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Fire & Ice: Natives, Alcohol and Spirituality, a Northern Health Paradigm (PDF)

Fire & Ice: Natives, Alcohol and Spirituality, a Northern Health Paradigm

Pamela Colorado, Ph.D.
Faculty of Social Welfare
University of Calgary
4401 University Drive
Lethbridge, Alberta

The Language Between the Cultures
Native and non-native interaction is powerfully and intricately interwoven with western science. Native alcoholism and the way it has been addressed provides insight to this complex phenomena and illuminates the possibility of global sobriety. From initial contact to contemporary times, the scientific view of the Indian has evolved through stages. Each stage has dramatically impacted the lives of both peoples.
Stage One, Scientific Racism
Scientific inquiry and literature on American Indians was born in the scientific racism of the nineteenth century. This doctrine replaced the word, “nation” with the word, “race” and assumed that moral qualities of people were positively correlated with physical characteristics; further, that all humanity could be divided into superior and inferior stocks (Berkhofer, 1978).
Typical of his time, Leslie Scott (1891) wrote an article entitled, “Indian” Diseases as Aids to Pacific Northwest Settlement” in which he States:

…Wherever went the white man’s appetites and wares went also his afflications which multiplied manifold in the savage habitat. Indians in the white man’s clothing, in his houses, in his liquor drinking, were like the cultures of malignant germs which the scientist multiplies in his laboratory…. throughout the entire West the Indians were victims, but perhaps nowhere else so badly as in the Pacific Northwest; and nowhere else were the results so good for the whites….

Thus, scientific arguments provided a rationale and a justification for the genocide and ruthless appropriation of Indian lands. Political rhetoric of the early 1800’s which was filled with optimism for the human race and the improvability of humankind gave way in 1850 to a strident “pessimism for inferior races and a belief in ineradicable racial weakness” (Horsman, 1975). In a popular work of the mid 1800’s phrenologist Combe argued that comparison of the heads of American Indians and Blacks demonstrated that Indian intellect was weaker but pride stronger therefore Blacks…

…were able to appreciate the superior moral and intellectual powers of the European race, and are content in some measure to live under their guidance.
The Indian on the contrary has refused to profit, to any great extent by the arts of literature of the Europeans and has always preferred death to servitude.

Bailey, who wrote as late as 1922, codified the scientific racist paradigm when he stated:

“From the statistics which relate to the two so-called primitive races, the African and the American Indian, it appears that the primitive could not under any present circumstances attain the average intelligence of cultured races. This appears to be so, not because there is any detailed information as to the potentiality of the primitive mind but because mental deficiency is so profuse that their average intelligence must be inferior to that of average European intelligence.”

Because Native alcoholism was understood to be a function of inferior biological stock, the treatment was death or near death. This view, turned on Native medicine and healers was examplified in a letter written in 1892 by Mrs. Willard, Christian Missionary who wrote:

It is here….I would speak of the Kling-get (Tlingit) fiend, the medicine man, and beg of those in authority to cause his extermination. His incantations should be held a crime and his uncut hair, his touch of power, should be shaved clean to his head; the whipping post and work under guard on public improvements would be better than a prison….(Dauenhauer, 1980)

These scientific “proofs” continued to assert innate Indian inferiority and establish complete confidence in ultimate Indian disappearance. In fact, scientific racism marched hand in hand with expansionists who at the close of the 19th century had exterminated more than twenty-five million Indian people!

Survivors of this “paradigm” became subject to the emerging cultural anthropological paradigm – at its worse a covert form of scientific racism and at its best, a harbinger of the golden age in Indian policy.

Cultural Anthropology, the Second View
In the birth of ethnography and cultural anthropology (beginning in the last part of the 19th century) the raciology and the evolutionism of scientific racism was repudiated. Boasian scholars such as Swanton, and later, Kroeber, espoused the idea of culture to explain the diversity of lifestyles of humankind. The cultural anthropological school separated biological heredity from the social transmission of culture, challenging previous work in the field.

Using empirical methodology, Boasian scholars stressed the import of replacing evolutionary history of Natives with actual history. They were convinced that tribal change, including alcoholism, happened more as a result of diffusion among tribes from a unilinear sequence of modifications in cultural perceptions and practices presumed by evolutionists.

This shift in thought produced dramatically different research. Radin (1972) wrote:

“the relationship of conquered to conqueror is important to both. Up to the present, all attempts that have been made to understand them, or to come to any reasonable adjustments with them have met with signal failure, and this failure is in most instances due to the scientific accredited theories of the innate inferiority of primitive man…”

Drawing on this earlier thinking, Lemert (1954) studied Haida and other Northwest tribes. His research indicated that alcoholism was not a function of race; that greatest drunkeness occurred when tribes were intensely involved in fur trade. Lemert argued that anomie, interclan rivalry and cultural conservatism were the most appropriate way to view Northwest Native alcoholism.

Lemert’s findings were typical of those in the flowering of cultural anthropology in the 1950’s. From this time forward, any discussion of Native alcoholism would include “culture”. The word “primitive” was no longer used to refer to Alaska Natives; empiricism became the method and major theories of deviance and social control became the philosophical underpinnings of future research.

The Sociocultural Model – A Third View of Native Alcoholism
The activism of American Indians, the Civil Rights Movement and the growth of the human sciences brought national attention and funds to the problem of alcoholism among Native people. The field exploded, producing more studies in a single decade than in the preceding fifty years. (Bates, 1980) More than half the literature continued to be anthropological (Leland, 1970) but the sociocultural model was emerging. This model,

derives from the view…that human behavior is the complex resultant of any interplay of biological and historical factors including interactions among systems that can be distinguished as those of the culture, the society and the individual…” (Berkhofer, 1970)

The contribution of the sociocultural model include: freeing Natives from the “ethnographic present” of anthropological research. No longer were Native people frozen in time. The model led to awareness that the effects of ethanol include social, economic, historical and cultural factors as well as chemical, physical and biological factors. Using history as a methodological tool, socio-cultural theorists have shown how attitudes, values and ways of drinking have changed in various ways and at different rates in many cultures. (Heath, 1980) Finally, this multi-disciplinary approach of the sociocultural model showed a propensity to get within the society being studied, to see history and life from the view of the people being studied.

The application of this science looked different from previous models. Psychiatrists and physicians including Bergman (1971) and Pascarosa (1976) participated in traditional Indian ceremonies and reported that Native science or way of coming to knowledge was efficacious, rigorous and humane. Native alcoholism and health sciences united. Alcoholism was viewed as a medical problem properly treated with technology. Publicly funded community programs struggled to integrate Western and Native healing techniques.

A second significant event that occurred was the emergence of the first generation of college educated Native scientists. This small group used the sociocultural model to talk with non-Native people about Native issues. Their work looked to external forces – historical, economic and political, as causative agents of Indian problems. The work was concerned with continuity, tended to be highly descriptive and combined realistic and spiritual themes.

The New Empiricism, a Fourth Model
Early sociocultural research produced a wealth of descriptive and explanatory studies but few claims were made for scientific rigor (Heath, 1980) and the need for definitive studies pushed empiricism to the fore (Nobel, 1976). The nascent cross-cultural scientific exchange was effectively halted as the study of “Native People” moved toward the harder sciences.

As a result of the new more rigorous and robust scientific empiricism, fundamental issues were raised regarding previous work. First scientists recognized that Native social problems are a complex phenomenon about which little is known; second, data collection and interpretation problems presented manifold problems and finally, the appropriateness of theoretical models was called into question.

“…it is not clear that the disease we call alcoholism is the same in both white and Indian societies or even that there is one unified pathology we call alcoholism. Those indicators, both behavioral and physiological, which have been used to diagnose alcoholism in the White society have been found to be determined in part by sociocultural factors. The behavioral indicators have been most frequently used to diagnose the presence of alcoholism in Indian populations. Since the association between these behaviors and either a physiological predispositions to drink has not been demonstrated, there must be an effort on the part of clinically oriented researchers to observe and measure the causative agents of alcoholism more directly if, in fact, this is possible…” (Nobel, 1976)

Lacking a precise definition or clear understanding of the variety of Native cultures meant that the new empiricism was confounded in its earliest efforts. And the increasing reliance on sophisticated analysis produced a new set of problems:

“There is a growing concern about where quantitative techniques are carrying us…our data manipulation techniques are carrying us…our data manipulation techniques have become increasingly complete mathematically sophisticated and governed by strict assumption, but, paradoxically, our interpretive frameworks which make such data meaningful have grown looser, more open ended, fluid and contingent…there seems to be rather widespread skepticism surrounding the ability of conventional data collection techniques to produce data that do not distort, do violence to, otherwise falsely portray the phenomena such methods seek to reveal…” (Van Mannen, 1979).

Thus, in the early 1980’s alcohol research and the science that guided the research were again in search of a paradigm that would work. Van Mannen observed:

“…there is something of a quiet reconstruction going on in the social sciences…There has come of age that significant realization that the people we study (and often seek to assist) have a form of life, a culture that is their own and if we wish to understand…we must first be able to both appreciate and describe their culture…”

Toward a New Paradigm
The sterility that characterized the findings of much of the “New Empiricism”, triggered a movement back towards holistic and qualitative research in Native alcoholism. Theories of Paulo Freire, South American educator, and research by UNESCO prompted researchers to look at culture in a very different way. Freire observed:

Research is a cultural action, if it has a humanist character, it is eminently dialogical and dialectical. In culture based research, “MEN DO NOT ACT ON OTHER MEN AS OBJECTS”.

Freire concluded that research should not be

“our research on you, but rather a research project in which, together, in dialogue, we will come to know each other better and the reality in which we find ourselves so that we can more effectively transform that reality”.

For the first time scientists began to recognize that Native people have a voice, and by extension, a way of knowing or science. Methodologies and approaches have evolved from this recognition. Popular writer, Milam, typifies the movement towards synthesis. While arguing for medical dominance of the filed he nevertheless recognizes that the “ism” in alcoholism necessarily involves a human or family system not merely the alcoholic. Participatory research, systems theory and family therapy all focus on relationships, development and the strengths of an existing system.

In Canada application of Native science has sparked a fire in Indian alcohol treatment. Tache a small reserve in British Columbia has used its mobile treatment model to move from 100% alcoholism to 95% sobriety. According to Maggie Hogson, Director of Nechi Training Institute, the spark has now jumped over to Alberta and other parts of Canada. The key to this phenomenal success lies in a careful integration of western treatment methodology and Native traditional ways.

These methods complement, native science and offer the possibility of intercultural scientific exchange. Native Alcohol work, usually the unwelcome relative to “harder” science, may draw on its theoretical underpinnings of wholism to assume leadership in the new pardigmatic shift. The firs step is to ask Native People, what is Indian science?


“…This is what Raven did for us…The shelter is the tree…”

Indian science, often understood through the tree, is holistic. Through spiritual processes it synthesizes or gathers information from the mental, physical, social and cultural/historical realms. Like a tree the roots of Native science go deep into the history, body and blood of the land. The tree collects, stores and exchanges energy. It breathes with the winds, which tumble and churn through greenery exquisitely fashioned to purify, codify and imprint life in successive concentric rings – the generations. Why and how the tree does this is a mystery but the Indian observes the tree to emulate, complement and understand his/her relationship to this beautiful, life-enhancing process.

The Meaning of Science
To the Indian, the tree is the first spirit or person on Earth. Indeed, the tree which oxygenated Earth’s atmosphere, is the precursor to our human existence. Because of its antiquity it is a respected Elder but the greatest power of Native Science lies in the reasons behind the trees existence.

When discussing the origins of the tree Chief Donawaak, Tlinget Elder says:

“This is where stories begin, there is no story before this…When Raven spirit and Black Raven are working on this land, they put coves in it where you can come in when it’s blowing – a place where you can come ashore.

My Great Grandfather who told this story to me said – the cove is where you’re going to be safe. If you pass that harbour you’re not going to go very far…you will tip over or drown. But if you come to the cove you will be safe. This is what Raven did for us. The shelter is the tree. You could get under the tree and stay there overnight. All this is what the Raven did…(Colorado, 1985)

From these words we see that Native science has a sacral basis and that its teachings are grounded in the natural world. The Navajo and the Natural World are one; he expresses that unity this way:

The foundation, you have to know your roots, where you are coming from. It is understood that we all come from God, God created us. But you have to understand in your own Indian way, where your roots are. You see a tree that is weak, about to give up. Sometimes you find people like that. Why is that tree just barely making it. Because the roots are not strong. If the roots are solid and strong, then you see the tree is strong and pretty. It can withstand cold, hot weather and winds. The human, has to have those roots because we are growing too. The Great Spirit put us here with nature. We have to understand the nature. That is why we understand how an animal behaves. That is why we have to talk to them. We don’t pray to them, we talk to them because they breathe the same air we do. We are put here with them. We are also a part of the plant life. We are always growing, we have to have strong roots. (Colorado, 1985)

Indeed all of life can be understood from the tree.

