. (1988). Bridging native and western science. Convergence, XXI, 2/3, 49-67.

Colorado, P. (1989). “Indian science” from fire and ice. In J. Bruchac (ed.), New voices from the longhouse. New York: Greenfield Review Press.

Colorado, P. (1991). A meeting between brothers. Beshara, 13, Summer 1991, 20-27.

Colorado, P. (1994). Indigenous science and western science – a healing convergence. Presentation at the World Sciences Dialog I. New York City, April 25-27.

Colorado, P. (1996). Indigenous science. ReVision, Vol. 18 (3), 6-10.

Deloria, V. (1993). If you think about it you will see that it is true. Noetic Sciences Review, 27, 62-71.

Deloria, V. (1995). Red earth, white lies. NY: Scribner

Deloria, V. (1996). If you think about it, you will see that it is true. ReVision, 18(3), 37-44.

Dion-Buffalo, Y. & J. Mohawk. (1994). Throughts from an autochtonous center. Cultural Survival, Winter, 33-35.

Faris, J.C. (1990). The nightway. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Jung, C.G. (1970). Psychological reflections. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Quote from collected works 10, 26f.)

Kallio, B.-M. (1996). Noaidi – jemand, der sieht. Ethnopsychologische Mitteilungen, 6(1), 59-77.

Krippner, S. & A. Villoldo. (1976). The realms of healing. Millbrae, CA: Celestial Arts.

Krippner, S. & P. Welch (1992). Spiritual dimensions of healing New York: Irvington.

Krippner, S. (1986). Dreams and the development of a personal mythology. The Journal of Mind and Behavior, 7(2-3), 449 – 461.

Krippner, S. (1995). The use of altered conscious states in North and South American Indian shamanic healing rituals. In R. van Quekelberghe & D. Eigner (Eds.), Jahrbuch für transkulturelle Medizin und Psychotherapie. Trance, Besessenheit, Heilrituale und Psychotherapie. Berlin:VWB.

Lincoln, B. (1986). Myth, cosmos, and society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Lomatuway’ma, M., L. Lomatuway’ma, S. Namingha & E. Malotki (1993). Kiqötutuwutsi – Hopi ruin legends. Flagstaff, AZ: Northern Arizona University.

McGrane, B. (1989). Beyond anthropology. NY: Columbia.

Pentkäinen, J. (1984). The Sámi shaman. In M. Hoppál (ed.), Shamanism in Eurasia. Göttingen, Germany: edition herodot.

Szymborska, W. (1995). view with a grain of sand. NY: Harcourt Brace.

Valkeapää, N.-A. (1985). Trekways of the wind. Guovdageaidnu, Norway: DAT.

Valkeapää, N.-A. (1991). Beaivi, Áh_á_an. Guovdageaidnu, Norway: DAT.

Valkeapää, N.-A. (1996). Poems from Trekways of the wind. ReVision, 18(3), 45-48.

Voigt, V. (1984). Shaman – Person or word? In M. Hoppál (ed.), Shamanism in Eurasia (part 1) (13-20). Göttingen, Germany: edition herodot.

Wilkinson, T. (1996). Persephone returns. Berkeley, CA: Pagemill.


Publications pertaining to my summary of shamanic inquiry

(1997a) Recovering indigenous mind. ReVision, 19(4).

(1997b). Transforming learning transforming. ReVision, 20(1); see also (1994k).

(1997c). BeFORe Gimbutas. ReVision, 20(1)

(1997d). Introduction to special issue on transformative learning. ReVision, 20(1)

(1997e). Editor of a ReVision issue (vol. 20, #1) on Transformative Learning

(1997f). Editor (with Joseph Prabhu) of a ReVision issue (vol. 19, #4) on Alternative Perspectives on Development

(1997g). Editor of a ReVision issue (vol. 19, #3) on Indigenous Science – Further Contributions.

(1997h) Die Schattenseiten evolutionären Denkens – Ken Wilber als Beispiel (Teil II). Ethnopsychologische Mitteilungen, 6(2).

(1997i). Übersetzung des Artikels Noaidi von Biret-Máret Kallio. Ethnopsychologische Mitteilungen, 6(1), 59-77.

(1996a) The Possibility Of Recovering Indigenous European Perspectives On Native Healing Practices. Ethnopsychologische Mitteilungen , 5(2),149-164.

(1996b) The shadow of evolutionary thinking. ReVision, 19(1), 41-48.

(1996c) Lingering shadows. ReVision, 19(2), 43-44.

(1996d) The shadow of evolutionary thinking (enlarged article). In submission for reader edited by Rothberg and Kelly on Ken Wilber and the future of transpersonal inquiry – A spectrum of views.

(1996e) Mind on fire. ReVision, 19(3); at press

(1996f) Introduction to special issue on indigenous science. ReVision, 19(3); at press

(1996g) Die Schattenseiten evolutionären Denkens – Ken Wilber als Beispiel (Teil I). Ethnopsychologische Mitteilungen, 6(1), 41-58.

(1996h). Editor of a ReVision issue (Vol. 18, #3) on Indigenous Science.

(1995a) Evolving into what and for whose purpose?. ReVision, Winter 1996, 18(3),27-36.

(1995b) Introduction: Indigenous science. ReVision, Winter 1996, 18(3), 2-5.

(1994a). Seidr or trance? ReVision, Spring 1994, 16(4), 183-191

(1994b). Trance postures (with Stanley Krippner). ReVision, Spring 1994, 16(4), 173-182.

(1994c). Foreword (with Jean Achterberg). ReVision, Spring 1994, 16(4), 147

(1994d). Shamanic tales of power. In: van Quekelberghe (ed.), Trance, Possession, Healing Rituals, and Psychotherapy / Yearbook of Cross-Cultural Medicine and Psychotherapy 1994(pp. 153-180). Mainz, Germany: Verlag für Wissenschaft und Bildung.

(1994e). Perspectives on indigenous healing. Noetic Sciences Review, Spring 1995, 13-18.

(1994f). Indigenous science for euro-americans, In R. I. Heinze (Ed.),  Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on the Study of Shamanism And Alternate Modes of Healing. Berkeley, CA: Independent Scholars of Asia.

(1994g).Traditional Knowledge Leads to a Ph.D. [Interview with Pamela Colorado and Jürgen Kremer, by Richard Simonelli] Winds of Change 9(4), 43-48.

(1994h). Euro-americans, retribalize! Printed in 1994k

(1994i). On understanding indigenous healing practices. Ethnopsychologische Mitteilungen, 4(1), 3-36. (1995)

(1994j). Practices for the postmodern shaman? In R. I. Heinze (Ed.),  Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on the Study of Shamanism And Alternate Modes of Healing. Berkeley, CA: Independent Scholars of Asia.

(1994k). Looking for Dame Yggdrasil. Red Bluff, CA: Falkenflug Press.

(1993a) The past and future process of mythology, In R. I. Heinze (Ed.),  Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on the Study of Shamanism And Alternate Modes of Healing. Berkeley, CA: Independent Scholars of Asia. [In press]

(1993b). Co-guest editor (with Jean Achterberg) of a ReVision issue (Vol. 16, #4) on Trance and Healing – Psychology Biology and Culture.

(1992a) Culture and ways of knowing. ReVision, Spring 1992, 14(4), 167. [Foreword]

(1992b). The dark night of the scholar. ReVision, Spring 1992, 14(4), 169-178.

(1992c). Culture and ways of knowing – Part II. ReVision, Summer 1992, 15(1),3. [Foreword]

(1992d). Whither dark night of the scholar? ReVisions, Summer 1992, 15(1), 4-12.

(1992e). Prolegomena shamanica. Red Bluff, CA: Falkenflug Press.

(1992g). Guest editor of two ReVision issues (Vol. 14, #4 and Vol. 15, #1) on Culture and Ways of Knowing

(1992h). Memory Lightning Memory. ReVision, 1992, 15(1), backcover. [Story.]

(1991a). Contemporary shamanism and the evolution of consciousness – Reflections on Owen Barfield’s Saving the Appearances. Open Eye, 8(3), 4-5,9.

(1990a) Vincent Van Gogh: “Great artist and failure in initiation?”. In R. I. Heinze (Ed.),  Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Study of Shamanism And Alternate Modes of Healing (pp. 151-161). Berkeley, CA: Independent Scholars of Asia.

(1990b) Sacred crafts (with Debra White). In R. I. Heinze (Ed.),  Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Study of Shamanism And Alternate Modes of Healing (pp. 176-185). Berkeley, CA: Independent Scholars of Asia.

(1989a) The shaman’s body. In R. I. Heinze (Ed.), Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on the Study of Shamanism And Alternate Models of Healing (pp. 375-384). Berkeley, CA: Independent Scholars of Asia.

(1989b) Authentic traditions and their confrontations with Western knowledge. Journal of Navajo Education, Winter 1989, VI, 3-12.

(1988a). Tales of Power. In R. I. Heinze (Ed.), Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on the Study of Shamanism And Alternate Models of Healing (pp. 31-49). Berkeley, CA: Independent Scholars of Asia.

(1988b). Shamanic tales as ways of personal empowerment. In G. Doore (Ed.), Shaman’s Path: Healing, Personal Growth, and Empowerment (pp. 189-199). Boston, MA: Shambala.

(1988c) Metanoia – Tales of power and epistemological learning. Journal of Learning, 1(1), 28-43.

(1987). The shaman and the epistemologer. In R. I. Heinze (Ed.), Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on the Study of Shamanism And Alternate Models of Healing (pp. 7 – 21). Berkeley, CA: Independent Scholars of Asia.

(1986). The human science approach as discourse. Saybrook Review, 6,65-105.



Remembrance: An Intercultural Mental Health Process (PDF)

Remembrance, An Intercultural Mental Health Process

by Pam Colorado

Mental Health is a European, western derived construct which, in the context of colonialism, has been imposed upon Native peoples. thus one could question the health of “mental Helth”. I propose that it is possible and timely to create processes and models of mental health which are intercultural and have, as their first order of business, the healing of mental health practitioners…myself included!

Issues of mental health and culture are central to my life. I am a traditional Oneida woman, married to a Hawaiian, Kuhuna Kalai Wa’a and Kii, that is, a man who has the Huna or secret knowledge of how to carve traditional ocean going canoes and images. We live on the island of Maui where I commute to California to teach in the Traditional Knowledge Program—a doctoral program for tribal people worldwide. I am also of French ancestry and travelled to France during my early twenties to make peace with the conflict I felt as a mixed blood person.

In twenty years of activism my model of mental health practice evolved from a largely clinical social work/community organizing focus (with a few cultural touches) to an almost completely cultural, spiritual practice that drew on western psychology when necessary. Although reluctant to draw on extra cultural approaches,I found psychology and its terminology to be helpful in dealing with deadly colonial wounds, notably alcoholism. Counselling methods also became a bridge to the western and professional world and to assimilated parts of my personality. In fact, western counselling helped me to decolonize and to embrace my true cultural identity.

But joining Native and western approaches to mental health has always made me uncomfortable. First of all, there are no guidelines or mutually established ethics to govern the linking. Second, the concept of mental health is inextricably bound up in relationships of domination and power. Prior to the invasion of North America there wasn’t even a concept of mental health! Native cultures sought and were an expression of grounded lives lived in balance and intimate communication with all living beings. third, western practitioners’ denial of the power dynamics between Natives and westerners emotionally charge the counselling process. Fourth, whether we like it or not, there is no part of Native life that has not been violated or desecrated. As a result, we carry enormous and undifferentiated anxieties and pain; often we swing back and forth between western and Native behavior without conscious choice. Finally, as my genetics suggest, there is no escaping the obvious fact that American Indians and Euramericans (with their mental health practices) share a land and a reality. We must address the intercultural mental health conundrum and transform it into something good.

Recently, I worked with a French American person whose wife had suffered with terminal cancer for ore than two years. I began the work in my usual way, as a cultural person who used western concepts to communicate and engage. Four months later, when the work was complete, I had been taught a way of doing Native mental health in the western world; moreover, a westerner had entered my Native paradigm and healed aspects of my life. I refer to the process as remembrance and share some of it with you now.

A stormy twilight sky holds the ocean in an indigo embrace. Moving smoothly through the cold spring ocean, I hesitate for a moment, questioning the wisdom of a swim so late in the day. Hawaiian elders warn against this. As I realise I am alone in the water, a sense of vulnerability rises; I do not recall how I got here. I want to return to shore but am powerless to move. The growing density of the night time sky is matched by a sense of growing danger in the water. Suddenly, I am aware of an enormous and awesome presence—Mano! The shark1

My reaction is instantaneous. Rolling over on my back I lie suspended in the water and I wait. Mano is one of the most powerful animal spirits in Hawaiian cosmology. The shark empowers priests, healers and intellectuals; it is an Aumakua, the head of a major clan system and it is Mano that accompanied and protected the first Polynesian voyagers to settle the Hawaiian islands. Lying motionless is the only act of reverence available to me. I can feel him approaching from my right; swift and smooth. He transverses the length of my body, as if appraising me. Death may be imminent. I am afraid. I am hopeful. The shark turns and heads directly towards me. Bright blue lines of electricity stream from either side of his head. Reaching my still body, he races beneath me, around me, wrapping me in blue lines of vivifying intelligence and power. Then he is gone.

I awake, shaking and weeping with joy. Gathering up my medicine bag, I pull on some clothes and head to Launiopoko Beach to make an offering of thanks. Pulling Indian tobacco from its pouch, I call to Mano. Laying a gift of tobacco in the water, I wait. Was it a true dream? A few moments pass, doubt begins to enter my mind. Just then a movement about fifty feet off to the left catches my eye. It is a shark fin, standing nearly one foot out of the water. This must be a great animal. As quickly as it moves towards me, it turns and disappears from sight.

As I drive home, I wonder at the beauty and power of Native ways. The feelings that went through me when I saw the shark acknowledge the offering! I wonder what the meaning of this experience is and what is expected of me. A few days later, a stranger stops by our house to look at Hawaiian art work. It is Mr. Robert Requin (Mr. R), an elderly gentleman of enormous wealth and great political repute.

It is not usual to greet someone of Mr. R’s standing, so I paid attention to what happened. As he entered our house, he went almost directly to the scale model canoe, “Lele O Ke Kolea”, the canoe that brought the first Hawaiians here. As I approached Mr. R to welcome him a spiritual presence, nearly palpable, filled the room. My traditional training enabled me to see it my western mind interpreted it as a crucial bonding. I was shocked because I had never had such a moment with a non Native person.

Any traditional Native person will tell you that ordinary reality is not real at all. This world is spiritual and beings of great power, like Mano, move through the veil of our conscious minds. Like Creator, Mano touches us. It is only an instant but in that moment we experience something timeless and real—our own truth. Truth, according to Native thought is meant to be lived. When a dream comes, work of transformative nature is sure to follow. Because the work is spiritual and difficult, it is important to interpret the direction of the dream accurately.

In the weeks that followed, I struggled for understanding and direction. I spoke to another traditional person who responded, “A strange thought just came to me—your visitor is Mano!” The truth of the message was so strong, it took my breath.

Identifying the Mano as the spiritual protector and power of my visitor, gave me a beginning point for determining how we were related. For a few days, I struggled trying to remember anything I heard or knew of the relationship between Mano and the Thunderers—my clan. The answer came in the middle of the night when I awoke thinking of a petroglyph from the Northwest Coast (where I learned the process of deciphering the ancient language).

On a large rock, located in the tideline, is a carving of the Shark and Thunderbird, held together by a huge lizard—the protector of water and change of consciousness. This 15,000-year-old carving is predictive of transformative learning—of movement into a higher integration of knowledge which will be sensory or predictive. The Lizard also implies genealogy or ancestral communication. In a western sense we might say I had determined an archetypal relationship. I understood that this was a powerful connection but I lacked a course, or even a next step of action.

One day, during a phone conversation with Mr. R, we discussed our French family histories. Realising that our ancestors had arrived in the New World about the same time, I decided to check my family tree, a lengthy document. Turning to a random page, I glanced down and discovered that a man from my family and a woman from his had married in 1560; furthermore, this couple moved to the New World and became the progenitors of both his family line and mine! This confused me. If I had found a mutual Indian ancestor, I would know what to do or who to contact. I was in for a surprise.

Mr. R had purchased a number of traditional Hawaiian art pieces of my husband’s and had asked me to bless them. I readily agreed, until I turned to do it and discovered the purchases included Lei o Mano—weapons of war constructed of sharks teeth and a wood that women do not touch! How do I, as a woman, pray over weapons of death? Is this proper? Do I have the authority? These questions took several days and the pieces were to be delivered the next day. Finally, I understood the next step.

Moving the weapons into the sunshine, I made my prayer but something didn’t feel complete. So, I meditated some more and realized that I needed to do a night ceremony as well.

That night on the lanai, the spirits spoke in unmistakable messages. Mr. R’s wife had survived because two, vainglorious physicians, eager to win the respect and approval of her wealthy husband, had used extraordinary means to keep the woman alive. She had been tortured. I knew it because for a brief moment the spirits made me feel what she had suffered; it was agony. I was told that her end would come soon and I was given several other pieces of information for Mr. R.

When I came in from my prayers, I was shaking with fear. I knew I had to tell Mr. R but I doubted myself. What if I was wrong? What if I had misinterpreted something? And I questioned my right to even tell someone such news. Nevertheless, the following morning while burning sage, I called Mr. R and shared, as gently as I could, all of what had transpired. To my amazement, he nearly wept with relief. In the next few weeks, everything happened just as I had been told. I was stunned at my self doubts and with the power of these old ways.

I was also pleased that ancient Native ways could help Mr. R—in fact, even seeming to complement his devout Catholicism. But two weeks after his wife’s death I learned that my sister was alcoholic and suicidal. Thee generations of family addiction came crashing down on me. All my work in healing did not seem to stop the destruction and death in my own family. I was terrified.

Another dream came to me. This dream revealed the origins of the family addiction problem. It rested in an event that happened in France nearly 700 years ago—an event that Mr. R’s family shared. I awoke from the dream, it was near midnight. Heading directly for the closet, I rummaged around until I found my baptism candle (although raised traditionally, I had also been baptised Catholic, perhaps to cover all the bases!) I took the candle out to my rock altar and then stopped. I didn’t know where to put it. How could I respect these two ways and still bring them together? Desperate for my sisters life, I finally placed it on the lower right hand corner. Then I began my prayer, in my Indian way, explaining what I was trying to do and why. I asked permission to proceed. It seemed okay, so I picked up the candle, stuck it in the damp tropical earth, and lit it. I wasn’t sure how to pray. I tried all the Latin prayers I could remember but nothing felt genuine. Then I tried it the Indian way, by calling to the ancestors. Suddenly, the sultry, leeward night was hit with a cold wind from the North. It came down on me so hard and fast, I had to cup the flame to keep it from going out. I was scared. I knew I had pinpointed the cause and I knew I needed help.

The next morning, I called Mr. R and asked him to help in the tradition of his French Catholic religion. He agreed and for the next three days he prayed for us.

About a week later, Mr. R and I spoke. I thanked him and told him the astonishing news. My huge French-Indian family had finally acknowledged the problem of addiction in our family and was preparing for a family intervention for my sister. He was not surprised because he had felt a peace come over him the first night of his prayers. We both wept and laughed on the phone. Who would ever have guessed the combined power of a Pagan and a Catholic!

