Nature and Experience in the Culture of Delusion: How by David W. Kidner (auth.)

By David W. Kidner (auth.)

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As an example of these two ways of knowing, take our experience of a beautiful landscape. We may well experience feeling of awe, wonder, humility, and so on, feeling that we are in the presence of something spiritual or divine. Now note what thought does to these experiences. We may ‘know’, for example, that a beautiful sunset is caused by dust particles in the air, somewhat diluting our sensory appreciation. Thus the two aspects of our experience are torn apart – with momentous implications for how we treat the world.

Visiting the two sites on consecutive days three times during one year, ornithologists identified more than 65 species at the village, and 32 at the wildlife sanctuary. As one O’odham farmer explained, “That’s because those birds, they come where the people are. When people live and work in a place, and plant their seeds and water their trees, the birds go live with them. 19 Rather, the desert is recognised as having its own structure and being, into which human culture and life are integrated.

As Deacon puts it, “implicit in [the] stone tools and social-ecological adaptations [of our ancestors] were the seeds of future human characteristics. ”76 Dreams of power and control, for the first time in evolutionary history, become realisable through the deconstruction and reconstruction of the world; and it is ironically these dreams that have led to our own disempowerment in the midst of a technologically defined world to which we have to adapt – although, ultimately, this adaptation is itself a sort of extinction.

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