…just after the earths crust was formed Raven (the Creator) made the tree. Why did he make this tree? He made it to shelter us. Even before Raven broke light on the World, people took shelter from the tree. And after he broke light, look what your sitting on, what’s above you, it comes from the tree.

And that’s where the Tlingit gets his canoe, his house, his clothes – everything. The Raven put it there for him (the people).

And look, what’s growing under that tree? The grass. In the spring the Bear comes down to eat that grass and the wolf, the moose and the mountain goat. All these things, they come. And the berries, growing there – salal, salmonberry, huckleberry and beneath them, the plants, the medicine. All that, it comes from the tree… (Colorado, 1985)

So the roots and their functions form the basis of Native scientific methodology. Seeking truth and coming to knowledge necessitates studying the cycles, relationships and connections between things. Indeed a law of Native science requires that we look ahead seven generations when making decisions!

Principles of Native Science

Laws and standards govern Native science just as they do western science. In an Indian way, Bear who is the North, represents knowledge, healing and comfort. The Bear is also fierce, his claims are non-negotiable. Western Science understands Bear in terms of rigor, reliability, and validity.

In the spring Bear marks his territory on the tree. Stretching as far as possible, Bear uses his claws to score the tree. Other bears, passing by are challenged to meet this standard. If they cannot reach the mark they leave the territory. For the Native scientist the tree is not merely science but science interwoven inseparably with life. We meet the mark or die. Like the Bear passing through, no one watches us; the science relies on utmost integrity.

Native science assumes its character through power and peace. Vine Deloria (1986) noted Lakota scholar discusses its principles:

Here power and place are dominant concepts–power being the living energy that inhabits and/or composes the universe, and place being the relationship of things to each other…put into a simple equation: Power and place produce personality. This equation simply means that the universe is alive, but it also contains within it the very important suggestion that the universe is personal and, therefore, must be approached in a personal manner…The personal nature of the universe demands that each and every entity in it seek and sustain personal relationships. Here, the Indian theory of relativity is much more comprehensive than the corresponding theory articulated by Einstein and his fellow scientists. The broader Indian idea of relationship, in a universe very personal and particular, suggests that all relationships have a moral content. For that reason, Indian knowledge of the universe was never separated from other sacred knowledge about ultimate spiritual realities. The spiritual aspect of knowledge about the world taught the people that relationships must not be left incomplete. There are many stories about how the world came to be, and the common themes running through them are the completion of relationships and the determination of how this world should function.

Deloria notes that there is no single Native science, each tribe or Nation follows ways specific to a locale. However, the tree and the Bear are nearly universal. From South America to the Arctic, the tree and all that it implies has been guiding and shaping the thought of Native people since the dawn of humanity. Those who follow this natural science do so in search of balance, harmony or peace with all living relations. Iroquois call this SKANAGOAH.

The Goal of Indian Science
Skanagoah, literally interpreted as “great peace”, is the term used to describe the still, electrifying awareness one experiences in the deep woods. This feeling or state of balance is at the heart of the universe and is the spirit of Native science. For the western educated audience, the notion of a tree with spirit is a difficult concept to grasp. The English language classifies reality into animate and inanimate objects, with most things falling into the inanimate classification. Native languages do not make the same distinction. As Deloria says, the universe is alive. Therefore, to see a Native speaking with a tree does not carry the message of mental instability, on the contrary, this is a scientist engaged in research!

Put another way, western thought may accede that all natural things are imbued with energy. Much like the electromotive force in a capacitor, the force of the energy is transmitted without there being a direct flow of energy. If you had a piece of wire, electricity would travel from one end to the other uninterrupted. But if you put a capacitor in the line, the force is transmitted from one side to the other without there being a direct flow of electricity form one side to the other. This is how energy is transferred from tree to tree to tree to person without there being a direct flow of energy. The spiritual energy of a tree isn’t transmitted directly but rather its life force is felt. Like a capacitor, the thickness of the dielectric, the physical distance between the person and the tree, is not important; the exchange still occurs.

This exchange suggest that human beings play a vital part in Skanagoah. Western thought teaches the value of the specialist, especially to the masses who are mostly generalists. In an Indian way, we may think of the Bear as a specialist, indeed, if I compete with the Bear in his own environment and on his terms, there is no way I can match his proficiency. But the generalist, in this case, human beings determine the continuance of Bear’s habitat. We are related, we are all one, life and death, good and bad, we are all one. The Indian acknowledges this and so discovers the most liberating aspect of Native science; LIFE RENEWS and all things which support life are renewable.

The struggle through Native alcoholism has repeatedly brought two peoples together. Let us hope that the fire of sobriety sparked in northern communities, spreads south and our sciences lead the way.

The Bear Has Made His Mark…
Can you Reach It?

7 January 1989 Personal Correspondence on the History and Foundations of Science, Technology, and Worldview (PDF)

Jan 7, ’89.

Dear Pam

So you finally pulled off the caper! That is good. I am

glad. Power be with you!

The following are a few comments and afterthoughts.

1. Leroy was saying, in my translation, that the word “Science”

tends to make people imagine “European Science”. We might have to

say something to avoid that.

We are not looking for “something similar to European

science” in indigenous cultures. There is nothing wrong in

identifying “similarity”, “commonness” among Native Sciences. But

the European one is too strong a “standard” for most people that

unless we exercise some care, there is a danger of defining

Science in the European “Fashion” and give recognition to it only

through identifying with the visible European Fashion. But that

is like defining the “dignity” of human beings by the European

Style Clothes they wear. The closer they dress like Europeans,

the more “human” they are!

By saying “foundation of science”, it is partly covered. By

mentioning “metaphysics”, we are implying that there is more to

Science than what is visible. But that might not be enough. So,

let me elaborate a bit.

2. “Science” in a wider sense is a “Matrix” (incidentally “Matr”

in the “Matrix” means Mother and “ix = ics” means a Complex of

Dynamics). It may be better to say that explicitly. The simplest

picture that I can draw about Science is something like below.

Foundation Expressions

Metaphysics Mathematics

Worldview Principles

Cosmic Vision Axioms

Will Knowledge

Love Theory/Theology

Etc. Ideology, etc.

(Textbook Science)

Aim Technology

Utility Application

Benefit Routines

Value Skills

Survival Performance

Progress Practical Arts

Happiness Policy



We call the whole dynamics in loop “Science”, not any one

of 4 elements depicted in the picture. Or, in Leroy’s language,

the whole “process” (going around the relations) is the Science.

In Rene Thom’s Language, “Science” is a Verb = “Science-ing”.

Science is not an object, but a “doing”.

[In relation to the picture (mapping of dynamics), I found

a diagram drawn for G. Bateson’s theory on Alcoholism. A

copy is enclosed. Please tell me what you think.]

The “elements” are in a mutually supporting Loop (network)

or “vicious circle”. That is the Dynamics that gives rise to

“Existence” of a science (culture) as “Living Organism” and keeps

it maintaining itself. It is the “Becoming” of the science as a

“Being” (not a Linear sense of becoming a Being, but Feedback

Loop. In Hegelian/Marxist jargon it is said to be “Reproducing


Unfortunate habit of European language is that the word

“Science” is used to refer only to the top-left element and being

understood as such. Actually, the situation is worse in that the

Matrix in different cultures has different media (stylisms) to

express that element. A particular “Medium” (stylism), however,

becomes the identification/identity of the particular science.

(McLuhan said “Medium is the Message”.) I called that “Fashion”.

[It is like naming and identifying a sickness by its

symptom, say like “Red Nose Fever”. How and Why such a symptom

emerges may be traced to the existence of a certain virus in the

sick person. That is like recognizing two elements in the Matrix.

When “medical knowing” comes to trace why the immune system of

this particular person fails and others do not, then it knows

three elements in the Matrix. If the medical science comes to

trace how the disease developed in evolution/history, then they

know the 4th element.

But the above is a Linear model. Only after the Medine has

come to know the “Meaning” of Life-Death,


perhaps it will have a view of the complete Matrix.

At the moment, European Science knows itself by its

“symptoms”. In general, scientists themselves do not know

(do not care to know) why and how its peculiar “stylism”

(medium of expression, visible appearance) has come to be.]

Native Science starts with a different “World View” (Cosmology,

Metaphysics) — say, for example, (1) it does not distinguish

(see) “Human Ego” and “Objects” —. (2) In expressing

“Knowledge”, therefore it cannot use Newtonian Language of

“Objects”. (3) In the Technological applications, it cannot be of

“subjugation/exploitation of Nature as an aggregate of objects”.

(4) it does not satisfy the aim of gratifying Ego. And therefore

(1′) it does not enforce Will To Power. That means, (2′) it does

not Develop the Language (theory/principle/knowledge) of


That is, the dynamics that started with the Native World

View cannot go on the same “vicious circle” of the European


3. I sensed that Boniface wanted to talk about “Technology”

(Science in Practices). European thinking is very much “class

conscious” and discriminatory. It separates “Science” from

Technology. Science in the academic sense is the Superior

intellect. “Technology” is what lower class laborers do by Body.

Technology smells like soil and sweat (if not blood).

In the late 19th century, European scholars came to

recognize that “China had developed a high 1evel of Technology

before Europeans”. But they said that “China has never developed


One ought to think about this distinction/discrimination

between Science and Technology.

Let us, for example, take Time Measuring “Technology”.

European scientists would grant that Mayans had far advanced Time

Measuring Technology as evident in Mayan Calendars. But what

about the Science of Time?

It is easy to grant an advanced “Technology” of Number

Computation to Mayans. But what about “Mathematics”, “Geometry”

(Science of Space-Time)?

Salmons communicate by Electricity. They have sensors

running along their body lengthwise. They have a High


Technology in Radio Communication. That is the Technology of Love

Making. Salmons also use the same technology to communicate with

their Environment. The Science of Salmons, therefore, must be

based on the “way of Knowing” developed in their Love Making.

European culture developed the Technology of “Insulating”

individuals and actually retarded, repressed the Science of

Human/Social relations. The “separation”, “discrimination” served

European Aims (Value), and hence it became the foundation of

European Science. European Science was based on the Way of

Knowing developed in War Making. You note that the notion of

“Defense” is a part of the technology of Insulation/Separation.

“Sciences” are relative to Aims as such and their expressions are

shaped by the Technologies which serve the particular Alms for


I imagine it is necessary and “educational” to have a

discourse on “Technology”.

4. Interestingly, once we get into “Technology”, we would soon be

talking about “Appropriate Technology” etc.

But, the phrase “Appropriate Technology” contains a

patronizing notion (paradigm). It is good that CIDA has learned

(from bitter experiences) that Transplantation of European

Technology does not work. But it seems that the European Aid

Agencies and Experts still think that they can teach “Appropriate

Technology” to the people in the Developing countries. Just lower

the standard. That will do.

[This kind of idea appears often in various contexts. In

science education, physics teachers often said to “make

science easy” for female students so that they would take

physics course.

I am afraid, but not surprised, to find some

“educationists” thinking like “make math easy for Native

Math Education”. That may be called “Appropriate Math”?]

What is “Appropriate” or not is relative to the “Aim”, or

“Value”. For what does any people wish to have an “Economic

Development”? Is it because Canadian Banks want to get Interest

paid? Or is it for European Trade to expand its market?

What if the Aim, Value, Utility of the Native Science,

Technology and Economy happened to be achievement of “Justice”

rather than “materialistic wealth”?


The Native might value Love Life to be of the Supreme Value (say,

the Tahitians). What then is the “Appropriate Technology”?

It ought to be noted that even the European Economy that

dictated Technology and, hence, Science was not purely

“materialistic”. Rather, it was “Pride”, in my view. There are

scholars who did “Psychoanalysis” on Capitalism. E.P. Thompson.

Fo1klore, Anthropology, and Social History. Indiana Historical

Review vol. 3. no. 2. (1977); Poverty of Theory and Other Essays

(1978); J. C. Scott. The Moral Economy Of peasant. (1976); F.

Braudel. Civilization Materielle, Economie et Capitalime. ( ); K.

Po1anyi The Great Transformation (1957); etc. are the examples.