I used to think that darkness was evil but an Elder once told me, that darkness is safety, security, like the womb. In the darkness we are all one; separations cannot be seen. Perhaps this is the Huna, or inner secret Hawaiians know. For Mr. R and I to heal required great risks and trust. We both stepped into our shadow many times but we were not alone. At night, in a dream, the shark spirit came to give me the power to do the healing work. Although I doubted myself, I still went to the beach and made a thanksgiving offer. A real shark came proving the truth of the dream as well as the value of facing self doubt.

Mr. R knew of the terrible things his culture has done and continues to do to Native people, but he stepped through that history when he asked for my help.

I entered the shadow again when I turned to my French genealogy; used my candle and asked Mr. R for his help. It was difficult to do. Yet, the evil visited on my family—the multigenerational alcoholism derived from and depended upon the continuing hatred and divisiveness of Catholic and tribal people.

Most likely I will never see Mr. R again, but in the dark moment we shared, a beautiful healing emanated. Two people—from vastly different political, socioeconomic backgrounds, one traditional Indian, the other Catholic—joined using western psychological language and simple loving prayers particular to our own cultures. We healed. Nothing happened, yet everything changed.

First Reading, Vol. 13, No. 3, Sept 95 ESPC

Native Philosophy of Peace (PDF)

Title: Native Philosophy of Peace

Part I. An Introduction to Native Philosophy of Peace

Part II. Speaking Towards Peace: A Native American Way

Pamela Colorado

Lethbridge Extension

Faculty of Social Welfare

University of Calgary

Sam Kounosu

Physics Department

University of Lethbridge


From the time of the invasion by the European Civilization in the 15th century, the history of Native Americans has been a history of violence. The Natives have had to endure and subsist under the genocidal policy of colonial powers that overwhelmed them. And the struggle still continues. Yet, the Natives had a profound Philosophy of Peace and have lived and survived with it. We have a great deal to learn from the Philosophy of the Natives. It also gives us an opportunity to examine “violent” elements in our “Civilization” itself, as well as a way out of it. Since the Native Philosophy of Peace is not the academic kind that can be summarized in a set of propositions but rather is a way of life, we shall not attempt to “describe” it. Here, we shall endeavour to introduce the Philosophy in two ways. In Part I we make a descriptive introduction. In Part II, we narrate the Philosophy in the Native Oral Tradition, aiming at communication at a spiritual level.

Feb. 14, 1987.

An Introduction to the Native Philosophy of Peace

Since the invasion by Europeans in the 15th century, the history of Native eAmerica is a history of violence. Therefore, it may appear almost a contradiction to seek the message of Peace from the Natives. But, because of experiences of violence and facing their own extinction, Natives created urgent messages for Peace and have lived with them and survived by them in desperate situations. We have much to learn from their wisdom that is embedded in their way of life.

The violence which the Natives experienced was not the kind which we consider in the conttext of the “push button” Warfares that our science-technology has made possible nor the Nuclear Arms Race between two Super Powers that the huge bureaucratization of violence has lead us to. And if our concern for Peace is limited to the question of how to prevent Nuclear War from impending upon us, the Spiritual form of the Native message for Peace might appear only remotely relevant to us. However, the very difficulties which we have in reducing the scale of the Arms Race indicates that we have a need to examine if our way of life for itself is a part of the problem. And, in that we may find and gain great wisdom for Peace from Natives who have faced and survived the destructive forces of modern civilization.

To understand and to learn from the Natives, however, it is absolutely necessary that we look back to the history of violence. This is an exercise in dialectics We shall learn Peace by learning about our own violence.


[Vine Deloria, God Is Red, Laurel Book, 1973.

Francis Jennings, The Invasion of America, Univ. of N. Carolina Press, 1975.

Gary B. Nash, Red, White and Black, Prentice-Hall, 1974.

Merrill D. Beal, I Will Fight No More Forever, Univ. of Washington Press, 1963.

Dee Brown, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, Holt-Rinehart, 1970.]

2. The way Indians were treated in the North American continent was worse than the Apartheid of South Africa today. Outright massacres were carried on even after the Civil War which supposedly liberated Black slaves for humanitarian reasons. One might imagine that for economic growth, the liberated Blacks were useful, whereas “the only good Indians were dead Indians.” And since Natives resisted “Christianity”, the Christian compassion was not applicable to them. They were considered a part of the Wild Nature to be conquered by the Civilization.

The colonialization started with violence. The Spanish came with greed and atrocity in the name of Christian mission to the New World. That part of history is well known, so I shall not talk about that here.

[See Bartolome de las Casa: Brevisima Relacion De La Destruccion De Las Indias, 1552, for the earliest account. In Montaigne’s Essay (1580), the third book, chapter 6, there is a brief remark about the Spanish atrocity.]

The British flowed soon after, with no less violence. According to the few records that are left, British settlers came to the Virginia coast area and found the natives there to be friendly. One report said:

“We were entertained with all love and kindness, and with much bounties, after their manner, as they could possibly devise. We found the people most gentle, loving, and faithful, void of all guile, and treason.”

[David Quinn, The Voyagers, 1584-1590; quoted by Gary B. Nash Red, White, and Black.]

But the Britons did not come there simply to live with friendly natives. The competition among empires in Europe to establish and expand colonies had already started. Naturally, soon the initial friendly relation deteriorated and “incidents” were created for “Show of Force”, which became a universal pattern in most colonialization processes elsewhere. I cite only two examples here.

“No conflict occured until the English discovered a silver cup missing and dispatched a punitive expedition to the nearby Indian village. When Indians denied taking the cup, the English decided to make a show of force, burned the village to the ground and destroyed the Indian’s supply of corn.”

[Edmond S. Morgan, “Slavery and Freedom: The American Paradox”, Journal of American History. Vol. 59, 1972, p. 16.]

“Many were burnt in the fort, both men, women and children. Others forced out…which our soldiers received and entertained with the sword. Down fell men, women, and children…Sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents. Sometimes the case alters; but we will not dispute it now. We had sufficient light from the word of God for our proceedings.”

[John UnderHill, News from America, (1638), London. Quoted by Richard Slotkin, Regeneration Through Violence. Wesleyan Univ. Press, 1973.]

One notes here that burning villages and destroying crops were already practiced tactics when the British invaded Ireland centuries before that time. Both the Red Army and White Army in the Russian Revolution practiced the same. Hitler used it in W.W. II. Americans did that in Vietnam.

[As to the “metaphor” of Indian War repeated in Vietnam, see Richard Slotkin: The Fatal Environment — The Myth of Frontier in the Age of Industrialization, 1800 – 1890. Atheneum, 1985.]

The idea of “show of force”, or equivalent phrases such as “show who is the boss” appears quite often in the records that were left from the period of colonial time. The British were there with the intent of conquering and domination from the beginning. They needed only slight provocations, if they did not create the excuses. Many stories of Native attacks may well have been fibs constructed, like “the Bay of Tonkin incident” in the Vietnam War.

To be sure, there was romanticizing of Natives as “Noble Savages.” We can read it in poetries of Walt Whitman, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, et al.

(see White On Red, ed. N.B. Black. Kennikat Press, 1976.)]

Or see it in paintings by Benjamin West and others. But the romanticizing was in effect a beautifying cover for the colonial conquest. It did not stop physical and cultural genocide. Quite aware of such a sentiment, John Quincy Adams wrote in 1802:

“The Indian right of possession itself stands, with regard to the greatest part of the country, upon a questionable foundation. Their cultivated fields; their constructed habitations; a space of ample sufficiency for their subsistence, and whatever they had annexed to themselves by personal labour, was undoubtedly by the law of nature theirs. But what is the right of a huntsman to the forest of a thousand miles over which he accidentally ranges in quest of prey? Shall the liberal bounties of Providence to the race of man be monopolized by one of ten thousand for whom they were created? Shall the exuberant bosom of the common mother, amply adequate for the nourishment of millions, be claimed exclusively by a few hundreds of her offspring.”

[Quoted in I Will Fight No More Forever, p. 24.]

The answer to Adam’s rhetorical question was obvious, as we can see in history. The Natives were driven off the land, if not exterminated. They were confined in concentration camps, called “Indian Reserves.” And as the “Progress of Civilization” wanted more and more land, the Natives were forcefully moved again and again to smaller and smaller confinements each time. The metaphor of the “Mother Earth” was Native, not White, nor was it Christian, as we see in the environmental destructions that went on under what was called the “Manifest Destiny.” The rhetoric asked for sharing the gifts of Mother Nature, but the invader came to dominate and rape the Mother. Environmental concern did not emerge until late 1960’s, and collectively speaking, our actions with regard to Acid Rain, Nuclear Wastes, Deforestation, etc., regretably suggest that we have not yet stopped rationalizing our rapist practices.

[see “Metaphysics of Indian Hater” in Herman Melville’s Confidence of Man. 1857. As to hi Moby-Dick, critics pointed out that Melville was writing, in the metaphor of Whale Hunt, on the whole American assault on Nature in the name of Progress.]

We note here that as late as October of the last year, The United Church of Canada has come to Apologize to the Natives for its “policy of cultural genocide”. In an article “Of course we forgive you,” [The Observer, Oct. 1986], Rev. Wilf Dieter narrates:

“I grew up in residential schools…The second year, I remember going back to school. I was crying. My mother was wiping away the tears. Why were my parents sending me away. I guess one of the things I didn’t realize was the law. If she didn’t take me back, the police would come for me.”

This was taking place only a few decades ago in Canada which we think the most peaceful country in the world. What if some agents of a foreign country come in and pass a law to separate Canadian children from parents? Does white majority consider it less than atrocity? Of course, we as the majority “did not know” that we have been practicing the cultural genocide policy, just as the majority of Germans did not know of the infamous concentration camp during W.W. II. The point is that we did not care to know about them. While reading philosophy of Kant or Russell in books, we did not “read” our real philosophy that we practiced and lived in.

3. Today, we may be sufficiently “liberal minded” to say that the colonial practices of the historical past were “mistakes.” But read the rhetorical question of Adams again and see if we have changed our way of thinking. The Capitalists, the bourgeoisie, and the liberal thinkers would say that, “in the inevitable power struggles which bring the progress of the production power”, the “backward” way of the Native life had to be eradicated, although we might try to employ as “humane” means as possible. And socialists and Marxists would agree. The modern intellectuals, left, middle or right, are believers of “progress” in which some unfortunate “backward” portions of humanity will become extinct like Dodo birds.

[see also Ward Churchill, ed. Marxism and Native Americans. South End Press, 1983.]

Christians today would say that the atrocities condoned by the missionaries in the colonial conquest did not represent “True Christianity”, which is presumably based on Love. But, one wonders if the christians clearly distinguish the religion of Love and the religion of Power, and honestly live by the principle of Love, as the Natives have lived by their Spirituality. It appears that the Christians believe more in the Might of Nuclear Weapons and Laser Guns than Love. It is ironical that the presumed anti-christians in the Soviet Union do the same. They both are believers of the same Power.

[However, we pay attention to Liberation Theology.

Gustavo Gutierrez, A Theology of Liberation. Orbis Books, 1973.

Bishop Remi De Roo, Cries of Victims – Voice of God. Novals, 1986, etc.

As to links between Christianity and European Civilization, see:

Max Weber, Protestant Ethics and The Spirit of Capitalism.

Lynn White, “The Historical Roots of our Ecological Crisis”, American Scientists. March 1967.

Lawrence R. Brown, The Might of the West. Joseph J. Binns Pub., 1963.]

Here I am not talking of the hypocritic morality, but doing purely pragmatic thinking about the consequences and the cost of the European World View. The “Intelligence” of the European tradition is centred around “Power” to dominate people. Our “science” stemmed from the desire to conquer and exploit Nature. Academic and theological knowledge claims are claims of authority and control of thinking. Our official languages are basically the languages of commanding others.

Of course, we know that our competition for power, authority in terms of knowledge claims, etc., is illusionary and for the most part of little significance. Nonetheless, we do use the stylism as a “proper ritual” in academic settings, if we wish to be taken seriously. And, perhaps, the effects/consequences of such a ritual may only be indirect in encouraging the notion of the Conquest of the Wild Nature with Barbaric primitives in it. Our higher Education, which produces elite classes of our society , may or may not be directly responsible for Pollution and Environmental Destruction. If someone argues that the Pollution and Destruction are necessary requirements for the existence of the Elitist System, there would be many objections from the Intellectual elites. They would demand “scientific” proof demonstrating causal mechanisms for the connection. But, in a noncausalistic sense, we are all implicated in the violent history. And if the Nuclear extinction falls upon us, it is we who made it possible, not by default, but by a determined will, a great organized drive and mobilization of intellectual efforts.

4. After all, we do believe in the hierarchical system of Power. In our ordinary language, “Powerless” does mean degradation. We have not reconciled with Love that is powerless. For the North American psyche, it is winning that tells them that they are on “God’s side.” Not fighting tantamounts surrender to the Devil. We say “all men are created equal”, but we are as “equal” as the degree by which we win the competitions. As long as it is legal, and does not offend one’s own “moral feelings”, Might is Right. The only thing that protects one’s safety is, therefore, military superiority. The modern nation-states followed that logic. If one follows the causal-mechanistic thinking which we consider “rational”, there is no other way.

We know SDI would not work, but we do have to keep the illusion of the Superior Power going even at the cost of Trillions of Dollars. Recently, some among us apparently started to worry that the “peace propaganda”, such as The Day After, made us “too soft” and so they produced a counter-propaganda series on T.V. called Amerika to remind people that the Power Principle has to be defended. That is because Power is our religion. If the Power Principle is undermined, the whole social structure of the Western society might collapse.

The only trouble is that the logic of Power has now reached its ultimate in that it can destroy the human race as a whole. That is why some of us are interested in searching for alternatives.

[see also Fritjof Capra, The Turning Point, Bantam Books, 1982.

Morris Bermann, The Reenchantment of the World, Cornell Univ. Press, 1982.]

But there is a problem. If we are to turn around on the way to ultimate power, what would be the alternative? Certainly, going back to the arbitrary dictatorship of the feudal system or the old slave-caste system would not likely secure Peace in any sense. At least, we think, we do have a “civic” sense of peace in the advanced industrial countries. “Democracy”, although perhaps imperfect, seems to correlate with the progress of civilization in the European style. We would say that we cannot go back to the Stone Age, in a metaphor of Indians as wild beasts who lived in inhuman indignity. The Noble Savage metaphor does not work here any more than the romantic metaphor of womanhood works for women’s dignity. But rather, it enforces our fear of going back to Feudalism or Barbarism which we think dictatorial authoritarian. Hence, we would normally not think of the Native Culture as possible instructive material for learning the way to Peace.

5. Surprisingly, however, the Native Americans were not authoritarian. Their communities were organized on the principle  of sharing. The Indians were capable of becoming fierce warriors, but they lived in their communities of Love. They had a strong sense of personal dignity, and honored their liberty, though they were not egocentric Individualists. Nash narrates:

“One aspect of child-rearing on which European and Iroquoian cultures differed was in the attitude toward authority. In Iroquois society the autonomous individual, loyal to the group but independent and aloof rather than submissive, was ideal…

They were trained early in life to think for themselves but act for others…

They were being prepared for an adult society which was not hierarchical, as in the European case, but where individuals lived on a more equalitarian basis, with power more evenly distributed among men and women…”

[Red, White and Black.

See also: Walter B. Miller “Two Concepts of Authority”. American Anthropologist. Vol. 57. 1955, p. 271-289.

What Max Weber described in his study of “Authority” may be peculiar to Europe. We also note that, phrases such as “Show who is the boss” appeared frequently in the expressions of British colonialist to justify atrocities committed against the Natives.

In the context of Peace Research, Wm. Eckhardt’s study showed that the “aggressive” and “authoritarian” personality are correlated.]

It is also known that the principle ideas of Democracy in the American Constitution were influenced by Iroquoian ideals.

[Carol L. Bagley and Jo Ann Ruckman, “Iroquois Contribution to Modern Democracy and Communism.” American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Vol. 7 #2, 1983. p. 53-72.]

6. Iroquois, before their contact with Europeans, had established a “United Nations”. The name “Iroquois” stands for a group of five nations established in the 14th century or earlier: the Mohawks, the Onondaga, the Oneidas, the Cayugas, and the Senecas. The philosophy that united these nations was known as “Dekanawideh”, and we can decipher that the basic principle fo the Native “United Nation” was a philosophy of Peace, not the European tradition of “domination by the strongest.”

[Anthony F.C. Wallace, “The Dekanawideh Myth analyzed as the record of a revitalization movement”. Ethnohistory, Vol. 5, 1958.

Wm. N. Fenton Parker On the Iroquois. Book III. Syracuse U. Press, 1968.]

It appears that to the Natives “to know” a philosophy can be nothing short of honestly living by it. Therefore, they left no written “expose” on their philosophy. Nonetheless, we can infer a few glimpses of their philosophy; for example, the Philosophy of “Tree of Peace” has been translated and documented. It is remarkable that the Natives, despite their experiences of violence, had a vision of Peace in which they embraced whiteman within the “Four Roots of the Tree of Peace” that holds the World in love.

The Natives narrated the philosophy of Peace in a form of “prophecy” using a metaphor of a huge tree that protects and provides for all people. Its four roots are said to interconnect and hold the entire World.. They did not see any other possible way to have Peace on Earth, but by love that embraces the whole.

Since Dr. Colorado is to communicate the Peace message in the proper Native way in the following presentation, I shall not elaborate on the Peace Philosophy.

[See also Pamela Colorado, “Inowediwin. Peace and Honor Going Back and Forth Between Us.” Toward Social and Economic Justice, Gil & Gil, Schenkman Publishing Co., 1985.]

I would like to discuss one thing however. In studying the Native Philosophy of Peace, I have come to think that this Philosophy was embedded in a distinct Epistemology from that of traditional Western culture. I shall try explaining, the best I can, the distinct Epistemology that the Natives had.

7. The Natives had an oral tradition and to them “to know” was “to live in” the philosophy, as I mentioned above. They did not have “philosophy” existing only in texts, as in the European case. As a consequence, there existed no written text for their philosophy. Therefore, from our European custom of scholarship being a “book knowledge”, there exists considerable difficulty in researching the Native philosophy. I cannot assert that what I say here is correct. The only thing I can do is to report what I have “guessed” so far in my groping of an hypothesis in hopes of stimulating interest.

We cannot understand “philosophy” here in the sense of technically analyzing written expressions — as lawyers do in technical arguments about the “letter of the law” —, but we have to address “the spirit of the law”, so to speak. and the philosophy has to be deciphered from practice, and inferred from the way of life in the contexts of concrete situations at hand. The western sense of “objective knowledge” alienated from the knower’s own life is absurdity, if not dishonesty to the Natives. That is, Native philosophy was “spiritual” in the sense that it was the inner most thinking of the sovereign soul. And at the same time, the philosophy was “pragmatic” and “existential” in that it did not allow alienation from actual living. It was also akin to the Marxian position, in that “knowing” was “changing the World”. They did not learn “philosophy” as a text, but learned it as “awakening to wisdom”, which is an experience of change in the way of life. “Truth” that does not change one’s way of life is not a Truth, in their philosophy.

