Manage episode 231686167 series 2502413
According to a modern world view, things exist which can be measured in terms of weight, length, volume, time, temperature, etc.. A spoon or a stone has all these qualities. We call such things “matter” and we have made “science” the proper study of them. The other kind of thing that exists includes consciousness, soul, thought, and feeling. We do not think a spoon or a stone possesses these qualities. We call such thinking-things “mind”. This mind-matter distinction is not made in all cultures. Indeed, things like stones and spoons may have mind. Stones may be, as the Ojibwa see it, non-human persons—certain humans can talk with them. Among the Mardu Aborigines, Tonkinson shows us, some sacred “stones are revered as metamorphosed parts of the bodies of ancestral beings” who created the world as we know it. As such these stones may have a vital power or life essence.
Copyright 2013 Nicholas Herriman / La Trobe University, all rights reserved. Please contact for permissions.