If you like, I can present a meta-picture of the worldview

like below;

Value Knowledge

Ideology Science

Polity Law-Norm

Welfare Bureaucracy

Economy Technology

Utility Works

Unfortunately, Economists (Social Scientists) in general do

not pay much attention to “Peasants”. But, there are, however,

several publications on Latino American Peasant Economy, such as

Ernest Feder The people Of The Peasantry. Anchor Books 1971.

Florentia E. Mallon. The Defense of Community In Peru’s Central

Highlands: Peasant Struggle And Capitalist Transition 1860-1940.

Princeton U Press 1983. [See also Gerald Walsh. Indians In

Transition. McClelland 1971 for a comparison.] And studies of

Latino-American Peasantry give rise to Liberation

Pedagogy/Liberation Theology. It will come to Liberation Science,

eventually. In a sense “Science” is a Pedagogy, except it is

“self-learning” not “teaching”.

At this level of “Holistic View”, we come to see that

Native science is a part of Native Liberation. It has to do with

how the Native Community comes to Peace, and thereby leads the

entire World to Peace.

5. It may be my error in perception, but I sense a certain Fear

or Apprehension in going forward with Native Science. I sensed

Defensive Thinking here and there.

I understand and respect genuine Fear that we might

misrepresent Native Science and disgrace it in the public.


die. It comes to the question of accepting Death as a part of the

process/dynamics of Birth. That is the meaning of Sun Dance. We

die once any way sooner or later. If we die in Love

process/dynamics, like salmons do, We should be happy in that.

When you waved your hand, I had a moment of imagination

that I was sending off my friend who was taking off on a Kamikaze

mission. Actually, I had never sent off friends on a Kamikaze

mission. But that does not matter. I am sending off the Brave

Sou1s. They are to give away all they got. In a sense, it does

pain me and I feel something sad. I try to protect you, but in

essence, I cannot do anything for you in your love affair. That

is entirely yours to live and die.


Sam K.

On Speech and Dynamics: Introduction to Quantum Logic and then to the Logic of Native Science (PDF)

Example of 4-in-relations see the picture on page 3 & 5.

On Speech and Dynamics

— Introduction to Quantum Logic and then

to the Logic of Native Science —.

I. Why Do Humans Speak?

1. This is an introductory note for “Quantum Logic”. But I

intend this note to be for a bit wider purpose. Namely, I am

interested in deciphering “Native Science” through Native

Language or, more technically, “Parole” (Speech). Therefore, I

step back and consider the role/function of “Speech” before I go

into “Logic”.

2. There is another reason to digress on “Parole”. That is, if

I simply start with Logic, people might say, “Who cares about

Logic?”. Indeed, native speakers, whether in English, Chinese or

in Tlingit, are not even conscious of “Grammar”, let alone

“Logic”. Scientists, in general, may know Logic as an academic

subject, but the overwhelming majority of scientists do not care

much about the technical sense of Logic. It comes “natural”, and

as much as explanations of Logic(s) require speeches in some

native language to be understood at all, “Logic” is not

fundamental. Human beings are not “Logical” at all, in that

sense. Science, as practiced by the majority of scientists, is

not Logical any more than it means “use of language”. Only selfconceited

academic idiots would think of “Logic” to be of any


But then, we observe that there are “Orders”, “Patterns”,

or “Rules” in the ways people say things. If some non-natives

come and speak in violation of the “Order”, natives would have a

hard time figuring out what the “foreign students” are saying.

The native speakers may not know precisely what the “order” is,

but they do sense if it is violated. Speech without the implicit

“order” does not make sense to them. That is, there is an

implicit “Natural Logic” which regulates how people


That may well be “psychology”. But to say it simply as

“psychology” is no help to anybody. If we say it as “psychology”,

we need to explain how that particular psychology works.

[If you are an English speaking person, try to explain to a

Japanese person what is the “Psychology” which makes you feel

“natural” in using the articles “A” and “The”, beyond saying, “It

makes me feel right”. I bet you would have trouble. So far, I

have never heard an intelligible


explanation. Yet, as much as a large group of native English

speakers shares a certain, more or less identifiable, common

“natural feeling” about the usage of the articles, I would guess

that there exists a “Natural Logic”. What I refer to as “Logic”

includes such “linguistic habits”, though I am not going into

“Socio-Linguistics”, but staying within a small area of language

technology in the Sciences.]

It so happens that, for us who are either “Foreign

Students” or in search of the “hidden” science but wishing to

learn Native Science from “outside”, it has to be mediated by

“speech” (Parole) and, worse, through “translations”. We are

“ignorant learners”. [Those who are not do not need to read

this.] We respect the “Teachings of Don Juan” which is claimed to

be beyond “Linguistic” means to reach. But what we are attempting

to do here is very humble learning. We are not aiming for the

Power like Carlos Castaneda did. That was the “Fire Way” of

Learning. We try the “Water Way” of Learning, one drop a time,

but with continuous persistence. We do not pretend that this is a

complete learning, but just a part of the “introduction”.

In order to understand the Native Science, we need some

“explanations” in terms of some “Parole”. In that context, it is

convenient to regard what people can do well without. Conscious

“thinking” is beyond the “Science”. We do not need to assert, in

the McLuhanian Doctrine, that “Science is what is expressed in a

certain Form of Parole” (Media is the Message). But we

concentrate on the Science that is communicable, because that is

the only part which is accessible to us. Before we become

arrogant enough to reach for what are not “explainable”, we try

to understand what are “explainable”, or what are reachable

through guides of the “explainable”. Only after we learn that

part well, we shall be able to pay homage to what we have missed.


3. That brings us to the question of “Why Humans Speak”. Let us

try to understand what we are doing by “speech”.

For a naive start, let us make a simple model of “Human

Being” and locate the function of “Speech”. The simplest I can

think of is a “4 part model”. In this modeling, a human can be

represented by a picture below:

By “Eat/Breathe”, I mean all internal physiological functions of

a human body which have to do with maintaining the existence of,

and the growth of, the body. Seeing, hearing, touch sensing,

etc., are taken in analogy with “Eating”.

By “Act”, I mean motions of body, hands, and feet. It’s a

basic function to “goes to food, grabs them, and brings them to


“Think/Feel” is mainly done by Brain.

The first thing we note is that “Speak” part is not

necessary. That, in the picture below, is possible:

Plants (and many insects and animals, to a large degree)

lived, survived, and even “learned” in the Evolutionary sense,

for more than a billion years without “speech”.

Trees did not speak in our sense of language, but they were

able to “learn”. It was because they were “plural” (more than one

tree). When there are more than two trees (beings), there emerges

the possibility of communication and


“making love” between (among) them. In a picture, I can depict

what the communication looks like.

You note the Feedback Loop (Hoop) structure made possible

from the Plurality. The picture is the simplest one, and the Loop

can be more complicated and involve many other Beings. But the

Feedback Loop is essential for Communication. The Judeo-Christian

“Unidirectional Command” from God to something else is a patently

false image of communication. European Logic, which was developed

— in Judeo-Christian institution in particular for the need of

the Inquisition — is wrong from the start. I shall not talk of

the significance of “Diversity” for Communication in this note,

but the importance of Loop/Hoop has to be kept in your mind. I am

not helping Logic as a tool for fighting arguments. My “Logic”

would be useless for Lawyers who wish to be “powerful” in their

art of “Adversary Justice”.

The “Love Making” was done as the change of “T”, which can

be analogous to what System Engineers call “Internal State”. This

may be understood as “Thinking/Feeling Habit”, which affects

linkage between “E” to “A”.

The Loop of communication changes “T” part. It is like a

“Computer Virus” which comes into computer system as if “input

data”, but changes the “software” inside. As “signals”, computers

cannot distinguish the sneaking “program affecters” from “data”

inputs that are meant merely be processed by the “program”

(internal state). In the neuro-psychological term, “T” is

something like an “Emotional State”, if not “Mind” itself.

(3.1) [We might take a Hard-nosed Engineering way of saying

things to say “Mind” is a Nickname for the

Dynamics/Function/or Phenomenon of what goes on in the link

between “E” to “A”. It is not necessary that the “named”

exist as an identifiable object. We use the word “Mind” in

the same sense as Physicists use words like “Gravity”.

Gravity is a Phenomenon/Dynamics, not an object. Or,

“Rainbow” may be a better example. “Rainbow” is what we

see, not an object.]


It so happened that the “program” is a bit more “stable”

than “input data” (sensations, stimuli) and stays in the memory.

Some memories are in terms of “metabolic” dynamics, and they can

be made quasi-permanent. If that happens, they can be transmitted

to the next generation. That is the role of Love Making in the

Learning. In a simplistic picture, the process looks like the one


The scheme works very well. Then why do we humans need


I think it is for “social” interactions, co-operative or

exploitive. A picture of “Exploitation” looks like:

The Co-operation may be depicted as the next picture;

4. We note that both “Exploitation” and “Co-operation” are

difficult, if the “Beings” have to communicate through “A”

(Action) channel alone. It is like talking through


“Body Language”. In a sense, “Actions” (Body Language) are

“honest”. But it takes up too much Energy to communicate

Information. You might appreciate this “Energy Cost” by imagining

our buying and selling through a strict “Exchange of latter with

Matter” alone. It is true that our Symbolic Exchange Media called

“Money” also makes so much room for “manipulations”, if not

“deceits”, “betrayals”, “treacheries”, “frauds” etc. But if you

are to shop around town with tons of Potatoes on your back, you

would say the exchange is not worth the trouble.

That “Speech” can be misused and abused for dishonest

purposes is a problem over which we are concerned. But on the

other hand, we can hardly help each other without talking. What

do you think young lovers do, if there is “sweet language to

talk”? They may have to “club” the desired mate and drag him or

her to their cave. You, faced with a potential mate who is

breathing fire like a dragon, cannot say that you “wish to know

him/her better, before going into a heavier relation”. As it is,

such situations are difficult enough even with talking-language.

In Learning, it is necessary that one has to risk

“mistakes”. In such a situation, Action (Body) language is too

heavy-handed and the damages are often irreversible. So we need

to have some means of doing “As If”. Without the room for

Imagination, our Creativity cannot function. And without

Creativity, we cannot learn — though we can Copy —.

In social scale Negotiations, we have to exchange what we

imagine, dream, or desire, as “possibilities” or “potentials”.

They are not expressible in terms of “Concrete Objects”. Our

language lets us imagine what is not existing. If you call that

“Dishonest”, that may well be the case. But what are you going to

do about the “Future”? The “Future” is what is not existing now.

And without your imagination of the Future, there can be no such

thing as “Will”.

Interestingly, one who does not have a “Will” is the most

telling characteristic

The Need of Sensitivity in Science: As the foundation of Cross-Cultural Science Education

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 1



—As the foundation of

Cross-Cultural Science Education—

“Science sets forth this formative process in all its detail and

necessity, exposing the mature configuration of everything which

has been reduced to a moment and property of Spirit. The goal is

Spirit’s insight into what knowing is. ”

[Hegel: Phenomenology Of Spirit. 1807.]

1. That what we usually think as “Science” is “Power Science”

and lacks Sensitivity.

The image of Powerful Science bulldozing through problems

and resistances to get things done is very strong in our mind.

And, therefore, it is hard to talk about “Sensitivity” as an

important element in Science.

Occasionally we do talk about beauty, poetry in science,

such as Fabre’s The Diary of Insects, and Einstein’s Cosmic

Vision. But, I am afraid, we tell such stories as “diversions”

from the main instructional materials. Perhaps we tell more jokes

of dubious value to entertain students more frequently than

telling about the “sensitive” tender elements in Science.

By and large we treat the sensitivity in Science as of

secondary importance. As a consequence, teaching practices of

Science tend to be that of imposing the Powerful Science on the

minds of students. We may not be conscious of us doing that. But

if we step back and look at our practices, it appears that we are

teaching Power side of Science almost exclusively and neglecting

I think it is unfortunate, for the creative thinking, the

sensitivity is essential. Even if the majority of human

population has to perform mechanical routines to make a living,

our children deserve an educational period where they are treated

with the delicacy of the Sensitive Science. For that reason, I

would try here a “scientific explanation” of

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 2

the Sensitivity, is a rational to stress the importance of it in

Science. I hope, my explanation is sufficiently general to

encourage Sensitivity in human life in general.

And, I have a feeling that what I meant by Sensitivity also

has some meaning to the Cross Cultural Education. Since I am not

familiar with the Cross Cultural Education that experts here are

engaged, I do not make a claim. Rather, I would like to ask you

if what I am going to discuss here has any relevance to the Cross

Cultural Education. I would be grateful if you kindly give me

back responses and reactions to what I said.