Even the Greek work “Truth” (a-letheia) meant “uncover” or “revelation” , refering to the existential experience in learning processes. The authoritarian dogmatism of European religion and academia perverted the active sense to a static sense of “knowledge” that someone could have a “patent” on, stake a claim on, and even could sell on the market. This “objectification’ is a peculiar fetishistic characteristic of the Western Scholarship and Science. It is the Epistemology of Capitalism, although the Communists also believe the same; whereas the natives had a dynamic epistemology.

We talk, in particular in an academic context, in the posture of claiming knowledge, with an implicit assumption that the audiences are hostile and demanding proofs and demonstrations. We are competing in an intellectual market, on an assumption that the adversary system brings the best. This is the assumption of the Free Market and Social Darwinism. Although we have disproved them a long time ago, our stylism has not been changed.

The Natives would much rather think of their statements to be gifts from love. Their discourses are not “power struggles”. Their propositions are “proposals” offered with unilateral commitment by the speakers. They know “giving” is the way of making a community. If the negotiators of Western nations talked in the Native way, we would not have the Arms Race.

We have an intellectual pride in being able to articulate technically on “letters.” But we might look back to see why we have come to do that. Perhaps, we are thinking of our communication as if a battle with a hostile audience and the art of articulation is a defensive shield against expected attack. We also think by articulation that we assert our intellectual superiority, if not attack the other. Do we play such games so often that we come to value the skill? If so, we may be mentally sick in admiring the art of manipulating our letters. To the Natives, it is a puzzle that there can be differences between “letter of law” and “spirit of law.” And they would say it is incomprehensible absurdity, if they were told that the Western Philosophy thrives on technical analyses of “letters” and has little to do with “spirit” or practices in living. They would not understand why we have to be so aggressive even in intellectual games. We analyse violence in Alcoholism as someone else’s problem from an “objective” stance. But, perhaps, we might look at our own tendency to intoxicate in a Power sensation.

We do know that Nuclear War in its scale is not the same as aggression at a personal level. We do have concerns about social structures of violence, but it may be that Nuclear Aggression is a collective consequence of our aggressive drive which manifests even in academic contexts.

And in talking of aggressiveness, we might also pay attention to our attitude of contemptuously looking down at “subjective” experiences in the name of “objectivity” or “value neutrality” of “science”. It might very well have come from our alienated neurotic psyche. I might concede to some theory to an effect that the scientific sense of “knowledge” can only be generated from alienation, enigma or fear, and although the “knowledge” does sometimes “sublimate” the aggression, it leaves residues of fear or hostility which leads us to violence. If so, we have a serious task to change “science” as such for the sake of Peace. And on this point, Native Philosophy appears to be very instructive.

[As to “Science as a destructive element”, see Birgit Brock-Utne. Education For Peace. Pergamon, 1986. This is a feminist critique of science. ]

Philosophy of Peace Education

Philosophy of Peace Education

For 1986 CPREA Conference

S. Kounosu

University of Lethbridge

Title: On Philosophy of Peace Education

Abstract: Peace Education is gaining popularity among educational institutions. However, there are problems particularly in view of the traditional roles the educational systems played for nationalism and their implicit philosophical or even ideological biases which tended to help the making of wars rather than constructing peace. In this paper, some of the problems contained in the traditional philosophy of education are discussed, and a few suggestions are made for a paradigm shift in education. Taking cognizance of the Pedagogy for Oppressed, the Theology of Liberation, and Critical Sociology that emerged in response to the general crisis of the world today, Peace Education is considered as the transformation of intelligence toward the 21st century. The main basis of this paper is a philosophy of communication, intended t be distinct from the traditional philosophy of knowledge.


The World today is coming to an extraordinary phase of transformation, which contains both a possibility of Nuclear extinction and a possibility for a great social evolution comparable to Renaissance.

The challenge of Peace Education is to perceive the possibility of the great social evolution and to play the central role in actualizing it. That is, the possibility of Peace has to be perceived and the conditions for Peace have to be constructed. In this sense, Peace Education is evolutionary in aiming at the future which is not “reality” at the present moment. And it is distinct in its logic from that of the traditional sense of education which is concerned with the adaptation to a given set of conditions that exist at a time. Peace education proposes the possible future and intends to make what it proposes. In this, Peace Education has to be “prophetic”, and explicitly  “value loaded”, and it cannot stop at the level of transmitting knowledge of fact as unalterable conditions given. If our intelligence cherished in educational institutions so far is the kind that is fixated on “facts”, Peace Education needs reformulation of the intelligence itself. Peace Education is a learning by the humanity as a whole, and it is to transform the way of learning as well.

That we have come to this phase, however, is not an arbitrary intellectual accident, nor is a utopian imagination. The phase of industrialization and accompanying colonialization appears to have come to the final stage. Limits of the energy-material resources and environmental pollutions can no longer be ignored. The ideology of economy, based on a faith in ever increasing production power, is no longer viable. And the educational system, which has been effective in the industrialization phase, now faces the challenge of finding a new paradigm, even if there were no danger of Nuclear Holocaust.

And Peace Education, even if it is conceived as that which is concerned with preventing Nuclear Holocaust as the immediate task, is inseparable from the education for the social transformation. For the Nuclear War is industrialization of wars, and as such it is a necessary consequence of the powerful paradigm prevalent in the past several centuries. It was not a group of mad politicians and military men that made the Nuclear Bombs, but highly intelligent scientists, engineers, and managers of organizations, who were products of the higher education, that made the bombs and systems of the wars. In that sense the educational system is far from an innocent by-stander of the Nuclear crisis that our civilization faces today. Education was not neutral as to the value system that led the civilization to this stage. And if there can be any possibility of Peace on the Earth, the philosophy of Education itself must be changed, starting with the very pretence that it is value neutral.

Historically, it was industrialization and colonialization that made the school system of education both necessary and possible. The technology for the industrialization, or rather”technologization” required the emergence of educated managers and educated workers. It liberated people, to a degree, from the caste system based on inheritance and kinship. But it created a technical elite class which is more efficient and powerful in operating large-scale social organizations than the social hierarchy of the feudal castes. The school system of education played the major role in the creation of the technical elite class. The industrialization did succeed in expanding production of material goods and provide a bases for higher standards of living than what was possible under the feudal system. The production power made large-scale education possible, and the education made further expansion of the production power possible. It was in a “vicious circle” of positive feedback, just as wars are in the dynamics of escalation. In a Marxist term, that was the “reproduction” circuit of the technocracy. And education was a part of the positive feedback loop of the “reproduction” process.

And the modern nation-states with huge mechanisms of bureaucracy and military forces became possible by the emergence of technical elites. They were the governing mechanism of the modern society, the organizers and managers of productions, the officers of military forces, the inventers and maintenancemen of industrial technology. Educational institutions were organized to produce the elites and workers.

Interestingly, the expanded scale of market with heterogeneous population required a new basis of communication. The “scientific rationality”, newly emerged at the outset of the Industrial Revolution, assumed the role of unifying intellectual authority which religious institutions failed to maintain. Although educational institutions inherited many aspects in practices and philosophy of “teaching” from the religious institutions, they had to adapt to the “scientific rationality” which is the infrastructure of the technological mentality.

The historical process then can be viewed as a stage in development of communication, in addition to the development of production power. The socio-historical impacts of printing technology are well known. The machine itself is not, perhaps, impressive but it made the emergence of printed media possible and created professions associated with it. The technology of printing made standardization of language and hence imposition of uniform thinking possible. Without the technology of printing, the bureaucracy of national government, military organizations, and large business firms, would not have been possible. In turn printed media came as a technology of communication and its mastery became the main concern of the education.

The technology also opened a way to what we know as the Democracy, through its capacity of mass production and mass distribution. But we note that the mass media is also a means of propaganda controlled by technological elites. Although mass media does allow expression of the “people’s voice” and entertains a certain degree of “plurality”, it does require the skill of articulation which acts as a barrier to direct access by the majority of people. It also created separation of “the producer” and “the consumer”. If the media is to be a tool for peace, either the general population has to learn the art of communication or the format of the media has to be changed from that of “the superior in power and knowledge talking to the inferior” to that of “exchanges among the equals”.

That the technology of communication is developed in the form of mass production for mass consumption is also reflected in the way educational institutions conduct their business. the dominant format of communication in educational institutions today is that of issueing command. As A. J. Ayer in Language, Truth, and Logic (1946) argued, to the mentality of modern intellectuals, even a simple statement of fact is a political act of the speaker commanding the listeners to know the fact asserted. It presupposes ignorance of the listeners to whom the speaker is superior. “Speaking to” is an assertion of power over the listener. In schools, teachers are the ones who speak. And even in our conversations, we are observed to be playing the game of “one-up-manship”. Our negotiations are often in the form of “power struggle between adversaries”, not the form of “consultation” for arriving at cooperation. Our formal education and academic disciplines do not help us much in communication in the sense of “exchanges among equals”. And, it is not surprising then, our national governments are not competent in the communication that would lead to cooperation for eliminating the danger of Nuclear Ar. We are not educated to communicate efficiently, but rather educated to compete in power struggles.

The modern education that emerged in our technocratic age is “rational” to the degree which efficient production of material goods, and more importantly, transmission of commands in large social scales demand. But it is defective in not only its concealment of the implicit political bias, value choices, but also in not educating people to be competent for political and value choices. It failed to provide the skills and develop means of communicating on issues of social cooperation in political and value choices. Science education did provide the skills and means for large social scale agreements as to “objective facts”. I suppose, that is what is so called “Rationality”. But for setting out “purposes of actions” in a large social scale, we have not developed the necessary competence. We not that “purposes” are not “facts”, and as such , they require a different philosophy to deal with.

The traditional philosophies of Education paid little attention to the “philosophy of purpose” and the problems of how to communicate in such contexts. In the historical context, the neglectis understandable. It is the employer who sets the purpose. Workers and technical elites as hired hands are only expected to be competent in carrying on what is commanded by the employer who pays. In that sense, what the majority of the educated population does is “purposeless” and “value neutral”. Modern professionals and workers are slaves to whoever pays them. Only through indirect means, such as consumer market and civil elections, they come to be of some influence. Occasional references to ideals of Democracy and flairs of Revolutionary movements are not sufficient for motivating educational systems to consider problems of purose and value, let alone problems of communication in these regards. Rather, schools are preoccupied with job training. Academic training is thinly disguised professional training to which the “education for good citizen” is subservient. The practices of educational systems are “value nneutral” in that they effectively block developments of competence in the art of communication with respect to social scale purposes. Peace education is inconceivable within “value neutrality”. Peace Education, if there can be any, has to be “political” to the extent it concerns with choices of values in social scales.

Yet, to construct the competence in communication as such requires competent communication. Here we have a problem of a vicious circle in reverse. We have to start a positive feedback loop of an escalating dynamics for Peace Education from where there was only a negative feedback sense for Peace. This is difficult.

One of the difficulties is our rhetoric. For discussion of social scale communication, it is inevitable that we face the complexity of large interactive systems. Yet our usual rhetoric in intellectual discourses is basically that of simple Newtonian Mechanics of talking “an object in motion under a cause.” A linear sequence of such descriptions constitutes our narration, though linguists tell us that comprehensions require awareness of webbed relations. But the rhetoric of simple object mechanics is hardly adequate for talks of complex webs of interactions and inter-relations which make up systems. We note here that it is not so much because we are “ego-centric” that we have troubles transcending individualistic metaphors in our narrations. Rather, it is the simplicity of talking of one object at a time that bind us in the the individualistic metaphor such as saying “Mr. Reagan (or Mr. Kadafi) is the cause of terrorism.” For the effectiveness of communication in large social scales, the simplicity is an important requirement, particularly in relation to the general competence in communication that exists now. However, it is also possible that the competence in communication can be improved. We can see the history of civilization as an evolutionary process of competence in communication, in parallel to the Capitalist-Marxist view of history as a development in material production capacity.

I am proposing here that development of competence in communication to be the aim of Peace Education. And under the general theme of “competence in communication”, I am thinking of those in the following 4 contexts:

i International understanding and cooperation

ii Change of social structures towards more equality and accommodations, away from power relations.

iii Revolution in our sense of “knowing” (epistimology, science, intelligence) towards “learning” which is a form of mutual interactions and as such “communication”. It is dynamic and closer to “performing” — hence “competence”, not “possession of static knowledge”.

iv Managing of communication internal to “psyche” (mind) as a complex system similar to community.

These 4 contexts are distinguished for conceptual conveniences. They are integrated thruough complex dynamics. Peace Education has to deal with the problems of “Integrated understanding” of complex dynamics. “Communication” for itself is an aspect of the synamics of complex systems. Perhaps, “System Dynamics”, not necessarily as “physics”, but a “philosophy”, is included in the program of Peace Education. I do not have enough space in this paper to elaborate on this, but I think it is important that some attempts are made to elucidate “Peace as a Dynamical system”.

And from the complexity of systems, which defies determinism, we may learn that our assertions of “scientific certainty” are often arrogant illusions. As many accidents in systems demonstrate, we do not have the “knowledge” if it means to have a completeness. Rather, we do have to “perform” with an incomplete set of partial information. The operations in such situations, which happen to be the majority of the cases, are more akin to what existential philosophers talked about. Peace education, in my view, must stress this point that we are concerned with practical performances in less than perfect conditions. “Peace”, in that sense, is a verb, and it ought not be imagined as something perfect and static (a noun sense). Peace that we look for is the kind that can be practiced in imperfect conditions. And we are far from “perfect beings”. Rather, we have to “live with problems” and the degree of competence in the “Art of living with problems” is expressed by an adjective “Peace”.

There are certainly many problems if we are to do Peace Education. It is a big challenge. I shall not be able to discuss all the problems, let alone provide the “answers”. I shall touch upon onluy a few problems as starting points of discussion. Besides, I think Peace Education is not for “teaching the answers” to be memorized and recited by students. It is rather learning the way of dealing with problems. That is to say, Peace Education is “learning of ways of learning”. And the learning has to be done by the community as a whole. I approach Peace Education as if it is “Warmongers Anonymous” — in a pun with “Alcoholics Anonymous”. If that is acceptable to this conference, I would like to practice “conferring” here, rather than taking the academic posture of asserting a great truth (as if!).

II. Education and Communication

Faced with the threat of Nuclear Holocaust, and for that matter with many other socila problems, we come to talk of education as a way of solution. But the term “Education” has two distinct meanings. One is that of education of individuals in adapting to existing social conditions, such as professional training. It is for competitions in the job market, and this is what the practices of school systems are mainly concerned with. Another is that of education in the sense of leaning by a society as a whole to change itself. Einstein is often quoted as saying “The Atomic Bomb changed everything except the way of thinking.” He was suggesting that the human race as a whole must change the old way of thinking in order to survive. And for that we think of “education” in the second sense to perform the necessary transformation of the whole human community.

However, “The education for individualistic competition” and “the education as learning of a community to transform” are not necessarily contradictory. That is, provided an autonomous dynamics often referred to as “the Invisible Hand” of the market competition functions well, the individual competitions are expected to bring about learning of the community. The nominative aims of the two senses of education are dialectically related. And there is an intermediate sense of education as the means of nationalistic competition. But there lies a problem. We usually do not make clear distinctions between them, and when “the Invisible Hand” fails to funciton well, the first sense dominant in school systems becomes the opposition to the second sense.

In our history, we might acknowledge that competitions within each nation and among nations brought human race as a whole to closer inter-relations. Although the sacrifices and costswwer very high, even wars could be seen as opening intimate interactions and communication among people. Given the levels of competence in communication at those historical stages, colonial trades and even wars may be recognized as parts of the historical learning process. Taht i, after all empires fell, we are left with an enlarged scale of communication and hopefully we have learned the art of communication in that scale. Today, we have a “World Community” — or we ar about to make one, if we succeed in overcoming the problems of power struggles. We made our lives so interdependent that there is no escape from it, even if the interdependency is about to bring us a disaster. The only way out is to manage the system of interdependency well. And the way to manage the system is the “communication”.

Perhaps, when people come to talk of Education for Peace, they implicitly mean the learning of communication by the world community. I think that possibility is worth a serious exploration and I shall argue a case for it. In order to do so, however, a few explanations about “communication” are necessary.

The view of the world history as a process of learning to communicate — or rather of learning to construct a collective “intelligence” by competent communication, is just an alternative view, parallel with the dominant view of the classical economists (including Marx) who saw the history as an ever enlarging reproduction of material production power. The views need not be in conflict, though they are a pair of dialectical opposites. Only for the sake of making things explicit, I shall stress the opposing aspects, particularly in their implications to the philosophy of education and the issue of war/peace.

The role of communication is to make things explicit in the social scale. In this aspect, communication is concerned with “knowing”, or “discovering” in a social scale. But it is done so as to construct cooperation in that scale. Particularly, in the context of Peace Education, the most important aspect of communication is that of “proposing” actions by the community. As such, communication is “value loaded” and “political”. I suppose from this political naturee of communication, we come to regard “communication” to mean “transmission of commands”, as in such usages as “Communication-Command Centre”, etc. but I shall be talking of “communication” in the sense of mutual affairs, such as “interactions”, “exchanges”, “negotiations”, “consultations”, etc. I regard the communication in the sense of “transmitting commands” as a primitive form, although the most technological theory of communication appears to be preoccupied with communication at this level. The communication at the level of “mutual affair” requires competence in the art. It has to do with “performance” than “knowledge”. Peace education has to be of relevance to this “performance” , not just “knowing what peace is”, but becoming competent in “performing peace”.

The above summarizes my opinion, but there are a few notes to be added.

Needless to say, to make something “explicit” can be concealing what is not said, as in the case of propaganda and implicit censorship. The concealments come because a society cannot talk about and be aware of everything that goes on. There is “political hegemony”, so to speak, as to what is to be communicated to what extent. There exists a certain paradigm at a time in a society that a certain set of things are “of interest” to be talked about and others are not. And the

efficiency of communication favors a certain fixed pattern, often with metaphorical images and metaphysical assumptions, if not ritual symbolisms. Unfamiliar tacts are disadvantaged because they require a longer time and more effort than that along the established patterns, even if there was no prejudice. If there are prejudices, particularly implicit ones, communication would be blocked. In such occasions, we used to appeal to force-violence to break the blockage. In the Nuclear Age, we can no longer afford such an easy way out, but we have to try a highe art of communication. We note education as such has to do with “performance”, not “knowledge”. And in this, a paradigm shift in education is inevitable.

There are natural obstacles in communication and if a society is not competent in the art, it can easily fall into “prejudices”, “superstitions”, etc., by default. It may well be true that many Europeans under the Nazis did not “know” the systematic ethonocide was going on, just as many Americans did not “know” they were killing off Indians even after the Civile War.

I add here that if one view of “thinking” is to be a particular kind of “communication” inside a “brain as a community”, the above role of communication still holds. “To know” is to make explicit in the intellectual sense. We note that our “psyche” does conceal what is going on in our “mind”. Many functions of our brain are not “known” to ourselves. By our “vergaization”, we “know” and “knowledge” as such is very limited even as to what our brains are doing. Consequently, communication at the intellectual (verbalized) level is very limited in its scope and difficult. This is more reason why we need education in the art.

