Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Looking back to simpler times

A few days ago I read that Native Americans saw the world as a whole, land and sky and so forth, all as one.  It struck me that I've read the same thing about Celtic peoples.  Actually, what I read recently about Native Americans mentioned that the view is common among hunter gatherer peoples.

It seems to me that we all have hunter gatherer ancestors, it's just a matter of how long ago.  For Native Americans, I think things changed about 400 years ago with the coming of the Europeans.  For the British, I think things changed about 2,000 years ago with the coming of the Romans.

Now it seems there is such a cultural difference between the Native Americans and those of us of European ancestry.  But those of us of European ancestry come from a people who were once like the Native Americans too, it's just longer ago.

It seems to be part of human  nature to fantasize about times past.  Some look to hunter gatherer times.  Some look to medieval times.  Some look to Victorian times.  We romanticize the past, we don't think about the hardships that people endured in the past.

Looking to stories about the past is part of understanding who we are.  When we think about the past in this way, we may not be thinking in an entirely historically accurate way, but what we are doing is being inspired by the values that we choose to guide us as we seek the path to the future.

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