2. Where can Sensitivity be located in our Intelligence?

In order to introduce the Sensitivity, let me talk briefly

about “Science” in general. To save time, I present a simplified

archeological diagram here.

Science is a part of human intelligence to use the

faculties of our brain/mind.

(i) The first level of intelligence on the surface is Object

Recognition level. This is what Atomism does. We recognize

objects and identify them. We sometimes decide to ignore things

as well at this level.

(ii) The second level is Relation Recognition level. There we

think of relations between Objects. Statistical Correlations,

Causal linkages may be recognized and identified. Basically, the

relations recognized are of the “Linear” kind. [*See Subnote 1.]

(iii) The third level is Utility Recognition level. We sense what

we can do with the objects and relations we recognized.

(iv) The fourth level is Strategic Construction. This is often

referred to as “Problem Solving” intelligence. We take the

situation at hand as the starting point, and see the desired

state as the final point. If we find “The Means” to connect these

two points, we call it “The Solution” of the problem.

As such, the fourth level resembles the second level,

except that the “Connection” (Relation) is imposed by us. And,

often times, the task of finding the “means” to connect the two

points is accomplished by ignoring and cutting off relations that

existed. The image for this “problem

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 3

solving” is Alexander The Great cutting a knotted ball of string

with a sword in one blow. The sword is the imposed connection

cutting through all pre-existing relations. Unfortunately, this

happened too many times when a powerful dominant Culture met

In these 4 levels, there is no need of the Sensitivity.

Rather, we would think of the “Minimum” that is necessary for

what is desired. We deem that is “Efficient” and “Rational”

within the contexts considered.

For example, we recognize two towns on both sides of a

mountain. That is at the Object Recognition level. We see people

going back and forth between the two towns. This is the Relation

Recognition level of thinking. We see the Utility of the

exchanges. And we Bulldoze to make a Highway between them and

think that the problem is solved.

The “Science” in our ordinary sense is an organized and

formalized “knowledge” at the above 4 levels of intelligence. It

empowers people in that sense. Let me call this Power Science. It

lets us do things. But there are levels below this, if we dig

into our minds deeper.

(v) Although we seldom think any deeper than the Power Science

levels, we occasionally do “Think Twice”. We ask whether or not

the construction of the Highway was a good thing. Let me call

this 5th level intelligence as the “Reflective Level”.

We do have this intellectual capacity to “Think Twice”

about what we have done, and also sometimes what we are about to

do. That is where the Sensitivity comes in. Although we have the

Power to do and to get a certain thing that we desire, we ask

ourselves if doing so might not hurt someone. We exercise a care

to protect other’s safety, interests, wellbeing. This takes a

fair amount of imagination as to the situations that we are about

This requires thinking of the whole system of things in a

complex web of relations. It is different from the kind of

thinking of Power science which can be metaphored as that of

“Drawing a line from a point A to a point B”. For, in the complex

web of relations, there are lines from the point B to the other

point C, which in turn relates to other points. All linked in

that sense, the circle of the linkage most likely comes back to

the initial point A. That complicates the situation. A

straightforward thinking is only applicable

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 4

to linking nearby points. The whole circle of relation is not

“straightforward”, but rather “Non-Linear”. That makes thinking

[Linear/ Non-Linear distinction is explained in Subnote 1.]

But the strange thing is that Humans do have an intuitive

sense by which they can “Feel” the harmony or disharmony of the

whole system. Even in highly theoretical works, physicists often

came to “Feel” the whole thing and said it is a “Poetical

Beauty”, or “Poetical Unity”.

That is the “Care” that one exercises to understand the

whole of the cyclic relationships and the “Beauty” that one feels

about the whole are related.

I think it is highly desirable that children are given the

opportunity to experience the “Care” and “Beauty”. It requires

Sensitivity to experience it. But the Sensitivity cannot be

developed without experiencing it. I think this is a great

challenge of Science Education.

I would like to suggest that Science Education has to aim

at the caring level of intelligence. And I think it is possible

to lead students to that level by asking them to “Think Twice” as

often as possible. The Science Education has to contain exercises

for saying “I can do this But on the other hand…” Such exercises

are training for Sensitivity.

We might call this “The Sensitivity Science Education”, in

a contrast to the “Power Science Education” that we have been

And I hope that they enjoy seeing the “Beauty” attained

after many exercises of “Thinking Twice”.

3. The Sensitivity Science is a “Pragmatic” necessity for

Human Survival, and Cross Cultural Science Education is a

beautiful way of the Sensitivity Science Education.

In view of what we are doing nowadays to our Environment

and to our fellow Human beings, I would say that without

Sensitivity, we will not survive the 21st century. For the

sensitive eyes, the bad consequences of the Power Science are

visible almost everywhere. Even if we do not want to see them,

things such as Acid Rains descend

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 5

upon us. Incidences such as Chernobyl happens and force us to

know what we are doing to ourselves.

In the line-like thinking of Power Science, we do not see

the remote consequences of our actions. But the fruits of our

deeds loop around and come back on ourselves.

In that, I am not a Romantic Idealist to advocate the

Sensitivity Science. I have a “Pragmatic” concern about the

future of the World in which our children live or die. Either we

educate ourselves and change to become Caring Beings, or we

annihilate ourselves. It is not possible to evade the choice.

Fortunately, however, we have a marvelous educational

opportunity called Cross Cultural Education.

It gives very good opportunity to Think Twice about the

Power Science that our dominant Culture has been practicing up to

The Cross Cultural Education is one way of giving our

children the opportunity, and a beautiful way of doing the

Sensitivity Science Education. Here, remarkably, we have a

consistency of the means and the aim. We have the way of studying

which cal1s for Sensitivity. And we have the aim that is the

I look upon Cross Cultural Education to be not a “Tokenism”

to satisfy disgruntled minority races, or “Window Dressing” to

soothe the “Guilt” from the colonial oppressions and the racial

discrimination in the historical past. But I consider it as a

Golden Opportunity for every one to learn the way of Survival and

at the same time the way of constructing a beautifu1 Future.

Beyond that, I would like to stress here that this is not a

subject of “social studies”, but of “Science”.

I am not saying this because I am a scientist and wanted to

externalize the power of science. You must realize that I am a

“scientist” only in the Power Science. Among other things it was

the prejudice of the “Power Science” that used to say that Euro

Americans have the Science.

And, I have to learn Cross Cultural Science for my own

sake. And people here are great help to me. I wish I could go

back to school again and experience beautiful education that you

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 6

– – – – – – – –

I add one, perhaps, “Bad” example for the advocacy of Cross

Cultural Science Education. It is from General Relativity.

General Relativity can be viewed as an “art” of how to

connect a small local Linear way of thinking (analogous to making

a short sentence) to the next. The connections of many small

Linear descriptions (analogous to a whole “story” made of many

sentences) make up a Global Geometry which may be “Non-linear”.

General Relativity is concerned with the Whole of the Global

Connections. Needless to say, to make a comprehensible coherent

picture is not a trivial task. Some constructions are beautiful,

The “connected whole” is a “World View”. And among many

ways to make up the “connected whole(s)”, we can study how to

compare various ways of making “connected wholes”. In this sense,

General Relativity is interesting. It resembles “Cross Cultural”

However, as I said before, General Relativity is “perhaps a

bad example”. The trouble with this example from modern physics

is that it is by and large inaccessible to the general public.

There are “popular books” such as The Turning Point by F.

Capra etc. However, ordinary Science Education does not come

anywhere near to the “Way of Thinking” contained in those modern

developments in science. Schools, perhaps unconsciously, teach

the 300 year old physics and waste time in “beating the

established mechanical routines into blank minds of children”

under the name of Science Education. It so happens that the Old

Science also carries the Authoritarian Ideology of that

It also represents the “Alienated” mentality of the 19th

century European Intellectuals. [see] M. Berman. The

Reenchantment of The World.] That Science emerged in the 17th

century as a “Liberation of Thinking” is largely forgotten and

perverted, under the disguise of “Rigorous”, “Exact”, discipline.

Psychoanalysts ought to examine why so many scientists and

science teachers today still maintain the illusion of “rigorous,

exact science” as if they have never heard of the Uncertainty

Principle or Godel’s proof of Incompleteness of Mathematics.

Their quasi-religious belief may be within the Freedom of Belief

allowed by the Constitution, but the Authoritarian posture of

scientists talking down to the

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 7

public, as if they are the guardians of the Absolute Truth, is a

pedagogical disaster in barring the majority population from

access to the modern science.

That I have a considerable difficulty in talking about

fruits of the modern science in terms of “Ways of Thinking”

attests to the failure in Physics Education for which we

physicists are collectively responsible. We have spent Hundreds

of Billion Dollars of tax money, but we have not helped society

with cultural developments in terms of the Ways of Thinking. The

public money is used to edify a small group of specialists and

widen the gap of thinking inequality, not mentioning the North-
South disparity in science-technology and wealth. We ought to

think, for example, why we do not use science to make rudimental

water supply systems available to the poor half of Humanity. It

could be done at a fraction of the cost of sending a school

teacher to Space and getting killed in a Show of National

Superiority. I do not think it is excusable.

One very inexpensive way of introducing New Way of Thinking

to general public is to do Cross Cultural Science. Since most of

the “Sciences” from different cultures are accessible through

non-technical expressions, they are better suited for general

Education. (I fancy that “Hopi Relativity” is just as good in

conveying the main idea as General Relativity which is accessible

only through complicated mathematical manipulations.) That is to

say, we have discovered a mountain of treasures in the Native

Science. I recommend school teachers to seriously look into

Native Science and take advantages of the treasure.

(However, I would caution the teachers to pay proper respect in

exchange, lest be accused of stealing the last and the most

precious treasures of the Natives after taking everything away

from them. One way of expressing respect is to invite Native

Scientists and let them speak, rather than giving an

“Interpretation” to students as if that is genuine Native

Science. And if possible, let students learn from the way the

Natives live with the “Science in their actual life, rather than

substituting an “intellectualized version” for it.)

– – – – – – – –

My story here was perhaps tedious and technical and it was

from the background of the Power Science. But I hope it is of

Thank you for your patient listening.

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 8

[Subnote 1. On Linearity.

“Linear” means “line-like”. When relations between pairs of

two quantities, such as “Input and Output” plotted on a graph

paper appear like lines, the relations are called Linear.

Most relations in Reality, however, are not Linear. Why,

then, do we favor Linearity? The most theories in science are

Linear ones. Economists use Linearized models; Political

Scientists and Politicians talk and think in Linear Language. We

usually think Linear, such as if something is good, then more of

it is better. It is not rare that sick people take more pills,

thinking that the more pills he or she takes, the faster the cure

is, then ends up with an Overdose. Or a man who makes hundred

thousand dollars a year thinking that he would be a twice bigger

man if he could make $200,000 etc.

But, the worship of Linearity is not just silly

superstition in numbers. There is a definite advantage in

Linearity. I cite an example.

Suppose a psychologist or social scientist is faced with an

unknown entity or system named, say, G. How will the scientist go

about knowing what G is?

The first principle of Science is the Principle of “Do

something and see what will happen”.

So the scientist does something, which in psychologist’s

jargon is called “Stimulus”. Sociologists might call it “Input”.

Something happens in Response (X) to the Stimulus (x), or Output

corresponding to the Input. By this, the scientist gets a data

(X) = {G} (x) or x → X

Of course this one data point is not enough for the

scientist to claim “Knowledge” on the entity. The scientists have

to try more Inputs and get Outputs. But if the entity (or system)

is Linear, it is easier to know what Response would be for any

Stimulus. For example, the Linear Entity G would produce a

Response 2X for Stimulus 2x, and 3X for 3x, and so on, i.e.;

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 9

What is more, provided the Entity (System) G is Linear, the

scientist can predict what the Response (Output) would be for an

arbitrary combination of various kinds of Stimulus, say like

(3X + 2Y – Z) = {G} (3x + 2y – z).

This predictability is an enormous savings in the cost of

the research to construct the Knowledge about the Entity (System)

Having this sense of Linearity in mind, one looks into

texts in Physics, Engineering, Economics, etc. One would find

that the majority of Theories are about Linear entities or linear

systems. Texts in Psychology, Sociology, Political Science,

Anthropology etc. are not explicit in what they mean by

“knowledge”. But when they do imply “knowledge”, they are usually

an implicit assumption of Linearity.