But we can regard knowing operations, such as “Discoveries” of laws of motion, etc. in physics, as “verbalization” of what were not expressed in human languages. The verbalized “laws of Nature” are important to the community, for they can be communicated and provide the basis on which cooperation in the community can be built. That is, intellectual “thinking” is social to taht degree and distinct by its communicability. And the ability of a community to respond to its needs and environment is critically dependent on its competence in communication — to verbalize problems and to allow efficient transmission within.

This is the reason whey we need the second sense of education cited previously. You may understand this by noting that the kind of societies depicted in The Brave New World by A. Huxley, for example, does not give a sense of being “educational” despite being “knoledgeable”, because they do not have efficient communication in the sense of “learning by community”. I suppose our world community at this moment is somewhere in between the ideal learning kind and the extreme non-learning kind.

I have contrasted “materialist view” to communicational (information theoretical) view in the above. This may require some explanations. The “materialist view” of either the right or the left, is the dominant view in our society in the past few centuries, and it constituted the metaphysical foundation for education. And, in the context of considering Peace Education, the “materialists” would think of teaching how many Nuclear Weapons are made of what materials and what material damages are expected from their use, etc. Warning camps are accounted in terms of how many men, tanks, guns, planes, battle ships and carriers. Something physical takes the centre of attention, perhaps simply because it is easier to imagine physical objucts. It does give a feeling of familiarity and concrete immediateness, as terms like “objective”metaphorically suggest.

Perhaps, it is natural for us to pay attention to “objects”. It is like watching “actors” on a theatrical stage. The actors are not the “play”, but we only come to comprehend the play as a whole by tracing what the actors do.

But such a strategy of thinking is too limited to be of help for comprehending complex systems and situations. The complex systems and situations contain “feedback loops” and the “tracing object” type narration-representations is useless for them, if not misleading. We do have to use “abstract” terms such as “force”, “energy”, “time”, etc. in physics for example. The advantage of “materialist” strategy of narration in giving the feeling of “concrete immediateness” and “familiarity” in metaphors, now acts against developments of the art of describing. Without cultivating abstract imaginations, we cannot even do simple physics of mechanical motions, let alone comprehending the dynamics of systems. Modern physics since Newton is not “objective” at all, if people mean “object-likeness” by the term “objective”. In fact, the notion of “objectivity” itself is a highly abstract one and very elusive at that. Nonetheless, the term was useful in the historical context by suggesting a certain “feeling” by the metaphor. It came tbe a mislieading one, only because people forgot that “objectivity” is an abstract metaphorical notion.

In the above, the point about “objective knowledge” is stressed, because there is a well observable trick in media manipulation. That is, government and military officials often come out with impressive sets of numbers — known as the “number game”, to say in effect that people who say something critical of them are “ignorant” but they know the “objective facts”. Tp an extent, ordinary citizens are disadvantaged in terms of “factual information”. Many things discussed in the context of the Arms Race are military secrets. And, even if some information is not secret, it is not easily accessible to ordinary citizens. What are so called “Weapon Experts” come out and try to intimidate and discredit critics.

But other than impressing someone by possessing “knowledge” , the cited numbers, etc. are not important at all. They are cited for “ritualistic effects”. The fact that a guy happens to know exactly what the explosive power of a certain specific type of warhead is, does not make his opinion trustworthy as to military value of the weapon system, strategy or political implications. But the problem is that we have a habit of being impressed by numbers that we have a fear about. We do not listen to people who do have wisdom in their plain talk that we can understand. It is as if we do not trust our own intelligence and we look down on someone whose talk is understandable to us. We respect what we do not understand, perhaps out of fear. In classroom teaching, it is a well known trick to exhibit a big word or a big equation to impress students. Unfortunately, students would not pay attention unless they are threatened a bit. So that such a practice goes on as “educational technique”. I wonder if Peace Education also employs such a trick.

Our ways of communication are multiply layered and we are affected by many factors which we may not be conscious of. Our modes of communication are highly “redundant”. That communication is multi-layered and redundant is actually advantageous in the sense we have several channels to override noises and judge reliability of signals. But that makes our communication very complicated. For example, it is very simple to instruct arithmeatics to a simple computer. But it is very hard to do the same to humans. Humans have advantages in performing complex tasks such as pattern perceptions, or anticipating motions of evading an enemy plane, etc., but not in simple tasks. I imagine, this is because our brain is a very complex system. And the way two or more brains interact through exchanges of symbolic signals, such as series of alphabets, is very fascinating dynamics which we understand very little.

In talking of “communication”, we are talking of very complex systems, situations, or dynamics. The kind of Communication we are concerned in peace education is at least “two way interaction” and it presupposes “loop structure” of feedback to begin with. We may have to learn about system dynamics as such. This would be one agenda in peace education. It is not so much the question of “knowledge”, but the question of “competence” in performing the art. This is another paradigm shift in education, if there is to be peace education. And the only way we can learn the art is to practice it. That is, the peace education has to be on a format which allows and fosters development of “communication”, not just “transmission of knowledge”.

III. From the Pedagogy of Authority to the Pedagogy of Liberation

We know how to teach ourselves to be “good soldiers”, “good inventors of weapons”, “good competitors”, “efficient destroyers of environment”, etc. That is evident in our history. But we have not developed “Education for Peace”. The educational system itself has to learn the way of peace. We do not have ready-made “peace education” but we have to construct one by learning without prior knowledge.

This is paradoxical. One might ask if Peace can be learned at all. However, this paradox is not new. Some 2000 years ago Aristotle heard and recorded the same paradox about learners. His version of the paradox was narrated like the following.

“the learners wish to learn only because they do not know the object of the learninig. But, without knowing what to learn, it is impossible to know how to learn. Hence, it is impossible to learn.”

I imagine the argument was invented by Sophists and they were waiting for people to step into the trap by saying, “Therefore, students should follow the master.” The sophists, although they might be game players, knew better. They would point out the problem of how th master had learned. The paradox is interesting in that the answers to the paradox set philosophy and operational modes of education. Let us see some of the responses to the paradox.

Religious teaching had a neat metaphysical escape from the paradox in that “God”, who is external to the ignorant humanity and knows everything, supposedly teaches. To that extent, a religious institution held a monolithic control over a population; it acted as the authority to arbitrate conflicts among people within the dominion and thereby reduced the frequency of violence. On that merit, religious institutions could have been “peace teachers” to the “ignorant and violent people”. This constitutes a philosophy of teaching.

I shall nickname the above “Pedagogy of Authority”. It is characterized by having some “superior being” teach someone inferior. And we notice in this context that “knowledge” to be taught must be justified as much as it is to be imposed on learners.

To be sure, our educational institutions are by and large “secular”. To the extent the religious institutions in the past were often instigators of “Holy Wars”, the secularization was an improvement. We have learned to live with religious tolerance. However, we have today “Nationalistic Wars” and “Ideological Wars” which resemble religious wars in many aspects. And in educational practices, we have inherited the “Pedagogy of Authority” from religions, despite the secularization.

The idea that an absolute authority act as the peace-teacher and peace-keeper on the basis of power to  suppress undesirables still has a strong influence in our society. In the the present context of the Superpower competition over Nuclear hegemony, the idea that one superior power can be the peace-keeper and hence the achieving of the superior status is desirable for the world peace is apparently popular and the idea is driving the world towards Nuclear Holocaust. Therefore, we need to analyse this philosophy in some more detail.

We note that the authoritarian philosophy of education persists even today, despite the secularization that took place in our history. The modern Nation-States are more efficient in organizing the population under its dominion to fight wars than religious institutions and Feudal kingdoms. In a sense, the Nation-State suppresses small-scale violences and moderate struggles within, but it has the monopoly of violence against people within and against other nations.

There, religious dogma was replaced by the “scientific-technological rationality” which is more competent in providing grounds for social scale consensus. Science-technology is liberating in that it allows a degree of “plurality”, while maintaining an effective control over population. iN that sense, science-technology is the replacement of religion as the authority for the social scale thinking. The philosophical discipline of “epistemology” emerged as an art of justifying the “knowledge” to be imposed by some power authority. Rules of Evidence, Logical Proof, etc., are needed to justify the power implied by “knowledge”. They are the means to subjugate “less intelligent people”. And the metaphorical image of knowledge transmitted from supperior to the inferior persists even in Information Theory in terms of Entropy Law.

In Handbook on Peace Education, edited by C. Wulf and published by International Peace Research Association, in 1974, Haken Wiberg pointed out a “caste distinction” between Peace Researchers and Peace Educators. He observed that Peace researchers as the producers of knowledge assumed a superior position to peace educators who were perceived to be merely the transmitters of the knowledge produced. The reason for this was division  of labours and the specialization strategy of “science”. But it does reflect the authoritarian tendency even in peace researchers to imagine human relations in a metaphor of “from superior to inferior”. Communication is recognized as being of a secondary importance, and the question of integration-synthesis is altogether forgotten. I think this is a manifestation of “technological elitism” that is prevalent in our age, and one obstacle to be overcome in the waty to peace. So let me elaborate on the point further.

In the modern age, the idea that an authority can impose peace upon a barbaric population by force came out in a form of colonialism , as one might read in the poem, “The Whitemen’s Burden”, by R. Kipling, composed 1899 when the U.S. took possession of the Philipines. The “Whitemen” wished peace and went out on a crusade to impose their idea of peace on other people. The method was wars and education.

We can also read the poem as an expression of a philosophy of education which missioned itself to impose “civilization” on the “barbaric” people within a society, as well as ones outside. IN that sense, it was also applied internally to the whitemen’s society. Population had to be pacified and domesticated for the production capacity to grow and commercial enterprises to go on unhampered. Education as such is admittedly more “peaceful” than repression by physical violence and perhaps more “cost effective.” But the psychology of fear was necessary in the maintenance of the ultimate authority which is a disguised violence.

Education as such did not eliminate physical violences but rather it stood on violence. We see even today that “teaching” is still accompanied with “corporal punishment” and it does stress “classroom control” as confinement and restriction of children. The notion that children are “ignorant barbarians” who have to be kept under strict control, if necessary by force, is fading gradually. And perhaps in higher education that is practically extinct. But nonetheless, the authoritarian sense of “teaching” is still prevalent event today. And recent reports from Japan talk of rampant violence in schools. Educators attribute the violence to be the results of stresses in the highly competitive society and the “authoritarian pedagogy” required for the competition. In terms of armaments, Japan is one of the most “peaceful” nations. But in terms of lifestyle and education, Japan is not “peaceful.”

Perhaps, however, the degree in which we dissociate the notion of authority from fear of violence is a measure of internalization and it is also a measure of success in “Education” as such. We no longer need to appeal to violence to get necessary accommodations in ordinary social relations. We know if we fail to be “reasonable” , whatever the level of “reason” we can practice, we would have to use physical forces which are very expensive in termssocial costs as well as in terms of personal safety and property damages. In that sense, we have achieved a degree of Pacification through Education. This has to be acknowledged. But, “pacification” is not “peace”.

We might say, in a large-scale historical view, that we have come a long way towards Peace. We might even congratulate ourselves by saying that only a few more steps to reach the point of no-return on the way to Peace. But a few remaining difficulties, if so perceived, are not the same kind that stem from the general population being ignorant and barbaric. Rather they come from the power structure of our domesticated life that depends on ultimate violence. The “education” which it practices for maintainance of the power structure as such, is then a part of the problem for itself.

If the efficiency of the modern nation-states is less, say not able to organize Nuclear War capacity, we may have had a longer time scale to solve the problem of wars. But, as it is, the efficiency or rather the technical “intelligence” of the Nation States is very hight and we are almost overwhelmed by it. Once triggered, our Nuclear Intelligence can destroy the life systems on the Earth in a matter of a few hours. We must credit our “education” for the achievement of high efficiency in that particular aspect. That is, the Pedagogy of Authority worked successfully in that respect.

Of course, the problem is our dismal failures in other aspects of our social organization. For Peace the authoritarian education would not do. For it was the authoritarian education that taught how to fight wars. Authoritarian posture is no different from the way a Baboon colony establishes who is the Boss, although it does replace small violences among members of the colony by a large one and thereby reduces frequency of violence. The theory that humans ar viciously aggressive “Naked Apes” is wrong in terms of anthropology and biology, but it is correct as a description of our social practices.

I view that the aggression of the scale we practice today is not an innate nature in us, but it is “education” into us. As human communities came to face problems of increasingly large scale social interactions and communication, they have “mis-developed” out of fear and by the appeal of power to secure the safety into the authoritarian direction. It was essentially a “defensive’ strategy, although it came out in “offensive postures”. In this sense, I have a doubt if the fear of Nuclear destruction and death is an adequate basis for peace education. “Defense” and “Offense” may be two faces of the same coin at the depth of psychology, beyond just being propagandist manipulations of the two words. That is, the “authoritarians” may be aggressive because of their paranoic fear. The way out may be found in courageous exploartions which transcend fear and even take risks.

And as to alternatives to the pedagogy of authority, there are interesting hints from “Liberation Theology”. Liberation Theology is interesting, because the religion that invented the “pedagogy of authority” contained in itself antidotes to it. The religion in each ancient community functioned as “the collective intelligence” of the community, and as such it had to contain some elements of practical wisdom for good life. Christianity talks of Love, and it has a particular preoccupation with the “oppressed”. We note that “love” was a practical necessity without whichh the community would have become extinct. Naturally, therefore, it contained Liberation Theology. It was the “establishment” of a power institution that inhibited developments in the domain of Love. That is, the dynamics of love relations in communities had to exist anyhow. It is only in intellectual recognitions that the dynamics was concealed and barred from intellectual communication and thereby being kept ineffective in social-political sense.

Interestingly, the rhetoric of the religious dogma asserting its institutional authority was basically that of “fear tactics” — such as the devils who would attack if one has no defense. Whereas, the stories for Love show no concern with safety nor preoccupation with defense. Love often involves courageous sacrifices of personal safety. If there is danger, then the strategy is to share the danger at one’s risk. I think this psychological dynamics is very important. For, we can compare the rhetoric with that of the Arms Race which requires existence of a “devil”. And, in a contrast, the advocacy of peace which involves risk taking — which thereby become vulnerale to labels like “unrealistic”, “irrational”, “utopian”.

Liberation Theology attempts to liberate itself from the power structure of the traditional religious dogma, in order to “liberate people from the oppression”. It attempts to liberate itslef from fear within as well as fear from outside. And the “liberation within” is educational. If we compare, at this point, Liberation Theology with Liberation Pedagogy —say in the form expressed by Paulo Freier in Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Continuum Pub. Co. 1985), we see the messages are the same. The armed struggles by the oppressed people today are just as bloody as the ones in the history, but we note that they are no longer simple ones of “seizing power”. Every one of the struggles stresses the liberation within. And the practices of the revolution are marked by very high recognition of the importance of communication among people in learning. As much as armed struggles are there, somewhat “authoritarian” practices of “Revolutionary Leadership” is still visible. But we can observe that “vertical” metaphor of hierarchical power structure is considerably weakened in the rhetorics of the liberation, and increasingly more appeals for “horizontal” metaphor stressing communication are made in them now.

Peace Education can take hints from Liberation Theology. The philosophy of Peace Education has to liberate itself from the power structure that is leading the human race to ultimate destruction. But it cannot stand on the fear of Nuclear Death. We like to free ourselves from fear of Nuclear Holocaust. For that our philosophy must be free from the Fear, and be able to risk the defenseless position. Here, if we need a slogan, we could make up such as: “When all Defenses go, Peace will come!”

To be sure, within our present notion of “rationality” and “reasonableness”, one cannot ask, let alone compel anybody, to be “defenseless”. Even with the “authority” of being Professors of Peace Study or Peace Researchers, we cannot force the risk on anybody. Unlike theology, we do not teach articles of Faith. We can only suggest the “theology” and discuss it as a possibility among others. But then, not compelling peace on anybody may be consistent with the notion of Peace. We can propose, discuss, consult, and negotiate for practical agreements. That is, we are back to communication.

In reference to the Paradox of Learner cited before, we remind ourselves that we are the Learners. And we are searching the ways of learning peace. We do not have “the answer” in deterministic sense, nor can we start from “the answers” in deductionistic sense. Being liberated, that is being Free, is being vulnerable. We are not safe. We must accept the risk for the sake of peace. In practical terms, however, we are not absolutely Free. That gives us practical things to do, in struggles relative to the problems we have. In that sense, we can propose and try certain hypothesis and learn whether or not they work step by step relative to the problems. That is, the problems are our guides. I have criticized the present practices of education and of the intellectuality in general. But I ought to be thankful that there are problems and contradictions which guide my learning of peace. The “liberation” also comes from within.

Appendix to Chapter III.

It is instructive to reread Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden”, for it is not just an expression of colonialism, but also an expression of the dominant paradigm of education in the past and even today. We need to reflect upon the philosophy of education as such and consider if Peace Education  can be on the same philosophy. Therefore I cite the poem here.

The White Man’s Burden


The United States and the Philippine Islands

Take up the White Man’s burden —

Send forth the best ye breed —

Go bind your sons to exile

To serve your captives’ need;

To wait in heavy harness

On flutter fold and wild —

Your new-caught, sullen peoples,

Half devil and half child.

Take up the White Man’s burden

In patience to abide,

To veil the threat of terror

And check the show of pride;

By open speech and simple,

An hundred times made plain,

To seek another’s profit,

And work another’s gain.

Take up the White Man’s burden —

The savage wars of peace —

Fill full the mouth of Famine

And bid the sickness cease;

And when your goal is nearest

The end for others sought,

Watch Sloth and heathen Folly

Bring all your hope to nought.

Take up the White Man’s burden —

No tawdry rule of kings,

But toil of serf and sweeper —

The tale of common things.

The ports ye shall not enter,

The roads ye shall not tread,

Go make them with your living,

And mark them with your dead!

Take up the White Man’s burden —

And reap his old reward:

The blame of those ye better,

The hate of those ye guard —

The cry of hosts ye humour

(Ah, slowly!) toward the light: —

‘Why brought ye us from bondage,’

‘Our loved Egyptian night?’

Take up the White Man’e burden —

Ye dare not stoop to less —

Nor call too loud on Freedom

To cloak your weariness;

By all ye cry or whisper,

By all ye leave or do,

The silent, sullen peoples

Shall weigh your Gods and you.

Take up the White Man’s burden —

Have done with childish days —

The lightly proffered laurel,

The easy, ungrudged praise.

Comes now, to search your manhood

Through all the thankless years,

Cold-edged with dear-bought wisdom.

The judgement of your peers!

IV. The Problem of Cooperation in Diversity

There will be many problems in Peace Education. I shall discuss only one of them here, in hope that there are many discussions about other problems in this conference and elsewhere. The problem I would like to discuss here is rather “philosophical” in a derogatory sense that it is a somewhat abstract one of cooperation among people with diverse sets of values, ideals, and cultures. However, the problem shows up in various contexts and perhaps it is of some help to discuss it at an abstract level. And it is important because there is a moral-political notion that for a cooperation perfect agreements on everything are needed. And, there is a tendency in teaching practice to insist that there must be, or can be, only one right answer to any problem.

