Thanks for all the replies. There's a lot to go through here and I'm not sure how best to respond without omitting some. Thanks especially to those who went to the effort to just keep it real. Bullshit is boring.
Urban Scout, I appreciate what you wrote. I'll respond to some of your points but probably cannot respond in depth to them all. I hope it doesn't seem like I'm picking on you. You were the first to respond so I'll do my best to likewise respond.
I see a very particular demographic represented here: white, urban, privileged, youthful, amerikan and idealistic.
Where did you get that?
From reading profiles, blogs, on myspace and personal websites. It was pretty easy, really. I neglected to add "male" to what I observed as the predominant demographic, so I will now.
I'm categorically not really any of those things.
I think the majority of people here would feel the same way as you.
Really? To me it's pretty self-evident to the contrary but maybe some facts elude me.
Since the language stands on a foundation of philosophy, I encourage you to ask for specifics about each topic as it arises. Feel free to ask questions about what you see as contradictions.
I will. In trying for a more gentle entry as opposed to hurling a lot of questions out, I've not done so yet. This one has been bugging me:
Because I believe we're headed for serious trouble...it seems detrimental that we start creating intentional, PLACE-BASED rewilding cultures.
And then just a few sentences later, in the same paragraph:
But I want a sustainable, rewilding culture right here in Portland OR. I want them all over the planet.
I can't for the life of me understand this apparent contradiction. Why on earth would you set out to intentionally do something that you state is detrimental to the establishment of rewilding cultural groups?
I'd like to know how you came to those observations. Use specific examples please.
As already mentioned, through personal information provided on this site and links to others. I'm not going to take the time to provide examples as this information is equally available to you as it was/is to me. I'm also thinking that the responses in this thread add credibility to my observations. I don't think it's a big deal really. The current demographics are only useful in predicting future demographics if all else stays the same; it doesn't have to be a static thing. However, I think demographics can speak to an underlying (probably subconscious) agenda. For example, how are you actively inviting, welcoming and responding to folks who do not fit the current demographic? I'm not looking for an answer there as much as I'm throwing it out for reflection.
This website has a theme; creating a culture that will last beyond civilization. I'd like to meet folks who believe in following the theme.
OK, maybe it's just a languaging thing but that word "following" has always been problematic for me. I don't follow themes, dogma, or strange men home (anymore, heh). I'm interested in being a co-creator of lived experiences and ideas shared in a mutually respectful and ever egalitarian fashion between human beings. I'm not a very good follower hence would make a very poor cult member which I think can easily be the demise of followers. I see merit in occasional chaos.
I also know that the sooner the crash happens, the softer it will crash, and therefore the better for all.
You can't "know" that. You can surmise, assume, presume, guess, envision, suppose, perhaps even predict although not with any certainty. It's unknowable. To assume to know what is "better for all" reveals a level of arrogance and a penchant for patronizing that I'm very uncomfortable with.
Death means violence.
I disagree. Death means change. Might be a great topic for a new thread.
If you understand that these things are killing the planet and do not have a desire for them to end, I hardly doubt you have an abiding love for the earth or anything that lives here.
Thank-you for "hardly doubting" my love. It's real. It's my spirit.
There are a few other things I've had difficulty understanding. Maybe I can seek clarity on this thread:
You spoke thus: "Our elders have long died." No they havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t. They are all around us. They are only made invisible by our lack of attention to them. Pay attention and be open to feeling that tap on your shoulder or that whisper in your ear or that nudge in your spirit. Or even to that post...stranger things have happened hehe. What makes you think all the elders and olders are dead?
And this: "Animism, the religion practiced by all indigenous peoples,--" This is false. There are thousand of indigenous persons who are practicing other religions and ways of walking and living their spirituality. This is a stereotype and is simply not true. What would make you think there is a single religion practiced by all indigenous people?
Similarly, you use the term "the indigenous lifestyle" which implies a similarity between peoples and nations that simply does not exist. There is no "indigenous lifestyle." Just taking North American indigenous persons by way of example, there are over 600 First Nations communities in Canada and over 500 federally recognized tribes in the U.S. To assume some degree of similarity is as short-sighted as believing in gross similarities between Italians and Chinese. Sharing a landbase (either in North America or in Eurasia) certainly does not imply homogeneity of cultural mores, language, traditions or anything else that I can think of.
We have to use cultural mentoring techniques to show people the world through native eyes. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what I have been doing for 10 years now...
OK, I felt pretty angry when I read that. How can anyone show anyone else something they have absolutely no experience with? Even if you were native yourself, you could not show anyone the world through your eyes in a truly meaningful fashion. One would need to experience the oppression of being a visible minority, which you could not. One would need to have first-hand experience with being over-represented in the prison system, and in the social realities of poverty, diabetes, STDs and AIDS, FAS/FAE, alcoholism, unemployment, and non-consenting sterilization. One would need to have experienced systemic racism through cultural genocide, forced assimilation, forced removal of children held in residential schools, imprisonment for practicing your spirituality and speaking your language. I could go on for sure, but please...do not think for one more moment that you can show the world through native eyes. You cannot. And I would invite you to rethink what you have been doing for the last 10 years.
I grow so weary of reading culturally appropriated terms when folks are seeking to self-define. I would love to see a rewilding language that is completely devoid of such culturally specific terms as medicine woman/man, abo, shaman, etc. I feel we are being short-sighted at best, and disrespectful at worst, to borrow terms from other cultures when we are simply inadequate to have even a beginning understanding of the depth of wisdom, dedication and life-long pursuit some of these words entail. If a person wants to be "abo" then I'd suggest going to live on a reservation to begin to understand the socio-political ramifications of doing so. It would at least be a more honest beginning.
I've rambled and raved. I've much more to say, and probably will do so when time and energy permit. Peter, again I want to say that I'm not picking on you. There is much good in what you say, in what you believe in, and what you are prepared to stand up for. And I applaud you for that and wish to support you in many of your goals and much of your ideology. But I need to understand more, and have a desire to be understood myself. Perhaps then we can co-create a wider path where many can walk side by side.