Most economic-politico-social policy recommendations from

the Power Science are of the Patch-work type which in effect says

“Granting that all other things stay constant, do x to get the

result X”. This is only justifiable on Linearity Assumption. The

characteristic of Linear Thinking is that it neglects all

complications. It only sees the starting point (the problem as

the initial state) and the desired end point, and finds the means

to connect the two points. It is like drawing a line between two

points without looking at other points around. Perhaps, it is

analogous to shooting an arrow at a target. As such, the

concentration of attention is necessary and it is not a bad thing

In real systems, however, when one thing is changed, all

others change. There would always be the second, third, fourth

order effects, like the ripples created by a stone dropped in a

lake. Linear Assumption is simple and convenient, but it is a bad

“superstition”, if it is worshiped as The Best Science. Yet the

Insensitivity of the Power Science neglects the higher order

Another trick of the Power Science is that, when the

uncertainties in the higher order effects are visible, it goes

for “Short Term” projections and makes decisions on that basis.

It is hoped that the higher order effects would not manifest in a

short time scale taken as the reference frame of the thinking.

Unfortunately, the neglected higher order effects do not

disappear; they “disappear” only in the short-term thinking.

People have to pay for them eventually. A funny thing about this

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 10

is “scientific”. That is the Power Science; it provides an

edifying cover not only for the negligence, arrogance, and

insensitivity, but for the stupidity. I would think that the

Native Science which thinks on a long-term scale would be good

“medicine” for the Power Science.

Non-linear entities or systems are that which cannot be

treated by Linear Theory. That is the definition. Non-linear

entities and systems are nasty, for they defy the simple

“predictability” of the kind illustrated above.

Non-linear systems are “Unpredictable”, which means there

is no possibility of doing the “science” which usually means

“predicting power”. Of course, we can do a modified sense of

“science”. In fact, non-linear physics is now getting

fashionable, where things like “Catastrophe Phenomena” are

What is so-called “Ecology” in biology and geology is

largely confined to Linear cases. Some Biologists and Geologists

are aware that Nature is Non-linear and Catastrophic Instability

— such as mass extinction — is expected. But the prejudice

(or rather “superstition”) of majority of the scientists

demanding “Predictability” for “science” on some emotional ground

does not make the study of Non-Linearity in Nature popular.

As to knowledge in social and Humane areas, their implicit

Linear “Rhetoric” are yet to be recognized. “Causal Relation” is

often nothing more than a Linearized Expression. As a

consequence, people do not know they are assuming Linearity.

Hence, Linear Thinking is prevalent.

I do not think the “Linguistic Philosophers” are even aware

of Non-linearity, except perhaps in Logical Paradoxes. (The

“Paradox of Self-Reference” has a “loop structure” and as such it

is Non-linear. “Circular Argument” is also Non-linear. They

reject it. But interestingly the most “definitions” in sciences

are “circular”. Newton’s Laws of Motion and Darwin’s famous

statement “Survival of the Fittest” are well known examples.

Perhaps, because of these bad cases, philosophers do not like

Non-Linearity, But, their dislike prevents them from serious

studies of Non-Linearity. This is unfortunate.)

However, the Philosophy of Dialectics is a Non-linear one. [See

Thorn cited below] But I doubt Dialecticians themselves such as

Marx — are aware of the Non-linearity.

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science

As to Mathematics of Non-Linearity, see Rene Thom: Structural

Stability and Morphogenesis. Benjamin. 1972. (Thom also had an

interesting thing to say about Math Education, Science 1972.)

Also, there are several texts on Non-Linear Physics. What

is called “Solution” is an unusually stable wave produced by Non-
Linearity. It is to be noted that “Stability” can be a

manifestation of Non-linearity. Non-linearity is not always

unstable and catastrophic. I suspect almost all biological and

social systems (such as human life) is “stable” because of Non-
linearity. They “die”, however, because of the Non-linearity that

maintained them to be stable for a while (quasi-stable).

The escalation of Nuclear Arms race which goes in a

“vicious circle” is an example of bad Non-linear Dynamics. On the

other hand, the “positive enforcement” effects in Education etc.

are also Non-linear Dynamics.

These examples show that Non-Linearity is important and

interesting. But here again, it is too technical to be taught

directly in schools. I would appreciate very much if you could

suggest to me some ways of bringing “awareness” of Non-Linearity

into school science education. Interestingly “Sensitivity” is a

highly Non-Linear Phenomenon. I wish some psychologists would

write about “Non-Linear Dynamics of Mind”. Hegel came close to

doing that, but his intellectual snobbism is too much for popular

reading. Perhaps, Native Science might have good stories to tell

Oct.18, ’87. S. Kounosu Phys. Dept. U. of L.

21 November 1988 Personal Correspondence on Lust, Natural Love, Cosmology

Handwritten Notes Italicized 1

Copy to Pam

Nov. 21, ’88.

Dear Norm

Thanks for your letter. I sent a copy to Pam.

I am going to send you several stuffs to show what I have

been doing. But for now, I tell you about Leonard Cohen’s

Beautiful Losers. It is old stuff from Hippy days, published in

mid 1960’s, and it was a hit then. So you might know it. Anyway,

I write assuming you have some memory of the story. I came to it

from a review which said something about “Cosmology”. So I

checked it up.

There are other “motives”. One is your letter, though I do

not know what you said led me to this. Something you said did the

trick. Another one came from a Blackfoot lady. I gave an exam to

my introductory physics class and the result was disastrous. It

depressed me enormously. I cannot teach. Not that I taught

before. I do not “teach” any way. But this time, it made me think

that I ought to resign. Then, I met this woman from whom I am

learning Blackfoot language. She asked “How are you?” (I mean she

asked, not just greeting. Incidentally, you say “Tsa Niita’piwa?”

If you mean greeting, then you reply “Soka’piwa”.) So I told her

the reason for my depression. She laughed and said “Don’t you

have Lust any more?”.

“Lust!” The word sent me down to my memories. I am a clumsy

guy from my early childhood. That is why I tried to “know”

everything about humans. By 6th grade, I understood what adults

were talking about. I had no difficulty reading adult books, and

read a lot, more than my schoolteacher mother ever did. That was

a kind of compensation for my inability to do “Lusty” things.

They say “Those who cannot, teach”. In my case, “Those who cannot

do, try to know”. Relative to that, you are doing splendidly.

But, I am used to it and that does not hurt me much, for the most

time. Only occasionally, it does hurt, and I go down deep into

despair. Usually, I do not complain, because there is no use

saying anything to anybody. They have their own troubles and

doing the best they can. The last thing they need is someone

nagging them.

My mistake was that understanding of what is “talked” is not

understanding of anything.

Handwritten Notes Italicized 2

“Ah, that is your Ego!” you would say? Yes that is there

too, So, I tell you my troubles. But Orientals have this

peculiarity that they do not talk much in Love and in Sorrow.

They would be silent about deepest part of feeling, as if they

are afraid that talking might make things cheap. Oriental lovers

just gaze into each other’s eyes and don’t utter even a single

word for 3 hours. It also happens between friends. (This, Leonard

Cohen would know nothing about.)

Now, about this Beautiful Loser. It is a story, or rather a

“non-story”, about an Indian Saint Catherine Tekakwitha, the

narrator which is a scholar-researcher who admires Saint

Tekakwitha, Edith an Indian girlfriend of his, and “F.” a

homosexual friend. I do not know if Cohen was conscious of it or

not, it involves 4 elements. That is the Symmetry Group (2 x 2),

characteristic to Native American Myth-Mandala. [The story “To

Carry The Grace” is based on the Native Geometry of 4 elements. I

added one more, Tree Princess, to suggest a way out. You know who

the Tree Princess is. But my Princess is not quite ready to

accept the meaning of her Being. That is another reason why I

look into stories like this.]

Tekakwitha is an Iroquois name. She was a Mohawk girl

adapted from “Tribe A… ” and was Christianized by Jesuits. She

represents the Native Spirituality. Edith represents decaying of

the same “Tribe A… ” in the story and a (suspected) member of

only some 20 survivors. Out of the 20, 4 are young women whom F

“managed to fuck them all”, including Edith. F is the modern

decadence, nihilist, sex maniac. F is one side of the Euro

American Culture which does the “let it go”. He also represents

“Urban Indian” Phenomenon. The narrator is another side of the

same White Culture which did not “let it go” — in story he is

having “Constipation” problem —.

In terms of Group Dynamics the “story” is simple one. But

of course it is not “a story”, but a Style of writing — in the

sense “media is the message” —. I could not help thinking that

if you write like this, you would have sold a half million copies

two years ago.

It is only clumsy guys like me who see “Geometry” in

stories. The million people who read this story, probably did not

read “Geometry”. Say, 90% read “Explicit Sex”, 1% read an Indian

Story, and 1% read something else.

This does not say, however, that people did not get

anything beyond a dirty sex story. Implicitly, they do probably

sense something. And for the sensing of that “something”, I do

not think it to be of any help to know the Geometrical Structure

of the story (or the Dynamics of the situation). I only do it

because I am always looking for

Handwritten Notes Italicized 3

“Native Science” in anything, so much so that I see the (2×2)

Group Dynamics almost everywhere.

And, that “doing science” to story destroys my enjoyment of

“unadulterated” reading. I cannot read things for pure

enjoyment’s sake any longer. That is bad. For a while Cohen

entertained me by defying my “science”. And I liked his “Style”.

But it lasted only a quarter of the story through. I soon caught

up with the author in technical sense, and the rest became

predictable, and in fact deteriorated even in its “style”. His

story got to the climax too soon, like premature ejaculation.

That is no fun. The picture of Catherine Tekakwitha stayed on the

wall in the room where all those Lusts were going. The “sensual”

Tekakwitha did not “come”. The story ends with the suicide of

Edith (extinction of the romanticized Indians) in the first

quarter of the book. If I did not have a respect for Tekakwitha

enough to make up a sensual story in my imagination the

“Cosmology” world have collapsed. At expense of (1) all manner of

fucking, (2) suicide of an Indian gir1, and (3) religious death

of an Iroquois Saint Maiden, the story failed to elucidate what

this “Lust” is.

[My theory of (2×2) Dynamics suggests that Cohen missed one

more entity (power being) to go beyond the romanticism that

is too frequent in Whitemen’s intellect. Pam’s “Rock” might

be the one (4).

To be sure, in Cohen’s Story, there was a feeble attempt to

go back to “Spirituality”. That is the episode about the

“Water”. It took place a few days before Edith commits

suicide. “Going back to the Tradition” often takes place in

Desperation” “Going back to Nature” (and join Indian way of

life), “Going back to Uninhibited Sex”, etc. are variations

on the same theme. The frantic sex life is the Last Refuge

for those “Urban Indians”, from European Tribes or Native

American ones.

In the desiccated modern urban society, they try to escape

through the only intimate sensual medium left for them. The

Capitalism left nothing else but Sex. It is a “let it go”

only in the sense of relieving Constipation in the urban

Waste Land. It is the only “moist” thing in the Hell. As

such I respect it, but, to me, it is rather painful.

The “Natural Love” is indeed uninhibited and people did

walk around naked. Sex was free, but it was no “Big Deal”

like those Urban Indians are obsessed with. Sex was as

natural as eating, peeing, etc. That is, Love was diffused

all around, permeated in, distributed throughout every

interaction in the community life. There is no “Intensity”

of the kind that Cohen was

Handwritten Notes Italicized 4

“making points” and keeping scores about. They shared women

and men, mothers, sisters, brothers, just as they shared

foods, dwellings, works, and life.

Bourgeoisie life dried up all that Except Private

Possession, including Private Sex. Having Free Sex does not

bring back the Love Community. We perform all sorts of

rituals, including Sex but that would be vain. What was

lost will not come back, no more than Buffalo herds come

back to the prairie. That is, unless we bring back the

whole Community, the whole Boundary Condition to the Field

Equation, the whole Enchanted Cosmos.

While we are refusing our neighbors Free Foods, Free Sex

will not liberate us. Love is a whole life, not an

obsession with “coming” and “going”.

Intellectually and Emotionally, Cohen probably knew it. But

he also knew that Urban Bourgeoisie Indians, from European

Tribe or Native American ones, are not capable of the Whole

Love. Hence there is no way out. That is why his story is a

story of Death. He meant to write another Waste Land. And

he did.

Hippies were too narcissistic to clean up their ass of

Christian shit like “Chosen People”. And probably they

thought themselves as the “Vanguard” for Sexual Revolution.