It is perhaps a residue from the monotheistic religions that we are monolithic in thinking. The rhetoric pretending the best tend to be simple and there appears to be popular demand for it. We think strong assertive posture is effective in mass communication. And we teachers tend to feel it necessary for intellectual coherence that one system of thought must be presented as the best, if not as the truth. Of course, we do know for example that theories in physics disagree with each other and they are not absolute truth, yet they are not entirely useless. Even mathematical routines, such as “differentiation” have many different “interpretations”. But we think it to be “pedagogical” necessity to pretend as if what we teach is the best, or the truth. We may be unnecessarily aggressive from our habit in academic competitions. WE may be free from egotism to think we know the best, but there are practical considerations as to avoiding confusions from too many “ifs” and “buts”. For passive audiences, too many competing ideas and theories may be burdensome in that they have to exercise their own thinking. Under the system of divisions of labour, we expect specialized experts to give us the best answer. Even for Peace, we might unconsciously slip into being the “consumers”, rather than being the “producer” of Peace. Being “user friendly” may be a good thing in many technological developments, but there are questions as to whether that is also applicable to peace education We may have to consider if easy consumability is the way of peace education, for that implies peace to be passive rather than active.

Any society, or any “Culture”, as much as it is recognized as a coherent system, it must have a certain set of fundamental agreements. Cooperation among the members of the Culture is necessary for the Culture to survive as a culture. And if the people involved are “thinking beings” at all, they have to share a certain set of “beliefs” or “metaphysical assumptions”. Particularly, if effective communication within a culture is to be carried at the level of linguistic symbols, sharing of a “philosophy” is the precondition for its practicality.

If a society cares at all about its survival, the society, as ones in our history, imposes a philosophy and controls thoughts, by coersion, by rituals, by education, or punishments and rewards. To learn a language is to learn the value system implicit in it. Without being competent in responding and manipulating the value symbolisms, one cannot be a respectable member of the society. Besides it is simple and economical, if we can reduce our thinkings into one uniformal system. Many philosophers apparently tried to construct a grand system of thinking for that purpose, though inevitably they failed. Scientists sought after “One Truth”, until the 19th century — many scientists apparently still believe in “Truth” even today, although it is denied at the formal theoretical level of their discipline. We do value “unity”, “solidarity”, “consensus”, etc. and feel pleasure being among agreeable friends. Those are essential conditions for communication.

However, we have another problem today. That is, we live in a “pluralistic world”. By the developments of world trades, or rather the colonial expansions we come to contact societies with different cultures. Just as it was not practical nor wise to insist one religion over everybody, it is not practical nor wise to insist one culture. technology appears to have unified the humanity in a certain world view, but it created complexity in the interdependency of the living in the modern age and breeded diversity in market activities. The size and extent of social domain absolved into technological controls exponentially multiplies complexities, diversities, and entropy costs.

In addition we have Ideological differences in the Superpower Nuclear confrontation. There, we would say that attempt by one side to achieve “unity” of the world under its hegemony is that main reason of the conflict. And here I remind you that until recently, we thought that “science” transcends all cultural differences and therefore it can unify the world. We now pay some respect to “cultural” elements in science, thanks to writing of Popper, Kuhn, et al. And nowadays we find many books on “Sociology of knowledge” in our libraries which discuss dependancy of “knowledge” and even “reality”, on cultures. At least in practical contexts, we cannot ignore the diversity, even if it is considered to be undesirable. And if we consider diversity to be desirable — I do, but there appears to be people who do not, such as Americans who do not understand why Canadians insist a superficial cultural distinction from that of the U.S. in the face of obvious economic benefits in assimilation with them, — then the problem is more serious.

I shall not argue as to whether or not there can be one agreeable frame for knowledge transcending cultural and ideological differences. But, regardless of the super-metaphysical position as to the possibility of the “unification”, we face the “plurality” and “diversity” of the world community today and have to consider Peace in that context. We need not have perfect agreements on everything, particularly on metaphysical questions. But somehow we have to find a practical set of agreements to live together. And, here lies a problem for Peace Education.

We notice in religions, ideologies, scientific theories and even in geometries, that many controversies are about metaphysical assumptions — such as if two parallel lines meet at infinity or not. In practice, it probably makes little difference if two parallel lines meet at infinity. And it is humanly impossible to reach the “infinity” and actually see the differences. It may offend Christians, but it is very strange for outsiders why Christians insist that the “virgin birth” must be believed in order that the message of love is received. Nonetheless, the “axioms” are very important in the linguistic sense. If we are competent in talking and thinking in different language systems, we may not need to fight about such “ideal assumptions”. But at the moment, we do not have efficient ways of communicating without imposing implicit metaphysics as the common ground.

At any rate Peace Education has to deal with the problem of how to construct cooperations in the world with rich Diversity. Puritanic sentimentality would not do, even though we may be sympathetic to it. At least, we need to consider Tolerance as to the differences, if we fail to understand people who think differently from us. If we are to consider the problems of ideological differences in the context of the Superpower confrontation, we need some ground strong enough to sustain our discussion without going into a fatalistic “relativity” that gives up peace. We are required to be competent in elaborating both positions. We not here that this is not “value neutrality”. Rather, it is full explicit discussion of value systems in which we and others live. We must expose implicit assumptions and values that we stand on, as much as we expose other’s assumptions and values.

It would require critical examinations of out own frame of references on which our “knowledge’ stands. Peace Education cannot be the education that imposes our particular frame of references on our students. That is, the bases of “knowledge” themselves have to be made explicit. Perhaps disciplines such as “Sociology of Knowledge” might appear academic mumbo-jumbos and useless snobism to us. But we do need to know and understand our own “cultural biases”, before talking of others. If we are to teach about the self-imposed blindness in Cold War rhetoric, we need to know if our academic stands might not contain equally ridiculous biases.

And beyond that, Peace Education has to propose ways in which people can construct cooperations without subjugating one group under another. Unfortunately, we do not have “epistemology” to do that yet. Peace Education has to develop the “epistemology” of its own. If Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis is of any guide, I imagine the creation of the new epistemology is equivalent to creating a new language, and that would change our mode of communication. We may have to be even poetical in that.

Interestingly, the difficulties with different cultures, ideologies, etc., repeats in smaller scales when we try to cross the boundaries between fragments of science. It was the grand strategy of science, or rather of the modern intellectualism, to fragment thinking into specialties. Presumably there will be integrations after the “Divide and Conquer”, and cross fertilization among specialized knowledge has been tried and even successful in some cases. But it is acknowledged that, by and large, we are not competent at integrations. The majority of practice in various “science” in professional senses is on the strategy of “Divide and Conquer”, and teaching practices follow the same pattern. Peace education, in this respect is exceptional. There is no way that peace education can be a fragmented science. Reports on peace education points out problems of integration — say for a political scientist to understand physics of weapons systems, genetic consequences of nuclear radiation, complexity problems in computer technology, as well as moral philosophies, for example. Peace education carries an extra burden of being a “generalized” intelligence. It is not the teaching of a specialty.

And there we face a problem of learning “second-hand”. It is unreasonable to expect any individual to know everything at the first-hand. We have to rely upon communication from other learners and by imagination we have to digest what is reported. Of course, in practice, people have been doing the second-hand learning. In fact, “science” would be impossible and meaningless, if we deny the second-hand knowledge. But it so happens that the prevalent philosophy of science (knowledge) concentrates its analysis and commentaries on the first-hand knowledge. Such a philosophy of knowledge (epistemology) is totally inadequate for our social practices, besides being dishonest. We depend on each other to know most anything. We do not have direct access to most information that we need to think of the World. Our practical daily life requires that we have to deal with information presented in highly abstract symbolisms at a high speed which hardly leaves chances of deep reflections. In a complex society, therefore, competence in communication if of critical importance.

And in addition, since it must be a communal effort by people of different cultural backgrounds and different ideologies to construct a way of peace, each of us as individual thinkers cannot and ought not attempt constructing the “philosophy of peace” as an individual enterprise. We are dependent on others to make peace. We can only do the construction in consultations and negotiations. If we consider peace learning to be the learning of the human community as a whole, then communication among us is analogous to communication among nerve cells in our brain.

We might think of it, in a metaphor, that peace has to be learned by the “collective intelligence” of the humanity as a whole. If such a metaphor is appropriate, then we partake in a collecive thinking for peace. But in order for us to start consulting and negotiating, we need a practical condition of peace for them to be possible. This is a “vicious circle” in reverse.

However, if people recognize the problems at all, people do have a motive to come to conferences with those involved in the same problems. We are somewhat like Alcoholic Anonymous in this respect. We might call ourselves “Warmongers Anonymous” ! We come to learn because we have problems and those who share the problems can help. The mutual helping is an important aspect of peace that we wish to learn. And the key element of the construction is communication.

In response to the Learners Paradox, we could say that we can learn from problems. To deal with problems is the learning. If any accumulative sense of effect is sought , we can point to the competence in learning. That is, we learn how to learn. Interestingly, one can look at the history of physics, which is a series of mistakes upon mistakes, as a “learning of how to learn”. And to deal with problems is to have “interactions with” them, and as such “learning” is a form of “communication”. I would imagine the same may be said about Peace Learning.

And there have been encouraging signs for emergence of new paradigms of learning. Recently, a Japanese journal published, under the title “Networking of the Youth”, reports of six cases where young people started their own ways of group learning. The reports are impressive in several senses. Firstly, the journal has been reputed as that for “intellectual snobs”, or at least it has traditionally kept “academic respectability”, and has never printed anything of the kind. Those six groups of young people are not “famous”. They are not “academic”, nor have any pretence of intellectual superiority. They are “experimenting” and having “fun” doing things. The journal itself is changing. Secondly, it is impressive in comparison with what radical students in Japan used to do in the 1960-70’s. They no longer maintain “elitist” attitudes and they are open to most anybody who wishes to join. Thirdly, their “networking” is international. They go to the Philippines, North and South Korea, etc. They look for direct contact with people. Fourthly, they are impressive in contrast to the highly competitive and high tech style of life that the majority of Japanese now have come to live. According to the same journal, Japanese school education is the most advanced one in the world technologically, but at the verge of moral bankruptcy aunder the stress of the high technology. The youth are trying to find the way out. They do not have “philosophy” of the academic sense, that is in technical sense, but they do have a philosophy in a practical sense, constructed and growing with experiments/experiences. Fifthly, they are different from the “hippy commune” type of the 1960-70’s in that they are articulate in communication with others, or at least try to be. And most impressive of all, one of the organizers of networks says of himself as being “Careperson” (in English). He apparently  understood what it means to “Care”. One can take pleasure in hearing emergences of new paradigms such as those. It may mean the beginning of the end of school education. But possibilities to Peace Education are visible. I imagine there are many such signs elsewhere, and I like to hear of such experiences.

Perhaps the description above may be confusing, but it is partly because of the nature of the problems. And I think it is very important for Peace Education to include considerations on the problems of learning. I acknowledge the above to be a sketchy outline for a philosophy of peace education. There are needs of discussing what we can do under the specific conditions that we have to operate now and in the foreseeable future. I would like to be apart of the struggles. And I hope, the suggestion of general direction is useful as an educational exercise.


On the Pedagogy of Liberation

P. Freire Pedagogy of the Oppressed Continuum, 1985

P. Freire The Politics of Education Bergin & Gravey Pub., 1985

H.A. Giroux “Educators as Transformative Intellectuals”, (Speech given at the Univ. of Lethbridge, 1982).

The pedagogy of liberation has a deep relation to the theology of liberation. See:

G. Guitierrez A Theology of Liberation Orbis Books, 1973

R. De Roo Cries of Victims Voice of God Novalis, 1986.

II. On Peace Education

C. Wulf Handbook on Peace Education International Peace Research Association, 1974.

S. Lee “A Course on the Morality of Nuclear Weapons” Teaching Philosophy, Vol. 7, No. 2, Apr. 1984.

L. M. Grob “Buberian Peace Education in the Mideast” Education Theory, Vol. 35, NO. 4, Fall, 1985.

III. On the Crisis of Technological Society

F. Capra The Turning Point Bantam Books, 1982.

J. Ellul The Technological Society Alfred A. Knopf, 1973.

C. Mitcham (Ed.)  Philosophy and Technology The Free Press, 1972.

IV. On Critical Sociology and Education

P. Connerton (Ed.) Critical Sociology Penguin Books, 1976

J.E. Curtis (Ed.) The Sociology of Knowledge Praeger Pub., 1970.

G. Gurvitch The Social Frameworks of Knowledge Oxford Univ. Press, 1971.

J. B. Thompson Critical Hermeneutics Cambridge Univ. Press, 1981.

M. Murphy “Affective Education: The Future” Toward Century 21st. C.S. Wallia (Ed.) Basic Books, 1970.

E. Hurwitz Jr. (Ed.) Criticism, Conflict, and Change. —Reading in American Education. Dodd, Mead & Co., 1972.

H. Esser (Ed.) Transformation of Knowledge Occasional Paper 44. Mar, 1984. Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

H. A. Giroux “Theories of Reproduction and Resistance in the New Sociology of Education” Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 53, p. 257, 1983.

J. Habermas Communication and the Evolution of Society Beacon Press, 1976.

J. Curran “communications, Power, and Social Order” Culture, Society, and the Media M. Gurevitch (Ed.), Methuen, 1982.

V. On Ethical Questions

H.T. Engelhardt, Jr. (Ed.) Morals, Science and Society The Hastings Centre, 1978.

M. Brown (Ed.) The Social Responsibility of the Science The Free Press, 1971.

These references were used, not as the sources of quotations, but as sources of inspiration. I owe to them a great deal as to the “ways of thinking”. This is an acknowledgement of intellectual heritages.

Colonization, Genocide, Missionization, and Racism Healing the Impact of on Indigenous Populations (PDF)

Healing the Impact of
Colonization, Genocide, Missionization, and Racism
on Indigenous Populations

Betty Bastien, Jürgen W. Kremer, Rauna Kuokkanen, and Patricia Vickers

Jürgen W. Kremer
3383 Princeton Drive
Santa Rosa, CA 95405

© 2001
To be published in:
S. Krippner & T. McIntyre (Eds.), The impact of war trauma on civilian populations. NY: Greenwood Press. (At press.)

Violence, in an Indigenous context, stems from many sources, including the social sciences which wield “epistemic violence” (Spivak, 1990). Epistemic violence is a continuation of genocide. Genocide is balanced by survivance stories. Survivance is “the continuance of native stories, not a mere reaction, or a survivable name. Native survivance stories are renunciations of dominance, tragedy, and victimry” (Vizenor, 1999, p. vii).
The epistemic violence of the social science is represented by concepts like the “noble savage” and the “vanishing Native.” This chapter attempts to face the genocidal realities of Indigenous peoples, and the politics forced upon them, without succumbing to contemporary expressions of stories of the “vanishing Native.” Stories of survivance contain the greatest healing potential for Indigenous peoples.

Who Are the Indigenous Peoples? — Political Context

In the legal and political contexts, especially within the framework of international organizations such as the United Nations, Indigenous people often use the definition provided by the International Labor Organization convention: The term “Indigenous peoples” refers to

tribal peoples in independent countries whose social, cultural and economic conditions distinguish them from other sections of the national community and whose status is regulated wholly or partially by their own customs or traditions (International Labor Organization, convention #169, 1989)

Frustrated in their attempts to work with nation-states, many Indigenous people have taken their concerns to the international level. In 1957, the International Labor Organization (ILO) adopted one of the first international instruments to recognize Indigenous issues, the Convention No. 107 on Indigenous Populations. In 1982, the Working Group on Indigenous Populations was established. The Working Group has provided a Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. So far, only a few of the articles have been adopted by the nation-states. As long as the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples remains unadopted, the ILO Convention No.169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples from 1989 provides the strongest support for Indigenous rights internationally. The Convention states that Indigenous peoples have right “to control, to the extent possible, their own economic, social and cultural development” (article 8).
This chapter focuses on three examples that are taken from geographical areas where initial colonial violence has given way to other forms of violence:

1) The Sámi people of north Europe.
2) The Tsimshian people of the Canadian Northwest.
3) The Niisitapi in southern Alberta, Canada.

Genocide and Violence

Defining genocide
In 1946 the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution stating that “Genocide is the denial of the right of existence to entire human groups” (Stannard, 1992, p. 279). Chrisjohn, Young, and Maraum (1994) discuss “ordinary genocide” as a form of genocide that is relevant for many Indigenous peoples:

“Ordinary genocide” is rarely, if at all, aimed at the total annihilation of the group; the purpose of the violence … is to destroy the marked category (a nation, a tribe, a religious sect) as a viable community. (p. 30)

Defining violence

The word violence means in its root “vital force.” In this sense we understand violence as the assertion of one’s vital force at the expense of another. This definition is a modification of Galtung who (1996, p. 4) distinguishes three forms of violence: direct, structural, and cultural. Direct violence refers to the brutality of murder, slavery, displacement and expropriation. Structural violence refers to the direct, everyday policies that impact the well-being of people. Cultural violence refers to racism. Epistemic violence (Spivak 1990, pp. 125-126) refers to a process whereby colonial and imperial practices impose certain European codes. Psychospiritual violence is another term we use to discuss the impact of genocidal policies.

The Process of Colonization

The indirect violence following direct violence can be seen in various dimensions. Economically it means the destruction of Indigenous self-sustaining economies and the imposition of market or socialist economies. Politically it means the destruction of traditional forms of governance. Legally it means that Indigenous oral law and historical rights are invalidated. Socially it means the destruction of rites of passage. Physically it means the exposure to contagious diseases. Intellectually it means the invalidation of the Indigenous paradigms and the dominance of an alien language. Spiritually it means the destruction of ceremonial knowledge. Psychologically, survivors of genocide show symptoms of post-traumatic stress symptom.