The “Savage Indian Wild Sex” might be their way of “back to

nature”. In a narrow sense, they were correct. Except their

Bourgeoisie snobbism blinded them to their lifestyle based

on destruction of Nature and desecration of community.

Greenwich Village had nothing in common with the Amazonian

Tribe Village that George Wallace wrote a poem about.]

The “Cosmology” of Beautiful Losers is analyzed by Dennis

Lee in Savage Fields. ANANSI 1977. It gave a rave review to

Cohen. But I am rather disappointed. Most “erratic” literature on

Indians do not do justice to the “Lust” that my lady friend is

referring to. Sex is there to sell the book.

The “Beautiful Losers” are not beautiful. But it is perhaps

another “Constipation” of Euro American Intellect. And if that

was the aim of his description, Cohen succeeded very well. Saint

Tekakwitha failed to “loosen” the intellect. That may be blamed

on Judeo-Christianity.

By the same token, the cover picture on a book by Gunther

S. Stent, Paradoxes Of Progress, is misleading. The picture is

from “The Golden Age” by Lukas Cranach. Naked

Handwritten Notes Italicized 5

men and women are dancing around a tree, perhaps the Tree of

Knowledge. The book talked of problems of “Scientism”, suggesting

“The Fall” by “knowing”. But it did not cut through the surface

of discussing “Ethics of Science” etc., to get to the “Lustic

Origin” of human Intellect.

So I am back to the question of Lust. Cohen was writing

about Lust. So was Stendhal, Lawrence, Goethe, Nietzsche, etc.

etc. Also, all Indian stories written by Europeans are stories of

Lust in one form or another. Even Max Weber was writing about

Lust, which he saw as Conflict-violence-irrationality and hence

could not find any way out but to control it by Power. That is

what I told Galtung. Galtung, being a good “scientist” in the

Weberian sense, was very much surprised hearing a physicist say

this, In effect, I told him that “Peace Research” has not even

begun to look at the Origin of Conflict-Violence, though it was

the theme of Literature and Art since anything was written or

drawn by humans.

I would very much like to write about “Lust” for Peace

Research. Alas! I am not much of a man of Lust. My sexual

adventures, aside from book-knowledge and imagination, is very

limited. Those who know it, namely you, do not write. Despite all

my pushing, Pam does not use writing as a means of knowing. I

would think that one does not need to constipate before shit.

(Pregnancy is a different matter. According to Blackfoot Myth,

women have to have a Big-Being Orgasm to get pregnant. That is a

part of the Lust.) But then, what could I say? I do not have

anything even to constipate! I write and write, in a hope that

they come to constipate someday. I hope it comes before my Lust

runs out.

I heard that “Okanagan” means the Lost People (or Lost

Souls). It has a marble quarry somewhere, which I have not yet

seen. I might pay homage there and see what the Rock tells me.

What was that Thomas Hardy was suggesting about the Power of Rock

(Stonehenge) in Tess?


Sam K.

P.S. If you do not need it for a while, can I borrow back

Easlea’s Fathering the Unthinkable. Internal-library Loan

Handwritten Notes Italicized 6

is somehow holding me up on this book. In the spring semester

next, I plan to do a bit of Feminist Science in Physics 2020. I

also coordinate an Integrated study course on Peace and War.

There, I intend to talk about something like “The Paradox of

Intelligence; its making of Wars and Peace”. I will not fail to

mention an anthropological finding that to gain women was the

biggest cause of fighting. In addition, I would say that our

sense of Power came from the feeling–illusion of men subjugating

women in sexual contexts. For that, we Nuclear Physicists built

the Super Bomb. I think it is a clumsy way of imitating Orgasm. I

like to do it “Gracefully”, if possible at all.

Notes On The Epistemology of Discrimination And The Epistemology of Liberation. Ver. Fall 1987.

Study Notes in NAS 2000. Native Philosophy

Gall 1987. S. Kounosu

Notes ON the Epistemology Of Discrimination And the Epistemology of Liberation.

I. The Problems of Social Recognition.

1. In most any society, there are Class Distinctions, and therefore there has to be Discrimination. Hence, even a famous Physicist, Michael Faraday had to practice saying, “Rain in Spain falls mainly on plain” before he was admitted into Royal Society London.

Speaking the “Proper English” was a mark of the Upper Class in British Society. That even the reputed Scientific Society had to insist on what we might today consider “Snobbism” is not unique to British. And preoccupation with Stylism,, rather than the substance of learning and the capacity of creative thinking, is interesting for our considerations on Epistemology. It suggests that “Science” is perhaps a term of Praise and a tool of Class Distinction/Oppression, aside from its claimed virtues such as “Utility”, “Rationality”, and “Truth”.

The easiest way to discriminate something is by what is visible on the surface. We do that, therefore, by color of skin, hair styles, ways of dress. Languages are another easy target. We discriminate against people by their accents. In academic context, writing stylism is ver handy one. Substance, content, utility, messages are worst for discrimination. And by the time one “understands”, discrimination becomes ineffective.

(There are reasons for some standards for the efficiency of communication in social scales. And there are problems concerning the “Meaning” that people intend to transmit or grasp, and “Understanding” that a community of people reaches through communication. I shall discuss this in later part of this note.)

2. Under ordinary circumstances, we are not critical enough to distinguish between “Knowledge” and “Expression of Knowledge”. We think, if one knows, one ought to be able to express the knowledge in a proper form. We do not think stylisms, Rhetoric, etc., are important in Science. Nonetheless, we demand and judge “Knowledge” by the stylism, like judging the contents by the containers-packages by which they are wrapped.

To learn what we are doing in this regard, let us consider the examples below:

We note that Native Americans knew of the cooperative interdependence among living organisms, trees, animals, and humans, etc. It so happened that a word “Symbiosis” was “discovered” by academic science in 1960s. The notion of Symbiosis is, of course, recognized as a part of Science.

Does the Academy of Science credit Native Americans for the Discovery of Symbiosis? Of course not. But why?

One of rationalizations may be that Native Americans did not make “Knowledge Claim”. Native Americans did not publish their knowledge in Academic Journals, nor did they present their knowledge to an adjudicating body such as Royal Society. Perhaps, Natives practiced saying “Rain in Spain falls mainly on plain”, they might have had a chance for the recognition. But they did not.

3. In National Geographic Magazine [November, 1987] had an article about New Mexico. The article mentioned Dr. Fred Begay, who is a Navajo Indian. Dr. Begay thinks that the Myth about “Warriors Armed with Weapons of Light” suggests an ancient Navajo understanding of Laser Theory.

But there is a problem here. According to our standard “Ritual” of Knowledge Claim, such an “Understanding”, even if existed, does not count as “Knowing”. Because it was not expressed in a “proper format”. One has to write it up and submit it to an Authority, Just as Land Claims are. Natives did not accept the Authority of Whitemen’s Institutions. Therefore, there was no “Registration” submitted for Whitemen’s Recognition. So it remains outside Science.

4. In Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony [Viking Press 1977. PS3569 I44 c4.] a Navajo Indian named Josiah gets cows of a hardy variety adaptable to the harsh climatic condition of the locality, instead of Holsteins that white ranchers around him raise. The idea is “scientific”, but then the poor Indian is not an “Agronomist”, had no school education, of course, nor Ph.D. Whatever he learned from his practical experiences is not recognized as “Science”. One can be a “Good Samaritan”, but cannot be a “Christian” unless one is formally labeled by the Church Authority.

5. Worse yet, I found a passage, in John R. Swanton’s collection of Haida Myth, describing Copper Smelting. It is the “standard” knowledge among anthropologists and ethnologists that North American Natives had not known Smelting Technology. Mayans knew smelting, but Haidas were supposed to be ignorant. The problem is that the Native Informer apparently did not know the Smelting Technology and narrated it to Swanton as a Myth about “Copper Salmon”. Swanton did not know Copper Smelting, and record the narration as a Myth and translated into English as such.

[Swanton.J.R. Haida Texts: Masset Dialect. “The Copper Salmon” Jesup Expedition vol. 10, part 2. p. 689. AMS Press 1975 P1,1L274 Zg 1137.]

Because the “standard theory” dictated that Haidas were ignorant about copper smelting, the field worker was not alert to notice the story to be any more than an incomprehensible Myth. And because the famous Ethnologist said it is a Myth, Haidas themselves think it Myth. They think their ancestors had no science.

To be sure Haidas today are well educated people. I am not surprised at all, if there are Ph.D. metallurgists among them. But the degrees came from schools in Euro American stylism. What schools teach as “science” has a certain “ritual” stylism, which is not readily identifiable with the stylism of the Native narrations. It is hard to recognize what are hidden under the name of Myth.

6. Carlos Castaneda’s stories are sold as “Stories”. does that mean readers cannot learn anything “Scientific” from them? Perhaps, many scholars and scientists would say Castaneda was “making up stories”. It is fiction, any way.

But, I wonder if the same scholars and scientists would say that Mathematics is just a “made up linguistic system” and hence “unscientific”, for it is not concerned with “experimental facts”, “observations” or anything “real”. On the top of that, Mathematics is proved to be either inconsistent or incomplete by mathematics itself.

Newton’s “Theory” of motions and Einstein’s “Theory” of Gravitational Field are not “descriptions of facts”, but rather aids to descriptions. Basically, they belong to Metaphysics.

What are, then the differences between Castaneda’s “Stories” and “Theories” in Physics or Mathematics?

Shall we say that one is recognized as “Science” by well established institutions of Science, and the other is not. Therefore, one is science and the other is not? If it were a political or religious matter, we might base our judgment on institutional authority. But is such a judgment itself “scientific”?

If not, what are the criteria? We use the term “Science” and “Scientific” frequently. But we do not have a set of clear specifications to judge if an Intellectual work is “Science” or not.

7. In the time of Colonialism, the British Empire had a great interest about China, and it produced “China Experts”. Some of Cambridge Professors became famous for their knowledge on China. Their reputations and prestige were World Wide, and what they said about China was taken as “Truth”, at least in Euro-American Academia. One of such dogmatic “Truth”, until late 1960’s, was that China never had Science. They acknowledged that China “Technology” such as production of Paper, Gun Powder, Rocket, Water Clock, Mechanical Dolls, etc. “Technology” is something practical and useful for working people, but it is not “Science” that European Scholars and Intellectuals take serious. It takes a Superior Intelligence to do “Science”. Naturally, Chinese could not have had “Science”.

Today, it is not wise to make such a contemptuous statement about China. So the professors stop saying that. But there has been no sign that those professors repudiated the previous view on Chinese Science. They apparently did not revise their “definition” of Science.

Now, suppose some Native make a claim of “Native Science”. What would be the reaction of the Experts? They may be polite and may not ask questions. But do they take Native Science serious? I doubt it.

8. Some 40% of medicines (chemical drugs) came from North American Native Herb Medicines. If one count Chinese Herb Medicines, the percentage would double. Does the “Medical Science” of ours recognize this? The North American Medical Profession would denounce Native Herb Medicine, being “Superstitious”, if not dangerous.

The “Medical Science” does not know how a chemical works, for the majority of cases. It only knows “effects”. Yet one is called “Science” and the other is called “Superstition”. How the two medicines are distinguished and discriminated?

It goes back to Stylism. One refined by test tube type chemical processes is the “Scientific Medicine”. One that is used in forms closer to the Natural state is the “Superstition Medicine”. The differences in Stylisms are far from trivial.

(To be sure, some medical doctors are honest enough to call Medicine and “Art”. But the people in the “culture”, in general, would be frightened to hear such a statement. They much rather “Believe” blindly in “Medical Science”. That is, those people who use the term “science” are rather superstitious.)

9. these are but a few examples of how Native Science is hidden from our recognition. And the “Recognition” has to do with “Social Status”. Practical people wishing to achieve a certain practical result would not and could not care less whether what they use is called “Science” or not. It does not bother them much.

And, that the Academia to be incompetent in recognizing Native Science may be a trivial matter. The Academia is fragmented to hundreds of small specialties. And scholars and scientists today have to compete within those specialty. They could not care less, if they do not know something, other than what gives the advantage in their competition.

But, if we are to consider the “Understanding by a society as a whole”, the matter is very serious. In the Political Economics of ours, “Recognition” is an important element. It defines “Reality”. And social scale cooperations of people must be based on the “Reality” as such. That some of “Recognition” is like the value of stocks just a matter of “Face Value” does not prevent them from being “Significant” and being taken seriously. And, for the “understanding” that a society or a community makes up by communication, Language Expressions are critically important. What are talked about in a society represents the “Intelligence” of the society.

Sticks and stones only hurt you personally, but “Names” (language expressions) could kill a society.

The above examples point the need of a critical examination of what we mean by the word “Science”. A simple act of uttering two words “Native Science” is a Political Act. Our Society can either reject it in laughing, or pay serious attention. In either case, the consequences are not trivial.

II. What is the difference between “Science” and “Practical Know-How”?

10. One outwardly visible feature of “Science” is that it is “Refined” in its articulation. And since the establishment of Scholasticism in the Middle Ages, the “Refine” meant “In Writing”.

[For Science in the Middle Ages, see; D.C. Lindberg (ed.) Science In the Middle Ages. U. of Chicago Press 1978. Q174.97 s35. W.A. Wallace Prelude to Galileo Boston Studies In the Philosophy Of Science vol.62. D. Reidel Press 1981. Q175 873. D.C. Lindberg and R.L. Numbers. God And Nature U. of Calif. Press 1986. EL245 G53.]

That is, what is not written (printed) is not “Science”. The “Oral Tradition” of Natives is therefore excluded from Science as such. Today, under the rule known as “Publish or Perish”, it is extremely difficult to survive as a “scientist” without producing written statements. One might teach science, through experiments and oral communication, but one has to “edify” the teaching by some written materials. Even in this essay, I had to quote books published to impress upon you that I am doing a “Scholarly Work”. Whether or not you are duly impressed, that is the academic ritual.

Book Knowledge counts far more significant than personal experiences, observations, and thinking. And everybody in academia knows that citing of Big Names is very effective weapon, if one wishes to be taken serious. Quoting diary of one’s grandmother does not fare well in academia, and, I imagine, quoting some obscure Indian woman is not too much better than that. The assumption is that, if it is important at all, some Big Name Scholar must have picked up and published somewhere. That one does not quote from the Big Name can only mean ignorance.

11. But, in the History of Science, until very recently, private letters were important media of scientific and scholarly communication. One can see, in recent publications, scientists like Newton, Leibniz, Faraday, Einstein, Cartan, et al used private letters for important scientific communication. They could not quote Big Names, because what they were “creating” were not known by the Big Names of previous ages. Besides, intellectuals such as Voltaire, Hegel, Mill, Goethe, et al, all had intense interests in Mechanics, Differential Calculus, etc., and apparently learned these things in private meetings (parties) through oral means. Interestingly, Voltaire, in particular, learned Newtonian Calculus-Mechanics from his Lady patron, Emilie Marquise du Chatelet. One can get some glimpse of the “Learning Through Conversation” by reading “Dialogues” by Galileo, Diderot, et al. There, apparently,Oral Tradition was alive and playing an essential role in the development of Science (though today we can only read them to guess how it was.)

[D. Diderot. The Dream of D’Alembert 1769. Neveu de Rameau 1761. G. Galilei Dialogue Concerning New Science. 1632.]

Today, thanks to the advancement in Printing Technology, we have almost killed the Oral Tradition in Science. At least, for formal recognition on Knowledge Claim, one has to have Printed Evidence.

12. One might say that this requirement of Printed Statements is a consequence of “Socialization” of Science. Science today is a “Profession”, not a “private” matter. Besides, Science today takes a huge financial backing, so much so that if one is not supported by ‘grants”, one is liable to be judged “unscientific”. The prestige of scientists are often measured by the Dollar Value of the grants they receive.

Science Native Americans did not get “Research Grant” to do their Science, and often they did not print their findings, it is likely that the Natives are judged as “Unscientific”. I wonder, if the Natives themselves think of “science” and judge their scientists by the Money Value. It used to be said in the North America, “If you are so smart, how come you are so poor.” Since, Natives see themselves “poor”, therefore they might think that they are not smart enough to do Science.

This is a Politico-Economy of Science today.

13. There remains an Epistemological question concerning the relations among “Expressions in Language”, “Knowing”, and “Understanding”. This is a question in Hermeneutics.

[see: Paul Ricoeur Hermeneutics And Human Science. Cambridge U press 1981.]

We note that in Euro American Culture, “Knowing” is only recognized by “Expression in Language” (Symbolisms, Signs, inclusive). And “Understanding” is reduced to insignificance, relative to the “Expression”.

We are not quite sure what are the differences between the people who knows Newton’s Equation for Gravitation (or Einstein’s Equation for the same) and people who competently move themselves and objects in the Gravitational Field.

The former is deemed to have Knowledge, in “Scientific” sense. The later has the skill to perform the task of moving, but is deemed to be ignorant. It matters little in terms of having the honor title of Knowledge, if one is able to break the Olympic Record in spectacular high jumping.

But then, spectacular high flight to Moon by a Rocket is said to be “Scientific”. I suppose the difference is that for the High Jump, we normally use little “language expression”, whereas for High Space Flight, we imagine many, many Formulas are used.

However, we not that no Formula in Physics had “understanding” of Gravity. In fact, the majority of human race seems to get less understanding when more Formula are used. Natives who had to survive in”raw” Nature appear to have had better “Understanding” of the Nature, but not much Formula. Are we, therefore, to call Natives ignorant?

In addition, we note a prevalent attitude to look down people who do things, relative to “aristocrats” who do not work. Intellectuals are respected, because they do not labor. Farmers are raged individualists, but they know the Power of Bankers who do no physical labor.

14. Newtonian Mechanics can be traced back to Euclid Geometry via Descartes’s Analysis. Relativity also came from Geometry. But, Geometry is one of the 9 Muses in Greek Myth.

Muses were 9 daughters of Gaea and Uranus (or of various others, which indicates that Muses preceded the time of Patriarchy where Zeus came in). They were, Thalia (Muse General), Memory (Clio), Calliope (Poetry), Terpischore (Dance), Melphomene (Tragedy), Erato (Love Poem), Euterpe (Music), Polyhymnia (Sacred Song and Geometry), Urania (Astronomy) [B.G. Walker The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myth and Secrets. Harper and Row 1983. However, Walker does not mention Geometry among Muses.]

The Alexandrian Museum was a Shrine of Muses and it was a institution very similar to what we might consider the “Ideal Liberal Art University”. And we not that those essential subjects for education were represented by Goddess. It was likely that women taught those subjects. Besides, learning as such was a “Delight”, if not “Erotic”. It was “Sacred”, but not in the secular sense of “Work”. Learning was “Ceremony” of Humaneness.

And Geometry was among muses (according to Aristotle et al). Perhaps, it might have meant “Visual Art”. Or, perhaps, it meant The Harmony (Structure) of the Universe. And Geometry was the Grandmother of Science.

If we understand Geometry as such, the we can also appreciate Geometrical Patterns of Native “Art” as “Science”. It deals with “Perceptions” of the World. It depicts Relationships of things and events, as the Spider Woman of Navajo Myth did. And notably, the “Mythological Geometry” also included Time Dimension, preceding Relativistic Cosmology.

[As to these senses of Cosmology, Silko also makes references in the novel Ceremony. For Artistic side, see Kandinsky’s writing. For “Eros”, see Wilhelm Reich Cosmic Superimposition. 1949. Wilhelm Reich The Mass Psychology Of Fascism. M. Bermann Enchantment of the World. J. Spring A Primer of Libertarian Education. Black Rose Books 1975. LC189 s73.]

At any rate, once we get to the level of “Understanding”, it is almost impossible to discriminate Muses from “Science”.

The reason we discriminate Native Science is that we do not want to “Understand” it. We do not wish to know the meaning. What we are afraid of is our own liberation. We do not like the burden of freedom. As to this, Existentialist writers wrote extensively. Therefore, I shall not repeat. But we ought pay some attention to what Nietzsche called “Slave Mentality”. To be free is not painless.

Even Castaneda who was lured by Power Trip, begun to know the History of Colonial Oppression. Castaneda did not develop an Understanding of the history, but it appears that he was bothered by it. The reason Castaneda did not “understand” the history was perhaps he was not prepared to take the pain. One wonder, if Castaneda went deep into the Colonial History, what would hve happened to the popularity of his books. Perhaps, he would never made “Best Sellers”. Readers do not wish to understand either. Rather, Castaneda stayed at the level of Power Trip. Today, such is the “Knowledge”, which is a “Commodity” to be sold at Market.

Of course, some of us in academia, who have to write in the way acceptable to editors of journals, are not in the position to cast stones at Castaneda. We are in the profession of manufacturing sellable “knowledge”. “Understanding” is perhaps too personal. Or, we are afraid, if our society as a whole “Understands” something, someone gets hurt. Because that is no less than a Revolution.

15. Relative to the Ancient Science, we see that our “Science” has gone through many changes, (or “perversions”). By the time of Aristotle, despite references to Muses, Science was already a “Macho”, “Authoritarian” Institution.

In the Middle Ages, it became Book Knowledge.

In Renaissance, it appeared to turn back to “Art” and “Artisan” (“craftsmanship”) for a short while. But the development of the “Absolute Power States” negated the move soon after. Newtonian Mechanics reflects the historical condition of the time. Mechanization of Thinking went with mechanization of Political System. Intellectuals were not a part of “Working Class”. Hence, the Scholasticism of the Middle Ages was revived in New Science very soon after it was appeared to have destroyed it. Of course, the emerging “intellectuals”, “scientists” were from lower class, and they brought “Work Ethics” with them. They were nominal “Petty Bourgeois”, but substantially “Proletariat”. These sociological conditions shaped what we call Science today. The Class Distinctions among people killed the Liberating Spirit of the “New Science” that Galileo et al started.

It is interesting to note that the “Fathers” of Modern Science were very much like “Spiritual Gurus”. For example, Rene Descartes had a Dream in which Angels appeared and told him to work on the mission of New Science. Descartes, pretending to be an “Enlightened Rational Intellectual” never mentioned his Dream in Public. Newton was a very devout Religious man. He wrote on Religious matters more than he wrote on Mechanics. He also indulged in Alchemy and spent more time on it than on Mechanics. Of course, physics texts rarely mention such things about Newton.

If we say Medicine Men and Medicine Women are “Religious”, and therefore they cannot be “Scientific”, we must also say that Newton and Descartes could not have been “Scientific”. That we dare not disqualify Descartes and Newton from being “scientists” is an evidence of our Prejudice.

The difference between Common Sense and Science is our habit of Class Distinction. We use our Superstition to Discriminate some people and Justify our Prejudice. There is nothing “Rational” about our edification of “science” and in our Worship of Printed knowledge. It is a matter of Politics.

III. Towards Liberation Science, Liberation Epistemology and The Role of Native Science in the Liberation.

What is “knowledge” if it does not help people to be liberated? For what value we learn Science?

And what is our strategy towards Liberation?

16. Science is far from “Value Neutral”. Slaves are the ones who have no value sense of their own. If Scientists who work on the routines of a Production Line have no “Value Sensation”, it is only because they are degraded to be Slaves. It is also known by a Sociological term “Alienation”. In such a case, their Masters have the sense of value and exercise will Power over them. “Value Neutral” means that the slaves give up the Right of questioning the Values held by the Masters.

Most Scientists work for Money. Some work for personal Pride, or Prestige. Some work for Power. A few work for the good of humanity. There are minority of Scientists who do Science for Love and Fun. Some may be “compulsive”, “megalomaniac”, “neurotic” etc. But there are “Values” in any case. And the Value dictates the Stylist of Science.

Different Cultures have different set of Values, or Value Priority Science in different Cultures would be different. And Stylisms would be different. The ways of communicating would be different. These things make recognition of “different silence” difficult. The only way to breakthrough and overcome such barriers is “Understanding”. But, even Understanding of European Science is not trivial. There are “good reasons” why we do not Recognize Native Science. Namely, we do not understand ourselves. Studies of Native Science is, actually, a help for us to understand ourselves.

17. Even within European Physics, Mechanics and Field Theory are completely different. Mechanics chases around motions of objects. Field Theory is concerned with “Environment”, so to speak. Only because their common Historical roots, they are recognized as two branches of the “Same” physics. But the level of “intelligence” is different between the two. If one is trained, one would immediately recognize the difference is Stylisms. That is more profound than what is referred as “Paradigm Shift”.

Unfortunately, European intellectuals in general are not aware of the difference. They are still in the Old Physics of Newtonian Mechanics.

A prime example is the Behaviorists in Psychology. They are trying a simplified Newtonian Mechanics for studies of “Mind”, but have no appreciation of Field Theory. Whereas, Native Americans exhibit Field Theoretical thinking patterns more often than Mechanical ones.