Colonial Violence Among the Sami

The Sámi are the Indigenous people of Sápmi which spans central Norway and Sweden through northern Finland to the Kola Peninsula of Russia. A rough estimate of the Sámi population is between 75,000 to 100,000. During the early Middle Ages, the surrounding kingdoms became interested in the land and natural resources of Sámiland.
Due to the competition, Sámiland became a war zone during the 12th and 13th centuries. By the end of the 13th century, Denmark and Novgorod had divided the Sámi area by a mutual treaty and in 1751, in the Treaty of Stroemstad, Norway and Sweden imposed the first foreign boundary on Sámiland. An individual Sámi was no longer able to own land, and grazing and hunting rights on the other side of the border were abolished.
The impact of colonization in Sápmi has various dimensions. Economically, colonialism has destroyed the local subsistence livelihoods of the Sámi. Mining, forestry, hydroelectric power plants, and tourism have put growing pressure on Sámi lifeways. The first churches in Sápmi were built in the 11th century and since then Christianity has gradually destroyed the Sámi world view by banning shamanic ceremonies, executing the noaidis (the Sámi shamans), burning and destroying the Sámi drums, and even banning the Sámi way of singing and communicating called yoiking.
Colonialism also gradually eroded the traditional Sámi system of education by imposing a compulsory school system. However, in many ways, the Sámi are in control of their own education through their own education councils. There is a Sámi College which trains Sámi teachers. In most places in the Sámi region, children are able to study the language at least a few hours per week.
In 1992, Sámi language acts in both Norway and Finland gave the Sámi the right to use their mother tongue when dealing with government agencies. In Sweden, the Sámi language is considered one of a number of minority languages. In Russia, there is no special law protecting the Sámi language. Of the four countries where the Sámi live, as of 2001 only Norway has ratified the ILO Convention No. 169 on the rights of Indigenous and tribal peoples. In Finland, a recent legal study demonstrated that the Sámi have had an official title to their land as late as in the early 20th century. This has led to a situation in which the state cannot ignore the ownership question any longer.
Considering the material conditions of most of the Sámi, an outsider could come to the conclusion that the Sámi are not colonized. In this sense, the colonial process has found its completion by ideologically cloaking its own violence. Internalized mental colonization has been so exhaustive that even though the Sámi have their own elected bodies, welfare system and some control over education, none of these are based on Sámi cultural. The Sámi movement of the 1960s and 1970s led to the establishment of Sámi parliaments, first in Finland in 1973, then in Norway in 1989 and in Sweden in 1993. The Sámi parliaments are not based on Sámi models of governance or their spiritual and cultural practices, and they do not have much decision making power even over issues directly concerning their own culture.
Spivak’s concept of epistemic violence provides probably the best understanding for this situation. The Sámi episteme, their knowledge system, has been replaced by colonial Scandinavian and other European systems to such an extent that it has created Sámi subjects with foreign worldviews. Even though a Sámi person may speak the language fluently, it may be used to express the worldview of the dominant culture. The survival of the Sámi language is not matched by the survival of the Sámi Indigenous worldview.
While the recognition of Sámi political issues has led to an improvement, this improvement may have been achieved at the price of the surrender of the Sámi episteme. Epistemic violence is a fact of Sámi reality and its makes colonial violence less visible. Structural violence is largely hidden from view as the structure imposed by the dominant societies has been accepted and is used.

Colonial Violence Among the Tsimshian and Niisitapi

“Cultural evolution” is a concept that has formed the philosophical basis for genocidal policies. Within this framework, Indigenous peoples are commonly seen as in need of development. The ideological rationale of colonization has been the presumed need to alter Indigenous people’s lifeways to a way of life considered “civilized.” Such civilization was to be achieved, first and foremost, through the process of Christianization. Despite the fact that today numerous anthropologists and archaeologists disavow it, cultural evolution continues to have an impact (assumptions cf. Kelly, 1995; Kremer, 1998).
The “Norwegianization” policy of 1879-1940 reflected the nationalism and social Darwinistic thinking of the times and regarded assimilation as the only way to bring “enlightenment” to the Sámi people. The current crisis in Indigenous identity formation has resulted in social science theories evolving that fundamentally continue practices of assimilation. Evolutionary thinking, in Nietzsche’s (1967) sense of “truths are illusions of which one has forgotten that they are illusions,” has been the foundation of assimilation policies. It is this cognitive framework that created and perpetuates genocide.
The Canadian Indian Act of 1867 (Sec. 24 subsection 91 of British North American Act) had given the Canadian federal government exclusive control over Indigenous territories. The Royal Proclamation of 1873 strengthened the economic base of the dominant culture by establishing procedures for acquiring the lands occupied by Indigenous peoples. Although recognizing Indian title to lands not colonized, it outlined the beginning of an apartheid system. This gave rise to the 1885 policy, which forbade Indigenous people to leave the reserve. These acts gave the government exclusive control over economic activities.
Colonialism engenders dependency through legislation, destroys the traditional economic base, and enforces an alien education system. Colonialism denies people the capacity to make intelligent decisions based on cultural knowledge. Such knowledge was repressed by the Canadian legislation of the 1920s and 1930s. Legislation in 1920 made attendance compulsory for Indigenous people’s children, and, in 1930, non-compliance was legally defined as a criminal offense. These efforts characterized the spiritual and psychological violence that altered the worldviews of Indigenous people.
While residential schools were introducing the new imperialist culture that defined Indigenous peoples as “savages,” the newly formed colonial government of Canada had already introduced the Indian Act of 1867 declaring Indigenous peoples as wards of the government. Chief Joe Mathias (Mathias & Yabsley, 1991) defined the Indian Act as the conspiracy of suppression of Indian rights in Canada. While Indigenous children and youth were being conditioned by British imperialist values, the government of Canada was imposing a political structure in all Indigenous communities. All communities were redefined as reservations and reduced to smaller territories ignoring tribal history, land use, and understanding of landownership (cf. Wa & Uukw, 1989).
The federally imposed political body of Chief and Council ignores the traditional systems in Indigenous communities. All federal funding is relegated through this system creating a fertile environment for internalized oppression to flourish. The Tsimshian live on the northwest coast of British Columbia where their territory is divided between two areas. Having been banished to reserves, the Tsimshians are now struggling with internalized oppression in the attempt to find balance in a rapidly changing world.
The notion of cultural evolution, the rationalization of necessary progress, perpetuates violence through psychological control. Indigenous peoples have been described as “victims”. Victimry is a pose and dynamic that feeds the game governed by rules of dominance. The social sciences serve this ideology. The notion that the objectified self is the universal nature of humanity describes the process for the desacralization of Indigenous relationships within a universe that is premised on the concrete relationships of a harmonious nature. The detachment from these processes, as enforced by those who design the policies for Indigenous peoples, is the distinguishing mark of ordinary genocide.

Internalized Colonization In Residential Schools

The theoretical frameworks that are used in the perpetuation of psychospiritual violence can be found in the European epistemology. Theories of psychological development are freighted with assumptions that violate the essence of Indigenous peoples’ understanding of human nature. Such assumptions include: each human being has an isolated cognitive self that can best be understood through its components. This assumption underlies all manifestations of European life and constitutes violence to the holistic identity of Indigenous people. In psychospiritual violence the holistically constructed Indigenous self is forced to become the fragmented Western self.
These assumptions of the nature of humankind have allowed for the genocidal polices of residential schools. The residential school era was the most significant and comprehensive governmental effort, in cooperation with the churches, to alter the reality of Indigenous people. Chrisjohn, Young, and Maraum (1994) point out that, “in any intellectually honest appraisal, Indian Residential Schools were genocide” (p. 30). In these institutes the Tsimshain were systematically conditioned to believe that their ancestral ways were inferior to British ways of interpreting the world. When they returned to their communities they found themselves alienated. It is no surprise that addictions and family violence increased.

Post-traumatic stress symptoms
The consequences of the survival of the direct violence of genocide and of the subsequent structural and cultural violence can be interpreted in terms of what Western psychiatry calls “post-traumatic stress symptoms.” The statistics published in the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (Chrisjohn, Young, & Maraun, 1994) reveal dramatic figures. The rate for suicide among the total Indigenous population is 25.4 %, for family violence it is 36.4 %, for sexual abuse it is 24.5 %, and for rape it is 15%. Beahrs (1990) discusses post-traumatic stress disorders as follows:
PTSD is characterized by intrusive re-experiencing of the trauma, persistent avoiding of the trauma or numbing of responsiveness, and persisting symptoms of increased arousal. (Beahrs 1990 p. 15)
In a discussion about Native American genocide Rivers-Norton has pointed out that
Genocide is often viewed within the psychological literature as the most devastating and debilitating form of traumatization because it causes enormous physiological and psychic overload, shock, numbing, and grief. It involves the severe devastation caused by cultural destruction, enslavement, relocation, and massive loss of life. (Bastien, Kremer, Norton, Rivers-Norton, & Vickers, 1999, p. 18)

Cultural Affirmation and Healing Colonial Violence

Understanding the masks of violence
Within Northwest Coast art forms, the mask is a representation of a character’s or animal’s spirit. “Masks give form to thoughts. Masks are images that shine through us from the spirit world” (Steltzer & Davidson, 1994, p. 96). The dancer wearing a mask portrays the characteristics and behavior of the spirit the mask represents and in doing so becomes familiar with the function of that spirit. We can understand this process as the deconstruction or decolonization in Spivak’s (1990) sense: “The only things one really deconstructs are things into which one is intimately mired. It speaks you. You speak it” (p. 135). Naming the mask and knowing the song and dance of colonization is the process of deconstructing our present reality.
The Tsimshian have a societal structure that is matrilineally comprised of four Clans or pteex. Each clan has a number of houses or walp that has a head Chief with Chiefs of lesser rank. The hereditary names in each house or walp hold territories and rights to fishing and hunting within those territories. The Tsimshian societal structure contains methods to address conflicts, disputes, and violations as well as protocols for naming, rites of passage, marriage, and divorce; they also regulate inter-tribal relationships. Individuals within the clans and families were trained to implement the procedures to resolve and bring restitution to any challenging circumstances within village life. If there was an accidental death through carelessness, the family of the offending party is responsible for recounting the incident in a family meeting where they were responsible for giving gifts of restitution to the victim’s immediate family members. Once the victim’s family decided the gifts were sufficient, the incident was forgiven and the offending party was cleansed of their wrongdoings.

Four critical aspects in healing colonial violence
1) “Re-membering” acknowledges the destruction that colonization brought; it is identifying the impact of destruction with the willingness to let go of the blame. Each Indigenous nation on the northwest coast of British Columbia has a cleansing ceremony for the purpose of washing away grief and hatred to prepare for healing. The initial step in preparing for the cleansing and washing ceremony is to name the offense. “Research suggests that through a narrative process, through sharing the stories of suffering, individuals begin to organize, structure, and integrate emotionally charged traumatic experiences and events” (Bastien, Kremer, Norton, Rivers-Norton & Vickers, 1999, p. 18).
2) The re-connection with ancestral healing methods is another critical ingredient. Ancestral teachings have remained in the conscious and unconscious of Indigenous people despite the changes wrought by ongoing colonial and genocidal policies. For example, an individual may approach an Elder to ask how to wash away the shame and grief from the past. The individual may be advised to fast and bathe for four days all the time letting go of hatred and destructive energy that surfaces each day. This is called si ‘satxw in the Tsimshian language. Through the act of cleansing the individual practices awareness. This awareness is one where individuals observe their behaviors and beliefs following each to the root of behavior (Levine, 1979). Healing takes patience, requiring cultural support. Indigenous healing programs, such as NECHI (a Cree word meaning “friend”) in Canada, use Indigenous approaches combined with Western psychotherapy, in order to deal with issues of alcoholism.
3) The third crucial ingredient in healing the impact of colonization is through reaching out to others. Once one has learned to love and value one’s self, it is much easier to love and value one’s neighbor. Confronting oppression in communities requires education and a willingness to make relationships that respect self and others.
4) A fourth crucial ingredient in healing from colonial violence is the reconstruction of Indigenous concepts of community. By reconstructing Indigenous understandings of community we are able to restore our values and spirituality, not as something arbitrary and superficial limited to occasional prayer or song, but spirituality as our personal and daily relationship with the environment and our community (cf. Brascoupé, 2000, p. 415).

Reaffirmations of Cultural Knowledge
The pervasive impact of colonial violence needs to be healed not just on the individual but also on the cultural level. The self within its Indigenous cosmos is the necessary context for healing. At this point, our chapter turns full circle as we explain one particular Indigenous worldview. This is important in order to avoid psychologizing the ongoing structural and cultural violence to which Indigenous peoples are exposed. It also prepares our discussion of what non-Indigenous people working with Indigenous populations are to do. It gives an opportunity to retract the idealizing or discriminatory projections of the dominant cultures.
The example we give is an attempt to develop a curriculum based in Niisitapi epistemology and ontology. Niisitapi can literally be translated as Real People. They consist of the following tribes: Aamsskaaippiianii — South Peigan; Aapatuxsipiitani — North Peigan; Kainah — Blood/Many Chiefs; Siksika — Blackfoot. Early explorers estimated the population of the Blackfoot-speaking peoples to be 30,000 – 40,000 (McClintock, 1992, p. 5). At present, there are 8,840 members who occupy 535.6 square miles of reserve land. There are 3,072 members between the ages of 5 and 19 among the Kainah, but only 20 of these members are now fluent speakers (0.65 %).

Affirmation of the Niisitapi worldview
The Niisitapi self exists only in relationships. The self is intricately linked with the natural world. The process of knowing is founded upon an intricate web of kinship, the relationships of natural alliances. Knowledge is understood as a source of life, which strengthens the alliances among the cosmic and natural worlds. Knowledge is created and generated through interrelationships with natural alliances. The alliances among the Niisitapi are regenerative and renew the ecological balance of the world.
These alliances can be understood by examining the word po’nstaan, “the giving of gifts in ceremony.” The cultural meaning provides us with two natural laws: one, that the universe is cyclical and it works on the basis of reciprocity; two, reciprocity is founded upon the principle of “strengthening and supporting life,” niipaitapiiyssin. Po’nstann refers to what one is willing to give up in exchange for something sought or desired. The common usage refers to giving up aspects/orientations of one’s life in exchange for the rebirth of a way of life governed by responsibilities.
The second principle is the nature of truth — niitsii-issksiniip – “knowing.” Truth is the essential meaning of experience. This principle guides the process of knowing and the knowledge revealed as both are consistent with natural laws. These natural laws support the framework for the interpretation of experiences and are the keys to understanding the meaning of the sacredness of life. Understanding this worldview is crucial for anybody outside the culture attempting to understand the depth of genocide and the requirements for healing.

Niisitapi ontology
Education and socialization are guided by cultural orientations. In “seeking to understand life,” nipaitapiiyio’pi, and in “coming to knowing the source of life,” ihtisipaitaoiiyio’pi, the primary medium is through “transfer,” a’poomo’yiopi.
The method of inquiry among Niisitapi is entering into relationships and alliances with the spirit of knowledge. The way of coming to know is through participating with and experiencing the knowledge of the natural order. “Knowing,” issksiniip, is the active participation in relationship with the natural order. Knowing is “experiential,” omohtaanistsihsp. Knowing and knowledge are living entities, which, through relationships, live in the actions of the participants. In this case, reference can be made to “the way of life of the Niisitapi,” Niipaitapiiyssin, which encompasses the knowledge and wisdom.

Niisitapi epistemology
In the traditional context, knowledge is connecting with ihtisipaitaoiiyio’pi (spirit). Ihtisipaitaoiiyio’pi manifests through a sacred power, one that is pervasive and manifests through all of creation. This sacred power is gained in the “dream world” and is incorporated in to the everyday world of work and play (Harrod 1992). Knowledge and wisdom come through the ability to listen and hear the whispers of the wind, the teachings of the rock, the seasonal changes of weather, and by connecting with the animals and plants. Knowing and knowledge are the expression and manifestations of relationships that align with the natural order of the universe.
Knowledge or knowing is not directly transferable; it is gained through the alliances of interdependent relationships. Knowing is a process of “interpreting experiences with the alliances of the natural world,” isskskataksini/aisskskatakiop’i. This knowledge and understanding becomes a basis for effectively participating and functioning in society.
In summary, Niisitapi epistemology manifests in the “transfers,” a’poomo’yiopi, the theory of knowledge that all knowing comes from the source of life and through kinship alliances. It is through a complex web of relationships that Niisitapi “come to know.” Inherent in knowing is the responsibility of living the knowledge; and living the knowing is a fundamental aspect of identity and the source from which “self” emerges. These characteristics become the essential elements for interpreting the environment and for experiencing the world.

Niisitapi pedagogy
Transfer, a’poomo’yiopi, is a process of renewing the alliances of kinship relations. Transfers are found in ceremony. The ceremonies take the form in which a common sense of transformation and transcendence is experienced, and the people (Harrod, 1992, p. 67) share the meanings associated with the transfer. As long as the people retain their connection through their ceremonies, they will retain their transformational and transcendent ways of being through the renewal of their responsibilities as instructed in the original transfer from the sacred spiritual alliances.
Knowing comes with the participation and experience of alliances. Learning is a developmental process that involves an all-inclusive process of living life. Aatsimoyihskaani is a concept that addresses the inter-dependencies that are involved in the processes of coming to knowing. Knowing is through the “active participation with all the alliances of life,” kiipaitapisinnooni, and, subsequently, knowing is the living knowledge of these relationships.
Niisitapi language education is essential in the process of coming to understanding the alliances essential to participation in a balanced world. Language is spirit. Language is the medium for entering into the relationships forming the Niisitapi culture and society; it allows humans to define their reality and the social order in which they exist. The language is the expression of the natural alliances of Niisitapi and embodies the consciousness of the people. Language has the ability to distinguish and define humanity. In other words, language links “self” to the “universe” (Bastien, 1998).

Decolonization for people of the Euro-centered or “white” mind

Non-indigenous persons may wonder how they can be helpful in the healing of colonial genocidal violence. From an Indigenous perspective the primary need is dialogueing about epistemic violence. Confrontation with the history of genocide and colonization is urgent. Structural violence must be addressed. Persons who are working with Indigenous peoples should reflect critically on the context in which they are working, whether their work explicitly or implicitly is continueing colonial violence. Persons who are invited to work with Indigenous people need to work particularly on the unconscious forms of epistemic violence their mere presence may perpetrate. Helpers of European descent need to be willing to face the impact of Euro-centered dominance in their personal history and to talk openly about its dynamics with the willingness to work toward positive change.
The importance of awareness of the significant difference in self-construction cannot be stressed enough, as should be obvious from the preceding sections in this article. Working with Indigenous peoples in the process of decolonization means that people who are not Indigenous are willing to decolonize themselves and to confront their own historical Indigenous and ancestral origins (Kremer, 2000). This is a difficult task that goes to the core of reality. In this way there can be a gradual interruption of the cycle of genocidal violence.


In the process of healing colonial violence the fundamental step is to remember and affirm an Indigenous, culturally specific framework that provides the context for the consideration of educational, psychological, and other interventions. Use of Indigenous culturally available resources is a mandatory ingredient in any healing endeavor. The participation of Indigenous healers and Elders, both in education and psychological interventions is important. Use of Indigenous languages are invaluable, both as a means of cultural remembrance and affirmation as well as the expression of the Indigenous self. The narration of the experiences of genocidal violence holds tremendous healing potential both for individuals and communities. Witnessing the impact of past and present violence may lead to the release of generative visions that facilitate the remembrance of cultural knowledge, the celebration of relationships and alliances, the impact of Euro-centered knowledge on the basis of Indigenous paradigms, and the expression of Indigenous self and community not as retro-romantic folklore, but as viable, vital, and creative knowledge for future generations — sovereignty, in a sense, that transcends Euro-centered notions and deletes their epistemic and other violence.

This article is dedicated to the memory of Ingrid Washinawatok.[i]

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1 September 1988 Personal Correspondence on Cross-cultural Science Translation (PDF)

Sept. 1, ’88.

REf. Native Science Conf.

Dear Pam

Here is my suggestion for the “Frame” for the Native Science Conference. There is nothing I can say to you that you do not already know. I only attempt to write out some ideas that might make you feel assured. You are honoring me by taking the posture of asking for help. Whether I could help or not, I have to respond.

I gave you a picture of the Matrix. So this time I shall explain the Matrix and add notes. The picture is simple, but it has to be so. Once you get into discussions, however, the picture turns quite complex. Perhaps, it may be better explained in several “Levels”. As to the trick of “Simplicity” which constitutes the backbone of European “Science”, there are several philosophical problems. But I shall explain them later (see Appendix A).

Level I. Nominal Comparison

Imagine average North American White Male University students, and consider a task of explaining Native Science in contrast to European Science, such as;

(1) That Native Science is not “alienated” from its practice.

(2) Native Science/Counseling is more “Supportive” than “Clinical”

(3) Native Science is an integral part of Communal Living, not Individualistic Assertion of Knowledge. There is no Intellectual Hero in Native Science.

Having such a task in our mind, let us look at a “Comparison Table” (Map) such as below, and think about what questions the simple map might generate.

The basic idea here is to trace 4 items in relation, not just pairing comparison of 2 in antagonism. Dialectics of conflicts must be presented, but at the same time if we can shift our attention to the relational dynamics in looking at 4 items, that would be nice. I am trying “Quadra-lectics”.


[Table 1]

European Native American



Therapy Medicine

Ritual Healing



Medical Science Clinical


Medicine ( ? )

Social Sciences Social Works Community

Participation /


( ? )

– – – – – – –

I–1. The Question on the Existence of Native Science.

The first reaction of the students is to question “Does Native Science Exist?” They might say, “Science” has to be “documented” knowledge (book knowledge). Therefore, (in the nominal sense) Native Science does not exist.”

You have gone through the question thousands of times, and you even feel angry about the ignorance of the students. [Besides, for the participants of the planes conference, the answer is already clear. There is no need to go back to the rudimentary question.] But, be patient. The question is not trivial.

Let us look at possible questions/debates the table might generate. i.e.

a. “What example of Native Science do we have?”

b. “Where and how can one find Native Science?”

c. “What use does it serve to find Native Science?”

d. “Why do we need to elaborate/document on Native Science?”

“Does it help anybody?”

e. Do not Natives have/want “Wisdom”, not “Book Knowledge” sense of “Science”? Do they wish to be “Scientific” in the sense “Technical” or “Intellectual”?

If “Science” means “to reduce anything into simple mechanical routines”, is it not reducing Wisdom/Spirit into Machine?

f. “Suppose there is a set of basic ideas, guiding principles, metaphysics, or world-view, for the Native Praxis. Can we call it “Science” without modifying, correcting, or enlarging the European notion of Science?” “If so, on what ground can we justify the change?” “Is the change necessary?” “Does the change help anybody”? “Why do we need alternative sense of Science?”.


I-2. Questions on European Science.

But then, there are questions about European Science. The advantage of Quadra-lectics is that it makes easy to see there also exists conflicts/problems/antagonism/tension inside European Science. One has to look at every combination (there are 6 of them) of the 4 in relation.

a. There are problems in asserting that (European) Psychoanalysis is a “Science”.

European “Medicine” may be more of an Art than a Science.

How Scientific are the Sciences, such as Social Sciences or Physics?

b. What is the relation/connection between “Science” (Theory/Knowledge) and Practices?

What good does Theoretical Science provide to the Praxis? (What roles does “Theology” play in Religions as social/psychological phenomena?)

Is the theoretical sense of science only for edifying?

c. How relevant are “Social Sciences” to “Social Works”?

How useful is it to elaborate “Theory” for the people who practice routines which are nominally associated (subjugated) to the Theory?

What does the science of Economy say about the bureaucratic system/technique/procedure of the Social Work/Service/Welfare?

To be sure, it is reasonable to question if the Economics that we have in our academia today is a “Science”. It is sometimes said to be “Dismal Science”, but it may not be a “Science” at all.

Interestingly, by some strict definition, Physics is not a Science. Some physicists even “proudly” say that they are “Artists”.

d. What is wrong with being a “Non-Scientist”? Why should every good thing be a “science”? Is not being a “Humanitarian” enough?

Those questions have to be asked to make a comparative match with questions in I-1.

[See for the problems of European Medicine; Charles E. Rosenberg in The Care of Strangers, Basic Books 1987, talks of the inconsistency of “Vocation” and “Stewardship” which are nonetheless made into a “marriage of convenience” between Healers and Hospital. Illich, Foucault, et al likewise criticized the Medical Profession/Institution. And even our conservative governments are aware of some of the problems, because it costs too much.

I suspect the institutions of “Clinical Social Work” have similar problems with “Medicine”. The “Success” of Institutionalization/Professionalization always brings problems.

And, this leads to the question of the Social Cost (Pollution, Entropy) of the Mechanical Thinking that is worshiped as “Scientific”.]

I-3. Why bother making a comparison?

You might say; “I have made comparisons. So what?” In fact, you showed me many articles which are written on comparisons. Ones which attack European Science always carry some comparisons as the basis of attack.

On the basis of comparisons, one can go to

(i) Assimilation (Surrender) to European Science,

(ii) Rejection of Science without assertion of an alternative.

(iii) Rejection of Science, with assertion of Pure Humanism, Spiritualism, or Wisdom.

(iv) Compromise, Reconciliation, Integration.

(v) Construction of Strategy to deal with the Conflicts/Problems.

(vi) Emergence of Alternative Science, with a creative vision of World Community.

In terms of questions, students might ask

a. Is it not a step in assimilating Natives inot the Domination by European Intellect?

Just because European Culture/Civilization has a distinct fragment called “Science”, why should Natives have it?

b. Is not the show of difference a device to “demonstrate” the Intellectual inferiority of Natives?

c. When European Science itself is having troubles, if not in crisis, why should Natives look for “Science” to copy the troubles?

d. What are we going to do with the differences? Are we to eliminate the differences, say by making one of them extinct?

e. Are we not interested in Native Science, because we have troubles with our European Science? [Turning Point, et al]

II. Level II Case Studies at Level I

Here, we consider Graduate School level of talking/thinking. They presumably had exposure to the level I questions, at least some of them. You are a Professor supervising young Ph.D. candidates who are working on Native Science. What would you tell them?

 For Master’s Thesis, an articulation/elaboration on the Level I questions is a good exercise. They must do one. They must read and know a body of materials (book knowledge) and do at least one “Field Work” to see what the written materials are talking about. I point out here that even if one does work on one aspect, having awareness of the overall picture is helpful. That is the Table I is worth looking at repeatedly. The Map tells where one is.

This level of work is publishable in academic journals. In fact, many are published. But they are “academic” in that they are not intended to help people.

One might select a thesis that Native Communities (Culture) ought to reject European Science in totality and live in an “Ideal Isolation”. I concede that this might be a possible and viable strategy for some nations. When an African Economist proposed it as an answer to the problem of Economic Colonialism, I agreed. The Burmese Socialist Government, which is talked about in News Media today, tried this. Pol Pot Communists went to the extreme of even eliminating “science” along with “Intellectuals”. [Mao’s Red Guard was anti-intellectual, but respected “Science”. What Mao might have thought or hoped of “Science” — that is, there is a dialectics of “Destructive Technology/Constructive Science — may be a topic at Level III.]

I acknowledge the value of Warning Statements, pointing out problems of European Science. But I wonder what the writers are thinking as to what to do about the problems that they saw.

One can write and talk about “Rejection of European Science” and “Back to Traditional Native Medicine”. However, the comparison to European Science is there. Even if the comparison is rhetorically avoided, such works can hardly escape from being a “Reaction” to European Science.

What is worse, by the “angry rejection”, they may be taken as implicit acknowledgement that they cannot overcome European Science — i.e. acknowledgement of unquestionable superior “rationality”, “intelligence”, “power”, etc. of European Science. Saying “I cannot help Europeans from going down to Hell with their Science” may be taken as an equivalent of saying Native Wisdom has no capability to help.

That leads us into Level III. (Critical Reflection), and IV. (Creation of Alternative Science).

III. Critical Reflection

III-1. Supportive Counseling versus Clinical Operation.

As an example, let us take up the differences between “Clinical Therapy” and “supportive Counseling”. Native Healing is “Supportive”. It is not done in the sense of “putting a totally incapacitated patient, knocked unconscious, on a table to operate on it”. (The pardigmatic Metaphor of European Medical Science). Native Medicine often involve Family and Community. It was not done on an Individual basis. All powers (love relations and functions) are solicited for help. Medicine men/women are “Mediums” and “Facilitators” for the power to come together, not power itself.

In the beginning, I said “North American White Male Students”. Female students are excluded, because in the “Macho Science”, they may not talk/think/behave in the “typical” ways. There is usually considered to be a weakness and “unscientific” tendency in Females. they do not like to play the role of (Male) God in cutting up people on the operation table, even if the ultimate aim is to help the guy. Females tend to see “People” being sick or in trouble, rather than entertain the glorious mission of fighting a War against Disease (Evil) as Male Doctors often do. Male Doctors do acknowledge “Will To Live” in patients, but such “help” is solicited in “their” Fight against Disease. “Conquer the Disease” is the main paradigm of Male Medical profession. “Care of person” is the job of nurses, not doctors.

It is not that Females are dysfunctional in Clinical situations. In fact many are engaged in Clinical Social Works — except that they tend to take a posture of either (i) “being told” what to do, alienating them from personal involvement/responsibility, or (ii) like the case of the Big Nurse, identifying themselves with the Power Structure. they are more at home with “Supportive Counseling”, if not merely “Comforting”.

That makes interesting “observation” what Native Healing (Medicine, Science) is “Feminine”. Calling upon the help of the Power Spirit is not the same thing as having a sense of Power within oneself.

In the context of Social Works, what are the role/function of the workers? And what kind of Science would be helpful for them?

For the Clinical works, there Power Science justifies, and even what they do is a false sense of compelling workers to do.

Is there any “Science” behind supportive Counseling?

Evidently, the Support is needed, appreciated, and recognized as effective. But “Science”?

European Science came from “Fighting”. Humans, faced With Fear, either get aggressive or regress into inability. In that “Science” is “empowering” — to make humans assertive, aggressive, active —. “Love Play” has always been in Science, particularly in creative works, but it has always been “subservient”, “secondary”, “helping side” of the Power side. There have been many talks by great scientists about “Love” in science, but texts in Science do not intend to “teach” about that.

I would imagine even Clinical Social Works is motivated by “Love/Care”. But “Love/Care” is not the main “Operational Principle” of the Clinical Social Work, but the “Power of Technical Routines” is the main concern. Having or seeing Problems, the Clinical Operation set itself up as the means to Fight — the “War” to eliminate the problem —.

“Supportive Counseling” may be seen as “weak”; some might perceive it as “ineffective”, if they do not know the performance, say in terms of quantified “Success Rate”. This is because the Support gives an impression that it leaves the problem unresolved. It is not attacking the problem directly, but merely caring for the person.

The separation/dichotomy of “Being” and “Problem” is a heritage from Ancient Atomism. Being is a Dynamics and Problem is a Dynamics. Although the “level” of Dynamics may be different they are both Dynamics (Interaction). The Mechanical Science whch sees “Beings” as “Objects” is totally inadequate. There exists the awareness of such an inadequacy in some sciences, but it is far away from the “Science” of the Clinical Social Works. And because the majority in Social Works is Clinical, the Social Works as a whole has not yet come to construct “Science” for the “supportive counseling”. It is left for a few brave (or rather bleeding) souls to practice on ad hoc basis.

It is not only Native Science that is unrecognized and repressed, but all “Love Sciences” are.

This is a topic for the Level III works.

III-2. The Difficulty of Translation

Another possible topic at Level III is that of “Translation”, “Cross Cultural Understanding”, “Bridging”, “Interfacing”.

It is understandable that the Native Community entertains an Ideology of Separation/Rejection. After all, it has been European Culture that separated, rejected Natives. European Domination accepts only total Surrender of Natives, territory, culture, bodies, souls, and even history.

Therefore, naturally any attempt in the direction of “understanding” is suspected or viewed as “Compromise”, “Betrayal”, “Sell Out”, “Contamination”.

In many Colonized countries, a certain portion of natives became “Translators” for the European Power. They enjoyed somewhat privileged positions in the power structure, while others were mercilessly exploited, oppressed, killed and even sold as slaves. East Indians were often imported into other colonies to serve as lower class officers for European Administrators. Even after these colonies gained independence, the “Class Distinction” remained. [Japan narrowly escaped that owing to the late coming of Europeans to the Far East.] Native Americans have never developed such a “Class Distinction”, but nonetheless there are resentments against those who sell services to Europeans.

Eber Hampton in “The Sweat Lodge and Modern Society” mentions the destruction of Native Agriculture, which David Riesman missed in his Harvard lecture. Indeed, that is a “deliberately forgotten history” (The Big Brother erased it). But many Natives themselves seem to have erased the history when they refer to “Traditional Fur Trade”. The Fur Trade, when Iroquois Nations became addicted, destroyed their Agriculture and Community Craft Industry that they had. Hunting to provide for their own community needs is Traditional. Hunting to sell furs is not. I say this not as an accusation, but as an example of how easy it is for History to be destroyed by “Translators”.

And one thing which caught my attention is that Eber Hampton appears to be proud of “Indian English”, but it is strange for a guy like me who never learned English enough to develop “my own English”. I only manage to read an write in English as a “Foreign Language”. To me Indian English is not a Native Language. However, that betrays a tragic reality of Native Life today. Namely, without Translation into Academic English, Eber could have gotten nowhere.

You might say “Live with Native Language!” That is easy to say, as long as one is not going to do it in real life. Even without European Languages, what will Natives today do? What about the rifles that they use in their hunting? What about power boats? TVs, refrigerators, Trucks, Supermarket, Hospitals and Alcohol? The pens and papers used to apply for European Welfare? They are not “Languages” in the formal sense, but, they are the kind of idioms and vocabulary by which Native Living is spelled out.

There are millions of “Non-Reserve Indians” whose homes are on the streets of Whitemen’s Cities. Thousands of Native children were adopted by European families. Even if “Pure Blood Indians” opted for total separation in some Indian Territories (Nations, Reserves), there would be millions who will be “Outsiders”.

And what will the pure-blood Nations do about dealings with the rest of the World? A Closed State in political rhetoric is easy, but the problems of actually Living Life cannot be wiped off by the inflated hot rhetoric. Much as I admire and sympathize with the sentiment which might say, “Fuck European Science”, I cannot imagine any other way but to come to terms with European Science in one way or another.

And to come to terms with the other Science, one needs to have one’s own Science, or equivalent thereof. Ideally, the Native Science is so much better in that it can understand European Science, including its limitations, weaknesses, and faults, as well as strength and power. One cannot get that by closing the door and watching T.V. while drinking beer and liquor from European stores.

Let David Riesman be alone. He can rot in his ignorance. As far as he is concerned, he is doing very well without knowing about Natives. Even if he happened to know about Natives, he is not obliged to restore Native Farming for Education. Therefore criticizing David Riesman is a waste of time. It can only be done by Natives.

The atrocities, sufferings and pains inflicted on Natives, pureblood or otherwise, inside reserves or outside, are Real. They are there, whether one likes it or not. They cannot be ignored. Europeans imposed them on Natives, but if Natives do not remove them, Europeans would not. That makes dealing with European Science unavoidable. There, Translators have very important roles to play. If European Science is the Enemy, one has to know it to fight it. One might even think about the possibility of “Beating the Enemy at his own Game”.

Righteous indignation is natural, and there ought to be more of it. That is the Passion needed. I would venture to say that is the Fire Way. However, sooner or later, one has to come to the question of “What To Do About The Problems?”

To face the question of “What To Do About the Problems?” is a Science. Describing the problems, so that many people come to know the problems and can start building basis of co-operation, is the important first step in the Science. But one cannot let one’s passion be exhausted by that. There is a next step, which is harder.

If we attempt Science, we need

(1) The “Science of knowing what problems are, and

(2) The Science of knowing what to do about them.

The second step has to be persistent. I would characterize it as the Water Way.

[There is the Earth Way to make things concrete, and the Wind Way has to help with Creativity needed. Then must come the Tree Way to Integrate and gently embrace the whole. But that is the topic of Level IV.]

Let me try here my armchair psychoanalysis. Natives are brave, and they are not afraid of European Science. What they Fear is not that. They are not “running away” from European Science under the disguise of righteous indignation — though European Science is indeed horrible —. The psychological trouble is that any Learning involves Love. Learning of Science is “Erotic”. Traditionalists may indeed Fear this “Love Affair”. They are afraid of “Seduction” by European Science.

Education can be “Sweet”. Yet my grandfather rioted against the Japanese Government when it imposed the school system on his village. He said, “It is bad enough that peasants are forced to pay high Tax, but now the Government is taking our children away”. He appeared to stand against Education. That is strange for one who learned to read and write on his own. He was not afraid of Science, but eagerly read and learned. Besides, he often took care of “troublesome kids” from villages around, and was known as a great educator (Therapist/Counselor). But his sense of Education was not “School Education”. Being a peasant himself, he knew what was needed to be learned. He never lost his Peasant Spirit. I have known a Scholar in the same village who was reading works of French Linguist in 1945 when most Japanese did not have any more than one pair of shoes, in the aftermath of WWII. In 1945, the life of Japanese was worse than that in, say, Nigeria then, a lot less than “Bushmen” in Canada. He did not become a Frenchman but stayed as a Peasant even after he became the president of a college. He was entirely self-taught. It is unfortunate that Japanese Peasants are not well known as “Samurais” who constituted less than 10% of the Japanese population.

I am not saying the Japanese are any better in comparison with Native Americans. They have a lot of problems. But the point is that learning European Science without selling our souls is possible. One jus has to remember that accumulation of “knowledge” is not of any value, but how much help one can offer to others in community is the measure of Science.

Level IV. Tree Science

This is Pam’s Science. I am not qualified to talk about it. The Conference hopefully comes to the Vision of it. Or better yet, Pam will bring a Prophecy. I am merely guessing at your dream. By introducing “Quadra-lectics”, you are overcoming the antagonistic paradigm in European Dialectics and introducing “relational science” which is a better Format for Healing/Love. You suggested the idea of 4-in-Relations not by so much words, but by dream-pictures.

I imagine you would talk about concrete, real, direct and personal experiences in Community Counseling. It is always good that talk is made “concrete”. But, You are “Counseling” the World Community by the same talk. If you can help the Healing of a Native Community, the very same Science can heal the World Community.

You might talk about your Science that you are raising.

There was one thing You said that was something to the effect of “in some cases there may not be a cure”. I do not know what you were referring to. Therefore I may be totally off the mark. But if you mean by “cure” in the “Clinical” sense, there is no cure for any case. The community has to recognize its own problem. The community has to do its own healing. Agencies from outside can only be helpers. Suppose the agencies of the dominant culture find a situation in some native community is a “problem”, then it is likely that the “problem” is, by a large measure, caused by the dominant culture. [If a child is behaving badly, it is likely that the family is in trouble.] And if so, then Clinical Therapy ought to be applied to the dominant culture, first of all.

If the Clinical Therapy is either not workable or not acceptable to the dominant culture, it is silly to expect the same would work for, or be acceptable to, the Native Community in question. One cannot apply the Principle of “Do as I tell you, not do as I do”. Science ought, at least, to be honest.

One of the advantages you have is that you are in a position to practice the therapy of the dominant culture, though yours is not the “clinical” kind. If you remember, that is where I met you, namely in Peace Research which is a science for “counseling” the World, in particular the most powerful of European Nations. It is what I might call “Social Therapy”.

Here, I like to tell you that Newtonian Mechanics was a very powerful “Therapy” (Brainwashing) which “empowered” Europeans to Industrialize. Yet, Newtonian Mechanics is made of nothing but “Words” and “Metaphors”.