[see F. Capra Tao of Physics. 1975 and The Turning Point. 1982. E. Lehrs. Spiritual Science. Electricity and Michael Faraday. R. Steiner Press 1975.

Freud was “Mechanical”. Whereas Jung was Field Theoretical.]

18. In addition to the above two, Physics recently has come to “Non-Linear Physics”, (In Math the same is called “Catastrophe Theory” or “Topological Dynamics”, etc.) Or one might say that Physics finally has come to deal with the Complexity and Sensitivity that were neglected for a long time.

I shall not explain this new Physics here. But it is noted that Native Thinking Patterns are remarkably similar to “Non-Linear” Physics.

It appears that Natives are not “Primitive”, but rather too “sophisticated” in their thinking to be effective in a large social scale. When one wishes to get a heterogeneous society to cooperate in a Mass Mobilization, “Simple Slogans” are essential. The “Mass” was commanded by the Power. Things like “Understanding” was ignored. In the past 300 years or so, European Intelligence primarily depended on simple Mechanical thinking and pushed the Industrialization by Force.

It was a great success in one sense, but we all know that it created many problems. We came to the Dead End of the Simplified Power Strategy. Even if good for some, the days of “Forcing” is over. Guns that symbolize the Newtonian Way of doing things no longer bring solutions to the problems. “The Power of Revolution does not reside in the barrels of Guns”, if we parphrase Mao’s famous slogan.

Unfortunately, problems such as Environmental Pollution (concerning the Stability, Elasticity of Environment) are essentially Non-Linear. Simple Linear control devices such as “Money” do not work well. We need more sophisticated thinking to deal with complex Systems and complex Fields.

An important example of Non-Linear Field Dynamics is “Sensitivity” of Humans. But it is difficult, if one is to approach from European Science. We need a “strategy” in our learning of a “way out” of European Science. And “sensitivity” is one of important key for that. But to learn “sensitivity”, we need the very same “sensitivity”. That is; we are in a “Vicious Cycle”, which is a Prime example of Non-linear Dynamics.

The new strategy shall liberate Science. And in formulating a new strategy, we have to make “Science” a tool of liberation. How to break through this vicious cycle is the challenge of the New Science.

[For Pedagogy of Liberation Paulo Freire. Pedagogy Of The Oppressed 1985. See for Feminist point of view; Paula Gunn Allen. The Sacred Hoop Beacon 1986.]

And for the strategy of Liberation, the studies of Native Science and Feminist Critique of Science are very important.

19. The Dehumanizing effect of Science has been well documented by Capra’s Turning Point, etc. And we note that even in the beginning of the 20th century, Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of The West appeared. The problem is not new. It is just that, collectively speaking, we have been putting off the task of facing up to the problem.

Just as we have been ignoring and denying our oppression and repression of Native Americans — if we say “We Did Not Know”, then think about Why we did not know —, we have been refusing to admit the problems of Science.

The most readily noticeable characteristic of the Scientific Mentality is its preoccupation with Power and Insensitivity. Feminists pointed out that we are Proud of the Power-Trips and Insensitivity. For the sake of appearing as Macho, we thought we have to be Insensitive. Perhaps, it was Darwinism that commandes us to “Compete in Power Struggles and Win”. The God’s Design is such that the Winner is the Fittest and that is the Supreme Virtue.

Of course, we are not so strong as to having extra capacity to care for the Environment and other Life Forms. We had to use all we have to fight. We could not afford to be Sensitive. On one hand, we claim to be “God’s side” by winning power struggle. On the other hand, we are Fear Driven to defend what we got. Deep down, we know we are worthless worms, and therefore it is justified to fight dirty, using deceits, betrayals, tricks, lies, treachery, etc. which are our “technology-science” of survival. We can not live by Grace nor Love. Christians know that and call themselves “Sinners”.

And because we know ourselves to be ungraceful being, we think others to be equally ungraceful. What is more, we project our own “sins” on others and punish them. Since we are angry at ourselves, we are merciless against those presumed “sinners” and we perform atrocity as if it is a sanctified ritual to bolster our righteousness.

For most of us, Science is a precious little thing that tell us we are “Right”. Science is a precious little power that we have in fighting off all those barbaric hostility — that we projected after our own image — in the Nature and other Races. We cannot afford to criticize our Science.

20. Unfortunate consequence of our Fear is that our Insensitivity is rationalized by it. Unless we have some alternative vision to stand on, we cannot even start thinking of sensitivity.

The importance of our studies on Native Science comes in here. We are provided an opportunity to see things differently. Like Carlos Castaneda, we are lured by mystery and perhaps in our habitual quest for more Power, but we learn, at least, something different.

Our attitude may be more liek the “Romanticism” of the early colonialist who idealized the “Noble Savages”. Or we may be “Patronizing” Native Americans, from our assumed “Intellectural Superiority”. We would try to Rationalize and Justify Native Science on the basis of European Science.

From the point of view of Natives, this is unsatisfactory. But Don Juan just laugh at that. It is Tolerance/Kindness that is inherent in Native Science. The Sensitivity to “see” has to be cultivated carefully with the same Sensitivity. And Native Science is not like her European brother who has to push itself to dominate others. It is not tool of Power Dominance, but rather it is a Gift of Love. Natives do not believe in “Missionary Work” nor in “High Pressure Salesmanship”. It aims at Understanding, not Control.

21. There is, however, a context in which the above mentioned “unsatisfactory” state might pain Native Americans. That is, Natives themselves see the situation as “desperate”. Rocky, in Ceremony, was a full blood Indian, yet he saw no hope in Native Way. He was impressed by the Power Display of European Science, and he try to identify with the Oppressor. He was not aware that European Science has come to its Dead End. He was killed in Pacific for the Glorious Cause of War that marked the beginning of the end of the Colonialism.

Perhaps, there were many “Veterans of Vietnam War” among Natives. Perhaps, the War was a “Sacrifice” Natives would endure. Yet the pain is real. For their young generation is demoralized and deserting the Native Culture. They get into Alcohol and Drugs to ease their Pains. But the problems do not go away, just because one does not feel them. Ignoring, Rejecting, nor Denouncing does not make the problems disappear. One has to understand the problems and work with them, if one is to solve them. There, Native Science can be powerful help. Unfortunately, the obscurity and low prestige of Native Science make it difficult for Native sons and daughters to learn. Honored recognition of Native Science will help them in their recovery, or discovery of their own worth. And for that task, a construction of a Network of supports, — physical, mental, spiritual supports — is perhaps the first step.

22. Actually, the difficulty is common with all people in the World. In a context of discussing Peace Education, JoAnn McAllister and Matthew Fox writes;

“The Institute In Culture And Creation Spirituality at Holy Names College has been providing a critique of the Old Paradigm — Newtonian Physics and Fall/Redemption Christianity — and has been building the foundations of the New. Our Educational program reclaims the long-neglected creation centered Spiritual Tradition that begins with a Theology of Blessing; incorporates the new understanding of the emerging Universe; Reveres Native Spiritualities and evokes and celebrates the artist as a Prophetic Voice”

[Breakthrough. Spring/Summer 1987. p53. Publication of Global Education Associates.]

The writing is from a Christian background. Nonetheless, one hears a Common Voice shared with Native writers. It is a Prophetic Voice at our crisis. Native Science is the New Epistemology that reads the Prophecy of Blessing.

[page not available]

IV. That Science is Performance in Learning, and that Learning is Communal.

23. We tend to think of Science to be what are printed on papers. They are “Dead Science” and belong to History. Science alive is a Force of Knowing.

Epistemology in the past had the mistake of identifying Science with the Dead one. It used to preoccupy itself with the task of Justify, or Reject, claimed Knowledge. It did not look into the Process of Creating Science seriously.

“Knowledge” is not “out there”. Knowledge is created, not “discovered” in the sense it had been there under some cover. “Discover” only metaphorically refers to what goes on inside “Mind”. We take our self-imposed blinders off. That is the “Discovery”.

[Greek word translated as “Truth” in English, means “to take cover off”. It meant “exposing” what had been Concealed By Humans. The notion of Truth, as such, is Dialectical. It is a Collective of human Minds that conceals, and it is the same Collective of human Minds that exposes what it had been concealing. The Greek notion of Truth coincides with A. Eddington’s view of European Physics as a “series of mistakes upon mistakes.  Without previous mistakes, there can be no Physics learn on. This is a parallel to Oedipus Complex metaphor for Social Progress. But, we shall correct such a metaphor, and create a better metaphor, in the new science.]

Science alive is in the action/process of knowing. That is, it is in Learning Processes. Science refers to the “Ways” of learning. It recommends strategies of how to deal with Unknowns and Problems. That has nothing to do with the “Answer”. It is an “Approach”, “Procedure”, “Strategic Principle”. It is the “Ways”, not the “Results”.

24. In addition to the foregoing, the term “Discovery” is a misleading metaphor, in another sense that the word suggests Individual Discoverer. Perhaps, one person might “Discover” Gold Nuggets, etc. But that is not what happens in Science. Indeed Science is a Creation of New Way of Perception and/or Thinking. And there, “Communication” in a social scale is important.

In a larger view, it is Human Race as a whole that learns. Individual knowing is important enough, but Science ought not to be an Ego Trip. We do honor creative individuals. But Science is to be Science it has to be communicated. It has to be given away as a Gift of Love to Humanity.

And Science such as Geometry and Physics is developed in Linguistics level, presupposing existence of a “Language Community”. And the Creation has to be meaningful to the Community. Otherwise, making terms like “Force”, “Energy”, “Field”, etc. is useless.

That is, at least, Metaphysical and Theoretical structures are built on the basis of existing Language, and add new vocabulary. It requires existence of a community who speaks and thinks in the language. It is not just a person to sense something, but it is the Learning Process to reach an “Understanding By the Community” that is Science.

When we talk of “Knowing” (Epistemology), we ought to have meant the social process. The Epistemology in the past failed completely in this. Only recently, Frankfurt School of Social Criticism has come to address to this dynamics. Habermas, Ricoeur, et al are the examples. We have been blinded by our own “Egoism” to see our ignorance — or our “ignoring” —.

25. In contrast to the Individualistic Epistemology, one thing impressive in Native Science is that it is a communal effort. In Haida Myth, Mouse Woman always comes out and helps. What appears to be a “Heroic” deed in a European interpretation is actually accomplished by communal help.

Tayo, in Silko’s novel, reaches a resolution of his problem through communal help. Individual efforts were there. It should not be minimized. However, it is equally bad taste to ignore those who helped Tayo. And, in turn the Community as a whole learned. Tayo’s problem was not Just “His” in the individualistic sense. In Silko’s story, a new hope for the Community, if not the survival of Natives, is prophesied by Tayo’s learning. There is clear presence of the Spirit, which represents the 4-dimensional existence of the Natives — not only the historical Past, but also the prophesied Future —.

The Native Science is Communal. Native Science spans a huge Time Dimension, not only its Historical Past, but also the Prophesied Future. In contrast, European Science (Knowing) is like an isolated “Point here and now —, aside being Egoistic.

Even in religious contexts, this European “Egoistic Knowing” comes through. Perhaps, the original meaning did not intend, but Christians today think of Christ bearing the burden of “Sin” on himself Alone. None of Native Spiritual narration carries such a sense of “Alone-ness”.

In a sense, not having the sense of “Alone-ness” may be a weakness of Natives. Forced into a Civilization where “Everybody is for oneself”, Natives cannot function well. Only the Natives well educated in European Individualistic Epistemology can match their wit with the “foreign culture”.

To be sure, not all European descendants are competent in the game of Egoism. The majority fails. Thus, we do have social problems.

But, on the other hand, the problems, the pains, the suffering, are the well-spring of creativity, provided people are not crashed under completely. The Liberation Science-Epistemology cannot emerge from anywhere else.

The Liberation Science-Epistemology (Knowing) is the Learning Action of the Community as such.

The Native Communities that kept the Spirit of Communal Learning, under the heavy oppression is a great Teacher in this respect.

Our strategy is, then, to build Networks of Learning with Native Communities. Our institutions of Learning must sum up courage and set up the Networks. That would be the beginning of a New Science.

26. In a sense, we are about to “steal” the last and most precious Treasure from Natives by learning their way of humane existence. We do this after we have taken land away from them. We took their dignity away. In some cases, we have taken even their hope od survival and annihilated tribes all together.

I do not know what I could say to that. I only hope that Natives do not mind us learning their “Science”. A rumor is that their ancestor had prophesied this coming. And, perhaps, without paying proper respect, we may not be able to learn, if that is a sufficient tuition.

(Nov 30 1987.)