You might think about why the “Story” called Newtonian Mechanics was so effective, so powerful. If you were in the Europe of the 16th century, you might have said that there was no “cure”. Germany did not come into the “Scientific Revolution” until the 19th century. In the beginning of the 20th century, Russians and Italians were no more ahead of the Japanese who started to learn European Science some 20 years before that time. And the learning of European Science in any country came at a horrendous cost.

Your Native Science (or Tree Science) may appear powerless. Because the only thing you can do at this moment is just make up “stories”. You may not foresee the consequences of what you are making up, any more than Galileo, Descartes and Newton did about their “Stories”. But, that does not mean there is no consequence, no effect. You might get a big surprise. It is not defending the traditional Native Culture that I am concerned about, but rather I am interested in Native Science as a Creation of Alternative Science which works for the World. It is a gift from Native Culture.

That brings me to say a few things about “Science”. “Science” is not an object of Archeological Study of some Dead Knowledge. It has a life, dynamic, development, creativity. At least, Science responds to the problems of community of the time. Or rather, Science is created and manifested as the response of Community to its problems. Just as Love takes a particular form of expression in a particular relationship, Science is particular to the situation; The Vision that one seeks is particular to the one who is in the particular circumstance. I respect ancient Wisdom. but Wisdom is wisdom, only if it is alive in the minds and souls of people today and functioning. That is why the learning of wisdom takes creativity. And I hope all the suffering Natives have had to go through was not vain.


This is incomplete, but I send this to you for now. The Appendix A shall follow.


Sam K.

P.S. Thank Chyna for me. I appreciated her patience. She is an impressively well-behaved, happy child. Her mother must be a very loving person. I wonder if I am wrong in saying “Looking at a Child is looking at Parents”.

20 August 1988 Personal Correspondence on Community Culture Healing, Spirit and Science (PDF)

Aug. 20, ’88.

Dear Pam

I write to you again. For your laugh, I quote a joke.

“A famous physicist worried about Library space projected

that, at the present rate of increase in the number of articles

published in Physical Review, they will soon reach a rate which

will have to fill library shelves with the Speed exceeding that

of Light. However, this does not violate the Principle of

Relativity, for the journals contain no Information.

[Physics Today Aug. ’88. P. 9.]

– – – – – – – – –

I have a proposal to make, and I would like to discuss the

matter. How about writing a paper on European and Native

Community/Culture Healing as a Therapy/Medicine? I know I am

trying to push you to do an Academic thing. But, now that you

moved, there is nothing much I can do anyway. So perhaps it is

safe to make a proposal. Besides, I do not know how “Community/

Culture Healing” would fit with what you do on the job. Please

let me know the situation.

The idea came from reading an article by William K. Powers

“Alternatives To Western Psychotherapy: Modern-Day Medicine Man”

mentioned before [In Beyond The Vision U. of Oklahoma Press 1987.

Psychotherapy has Psychoanalysis as a theoretical part, though

the relation of “Theory” and “Practice” contains problems.

Likewise, Native Medicine has Native Science, though the relation

between them may be different from that in European system. But

the Science ought to be relevant and helpful to practice of the

Medicine. In fact, we have been deciphering Native Science from

the Medicine in the traditional culture, as the Science existed

there to deal with problems in life.

The comparison of the complex of science-therapy in Western

Culture to one in another Culture is interesting enough. But I am

not just proposing to make a comparison. Something new is added.

Native Community/Culture is facing new problems stemming from its

encounter with Western Ideology and Technology. The new problems

require new responses. It means more trouble, but that also means

a new development in Science for both sides. As a “Wisdom”,

Native Science needs not to change, but its expressions have to

reflect the changed environment in order to be helpful to the

people. You have been on that task. But if you wish to elaborate

on Native Science at higher and deeper level of

Native Science, working out “practical applications” is one of

the ways to do that. Comparison is a mere entry device.

As “Spirit” is revealed through manifestations, the Science

is learnable through “working it out” (praxis). Writing a paper

is a way of helping people who face up to the problems and

looking for ways of healing. The paper may look “theoretical”,

but it is (i) a report on experiences, and/or (ii) elaboration of

“strategy”. It is not “Wisdom” itself, but it is an intermediate

“translation” in a sense of being an “approach to”, or a “way

to”. Just as we cannot prescribe “Vision”, we cannot describe

“Wisdom”. We can, however, talk about experiences or the

procedure leading up to it.

And, to the extent the problems are brought by “European”

things, what we write have to contain “European” things. That is

the necessity of the circumstance, and also from the work being

“translation”, “interface”, and “praxis in the present world”.

There is an element of “Beating European Intellect at its

own Game”. We might say “If Europeans brought Guns to Natives,

Native Science can shoot the same guns better”, or “If Christians

talk of Love, Native Science does it better”. It is not that

competition is the aim, but the pains and suffering of the people

under “European Power Science” is real — unfortunately we in

bourgeoisie academy do not immediately experience them — and a

way of Medicine/Therapy must be proposed now.

Actually, for this, it probably matters little if it is

called “Native Science”, “Marxism”, or “Born-Again Christianity”.

There are “Natives” colonized all over the World, even in Europe.

In some degree, I have a special interest in Japanese affairs

which do contain “Native Problems”, and you have “Native

Americans’ in the center of your heart, and in that we are

“Racists”. But I do have something beyond that, which has to do

with “People”, “Humans,”, not “Race”. I am not helping Native

Americans as a Race. It makes me feel sad to think, but I stand

outside “Native American Science” — She is your baby. I adore

her, but that is all I can —. At least, I try to avoid becoming

a “Fake Indian”. [I saw an NFB film on Long Lance: “Chief Buffalo


It does give me a pain of being an “Outsider”, forever

segregated and cast away from the happy community of people whom

I care, but I hope I have a spiritual strength to withstand the

alienation. The danger of the alienation becoming a bitterness

and then intellectua1 arrogance is great. But that is where

devices, strategies such as Participatory Research come in. It is

an intellectual thing to do, and as such, it perhaps is not quite


satisfying. If Alcoholism is a problem, Intellectualism is also a


However, I think that there is a “meaning” in both

Alcoholism and Intellectualism. Rejecting or rather pretending

that one is staying clear out of the problems, with righteous

contempt, is not an answer. I would much rather have you drinking

and suffering than being like an angel. For the pain can also be

source of creative energy. The period of Colonialism is not yet

over, and if we are comfortable in the World as it is today,

there is no reason for us to do anything about it. At least, in

that way I can talk with you.

I said the above, because if you are “Perfect Indian”,

“Noble Savage Philosopher”, you would not play with an academic

game like writing intellectual paper. A Japanese proverb has it

that “Great Man is a Useless Man” — nobody can use him, nor

does he use anybody —. But, I would like to drag you down to a

lesser being who suffers pain like “ordinary” people do and

could, at the best, be “useful” to people as such. If there is no

problem, pain, malaise, there can be no Science. Both

Intellectualism and Alcoholism are product/expression of

suffering. I would dare further to say that Spiritualizing is a

“moral equivalent” of Alcoholism.

Now, that has been my excuse to you to make a proposal. For

you to judge whether it is helpful or not, you would ask what it

involves. So I shall explain.

One important thing Powers missed in the article is that

Native Medicine is done as “Communal Affair”, if not “Ceremony”,

whereas Western Psychotherapy is highly individualistic ritual.

That stems from Psychoanalysis being an analysis (theoretical

construct) about the Individual. Freud’s paradigm is to “adjust”

deviant individuals to the given Civilization (*1). C.G. Jung saw

this defect/limitation in Freud’s works. He went to “Collective

Unconscious” etc. to correct the ignorance/ignoring, and made

“Psychoanalysis” useful in “Social Psychology”, “Anthropology”

and “Linguistics”. Jung’s works were closer to Hegelian Field

Dynamics, as a contrast to Newton-Kantian Mechanics of Freud. And

it opened a way to “Cultural Analysis”, supplementing “Social

Analysis/Criticism” of Marx et al. You might say it is

“Environmental Science” in contrast to Individualistic/Atomistic

Science of a single Tree.

(*1) [To be sure, Freud did write Der Zukunft einer Illusion

1927, Das Unbehagen in der Kultur 1930. It is interesting

to note that the English translation of the second book is

“Civilization and Its Discontents”. Freud knew better than


Civilization with Culture. But the title was approved by

Freud. The reason become clear if one reads the book. The

“culture” of Europe in the 20th century is nothing but a

“Civilization” — i.e. Technopolis —. Freud, in his zeal

to establish his science to be an Eternal Truth, totally

ignored History of European Social Technology. (Jung failed

in this respect as well.) It is surprising to see this in

an intellectual circle in which Hegel and Marx were well

known. Perhaps, it was Newton-Kantian blindness to History.

Or, it is because European chemistry (Atomism) was A-
Historical (Non-Dynamical).

It is also interesting to note that, the term “Unbehagen”

is equivalent of French “malaise”, that is more like

“disease”. “Discontent” came from the first title Freud

gave, which was “Das Ungluck”. The translation of the title

is not quite right, but from the content of the book the

English title is just right. That is, Freud failed to treat

the “Disease” of the modern European Civilization in which

he was a part. European Science has had this peculiar

posture of as if God was looking at problems from outside.

Scholars talked as if they themselves had no problem of

their own. A.A. made one progress in this respect in that

they talk of “My problem”. What I like to see is a Science

of “Our problem”.]

However, even Jung did not come to think of “Therapy on

Community”. Social Psychology, Anthropology, or for that matter,

Sociology, Economics, did not think of practice of “Therapy” in

relation to them as “Science”. Marx, Keynes were exceptions. It

was not that Social Scientists did not attempt to influence

Social Policies, or Psychologists did not interfere with

Educational Policies. The relation between these Sciences and

Practices were not only obscured by pretended “Scientific

Objectivity”, or “Value Neutrality”, but also ignored, perhaps,

from their “Static-ism” (inactivism), if not incompetence. They

did not have the degree of relation that physics had with

Industrial applications, and Medical Science had with Clinical


I imagine “Social Work/Welfare” uses existing Social

Sciences as its theoretical grounds (metaphysical axioms and

Rhetoric-Jargons). Yet, I wonder if the relation is clear at all.

Suppose an Economist proved that in a pluralistic society, “the

Value Maximum does not exist”, what change then social

work/welfare as a discipline of practice would undergo? In fact

the proof was given by Arrow in 1940’s (*2), but I am afraid

Scholars in Social Work/Welfare behave as if they are totally

ignorant of implications of Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem, just

as the

most Natural Scientists are oblivious to Godel’s Incompleteness

Proof. If the Science means anything, one would expect certain

effects from changes in the science to changes in the practice,

at least something comparable to that from Medical Science to

Clinical Practice.

I am not saying every “theory” has to have direct and

immediate effects on practices in therapy/healing. For the case

of Native Communities, even the identification of problems is a

problem for itself , let alone talking of Healing. But then, I

would expect that Native Science is relevant and useful in the

identification (diagnosis/analysis). I also expect the Science to

provide a “Language” by which the problems can be described,

communicated, and efficiently understood, so that people can make

an effective co-operation.

Now, I am quite aware that there are difficulties, say in

the relation between Western Sciences and their therapeutic

practices. There exists no such thing as “Sociotherapy”, so that

I cannot comment on what Social Science does. Incidentally,

Gellner mentioned before [The Psychoanalytic Movement. Paldin

1985.] discussed the problems in Psychoanalysis/therapy.

Gellner, however, took a rhetorical posture of comparing

“Psychoanalysis” to other Sciences, and pretended that other

Sciences, particularly Natural Science, have no such problem. It

is false. There is no “Science” that is free from troubles. Every

one of them has one degree of trouble or another. In fact,

Natural Science escapes the trouble by ignoring — only deals

with simple linearized models —. Even our “Logic” has troubles

when it tries to deal with “dynamics”, beyond its traditional

“static” and “atomistic” territory. [Russell’s Paradox, etc. see

The Mathematical Experience. P.J. Davis, R. Hersh. Penguin 1984

for example.] It appears that Gellner is ignorant about these

problems in Western Science. Unfortunately, this ignorance, or

rather ignoring, about Logical foundation is rather universal

among English speaking “philosophers of science”.

[I picked up from the New book section of our library a

book; Philosophy, Science And Social Inquiry, by D.C.

Philips. It is a neat summary of “British-American

Philosophy Of Science”. There is no mention of the problems

in Logic. It has a chapter on “Neo-Hegelian Critique”, but

there is no discussion of Hegel’s “Logic of Science”.

On the other hand, if we read, say, Paul Ricoeur’s Lectures

On Ideology And Utopia, the whole 19th century German

Philosophy, covered by Marx’s German Ideology, was a

struggle on “Science”. But it is

not recognized by British-American Academia. It appears

that there was an implicit censorship by those who were in

the academic “Empire Building”. They appear to be no

different from Racists and Colonialists.]

What is interesting, however, in Gellner’s book is that

despite his implicit rhetorical assumption, the troubles of

Natural Science come out. His criticisms against Psychoanalysis

being not a science are applicable to Natural Science just as

well. That is why it is worth reading

Of course, Freud failed to achieve his ambitious goal.

Rather, he went back to the level of Newtonian Mechanics, and

treated “Civilization” to be a “State of Technology” in a

society. His therapy was a technology of adapting individuals to

the society dominated by the Technology. It did not come to

Therapy on the Technology itself. Besides, he was a self-centered

S.O.B., of which many books had been written. That was very

common, Ego-Inflating effect of the Competitive Intellectualism

that we are under. I hope efforts such as Participatory Research

would take care of the problem of Intellectual imperialism (or

rather Judeo-Christian Superiority-Persecution Complex) in


In this respect, it is interesting to note that Powers

reports on “Abdication” (p.137 point 7). European way of seeing

this is “Loss of Power”. But, I suspect rather it means “retiring

from responsibility obligation”. “Power” in Native lingo probably

means “Function”. One who “has” a Power is obliged to perform the

function. I wonder, in this sense, what “power” university

professors have.

I ought to mention here that Marx also failed in reaching a

“Science” — Marx had never come to elaborate what he meant by

his “Science”, though he was very proud of saying “Scientific

Socialism”, “Proletariat shall have Science to Liberate

themselves”, etc. —. Marx failed to do “Philosophy of

Technology”, but did only “Mechanics of Power”, and consequently

failed to help the construction of the “Science” that was

expected for the Oppressed to develop.

What you want to do in the name of Native Science is what

Marx, Freud, Jung et al. failed to achieve. Therefore, if you

make mistakes here and there, you have nothing to be ashamed of.

Mistakes will hurt you, but that is all. The important thing is

that you pointed the direction, a Vision/Dream/Prophecy.

[You might think I am unduly hard on you, but

actually it is you who picked such a difficult task. It is

as if you are saying you like to jump into a volcano. I

push you over the cliff, because you are standing at the

edge. Afterwards, I and friends of yours will erect a

gravestone there, inscribed as “Here once stood a brave


I would go on further to say Native Science is a way to

“Wisdom”, not the “science” of the European sense. And if it is

“Wisdom”, it has to be in a Community/Culture, not property of

one individual, however genius you are. It can only be developed

by “History”. All we can do is the task of Midwife. And you need

co-operation of many people, and communities (Participatory

Research?). What I am proposing you to write is not Native

Science itself , but merely one among many “about Native Science

— something like “Comparison of What Native and European

Sciences would say about Community Healing/Therapy.” —.

Richard Gwyn, writing on the crushed “Prague Spring” 20

years ago, says: “The real cost of that smashing of a mailed fist

into a gentle smiling face has been an intangible one. The

Czechoslovak sickness of today is neither economic nor political

but is psychological; it can only be described as

institutionalized immorality”. [Leth. Herald. Aug 23.] If one

says this about Czechoslovakia, what must one say about The First

Nations of America? Is it Institutionalized Immorality? And if

so, how does one go about Healing it?


Sam K.

(*2) As to K.J. Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem, see Social Choice

And Individual Value. John Wiley 1951. Cowles Foundation

Monographs vol. 12.

My Economist friend referred me to Q. James, Saposnik, and

Ruben. General Equilibrium And Welfare Economics but I have

not read this.

The main point of Arrow’s Theorem is that “Values” cannot

be ordered in a linear hierarchy (in Boolean Lattice). If a

set of propositions does not form a Boolean Lattice, the

Classical Logic cannot be applied. For Non-Boolean set, the

Probability Calculus becomes unworkable, Quantum Logic is

Non-Boolean. It creates linguistic situations where The

Principle of Exclusion of the Middle breaks down


Principle). A Dutch mathematician E. Brouwer talked about

this problem in 1920-30s.

But, as far as I know of, there has been no Social Science

built upon explicit basis of Non-Boolean Logic. There have

been suggestions that Zen philosophy is non-Boolean, but I

have not seen any serious writing about this. There is also

such a thing as “Fuzzy Logic”. But I see no sign of it

applied to Socia1 Sciences.

I would like to ask you, or to Woody, if Quantum Logic

(Non-Boolean Linguistic Structure) can be found in Native

narrations. I am looking for cases where “Either/Or”

propositions get into clear trouble.

As to Quantum Logic, I enclosed some references. But they

perhaps require some more explanations and elaborations to

make it relevant to Cultural talks.


Traditional Healing and Western Health Care: A Case Against Formal Integration (PDF)

Traditional healingand westerns health care: a case against formal integration

V. Edward Bates

The holistic health movement has the potential for improving health care for all Americans. It also has the potential for descending upon Indian people with unexpected consequences. Traditional healing practices may become imperiled when, under the guise of holistic health, public health officials and health care workers (HCW)1, who dominate the services and bureaucratic processes, underwrite third-party payments and training for medicine persons. These processes potentially can subvert individualized spiritual services into a standard item of health care. None of the changes or preceding movements impacting Indian health over the past 30 years has presented such a risky challenge to Native American culture.

A review of major societal changes during the past three decades may help to explain why holistic health practices, affecting Indians in particular, are becoming popularized today. Recent history that has altered public attitudes towar Indians might begin with the clinical awareness of ethnic diversity and prejudicial attitudes that were significantly heightened by Adorno (1950) and Allport (1954). Certainly health concerns were highlighted when the Indian Health Service was legislated into existence at about the same time (1955). Remedial programs to address mental health problems, however, would not come into being within IHS for another 15 years.



Success and Suicide. Resistance to Identity Change: Implications for Benefits from Land Claims Settlements (PDF)

 A Yukon Indians Band neober rho had only tlro I{eeks to go to Euccessfully coEplete grade 12 rrent on a drunk and dldnrt orite the flnal exans everybody knel. he could easily pa6s. A neElve unlverslty student strugSled lIlth her teacher8 and took forever to coDplete the last few ecsy asslgnmenls that were due ln order to tecelve her degree: not only once, bul for each of three degrees- Bachelors, l.lasters, and her PhD. Wlthln 6 felr months of complettng en upgradlng cour6e, Geverrl nembers of the saloon Arm area Indlan comm\rnlty cordnltted sulclde. The llANA.!cBlon of Alaska, one of the best-nanaged, eealthlest and most 6oclally-ionaclous riiElni-run conmunltles and ado{nlstratlons In the north, has the hlghesr aulclde rate in the State